dirty martini

old music for new people

life on mars July 11, 2008

i’ve never really been a fan of space. not keen on red dwarf, and the closest i ever came to star wars or star trek was being forced to play princess leia during countless ‘wet playtimes’ at infant school. if they let us outside i would head straight for the fence…anyway, i have no idea which one princess leia originates from and i don’t care.

i liked pigs in space though.  and button moon rocked ‘home lunchtimes’ once a week, with its blatant product placement for heinz and fairy liquid. you would have thought they could have stumped up a couple of quid in return. that would have boosted the budget to about £7.50 per series.

jay kay, by contrast, clearly had a space fetish as a child.

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bill – space lady

earth wind and fire – jupiter

houseband – hey what planet is this

jamiroquai – emergency on planet earth

jamiroquai – cosmic girl

jamiroquai – space cowboy

kelis – shooting stars

maxwell – gravity

midnight star – body snatchers

rah band – clouds across the moon

sheila and b devotion – spacer

stevie wonder – rocket love

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you always take the weather with you April 5, 2008

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in the uk we’re probably more obsessed with the weather than is healthy. because our weather is SO CRAP.

evidence:

  • weeks where the temperature ranges from 4c to 18c so you don’t know what the bleep to wear
  • summers which are hot, but humid rather than sunny
  • summers which are sunny and then way too hot
  • rain – last summer we even tried to blame rihanna

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alexander o’neal – sunshine

nice 80s mellow track from mad mr neal. was ‘interpolated’ in the 90s by jay-z and foxy brown. how does a camel always manage to get a female compadre? foxy, mary, beyonce…

cloud one – don’t let this rainbow pass me by

quality 70s/80s soul.

level 42 – sun goes down

cod-reggae from a band that only ever would have sold in the 80s. you could get away with anything back then.

love unlimited – walking in the rain with the one that i love

these girls were part of barry white’s love unlimited orchestra until he allowed them to sing. hence their catalogue is an odd mix of vocal 70s soul and instrumentals. this was sampled by letoya luckett for ‘you got what i need’.

madame x – cherries in the snow

vanity-esque mid-late 80s artist. so, sounds a bit like prince, a genre close to my heart. cherries in the snow is also the name of a revlon lipstick and a book by emma forrest.

miss thang – thunder and lightning

answer records did exist in the 80s – this was a reply to oran juice jones. the genre wasn’t invented by sporty thievz.

neneh cherry – kisses on the wind

first woman not to hide her pregnancy on totp in 1989…and became a grandmother in 2004 at the age of 40.

new edition –  can you stand the rain

post-bobby and once their voices had broken, this was a great turn of the decade slow jam.

oran’ juice jones – the rain

synth soul classic with actual rain noise in case the point about rain wasn’t quite clear…gotta love the 80s…

rah band – clouds across the moon

quirky semi novelty soul. about someone whose man has flown to the moon. yes, the moon.

rotary connection –  i am the black gold of the sun

one of the best chillout soul classics ever featuring minnie ripperton. shameful admission – i thought nu yorican soul’s 90s cover was the original at the time. well i wasn’t born in 1971…

tony toni tone – it never rains in southern california

ok, again…i thought this was an original. tony toni tone are another group who can pull off cover versions.

 

you must be my lucky star February 3, 2008

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stars are everywhere this season. i love it when the star prints pop up in shops. not as cutesy as hearts and infinitely more interesting than polka dots.

my favourite childhood dress was a little white rara dress with blue, red and yellow pastel stars. i haven’t found anything for my grown up wardrobe that was quite right but i live in hope. in the meantime i do have an old ollie and nic bag in green velvet with purple stars, which i love.

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air – kelly watch the stars

i loved ‘moon safari’. if you can’t decide whether something sounds retro or futuristic, or both, that’s generally a good thing.

cheri – star struck

cheri were a moderately successful 80s girl band a la the mary jane girls and vanity 6.

china black – stars

like the lighthouse family, china black were always on the edge of sounding a bit worthy, a common affliction for brit soulsters.

con funk shun – she’s a star

very prolific but not a widely known as their peers such as kool and the gang and earth wind and fire…

earth wind and fire – star

…who had a penchant for singing about stars. this is lesser known than ‘shining star’ but i prefer it.

heatwave – star of the story

one word – royalties. ‘mind blowing decisions’, ‘boogie nights’ and ‘always and forever’ must have earned this lot a fair wad over the years.

index – starlight

early 80s boogie soul.

madonna – lucky star

perhaps the most starry sounding song about stars ever.

mariah carey – underneath the stars

think deep blue skies, wet green grass and twinkling yellow stars.

prince – baby i’m a star

golden era prince.

rah band – message from the stars

cute, slightly novelty band. you could get away with that kind of stuff in the 80s without being labelled completely shit.

simply red – stars

i loved this.

stevie wonder – another star

stevie didn’t venture into disco too often despite releasing quite a few albums in that era.  

terri walker – star

another underrated uk r&b artist…

 

songs you turn down on your ipod: annoy people on the bus December 11, 2007

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since i bought an ipod classic i’ve realised its actually quite difficult to piss people off on the tube with your poor taste in muisc. the bloody things aren’t loud enough, all you can hear is the inevitable annoucement of ‘signal failure at arnos grove’.

so, now that the EU have decided to limit our ability to block out the sounds emitted by a rackety tube train hurtling (sometimes) down a tunnel, perhaps the best place to annoy people is the bus. yes, the bus because there you are most likely to annoy old people. old people who ignore the screamingly obvious white earphones and plonk themselves down next to you and start asking questions.

stop taking your earphones out to politely respond to their query as to whether you think the bus service is getting worse. of course it is, that’s a rhetorical question. this is london – you must learn to pay more and expect less. how rude of some technology-dodger to interrupt your commute. ignore them. turn up your ’embarrassing shit i like’ playlist and see what carnage ensues.

i have quite a lot of bad taste…check out my original ipod sins and those i tried unsuccessfully to inflict upon my fellow tube passengers.

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10cc – dreadlock holiday

‘i don’t like cricket. i love it!’ nonsensical jukebox favourite.

amy grant – baby baby

amy was a god bothering gospel singer. which no one realised until after they’d bought this bouncy debut single.

boy meets girl – waiting for a star to fall

no song featured on the soundtrack to a film like ‘three men and a little lady’, or anything starring tom selleck, was ever going to be that cool.

debbie gibson – lost in your eyes

hard to believe now, but when britney launched people compared her to squeaky teen debbie. loved the reference to ‘electric youth’ in ugly betty.

elton john and kiki dee – don’t go breaking my heart

your mum likes this. therefore you shouldn’t.

heart – alone

80s hair rock is so not cool. except for this.

heavy d and the boyz – now that we found love

i love this more than the original and actually cheered when this was played at the end of ‘hitch’.

kids from fame – starmaker

way too worthy stage school brats sing about how tough it is when you’re on a scholarship.

pet shop boys – heart

camp and deadpan were revered as musical geniuses in the 80s. it was all a bit too atmospheric for me but i like this one.

rah band – clouds across the moon

spoken word intros are corny as anything. especially when you throw in a pink phone and shocked expression.

roxette – it must have been love

this is the most credible record roxette ever recorded. witness ‘joyride’ and ‘dressed for success’.

vanessa williams – save the best for last

totally lost its credibility after being used in a bisto ad. oh ok it was never cool in the first place…love wilhelmina slater though.