dirty martini

old music for new people

i love 1988: fresh and fly April 5, 2009

 freshfly1

yes, in 1988, even north london schoolgirls could rap. yes, that is michelle gayle. back then in junior school, we could only aspire to be as cool as grange hill hip hop act ‘fresh and fly’.

if there is one way to describe the music of 1988 though, fresh and fly just about does it. hiphop, slick wine bar soul and the birth of new jack swing.

to be honest, my school was more bros and debbie gibson in 88, but london, as usual, was infinitely cooler…

download 1988

al b sure – night and day

bobby brown – roni

bvsmp – i need you

five star – godsend

karyn white – the way you love me

loose ends – watching you

mac band – roses are red

mica paris – my one temptation

pebbles – girlfriend

prince – alphabet st

slick rick – mona lisa

today – him or me

 

teenage love affair July 10, 2008

before t’internet, there were magazines. ok there still are magazines but i now buy two per month – heat and glamour – whereas back in the day i used to get about ten.

just seventeen was good for horoscopes and those little free books that taught you to be a total stalker, in a completely non-harmless way of course…’close your eyes and think of a question. stick a pencil down anywhere on the page. find the symbol you land on and the answer will be revealed….’he thinks you’re too good for him’. well, durrrr.

more! was of interest primarily for the problem pages, which went slightly beyond that of the other titles. there was no ‘shoud i kiss him or not?’ boys at school would pore over these pages in great detail, before checking position of the fortnight. ‘oh yeah…done that already.’ ‘who with?’ ‘you don’t know her…i met her on holiday…’

mizz dealt in hardcore compatibility charts. so if you were an aries and you liked a pisces you were basically screwed. question: did anyone actually look a compatibility chart, see that their intended target was suitable and then march up to them at school the next day? no. it made no difference except if he turned you down…’we weren’t compatible anyway, he’s a fucking leo, i can’t be doing with it…’

minx ruled. it dared to take the piss out of gormless celebs like ‘louise out of eternal’ and the spice girls, much to the anger of their PRs, as I remember. i have no idea why it disappeared so suddenly, everyone i knew loved it.

download here

alicia keys – teenage love affair

amazulu – too good to be forgotten

aaliyah – age ain’t nothin’ but a number

beyonce – my first time

chairmen of the board – since there were pigtails

cool notes – you’re never too young

erykah badu – back in the day

hot chocolate – it started with a kiss

ryan leslie – used to be

shanice – i love your smile

sister sledge – frankie

slick rick – teenage love

 

two miles an hour so everybody sees you June 8, 2008

long before will smith extolled the virtue of driving slowly through the summer heat, to ensure potential hookups got to see you looking your best, crews who weren’t old enough to drive found another way to look cool.

they lugged a fifty pound ghettoblaster round town all day.  any less than four people looked desperate – boom boxing was a group activity, plus, it was heavy work. ghettoblasters generally required four to six huge batteries to keep going for, ooh, two hours, and so you might think the lads would plan strategically for maximum impact from their hard earned. nope.

instead of trying to impress girls and finding out where they would be, you could usually find boom boxers outside hotspots such as:

  • hanging around outside woolies
  • in the tesco trolley area
  • round the back of the bingo hall
  • on deckchairs on the beach near all the OAPs
  • on a bench in the middle of a roundabout
  • in the local park

hmm. the girls are at each others houses, getting their fake id ready to go out and meet boys who have cars and don’t need to lope around town with a boombox on their shoulder…

download here

brooklyn funk essentials – do or die bedstuy

bvsmp – i need you

doug e fresh – the show

full force – your love is so def

just ice – latoya

kurtis blow – if i ruled the world

ll cool j – i need love

rocksteady crew – hey you

run dmc – it’s tricky

slick rick – mona lisa

utfo – fly girl

whistle – just buggin’

 

a roller skating jam named saturdays April 7, 2008

one of my first (of many) instore tantrums was over a pair of starlight express rollerboots.

skating, indeed many forms of exercise, were popular pastimes in the 70s and 80s in a way that they’re just not now. computers were basic, tv was limited to three channels, so you got off your arse and went outside. girls skated and french skipped, boys played football or hit things with sticks.

roller discos, therefore, were good places for boys to meet girls, once they got over that whole ‘girls are stupid’ phase. skating though, had potential for embarrassment. and boys didn’t look that cool skating.

so, most venues were built around the twin concepts of roller rinks for the girls and skateboard ramps for the boys. and a wall’s ice cream stand in the middle for hook-ups…with the retro yellow branding not the rubbish continental style brand they have now.

download here

bb biz r – sucker for your love

bobby demo – bugs-b-skate-rap

cameo – rollerskates

doug e fresh and slick rick – the show

indeep – last night a dj saved my life

kurtis blow – don’t stop the body rock

newcleus-  jam on it

rocksteady crew – hey you, the rocksteady crew

salt-n-pepa – push it

shannon – let the music play

soul sonic force – electric kingdom

white shadow – boogie freak

 

only when i laugh January 13, 2008

 nice orange leather catsuit.

every once in a while, a song comes along that actually injects some humour into the lyrics. its the artist’s stand up moment. it’s not that hard…why doesn’t it happen more often?

top five stand up:

  • eddie murphy and the ice cream you can’t afford
  • peter kay and the walking onto the dancefloor dance. and the ‘fine rain that soaks you right through’
  • al murray ‘was never confused’
  • chris rock and er, men who want credit for taking care of their kids…and not being in prison
  • ricky gervais when he isn’t being smug

an honorable mention* must go to lisa moorish. yes, lisa moorish, primrose hill bike, had a career in the 90s and had one vaguely amusing hit ‘mr friday night’, which poked fun at the white shirt brigade. apparently the sales of three cd singles is enough to finance a house in primrose hill and ensure you never have to work again. oh no wait, she actually made sure she got pregnant by someone with a bit of cash – liam gallagher – so she could keep up with kate moss. and fellow oxygen thieves meg and sadie.

*not so much of an honourable mention

download here 

alexander o’neal – fake

even in the late 80s, weaves, fake nails and coloured contacts were in abundance. alex calls them out. cos…yeah, i bet he really goes for the au naturel look….not!

amy winehouse – addicted

starting to lose her spot as the most fucked up celeb on the planet thanks to britney’s latest antics. how long can it be before her PR steals her shoes, pours a bottle of gin down her throat and chucks her out of a cab in the middle of camden again?

cypress hill – insane in the brain

let’s face it they even sound funny. i once knew someone who could do a great b-real impression if you gave him a wig and a baseball cap.

jay-z – 30 something

jay lays it down for all his fellow 30 somethings who know better than these young whippersnappers…um….wait a minute, isn’t jay pushing 40? didn’t he need to make this track, like, ten years ago?

jean grae – how to break up with your girl

jean ingratiates herself with females everywhere by reminding our men how crap our behaviour is. don’t you just know jean is one of those annoying tomboyish women who hate every girl their male friends come into contact with?

john legend – used to love you

well, i think john’s sales have probably edged his finances closer to jay and puffy’s now, so what a difference four years make…i’m pretty sure whitney and bobby were broke aready by 2004 so i’m not sure where that idea came from.

kanye west and jamie foxx – gold digger

now a staple of chicago rock cafes up and down the uk. danced to by women who can’t really pull off the whole gold digger thing anyway…

positive k –  i got a man

box favourite from 1993. the girl who participates in the call and response has a really annoying voice. surely they could have got someone better? or maybe that was the point.

skeelo –  i wish

skee-lo was vertically challenged. and like all shortarse men he wanted to emphasise this with a tall girlfriend. what is that all about? at least carlton banks knew his place.

slick rick – mona lisa

like b-real, slick rick sounds funny even before you hear the lyrics.

streets – don’t mug yourself

tower block humour. ‘mugging yourself off’ has become a national pastime and helped to propel essex boy brian belo to bb8 victory.

tony toni tone – my exgirlfriend

supposed to be about an ex who turns out to be a hooker. but the first time i heard: ‘my exgirlfriend is a hoooooooooo…’ i laughed out loud, and still do.