Monday, April 30, 2007

80's Redux: the Obligatory Music Post

Snaps to Fred Ball.

While people (myself included) have been raving about Mark Ronson (music producer du jour) with his fab new album VERSIONS (fantastic covers of songs popular and obscure - his cover of Britney's TOXIC is hilarious and entertaining) Fred Ball has been quietly producing and creating fantastic songs on the down low.

He's cowrote and produced Bertine Zetlitz's last two albums Rollerskating and My Italian Greyhound (someone I'm sure you have never heard of, but trust me, she's incredibly her homeland of Norway - I'd call her the Norwegian Annie, except...well Annie is the Norwegian Annie), as well as worked with Brett Anderson on his latest solo album (former lead singer of Suede, and the band The Tears). Sadly Brett's album is rather boring. Oh well.

Nevertheless, Fred Ball has his own project to fall back - Pleasure. And what a pleasure it is. Full of 80's inspired snappy hits, it's been on constant rotation on my iPod. Well, that is, if an iPod that is driven by flash memory can truly be "in rotation". The video for his single Out of Love is an 80's inspiration. Double snaps to him for that.

Taking inspiration from Fred Ball's Pleasure project, I've become utter obsessed with the 80's recently. But not in some sort of retro ironic way. Nope. I'm in love with the 80's as they are being used in a completely modern contemporary way. It's an 80's redux in fashion, design, and music, and I for one think it's faboo.

It's true that the 80's revival has been around for the past couple of years. Just take a look at the "electroclash" sound of three years ago, along with the influx of hipster indie bands like Interpol, the Killers, heck, even 2003's biggest indie hit The Postal Service is the 80's all over again. Strangely, everywhere I turn I hear 80's inspired music - and it doesn't seem to be letting up.

That said, I've created the first of what should (hopefully) be a quarterly event. I've made a mix CD. The first of many I hope to offer here on my blog.

Yes, yes, how very 90's of me, I know. If I were really being hip and up-to-date and current, I'd probably be doing a podcast, but podcasts are so last year. I really should be doing vodcast or installing an MP3 flashplayer on this blog or something but I'm not that cutting edge. In fact, I just figured out how to text message about a month ago.

How's that for sad.

That said, here's the ground rules of my Spring 2007 Mix CD. All songs have to be inspired by the sounds of the 80's. BUT they can not be song from the 80's, they have to be current, contemporary acts - hopefully new groundbreaking acts (though there are some exceptions). I also created the stipulation that the bands can't be from the 80's. In other words, I can't fill it full of new Erasure and Pet Shop Boys or the newly reformed OMD (not that I have anything against them...). That would be cheating.

All other mix tape rules apply - ie. No repeating of artists, all songs should segue properly into the next song, and... um I can't think of any other rules. But no repeats. That's the big one.

Of course, I did cheat a little. Fred Ball occurs twice (once as a producer, once as an artist) and one band occurs twice (Junior Boys) - once as the artist proper and once as a remixer. And though most of the songs are from the past year, there one or two songs that probably got released back in 2005, but I didn't discover them until later (I think Kelley Polar is one artist that falls into this category). We're going to ignore the bending of the rules though, because I'm the one that made up the rules in the first place...

So here it is. I tried to pick songs that not only had a strong 80's influence, as well as artists and songs that you probably haven't heard of. If you have, let me know - I'll try harder next time. Here's the track list:

1. Say Hi To Your Mom - Sweet Sweet Heartkiller
2. Small Sins - Stay
3. Kelley Polar - In Time
4. Softlightes - The Microwave Song
5. Stars - Sleep Tonight (Junior Boys mix)
6. Pleasure (ft. Heidrun Bjornsdottir) - Out of Love
7. Vivek Shraya - Chemistry
8. Patrick Wolf - Accident & Emergency
9. Bertine Zetlitz - Never Let You Go
10. Shiny Toy Guns - Turn to Real Life
11. Sarah Nixey - Strangelove
12. Robyn - Robotboy
13. Calvin Harris - Acceptable in the 80's (Radio Edit)
14. The Rapture - Whoo! Alright - Yeah...Uh Huh
15. Clear Static - Make Up Sex
16. Dragonette - Magic Fantasy
17. The Secret Handshake - Summer of '98
18. Young Love - Find a New Way
19. The Bird and the Bee - Fucking Boyfriend
20. The Sounds - Queen of Apology (Fall Out Boy Remix)
21. Paper Moon - Last Goodbye
22. Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye.

Some of these songs are all the rage on the blogsphere - or at least they were a couple of months ago. I swear I found out about The Bird and the Bee's Fucking Boyfriend three months ago, before it was all over the internet - and the same goes for Patrick Wolf who seems to be everwhere nowadays... And yeah, it took me a couple of months to find songs that fit together. Most of the songs are more on the electro-pop synthpop side than on the jangly smiths/housemartins side. I had a few of those songs, but I cut them, as well as the soft pop sound from the 80's (no wannabee Supertramp songs - ie. The Feeling).

Anyway if you want a copy of the CD, post a comment telling me what your favorite 80's band was (see this is just me really being a comment whore) and then drop me an email with your snail mail address. No guarantees, but I'll try to get it out to all who want it.


PS. oh yeah, here's a pic of the cover I designed. I didn't want to go the obvious route with the 80's nagel/new wave look (despite almost all the songs on the CD sounding synthpop new wave-ish). So I took inspiration from old New Order covers (I heart Peter Saville) as well as old 4AD Cocteau Twins covers (I double heart Vaughan Oliver). Enjoy.

Labels: , , ,


At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I found your blog through "IsitEdible" (which I had previously found through a cooking blog.) Although you're in no way obligated to send a CD to someone you don't know- I'd like to add that my favorite 80's band was Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. (That's wicked embarrassing to admit now.)

At 11:59 PM, Blogger jackhonky said...

of COURSE, i'll send you a copy! especially since you are the first person to post a comment. drop me an email with your snail mail address (there's a link to my email address in my post, as well as up above on the right)....

besides, I'd be ALL CRIED OUT...OVER YOU if I didn't...


funny thing. I actually have seen LISA LISA twice live. Both times were unintentional. Once was the GAY GAMES closing ceremony in 1994 and a couple of years ago for SF Gay Pride. The Gay Pride show was much better - as LISA LISA had figured out that she should not choreography hetero couple dance routines for a gay audience... She was booed off the stage when she did that in 1994!

Ah well. I'm still LOST IN EMOTIONS over her being booed off. Poor LISA LISA...

My questions to you is this though. Have you actually listened to any of her stuff now? If you have a chance, listen to I'M ALL CRIED OUT. That song is HIGH DRAMA! Especially the ending!

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Rita said...

My favorite 80s band??

At the time, I tended toward solo artists--namely Peter Cetera and Whitney Houston. (I like to sing!!) Cyndi Lauper, too. Um, and whoever did "Axel F."

Looking back, I see Tears For Fears was a class act from the beginning. They're on my in-rotation shelf now. Oh, and Wham! But that's all recognizing genius after the fact.

Most others I would call "favorites" are probably more properly 90s.

Hook me up!!


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Billy Farquhar said...

Hey Irvin,

You know so many bands I've never even heard of! If you are coming down this way next month with the LifeCycle, I'd be honored if you'd burn me a copy.

I'm actually supposed to be up in SF for Haight Street Fair/Farewell to my friend Greta, which means I need to get on the ball and book a flight.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duct Tape by Freeze Pop

You'll fall in love with it.

Your St. Louis Bathhouse Friend


Post a Comment

<< Home