Here we go again: Another weekly installment of my internet mixtape.
Vibralux – “Single”: The appropriately-named single from Lawrence’s very own Vibralux, a band that does tone-perfect early-70s “androgynous aliens” drag-glam. If you like early Bowie, Brian Eno, T-Rex, or the soundtrack from the movie Velvet Goldmine, this is for you.
Swing Out Sister – “Am I the Same Girl”. Originally a 1960s soul song by Barbara Acklin–Most people are more familiar with the instrumental version, called “Soulful Strut” by Young Holt Unlimited, which is a regularly-played darling of oldies radio stations, and has been used in advertising, movies, etc. You’ll recognize it once the horn hook starts. This excellent cover is by Swing Out Sister, who were a New Romantic/Blue-eyed Soul group in the late 80s/early 90s, best known for their single “Breakout.”
I’m a huge fan of downtempo electronica (Zero 7, Thievery Corporation, Spylab, etc.). Mawglee – “Dreaming” is a nice bit of it, which I think is worth sharing. This is the kind of stuff that I prefer to listen to while writing.
Royalvisionairies – “Back to Yazoo (Digital Explosion Mix)”: a tribute to the synthpop of the 80s, referencing New Order, Pet Shop Boys, and, of course, Yazoo (known simply as Yaz in the US).
That song got me in the mood for some *real* 80s stuff, but not the same old “YOU’RE LISTENING TO KRAP’S 80S WEEKEND” bullshit, which plays the same stuff, off the same compilation CDs, over and over. So, first up, we have Blancmange – “Lose Your Love”. I loved this band when I was in High School, primarily because they were named after a type of pudding that had been used on “Monty Python.” (Evil alien invaders were turning people into blancmanges.) The fact that the music was good was a bonus.
Some of you probably know this one, for the famous lyrical hook: “I might like you better if we slept together.” Romeo Void – “Never Say Never” An early-80s New Wave band that MTV was probably responsible for killing….the videos clearly showed that lead singer Debora Iyall was not a stereotypical video waif sexpot, but a well-proportioned Native American woman. Can’t have that on our televisions, after all.
This last one isn’t obscure at all. I just like it. Ben Folds Five – “Underground”: The first single from the now-defunct Ben Folds Five, which immediately grabbed me for two reasons. One: the lyrics are hilarious, especially when contrasted with the music. Teenage alienation set to bouncy piano-driven pop. Two: There’s a piano solo where Ben Folds shows off some serious jazz chops. I’m always a sucker for virtuosity.
There you go, kids. More next week.