Been listening to a bunch of my 2 Tone ska stuff again — curse of being in one’s forties, I suppose. You dig out the music of your misspent youth. My favorite group was always The Beat (although, I’ll admit that I still think of them as The English Beat, as they were known here in the US). I loved other bands from the movement — The Specials, The Bodysnatchers, Madness — but none (for me) had the unimpeachable cool of The Beat. The Beat – “Mirror In The Bathroom.”
We’ll stick with the sad-old-bastard nostalgia for a moment. I heard this track again recently, and I was surprised at how little airplay it gets now. Olivia Newton-John was pretty much on constant pop radio rotation in the late-70s (along with the Bee-Gees), but (like the Bee-Gees), only a couple of songs appear to have made the “officially approved nostalgia playlist”, despite the popularity of her other stuff. This song is a great example — heard it *constantly* in 1979, and have barely heard it since. I unabashedly love this tune. Oliva Newton-John – “A Little More Love.”
A big part of my listening of late has been FAR WEST-related. I have a playlist of (good lord) nearly 700 tracks which I listen to as I work on the project, and that list is constantly growing as I discover new tracks, either on my own or suggested by fans. Here’s a couple of recent additions:
A track by a pair of Australian singers that appeared in the soundtrack to an episode of AMC’s western series HELL ON WHEELS, which immediately grabbed me: Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – “Rattlin’ Bones.”
A very spaghetti-western-ish intro leads into a piece by the UK band The Heavy (best known over here for “How Ya Like Me Now?”), which I like quite a bit: The Heavy – “Short Change Hero.”
Here’s a piece that I’m slightly ashamed to say wormed its way into my brain via a commercial for Internet Explorer 9. A pop track with just the right amount of dubsteppy goodness added to it, from a London-based singer-songwriter. Alex Clare – “Too Close.”
And lastly, Slash has a new album coming out at the end of May, in collaboration with vocalist Myles Kennedy and his backing band The Conspirators, called “Apocalyptic Love.” The first single is getting pretty heavy rock radio play, and damned if it isn’t a nearly-perfect slice of “Use Your Illusion”-period Guns n’ Roses. I’m sorry… Axl who? Slash, feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators: “You’re a Lie.”
There ya go, kids. See you next time.