Friday Music

It’s about that time again….

First off, in honor of the weather we’ve been having (or, rather in an effort to dispel the unrelenting heat with memories of nicer summers): Seals and Crofts – “Summer Breeze.” I had thought about posting the Type O Negative cover instead, but no–rather than making me think of balmy, jasmine-scented air, that version makes me think more along the lines of the roaring flames of Hell Itself (which is too close to the actual weather we’ve been having.)

Engaged in some serious sci-fi nostalgia with the Dastardly Best Friend last night, watching the first episode of this on DVD, and re-living the pre-Star Wars state of SF in the mid-70s. Bland, washed-out colors for the uniforms, slow pace, very talky. Still one of the best spaceship designs ever, though….and a groovy theme that I still like. So here it is: Barry Gray – “The Theme from SPACE:1999”

Another interesting mash-up: This one is a mix of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life”, The Doors “Touch Me”, Cream’s “I Feel Free” and “Last Train to Clarksville” by The Monkees. I love it when people mash older stuff, because you don’t expect it. The format lends itself more to newer music. This is sweet, though: CCC – “Lust Train.”

“I hope you know that this will go down on your PERMANENT RECORD…” My favorite song from the self-titled debut album, all of which is brilliant, but always gets eclipsed by the single “Blister in the Sun”: Violent Femmes – “Kiss Off.”

U.N.K.L.E. is a studio project of James Lavelle and a series of collaborators ranging from DJ Shadow to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and more, producing some of the best trip-hop material I’ve ever heard. This is a particularly haunting track from the first CD, Psyence Fiction, with vocals by Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft: U.N.K.L.E. – “Lonely Soul.” The mix of the raw breakbeats and the lush symphonic strings grabs me, and Ashcroft’s dispairing vocal just drives the whole thing home.

Most people know the singles that have relegated Men At Work to a permanent place in “Music of the 80s” compilations and flash-back shows. “Down Under”, “Who Can It Be Now”, etc. I loved this group, and was impressed by the quality of the album tracks that never got any airplay at all. I was especially fond of the tracks that were written and sung by the lead guitarist, Ron Strykert, which sounded like they came from another band entirely. Keep songs like “Down Under” in your head, and give this a listen: Men At Work – “I Like To.”

Lastly, another one of my own compositions….this time, the first finished track I produced using the ReBirth software, which is a simulator of the old TR-303, 808 and 909 synth, bass synth and drum machines. Throw in some samples (including a vocal test by a friend’s girlfriend, and an air raid safety broadcast from the WWII-era BBC), and bobsyeruncle: @nubis – “Initial Eyes.”

More next week, as usual.

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