Even when the 80s had JUST BEGUN…

…they were already awesome.

Listen to those Post-Punk roots. It’s… It’s punk. Yet it’s not any more.
It’s slightly goth-ish, yet it’s not yet.

And what it is… Is being full of energy. Full of social significance. And seeping that rather distinctly 80s form of ass-kicking. The one where you imagine skinny-ties and immaculate (if off-colour) suits and some amount of coke (the non-liquid kind) to.

It also really filled the need for some headache-soothing music. So it’s got that as a bonus going for it, too.

But, seriously, get some of Gang of Four’s albums. Or even vinyls, if you can. You won’t be disappointed if you a) like 80s sounds and b) haven’t heard of them yet.

[EDIT]

You know what? It wouldn’t be the same without the b-side.
So have that too!

A little contrast never truly hurt somebody.

Yes, it’s about The Smiths today.
And about my post yesterday.

This album is a peculiar thing in itself. It came out in 1984. And The Smiths’ debut album “The Smiths”… Also came out in 1984.
What this is, then, is a sort-of compilation of BBC1 radio session [Peel and Jensen] recordings.

And if you ever see an album by an artist you really like and it says “BBC Radio 1 Sessions” or “John Peel Sessions”… Just buy it if you can. Those recordings are often spectacular beasts. The bands often took some time to slightly re-tool their songs for those sessions, they were recorded in a very professional manner and they have a certain feeling to them. It’s… Hard to explain.

It’s also hard on me when it comes to provide a sound-sample, as there is sparsely anything on youtube from this particular album I could let you listen to, and if I’d take a version of those songs from “The Smiths” it wouldn’t offer the distinct quality I’m talking about. So I take one song that wouldn’t have been my first choice, but which still is a powerful offering. And a powerful change. They took out the keyboard part found on “The Smiths” from this and gave the bass part a slightly different twinge.

So, just take a listen to The Smiths – You’ve Got Everything Now.

This is a special album. A special band. All alone, you can buy this album, play it to some indie-hipster and tell them to shut the fuck up because being indie isn’t some sort of “new thing” and The Smiths really showed the world that it certainly was a thing you could sustain. … If you wanted, that this. They didn’t manage more than four main-line albums before breaking up in 1987, managing only five years of “being a band”.

Particularly striking is also their choice of the band name, choosing “The Smiths” to NOT appear ‘pretentious’. Well, music shares something with movies and RPGs then, too: Some things were “first” once and then copied until the breaking point, making their use a highly ironic statement at best. I dare you to give me a “The [X]” these days that isn’t pretentious, ‘ironic’ or trying very, very hard to be ‘edgy’.

It’s like with Tolkien. He made his elves haughty and his dwarves stoic. And generations of later Fantasy writers took his concepts and copied the shit out of them so that nowadays every fantasy world with haughty, long-lived elves and stoic, short-tempered dwarves draws rolled eyes. The same seemed to have happened with The Smiths. They started something to try to NOT look like something else, and the band that followed their footsteps found it cool and copied it… Well… Are the reason why no well-stocked music shop will ever put 90% of all “The” bands under “T”.

But, yes. They were (some of) the first ones of calling themselves “The” and being indie and walking a darker, gloomier road. And back when they did it… It was truly new. It was besides New Wave and after Punk and all-between Hair-Metal and Radio Rock. And it was a success.

Also, compare this with yesterday’s offering, which came out eight years later, which also was different and truly independent. And is now lost to near-total obscurity. That’s the difference proper rotation and “marketing” can make, be it on a national or sub-cultural scale. No word-of-mouth means that even great artists will fade. And proper marketing and huge coffers of cash mean that we get much of the last 12 years in popular music. Because this, The Smiths, was Pop once. As was Madonna. And Michael Jackson. Which is to say… Fuck you, AAA Music Indutry. You fucking sacks of money-hungrey vultures stiffling creativity for selfish gains and easy earnings. Fuck you. I hope your whole industry collapses into itself and never rears its ugly head again.

Err.
Yes.

Go, buy yourselg some Hatful of Hollow.
Even 28 years later it’s still well worth a listen.

Let’s kick myself in the ass.

Because I’m regretting not having instituted my insidious plan of cataloging each and every track I add here. So now I don’t know if I have used “Books from Boxes” already or not. Which sucks. And I’m too lazy to go look. So I pick another song, that’s also fitting with the current events.

No lyrics.
No intertwined history.
Just a great tune with loads and loads and loads of legacy.

And this is a tune EVERYBODY knows. Be it from their own experience or through cultural osmosis.

Hirokazu Tanaka – Korobeiniki/Tetris A [Tetirs GameBoy] | 1989 | Electronic

Yeah.
This is pretty damn fitting to what I’m doing now.

Let’s wallow in some really great memories.

Heroes Del Silencio – Entre Dos Tieras [Senderos de traiciĆ³n] | 1990 | Rock

This track…
This piece of Spanish Rock…
Is a great, powerful, rocking piece of music.

I started to go dancing regularly in 2001. Ten years ago.
On the very first day, this song was played. It was eleven years old even then.
I danced to it almost monthly up until the club where I was a regular closed. Then it became a rarer occurrence, but even my new regular club played it from time to time. And enjoyed it every damn time!

The last two years have seen me go dancing much less than I’d prefer. So I haven’t really heard it that often.
I WILL change this the coming year. Starting this 25th of December with the Eisenlager’s X-Mas DM party.
Continuing the next year with visits to the Pulp and the ex-Saint.
I’ll still stay away from the Matrix. That club can rot in hell for all I care.

But this song… It’s twenty one years old now. And it still rocks. It still holds it power.
And it still brings back the memories of smoke-machines, red and blue lights, the smell of patchouli, cigarettes and bailey’s, and pictures of very attractive young women going wild with grins on their faces. As well as Vampires stalking the US East Coast in a battle against the Sabbat.

So… Rock! :)

[P.S.
Again, this is 80s music for me. Simply as it was released in May, 1990. Not much time for any 1990s cultural and musical influences to sink in.]

Let’s cast a spell.

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Spellbound [Juju] | 1981 | Batcave

[expand title=”Lyrics”]From the cradle bars
Comes a beckoning voice
It sends you spinning
You have no choice

You hear laughter
Cracking through the walls
It sends you spinning
You have no choice

Following the footsteps
Of a rag doll dance
We are entranced
Spellbound

And don’t forget
When your elders forget
To say their prayers
Take them by the legs
And throw them down the stairs

When you think
Your toys have gone beserk
It’s an illusion
You cannot shirk
You hear laughter
Cracking through the walls
It sends you spinning
You have no choice
Following the footsteps
Of a rag doll dance
We are entranced
Spellbound[/expand]

It’s weird how this song could influence me so strongly. It was released two years before I hit this planet and yet… When I listened to it for the first time, it grabbed me by the ears and never let go. It’s one of those songs. Songs like “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. “Nowhere Girl”. “Suicide Commando”. “She’s in Parties”. “She’s Lost Control”. “Of Runes and Men”. “Enjoy the Silence”. “Barrel Of A Gun”.

Songs that speak “Goth” to me. My very own, very personal definition of it. Far away from droning, badly programmed electro beats streaked with sexually expletive “lyrics”.

More romance, more mystery, more (hidden and open) meanings behind the songs.

More love.

And this is my song for today. For this week. This weekend.
This beginning of Winter, with all its coldness, frost and biting winds.
With all its hidden, obscured beauty and romance.

Let’s wind down a bit.

So, work today was particularly taxing and shitty thanks to someone totally useless being assigned to our team. He’s a picture-perfect lesson on how a single saboteur can derail even the biggest projects. DAMN today sucked.

So I’m not particularly in the mood or state-of-mind to write that much.

But there’s a near-perfect song for this out there. Which also is a near-perfect song in itself.
Sit through the intro. Wait until 01:36 in and listen to one of the best riffs in the history of rock and roll.

Dire Straits – Money for Nothing [Brothers in Arms] | 1985 | Rock

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s

See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s a millionaire

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin’ in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he’s up there, what’s that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin’ on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s, Lord

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free[/expand]

Basically, what I want to say today:
1) Work sucked because of a single stupid motherfucker kicking it all off-track.
2) Listen to this song.
3) Buy “Brothers in Amrs” if you don’t yet have it. Money for Nothing, Brothers in Arms, Walk of Life, Why Worry… All those are on it. It’s a magnificent album. Get it. It’s worth the price of admission.

Let’s expand on somethin I’ve said a few days/weeks ago. (1)

This might get a really, really, really long series. A really, really, really long one.
I write too fucking many tangents, don’t I? Yes. Yes I do.

This is about saxophones.
And why I miss them in contemporary music.

And one of the most epic saxophone parts in rock music must be in the track I’m about to post. If you know any other great examples… Hit me with them in the comments section!
But first, listen to the awesome song here. [It’s the video version, which is two minutes shorter, taking some breath away from this song, but still being perfectly awesome in itself!]

Gerry RaffertyBaker Street [City to City] | 1978 | Rock

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Windin’ your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away
And forget about everything
This city desert makes you feel so cold.
It’s got so many people but it’s got no soul
And it’s taking you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it had everything

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’
You’re tryin’ now
Another year and then you’ll be happy
Just one more year and then you’ll be happy
But you’re cryin’
You’re cryin’ now

Way down the street there’s a lad in his place
He opens the door he’s got that look on his face
And he asks you where you’ve been
You tell him who you’ve seen
And you talk about anything

He’s got this dream about buyin’ some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he’ll settle down there’s a quiet little town
And forget about everything

But you know he’ll always keep movin’
You know he’s never gonna stop movin
Cus he’s rollin’
He’s the rollin’ stone

And when you wake up it’s a new mornin’
The sun is shinin’ it’s a new morning
You’re goin’
You’re goin’ home.[/expand]

This song has a particularly great origin story. Instead of re-telling it here, click on the Song’s name. It’s short enough, and it involves jamming musicians and corporate lawyers. Just got, read it. I’ll wait for you.

Told you it was funny, didn’t I?

Now to the song. It opens in a really weird way. Like the opening tune to a 70s medical drama. Looking at its date of inception, that isn’t surprising. But it then immediately transforms into those awesome, crystal-clear and entrancing saxophone tones. This sax riff is probably the most known sax riff world wide. I’m willing to bet that each and every one of you knows it, even though you’ve never heard the song in its entirety. The guitar solo later on is also a damn-near masterpiece. The way they portray it in the video is perfectly fitting for the mood of this song.

Sunglasses, laid back, utterly in-the-moment. Giving it its fullest and best. … The way you should live life, if you ask me.

The song as a whole is parts soothing and parts upbeat. In a really good mixture. It’s generally more of a summer song that way, for me, but it’s also a “nightside” song. Test it out. Get together with some friends for a party lasting into the night and put this song when you’re all relaxed and slightly quieter. Smiling into your drinks, remembering fond memories or looking back at the last, great conversation. Put this song in RIGHT THE FUCK THEN. And watch people smile some more. I guarantee those smiles with the right crowd of intimate, good friends.

I also want to take the last verse for myself and the ending of this year and the upcoming beginning of the next.

“And when you wake up it’s a new mornin’
The sun is shinin’ it’s a new morning
You’re goin’
You’re goin’ home.”

This song’s also a small oddity. It’s not all that in-tune with the rest of the album. As such, I wouldn’t recommend the whole album to a friend. I really wouldn’t. It’s my cup of tea, but it’s… On the edge. Most of you wouldn’t like it. BUT! (And that’s a MC Frontalot kind of but!) But go to Amazon or iTunes and buy this song. You won’t be disappointed. :)

Oh, yeah. Remember that party where you should put this song on?
Follow it with this one, and just… Float away.
I also recommend good Whiskey as the drink-soundtrack to this chillness-soundtrack.

Dave Stewart & Candy Dulfer – Lily Was Here | 1989 | Smooth Jazz

Let’s cut it very close today.

I had planned to post earlier.
Much earlier.
But then… Things got in the way.
So now I’ve lost the idea I had for today, and have to utterly improvise to get it all done before midnight.

So I turned to the ancient and hallowed trick of DJs all over the world whenever they have to come up with something: Put on a long track to give yourself some time to think.
Yes. I needed a few mintues to realize that this works better when you actually have the TIME to let some music give you the time to think of something else. When you’re PRESSED for time, you should put on short tracks. … Nevertheless, it worked. Mostly because Winamp’s “Random” function still loves me very much.

So I can present you yet another Batcave masterpiece.

Sex Gang Children – Mauritia Mayer [Mauritia Mayer/Children’s Prayer] | 1983 | Goth Rock / Batcave

This is the long version. Almost ten minutes.
It’s got time to… Breathe.

And it’s absolutely perfect to dance to.
And, for some weird reason, it’s also absolutely perfect to relax to.

It’s neither too fast nor too slow to detract from either option.

And it’s very, very, deeply goth.
In a damn good way.

For some reason, there are no damn lyrics to this song online.
And as to the obscure title of the song: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=11305

This is one of the most weirdly themed songs in my collection. Of not THE most weirdly themed one. … And that’s pretty fucking hard. (It might also be because I consider topics other (most) people see as “weird” to be bordering on the mundane and boring.)