Though it’s still too bloody hot to do much more than settle back into a comfy chair with a tall, cold beverage and wait for the next cold snap, you can at least stay chill in the arms of this week’s playlist. As Annie crooned to us last week, “dance as if your heart could break…” Yeah, honey, we’ve all been there. We’ll tour through a few favorites—old and not so old—that concern themselves with the joys of self-conscious sorrow and loss (oh, how deliciously self-indulgent) all set to undeniably butt-shaking music. It’s almost like being in love but without the expense, heart-ache, potential for disease or any of the rest of the crap comes along with amour.
And if you crave a battery of fine new (old) moves, visit this fine site and learn to do the Monkey, The Blue Beat, the Madison…
Next week: The Great Cover-up
“Chirpy Cheep Cheep” by Mac & Katie Kisson, from BUBBLEGUM CLASSICS VOLUME 3 (Varese Sarabande, 1996) One of the ultimate examples of exhilarating despair. Who cares where you mama’s gone when you have a backbeat this perfect?
“Girl Trouble” by the Violent Femmes, from WHY DO BIRDS SING? (Reprise/WEA, 1993)
When we were young, we always thought this song was about a social disease. Now we’re not so sure, though we still love Frugging to it.
- “Before We Begin” by Broadcast, from HAHA SOUND (WARP RECORDS, 2003)
A perfect slowdance about the utter impossibility of love, which seduces even as it sets up its own painful end. What a voice, and what a Ellie Greenwich sentiment. But do they mean Lord Ha Ha?
- “Whistling for His Love” by Danielle Dax, from DARK ADAPTED EYE (Warner Bros/WAE, 1988) Former Lemon Kitten sexbomb Danielle has a way of making even a fairly conventional love song sound like a murder ballad. Maybe it’s the sitars, sleazy synths, and ghostly vocals.
- “Eyeliner” by Brilliant Void (unreleased, 2006) S. James Curtis is the name of the guy behind this semi-selfhelp “crush with” tune.
- “Nothing Stays the Same” (Donna’s Home Demo) by Elastica , from ELASTICA 6-TRACK ep (Deceptive, 1999) Oh, how we love these kids. Pity about the drugs, the breakups, the madness. But we used to play this song over and over and over at the Phoenix. It seems to be about the horrors of the working world, or the arduous road to fame and fortune. But to us it’s all about the tambourine.
“Misunderstandings” by Chris & Cosey, from TECHNO PRIMITIV (Wax Trax!, 1985) On another song Cosey sings “Just kiss me and kiss me again”—though of course it seems as if what’s she’s really saying is “Beat me senseless.”
- “Happiness” by Tones on Tail, from EVERYTHING (Beggars UK, 1998) “To be without you is so good” he croons. Should we believe him? But ah, those kettle drums!
- Lucille by Xavier (unreleased, 2006) Kenny Rogers would probably choke on a fried chicken leg if he heard this. We love the thought of swilling a pint of Black & Tan to this in some low dive, swaying back and forth with a bunch of drunken dockworkers. But we digress. This is actually an unreleased track trilled by our very tall friend Xavier, a former Harlem Boys Choir kiddie, all grown up now and sort of a disco darling in the UK. Who knew where his heart really lay?
- “Compulsive Gambler” by Sam Philips, from OMNIPOP (ITS ONLY A FLESHWOUND LAMBCHOP) (Virgin, 1996) Sad sad sad. Why isn’t she enormously famous? Your Uncle LD personally knows nothing about online gambling or chat rooms or eBay or any of those demonic digital pursuits, but he understand just how captivating they might be, so we won’t lecture.
“My Pet Robot” by the Pulsars, from PULSARS (Almo Sounds, 1997) One of the saddest songs we know about the slow death of one’s electronic friend. To be made redundant by technology is a fate worse than… well, almost anything we can think of right now, save for W’s regime, the idiotic gay marriage debates, wars we shouldn’t be involved in, etc.
- “I Could be Happy” by Altered Images, Martin Rushent 12-inch remix from REFLECTED IMAGES (Epic, 1996)
Don’t let all those zingy orchestral chimes, trebly guitars and giddy girly vocals fool you—it’s really a stalker ballad. Claire Grogan later was Sixthed and became a TV star.