May 3, 2014

In this day and age a band can perfectly recreate the sound of past music. Case in point, Brooklyn based Midnight Magic. Musically they are an exact re-incarnation of The Aural Exciters, who also hailed from the NYC underground dance scene. The track “Walking the Midnight Streets” from their debut album has an amazing video. I cannot tell if vintage dance footage was used and synched to recreate that era or if they painstakingly had their hair done, had outfits made and video equipment that allowed for a perfect late-70’s early 80’s video accompaniment to their perfectly retro-song. I suspect they used vintage video footage but one of the dancers does resemble the lead singer….
Especially delightful is the scoot at 0:33 followed by a sort of pogo-stick move. And the moves at 1:21. Oh, every bit of this is magic!!
I Love this video! It’s a bulls eye.

I don’t know of an actual for the Aural Exciter’s “Spooks in Space” track so I’ll include a video made more recently for this classic gem:

And to round out this post as another of my triptychs, I’m including Escort, who are also Brooklyn based and get get every ass in the house shaking! They’re playing in Downtown NYC this June 13 and two of us Music on a Stick authors will def be there. Enjoy!
This is SOOOOOOOO hot, oh gawd!


Happy Birthday, Mom

April 30, 2011

My mom is the first and foremost person who has instilled a love of music in my life. It was she who put in me in front of my first portable record player at a very early age, which spawned a devotion to the sweet sounds the come off of a piece of vinyl to this day. In honor of her special day today, I played the following record by one of her favorite artists who was a part of practically every family car trip: the Carpenters.

Side one of this compilation is a work of art...

My mom was a public & Sunday school teacher as well as a children’s choir leader for many years, so it’s no wonder this song was her favorite from the brother & sister duo:

My personal favorite has always been the positively haunting “Superstar”:

A more recent favorite is “I Need to Be in Love”, if only for her delivery of the line “I’m wide awake at 4am without a friend in sight, I’m hangin’ on a hope but that’s alright.” This song obviously spoke very deeply to the troubled yet brilliant Karen, who was too busy touring and recording to find her true love.

Another Carpenters hit, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, was made into an excellent mash-up recently by UK DJ Mark Vidler aka Go Home Productions with Oasis’ biggest hit from the 90’s. Great use of both video clips too.

It’s a shame that the above pictured compilation, The Singles: 1969-1973, is out of print, as Richard Carpenter did a fantastic job of making the first side into a mini-suite of sorts. It was the beginning of his never ending re-tweaking of the Carpenters catalog, which has gone a tad overboard, but he was firing with all cylinders when he crafted this album. It’s definitely more than just a record label contract filler and well worth seeking out a used copy on CD or vinyl.

Thanks for instilling my love of one of the best voices in pop music of the past 40 years, Mom. I love you.

Parental guidence requested:

February 26, 2011

Would you let your 14 yr old daughter date someone like this 17 yr old slick-o? “How about my place, you’d love it!” she offers.
This “skit” is so bad it’s bad and shows us why Reality TV killed old-school scripted garbage … but the musical bit about 4 minutes into it cracked me up and fit in with some of the “gems” we’ve had for you previously here at Music on a Stick.

One Heck of a Lady

January 8, 2011

So we ended 2010 with Amanda Palmer (although I think it’s now Amanda “Gaiman” Palmer, as she and her man got married for real-sies last week) – how do we start 2011 off right?

With Liza, of course!

Once upon a time the B’52’s were an underground band. The lead singer, Fred, had a nice brownish mustache and Kate and Cindy had huge red and blond hair, respectively. Their song “Rock Lobster” spread like spores in the wind. It even came with its own distinctive dance. We endured high school dances in the eighties when fucking Rick Astley was the mainstream. It’s probably still the case that a bunch of kids all sulk at the side of the gym while mainstream pop-slop blares and batters. Inevitably, however, someone brought a vinyl record of Rock Lobster to the gym and got the DJ to play it. We learned the Rock Lobster dance by proxy while mainstream kids sneered. High school sucked. But thank you B-52’s. Thank you.

Even more underground was John Waters and his Baltimore pack of freaks. We weren’t allowed to watch his movies until Hairspray came out. That was my introduction to Mink Stole. Then came Serial Mom. Eventually I made my way back into the sizzling sleaze of seventies Waters. And Mink was a total bitch as Connie Marble:

I hope there are people out there who dress up as Connie Marble for Halloween!


September 16, 2010

Jungalero and I have been texting back and forth about the James Last track on an earlier post here at Music on a Stick. It’s really quite a remarkable track – I love that it starts with a very lush orchestral movement – my favorite moment in the pastoral part is the deeply rich woody tone from 1:10 to 1:11 that could be the sound of an old wood door pushed open by the pressure of sunlight on a windless day. Aaaahhh. Then suddenly the guitar jangles, the horns swing into action and the electric keys take on a kaleidoscope of groovy patterns. This ‘sneak attack’ type song that was around much in the seventies is a favorite subset of music for me. These tracks are so steamy and so swanky they could hardly be considered cheese, in my book. Unfortunately these same musicians did in fact record some REALLY unbearably cheesy tracks and released them on the same records as these swanky numbers. Oh well.

Michel Polnareff has an exceptionally good ‘Sneak Attack Swank Track” (it’s SASTY) that certainly comes across like a film score. Enjoy: (There’s no video, just audio)

I love the organ, the jazzy piano, the horns, the chorus, the cowbell, the strings, the “WOW!” flourishes on the organ…. oh luscious track.

Less of a Sneak Attack Swank Track, but just damn OOOOOzing with funk, is the Changing Rooms theme by Lalo Schifrin. It’s a cross between a horror/suspense soundtrack and a dirty Italian soft core soundtrack in all the right ways. Listen to this loud. (It’s an audio link with really basic slideshow)

All the horns mutate into night creatures on this track, the strings are classic horror strains, the drums, bass and electric keys are pure swanky funk.

And to round out this set is Deodado, who Jungalero introduced me to, with a nice blend of lush orchestra and swanky funk and this one actually had video footage. ENJOY!!!

I certainly see the warm, summery, picnicky, BBQ-ey theme in Vampdaddy’s list in the previous post. I just can’t resist but to add to that list with some uncommon music with a good beat that also has a summery theme…… BUT… that may not look good on one’s resume or help one’s by career by playing in the background at an office functions:

Play this one at your office picnic! And then tell me all about it.

I’m just crazy about these costumes and dance moves: