cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
This film has been on my to-watch list for about ten years. It's about the fine line between super powers and mental illness. I had toyed with this idea as either short fiction or a game, and I thought this would be a comedy version of what I'd been thinking of. It wasn't. And it was occasionally difficult to watch. The film makers treated this with respect, and centered around the potential that people have to do good. Four wags.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Fascinating concept, requires a little suspension. I like that the universal translators *were* working, but it still didn't help. I'm a little disappointed that there's no call back to these aliens later--given their combat abilities against the Federation's flagship, they either have amazing shields or amazing phasers that I bet we'd like to get our hands on.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
So overacting. Such young. Wow. This is RHCP, back in their shirtless days, when they were a funk band. True Men Don't Kill Coyotes. They're very enthusiastic about making this video, or at least the director told them they had to be enthusiastic. Of course I have a certain additional connection to this song. (Hint--check out my icon. Also see Coyote Shivers.) It's music to mosh by, or at least to sit in your chair by the DJ panel and throw your head around by.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
This is a live one--Your Racist Friend by John and John, They Might Be Giants. This is one of the highlights off their breakthrough album, Flood. They are one of two pop bands I can expect to hear accordian solos during their songs. They write odd songs about things nobody else writes about. Like James K. Polk, our eleventh president. Or a hotel detective. Or this racist guy you met at a party and have finally gotten so uncomfortable around that you have to leave. Or, hey, XTC Versus Adam Ant in a musical death match, one of whom has appeared on this show previously and so I must assume is current reigning champion. During the eighties, they would record songs on their answering machine (Free if you call from work!) every few days for people to call up and listen to them. Just because they had an idea for a weird snippet and wanted to share it without having to put it on an album or whatever those fuddy duddys in the music industry did.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
If you want to feel super-retro, listen to an eighties band with a sixties feel. Private Idaho by the B-52s is my favorite 52 song, but I can't tell you why. Maybe it's the wordplay of the title, but it makes just as little sense and has as much infectious enthusiasm as most of their singles. I'd play this track as a reward for my listeners on my radio show after they'd stayed tuned in after a particularly dense and noisy track from the 'Power Rotation' box. This video features Fred with a particularly unfortunate facial hair decision.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today's track is Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones. 'Dream Into Action' is another of those seminal albums, with every track a gem. These days I don't cherish *every* track, but this album has at least half a dozen songs on my regular playlist. Life in One Day was my theme song in high school (When it wasn't Kiss Off). And growing up without Like to Get to Know You Well and 'Better Off Dead' is unimaginable. Ah, John Cusack before he got all serious.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today's selection provides a bit more gristle to chew, more grist for the mill. Friday's cut is Tiny Town by the Dead Milkmen. It's two minutes of emphatically played guitar and enthusiastic if snide vocals with the shout along chorus of "This is a tiny town! And we don't want you comin' 'round!" When I was young, I thought I lived in a tiny town, a quiet undisturbed backwater where nothing really happened and people lived in quiet ignorant bliss. Later I discovered that I lived in a tiny *college* town, where nothing new really happens and everything repeats every four years. Kids skateboarded at the park until cops came along and yelled at them. No cool bands ever came to town, except like the Crazy 8s or something. We would sit quietly and dream of being in a big city like Portland or maybe Eugene, although Eugene was full of hippies. But at least they had Grateful Dead concerts. I got to see them once, with Robert Cray and Jimmy Cliff in an all day hot sun and smoked meat extravaganza, which was world expanding. Also lots of topless girls. So I was a fan of the Big City, even after spending time in Los Angeles.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
You know how I said not everything here would have a big writeup and a history with me?
Pump Up the Jam by Belgian band Technotronic.
It's got a good beat and I can dance to it. I give it an 86.
cyrano: (Coyote Rocket)
I head for the west coast a week from today, landing in Portland late Wednesday.
Planning to stay with Scott on Thursday,
drive to Corvallis on Friday
stay the weekend
spend Monday in Eugene with the Jacksons
Tuesday/Wednesday in Newport with whomever I can convince to show up
Thursday/Friday/Saturday back in Portland
Sunday/Monday in Seattle
and then Monday back to PDX for an afternoon flight.
Even though Airbnb is evil, I'm looking for places to crash there.
If you want to see me, if you want to put me up for a night, let me know.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Iggy Pop. Oh, Iggy, punk godfather and living legend. Today's eighties track is Repo Man. (This is a performance from this year because Iggy Pop doesn't quit.) The first time I heard this was the first time I heard him. It was the opening for the film of the same name, a subversive little gem from the eighties. It got me riled up in the same sort of way I would recognize when, years later, Iggy Pop would open another movie. Iggy Pop is hardcore, and the Japanese would make all the money if they ever made a "Henry Rollins v. Iggy Pop" kaiju. Unless they destroyed the planet first.

I'm starting to see a lot of band repeats already. This has served well as a writing prompt, but may be reaching the end of its life span. I know, I know, you're in tears now, but remember that you can always go back and read the former entries.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Are you ready? I am! Last Chance on the Stairway by Duran Duran. (This is a performance video, not the best showcase for the song perhaps, but includes them doing Warm Leatherette.) When I was in school, DD was freaking EVERYWHERE. If you were there, you know of which I speak. If not, picture Justin Bieber but before the internet had given you options outside of Top 40 radio stations or Mtv. My instinctive reaction when bombarded by some phenomenon is to turtle down rather than to fall gracefully into its welcoming arms. So it was years before I listened to D^2, mostly through greatest hit compilations. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was talent and craft behind the facade. This is a deeper cut off "Rio", and I'm not entirely certain where I heard it from. Possibly one of Ellie's mixes.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Going niche with today's track, Gettin' It by the Crazy 8s, a skafunk band from Corvallis, one of my first concert bands. (Also Balafon and Neal Gladstone.) Campus police told them they were too loud to play at the university, so they headed north to Portland to become world famous and dominate the music scene. But after 20 years they said "We have families and kids and stuff now, and we may be getting too old to rock this hard". Much to the detriment of the music world. To this day, still among my sweatiest concerts and my first mosh pit.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today's track is Jolly Roger by Adam and the Ants, also known as Adam Ant... and the Ants? This is off Kings of the New Frontier, possibly their best album. Adam Ant always looked pretty and flamboyant, and had a look I would have loved to pull off, but didn't really feel confident in trying until I started attending Renne Faire. I still can't manage the eyeliner well. And he always seemed to be having so much fun just with the innate joy of being Adam Ant. This particular track was one of the tentpoles of my Pirate Mix (as was the Sex Pistols's Friggin in the Riggin), tragically lost in the great iTunes disaster of 2014.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
And in the dark of the early morning, a mighty roar of guitars brings forth Real Child of Hell by Los Angeles punk band X. The band distinguished itself to me by being one of the only bands I filed under X. (Also XTC, Xiu Xiu, and I think a Clan of Xymox CD that may have been mistitled.) Also because it was a meaty punk band with a snarly girl fronting it, which was rare in the scene. The Runaways weren't exactly punk, but could be counted along with Chrissy Hynde as contemporaries. This cut has a heavier, fuzzier guitar sound than the album cut--the song itself was on "Under a Big Black Sun". I can't claim a real attachment because every time this CD was in the player, I skipped ahead to Breathless. (This is them on Late Night, making Dave Letterman feel awkward.)
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today's eighties cut is a real roasted chestnut. Anyway You Want It by Journey. And I know what you're thinking. "CJ, you're way too cool to be swinging to Journey. Or at least to admit it." And I can understand that--a KBVR alum and Tower Record alternative hero doesn't seem the type. But I have hidden depths, complexity of musical palate. Plus, everybody who grew up in the eighties loves Journey, even if they won't admit it. They may have been Santana's farm league team at first, but their music burst forth with such raw, simple, even occasionally cartoonish emotion--emotion like teenagers find themselves drowning in, confused and overwhelmed. The lyrics could be sophomoric, but this is pop music and that's really nothing new. The videos were often... awkward and cheesy, but this was the eighties and that's really nothing unusual. Journey looked us in the eye and said "Dude, we totally understand what you're going through." And that was something we needed.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Up a little late, today's cut is Deep Down Trauma Hounds by Skinny Puppy. Always about the big splash, SP was the first band to film 'an x-rated video' due to violence (full details here). When I was in high school, I had a couple of friends who... strongly rejected traditional value. I was on the rebellion train, but they wanted to be the conductor and engineer. One night we snuck into the basement of a local church, carrying a boombox with a Skinny Puppy tape (I think it was Rabies) and candles. What followed was the sort of thing I'd expect the Maury Povitch show to film in order to show their viewers a Satanic Mass. There were appeals to Satan to crush God, there were a few drops of blood coaxed gently from pinpricks, there were ecstatic moans... I was amazingly self conscious then, and I'm still pretty embarrassed about it now. But I was the guy who went along because he wanted everybody to have a good time. Still am.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today we're going Through the Looking Glass and finding Siouxsie and the Banshees and Kiss Them for Me. The video has Siouxsie Sioux showing off her fly dance moves, but without her signature eye make up. It's an homage to actress Jayne Mansfield, and was their biggest US single. I had for years mocked Mtv for awarding her the "Best New Artist" prize in 1988 for Peek-a-Boo off their ninth album, "Peepshow". In researching this post, I found egg on my face. In fact, they were nominated (but did not win) for the "Best Post Modern Video" award, beaten by REM's Orange Crush. Mtv, I would like to offer you an apology--you were not as lame as I thought you were. I wonder if that means the RHCP video incident is a false memory too.

If you actually read all the way here I'll buy you a coffee.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
This morning's video is the Tim Burton film noir version of West Side Story.
Yes, it's The Peter Gunn Theme by the Art of Noise, featuring Duane Eddy. AoN was one of the first Mtv bands--their Close to the Edit (featuring chainsaws and guest dachshund) having grabbed prime screen real estate back before people realized how much money could be made with music videos. The band hit a nerve with me and my friends because it sounded nothing like pop music, and we were utterly fascinated. The dadaist cavalcade peaked with a video of fish singing a song about Princess Diana. Your argument is invalid.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today's track is Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode. This is off Speak and Spell, their first album; the one with Vincent Clarke. He'd later go on to Yazoo and Erasure where his bright pop sensibility was better appreciated. It's not just a little weird to see 'the boys' so young and sort of awkward in this video. Of course, it's probably difficult not to look awkward on a video stage swarming with dancing new wave blondes.
cyrano: (Haring DJ)
Today's track is Fading Fast by the Go Gos. For people who are used to the frothy light pop of their radio tracks, this may sound a little off kilter, but album tracks like this, "Skidmarks on My Heart", and "This Town" are that hidden darker current in the band. In fact, "This Town" is my favorite Go Gos song. I bought this album, one of my first pieces of vinyl, even before seeing four hot girls in my middle school class doing an airband to "We Got the Beat". It's one of the seminal albums of my childhood.

August 2016

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