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Showing posts from March, 2020

FEELS LIKE I’M DREAMING, BUT I’M NOT SLEEPING [228]

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I had no idea about this music video existed until I came across a screenshot online of a dog, thought it looked like something from a cartoon series, and clicked on it. What did I get? The sound of one of the most sampled guitar riffs of both the 1980s and 1990s, and wild imagery that spans everything from your childhood drawings to Piet Mondrian. I’m glad I clicked. “Genius of Love” is the title track from the 1981 album by Tom Tom Club, a band formed by married couple Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, as a side project from the band Talking Heads – Frantz, playing drums, and David Byrne recruited Weymouth in 1974 to play bass guitar, and they married in 1977. The lyrics, sung by Weymouth, are a testament to the power of the boyfriend - “Time isn’t present in that dimension” and “he’s got a greater depth of feeling” - while listing the musicians and singers who take her to that same level, like Bootsy Collins, Smokey Robinson and James Brown. (Click here [https://www.dancingwith

TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME [227]

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“This is a mess. No way. I refuse to do this! You're the one who keeps fucking around with it so get off your ass and fix it! You understand?” I rarely make a conscious decision to watch a horror film, but when I do, I am more likely to choose one from before the mid-1980s, before the cliché, excess and self-referencing set in. You can say the same about any genre, but horror films have more long-running series of films that eventually turn in on themselves.  I thought the intention of the “Friday the 13th” series of films, alongside “Halloween” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” was to kill the killer so definitively, it provided the perfect starting point for next time – how do you bring them back? I know better now: “Friday the 13th” was originally planned to end as a trilogy, but a fourth was then ordered, deliberately titled “The Final Chapter”. However, because part 4 did so well at the box office, another new trilogy was planned, with part 5, “A New Beginning,

SPARKS WILL FLY WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS [226]

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Looking through a second-hand shop, I bought a copy of Grace Jones’s 1985 album “Slave to the Rhythm” – the title track is a brilliant, lushly orchestrated song, and Jean-Paul Goude’s cut-and-paste cover, comically elongating Jones’s hair and mouth, is iconic. I was already aware that the album reworks the same song in different ways, but looking up further details later revealed something that left me feeling dissatisfied – the CD copy I bought was an abridged version, nine minutes shorter than the original release. I thought it would be easy, these days, to find the album on Spotify, or iTunes, or Amazon, to stream or download, but it was nowhere (at least, in the UK) – the title track is on Spotify, but as part of a 1980s best-of compilation, and not listed alongside Grace Jones’s other albums. Therefore, if I wanted to hear the album as originally intended, I would have to buy the vinyl LP, or track down the original US release on CD, from 1987. I saw one copy listed on Am

WE CAN’T REWIND, WE’VE GONE TOO FAR [225]

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Having owned a Nintendo Game Boy for around a year now, my favourite game has been one I bought a few months ago. “Alleyway,” a clone of the arcade game “Breakout,” was part of the console’s launch line-up in 1989, and was designed by the console’s creator, Gunpei Yakoi. Having since played “Super Breakout” for the Game Boy Advance, I can appreciate the variations made on the original game, rearranging the blocks, adding bonus levels, and increasing the angles at which you can hit the ball. When I have mentioned this to someone, either in passing at work or elsewhere, the terms “retro” or “old school” will be included amongst the reminiscing about when they owned a Game Boy, or from when they were a child. Having never been interested at the time, nothing about my playing “Alleyway” now has any level of nostalgia or irony to it. For my small collection of game cartridges, including “Tetris,” “Space Invaders” and “Game & Watch Gallery” – my small collection favours straightfor

IF YOUR MEMORY SERVES YOU WELL [224]

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As previously discussed, I like to prefer my own copies of songs and albums instead of streaming them. To that end, my Sony Walkman – I also insist on having my own dedicated music player, instead of just using my phone – is required to hold my CD collection, which was founded in 1996 with Alanis Morrissette’s album “Jagged Little Pill.” Right now, my Walkman holds six THOUSAND, six hundred and ninety-nine individual tracks, with some CDs left to transfer.  There are duplicates in that total number: I have two copies of Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” two of Devo’s “Working in a Coal Mine,” and three of “Love Potion No. 9” by The Clovers. This is due to a small indulgence I make every so often: buying those cheap CD compilations you find in supermarkets, with titles like “100 Hits: The Best 80s Groove Album,” or “Now 100 Hits – Forgotten 90s.” These collections are usually made up of four or five discs, come in a cardboard sleeve, list no more than track names, artists, song wri