John Barry Triple
Apr07

John Barry Triple

So, someone on Facebook shared a video over the weekend of the theme music to The Black Hole. It’s a cracking film and most definitely not the sort of thing you’d normally associate with Disney. The music itself is pretty damn good too. But let us skip on to the next day… The following morning I awoke and there was a tune running through my head. It wasn’t from The Black Hole but was from James Bond. Not the standard theme or one of the movie title tracks either, but rather a snippet of music used in one of the films. The tune repeated and repeated and repeated and I couldn’t place the music. This necessitated a visit to Spotify and the skipping through of track on a James Bond music album by the always excellent City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (check them out if you like movie music). It didn’t take me long to discover the music I was after and when I did I couldn’t believe my ears. I’m very sorry. I’ve been reading too many Upworthy and Viral Nova headlines recently and appear to have become afflicted. Anyway, the composer for the Bond earworm was the same as that of The Black Hole theme: John Barry. Did my brain make the connection while I slept? Was it just a coincidence? I vowed to discover the truth! But I had a cup of tea instead and didn’t think about it any more. Until now! When I’ll also skip discovering the truth in favour of updating the site with one of my occasional threesomes of music video goodness (although less video goodness than usual this time) with tunes by that aforementioned composer. It’s lunch time, it’s raining, I can’t be bothered to go out today, so why not? Like anyone’s reading this. Why am I typing this? It’s quite therapeutic talking to yourself actually, don’t you find? Yes, I do, come to think of it. Although schizophrenic behaviour is a little more worrying. You’re telling me. Let us vow to merge personalities and never mention it again! Like we vowed to discover the truth behind the John Barry music? Exactly! I really hope nobody reads this. Er, three musical numbers from John Barry. The Black Hole The video that started the mental ball rolling. 007 Takes The Lektor From “From Russia With Love” and the earworm that infected my cranium. Midnight Cowboy Hey! I’m walking...

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Musicals Triple
Jan19

Musicals Triple

Three videos featuring musical numbers from musicals – musicals being one of the best places to find musical numbers, I’ve found – for your delight. Unless you don’t like them. But why wouldn’t you like them? They’ve got singing and dancing, and everyone likes singing and dancing. Shipoopi From the musical The Music Man, a musical I’ve not actually seen and probably wouldn’t based on this video. Wait. I’m not selling this, am I? Look, I’ll be honest: I prefer Peter Griffin’s version but Family Guy’s not technically a musical so, well, there you go. Flash Bang Wallop From Half A Sixpence and referencing photography which means I love it. Me Ol’ Bamboo If you thought a musical number couldn’t sound more Cockney than the previous one from Tommy Steele then step back and feast your ear holes on this little beauty by Dick Van Dyke from Chitty Chitty Bang...

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Luscious Jackson – Magic Hour
Nov09

Luscious Jackson – Magic Hour

On CD. Which is what we called MP3s back in the old days. And signed. By the band too. You try downloading a signature! You can’t! Here’s the press release: LUSCIOUS JACKSON: MAGIC HOUR OUT TODAY NPR MORNING EDITION INTERVIEW LIVE here APPEARING ON THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN NOVEMBER 18 SHOWS ON SALE NOW: DECEMBER 7 AT WEBSTER HALL IN NEW YORK CITY NOVEMBER 23 AT UNION TRANSFER IN PHILADELPHIA “… like a night out hitting the clubs in New York City: a rock riff here, reggae grooves there, some sugary pop, and plenty of low end. All in all, a good time, and plenty eclectic… the hook-heavy Magic Hour reminds us, at the core they are a dance-pop band not afraid to get sophisticated.” – ASSOCIATED PRESS “Luscious Jackson were to New York freestyle dance pop what their cohorts the Beastie Boys were to hip-hop… Welcome back, ladies.” – ROLLING STONE “Jill Cunniff, Gabby Glaser and Kate Schellenbach were the coolest girls in the East Village when they emerged as the eclectic alt-rock group Luscious Jackson… They’re still the coolest.” – PAPER Magazine Luscious Jackson’s long awaited Magic Hour is finally here, released today, November 5, on the band’s own City Song label. The record can be purchased at iTunes or here. Early response to Magic Hour has been uniformly excellent, with ROLLING STONE, BILLBOARD, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, and more singing the new record’s praises, and NPR heralding its release with a FIRST LISTEN preview and a MORNING EDITION profile – the latter can be heard here. Luscious Jackson will make its first network TV appearance in nearly a decade on November 18, when the band returns to The Late Show with David Letterman. The first live show in the wake of Magic Hour’s release will take place a week later, November 23 at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer, followed by a December 7 homecoming spectacular at Webster Hall in New York City. Tickets are on sale now at: Philadelphia New York...

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French 80s Pop Triple
Aug24

French 80s Pop Triple

If someone asked you what you thought was the most perfect period in music history what would you say to them? The era of Mozart? The birth of the blues? It’s probably different for everyone and there’s no real right answer. Of course, nobody in their right mind would pick 1980s French pop and then try to justify it by pointing out that the music was quite likely deep and meaningful if you knew what was being sung and that the dancing was minimalist and so very French as to raise it above all other forms of artistic expression. And it just so happens that I’m nobody in their right mind. I dare you to enjoy these. Jeanne Mas – Toute Première Fois Jackie Quartz – Juste Une Mise Au Point Karen Cheryl – Oh Cheri Cheri Hey! She stole all my best dance...

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Get Ready Triple
Jul14

Get Ready Triple

Remember when I used to post a threesome of videos (usually music) every weekend without fail? No, me neither. Anyway, let’s have a trio of music videos that – wait for it! – are all the same song! I know! What am I thinking? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to determine which of the following performances is just so, so horrible it should never have been allowed to live… and yet… it’s wonderful. The Temptations – Get Ready It’s the version everyone knows! Rare Earth – Get Ready It’s white guys who sound like black guys but they’re performing like white guys! My mind: blown! The Brady Bunch Variety Hour – Get Ready I wonder… is this the performance I was referring...

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The Eurovision Song Contest Is Broken
May19

The Eurovision Song Contest Is Broken

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest. I recall, when I was young, being wowed by the spectacle and the amazing fact that it was a show being broadcast all over Europe, bringing so many different people together in a moment of continental hilarity. And in later years it was something special too; something that hit the nostalgia nodules of the brain just right, something different from all the usual crap on television, something gaudy and kitsch and unashamedly us. America couldn’t do this. This was Europe. Parties! People like parties! People all over Europe like parties! Not so long ago we had a party every year with people who wanted to sit through, eat, drink, and enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest. But now there are fewer people and less enjoyment. The competition is broken; it’s been corrupted by greed. Right now we’re at a point where the whole event is just a few years away from yet another in the long, long line of generic “talent” programmes designed to find the next star of limited interest, with practically nothing to distinguish it from some Simon Cowell-produced tedium. And that moment of continental hilarity has been usurped by one of political complaints and bickering. Here’s what’s wrong with the Eurovision Song Contest: 1. The Jury Vote It used to be just the national juries who voted. Then it was just the people who voted. Now it’s the jury and the people in a 50/50 split. And it’s not working. When the jury used to vote it was at a time when people would accept that there may well be people who knew better than they did. We accepted it as much for that reason as the fact there was no practical democratic way to do anything else. The problem with a jury vote is that the members of the jury may not accurately represent the will of the people and, quite often, this was exactly the case. Luckily, there was no internet on which to complain. A second problem with a Eurovision jury is that it’s very easy to fix results. Juries are corruptible. When the people voted we hit another problem which I want to address in my list of suggested remedies for fixing Eurovision. People vote for things they like but the things people like are borne out of the environment in which they live. People who hear nothing but folk songs will tend to prefer folk songs to disco. People who hear nothing but ballads might suffer a heart attack if subjected to thrash metal. People listen...

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