Saturday Night Dance Party

6 Aug

If yesterday’s post was the perfect song for a Friday, well here’s the perfect song for a Saturday night:  “Do I Sad?” by Geneva Jacuzzi.  Her music confounds me because I can’t decide if it sounds totally like the future or completely like the past.  Maybe that means it’s just right for today.

So while it reminds me of something I might have once blasted while getting ready to go out, late, after a disco nap, it also is what I am listening to right now, when going out couldn’t be further from my mind.

This is no doubt the shortest post in the history of Margauxville, which may make you very pleased or somewhat disappointed.  Thankfully “Do I Sad?” will fit your mood either way.

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Friday!

5 Aug

Friday!  Am I right or am I right?

If you’re getting ready to slide down the dinosaur’s tail, here is the absolutely perfect song to get you ready for your weekend:  “W.O.R.K.” by Bow Wow Wow.  And, oddly, even if you have the best job in the universe and want to work through the weekend, it will still somehow get you in the mood for that too.  Just ignore the words!

Once again, we need to look up to the heavens and thank Malcolm McLaren.  He put together Bow Wow Wow by convincing members of Adam & The Ants to leave and form a new band.  And then he hired 14 year old Anabella Lwin as the lead singer.  Genius move.

He had her artistically photographed nude – gorgeously recreating Manet’s “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe.”  Of course because she was 14, Scotland Yard got involved.  Malcolm promptly promised that he wouldn’t promote his lead singer as a “sex kitten” and Bow Wow Wow was allowed to leave the country and go on tour.  Ah, for the good old days. These days this picture would just be labeled “NSFW”….which is another reason to dowload “W.O.R.K.” right now and blast it!

Yabba-dabba-doo!

Evil Grows in Cracks and Holes

4 Aug

I listen to AM newsradio when I get dressed in the morning and the first thing I heard today was a man saying,

“I want to go so I can stare at the face of a madman.”

It was someone being interviewed about why he was going to the arraignment of Levi Aron, the guy who allegedly dismembered 8 year old Leiby Kietzy.   Even though I’m fascinated by murders and murderers, I cannot imagine going to a courtroom to see a stranger be arraigned just to get a glimpse of a crazy person.

Evil comes in  many packages and some of them are alluring.  Not Levi Aron – he’s just Creepy with a capital “c.”  But the Ted Bundy’s of the world…well now you’re talking.   “Where Evil Grows” by The Poppy Family captures this perfectly.  It is a pretty amazing song. It’s so poppy (no pun intended) but the lyrics couldn’t be less pop.  It reminds me of the opening of Blue Velvet and the perfect white picket fence and roses that ultimately are anything but perfect.

The Poppy Family were husband and wife Terry and Susan Jacks.  They divorced a couple of years after this song and the next year Terry had a massive hit with the god-awful “Seasons in the Sun.”  Now if this isn’t proof that Terry Jacks  knows something about being evil, well I don’t know what is.  You know what they say.  The Devil is a shapeshifter… I’m on to you, Terry Jacks.

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Hooked on 3 Feelings

3 Aug

I spent a good part of this evening with a Swede.  That’s not that odd because I do know a fair amount of of them, but it never fails that whenever I spend any time at all with any Swede, at least once during the visit, the 1970s group Blue Swede pops into my head.

And then I wonder…which is weirder:  the fact that every one of  Blue Swede’s hits were cover versions of other band’s hits or that their biggest hit, their version of B.J. Thomas’ “Hooked on a Feeling,” was not only a cover but the weird “Ouga Chaka” background vocal thing was itself “borrowed” from yet another cover version, by Jonathan King?

Huh?!

But Blue Swede ain’t got nothing on Jonathan King as far as weird goes.  And Lord knows B.J. “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” Thomas isn’t weird.  No, as far as weird is concerned, I need to stick with Jonathan King.

He wrote “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” when he was still in college.  He went on to produce (and name!) Genesis, run Decca Records (twice!), recorded nearly 20 chart hits between 1965-1979 under various names, was imprisoned for sexually molesting 5 teenage boys and most recently released a film called Me, Me, Me.

Wow.

His story is so much better than the three versions of “Hooked on a Feeling,” combined.  Maybe what is weirdest here is that now you have three versions of “Hooked on a Feeling” when you may not even want a single one.

Ouga Chaka indeed.

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Politics

2 Aug

Certainly nothing I can say about the debt ceiling fiasco would be at all illuminating.  I’m sure that all the frustration that’s been vocalized is just a tip of the iceberg of what we’ll no doubt be hearing and feeling when we have to address the next round of cuts in December.

There must have been a time when “politician” didn’t seem a thoroughly distasteful word.  Right?  But I guess there was also a time when “used car salesman” must have had a neutral connotation as well.  I think the only thing that I can stomach about politics these days is “Politics” by Girls At Our Best.

GAOB was a group from Leeds, England in the late ’70s-early ’80s.  “Politics” was released by Rough Trade as their second single and was an indie hit in the UK when it came out.  And just to keep the political theme going…you know how things are never what politicians claim they are?  Well Girls At Our Best was actually really only 1 girl and 3 guys.   I’m hoping, however, that they were still all at their best at least.

Here’s my campaign promise:  this song will do its part in helping remove some of the tarnish from the word “politics.”  At least for 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

Trust me.

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I Could Be Happy. No, Really.

1 Aug

The other day one of my friends said that I better turn over a new leaf because she couldn’t bear another depressing post.  This was in response to my last one, “Hell is Around the Corner.”  I responded, jokingly, that if I pulled an Anna Karenina for some reason and threw myself in front of a train, someone, at some point, would say that they should have noticed these posts were a cry for help.

Don’t worry, I said I was joking.  Really, get off my sac.  But, it is actually funny that if some misfortune did befall me – say I fell in front of a train rather than leaped, someone could look at the rash of depressing songs and come to that conclusion and my memory would forever be marred.

So, it’s August.  I’m back to really (trying) to do my daily post and to post some super happy songs too – just to keep you guessing.  Or at the very least, songs that you might think were happy on first blush, but really are about something else entirely.  Like Altered Images’ absurdly infectious “I Could Be Happy.”

Happy August.  I’m happy it’s August.  Or am I?

Oh, Hell-o

28 Jul

July hasn’t been a good month for consistency of postings here.  Good thing August is just around the corner.

Unfortunately, for me, I’m fairly certain that hell is around the corner as well, just waiting.  It stays dormant for awhile, and then poof! you have a visitor.  The worst kind of hell is the kind of hell like Tricky’s “Hell is Around the Corner.”

That’s the kind that seem so lovely and alluring, so sexy and great that you hit replay again and again until you realize too late that you’ve invited hell into your life. And made its supper and given it a warm bath.

Or maybe …. just maybe …. hell is actually lovely and alluring and sexy and great and just gets a bad rap for having, well, a hellish name.

We’ll see.  Something’s round the corner.  That’s for sure.

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Here’s What Happened in Obama’s Speech Tonight

25 Jul

In a nutshell, Obama said that America is days away from reaching into its pockets and only coming up with lint.  He said it slightly better than that, but not quite as eloquently as Eric B. & Rakim did in 1987’s brilliant “Paid in Full.”

Oh, and it’s all the Republicans’ fault for playing politics.

And then Speaker of the House John Boehner said that he used to own a small business in Ohio and tried to hypnotize American citizens with his blue eyes.

Then Master Chef came on and I worried that suddenly the eggs benedict crisis might take precedence.

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Pine Tar

24 Jul

I’ve had Kansas City on my mind today.  On this date back in 1983, George Brett and his infamous pine-tar incident brought disgrace to the city and baseball.  Or maybe it didn’t.  I guess it depends who you root for.

Let me set the scene:

The Royals were playing the Yankees in New York.  It was the top of the ninth with two outs.  Royal George Brett comes up to bat and hits a two-run homer.  The score is now 5-4.  The Yankees manager, Billy Martin, noticed that Brett’s bat had pine tar on it about 6 inches further than the rules allow.  For you non-baseball fans out there, a) shame on you, and b) pine tar makes the bat easier to grip.

The game was called in the Yankees favor.  There was a massive protest from George Brett and the Royals and controversy for weeks about whether or not the home run should have counted.  Eventually the game resumed on August 18th.  The Royals won.  But the tarnish remained.  Even though I think George Brett was an amazing baseball player, I still think of the pine tar incident first.  And when I think of Kansas City, that’s what I think of first as well.

I’ve never been to Kansas.  Nor Missouri.  So I obviously haven’t been to either Kansas City.  But I’m dying to go.  Naturally not because I want to see honest baseball players.  No, I want to go mainly because I can’t, for the life of me, comprehend why it’s figured so strongly in American music mythology.  My friend who grew up in Missouri describes it as a ‘modern-day cow city.’  And my friend who grew up in Kansas merely said, ‘it’s not a very big place.’  Hmmm.

But in the mid-20th Century at least, it must have been a destination.  There are about five million songs about Kansas City and probably two-thirds of them talk about K.C. women.  And I’m not just talking about the most well-known Kansas City song.  We’ll get to that momentarily.

There are tons of blues songs and lots of jazz songs that are all named after or are about Kansas City.  When I read about it, though, the most interesting thing I’ve found is that the Missouri side has more fountains than any city in the world except for Rome. And this disconnect between reigning supreme in pop culture and being a big ‘meh’ in life is why I want to visit so badly.  I’m sure that when I do get there, I will discover the secrets of the town and have learn all about its steamy underbelly just like all the songwriters must have.

“Kansas City,” the song you’re probably thinking of, has a pretty interesting story behind it.  Leiber and Stoller wrote it in 1952, way before they were huge successes.  They were only 19 – and they hadn’t been to Kansas City either.  They were from L.A.  They had West Coast rhythm and blues artist Little Willie Littlejohn record it.  Federal Records, who released the track, had it renamed “K.C. Lovin’” because it sounded cooler.  It didn’t chart, but I think it’s still  the best version out there.

Seven years later, Wilbert Harrison recorded his version in New York, changing one of the lines to the now-famous “they got some crazy little women there, and I’m gonna get me one” and reverting back to the song’s original title, “Kansas City.”  This version made it to #1, but there were not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 other versions of the song in market at the exact same time.  Ah, for the days of the Wild West of the music biz….  Can you imagine that happening now?  I love crazy stuff like that.

Sadly I just learned that 12th Street and Vine doesn’t exist anymore, which means one less instagram post to make if I do finally make it there one day.  But rest assured, I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot of pix of fountains.  Maybe I’ll even put some pine tar on one.

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I’ll Drink To That

23 Jul

Maybe it’s because Amy Winehouse died and I’ve heard her name about 10,000 times today, but I’ve had the word ‘wine’ swirling around in my brain all day.  Usually when I use wine and swirling around, my brain is not getting used at all, so this is a special day indeed.

Whatever the reason, thinking of the word ‘wine’ soon changed to thinking of the song “Strawberry Wine” by My Bloody Valentine.  This song is hazy in the same way that I’d feel after a bottle of strawberry wine.  Of course, in reality, no one named Margaux could ever even sip something so pedestrian as strawberry wine, but if I did ever, I know I’d be extra hazy….just like this track.

This business about strawberry wine reminds me of something.  You may already know that I had a friend who lost her virginity on Immaculate Conception Day.  Well here’s another story about her:  we went to some party once that was hosted by older kids who were dropouts and drug dealers (read:  attractive bad boys).  She drank a bottle of blackberry brandy and had to get taken to the hospital via ambulance to get her stomach pumped.  I had left long before this eventful incident.  (Let the record state that I didn’t even drink back then and I was home on time.)

But I do remember that my first thought when I heard about it the next day wasn’t even one of concern.  That was my second.  My first was “Blackberry Brandy?!  Ew, gross!”  Even a non-drinker knew that.

So while I can pretty much say with certainty that I will never drink strawberry wine as I’m sure it’s in the same vein as blackberry brandy, I do love consuming it aurally.

And to that I say, cheers.

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