Mixtape Monday – Shenanigans in the 80s

Another Monday, another mixtape…

And another themed mixtape. This one was suggested by a friend and I could think of no more eighties way to start an eighties-themed mixtape than with the Grange Hill theme tune. Except maybe with the sound of workers going on strike…

Tracklisting

  1. Alan Hawkshaw – Chicken Man (The “Grange Hill” Theme Tune)
  2. Paul Young – Love of the Common People
  3. Alphaville – Big In japan
  4. Five Star – Rain or Shine
  5. Duran Duran – Notorious
  6. Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance
  7. Malcolm McLaren – Buffalo Gals
  8. INXS – Need You Tonight
  9. Pointer Sisters – Automatic
  10. Junior – Mama Used To Say
  11. Curiosity Killed The Cat – Down To Earth
  12. Rock Steady Crew – Hey You!
  13. MARRS – Pump Up The Volume
  14. Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
  15. Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
  16. Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam featuring Full Force – I Wonder If I Take You Home
  17. Scritti Politti – Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)
  18. Herbie Hancock – Rockit
  19. The Belle Stars – Sign Of The Times
  20. Bananarama – Only Your Love
  21. New Order – True Faith
  22. Blue Mercedes – I Want To Be Your Property
  23. Rick Astley – My Arms Keep Missing You
  24. Yazoo – Situation
  25. Adam Ant – Ant Rap
  26. Adamski – Space Jungle
  27. Krush – House Arrest
  28. Def Leppard – Animal
  29. Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)
  30. Sabrina – Boys Boys Boys
  31. The Jets – Crush On You
  32. Freeez – IOU
  33. Stephen “TinTin” Duffy – Kiss Me
  34. Hue and Cry – Labour of Love
  35. Five Star – System Addict
  36. Double Trouble and the Rebel MC – Just Keep Rockin’
  37. The 49ers – Don’t You Love Me
  38. Rick Astley – Together Forever
  39. Bananarama – I Want You Back
  40. Bros – I Owe You Nothing
  41. Martika – I feel The Earth Move
  42. Five Star – The Slightest Touch
  43. Duran Duran – The Reflex
  44. Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus
  45. Wham! – I’m Your Man
  46. Man II Man feat. Man Parrish – Male Stripper
  47. New Order – Blue Monday

Spider’s web on an alium

 

We spotted this in the garden a couple of evenings ago. Some industrious wee beastie had spent hours creating a large web that took in a large alium plant and even the grasses around in. Taken at 1/1000s on a Fuji X100T to capture only the highlights all I did in Snapseed was convert to black and white and dial up the shadows a touch.

The passing of time and the impermanence of everything

 

I always think that the key to being a good photographer isn’t understanding all the technical theory, or having the best camera and knowing it inside out, it’s just about keeping your eyes open and alert to the possibility of something that makes for a good image.

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Mixtape Monday – Shenanigans 08, Cut and Paste Volume I

Another Monday, another mixtape. And this one has a theme too. This is the first attempt of mine to cram the maximum number of tracks and samples onto one CD length mix – 83 in point of fact, and if ever there was one single transition that summed up my new-found philosophy with regards to the sacred art of the mixtape, it’s the beatmix from “The Monster Mash” to “Inbetween Days”.

I’m quite happy with the whole thing too, not least because it’s kicked off by a vocal sample by one of the Penguins of Madagascar.

What puzzles me deeply is why I would accompany a mix by this introduction on Mixcloud, one obviously cribbed from the Chewbacca defence. I myself have no defence; I simply offer it unexpurgated for you to do with as you will.

Why would I, a [professional] DJ for 18 years, mix Right Said Fred’s “Deeply Dippy” with “Passion” by Gat Decor? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: what does this have to do with the Royal Baby? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with the Royal Baby! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a half-decent DJ, and I’m talkin’ about the Royal Baby! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that rubbish bar that plays the same records as every other bar and looks just like every other bar and is piled high with 18 year olds buying coke to mix with the bottle of vodka in their handbag, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen with excellent musical taste, it does not make sense! If this mix does feature Right Said Fred’s “Deeply Dippy” expertly mixed with “Passion” by Gat Decor, you must hire me to DJ in your bar and make it better! The defense rests.

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What do we talk about when we talk about grief?*

Part one: back story

On a treacherously beautiful spring morning, my Dad woke up with a stomach ache and an hour later we were waiting for the undertaker to come and take him away forever.

That was April 17th, 2017. In the days that followed, I dealt with it by project managing his affairs and funeral; it’s what I do. Because it happened over the Easter weekend there was a lot I couldn’t do, bureaucratically, and I filled the space between profitable actions with some wholehearted manic and depressive episodes. I’m not great with dealing with the emotions at the more vulnerable end of the spectrum (middle-aged white guy not good with emotional displays, I know, shocker) but when I do something, I do like to commit, to own it. To turn it up to 11.

When I was down I was convinced that everything I did was worthless, especially online. I deleted my tens of thousands of tweets, admittedly no great loss to humanity. I deleted everything on Instagram. I deleted the blog I’d been building for getting on for a decade.

When the pendulum swung back to mania, I decided I needed a new project. I’m an ENFP so the start of new projects is my favourite part, and powered by the fucked up energy of my mental state, I went for it. I wanted a new blog. I thought about the subjects that I was most passionate about, and arrived at music. I thought of a (stupid) name, I registered the domain, I created some graphics, I wrote some entries. Then the bungee cord snapped back again.

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An elegy for the simple sandwich

Siberian kale with cherrystone clam
Bulgar, quinoa, and spicy brown mustard
Orange okra served with whiskey-roast ham
Red chard, leaf lard, and savoury custard

Avocado jam with relish of quince
Shaved black truffle with sourdough croutons
Sun dried tomatoes with guinea pig mince
Plantain wraps served on tiny oak futons

Sandwich menus leave me filled with remorse
For the simple thrill of cheese with brown sauce

Song of the Week #2: Arcade Fire, "Everything Now"

I have to confess, Arcade Fire are a band that have grown on me. I knew of “The Suburbs” single and thought that was ‘quite good’, but it wasn’t until I saw their Glastonbury 2014 set that I really got them. “Reflektor” and “We Exist” were the two tracks that really burned themselves into my consciousness.

So, “Everything Now” is the first new material that’s been released since I became a fan. It’s produced by former Trolley Dog Shag and Pulp bassist Steve Mackey and 50% of Daft Punk in the form of Thomas Bangalter, which probably accounts for the dancier aspects. And boy, what a corker it is.

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