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

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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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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Mixtape Monday – Shenanigans XVI

The working title for Shenanigans XVI was “From Little Mix to Led Zeppelin”. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere to get some Led Zep in, but it’s safe to say that this mix really does run the gamut of popular music as well as covering a period of over 50 years. The oldest track is Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line” recorded on 1961 (but written in 1946) and which you’ll know from the movie ‘Beetlejuice’. Other tracks from the sixties include Marva Whitney’s “Unwind Yourself” – if it sounds familiar, it’s because you recognise the introduction as the sample from DJ Mark’s “The 900 Number”.

The point, as with all these mixes, is to show that if you limit yourself to one style of music, or just play the latest white labels from London or New York, you’re really missing out on great music. Plus, if you’re a pro, your crowd is missing out on some great music. There’s no reason that you can’t try blending really diverse tracks together, like here where I’ve mixed Free’s “Alright Now” into Disclosure’s “White Noise”, or “Jump In The Line” with NuYorican Soul’s “Runaway”. It’s a real challenge to mix some of these records, but if you’re a DJ, isn’t it more rewarding if you stretch yourself? And isn’t it more interesting for the crowd if you’re constantly surprising and delighting them?

Just my two penn’orth.

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Monday Mixtape -Shenanigans XV

Lots of tracks in here that I’ve never used in a mix before; and also, a few shiny new bootlegs from those lovely people over at http://bootiemashup.com/blog/. The one that crosses The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” with “Machine Gun” by The Commodores is particularly bodacious.

Other highlights: a splendidly funky mix of Alabama 3, some Soulwax insanity courtesy of remixes of Pulp and MGMT, some Rage Against The Machine and KRS-1 mixes (as found on the wonderful Life Support Machine blog, also worth an hour of your time to explore), and an opening guest vocal from John Locke.

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Set list: Depeche Mode at the London Stadium, June 3rd 2017

This is the set list from the Depeche Mode gig played at West Ham’s London Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on June 3rd 2017.

The most surprising track of the night (unless you’d seen the set list before like I had) was the cover of Bowie’s “Heroes”. Obvs there isn’t a DM version of the song on Spotify, so I just used the original. And once you’d done that, there didn’t seem much point missing out the opening Beatles track.

There is a full review of the concert going up shortly, like, when I write it, but in the meantime please do enjoy this playlist of the set list.

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Christina Aguilera – The Stripped Tour 2003 Setlist

The year is 2003. In an attempt to shake off her bubblegum pop image, Christina Aguilera dumps both her management team and most of her clothes and takes control of her own career. With her new album, “Stripped”, she grows up both personally and musically, embracing a wide range of styles and genres and tackling difficult lyrical content.

When tickets for the The Stripped Tour – essentially, a continuation of her part of the Justified and Stripped tour that she’d undertaken as a joint venture with Justin Timberlake -my girlfriend and I snapped up tickets. At that time, I was 33 and she was 26. We drove over to Manchester for the gig and were looking forward to it immensely.

As we walked up the steps to Manchester Arena, we passed a trio of young teenage girls, all chattering excitedly in anticipation of seeing one of their idols live. Taking a break from their conversation, one of them looked up at us, her eyes wide with excitement. She turned to her friends.

“Look!” she said. “Old people are coming too!”

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