We need to recast Basil Brush.

I’m hoping for Olivia Colman.

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Old Art Riot

Punk silliness with The Rezillos from 1977…

Link: The Rezillos – (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (single version)
Link: The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack

Up, up and away

Normally I get depressed and disappear for months at a time. Right now I’m depressed but I’m still posting. I’m not writing loads though, I’m just putting this up.

Anyway, blah. This is the “Jamscraper” mix of “Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You” by Underworld, with the snappily-titled “Mmm…Skyscraper I Love You (After Sky Id6 1551 2)” (basically, a demo version of the coda from the standard single/LP mix) edited onto the end for 14 minutes of… stuff.

Link: Underworld – Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You (Jamscraper / After Sky Id6 1551 2)

Scams Awareness Month

No. Really, don’t.

Did you know it’s Scams Awareness Month? If you’re not aware of that, then it probably means they need a Scams Awareness Month Awareness Month to raise awareness of it.

Anyway, I have wasted a hell of a lot of my life campaigning against scams, and I think this is an appropriate opportunity to make you all aware that it’s contemptibly futile. According to the Scams Awareness Month literature, only 5% of scams are reported. I don’t know where they got that figure from. In any case, the fact is that ActionFraud and Trading Standards are already hopelessly swamped just by that 5%. The proportion of victims they can actually help is as close to zero as makes no difference. What’s more, Trading Standards’ first duty isn’t even to the victims – Trading Standards’ first duty is to advise the scammers, in other words their primary statutory role to help con artists get away with it. That’s not what they call it, obviously – officially it’s “advising traders of their legal obligations” or some such innocent-sounding boilerplate, but what it means is pointing out the loopholes that enable them to target and defraud victims and have the law turn a blind eye. Be aware of this: in the rare cases that Trading Standards actually push for, and maybe secure a prosecution, that is not a victory for Trading Standards. That is a fallback when they have failed in their primary function. Some Trading Standards Officers refuse to tell you this, some are in denial about it. Some (Cornwall TS springs to mind) are actually open and proud of their work in ensuring con artists flourish, and why wouldn’t they be? It’s what they get paid for, after all.

Over the last six years, I have reported scams, false advertising, high pressure selling, targeting of vulnerable groups, all sorts of things, to various Trading Standards departments and other authorities across the UK and Ireland. Here’s how much the victims have got back, in total:

Zero.

Nothing whatsoever.

And here’s how many of the scammers, rogue traders, con artists and miscellaneous charlatans have profited from what they’ve done:

All of them.

One hundred percent. There is one pending case, but realistically there’s no hope of that ending in a situation for the scammers that I wouldn’t gladly exchange for my own.

So, here’s my awareness-raising message for Scams Awareness Month: scams are a brilliant way of making money, their victims don’t matter, if you object to them, you’re scum, and if you don’t do them, you’re a moron. I have wasted my life caring about people and not being a conman. I should have spent the last six years conning people. I should be doing that right now, and I’m not, which makes me a worthless piece of shit. Well, either that or Cornwall Trading Standards, and in fact all other Trading Standards departments, are in the wrong, but they actually get paid from the public purse to enable scams, so I think it’s safe to assume that it’s me.

 

Back to The Beach

2000’s The Beach was Danny Boyle‘s fourth movie as director and he had certainly got a reputation as a man with an ear for a good, varied soundtrack. Though strangely, after The Beach, his soundtracks were largely single-composer with perhaps the odd curveball thrown in, and he didn’t really return to the eclecticism of Trainspotting, A L ife Less Ordinary and The Beach until this year’s T2: Trainspotting.

Unlike its predecessors, there’s not a lot of guitars on The Beach – it’s really heavy on the electronics. Boyle regulars Leftfield and Underworld are present, both with excellent new tracks subsequently deemed worthy of inclusion on their respective Best Ofs, and there are also return appearances from New Order (with the album’s most “rock” song), Faithless, and Blur. In the “quick, get someone to cover the tracks we couldn’t licence” corner, we get Asian Dub Foundation doing The Upsetters‘ ska standard “Return Of Django” (not as exciting as you might hope) while John Cale and Brian Eno‘s “Spinning Away” is covered by Sugar Ray, which seems like an odd choice, though they take it dead straight and make a decent go of it.

The big hit, of course, was All Saints’ “Pure Shores”, a number one smash which critics were quick to point out bore a considerable resemblance to the sort of thing producer William Orbit had recently been doing with Madonna. Dario G‘s “Voices” (a two-year-old album track) and Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti‘s “Beached” were also released as singles, to less success.

Anyway, here’s a whole heap of downloadables for you. In all cases, the password is salad – all lower case. First, of course, the soundtrack album itself:

Various Artists – The Beach Soundtrack
01 Snakeblood – Leftfield
02 Pure Shores – All Saints
03 Porcelain – Moby
04 Voices – Dario G
05 8 Ball – Underworld
06 Spinning Away (Souledout Mix) – Sugar Ray
07 Return Of Django – Asian Dub Foundation
08 On Your Own (Crouch End Broadway Mix) – Blur (remix by William Orbit)
09 Yeke Yeke (Hardfloor Mix Edit) – Mory Kante
10 Woozy – Faithless
11 Richard, It’s Business As Usual – Barry Adamson
12 Brutal – New Order
13 Lonely Souls – UNKLE featuring Richard Ashcroft
14 Beached – Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti

Link: Various Artists Soundtrack

Angelo Badalamenti’s score didn’t get issued until a few months after the film, which seems a strange way of going about things…

Angelo Badalamenti – The Beach (Motion Picture Score)
01 Bizarre City (with Barry Adamson)
02 The Beach Theme (Swim To Island)
03 Vision Of Fantasy
04 Mournful Myth
05 Starnight
06 Killing Fields
07 Blue Sex
08 The Beach Theme (Mythical Waters)
09 Grassmark
10 Daffy’s Done
11 Mystery Of Christo
12 Pure Victims
13 Pursuit Of A Shark
14 Waterfall Cascade
15 Dreamburst

Link: Original Score

There were three singles from the soundtrack album (well, four if you include “Porcelain” but that was released later on and not tied in to the film), and here they are, with all the tracks combined.

“Pure Shores” was the breakout hit, and probably more popular than the movie was! Karl “K-Gee” Gordon gives it a hip hop flava on the 2 Da Beach U Don’t Stop Mix and Tom Middleton goes all cosmic on the, yup, Cosmos Mix.

All Saints – Pure Shores
01 Pure Shores (album version)
02 If You Don’t Know What I Know
03 Pure Shores (2 Da Beach U Don’t Stop Mix)
04 Pure Shores (Cosmos Remix)
05 Pure Shores (The Beach Life Mix)
06 Pure Shores (Instrumental)

Link: Pure Shores

The second single was “Beached”, usually described as a “collaboration” between Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti, though I’m not sure they actually got together as such. The single has shorter and longer versions (apparently an instrumental mix exists too, which I think I would prefer because that narration is properly irritating, but I’ve never seen it anywhere) plus an unrelated Orbital original. I rather think they should have put Angie’s original theme on it, particularly considering that the original score album wasn’t yet released at this point.

Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti – Beached
01 Beached (radio version) – Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti
02 Beached (long version) – Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti
03 Doctor Look Out – Orbital

Link: Beached

And last and probably least (though with the most mixes), Dario G’s “Voices”, with the voice of Vanessa Quinones.

Dario G featuring Vanessa Quinones – Voices
01 Voices (radio edit)
02 Voices (Sash! radio edit)
03 Voices (film acoustic version)
04 Voices (Sash! X-Tended mix)
05 Voices (Taste Xperience)
06 Voices (Jimpy & Wolff mix)
07 Voices (Kriana mix)

Link: Voices

And because I forgot to include it in the bundle…

Link: 08 Voices (Matt Darey’s Tekara Mix)

What’s brown and sticky?

The main reason I’m writing this is that I should be setting up a scam, and I’m putting it off, as I have been for the last year. I really must get on with it. Meanwhile…

Here’s some janglepop from The Pooh Sticks. I don’t know a lot about them, except that Amelia Fletcher helped out on the odd occasion. She’s not involved in this one, though.

First released 1992, but the single I’m sharing here is the reissue from 1993.

Link: The Pooh Sticks: The World Is Turning On
Link: The Pooh Sticks: The World Is Turning On 2
Link: The Pooh Sticks: Sugar Baby (acoustic)
Link: The Pooh Sticks: Let the Good Times Roll (acoustic)

 

That sounds like a cue for some progressive house…

Link: Well Hung Parliament – We Can Be… (Club Mix)
Link: Well Hung Parliament – We Can Be… (Underground Mix)
Link: Well Hung Parliament – We Can Be… (S1000 Mix)

And a bonus tune for the sometime MP for my constituency…

Link: The Corries – Bonnie Dundee

I’m not staying up all night for this.

Link: The Bonzo Dog Band – No Matter Who You Vote For, The Government Always Gets In (demo)

Link: The Boo Radleys – Kingsize

A swingin’ election

I was going to schedule a post for 4am saying “Well that’s the NHS fucked then”, but I may as well say it now. Well, that’s the NHS fucked then.

And while we’re waiting for that to be confirmed, here’s two tunes for polling day.

A lesser-known Nina Persson recording from 2012, collaborating with New York political cabaret troupe The Citizens Band on a cover of Jack Teagarden‘s 1939 swing classic…

Link: The Citizens Band featuring Nina Persson – I Swung The Election

And Leicester’s Deep Freeze Mice with a typically tongue-in-cheek number from 1979…

Link: The Deep Freeze Mice – I Vote Conservative (Because I’m In Love With You)

P5 7pm x13

Sharing thirteen versions of this song, is definitely overkill. I had planned to share a three-track single and then got carried away and started gathering all the versions I have. I will highlight my favourites as we go along…

Pizzicato Five

The song in question is “Tokyo Wa Yoru No Shichiji” (literally “7pm in Tokyo”, but known in English as “The Night Is Still Young”), a 1993 single which was the first major release by Japanese alt-dance oddments Pizzicato Five after they’d slimmed down to a duo of Maki Nomiya and Yasuharu Konishi.  It’s one of their straighter club dance tracks, rather than one of their quirky “modern retro” things like “Twiggy Twiggy” or “Baby Love Child”. At this stage they were still unknown in the West but the single would eventually appear on Matador’s second P5 compilation, The Sound Of Music, where I first heard it. The original version is still a favourite…

Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (single version) – recommended pick!

The original single also featured an instrumental version (which I don’t have) and this mellower remix by Yukihiro Fukutomi:

Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (talking toolbox mix)

Then in 1994, they revisited it in two very different versions. On the EP “A Television’s Workshop”, they did it in a more disco arrangement with rhythm guitar and strings. Nice! I suspect that if P5 themselves had to choose a definitive version, this might be the one. Probably the most immediately likeable version as well.

Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (MFSB Readymade Mix) – recommended pick!

The other 1994 version was this remix (by Fukutomi again) which appeared on their album Overdose:

Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (One Year After mix)

In 1995, during a promotional tour for The Sound Of Music, the duo did this live acoustic version for KCRW Los Angeles.

Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (KCRW acoustic session) – recommended pick!

And when P5 finally split in 2001, their farewell compilation Pizzicato Five RIP (on their Japanese label Nippon Columbia, not Matador) featured yet another remix.

Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (The Final Episode)

Karia Nomoto

Since the split, both halves of the duo have revisited the song solo. Yasuharu was first, producing this 2006 version for his protege Karia Nomoto, aka Karly. “The First Cut” is the album version (the album being Dance Music, which I will share at some point), and is somewhere between the original and the Readymade MFSB arrangements:

Link: Karia Nomoto – The Night Is Still Young (The First Cut)
Link: Karia Nomoto – The Night Is Still Young (Karly Mix)
Link: Karia Nomoto – The Night Is Still Young (Kagami Mix)

Maki Nomiya

Maki Nomiya waited a bit longer, and then put versions of “The Night Is Still Young” on four consecutive albums! The deluge started in 2012 when she marked 30 years in the business we call show by recording an album of “self covers”, including this:

Link: Maki Nomiya – The Night Is Still Young (“30” version)

I’m not sure that really adds anything to the previous versions. However, Nomiya’s more recent takes on the song, actually do something different with it. First is the swing arrangement on her 2014 live album Miss Maki Nomiya Sings Shibuya-kei Standards:

Link: Maki Nomiya – The Night Is Still Young (live) – recommended pick!

…which she also did a studio recording of for her 2015 album What The World Needs Now Is Love.

Link: Maki Nomiya – The Night Is Still Young (swing studio)

And her most recent re-invention of the song is this distinctively Japanese “bon odori” version, tacked on as a bonus track to her 2016 album Un Homme Et Une Femme. It’s a little bit cheesy, but an interesting twist all the same.

Link: Maki Nomiya – The Night Is Still Young (bon odori version)