The soundtrack for my time at home this week is Secret Agent, which is a local web radio station run by somafm.com.
I can describe it as a bit of downtempo electronica (say, Amon Tobin), a bit of hip Jazz (something great from Blue Note), a bit of 70s cool (say, Curtis Mayfield), and random clips from James Bond films as punctuation. (“Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”)
Secret Agent from SomaFM
The soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For Spies and PIs too!
While we (okay, some of us) were frittering away our time during the pandemic, my friend and former colleague, Scott, and his band were working on their new album (coming soon, I’m sure). Space Vacation (spacevacationrocks.com) also made a fun (pandemic, multi-view, multi-time-period) video for this Iron Maiden cover:
(It’s harder to get meaningful internet results using the search phrase “Space Vacation” now – I blame the various billionaires and their hobbies!)
I’m organizing some of my things for a construction project, and one of those things is my Long Playing Record (LP) collection. My first actual music “album” was an audiocassette of Rick Springfield’s Working Class Dog, and the original Sony Walkman made cassettes preferable, so I could take music with me on long transit rides (and somehow, all transit rides were long back then!).
However, records were… special. You would plop down in front of your home stereo and listen to records to listen to records, not just as background music for other things! It was a wonderful activity, and I had some enormous headphones (which surely belonged to my father) with a spiral cord that would attach me to the stereo for HOURS. But it was also good to have friends over to listen to records together.
I don’t buy records anymore, in this era of buying online and having music on many devices — who would have thought I would listen on tiny Bose earbuds to my music ON MY PHONE (!?!?!?) — but I still enjoy my collection.
I’m sharing a list of my 12″ records sorted by year recorded. This will tell you about my age (eek), and also when my core record-buying years were. Even during those years, my audio cassette purchases were high at the beginning, and my CD purchases overlapped at the end, so this isn’t a complete reflection of my music buying at the time. It does reflect music I took the time to enjoy at home, or took a risk on, since records were reasonably priced (and were what I spent my allowance and job income on). This list includes LPs (long playing records), EPs (extended playing records – collections of 2 or more songs), 12″ singles (songs too long to fit on a 45 single song record, usually because they have been remixed), and various special variations of these (versions released in other countries, picture disks, etc.).
My 12″ Records Sorted by Year of Release, then Artist Name ( 122 Items)
Bowie, David – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars — RCA — 1972
Bowie, David – Heroes — RCA — 1977
Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True — Stiff — 1977
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Armed Forces — Columbia — 1978
B-52’s, The – The B-52’s — Warner Bros — 1979
Duran Duran – Careless Memories 12″ — Tritec — 1981
Duran Duran – Nite Romantics (Japan Edition) — EMI — 1981
Idol, Billy – Don’t Stop — Chrysalis — 1981
Adam Ant – Friend or Foe — Epic — 1982
Clash, The – Combat Rock — CBS — 1982
Culture Club – Kissing to be Clever — Virgin — 1982
Duran Duran – Carnival (Japan Edition) — Tritec — 1982
Duran Duran – Rio 12″ — EMI — 1982
Foreigner – Records — Atlantic — 1982
Madness – The Rise and Fall – — Stiff — 1982
Men At Work – Cargo — Columbia — 1982
Depeche Mode – See You (Extended Version) — Mute — 1982
Culture Club – Colour By Numbers — Virgin — 1983
Def Leppard – Pyromania — Polygram — 1983
Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again — Sire — 1983
Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know? 12″ — Tritec — 1983
Duran Duran – New Moon on Monday 12″ — EMI — 1983
Duran Duran – Seven and the Ragged Tiger — EMI — 1983
Duran Duran – Union of the Snake 12″ — Tritec — 1983
Echo and The Bunnymen – EP Recorded Live a tthe Royal Albert Hall — Sire — 1983
Fixx, The – Reach the Beach — MCA — 1983
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax 12″ — ZTT — 1983
Palmer, Robert – Heavy Nova — EMI / Manhattan — 1988
REM – Green — Warner Bros — 1988
Smithereens, The – Green Thoughts — Enigma/Capitol — 1988
Talking Heads – Naked — Sire — 1988
Figures on a Beach – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet 12″ — Sire — 1989
Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine — TVT — 1989
Replacements, The – Don’t Tell a Soul — Sire — 1989
(I do have more records than this, but these are the ones I’m taking responsibility for.)
I’ll (eventually) post a separate list of my audio CDs eventually, and perhaps create a “featurette” page with an inventory of my physical music collection as a whole, organized by artist, especially if I can find one of my old ’80s inventories to fill in the cassette gaps.
The same channel where the Idris Elba DJ set revealed this delightful one from Aline Rocha, who is having such a good time! Her set is entirely happy music.
The production of this one also impresses me: just enough variety in the filming to make it fun to watch someone having fun at a console! The sound is immaculate (without earplugs in the club!). Rocha’s mixing is completely satisfying, and her choices kept me moving (even while sitting at my computer, though dancing through the house is always better!). She is FUN.
I wanted to see an old Idris Elba music video (Boasty), and my search unearthed an entire, hour-long, video-friendly, socially-distanced DJ set from Amsterdam in August.
It’s quite enjoyable! Very danceable (it got me off the couch and on my feet). Good variety of beats. Nice digital screen show impersonating an analog screen show. Restrained use of drone video of the landmark tower hosting the shoot and a bit of the harbor; having the sun set behind Elba gave a nice sense of time passing (especially for those of us who have been indoors too much, and haven’t seen the sky due to smoke!). Skilled use of camera angle/distance variety to capture Elba’s enthusiasm up close during this socially distanced party (which appears to consist of the film crew, remote-controlled cameras on tripods, and Elba).
This is a very effective example of how to provide a club-like feel without a crowd that has visual appeal, but without the overpriced drinks or uncomfortable shoes. 🙂
There aren’t enough governors receiving rap tributes, to be honest. Perhaps they have only recently started to get press at a level the public can appreciate, as some of them demonstrate much needed leadership during our current global crisis.