15 January 2010

Fashionably Late

::   V  O  G  U  E    M  A  G  A  Z  I  N  E   ::
October 1935 + May 1935 Covers, respectively

Happy Twenty Ten, All! Hope your holidays were fab. Mine were especially wunderbar under 75 degrees of goodness in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, the flight to an fro CMH to FLL gave me some overdue time in my iTunes Library. I spent most of Nov/Dec discovering/listening to new artists, or established artists' lesser known tracks. All good. However, the holidays always make me sentimental thus I found myself gravitating to my older songs as the new year approached. Older songs, but still relevant in their sound and lyrics, for this new year.

As this playlist was formulating in my mind, it wasn't yet aligned to a given design inspiration. I prefer organic inspiration of theme + tunes for my blog (which hopefully explains my erratic blog schedule.)  The obvious common thread twix these artists were that they were all male. I wasn't able to make a relevant design connection. Then, this week I came across CoverBrowser.com and VintageAdBrowser.com and was smitten when the tie to this playlist struck me: Fashion. That is what these artists and their tunes exude: fashion- and design-forwardness in the haze of the mid '80s through early '90s. The sounds are highly stylized, unique and confident. These bands were trendsetters not imitators in the new era of music videos.

These particular Vogue Covers above appealed to me for their simplicity and sophistication and gave me pause as to how the publication and its covers have transcended time. Bravo Vogue. In a time when many magazines are folding, you remain true and strong to your essence.

Thus true to my nature, I am going against the glut of the blogs out there touting new music for the new year and joyously kicking off my first 2010 post with some relatively old artists and tracks that could very well be new to your ears and heart. Proof that all that glitters does not fade away. 

Chez les Yé-Yé's (Minimatic Remix)
Serge Gainsbourg
I couldn't kick of a fashion-centric post w/o a nod to the French. Monsieur Gainsbourg is the provocative embodiment of french fashion + lifestyle: cool and sexy. Oooo-la-la.

:: The Talking Heads 
David Bryne is a visual mastermind. The wafer thin man in the big suits understood the theatrics behind music concerts, recognized it was unexpected, and then overdelivered to cement The Talking Heads as everyone's favorite eclectic band. I recall the first time watching Stop Making Sense. I owned the CD. Liked it well enough. But watching the DVD brought about an entirely different revere I had for David Bryne and The Talking Heads. First and foremost was the typographic treatment of the title credits created by Pablo Ferro. They were visually arresting and immediately set the tone for the rest of the visual experience ahead. Stop and hit Amazon right now if you don't own this DVD. I emplore you.

Psycho Killer
Barren stage, Sperry Top-siders, boom box at the ready. A classic case of "less is more." My mantra for the new year. Brilliant.
This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)
Bar none, my fave Talking Heads tune. End of discussion. 
Strange Overtones
David Byrne + Brian Eno
Two masterminds. Not much else needs to be said.

:: The Blue Nile
The Blue Nile have been a mainstay in my weekly listening since my days at Wittenberg. They play on my senses w/their aloof tones and dreamy ambient beats: "soulful songs of urban melancholy." 

This song was my first exposure to the band. And fan to the end since. 
A Walk Across The Rooftops
I've never been to London, but this is were my mind wanders when I listen to this song. Donning a trench coat, of course. Love the lyrics: "I am in love. I am in love with you..." 
Downtown Lights
From the critically acclaimed Hats LP. I agree with Stylus Magazine, "Monumental is one word to describe the second track, “The Downtown Lights”. It glistens and sparkles, as it utilizes all the 80s synth touches people seem to be ashamed of, with a dreamy sense of awe and beauty." 
Tomorrow Morning
I live for the end of this song where Paul Buchanan croons, "Come on, Girl" and the singular hand clap soon thereafter. Don't ask me why.

:: Roxy Music 
Sex. Fashion. Music. Enter Bryan Ferry, frontman for Roxy Music. Roxy was in a class their own with Ferry's vocals paired with Brian Eno's trademark keyboard and synth arrangements. If Ferry seems effeminate to you, watch Live At the Apollo. While he's high glam, you'll see he's all man.

Love is The Drug
I love the sfx of the foot steps and the car starting, James Dean style. 
The Space Between
From their most commercial LP, Avalon. Great any time, day or night.

Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix)
A hit w/Warhol, Bianca + Crew at Studio 54 in the early 80s. No doubt.

:: The Style Council
 Dear Style Council, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. All these tunes are from their 1984 LP Café Bleu which captures their breadth perfectly. 

Mick's Blessings
This song is so me: hand-clapping, a tambourine (!!) and piano (note: will try to learn to play in '10)
Paris Match
I get lost in Tracey Thorn's vocals. Just pour a decadent french red and off you go. Ah, vive la France.
The Whole Point of No Return
Paul Weller, I am forever a fan. "From good stock and the best breeding..." 
Council Meetin'
This last track on Café Bleu is simply a feel good tune to send you on your way.

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Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you'll love me 'til my heart stops
Love me 'til I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head

~ This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) 
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  1. There's an album on iTunes called Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisted by a bunch of young punks. Not too shabby: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/monsieur-gainsbourg-revisited/id169153681

  2. And if we're talking about french music that got things rolling, you should check out An 1 by Plastic Bertrand (Ca Plane Pour Moi) It's a hard to find compilation, but well worth it. Upbeat and awesome.

  3. You are the only music i listen to, guaranteed de-lite! New favorite from way back Oh, catch that buzz, "Love is the Drug", and so nice never heard,"Tomorrow Morning". Happy New year Joy!, from Joelene

  4. Great set, BaJoyba. My favorite here is Paul Buchanan, with Weller's tunes a close second. But Buchanan...what a gift. His voice on Ocean City's CD, Public Face, Private Face is stunning, especially the tracks, "Due North" and "The Things We Should Say."

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  6. Hello Joy -
    Our friend Paul Larsick sent me a link here. He said we had similar musical tastes, he's not wrong. I would have just read a little and moved on, but you mentioned "this Must be the Place" and I had to agree. One of the Heads' greatest songs, but more than that, a song that belongs in some sort of Hall of Fame for the greatest songs ever.
    So I'll be back, it will be fun to get to know you. Any friend of Paul's. . . .

    Dan D

  7. Ah Joy, you've listed some of my all-time favorites artists. Here's a freebie courtesy of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim at www.davidbyrne.com/here_lies_love

    Style Council was great but I really love Paul Weller's solo work. His last effort "22 Dreams" as some really great tracks and worth looking for.

    Bryan Ferry's "Dylanesque" has a really beautiful cover of Dylan's "Positively 4th Street" that's also worth getting.