Madonnarama

April 21st, 2014

A solution to my idiotic power problem may be en route, I’m talking to my landlord about it later this week. I’m sure I can get this shit together soon. I sure hope so, having my computer sitting next to me while I write this on my dinky little laptop sure is frustrating.

So…how yinz doing? I noticed that this past Saturday was Record Store Day. Everyone get everything they wanted? Or were thy screwed over my a manipulated market of manufactured scarcity built to capitalize off of a speculator-driven bubble that’s due to burst any day now and take down the vinyl boom with it?

Oh, sorry was that too harsh? I’m having some pretty mixed feelings on Record Store Day as of late, hopefully I’ll be able to put something a bit more organized and concrete about my feelings later this week. Arguing with boutique record labels really frustrated me.

In the meantime, here are some remixes to two of the greatest pop songs ever recorded. I’m going out of alphabetical order tonight because I fucked up it’s my blog and I do what I want to.

Madonna
Express Yourself (Non-Stop Express Mix)
Express Yourself (Stop & Go Dubs)
Express Yourself (Local Mix)
Like A Prayer (7 Inch Remix)
Like A Prayer (12 Inch Club Version)
Like A Prayer (12 Inch Dance Mix)
Like A Prayer (12 Inch Extended Remix)
Like A Prayer (Bass Dub)
Like A Prayer (Churchapella)
Like A Prayer (Instra Dub)
Like A Prayer (Dub Beats)
The “Express Yoursellf” remixes were all taken from the 12″ single, while the “Like A Prayer” ones were culled from two different 12″ singles, one commercially released and one a club promo. Despite their similar names, all the 12″ remixes are different. They are also all worth hearing.

More Madonna and someone help me

April 16th, 2014

Okay everyone, a billion thanks, cookies, MP3s and hugs to anyone who can figure out this bullshit for me.

My computer from the US has arrived in Japan! Yay! However, its power supply is of the three-prong variety, meaning  I need a three prong power cord in order to plug it in. That’s not a problem, I can get those in Japan. However, since I am in Japan, all my outlets are of the two prong variety. I bought a few three-to-two prong converters, but there’s a problem with those. Those kind of converters have a little clamp attached to them. You’re supposed to screw them to your outlet to ground it correctly. See here for an example.

Yeah, that’s great except outlets in Japan don’t have those screws. And I can’t take the outlet off the wall because it’s attached to the drywall.

So what the fuck are my options? I’m really frustrated and pissed off about this, and equally frustrated that no one can explain to me WHY this is such a complicated problem. It’s 2014 y’all! We can build a solar-powered plane that can fly forever but we can’t build some sort of converter that can fucking ground a goddamn outlet? Why the fuck not? Why is this so complicated?! I’m half-tempted just to strip out my PC’s power supply and replace it with a two-prong one…if I knew how to do that at all.

So yeah, want new music on Lost Turntable? Solve this problem. How do I safely ground my computer with absolutely no possible way to ground it the way that every single poorly-written, idiotic, “you must be in America, right? So we’ll right this about American electronics only” guide fails to fucking mention.

Argh.

Here’s a mediocre Madonna song.

Madonna
Deeper And Deeper (Shep’s Classic 12 Inch Mix)
Deeper And Deeper (Shep’s Deep Makeover Mix)
Deeper And Deeper (Shep’s Deep Beats)
Deeper And Deeper (David’s Klub Mix)
Deeper And Deeper (David’s Deeper Dub)
Deeper And Deeper (Shep’s Deeper Dub)
Drowned World/Substitute For Love (BT and Sasha’s Bucklodge Ashram Remix)
I’m not really a fan of “Deeper And Deeper” but I am a fan of being a completist, hence me owning the 12″ single an the six remixes that came with it.

Madonnathon Day 1

April 15th, 2014

Madonnathon has begun. Over the next few days I’m going to post all the Madonna tracks that I had a chance to re-record before I took off for Japan, as well as a few surprises along the way, all in alphabetical order to make things easier.

I will not be reposting ALL The Madonna I’ve ever posted. I didn’t get a chance to get through all of the tracks before I left, so those hoping for remixes to “American Life” are out of luck. Also, if you want remixes of “American Life” what the fuck is wrong with you?

Madonna
Ain’t No Big Deal
Angel (Extended Dance Mix)
Beautiful Stranger (Calderoe Radio Mix)
Beautiful Stranger (Calderone Club Mix)
Bedtime Story (Junior’s Sound Factory Mix)
Bedtime Story (Junior’s Sound Factory Dub)
Bedtime Story (Orbital Mix)
Bedtime Story (Junior’s Wet Dream Mix)
Bedtime Story (Junior’s Wet Dream Dub)
Borderline (New Mix)
Causing A Commotion (Silver Screen Mix)
Causing A Commotion (Dub)
Causing A Commotion (Movie House Mix)
Crazy For You (Remix)
A through C certainly starts things off with a high note, featuring a bevy of excellent “Bedtime Stories” remixes as well as simple-but-great extended mixes of classic Madonna tunes “Crazy For You” and “Angel” (my secret favorite early Madonna cut). The mix of “Borderline” might be the best of that bunch, however it is a little scratchy at the beginning. Sorry, I just couldn’t scrub that one clean.

The “Causing A Commotion” remixes are great too, but when I first recorded these back in the day I had to do a lot of editing on the file to fix some hellacious scratches, and in the process I probably heard the song about 1,000,000 times (give or take). As such, I think I’m forever sick of that tune. Can’t get sick of “Beautiful Stranger” though, that song is dope – definitely the best thing that ever came out of Austin Powers. Also, I don’t think ever posted these remixes (which I snagged off a CD single) so yay surprise new music.

Tomorrow is D through….D.

There’s a joke there about me having a lot of D but I’m tired.

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 3)

April 13th, 2014

I’m writing this at work. Blogging in a suit is weird. I feel like I should be writing about the stock market or something.

Pet Shop Boys
One More Chance (New Remix ’86)
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (Reprise)
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (Original Dance Mix)
Rent (The Francois Kervorkian Remix)
Was It Worth It (12″)
Was It Worth It (Dub)
West End Girls (Extended Dance Version)
West End Girls (Dub)
What Have I Done To Deserve This (Dub Mix)
Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You) (Extended Mix)
You Know Where You Went Wrong (Rough Mix)
I may have organized these Pet Shop Boys posts in alphabetical order, but it’s pretty obvious that the best is the last. I guess the Pet Shop Boys’ best tunes just coincidentally all start with letters in the tail end of the alphabet. Go figure.

Amazing remixes of “Rent” (probably my second-favorite remix of all-time FYI), “West End Girls,” “Opportunities,” and “Where The Streets Have No Name?” No way I can pick a favorite. Sure, the “Rent” remix is one of my favorite remixes of all-time, but I think that “West End Girls” and “Opportunities” are both better (and certainly more fun) tunes.

I plan on getting at least two more posts up this week, and they’ll probably be the Madonna reposts, as they’re already organized and ready to go. So strike a pose.

 

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 2)

April 9th, 2014

My unexpected productivity streak continues! Although don’t expect the final installment of Pet Shop Boys mania until next week. Although now that I’ve said that watch me get it up and on the site by tomorrow evening.

In the meantime please check out my review of the new re-release of Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual. It’s a real shitshow of bullshit.

Pet Shop Boys
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Club Mix)
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Extended Nude Mix)
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Grand Ballroom Dub)
It’s A Sin (Disco Mix)
It’s A Sin (Remix)
Left To My Own Devices (The Disco Mix)
Love Comes Quickly (Shep Pettibone Mastermix)
Love Comes Quickly (Dub Mix)
Love Comes Quickly (Dance Mix)
A Man Could Get Arrested (12″ Version)
Miserabilism (Electro Mix)
Want a vinyl ripping pro-tip? Pick up a copy of the “It’s A Sin (Disco Remix)” 12″ single. It is the end-all be-all of test tracks. If you can hear the high-hats, the bass, and the subtle nuances of the thunder crash at the beginning of the tune, then congrats, your turntable is setup correctly. If not, don’t fret, it took me three years and probably a $1,000 in trial and error to get my shit sounding decent.

If you can’t already tell, my personal favorite of tonight’s tracks is the disco mix of “It’s A Sin,” a monster seven minute and forty-one second take on the already epic dance tune that really opens it up and exposes it for the dramatic, bombastic, ode to self-loathing (and disco dancing) that it is. I’m a fan.

One more post of Pet Shop Boys soon, so check back!

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 1)

April 8th, 2014

When I embarked on my re-recording marathon before I left the country, the goal was twofold. One was to have high-quality rips of many of my favorite tracks. That mission was accomplished. The second was that, in having high-quality rips of many of my favorite tracks, I would have something to write about and post during my first few months in Tokyo, before I got my turntable and computer set up.

Well, some mental health/physical health/overall busyness of moving to an entirely different country and starting a new job sure put a cramp in that plan. Here it is, four months into my transcontinential move, and I’m only averaging about two posts a month! That’s some bullshit right there.

This changes now! And I mean it this time! I have all these songs that I re-recorded, all these rare and amazing cuts that sound better then ever, so I’m going to get off my ass and start posting them!

Up first, three days of Pet Shop Boys! Now, these posts won’t cover all the Pet Shop Boys I ever posted, I wasn’t able to re-record them all. But it’s still a hefty chunk, I hope you all enjoy.

And in case you’re wondering, up next will be Madonna, followed by Depeche Mode. After that, I plan on a smorgasbord of everything I wanted to repost over the past few months that I didn’t get a chance to. Then finally…new music! As my computer is en route and I should have everything hooked up and ready to go by the end of the month!

Woot!

Pet Shop Boys
Always On My Mind (12″ Version Phil Harding Mix)
Always On my Mind (Julian Mendelsohn 12″ Dance Version)
Domino Dancing (Alternative Mix)
Domino Dancing (Base Mix)
Domino Dancing (Demo)
Domino Dancing (Disco Mix)
Don Juan (Demo)
Don Juan (Disco Mix)
Heart (Disco Mix)
Heart (Dance Mix)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Extended Mix)
A through H tonight. Highlights include an amazing remix (and a shockingly good demo version) of “Don Juan” and 16 minutes of “Always On My Mind” spread across two fabulous takes on the track. Of course, the rest is all good too, ‘Domino Dancing” is a hella dope tune after all.

Random Selection of Japanese Music

April 7th, 2014

I wrote a thing about how I was sick for a fucking month. Read that then listen to these rad tunes that I picked up at some local record stores. Or don’t read it and listen to the music. Or read  it and don’t listen to the music. Or don’t read it and don’t listen to the music, turn off your computer and go experience the “real world.”

Fuck it, it’s your life. I can’t tell you what to do.

Hajime Tachibana
Chicken Consommé
One day I’m  just going to cave and post a whole Tachibana album. Until then, here’s another standout track from the manically eclectic artist, this one from his 1985 album Taiyo Sun, which is probably my favorite record of his after Mister Techie & Miss Kipple (although, let’s be honest, that album has a much better name).

Yukihiro Takahashi
My Bright Tomorrow
As I mentioned before, Yukihiro Takahashi is the lead singer of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and one of my favorite musicians on the planet. His 1983 release, Tomorrow’s Just Another Day, isn’t one of my favorites by him (a bit too slow for my tastes) but this song from that album might be one of my favorites. It’s such a wonderfully, beautifully sad song. An amazing ode to wanting for things to be better, hoping for a change while slowly and sadly realizing that it may never come. It’s a heartbreaking but gorgeous tune.

Towa Tei
Sometimes Samurai
Japanese electronic pop + Kylie Minogue = my jam.

Towa Tei was in Deee-Lite in case you’re a fan of gay club music from the 1990s and you’re wondering where you’ve heard that name before.

Mega Drive Jams

March 27th, 2014

Where have I been for the past few weeks, you ask?

Well, pretty much alternating between my bed and the hospital, thanks to a recurring case of strep throat followed by an allergic reaction to anti-biotics.

But I’m feeling much better now, so here’s some video game music! I plan on putting up some more game tunes in the coming weeks too, so take notice!

Mega Drive Special
Super Thunder Blade
Altered Beast
Space Harrier II
This is one of the stranger game soundtrack titles I’ve bought since moving to Japan, and that’s saying something trust me.

20140327_192045

This is pretty much an EP with three audio tracks, each titled after the game whom which the music came from. The tracks aren’t individual songs, however, they’re just collections of music, complete with multiple fade-in and fade-outs to break up each song. Why weren’t they split into individual tracks? I have no idea. I just know the music is great. Especially the Space Harrier stuff. I never played part two, but I remember playing the shit out of part one for the original Sega Master System and that shit was my jam.

But the bizarre track configuration isn’t the weirdest thing about this release. No, the weirdest thing about it is that it’s a CDV.

20140327_191910

As you can probably figure out, CDV stands for CD-Video. However, it has nothing in common with the far more successful/practical Video-CD format that was widely used throughout Asia up until the 2000s. In fact, it has far more in common with Laserdisc technology than any other CD format.

That’s because while the audio on a CDV is standard CD digital audio, the video is analog (with digital audio), just like laserdiscs. So that means its not compatible with 99% of the home media players that are currently on the  market, as none of them are equipped to play analog video off of a disc. I can’t even rip it off the disc to my PC, that would be like trying to rip a VHS tape. The only way I could ever get the video content off this disc and onto my computer would be to hook up a laserdisc player to my PC via an external video card and record as it played. And hey, I already have two near-useless laserdisc players back in the states, and I have no plans to add a third one to my collection here in Japan. Sorry.

But hey like I said, the music is great, so enjoy!

Life is too short to be with someone who doesn’t like Gremlins.

March 9th, 2014

See headline.

Cyndi Lauper
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough (Dance Re-Mix)
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough (Dub Version)
If you’re reading this blog today, it’s probably because of this song. When I first started this blog eons ago I was just one in a long line of countless MP3 blogs, fighting for attention and not getting any. Turned out the world wasn’t ready for subpar vinyl rips of orchestral renditions of obscure David Bowie tracks.

But that began to change in 2007 when I posted this track, as a fan of it was apparently a contributor to the once-relevant now wh0-the-fuck-cares Best Week Ever blog at VH1. They posted a short thing about it (long since deleted) and my hits more than quadrupled. It was pretty rad. That got the ball rolling on this site, making it…one of many in a sea of Mp3 blogs fighting for attention.

Eh.

Eddy Grant
Electric Avenue (12” Version)
Oy!

This is  straight-up repost and not a re-recording. I couldn’t get to it in time before I moved. Sorry! It was either this or a Breakin’ soundtrack, okay? And we all know I made the right choice. But someone requested this, so here you go.

Human League
Don’t You Want Me (Snap 12″ Extended Remix)
Don’t You Want Me (Red Jerry 12″ Remix)
These were requests as well. I think these are re-recordings. To be honest I really can’t tell. My ability to judge audio quality is still a bit compromised. I’m still working with my laptop and its crappy laptop speakers, so I just can’t pick up any decent fidelity at the moment. However, these mixes were pretty recent additions to my collection, so I’m sure they sound acceptable regardless.

 

And yes, it’s that Snap.

 

Breakathaon

February 27th, 2014

As I’ve mentioned numerous times over, before I packed up my shit and headed for Japan, I made sure that I had high-quality recordings of as many vinyl-only releases as possible. Because I needed to be ready to listen to an obscure Depeche Mode remix at a moment’s notice no matter what continent I happened to be on! To me this was as high a priority task as “selling my house” and “getting my work visa in order.”

The first step of this process was to manually go through all of my records and make two piles. One was “I hope I can record this again if I have time” pile, while the other was the “I NEED HIGH QUALITY VERSIONS OF THESE SONGS NOW” pile.

On top of that pile where the soundracks to both Breakin‘ films. Because…look, if I need to explain to you WHY I need high-quality vinyl rips of the soundtracks to both Breakin‘ films then I don’t know why the fuck you’re reading my blog.

The following tracks are all the tracks from both Breakin‘ films that AREN’T available on CD or digitally. So sorry, no “Ain’t Nobody.” Plenty of choice cuts though!

Ollie & Jerry
Breakin’…There’s No Stopping Us
Showdown
Electric Boogaloo
When I.C.U
Ollie & Jerry are Ollie E. Brown and Jerry Knight. In addition to performing several tracks on the soundtracks to each Breakin‘ film (including the title tracks), they also produced and wrote many of the other songs on both albums. Jerry released a few solo albums in the 80s, and was also in Raydio with Ray Parker Jr., but both he and Ollie found much of their success as producers and songwriters, working with artists such as The Jets, Gloria Gaynor and Howard Johnson. These tracks are all pretty fantastic, but my fav of the bunch has to be “Showdown,” which is pure old-school electro at its finest.

Hot Streak
Body Work
I can’t find much on Hot Streak. From what I can tell, the group never released a proper album. In fact, I’m fairly certain that this was the only song they ever released. It’s a fun tune, but  forgettable, and I’m sure no one in the group ever did anything of note, but let me check to be sure…

Holy shit. Hot Streak wrote “Holiday.”

Yeah, “Holiday.” As in Madonna’s first hit single “Holiday.”

Okay, that was random.

Carol Lynn Thomas
99 1/2
Believe In The Beat
Carol Lynn Thomas found her first success thanks to the Breakin‘ soundtrack with “99 1/2,” which was a hit dance and R&B single when it came out. Makes sense too – because the song is fucking DOPE. It’s a great combination of pop and electro , complete with a Stacy Q “Two Of Hearts” vocals-turning-into-synth-track bit that’s totally rad. And if that wasn’t enough, it features a completely metal Van Halenesque guitar solo that’s seemingly thrown in for no reason other than that “Beat It” did it first.

DOPE.

“Believe In The Beat” is good too, although it kind of sounds like something the Pointer Sisters would have rejected.

3-V
Heart Of The Beat
The second mind-blowing revelation of the Breakin’ soundtracks – 3-V is Charlie Midnight and Dan Hartman – two people whose names you may not recognize but music you surely do. Charlie Midnight is a songwriter and producer who worked with acts like Joe Cocker and James Brown. His biggest hit is probably Brown’s tune from Rocky IV, “Living In America.” He also worked on the one song that you probably know Dan Hartman for,  “I Can Dream About You”  from the Streets Of Fire soundtrack.

Relevant side-note: Streets Of Fire is the third-greatest movie about music ever made.

Firefox
Street People
Radiotron
Stylin’ Profilin’
Okay, I take back what I said about “Believe In The Beat”- these tracks sound like Pointer Sisters rejects. Firefox was a soul/pop duo who only released one album – which was produced by Ollie of Ollie & Jerry. They really didn’t take off and it’s pretty obvious why. The songs are catchy enough and fun, but their forgettable nature really isn’t helped by the completely flat vocals by the two lead singers, neither of which did much after the group called it quits.

Re-Flex
Cut It
Synth-pop also-ran whose one hit, “The Politics Of Dancing” has sadly fallen through the cracks of time. I thought they were a one-and-done group but apparently there is a six CD Re-Flex box set out there. Pretty impressive for a band that only released one album.

“Cut It” is no “The Politics Of Dancing” but it’s okay.

Chris “The Glove” Taylor and David Storrs (Featuring Ice-T)
Reckless
Wikipedia calls Chris “The Glove” Taylor a “West Coast DJ pioneer” and I don’t see a reason to argue with that. David Storrs was apparently a semi-prolific name in the early rap/electro scene, and contributed to a few albums and singles under the alias The Alien Wizard, which is a totally awesome stage name.

And, oh yeah, Ice-T, you probably heard of him. He’s on Law & Order. He apparently loves cops.

Steve Donn
Gotta Have The Money
This is a bad song. Very bad. Not good. Steve Donn can’t sing. Sorry Steve.

Midway
Set It Out
Above-average electro by session guitarist Bruce Nazarian and DJ Duane Bradley. Nazarian played guitar on Was (Not Was)’s debut LP, so he’s all right with me.

Mark Scott
I Don’t Wanna Come Down
This is the best not Michael Jackson song of 1984! Seriously, I don’t know who Mark Scott is, but he really wants to be MJ with this track, complete with a pseudo MJ falsetto and faux MJ ‘oohs!’ It’s a blatant rip-off.

And I totally love it! This song is great! If they would have actually gotten Michael Jackson to record this it would have been a hit single, no question. Great track.

Rags & Riches
Oye Mamacita
Spanish-flavored electro? Sure, why not. I have no idea who Rags & Riches are though. According to Discogs they only released a handful of singles, one of which was a 22-minute medley based on “Land Of 1,000 Dances.”

I can’t decide if I never ever want to hear that or if I want to hear that right now.