Here are some songs that make me happy

November 20th, 2016

Because that’s what I need right now.

Yuko Sakaitsukasa – Computer Obaachan
Cosmic Invention – Computer Obaachan
This song is about a grandmother who is a computer. Literally. It was written by Ryuicihi Sakamoto because, I assume, he was like “fuck it, I can make stupid fucking pop music as good as the next guy.”

I’m not going to say it’s the greatest song ever written in the history of the world, but I’m not going to not say it either.

I don’t know which one of these versions came first, but it doesn’t really matter. Both are amazing. I prefer the Sakaitsukasa take on it though just because it’s a bit more fast-paced and frantic.

If you want more “Computer Obaachan” in your life, and why the fuck wouldn’t you, there’s this video of the song being performed with English subtitles. And there’s this version by Polysics, which is probably my favorite because it sounds like it was performed by chipmunks on meth.

Jan Hammer
Miami Vice Theme (Extended Remix)
Miami Vice Theme (Remix)
In case you haven’t figured it out already, with my repeated posts featuring covers of the themes to Airwolf and Knight Rider, synthesizer-heavy TV theme songs from the 1980s are like opiates to me. And now, with me posting these remixes, I think I’ve hit the holy trinity of electronic 80s TV theme music tunes. If anyone out there wants to share some lesser-known 80s theme tunes that they think are rad, please do so in the comments. Just don’t post the theme to Streethawk, I did that years ago. I’m a trendesetter like that.

Quantize (Feautring Jackie Lowry)
Because The Night (Extended)
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS MORE HI-NRG COVERS OF 80s POP SONGS. Hurry. Someone do a Hi-NRG cover of…

*frantically combs through my iTunes library for a funny yet oddly appropriate suggestion*

…”Bette Davis Eyes!”

Get on it people. The world needs you.

The Strangest Of Days

November 18th, 2016

Sigh.

A few weeks/months ago I said on Twitter that if Trump won I might quit writing this blog. Just because I didn’t know if I’d have the motivation to keep it going, living in a world that would readily elect a fascist conman to the world’s most powerful position really puts a damper on my desire to write about music.

Well, I guess the good news is that I’m reneging on that thought. In times of extreme strife, writing is one of the only things that keeps me remotely sane. So unless I want to plunge headfirst into depression and/or insanity, I best keep this thing going.

Right now a lot of people are talking about the importance of diversions and distractions. Even in the harshest of times, people need to escape with something that gives them joy. For example, I was exceptionally happy that the Giant Bomb guys avoided politics with their podcast this week. I needed some stupid laughs about video games.

But, I don’t know if I can do that. As long time readers of this blog know, I write what I feel, especially when what I feel makes me angry. This was especially true a few years back, when this blog could’ve been more accurately titled “Angry Ramblings and Synthpop.” But those were stupid little posts about how much I hate the VMAs or the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Rambling off a few hundred words about a pop culture event that makes you angry isn’t exactly the same as crafting an in-depth and well-researched essay on the dangers of fascism.

What I’m basically saying is that I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do right now. Probably a little bit of everything. So if you were hoping this blog would be a respite away from the horrible world we find ourselves in, sorry that’s not going to happen. And at the same time, if you wanted me to rebrand this site as an anarcho-punk blog showcasing protest music and anti-fascist action, sorry that probably won’t happen either.

If for nothing other than the fact that most anarcho-punk sucks.

Here are some songs from a movie about a future I wish we had.

Peter Gabriel and Deep Forest
While The Earth Sleeps (Album Version)
While The Earth Sleeps (Long Version)
The “album” from which the album version comes from is the soundtrack to the film Strange Days, an absolute masterpiece of 90s cinema that is 100% required viewing in the world we live in today. Want to see a movie that predicts by about 20 years the Black Lives Matter movement, smartphone video culture, and the struggles of living in a thinly veiled fascist society? Check out Strange Days. You also get to see Angela Bassett beat the fucking shit out of people. And that’s just cool.

Anyways I was browsing a record store in Yokohama today and I came across a single for said song, which also includes the long version. I had no idea there was a long version of this song, so hey, nice surprise. The long version is basically just an extra two minutes of vocalizing by Peter Gabriel, but there are worse ways to make a song longer so I’m not really going to complain about it. But I really bought the single for the next track.

Juliette Lewis
Rid Of Me
Strange Days is a sci-fi neo-noir, and you can’t have a noir with a femme fatale. In the case of Strange Days, the femme fatale is played by Juliette Lewis, who plays an indie-rocker named Eve. For some reason, all the songs Eve sings are PJ Harvey cover tunes. I guess someone involved in the production of the film really dug PJ Harvey. The soundtrack has Lewis’ cover of “Hardly Wait,” which is featured prominently in the film. The other PJ Harvey cover is this tune, which didn’t make it onto the soundtrack proper. I always figured it wasn’t even recorded in full so imagine my surprise when I discovered it today. It’s a really great cover of a fantastic song.

And if you’re chuckling at the idea of Juliette Lewis singing, stop it, her voice has an angry intensity that serves the PJ Harvey track well. Listen to her actual albums of original material sometime, they’re not bad.

 

Zero Tolerance

November 15th, 2016

tshirt-the-only-good-fascist-is-a-dead-one-d001008015273

Body Count
Cop Killer

I had a really erudite and, all things considered, hopeful and positive post halfway written for tonight. I had some Donna Summer ready to share, I was going to focus on hope and unification in trying times.

But then Donald Trump announced Steve Bannon as his Chief Strategist. And then word got out that the pig was going to try his hardest to remove the United States from the Paris Agreement, the climate accord that is the world’s last chance to have any hope of stop climate change from literally killing billions of people. And y’know, all the other horrible stuff he has planned. But let’s be honest, putting a white nationalist in the White House and committing the world to a climate Armageddon kind of take priority.

Anyone aiding Trump in his agenda is working to kill you and your loved ones. They’re fascists.

And we know what we have to do to fascists.

And if you think what I’m saying is too extreme remember that Trump recommended “Second Amendment People” do something about Hilary and go fuck yourself.

Motivational 80s Music To Destroy Donald Trump

November 5th, 2016

I suspect this will be the last post I write before the election, so I need to get this off my chest.

Do you live in America? Are you registered to vote? Do you want the world to continue existing for the next four years or more?

Then vote for Hillary Clinton.

Yes, emails. They’re bad I know. Very bad. They’re so bad that most people can’t explain to you exactly why they’re bad or what she did or how it’s exactly illegal. But rest assured, they’re very bad. And in any other election I’m sure those emails (which were so very very bad) would’ve disqualified Hillary from office.

But guess what, this isn’t any other election. Hillary, a flawed candidate with various issues I have problems with, isn’t perfect by a long shot. But she’s not Donald Trump. She’s not someone who has lied about their charitable contributions to AIDS charities and 9/11 rebuilding efforts, bragged about sexually assaulting women, cheated on their taxes, nearly ruined their own business several times over, cheated several other people out of the money owed to them, made creepy sexual comments to minors, tried to bribe an Attorney General, used money bookmarked for charity to pay legal fees, was found guilty of housing discrimination against African-Americans, threatened to ban an entire religion from entering the country and believes that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese.

But the other guy is, so you should vote for her in order to keep him out.

Of course, I can’t stop you from voting for Donald Trump. America is a free country, and if your’e a racist, sexist idiot who hates America, then by all means, vote for Donald Trump. You piece of shit. You asshole. You fucking scumbag. You shitstain on humanity. You smegma deposit. You living embodiment of the shit you find behind a toilet. You personification of Nickleback. You asshole. You do that. Vote for that motherfucker.

But if you do, you better not download these dope Airwolf and Knight Rider covers.

Japan Symphonic Orchestra/K.K. Right Project
Airwolf Theme 1
Knight Rider Theme 2
Knight Rider Theme 1
Knight Rider Theme 3
Airwolf Theme 3
Airwolf Theme 2
I posted these two years ago (holy shit time) but those were taken from a scratchy vinyl. These are taken from a pristine CD copy. I know my blog is called “Lost Turntable,” but yo, CDs sound better than vinyl, especially crappy used vinyl.

I don’t have much to add to what I said about these tracks when I first upped them. These are two of the greatest TV show themes of all-time, and every time I hear them I imagine seven-year-old me getting hella stoked to see David Hasselhoff drive his car into the back of a truck. When my body isn’t betraying itself thanks to random nerve damage (don’t get old kids, it’s the worst) these tracks are forever on my workout mix. Shit, maybe I should listen to them even more. That might reverse whatever the hell is causing my limbs to fall apart. The power of Jean Michael-Vincent compels you!

Actually, I shouldn’t put my faith in Jean Michael-Vincent, based on what I’ve seen of him post Airwolf. Yikes.

Jack’s Project
Nightflight
Nightflight (Part II)
The credited songwriter for this track is “Jack White.” Obviously, this being a piece of electronic dance music from 1985, this is not the same Jack White from the White Stripes (although how cool would that be). In fact, it’s a pseudonym for one Horst Nußbaum, a German soccer player/musician who, if Discogs is any indication, released a shitload of Schalger (traditional German pop) singles in the 60s into the 70s. Then in 1980s he somehow switched gears entirely and released a synthesizer-fueled soundtrack for the German film Solo Für Zwei Superkiller. I don’t know anything about that movie but that title is fucking dope.

Anyways, this track came five years later, via a 12″ single that I believe was only released in Europe. It’s…well, totally amazing and awesome. It’s like a dream combination of Harold Faltermeyer, Jan Hammer and Giorgio Moroder, dipped in perfectly aged 80s cheese. (Faltermeyer did actually arrange this track.) This is training montage music for an abandoned German Karate Kid remake I swear. When people think of corny 80s electronic music, this is the song they all have in their heads, despite the fact that they’ve never actually heard it before now.

I hope it serves for your inspirational theme music come election night.

May the orange bastard lose and then immediately die of a painful disease.

Happy Halloween, Here are More Incredibly Strange Japanese Covers of Western Pop Music

October 31st, 2016

I hope you all had a happy Halloween weekend. I spent mine hobbled with a back injury. But don’t fret, it was not all tragedy. My boyfriend made me homemade salsa and taco salad while we watched Empire Of The Ants, the 1977 horror schlock featuring Joan Collins getting terrorized by an army of giant ants.

Also, I had prescription painkillers, so that was nice.

Ikkaku Tanabe
究極の選択 (Ultimate Decision)
This is a Japanese electro cover of Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein.” But wait, it’s even weirder than it sounds.

The song is made up almost entirely of samples and other digital effects. Vocals are repeated and pitch-shifted to create melodies, while the bassline of “Frankenstein” plays behind them. Other random samples are thrown in too. I swear at about one minute and twenty-eight seconds in it samples a fraction of a second of vocals from “Heaven Is A Place On Earth.” Tell me I’m wrong I dare you.

The bizarre musical nature of the song was enough to make me fall in love with it, but I had to know if the all-Japanese lyrics were equally as batshit as the music it accompanies. Thankfully, my lovely boyfriend (who I love) went through the hassle of translating the lyrics.

And it turns out the song is as balls out crazy as it sounds. The lyrics are a continuous series of hypothetical no-win choices, many of which vulgar or disgusting in nature, hence the name “Ultimate Choice.” Read the translated lyrics below and see just what kind of decisions you’re being forced to make.

 

Wow! Which? Which? Ultimate decision!
I am Ikkaku Tanabe.
Life is a long, long thorny path.

Which? Which?
I am Ikkaku Tanabe, the Holy Great Ultimate Decision God!
Which would you eat – shit-tasted curry or curry-tasted shit?
When you brushed your teeth, which would you use – a tooth brush with shit tooth paste or…
The big reversed thrust of disgust it is!
What?! Me, darling? Disgusting!
Yeow!

Then, which will you eat, the tempura that yells at you when you try to pick it up with chopsticks or the steak that weeps when you try to cut it?

Which? Which? Well, this is surreal.
If I bumped into someone and he says, ‘Ouch! What the hell have you done to me?!’ then I might say, ‘All right then, I shall accept your challenge!’

Which? Which? I am Ikkaku Tanabe, the Holy Great Ultimate Decision God! Oh, I would like to have a bath!

Which would you do – plunge into an 80 degrees C hot bath from 10 meters or counting to 100 in a bath full of earthworms. One worm, two worms and… What? I’ve got a worm on my beard! Oh my God!

Which? Which? Ultimate decision! I am Ikkaku Tanabe.

Life is a long, long thorny path! I am Ikkaku Tanabe with a sad voice just like a melancholic violin. Which would you choose to marry – a woman who spends money like water or a woman who works you hard?

Which would you rather find out – your love is actually your father’s lover or that your mother used to be a man?

I could do nothing but sleep.

Which would you sleep on – a bed made with a pile of forks or a pee-soaked bed? Which? Hahahahaha!

If you sleep on forks for three years, you shall get used to it! Night night! Zzzzzzz! Still, forks hurt me.

Which? Which?

I am Ikkaku Tanabe, the Holy Great Ultimate Decision God!

Yup.

So who is Ikkaku Tanabe, AKA the Holy Great Ultimate Decision God?

Judging from this track, you might think he was some crazy performance artist or avant-garde musician. But actually he was a Japanese kodan performer. Kodan is a very traditional form of Japanese storytelling that dates back to the 1300s. While humor is a part of kodan, it is not stand-up comedy, which makes this, his sole foray into music, all the more bizarre.

I guess after all those years of talking about historical battles and samurais, the dude had a lot of shit humor built up in him.

Logic System
Classical Gas
Logic System is Hideki Matsutake, who worked on many of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s albums as a programmer. I really recommend his first two solo albums, Venus and Logic, they’re some of the best electronic music the early 80s had to offer. I also suggest you track down his 1979 album Digital Moon, which is entirely electronic covers of James Bond themes and it might be the greatest thing ever made.

Coming in a close second is this cover of “Classical Gas,” the 1968 instrumental by Mason Williams that you no doubt know even if you don’t know the name of it. Instead of going giving it a rather faithful electronic re-imagining, Matsutake starts out rather conventional and then goes off the fucking rails for an technopop explosion of synthesized keyboard and bass the likes of which you’ve never heard. This is so crazy it should’ve been the theme to a Darius boss battle.

The No Comments
Somebody To Love
If you ever wanted to hear a cover of “Somebody to Love” that sounds like it’s being sung by the bastard child of Nina Hagen and Kate Bush in a yodeling competition, then yo check it.

I don’t know much about this group, sadly. They released three albums in Japan only in the early 80s and then vanished. I  don’t even think their albums were even given a CD re-issue. They’re weird. Kind of funky I guess, but really more early new wave, like a polished X-Ray Spex or a rougher version of The Police.

Like I said, weird. If I can find more of their stuff or find out more about them I might share more later.

My Name is Prince! And I’m Jazz Fusion!

October 24th, 2016

Really quick, I wrote about (and shared) a hella stupid sex record on my other blog. Check it out if you like worthless cultural ephemera from the 1970s.

Also, in absolutely horrible news, Michiyuki Kawashima, the lead singer of Boom Boom Satellites, has passed away. He was 47 years old and leaves behind a wife and two children. His music touched me in a way that little else has. I already wrote two soliloquies on his band back when they had to call it quits due to his condition, one here and one at Mostly-Retro, and I feel that if I wrote more I’d just be repeating myself. I’ll just say that he’ll be missed, his music was a gift to this planet, and I hope you get the pleasure to hear it if you have the chance.

Moving on.

Some big music geek news this week, Warner Bros. announced that they were going to “open the Prince vault” and for a new release.

When I saw headlines for this, I was stoked. What were they going to include? Lost Camille tracks? Cuts from the original Dream Factory sessions? The Undertaker album? Any tracks from the numerous live albums that Prince recorded and never released?

Nah, instead they cobbled together another greatest hits compilation and stuck one unreleased track on it. Because in a world that has The Hits 1, The Hits 2, The Very Best of Prince and Ultimate Prince, what we really needed was another damn greatest hits album.

I get that they wanted to put something together for the holiday shopping season. I mean, it’s crass, unnecessary and kind of insulting, but I get it. But did they have to be so damn lazy about it? If they didn’t want to go through the bother of digging through unreleased material, the least they could’ve done is thrown in some more out-of-print B-sides or remixes to tide over the die-hards. A disc of “the hits” and a disc of rare tracks seems like it would’ve been a best of both worlds. We already have two, 2-disc Prince compilations. We don’t need a third.

We need funky jazz instead!

Madhouse
10 (The Perfect Mix)
(The Perfect) 10
Ten And A Half
2
6 (End Of The World Mix)
6
6 And A Half
As I said when I first wrote about Madhouse back in 2013, this group is one of three Prince associate acts that was more-or-less just Prince, the others being The Family and Mazarati. Unlike those acts though, which are very much pop groups, Madhouse was jazz fusion/funk. As such, and with Prince’s involvement in them not made obvious on the album jackets, no one bought them.

That includes me, I’ve never heard a Madhouse album proper. All I have are these two singles, which feature a handful of album tracks from the first album, a few remixes, and a couple b-sides (the “half” tracks). Madhouse tracks didn’t have names, just numbers, by the way.

While a lot of (deserved) attention has been placed on the unreleased Prince stuff out there, like I wrote back when Prince first passed away, I really wish Warner Bros. would get their shit together and put stuff like this back in print too. A best-case scenario would be some kind of Madhouse box set that includes both their albums, the b-sides and singles, and both versions of the unreleased third album, 24. However, I’d be happy with just the original albums back in print. So would a lot of other people, I assume.

Fucking Warner Bros., no wonder they drove Prince crazy.

Tokyo Record Stores and Forgotten Funk

October 6th, 2016

Hey.

Hey.

Hey.

I finished my guide to record stores in Tokyo. It took me seven plus months and is something like 15,000 words. It’s easily the biggest thing I’ve ever written and is the most work I’ve ever put into something. I know it’s not perfect, but I am really proud of it so if you ever read this blog and thing “man, that Lost Turntable guy is dope I wish I could show him how much I appreciate him” then you can do that by sharing that thing.

Okay, done groveling, here’s B-grade 80s funk.

Mico Wave
Star Search (Shep Pettibone Mix)
Star Search (Edit)
Star Search (Instrumental)
Star Search (Acappella)
Mico Wave is a Bootsy Collins protege who released his sole album, Cooking From The Inside Out, in 1987.

(I really appreciate his commitment to the whole microwave pun.)

I know at one point I owned that album, but I can’t seem to find it physically or digitally, and that’s a real bummer. It’s not a lost classic, but it’s pretty damn good. This track, a failed single that didn’t chart, is Mico at his best. And by “his best” I mean “fully ripping off Prince.” Although I guess that’s not entirely fair. This track in particular is much more in the Zapp camp than in the Prince, embracing electro far more than the Purple One typically did. Makes sense that Mico would also spend part of the 80s working with Herbie Hancock during his electro phase.

Speaking of which…

Herbie Hancock
Vibe Alive (Edit)
I really wanted to share the 12″ version of this, but that’s on Amazon and iTunes now, so if you want that you’ll have to actually pay money. Consider this now out-of-print 7″ version a sampler of the main course.  Mico Wave co-wrote this one, alongside Hancock and Bill Laswell. Considering the caliber of those two giants, I wonder how the hell he got that gig. Did Bootsy have dirt on Herbie or something? I mean, Mico appeared to be a more-than-talented musician and songwriter, but going from “failed Prince rip-off” to “co-writer on a Herbie Hancock album” is a hell of a jump forward. Good for him, I hope he made that money while the getting was good, as he’s seemed to have completely vanished off the face of the earth. His last credit was in 1996, on an album by some group called The Devotees. I can’t find anything online about them, which is a real bummer considering that album featured appearances by Bernie Worrell, John Popper, Vernon Reid of Living Colour and Trey Gunn of King Crimson. Anyone got any info on that one? Sounds like something else.

Greg Hawkes To Save The Future

September 23rd, 2016

The world is a garbage fire of misery and despair! Let’s listen to obscure 80s music until we don’t feel anything anymore!

Greg Hawkes
Niagara Falls
Twenty-Seven Shirts
Modern Lunch
Backseat Waltz
I’m still ridiculously busy as of late so I don’t have the time to organize a well thought out together post, or even a haphazardly thought together one, so I think I’ll be sticking to some old-school, single artist highlights for a while.

Greg Hawkes is the keyboardist for The Cars. In 1983 he released Niagara Falls, a solo record comprised almost entirely of instrumental synth jams. It is the most dope shit you have never heard. Frighteningly ahead of its time in many ways, all while hearkening back to some of the best krautrock had to offer. It’s moody and introspective at times, while fun and upbeat at others. It’s one of the best instrumental electronic albums of its day and deserving of a second look. So of course it’s out of print.

For a while I was just going to share the album outright, it being out of print and all. But I’d rather start doing that less for albums that have any chance at all of being put back in print. And if the solo album by Elliot Easton can get a re-issue (with bonus tracks no less) I can’t see why Greg Hawkes’ won’t at some point in the future.

So, instead of just sharing the whole thing, here are a few cuts from him. The first two, “Niagara Falls,” and “Twenty-Seven Shirts” are two of my favorite tracks off of the album. They showcase the album’s moodier and darker side very well, and have some solid grooves and riffs. If some asshole in an ironic jean jacket put this out today, it would be called a synthwave classic and Pitchfork would give it an 8.3.

The other two are a little bit different, and are taken from the 12″ single to “Jet Lag,” the only single from the record (and probably the worst song on it). These are not on the album, and instead were taken from the soundtrack to the short film Citizen X, which I know nothing about so don’t ask. “Backseat Waltz” was co-written by Ocasek, making it the only Greg Hawkes solo tune to share a co-writing credit. Sadly, it is not the “Moving In Stereo” of Greg Hawkes songs, but it’s a solid track.

Holiday from my Holiday

September 14th, 2016

I’m not dead! I feel happy!

Eh, well, I feel okay I guess. Got some allergy shit going on and my leg is acting weird.

I’ve been gone for over a fucking month! Shit! That sucks. I really sorry about that. The first couple of weeks in August were busy as hell, and then the rest of the month (as well as the first week in September) were spent on vacation back in the states. Usually I find some time during my trips to set aside for writing, but that just couldn’t happen this time around. This vacation I saw family and friends in five states, took my boyfriend to about half a dozen or more museums, celebrated about seven birthdays (including my own) and got drunk on bloody marys more times than I’d like to admit. Sometimes life gets in the way of me posting random crap on the internet, and for that I apologize.

I’m still actually disgustingly busy now that I’m back in Tokyo and I have to make up for a month off, but I really wanted to get something up here. Luckily, I happened to find a holy grail single when I was in the states, so I hope this will help make up for my time away.

holiday

Madonna
Holiday (Extended Remix)
Over And Over (Extended Remix)
In 1987 Madonna released You Can Dance, one of the very first remix albums. It’s comprised of extended remixes from her first three albums, as well as one new track, “Spotlight.” The mixes themselves are mixed into a continuous mix (save for when you have to flip the record). That makes for a fun, party-friendly, listening experience, but if you just want to listen to one of the tracks it’s kind of a bummer, as they get cut off suddenly mid-transition. A (very rare) promo CD did get out that features unmixed versions, but those versions were single edits, not the extended versions found on the album proper.

Only two of the remixes from You Can Dance have been released unmixed, and these are it. They were only made available on a promo release that featured them alongside the unmixed dub versions as well (which you can now find on the You Can Dance CD and digital version).

I’ve been looking for this promo for FUCKING AGES. I saw one in Tokyo once, but it was for well over $100. And while I love me some Madonna, I got my limits. Thankfully, I was at home last month (home being Jerry’s Records in Pittsburgh, PA) and he somehow had a copy buried in his Madonna section for a steal of a price. I even told him that it was priced too low, but he gave me the deal anyways, because Jerry is dope. Thank Jerry for his dope kindness by swinging by his store the next time you’re in the greater Pittsburgh area, and enjoy these insanely hard to find mixes.

I really, really hope to have something more substantial in the coming days and weeks. Things will definitely calm down come next month at the latest. Thanks to all for your continued patience.

Remixes Of Popular Artists You Might Have Heard Of (And Some Random Dance Act)

August 5th, 2016

Now we turn to the future, with optimism and DJ-only remixes of 80s synthpop.

Electronic
Gangster (FBI Mix)
Let’s rank the New Order off-shoots/spin-offs. Because it’s Friday night, and I’m procrastinating.

I think it’s not a bold statement to proclaim the worst to be Peter Hook and The Light. That’s just a cheap cover band playing New Order and Joy Division songs so Hook can make a quick buck and not be bothered to create new material. The lazy refuge of a creatively-bankrupt sourpuss. In terms of proper groups though, I’d have to call Bad Lieutenant the worst of the bunch. I mean, that album they put out is dreadfully awful, and considering that group is Bernard Sumner and Phil Cunningham, that’s quite the accomplishment. Not a memorable hook or melody on that one. It’s a record that’s so unequivocally awful that I was downright motherfucking flabbergasted that New Order’s latest, Music Complete, was as great as it was. I thought for sure that it was the mark of Sumner losing it.

And then there’s Freebass, who only rank higher than Bad Lieutenant because who the fuck cares about Freebass.

With those acts out of the way we can talk about groups who actually put together a few solid tunes, if forgettable records. I would put Monaco and Revenge on the same level, although I bet that’s an unpopular opinion. Both wrote strong singles, just weak albums. I guess the same goes for The Other Two, but I rank them a little higher mostly because I really like Gillian’s voice and I find their band name to be one of the most painfully honest side-project band names of all time. That would be like Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam releasing a solo album with the title Not Mike McCready.

Obviously, that leaves Electronic. While my lack of disdain for Revenge might place me in the minority, I feel that my acclaim for Electronic is firmly within the zeitgeist of New Order aficionados. I mean, they had “Getting Away With It.” That pretty much makes them a lock for number one, right? That song is fucking classic.

This one less so. Which is why I wrote 300 or so words about subjects only tangentially related to it instead of writing about it proper.

Oh L’amour
Sin (Strange Thrill Mix)
Here’s a group you’ve never heard of. But give it a chance, because it’s a pretty dope track.

I honestly had never heard of these guys until I gave this record a spin, and I instantly liked it, despite its somewhat goofy nature and lyrics (“If loving you is a crime I’m guilty all the time.”) It really has a strange vibe, part late-70s disco, part early-80s hi-NRG, and part late-80s synthpop. And after I did some digging to discover the people behind the group, that all suddenly made sense. Sin is Ken Kessie and Morey Goldstein. Now, you’ve probably never heard those names before, but if you fancy yourself a fan of late-70s to early-80s dance tracks, then you’ve definitely heard their music before. Both of them were associates of hi-NRG god Patrick Cowley and his partner-in-fabulousness Sylvester, performing on several of Sylvester’s tracks in the early 80s. The duo also recorded music under the name Modern Rocketry, who gave us the greatest gay club anthems of the early 80s with “Homosexuality” and “Thank God For Men.”

This track is significantly less gay than those flamboyant bangers, but it’s still a quality tune.

Debbie Harry
Sweet And Low (Cha Cha Cha Mix)
Oh, Debbie Harry solo songs why do you have to be so bland and boring? It’s such a drag. How does someone star in Videodrome and then go on to make some of the most generic music of the decade? I maintain that she really should’ve used that movie as a stepping stone and based her entire aesthetic around it. We needed a pop song called “Long Live The New Flesh.” Oh well.