The Only Thing That Helps Me Pass The Time Away, Is Knowing I’ll Be Back At Echo Beach Someday…

Hello.

Are you mad?

I hope not. I know, I’ve abandoned you (the one person that reads this blog — two if you count my other sister — and if there are more than who I think reads it — yes, that includes you, too — Yay. Welcome back. Feel free to leave comments).

The past two months have not been full of adventure or anything grandiose. So, there goes my excuse for my absence. It’s all been challenging, introspective, and just mighty frustrating. Thank God for gummi bears because these little fellas have been getting me through (I can’t afford booze. Well, the fancy kind that comes in a box with a spout).

I started a new job that has its own set of challenges that I thought I would have escaped (at least temporarily) from the ones that were emotionally and mentally plaguing at my previous job. Now, it’s just fresh dramz that I never expected.

It’s to the extent where two co-workers are not talking to each other because of an issue that deals with coupon hoarding.

Coupon.

Hoarding.

It’s like Team (insert name here) or Team (insert name here). And people are trying to mark territory on the new girl (that’s me).

I didn’t sign up for this. Well, I did — but you know what I mean.

Not to mention my commute is an hour (both ways) — so the extra money I am making is now being spent on fuel.

And then there’s the people. THE PEOPLE. The rude ass people that think I’m their personal assistant. A personal assistant who is not on any kind of monetary retainer that is associated with them.

Then there’s the Rain Prancer.

You read that correctly. Rain Prancer. He offered to do a rain dance for me…when it was raining. He is also blind, but manages to ride a bike and assault cars with his cane to those that aren’t “sharing the road” .

He looks at dirty pictures of himself on Facebook, but doesn’t know how to print.

Remember how I said he was blind?

Yeah.

This is my life.

On top of that, a very close family member passed away, and yes — that godforsaken trial in Sanford, Florida did take an emotional toll. So much so that I lost two people who I considered friends over it. Maybe more, but they haven’t said anything (to my face — as yet) that rings to the sentiment that every black person in this world gets what they deserve because of how they “are.”

Yup.

I was told that.

So while I was supposed to be writing my godfather’s eulogy, I was dealing with people telling me that I wasn’t worth shit, and I deserve the treatment and the discrimination that happens because of the fault of others.

That’s like me saying I am given the right to hate every white person in the world because of the racism that I’ve encountered. Oh, and because there are white people in the KKK. So that’s your fault and I hate you for it. But I don’t. Because I know not everyone white person in this world is racist.

However, all black people in America are thugs, rapists, murderers, and thieves.

Each and everyone one of us down to our core.

So, needless to say, I’ve not had the mood to blog. However, I am hoping that will change soon.

On my hour drive home today, I heard one of my favorite songs.

When I first heard it, though I was only in my early teens, I knew that I’d experience this feeling and this life for a time in my life. I just never thought it would be as long as it has been. And now, this is my life. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

From 9 to 5 I have to spend my time at work.

My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk.

The only thing that helps me pass the time away,

Is knowing I’ll be back at Echo Beach someday.

However, I have no Echo Beach. However, I’m expecting my Echo Beach to be more than a beach and a memory, which is a fruition, realization, an actualization of my goals. My dreams. Happiness.

If it feels like a permanent vacation, then I know I’m doing the right thing.

I hope that comes true.

*ha. Posted the wrong link earlier. Though I will be posting The Dead Milkmen at some point in the future.

We’re Gonna Set Fire To The Whole Damn World

You’re getting another triple shot of the Saturday Night Safety Dance.

Marc Almond.

What can I say?

Another underrated vocalist and lyricist. He was always a smart lyricist, but “Tainted Love” did not show his prowess as a singer. Almond does these amazing things with his voice that I am unable to explain. He’s torchy, chantuese-y, but channels the soul, jazz, and a bit of country (in regards to his duet with Gene Pitney – “Something’s Got A Hold of My Heart”) music influence that is very apparent in his styling. You can dance and have intelligent thoughts running through your head with his tunes. That doesn’t happen much in today’s music anymore. ūüė¶

Bronski Beat – no no one can ever replace Jimmy Sommerville, his voice was also too damn distinctive and paired gorgeously with their music. But when Sommerville left to form The Communards, that left a perfectly fit space for the beast that is John Foster to step in and take reign.

Another one of my favorites:

Now, over the years, OMD (also known as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) has become increasingly one of my favorite New Wave acts of all time. Seriously. I was disappointed in myself that I was completely unaware of their contributions to music (except for the whole Atomic Kitten phase. Andy, I forgive you for that). I’ve been trying to figure out how I could feature them into a post for the longest, and now it seems like the right time. Everyone knows ‘The Pretty In Pink’ song, “If You Leave” — but they had a slew of other hits. Not as much stateside, but they’ve got a massive following. And their new album (yes, they’re still releasing music) “Metroland” is nothing but synth-pop goodness.

This isn’t from Metroland, though I encourage you to take a listen — one of my favorite cuts from them:

Blue Lights In the Basement

Blue Lights In The Basement is a radio program that aired every Saturday night in Atlanta on the local R&B station. They featured popular rhythm and blues cuts from the late 70s and early 80s, lots of funk, go-go, and everything in between.

I’m starting to think maybe I should start another blog dedicated to this…yes? no? I’m thinking yes. There are too many great musical acts to discuss in this world betwixt the rants of my everyday life. Plus, I can feature some of my most cherished vinyl, oldies and goodies, as well as new acquisitions. Don’t worry, I will also include rants on crappy music, too. Rants are fun. You can never have enough.

So, let’s expect a secondary blog in the near future. (I hate that phrase near future. It’s either near or not — but yes, I used it. Don’t judge me.).

This week, I was getting a playlist together for a party that I’m attending. One thing I can’t stand is going to a party that has NO MUSIC. The silence life-threatening. And it forces you to actually listen what could quite possibly be a rather banal, one-sided conversation, or an unfortunate attempt to flirt with someone that has no interest…or could be spiraling into a flamed-out disaster. Your pick.

Anyway, whenever I throw together a playlist, I always like to include some throwback jams, contemporary tunes, and everything in between. But, basically, anything that will get people moving and grooving on the dancefloor (or backyard kicking up dirt). Just when I thought I finished the hours long playlist, I forgot to add one of my favorite songs! I had to go back and start all over again. The order of tunes is a serious thing. The song was “I’ll Be Good” by Rene and Angela. Now, I could have just settled for the track that I already added that sampled the song¬†(<——you’re supposed to click on that)¬†but I just didn’t feel right!

Angela Winbush is another favorite artist of mine who does not get the credit she so rightfully deserves. They do not make ’em like her anymore. These are the vocalists that these kids should be looking up to, in my opinion. But what do I know?

(Shhh, don’t tell, but EVERYTHING)

She started out ¬†in the 1980s with another vocalist named Rene (“Crazy Eyes” Moore. He never included the crazy eyes bit in his moniker, but he does have ’em) as part of a duo appropriately dubbed ‘Rene and Angela’.

Rene "Crazy Eyes" Moore and Angela Winbush

Rene “Crazy Eyes” Moore and Angela Winbush

They spawned a number of hits such as “You Don’t Have To Cry”, “Angel”, and “Your Smile” — a lot of them were ballads, but the one that got me was “I’ll Be Good” — and they were.

Enjoy

#keepjammin #keepdancin

Now I Think Quite A Lot As I Stare At My Shoes…

Triple shot.

I’m watching “Hot Tub Time Machine” — and I’m pretty sure I may be the only female on Earth that loves this film.

And Billy Zabka’s in it!

BILLY FRICKIN’ ZABKA — the cinematic pinnacle of 1980’s high school teenage terror in films like Just One of the Guys (favorite! – you will see that I use that term quite liberally — I’m a whore for favorites) and¬†The Karate Kid.

I was supposed to be a boy. I guess there are some left over bits of chromosomes? Loose DNA strands mucking about? (I assure you that everything else is normal. I just adopted a bit of the male psyche). The scene that just played featured one of my favorite bands, The English Beat, and the song “Save It For Later.”

There will be a future post dedicated to not only 2-Tone, but to “The (English) Beat”/”General Public”, and others like The Bodysnatchers and The Selecter, but right now I just want to bask in the moment with this band…but not that song. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I feel like dancing.

I saw them (sans Rankin Roger, so really, I only just saw Dave Wakeling and some others…) last year. Dave knows how to put on a show. And you can tell that he loves what he does.

“Too Nice To Talk To” The (English) Beat.

Enjoy!

#keepdancing

Off Yer Mong

Dead Or Alive “In Too Deep (Off Yer Mong Mix)”

Soon, you will come to learn how much I adore the ultimate diva that is Pete Burns.

Despite (I swear to God, I know how to spell and that wordpress keeps changing the text. There is some evil form of Autocorrect on here). ¬†how much he’s butchered his face and is complete crazy cakes, he does have an excellent pop voice and a larger than life personality. In regards to the voice, it’s not displayed much on this song, but on “Brand New Lover” and especially “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record).”

Happy Saturday Night Safety Dance, my friends.

#keepdancing

Everything is possible with promises…

Ready for your Saturday Night Safety Dance pick?

Too bad, you’re getting it anyway.

Simple Minds

“Promised You A Miracle”

It was only up until a few years ago that I discovered the depth of Simple Minds’ music. And when I heard this song, I was ashamed that I didn’t know this one, as I was only familiar with the obvious — “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, “Alive and Kicking,” and lastly, “All The Things She Said.” Sadly, many people are barely familiar with the latter two.

If you’ve not grown familiar with more of their music, I encourage you to do such. I actually favor more of their earlier work, specifically “I Travel” (no link, too lazy).

Many critics credit this tune to bolstering Simple Minds into the mainstream, particularly to UK audiences, observing that “Promised…” was an accurate representation of their true sound. Then after this, it was believed that they became too commercial, blaming the more radio friendly pop anthems to loss of their post-punk edge. I understand their observation. I don’t agree, but I understand. From the opening chords alone, and the progression into the track, the song sells itself. It is an odd mix of simplicity and complication. Danceable, yet introspective – both rhythmically and lyrically. And the latter releases were audibly safe. No mistake, the compositions were amazing, and they still punched out great cuts. It is my opinion that they naturally progressed with the changing landscape of music at the time, and managed to adapt successfully, evolving as artists while exploring another way to produce good music. Those tracks are still classics in my heart. However, “Promised You A Miracle” ¬†reverberates with the time of its release, and how willing Kerr & Co. were ready to get down and dirty for the love of music.

This song will always be in a class of its own.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sing, Blue Silver

Thirty-one years ago, a one of many musical masterpieces was released.

Duran Duran’s Rio.

No, this is not turning into some Duran Duran worship blog, but it is one of the best albums of popular music ever.

In my opinion.

(Even though Seven & the Ragged Tiger¬†probably edges out this one as my favorite of their releases from the 1980’s).

Duran Duran's Rio (1982)

Duran Duran’s “Rio” (1982) Yes, I actually own this record, even though I was born two years, three months, and 19 days following its actual release.

I wasn’t blogging last year, so I’m making up for the 30th anniversary by celebrating the 31st. When I took a listen to it recently, on vinyl, it sounded as fresh as the first time I heard the title track, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Lonely In Your Nightmare” and “Save A Prayer” as a child. I remember when my other big sis brought home their first greatest hits album¬†Decade while on holiday from school¬†(I pronounced it as Decayed — because I secretly thought I was kidnapped as a baby from London the cover kind of looked like it was actually¬†decaying. The album art always reminded me of New York, — yes, I’ve been there, as it’s practically my second home — which was, at the time, often referred to as a city that was in decay — due to the crime, the drug epidemic, and the cultural mid-life crisis that that beautiful city was experiencing. The graffiti like graphics are also responsible for formulating that notion in my head. I didn’t associate it as them having been around for ten years. Shut up, I was only 8. And that realization came only last year when I was over 20 something).

Anyway, thanks Big Sis.

I now realize that both of my sisters are responsible for my New Wave appreciation (as well as Hip-Hop and trashy 90’s European club music. Okay, it’s not trashy. I love it. Therefore, it’s not trashy). It was really because they never let me choose the music I wanted to listen to (I was supposedly a “bad child”).

Apparently, that was a punishment.

It didn’t work.

Now they always hate when I listen to it!

You, alright! I learned it by watching you!

Whose being punished now? MUAHAHAHAHAAH (that’s supposed to be an evil laugh, just fyi).

Back to DD, recently, I took a listen to “The Chauffer” — and I never honestly much cared about the song before. However, there is just something about listening to a record, holding the lyric sleeve, and collectively taking in the music that forces you to appreciate it differently. And I personally believe that the audio quality of records are far more intimate, crisp, and extraordinary than that of a compact disc. Discs cleaned up the sound, but records captured the vibration of the instruments to the very core of the successful composition of a song. And that’s what made me appreciate “The Chauffer” more than I did before. I finally understood it and fell in love with its charming enigma, as it felt like I was hearing it for the¬†very¬†first¬†time.

Everyone knows the aforementioned cuts from the album, but my favorite from it is “My Own Way.”

The Night Version. 

Nope. That’s not on the original pressing.

Remember I told you how I’ve become ¬†a fan¬†(though I prefer connoisseur¬†in training) of the remix?

The Night Version is what DD would refer to the alternate versions of their songs. And they are just as amazing as the original cuts. I often like those more than the final release.

This is one of them.

Six and a half minutes of British funk, with a little bit of punk.

Happy FunkyFriday!

#keepdancing

Get It On/Let Me Go

So, I’m guessing since I work in the lieburry (Library is no longer the actual, or correct, pronunciation¬†and spelling of the institution. Ask anyone one the street. I’m not kidding.), I should probably write posts about books and such.

The sad truth is that I honestly don’t read that much. You would think that I would because I work there, and I’m there for 8 hours, that I would, no?

Sippin’ on lattes and reading the latest trend in cheap vampire and werewolves novellas or the crapfest James Patterson novels.

No.

I do not.

Instead, I’m dealing with other people’s bullshit, trying to teach them how to print a Word document or program their smartphone. But these people also have Twitter and Facebook accounts.

*****Sidenote: If you know how to use any form of social media, as well as mobile phones, there is no excuse for you not to know how to use Google, start an email account, or understand the concept of printing.***** Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Hello, my name is ______________, and I’m a narcissist.

Okay, not really, but when I’ve other things on my mind, they tend to take over and I don’t give myself the leisurely time that I deserve to partake in the well-deserved mental staycation that is the joy of reading.

It’s not that I don’t care to read. I don’t know if you remember me mentioning that I’m a writer, so a majority of the time, I ‘m developing ideas or characters to place into narrative, that I don’t (want to) think about any one else’s work but my own.

To quote Sade, “Tell me, is it a CRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE?” (You’re welcome, sis).

I know. It’s a horrible excuse for not being well-read. I try, but I get so sidetracked¬†by a backed up DVR and Netflix and looking for a job before I lose my everloving mind ¬†¬†my writing that I don’t want anything else influencing, or rather, manipulating, my work.

However, when I go on vacation, I often try to bring a few books with me to read.

The last two vacations I took, one most recently to New York, where I tried to start reading¬† Stuart Nadler’s “Wise Men”, as well as Aristotle’s “Politics” — I know. Very odd combination. I’m still reading them now, but before that, the book that has stuck with me the most for 2012 into 2013 was John Taylor’s autobiography “In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran”.

John Taylor

Now, from the title, John Taylor is obviously a member of Duran Duran, the 1980’s pop band that spawned hits such as “Rio”, “Hungry Like The Wolf”, and “Girls On Film”. They had many more hits, but I’m not going to bore you with those notations. Anyway, it was a great, engaging, humorous, heartbreaking, and earnest read. I’ve always been a fan of Duran Duran, especially when they had a massive comeback in the early 90’s. But I never truly appreciated their contributions to music, particularly Mr. Taylor¬†(<<<<<<<<—-you’re supposed to click on that link, btw). Growing up, he and Nick Rhodes were always my favorites. I never understood why — but they were. And as I’ve grown older, especially after reading his book, I understood why. And that will be discussed for another time.

Why?

Because I know that I’m boring you right now. And this is segueing into a post about music. Not artists. Music.

As I mentioned earlier, after reading his book, I came to develop a deeper appreciation for his music, and New Wave music in general. Specifically, the art of the 12″ remix in this genre.. I’ve always loved New Wave music — but my fixation of it is mostly my sister’s fault.

She purchased a three cd box set World of Dance: 80’s, and she didn’t care (gasp!) for the one that featured the New Wave artists. So she gave it to me. You know, doing me a favor because she knew I was thirsty to build my CD collection at the ripe age of 12.

That’s when record shops actually existed, kids. And you had to go to a store and actually purchase a compact disc with cash. Using a debit card was frowned upon. Unless it was a credit card. Which is not the same thing, I know…but I don’t feel like going back and thinking of ways to transition that sentence.

It wasn’t until recently that I started to truly appreciate the art, the depth, and overall genius of New Wave music. It was truly a mashup of many musical genres and sub-genres. Jazz, Rock, Funk, R&B, Soul, Punk, Disco, Rockabilly, Hip-Hop, Reggae. ¬†And all of these genres are considered it. And you can dance to it! It’s all a girl like me could ask for, because I love all of those genres. And I love dancing.

With that, I have satellite radio. And every Saturday night, the 1st Wave channel has a program called the Saturday Night Safety Dance. It’s six¬†(whoops, it’s not, actually…) eight hours of non-stop dance remixes of new wave and alternative music by brilliant and talented spin master named DJ Bueller.

Every Saturday night, I will have my Saturday Night Safety Dance Song of the Day — where I encourage you to have your own mini-Saturday Night Safety Dance — wherever you are. I know I will be.

Obviously, I should have started this post with a Duran Duran song. However, the first song off of that New Wave album that I absolutely fell in love with was this cut by Heaven 17, “Let Me Go” — their biggest hit stateside.

And to start:

Thanks, sis. You’ve created a monster. Albeit, a beautiful one.