All posts tagged: XTC

XTC

HEAVEN IS PAVED WITH BROKEN GLASS…: XTC’s “English Settlement”

I can remember that icy and wet Saturday in late February, 1982 as my friends and I made our way into the city on our usual Saturday record trek – that was the routine.  Meet at the ferry; walk up Broadway to Prince Street and start hitting all the record stores.  One of our favorites was Bonaparte’s – The British Record Shop (full name, on the awning) located in what later became Bleecker Bob’s (which was originally near the corner of 8th Street, on MacDougal); this was right before they closed (which was devastating).  Bonaparte’s had everything punk/new wave in a great atmosphere.  The window-lined racks always had that particular week’s new releases – albums were usually $7.99; singles $1.99 (remember – these were imports). On this particular Saturday, I was actually there to get something before I started browsing; I had to have the new XTC album, which just made it over to these shores.  It was called English Settlement; it was a double album and XTC were one of my favorite bands, along …

The Weekly Mixtape: 12/24/10 (Medskermas)

Merry Christmas, Popdose Nation. God knows you’ve earned this. AC/DC – Mistress For Christmas Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas (12 inch mix) The Bird and the Bee – A Christmas Compromise Book of Love – We Three Kings Buzz of Delight – Christmas Captain Sensible – One Christmas Catalogue Eric Cartman – Swiss Colony Beef Log Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today Collective Soul – Blue Christmas The dB’s – Christmas Time Farrah – Santa Don’t Go Guster – Donde Esta Santa Claus? Angie Heaton -Hard Candy Christmas Los Straitjackets – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Aimee Mann & Michael Penn – Christmastime Bob & Doug McKenzie – The Twelve Days of Christmas Madonna – Like an Angel Passing Through My Room Meiko – Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) The Payolas – Christmas Is Coming Pearl Jam – Someday at Christmas The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight) The Raveonettes – Come On Santa Saint Etienne …

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 101

Since I don’t like to combine letters in this series, today’s post covering the letter X is, well, tiny. Sorry, no X-Japan, Xavion, Xavier, Xyster, or Xymox here, but we do have XTC, so enjoy one track from the bottom three-fifths of the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the 1980s. XTC “Mayor of Simpleton” — 1989, #72 (download) As many of you know, the letter X provides me with one of my most hated moments of the decade: during Toni Basil’s “Shopping From A to Z,” in which she recites her shopping list, she gets down to X and says, “Nothing!” As I’ve said many times in the past, if you couldn’t come up with anything for X you never should’ve recorded the damn song in the first place. Thankfully, XTC makes up for Basil’s shit stain on the decade more than a little bit. (She could have said, “X: XTC cassette.” I mean, that’s as likely as shopping for “zippers.”) XTC released their first album in 1978, and throughout the years made excellent album after …

Mix Six: “A Few of My Favorite Songs”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE Last year, the Popdose staffers compiled their favorite songs of all time.  We were asked to submit 100 songs that we absolutely love, and I was looking over my list the other day and realized that 1.) Many of the songs are pretty awesome, and 2.) What I consider great songs qualifies me for membership in “Club Un-Hip.”  Nevertheless, I won’t apologize for loving a song simply because it’s popular.  I know when it comes to some music critics writing about their favorite songs, the more fringe they are in taste seems to increases their your street cred.  But I’m way to old to care about that stuff, so rather than trying to convince you why you need to buy albums by Animal Collective, or how you just have to have the latest from the xx, I’ll just lay my six cards on the table and let you enjoy (or throw rotten fruit) at this week’s mix. “Peggy Sue,” Buddy Holly (Download) Why is “Peggy Sue” such a favorite of …

The Friday Mixtape: All Souls Edition, 10/30/09

Welcome back. Are you feeling comfortable? Good. Right about now, you’re sitting casually in your seat, perhaps in a chair staring at the monitor, perhaps bundled up on the couch, wrapped in your Snuggie, your laptop buzzing on your lap with the warmth of its underside providing a pleasant sensation there. Occasionally the hard drive skitters and skates, trying to access some connection inside of this digital field of play. And it is a field of play, don’t let it fool you otherwise. Take a good long look at the screen, for instance. Sure, your conscious, active mind sees black letters spelling out the very words you’re reading, but let your eyes haze a moment. Don’t think about meaning so much — just see the black squiggles on the expanse of white, amassed like battalions, one paragraph against another, staring each other down, preparing for the moment to bolt in attack, random “s” characters raising their swords against the myriad numbers of “m,” not to mention the machinations of those vowels, so kind to link …

Mix Six Six Six (’09)

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE Last year, I was feeling all boo hoo about the fact that no one, and I mean no one comes to our house on Halloween.  Call it fear of strangers with candy (who might shove a razor blade in that Snickers bar, or snap off a hypodermic needle in that family size peanut butter cup), or, more realistically, it’s the fact that I live in a condo complex where the motto is “A place for the newlywed … and the nearly dead.”  Yeah, there really aren’t any kids around here, so we just gave up buying candy for those non-existent trick or treaters.  So, that leaves me with you, dear reader and lover of the ye olde Mix Six, to spoil you with musical treats. So grab a mug of bitches brew and get ready for a Mix Six Six Six for ’09! “Freaks Come Out At Night,” Whodini (Download) You can’t always start out a mix with a top of the hour cooker.  Nope, sometimes you gotta dig a …

Mix Six: “Beatlesque”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE Call this mix the postscript of Beatles Week at Popdose … a postscript that’s a couple of weeks late! But better late than never, right?  There’s been a lot of talk about the marketing savvy of Beatles merchandise, and it’s pretty damn impressive. I mean, getting people to buy remastered recordings they’ve probably had in their collections for years (and I’m talking about vinyl, cassette, 8 track, CD, and mp3s) is no easy feat – unless the product really is superior to what came before.  And yes, the remasters did live up to the hype.  But if I may start a second sentence with a conjunction, what also lives up to the hype is the long shadow of the Beatles’ style of music on popular recording artists.  Billy Joel, Andy Partridge, Roland Orzabal, Jeff Lynne, Neil Finn, and the Gallagher boys must have all, at one point or another, fantasized about being “The 5th Beatle” while singing along to one of the Fab Four’s songs.  So much so, that they …

Basement Songs: “Hey, Hey, Julie!” … A Mixtape

Two years ago, when I was working on this column’s debut, I wrote about Bruce Springsteen’s “Book of Dreams” and what the song means to Julie and me. During the first month of our courtship I created my first mixtape for her, entitled HEY, HEY, JULIE! On that tape was the Springsteen song, one that’s grown to have profound meaning in our relationship. We began dating in August of 1992, and soon thereafter, I threw this tape together in a flurry of inspiration, wanting to give Julie something that came from my heart. I don’t recall the actual minutes spent in my parents’ basement picking the songs or laying them down on a Maxell cassette (my brand of choice), but looking back on the list of songs, I’m happy to see they still add up to 90 quailty minutes of music. Before Nick Hornby wonderfully wrote about what makes a good mixtape in High Fidelity, I assembled exactly the right combination of hip, well known and somewhat obscure songs from my small music collection. Combining …

CD Review: The Duckworth Lewis Method, “The Duckworth Lewis Method”

Two of pop’s most studious classicists, Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) and Thomas Walsh (Pugwash), converge on what could only be considered a monumental summit for UK pop fans, bestowing on the listening public a concept album – about cricket. Not about some girl named Cricket, but the veddy European sport thereof. This could be very bad. Fortunately it isn’t; in fact, it’s very good, and good news for anyone who likes their music tasty on the ear and cheeky with the tongue. The very notion of a conceptual album devoted solely to cricket as being a ridiculous idea is not lost on the boys, but at the same time, they are respectful and reverent to the whole thing, playing it less like a Monty Python farce and more like a Rutlesian good-natured poke in the ribs. They came not to bury but to praise. The Rutles inference is apt as both Hannon and Walsh have appropriated the Beatlesque in the past, and the opening “The Coin Toss,” for all of its minute and eight …

Lost in the ’90s: Sam Phillips

In 1988, Leslie Phillips turned her back on a successful career as a Christian Contemporary artist, changed her performing moniker to “Sam,” and recorded her first mainstream pop album, The Indescribable Wow, with producer and soon-to-be husband T Bone Burnett.  It was a bold move that paid off critically, if not commercially.  The album sold a fraction of Phillips’ Christian work, but her inventive songwriting and unique voice won her a new cult of fans. But it was her third secular album that saw Phillips come closest to breaking through to the pop charts.  1994’s Martinis & Bikinis was packed with Beatles-esque hooks, clever wordplay, and sterling production by Burnett and XTC’s Colin Moulding on key tracks.  Lead single “I Need Love” got some Modern Rock radio love, but it was the second single, “Baby I Can’t Please You” (download) (one of the Moulding tracks, a fact that becomes quite obvious upon listening), that got the most attention.  Besides a video that made regular rotation on MTV’s 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation, it was also …

Mix Six: “Spell It!”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE First off, let me say that “Y.M.C.A.” didn’t make the cut on this mix. Yeah, it’s a fun song, but chances are you’ve heard it a million times, and it’s such an earworm that it really belonged on last week’s mix — but I didn’t have the heart to do that to you. Clearly, I did have the heart to foist Billy Joel and Neil Diamond on you, but that’s because I have so much love in my heart. This week, we’re spelling it! Yep, for some reason songwriters will often spell words in their songs, and sometimes it works, and other times, well … no so much.  Oh, and for those of you who actually listen to the full mix  you’ll get some humorous drops culled from the wilds of You Tube that just helps me state the obvious in this mix. “C.I.T.Y.,” John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (download) This is the tune that started me thinking about songs where spelling seems to count for something. 

Dw. Dunphy On… Fake Deux!

No time for love, Dr. Jones. The fakes await! As I mentioned last week, this post is devoted to the cinematic musical alter egos (and some non-cinematic ones as well) and as Jon Cummings mentioned last week, he did it first. Undaunted, I’m sending my posse over to his abode to knock ‘im into shape. Yes, my posse consists of a penguin, a rabbit and a cat that has used up one too many lives. So Opus, Bill and all the rest never made it to the movies, but they should have, and considering how bankrupt Hollywood is for ideas, they may yet get there someday. In the meantime, we have volumes of Berke Breathed’s Bloom County comic strips and a flexi-disc with two of Billy and the Boingers’ (formerly Deathtongue) “hits.” “I’m a Boinger” is rather hard on the ears, the kind of sledgehammer comedy fans used to send to the Dr. Demento show after listening to too much “Weird Al” Yankovic.  “U Stink But I Love U,” on the other hand, is obnoxious, …

Mope Like Me: One Final Mix Tape

This will be the last Mope Like Me column. In truth, I didn’t think I would be saying this, at least not this soon after launching it. I’m a sucker for sad songs, and God knows there are plenty of them. What I didn’t anticipate, though, is how exhausting it would be to go to that dark place, even if it was only every other week. I guess I’m just too happy now to revisit the more unpleasant times in my life. And so, rather than draw out the misery for months on end, I’m making a final mix tape of every song I ever thought about writing up for this column. White Label Wednesday will continue to run every other week, and in the place of Mope Like Me will be another song column, but one that is decidedly more upbeat. Ta. Air – Run Elliott Smith – Everything Means Nothing to Me Semisonic – She’s Got My Number World Party – And I Fell Back Alone Rialto – Love Like Semtex E – …