Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hungry Beat!'s Favorite Tracks - Lizzy Mercier Descloux - "Fire"

We figured it was about time over here at Hungry Beat! HQ to put our Youtube search obsession to good use by finding videos made for some of our absolute favorite songs to play at Hungry Beat!, and telling you a little bit about why we enjoy playing them so much.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux is the Kevin Bacon of Hungry Beat. Just one peek at her biography and you can see how much she overlaps with our whole playlist.

The story starts like so many music stories from the mid 1970s. Descloux was a Paris art school refugee energized by the DIY punk ethos. She founded a record store and a magazine with her boyfriend Michel Esteban. They published some Patti Smith poetry and moved to New York, where Smith introduced Esteban to "Horses" producer John Cale, who in turn introduced Esteban to Village Voice writer Michael Zilkha.

Zilkha and Esteban combined their last names and formed ZE Records. ZE's diverse lineup released some of the most exciting music of that era, some of it experimental, much of it danceable: Descloux , Contortions, Suicide, Material, Paradise Garage mainstays Was (Not Was) and Kid Creole, and the Cale-produced Marie et Les Garcons. The ZE roster also included the Waitresses, whose debut album contains their big hit "I Know What Boys Like" as well as the Hungry Beat staple "It's My Car."

ZE counted among its distributors Buddah Records, which had in its stable countless bubblegum guilty pleasures, many Northern Soul stalwarts such as Curtis Mayfield, the Five Stairsteps, Barbara Mason, and Melba Moore, and the disco group Chic, who are lovingly referenced by Hungry Beat heroes Orange Juice on "Rip It Up."

"Fire" was the lead single from Lizzy Mercier Descloux's 1979 debut LP on ZE Records, "Press Color." She's a gifted interpreter, turning Arthur Brown's sinister psychedelic hit into an uptempo stomper. "Press Color" also contains the equally danceable "Wawa" (shades of ESG) and nods to composer Lalo Schifrin, many years before his name came up in rare-groove circles again thanks to a Portishead sample.

The version of "Fire" you hear at Hungry Beat is a shorter 45 edit.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hungry Beat Playlist 8/21...

... remains mostly a mystery even to us. One thing worth noting, we watched a whole bunch of you dance to this one:

It was awesome.

See you on September 18th for our great big two year anniversary party! Not only will we have a special Slumberland Records give away, but we'll also be unveiling and giving away copies of our very first Hungry Beat! mix CD!

Pictures from last Satrday's madness are on the way...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hungry Beat Playlist 8/10!

The Smiths - What She Said

My Favorite - The Black Cassette

Love Is All - Less Than Thrilled

New Order - Weirdo

The Pastels - Zoooom

Crystal Stilts - My Sugar Baby

Madness - Embarassment

Bodysnatchers - Easy Life

The Mo-Dettes - Two Can Play

The Chesterfields - Best of Friends

The Chills - Oncoming Day

Action Now - Try

Edwin Starr - 25 Miles

The Emotions - Stealing Love

The Spinners - It's A Shame

Dolly Mixture - Been Teen

Soft Healer - Movie Light

Stereolab - Fried Monkey Eggs

Brilliant Corners - Delilah Sands

Magic Bullets - Thoughts of You

St. Christopher - And I Wonder

Biff Bang Pow! - 7 Seconds

Cause Co-Motion - I Lie Awake

Veronica Falls - Beachy Head

Tarzan 5 - Boys' Game

Family Fodder - Debbie Harry

France Gall - Der Computer No. 3

Mae Young - No Ifs, Ands or Buts

Martha & the Vandellas - I'm Ready For Love

Black Tambourine - Drown

Shop Assistants - Safety Net

Martina & Part Time Punx - Mehr Von Dir

The Ropers - Blue Sunday

Wild Nothing - Summer Holiday

Another Sunny Day - You Should All Be Murdered

Best Coast - Happy

Marvin Gaye - You're a Wonderful One

Betty Everett - Too Hot to Hold

The Parliaments - Don't Be Sore At Me

The Mavelettes - All the Love I've Got

Lou Courtney - Hey Joyce

JJ Barnes - Say It

The Pandoras - Anyone But You

The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Donovan - Epistle to Dippy

Mary Wells - One Block from Heaven

Joyce Jones - Help Me Make Up My Mind

Isley Brothers - Why When Love Is Gone

The Exciters - Blowin' Up My Mind

Two Fellows (Fred & Skeets) - Stop (Don't Give Up Your Loving)

Panic Buttons - O Wow

Shirley Ellis - The Clapping Song

Archie Bell & the Drells - Tighten Up

The Invincibles - It's That Love of Mine

Towanda Barnes - You Don't Mean It

Major Lance - The Beat

Sunny & the Sunliners - If I Could See You Now

The Ethics - Look at Me Now

Hector Rivera - At the Party

Sylvia Vartan - Ne T'en Va Pas

Brother Jack McDuff - Can't Get Satisfied

Five Stairsteps - Change of Pace

Derek Martin - Sly Girl

The Chiffons - Keep the Boy Happy

Martha & the Vandellas - Honey Love

Freda Payne - Band of Gold

The Jam - Start!

Supergrass - Alright

The Strokes - Last Nite

Blur - There's No Other Way

Northside - Shall We Take a Trip?

Happy Mondays - 24 Hour Party People

Elastica - Connection

The Smiths - What Difference Does it Make?

Harold Melvin - Get Out

Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

The Creation - Makin' Time

The Beatles - She Loves You

The Flirts - Jukebox

ESG - Dance

Blur - Girls & Boys

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out

Orange Juice - Satellite City

Camera Obscura - French Navy

The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back

Mighty Marvelows - Talkin' Bout Ya Baby

Gene Chandler & Barbara Acklin - Love Won't Start

Beach Boys - I Get Around

Shangri-Las - Give Him a Great Kiss

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Wake

Many months back I was asked by a fellow blogger friend to complete a five question survey that circulating to various Los Angeles based musicians, writers, djs... music nerds, essentially. Several times I sat down with this survey, and struggled with answering the questions to the inevitable point when I would put them aside and vow to return another day. Eventually, I stopped returning to the survey, and resigned myself to the fact that my take on these questions would remain absent from the series. The questions were so good that I couldn't form sufficient answers to any of them except for one: "Name one album you feel is critically under-rated and one album that is critically over-rated. Defend your case." I never settled on my pick for overrated album (though there were several knocking around my head for awhile). My pick for underrated album, however, was clear as day.

Here Comes Everybody
was the second album from Scottish post-punk auteurs/indiepop forecasters the Wake. It's also, in my opinion, perfectly crafted start to finish. The opener is the almost impossibly lush and beautiful "O Pamela." The closer (and title track) is a long dark alleyway composed entirely of dub space and tension. Every song in between seems to have been designed to take the listener from that particular point A, to that particular point B. More importantly perhaps, you hear a band that is in line to some degree with certain Factory Records labelmates as well as other musical contemporaries, but clearly crafting a sound scape all their own.

There are plenty of bands whose under the radar status makes perfect sense to me; they make music for a specific type of person, and the more people who hear those songs and identify with them the better, but it's still pretty much implied that those people to be few and far between. The Wake on the other hand, deserve ten million more listeners, a constant barrage on the good people at LTM Records to keep churning out copies of their represses, and stadium shows... or at the very least a world tour.

Purchase the re-issue of Here Comes Everybody, Here Comes Everybody + Singles, here.

One of the singles that makes up the + Singles portion of the re-issue is the Hungry Beat! favorite "Talk About the Past." It could arguably be considered their best single. "Pale Spectre" (which also appears on Here Comes Everybody + Singles) and "Crush the Flowers" (from the Sarah years!) would be top contenders as well. But for right now, we should all give out wholehearted attention to "Talk About the Past," cause it's so pretty...

~ Marion

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Air France

Why is that no one has thought to spotlight the endlessly gorgeous Air France on this space? Could it have anything to do with the fact that releases from Air France are few and far between, and that (to our collective knowledge) none of them seem to be on vinyl? Well never mind all of that now, the time has come!

There just aren't enough DJs/Producers these days who are making dance music sound this dreamy and lush. Sure there's plenty of it out there, Air France have just seemingly cornered the market on making electronic pop songs that sound both heartfelt, and hip beyond your wildest dreams.

They also remixed Saint Etienne's "Spring" with subtle, but deliciously satisfactory results. I think most of us have the original of that one on a record somewhere, which must count for something, right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The O'Jays - Soul Sounds

When it comes to classic soul, it's generally all about 45s. Most soul LPs from the '60s suffer from the ubiquitous and largely unnecessary (in this DJ's opinion) Beatles covers or too many dull ballads. Granted, there are a few exceptions where albums really feel like albums -- What's Going On, anyone? Now this O'Jays record, Soul Sounds doesn't flow from track to track like Marvin Gaye's aforementioned opus, but it's got a ton of really great songs, and the cover art is fantastic. Better yet, I acquired this LP on Ebay for $12, while to get all the songs I wanted from this LP on 45s would've set me back twenty times that sum. While the O'Jays are better known for such 70s jams as "Love Train" (I'd be happy if you promised me I'd never hear that one again as long as I should live!) and nowadays play the Vegas circuit, they made some brilliant recordings in the 60s on Minit, Bell, and Imperial that are among my favorites of the genre. Expect to hear a track off this LP on Saturday at the club, but do pick up yourself a copy in the meantime and enjoy such tracks as the stompin' "Working on Your Case", and beautiful mid-tempo groovers like "No Time For You", and "I"ll Never Forget You". In fact, I've also got a reissue copy of this LP that I'll gladly hand off to the first Hungry Beat! attendee that responds to this post, since I now have an original. Below, a teaser. Enjoy...