Martini Music: something old, something new, something funk, something blue

It’s time for another dose of Martini Music. This month an eclectic collection – what else would you expect from EM?

I bet you wouldn’t expect a CD of 80s Hollywood soundtracks, though Van Morrison you might and what about Billericay Dickie?.

When drinking martinis you need to have sophistication in your surroundings and sophisticated music. That is why Chez WhiteHirst is so special. Our Casa Refugio with its own rhythm and blues and occasional punk sensibility. In fact there’s an 80s symmetry to some of this play list.

Tonight I’m sitting in the dining room with a Perfect 10 and some Clevedon oysters, at the moment we’re about 8 tracks into this afternoon’s first CD,  Hollywood, Mon Amour, released in October 2008.

One of the stand-out tracks for me is Skye (ex Morcheeba) singing Blondie’s “Call Me” which was apparently used in American Gigolo.

You can download the track list from MySpace, keep an eye out for “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III by Katrine Ottosen and “This is not America” from The Falcon and the Snowman, sung here by Juliette Lewis.

The combinations on this CD should not work – crap 80s films, some classic tunes and some weird remix moves by  Nouvelle Vague – but it’s a great way to relax into a Saturday night.

Marc Collin
Marc Collin

The producer of Hollywood, Mon Amour,  is a French guy called Marc Collin and he has a habit of juicing up otherwise forgetable (and some iconic) tracks to a Bossa Nova beat with his band Nouvelle Vague. I reckon he’s worth checking out a bit more, but not everyone agrees. A review of Hollywood, Mon Amour at ChartAttack basically says it’s crap.

You know when a pop song gets big enough that random musicians start releasing their own acoustic bootleg versions (think Mandy Moore’s version of “Umbrella”).

Well, Marc Collin’s Hollywood, Mon Amour is like a French-styled compilation of such songs. It’s made up of covers of songs from well-known ’80s movies. Collin (of Nouvelle Vague) enlisted a handful of unknown European songstresses to blandly and acoustically cover songs like “Call Me,” “When Doves Cry” and “Footloose.”

All the women sound the same and quietly coo the lyrics to otherwise iconic songs. Katrine Ottosen’s version of Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” makes her sound like a drunk 14-year-old slurring the once-inspirational lyrics by a campfire.

There are, however, two songs worth hearing. Yael Naim (of iPod ad fame) makes “Flashdance… What A Feeling” drip out of Jennifer Beals’ loft space speakers like honey. Juliette Lewis also somehow made it on to the record and her version of David Bowie’s “This Is Not America” is painted with an even darker, grittier brush.

Thank God for these two women, otherwise Hollywood, Mon Amour could have been the reason Simple Minds wrote The Breakfast Club’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” [Phil Villeneuve – ChartAttack]

Ouch, “random musicians”, “a handful of unknown European songstresses”. Was this guy listening to the same music? Make up your own minds.You can listen to the tracks on the MySpace page for the CD (isn’t that weird, an inanimate object with its own MySpace page).

Ah, now Moac’s changed the CD, it’s the Bamboos – an Australian outfit and funk-on-a-stick. This is so to my taste. I’m onto the Bamboos, here is Step it up,  because of my good friend Rob – Mr Music. For 15 years I’ve been taking his advice (and not just about music). From time-to-time he send me disks that some random dude has compiled and left on his doorstep in violation of the Pirate Bay laws.

Oh, sh*t. I shouldn’t have done that. Now listen, I’m not advocating illegal downloads and copying, that – as they say – can get a guy into serious shitrain trouble. Don’t believe me? Then check-out The Guardian.

Anyway, back to Rob, he sent a comment to my first Martini Music post:

hey mr martini…

Great suggestions…just like to chuck a couple atcha…

Fantastic music for any time of day or night…has a palpable soul that stays with you long after the disc has finished.

And if you like Sharon Jones try the ‘Bamboos feat Kylie Auldist’…or the Etta James tracks “Ball & Chain” or “Let’s Burn down the cornfield” with Lowell George on slide guitar.

but no matter which way your tastes run…if you want to check whether you’re alive or not, you’ve got to get some MACEO PARKER…9 piece funk…Maceo was with James Brown for years and he’s got the bass player from Parliament – he’s played with JB, Parliament, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Dave Mathews Band, Living Colour, 10,000 Maniacs and Prince…try “Roots and Grooves” or “Dial M for Maceo” as an intro…James Brown used to yell, “blow Maceo, blow”…

and when Maceo blows…your ass is gonna be shakin’.

Well, I did as Rob suggests – I can be suggestible after a couple of Domestics. Yep, that’s how  I got to the Bamboos and Kylie Auldist and Maceo. They are all now in my high rotation stack. Hang on, I need another oyster and a Perfect 10 re-fill. Go and stick something funky in the CD player while you wait…Here’s a picture of the Bamboos to keep you occupied and it clicks to their website.


The Bamboos and Kylie Auldist are very very funky, reminiscent of Sharon Jones (as Rob suggests and as recommended by Martini Music). On this track, “Step it up”, the Bamboos are playing with Alice Russell.

But, here’ Kylie Auldist. Who knew that Australian funk/soul/jazz could sound so global and so cool. It rocks in this part of the world and we’ve got a better climate (at least until global warming sucks us into the new ice age).

So something funk. Now for something a little older and a little blues. I mentioned Van Morrison at the head of this piece. He is one of my musical heroes. He deserves to be Sir Van Morrison alongside Sir Paul and Sir Elton. Anyway, I finally picked up the Astral Weeks Live CD today. I read a review in the local rag that said it was pretty good [The Telegraph gave his London concert 5 stars only a few days ago]. The original Astral Weeks is one of my favourite VM records so the live version some 40 years later..well if you’re a Van Morrison fan you have to have it. Can I just say that this is sublime Van.

He is still a king of blues and soul and he can still play and sing. I will hear no evil in this regard. Apparently he played some classics before launching into Astral Weeks. Of course, you can YouTube it all. Here’s “Sweet Thing”. Mr Morrison, the stage is yours, sir.

And finally, before the oytsers and the Perfect 10 run out…[Can you believe I made a dozen oyster and 4 ounces of gin last nearly two hours?]…another old favourite and this is probably more your lager-lout music, but I love it.

ian_dury_blake_pic_smIan Dury and the Blockheads. I was able to pick up a best-of today for $19.99 with 21 tracks and because it’s the best-of it has all the hits. What’s very disconcerting though is the young and very spunky picture of Ian on the cover. It weirded me out. Ian Dury died in March 2000, but he lives on – forever young – in cyberspace. A brand new boots and panties record is also now available – another cool, cover, compilation, so I guess EM will have to give that a spin soonest.

Here’s some classic Blockheads, I’m sure some of you have no idea who I’m talking about, so click “play” and get an edumuckashun.

And just to keep it contemporary, it’s a little mix and match.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Bollywood v Reasons to Be Cheerful Ia…“, posted with vodpod

That’s it for this Saturday night  fish fry. Dinner’s ready, the wine is breathing, Van’s mumbling away in the background – Madame George –  and I have yet to introduce Moac to Ian and friends. That is an evening’s entertainment. Close the door on your way out.

Abiento mes amies.

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