Archive for January, 2008

Yaz(oo) box set, reunion tour…..

I had the good fortune yesterday to meet Vince Clarke, 80s synth-pop icon. Thanks to dear friend Michael Mulvey ( who was filming an interview for Mute Records, I did the audio, basically making me the proverbial fly on the proverbial wall. The 11 hour escapade began at the ugly hour of 5:30 a.m. and involved many hours of snowy driving to Vince’s unlikely outpost on the remote Maine coast. The interview, deftly conducted by Mute Records alum Roland Brown, will be included in the soon to be released Yazoo box set (due May ’08). Unearthing few surprises, Roland probed past many “I don’t remember”‘s to flesh out the story of creating, then leaving Depeche Mode, the whole, too brief Yazoo experience, the short lived Assembly, and seemingly eternal Erasure. The scope of Vince’s successes grows even more formidable when you consider that he was 21 when he walked away from Depeche, 23 when he left Yazoo with their second album hitting #1 (a feat Vince seemed surprised by when Roland mentioned it). Vince admitted really enjoying the making of the Don’t Go video, in which he hams it up as Dr. Frankenstein and Dracula:

I’m pretty sure Vince said his favorite Yazoo song was In My Room; me, I like Midnight:

Besides the interview itself and the haddock chowder and lobster rolls at Sarah’s Cafe in Wiscasset, the conversation during the seven hours of driving was also a highlight. Michael and I exposed Roland to Nouvelle Vague and their bossa nova versions of 80s classics, and Roland gave us some inside scoop regarding Moby, and the unlikely path to Play’s humongous success. Michael found this very apropos YouTube video to wrap this post in a nice little bundle:


Coincidence, or kismet?

There was the briefest of mentions in the Globe the other day of The Gremies “There’s No Surfing in Dorchester Bay”, which, of course, led me on a Googling frenzy to hear it, along with a bunch of other surf-punk tunes. Within about an hour, I get a phone call from old friend and surf-lunatic Jeff Moss of Boca Raton, who I haven’t spoken to since August 2006 when he was just back from Bali (like I said, surf lunatic). Anyway, Jeff’s been traveling the world with surfboard and Panavision camera and wanted to talk about music for his surf film…….eery, huh? So I go bact to web to find MY favorite surf-y song, Perfect Wave by Boston 80s icon Peter Dayton (of La Peste fame). I’ve searched before, but this time I found it (coincidence you say?) Check it out here:

While you’re at it, my most favoritest Peter Dayton Band song from BITD, Love At First Sight:

Jeff and I will put our heads together in April or May and hopefully come up with some “not your average surf movie” music.

As long as my head is in the 80s, I’ll mention that I finally started watching The Future Is Unwritten, the great Joe Strummer documentary. I generally have a hard time even thinking about Joe Strummer without tearing up (wife loves that…. NOT), but, so far, this has been relatively painless, with a great soundtrack selected mostly by Joe himself, courtesy of tape of his great radio show. Trying to pick a Clash song to link here is a challenge (Charlie Don’t Surf….little too obvious?), but in a half-hearted effort to make this somehow current, let’s go with Straight To Hell, so deftly sampled in the hottest song on the planet right now, M.I.A’s Paper Planes. Remember in 1990 when Soho sampled How Soon Is Now for Hippy Chick? Believe it or not, there were people that would hear the opening of How Soon Is Now, then be shocked when it turned out not to be Hippy Chick. I guarantee there are those that will think that the Clash has sampled M.I.A.

M.I.A. “Paper Planes”

The Clash “Straight To Hell”

Soho “Hippy Chick”

The Smiths “How Soon Is Now”

I’m freezing….

BTW, I haven’t forgotten about music. I’m listening, most days, to Indie 103.1 in LA and BBC Radio 6, but haven’t heard anything (I consider) worth adding here. That said, I would like to share what I think is the catchiest tune I’m hearing this week. To my knowledge, it’s not available to purchase anywhere at any price….

cool, huh?