mr. mittens (akmed) wrote,
mr. mittens

guilty pleasures: only love can break your heart

hiNRG was like pop ez listening metal( think: " sister christian" and "silent lucidity")- everywhere in the 80s and you were sick to fuck of it after a point, maybe always. in america, they both crowded synthpop and more innovative electronic dance musics off the charts. but i always danced to this song unreservedly and stupidly happy- because it's a perfect pop song. like all freestyle and hiNRG, it led us to house music with its extensive use of electronics/synthetic sound, early use of samples in a major release, and infectious danceability. at the time i would never admit it to the goths and industrial anarchy robots- i loved this song.

the samples from the extended versions are from madonna-" get into the groove", one of her best songs released way before she was popular . the sampling makes sense because the dance remixes were done by the late peter slaghuis( aka hithouse, a translation of his name. he died in a car accident in the early 90's.) who went on to become an influential dj at the dawn of sample laden songs washing over the dance floors bringing the contentious litigation normally associated with rap into mainstream dance music. ignore all other mixes- which suck on the standard release. peter slaghuis constructs a masterpiece- there's nothing you can add to or subtract from the " dutch mix".

nu shooz are a freestyle/hinrg oddity- rather than from the epicenter of that movement, arguable NYC, or europe (that always has had more of a taste for bubbly disco,) they were from oregon. a husband /wife team like the legendary children of hiNRG, lime.

nu shooz/ i can't wait- 1986

this is hithouse's big hit- a bit of a guilty indulgence too and not nearly as perfect as "i can't wait" but it was fun to dance to even if it sounds dated now and looks ridiculous. samples too numerous to mention, all heaped up as was the fashion. acid wash jeans- lord save us from ourselves. the caucasian european youth culture obsession with trying to replicate and channel the urban african-american experience- best left to the anthropologists. just get real fucked up and dance.

hithouse/ jack to the sound of the underground 1988

ABBA- i know, blow me. before 'muriel's wedding' and the disco revival of the 90's, i fucking loved ABBA. i spent high school listening to ABBA, the dead kennedys, the monochrome set , blue öyster cult, and king crimson. i got over the trauma induced by owning everything ABBA ever made when i learned that cosey fanni tutti and chris carter of throbbing gristle adored them too. i saw ABBA live- and they were phenomenal considering that their recorded output is the result of a quite sophisticated use and knowledge of studio technology.

because there's nothing like slavery derived work songs or negro spirituals by incredibly wealthy, incredibly lily white scandinavians:

in truth one of my favorite songs is "summer night city". perfect craftsmanship in composition and execution- that's why most people who love music are forced to even begrudgingly give ABBA their well deserved props. björn and benny are two of the greatest song writers ever in english language pop music- a language that is so fundamentally different from their native tongue. their songs are deceptively upbeat- closer listening reveals a sadness, a certain almost existential introspection that's more like a terminally depressing bergman film or pointless french novel than a bubble gum pop song.

"and tomorrow when it's dawning/ and the first bird starts to sing/ in the pale light of the morning, nothing's worth remembering/ it's a dream, it's out of reach/ scattered driftwood on a beach"

i was sort of guilty that i recognized this song as a cover of a country-fied neil young tune. when i played the original for my younger dj friends they snickered at me. but neil young is one of the greatest artists of the 60's. a dark and brooding scorpio( he meet his fellow band members in buffalo springfield because he was tooling around hollywood in a hearse. the man is a fucking goth), he, like ABBA, crafted absolutely perfect pop songs which are deceptively simple yet emotionally compact and moving. he says more with two fractured shrieking notes on a guitar than any bach obsessed, overly technical shred freak.

there's no shame in an appreciation for country music- which is OUR music- music of the american continent- that influenced scores of black musicians who helped create rock n roll, the music america lovingly gifted to the world's youth in perpetuity, and has direct roots to the pagan folk music of western europe.

'my parents were neil young fanatics in the late 60s early 70s which is why i instantly recognized this haunting, affecting song:

" when you were young and on your own/ how did it feel to be alone?"

st. etienne/ only love can break your heart

when i first realized that my father had died- this is the first thing i thought of- neil young's" old man":

" love lost, such a cost/ give me things that won't get lost"

i just don't want to die like him. i don't want to die alone, alone like i feel now.

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