Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Just Another Mu-sic Mon-day (oohhh, a whoa)

How amusing it would be to start with the Happy Mondays. But no - inspired by some recent listenage and that wonderful leapfrogging technique that comes from spending a few spare moments going from one thing to t'other on You Tube, I present to you some top Monday morning entertainment:

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I've been in love with Kirsty Hawkshaw for a long time, more or less since I discovered her wriggling around in the beautifully hypnotic early 90s fan-dance-tasticness of Opus III. Her now tragically scratched-all-to-buggery 1995-ish album "O U T" became a staple companion piece to later works by Portishead, The Sundays and Dubstar, providing the soundtrack of far too many cold, dark, rainy November evening trips home on the bus.

I've kept in touch over the years (by which I mean, every now and again I see if she's got anything new out and grab it, not that we actually converse), and she's been pretty busy. A solo album or two, some top-notch ambient music, and lots of guest vocal work with some of the more interesting dance/trance acts, including an awesome cover of Duran Duran's "The Chauffeur" with Sleepthief and, via manipulated sample, on Orbital's "Halcyon + On + On", even appearing as a hallucinatory seventies housewife in the utterly bizarre video....

(there's a much higher quality, although sadly unembeddable, copy of the video here)

Quite the change from the catsuit, lipstick and no hair look in "It's A Fine Day". Sadly, the original Opus III video has fallen afoul of You Tube's legal wrangling with record companies, but it's still viewable in a recognisable form, thanks to one of the many remixes available.

Now, I had always been under the impression that the vocals on "It's A Fine Day" were original... but no! It's a re-imagining of an odd acapella 1983 song by "Jane", assembled in the same sort of way that Suzanne Vega's atmospheric "Tom's Diner" was given new life by DNA. (Interestingly, did you know that Tom's Diner in the song is actually Tom's Restaurant in New York, featured prominently in tv's Seinfeld? Oh, you didn't? See! You keep me here for a reason.) The "Jane" version is... well, bare. But in an odd way, it makes me want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.

Incidentally... "we will have salad"? No, I don't know either.

Ready for another remix? KH recently reprised her wrigglage in the video for yet another remix of "It's A Fine Day":

Bald, brunette or blonde, she's still teh hawt. Sadly, "O U T" has fallen o-u-t of print (although most of it is available for download through her website) and none of it shows up on the usually comprehensive, which is a great shame, because songs like "Sci-Clone" and "Leafy Lane" have really stood up well, and retain their atmosphere well.

Good stuff. Enjoy your monday.

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