Thursday, 28 May 2015

Dean Martin - The Later Years, on Max Headroom


More belated and perfunctory posting. I recently presented a special on the later years of Dean Martin for 3RRR FM's Max Headroom, which can be streamed here. There I celebrated what I find to be Dino's most interesting period, a strange world of almost intentionally lacklustre recordings, a melange of stale Tin Pan Alley standards, big band, country and sixties bubblegum pop that, in the late 1970s, sounded particularly incongruous. Ironically such product could also only come from the 1970s.

Here is the blurb for the show:
Over his long and varied career, Dean Martin, "The King of Cool", was a heart throb, crooner, film star and leading member of the rat pack.
He was also known as "The Laziest Man In Showbiz", churning out countless albums of stale standards and hosting formulaic, TV specials for over 40 years.
On Max Headroom this week, Joshua Meggitt explores this lacklustre Dino, playing choice filler from his later albums, with excerpts from such cinematic highlights as The Cannonball Run 2
By focusing on the later years, I intentionally avoided his younger, more well known material, the stuff of nostalgia shows and Scorsese films, and went straight to the end: his lazy, resolutely uncool, critically condemned, and now long forgotten (if ever paid attention to) final years. It's a world of strange, almost studied mediocrity, so mindlessly middle-of-the-road that hearing it now, its quite unlike all other music. Exemplary is "Old Bones", the opening song from his final album, 1983's The Nashville Sessions:


Today, Dean Martin is largely remembered as a lazy, lackadasical Frank Sinatra, a Las Vegas self-parody, his reputation resting on a few comedies he made with Jerry Lewis, and some charming pieces of pop fluff that once topped the Hit Parade with retro “lounge” revivals and appearances in mafia films. Even by the later years of his own career, his early days as a global, charismatic romantic icon are long forgotten… and yet I can’t look away! This song is so stupid, but I love it: "Love Thy Neighbour" from 1978's penultimate Once in a While:



The main appeal with Dean Martin was his carelessness, a quality I've even managed to get my four year old to appreciate. He was, as biographer Nick Tosches dubbed him, the ultimate menefreghista - one who just doesn't give a fuck.Or, going further, what contrarian commentator and Oxbow singer Eugene Robinson describes as outright violent misanthropy. 
Dean Martin’s vocals say one thing to my ears: FUCK YOU!
The more I listen, the more I agree. Hostility and scorn for both his material and his audience is clearly expressed in his reading of "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'", from the wonderfully titled, My Woman My Woman My Wife of 1970. Essentially a ballad about the pain of breaking up, listen to Dean laugh as he delivers the line, "I cry myself to sleep each night", as though the very concept of him feeling heartbreak is absurd:



The ilovedinomartin Dean Martin fansite blog got wind of the program and promoted it heavily. Check out their kind words here but here's an excerpt:

Hey pallies likes are we in for the hugest of huge Dino-treats as today, as promised we share our newest pallie, down under dude Mr. Joshua Meggitt's  coolest of cool "celebration" of our Dino....an hour long radio programme that is a marvelous  mix of  '70's and '80's Dino-croons and choice audio recordin's from our Dino's later work on both the small and big screens...
We gotta 'fess up that we  grooved on each and ever moment of this purely potent programme of passionate appreciato for our King of Cool.  We particularly loved listenin' to a number of croons from our Dino's last al-b-um, "The Nashville Sessions."  And, we couldn't 'gree more with Josh that these particular croons really are remarkably revelatory of our Dino's life and times at that point...truly these croons form a stellar set of Dino-teachin's!!!!!

We coulda goes on and on, 'bout the wonderful mixin' of Mr. Meggitt's Dino-reflections with our Dino's singin', but likes we wants  youse all to enjoy this amazin' programme lovin'ly presented by in-the-know Dino-holic Mr. Joshua Meggitt.
We salute Josh for this tremendous tribute to our main man and for encouragin' his audience to develop a deeper understandin' and relationship with of our Dino by readin' Nick Tosche's Dino-bio, "DINO: Living High In The Dirty Business Of Dream.  And thanks ever so much to pallie Josh for even givin' a nice shout out to our humble little Dino-blog, ilovedinomartin. for doin' our part to promote his Dino-special.
I suspect there'll be more Dean Martin posts...

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Monday, 23 February 2015

Pattern Repeat - Summer 2015

Now that summer is almost over I'll get around to cataloguing Pattern Repeat's summer programming, guesting for O'Tomorrow. I had fun, did you?

Playlist only for Midnight 30 December 2014. Listen here, hear this:
JLM & Eva - Pattern Repeat
Cry Tomorrow - Night Waves
The Advisory Circle - The Walk Home
Actress - Xoul Particles
Visionist - Something Old, Somthing New
King Tubby - Iyatha
Untold - Sing A Love Song
Cry Tomorrow - Rock Pools, Night
Pan Sonic - Johdin
Maurizio - M5
Rhythm And Sound - King In My Empire
Jake Mandell - The Story Teller
Sueno Latino - Sueno Latina (Bushwacka! Mix)
LFO - Tied Up Latino
Janez Maticic - Hypnos
Norman Nodge - BBI.O
Robert Hood - Minus (Edit)
Samuli Kempi - Water lake
Samuli Kempi - Passage
Terence Dixon - Minimalism
MESH - Scythians (Logos Remix)
Rocket In Dub - Rocket Number 3
Eric Cloutier - Anaphalantiasis
Objekt - First Witness
TCF - 54C6051C
Lorenzo Senni - Pontillisti C
Anya Kutz - Pop Track 1
Bing And Ruth - Warble
Edward Artemiev - Listen To Bach

Artemiev's take on Bach's Cantata BWV 106 for Solaris is a fitting end to the season:

Strange Holiday

Catching up on detailing old shows for the public record, this a fill for the excellent Strange Holiday program from way back on 7 December 2014. Listen here and hear this:

Andras and Oscar - Friendship Theme
Pharoahs - Sunblitzed
Frank Schroeder - Ohne Title
Claudette et Ti Pierre - Zamme Camarade (Tropical Treats Edit)
JLM - Birds, Plane
West African Swing Stars - Omo Africa
Stranger and Gladdy - Pretty Cottage
Blood Sisters - My Love Don't Come Easy
Paul McCartney - Frozen Jap
DJ Sotofelt and Fran Benitez - La Grimas Negras
Harmonia - Kekse
Yoshio Machida - Alhambra
Rei Harakami - Poof
Shirley Ross - If You Leave Me Now
The Blow - The Love That I Grave (Strategy's Strata Clay Mix)
JLM - Dawn
Legowelt - Cruise Til The Sun Shines
Prince Jammy - Crosstalk
Pepe Bradock - Attaque de Boulangerie
Mamman Sani - Ci Da By
DJ Marshmallow Man - Electric Generation
Nascar Car - Blood Type Blue
Peaking Lights - New Grrls
Panabrite - Lullaby of the Abyss
Daniela La Luz - Your Mother Told Me

Track of the show was this, a doozy:

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Thomas Mann - The DJ in 1924



Just finished Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain and was surprised by an early reference to record playing, and the manner in which it posits the record player (the person, not the instrument) as an active performer, i.e. a DJ.

In it the protagonist, Hans Castorp, is recovering in a tuberculosis sanitorium in the Alps, which seems more like a restful snowy resort than a hospital, and the establishment acquires a gramophone and a collection of records. Hans Castorp is most taken with the device and takes it upon himself to learn its workings and discover its joys:
He made himself acquainted with the new possession, and worked in undisturbed enjoyment through the contents of the heavy albums. There were twelve, in two sizes, with twelve records each; many of the flat, round, black disks were inscribed on both sides, not only with the continuation of a piece of music, but also because many of the plates held two distinct records. Here was a world to conquer, large enough that even to survey it was a difficult task at first, and bewildering; yet a world full of beautiful possibilities. He played some twenty or thirty records; using a kind of needle that moved softly over the plate and lessened the sound, in order that his activity might not offend the silence of the night. But twenty or thirty were scarcely the eighth part of the riches that lay asking to be enjoyed. He must be content tonight with looking over the titles, only choosing one now and again to set upon the disk and give it voice. To the eye one was like another, except for the
coloured label in the centre of each hardrubber plate; each and all were covered to the centre or nearly so with concentric circles; but it was these fine lines that held all imaginable music, the happiest inspirations from every region of the art, in choicest reproduction.


Later Mann describes Hans Castorp's active role as player of records, classifying Castorp as a 'performer', and defined against that of the 'audience':

Later in the day, after the noon and evening meals, he had a changing audience for his performance—unless one must reckon him in with the audience, instead of as the dispenser of the entertainment. Personally he inclined to the latter view. And the Berghof population agreed with him, to the extent that from the very first night they silently acquiesced in his self-appointed guardianship of the instrument. They did not care, these people. Aside from their ephemeral idolatry of the tenor, luxuriating in the melting brilliance of his own voice, letting this boon to the human race stream from him in cantilenas and high feats of virtuosity, notwithstanding their loudly proclaimed enthusiasm, they were without real love for the instrument, and content that anyone should operate it who was willing to take the trouble. It was Hans Castorp who kept the records in order, wrote the contents of each album on the inside of the cover, so that each piece might be found at once when it was wanted, and “ran” the instrument. Soon he did it with ease and dexterity.

Here Mann captures many of the features of the modern DJ - 'guardian of the instrument', 'keeping the records in order' - essentially the selecta! - and running the instrument 'with ease and dexterity'. This in 1924!

Here's the marvellous Paul Scofield, of Patrick Keillor renown, reading the text:

Monday, 1 December 2014

Leisure Link, 25 November 2014



Listen again to Leisure Link broadcast 10pm, Tuesday 25 November 2014 on RRR 102.7FM, Playlist below:

HANNAH DIAMOND - EVERY NIGHT
TRANSYLVANIAN GALAXI - SEQUENCE
BEAUTIFUL SWIMMERS - TOUCH BASE
POOLS - UNTITLED B
POOLSIDE - DO YOU BELEIVE?
KALIDASA - IPOTANE
FOCKEWULF 190 - BODY HEAT
LOWTEC - B1 (WORKSHOP 20)
CROWDPLEASER + ST. PLOMB - NOT YET NOT YET
JAPAN BLUES - MYSTERIOUS SATUMA
M. GEDDES GENGRAS - ISHI
STEVE MOORE - ZEN SPIDERS
KEJEBLOS - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE (LEXX'S SQUEEZE ME TIGHT DUB)
OCTO OCTA - I CAN FEEL YOU
HAULES BAULES - CREEPER
MOVE D - LE FOU (EDDIE C'S SPACESHIP REMIX)
PATRICK COWELY + JORGE SOCCARAS - BURN BRIGHTER FLAME
SSOL - UNTITLED A1
WILLIE BURNS - PONG IN A TRACKSUIT
MISS PLUGIN - YOU & I
BISQUIT - ZOO ZOO
NEW MUSIK - WARP (ILO EDIT)
STEFFI - TREASURE SEEKING

I'm back 10pm tonight, 2 December, playing more of the same, including this:

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Digital Voices



Listen again here to Digital Voices broadcast on Triple R 102.7FM 7pm on Thursday 27 November, playlist below:

B.O.B. - Auto Tune
Meek Mill feat. Kirko Bangz - Young & Gettin It
Bon Iver - Woods
DJ Screw - Too Much Lean In My Cup
Clams Casino - The World Needs Change [Soulja Boy]
Burial - Endorphins
Nima - Morning
DJ Rashad & Freshmoon - Everybody
DJ Nate - See Into My Eyes
GFOTY - Don't Wanna/Let's Do It
Hecker - Hinge*
Ben Vida - Slipping Control (Part 13)
Oneohtrix Point Never - Midday
Holly Herndon - Chorus
Hatsune Miku - Ura Omote Lovers
Voltex - Beautiful Moon Light
Katie Gately - Pipes (excerpt)