Tag Archives: Moby

It’s Alison Goldfrapp’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Translated literally, the French expression “ooh la la” means “Oh there there.”

Per About.com, “ooh la la” is an interjection that “can indicate surprise, disappointment, commiseration, distress, annoyance… any moderately strong reaction to something that was just said or done. Note that there is no connotation of sexiness or impropriety in French.”

Per UrbanDictionary.com, “ooh la la” is “a universally understood way of saying ‘check out that hot piece of ass.’” I detect a slight connotation of sexiness and impropriety.

Per OxfordDictionaries.com, “ooh la la” is “used to express surprise or excitement” or “to convey a sexual innuendo.”

The music duo Goldfrapp, made up of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, released a single called “Ooh La La” in 2005. Written by the duo, the song tells of Alison’s lust for someone without a romantic component.

Goldfrapp’s “Ooh La La” became their first top ten pop single in the UK and their third #1 on the US dance chart. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, and Rolling Stone magazine placed it at #10 on their list of the year’s best singles.

Today, Alison Goldfrapp turns 50 years old. Tunes du Jour’s weekly dance party is heavy on her group’s music, kicking off with “Ooh La La.”


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The Grammys Are Coming And I Need To Dance!

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. Today’s playlist includes the five recordings nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Dance Recording. Those nominated recordings are:

“We’re All We Need” – Above & Beyond Featuring Zoë Johnston
“Go” – The Chemical Brothers Featuring Q-Tip
“Never Catch Me” – Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Runaway (U & I)” – Galantis
“Where Are Ü Now” – Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber

The Best Dance Recording category was introduced in 1998. It hasn’t been the most accurate barometer of innovations in dance music. The nominating committee has a thing for Gloria Estefan, who was well past her prime in 1998, as she was in 1999, when she was nominated, and 2000, when she was nominated, and 2002, when she was nominated.

In 2001, the Grammy for Best Dance Recording was awarded to “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by the Baha Men. I admit that I love that song, but Best Dance Recording? What the fur? Other tracks nominated that year were performed by Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Eiffel 65, which suggests that 2000 was a very bad year for dance music. It was not. The fifth nominee, Moby’s “Natural Blues,” is the kind of record that should win. It sets itself apart from the other recordings in this field. Of course, one could say “Who Let the Dogs Out?” is unlike the other dance recordings of 2000, mostly because it is not a dance recording.

There are no embarrassing nominees this year in this category. Tune in Monday evening to see who wins. Actually, this may not be one of the four or so awards presented in the telecast, so you may have to find out who won online.

For now, enjoy this playlist consisting of this year’s nominees plus fifteen of the better recordings nominated in this category in past years.


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Throwback Thursday – 1999

Eminem has often been accused of being homophobic. Maybe it’s because he rapped “I’ll still be able to break a motha-fuckin’ table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half.” Maybe it’s because he rapped “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge / That’ll stab you in the head whether you’re a fag or lez.” And “All you lil’ faggots can suck it / No homo, but I’ma stick it to ’em like refrigerator magnets.” And “Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy / ‘Oy vey, that boy’s gay,’ that’s all they say looking-boy / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.” And “You fags think it’s all a game.” Anyone can see how the artist born Marshall Mathers got labeled a homophobe, even if he pretends he doesn’t see it.

So it’s ironic that in his first hit single, the song that put him on the map and into the international consciousness, the music bed is based around a sample from an openly gay singer-songwriter.

“My Name Is” became Eminem’s first single to crack the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #36. Its music is taken from a 1975 release called “I Got the…,” written and performed by Labi Siffre. Siffre, who was born in England in 1945, says he knew he was gay since age four. He met his life partner, Peter John Carver Lloyd, in 1964. They remained a couple for 49 years, until Lloyd’s death in 2013.

Before Siffre would allow Eminem to use the sample, he made the rapper change some of the words on “My Name Is.” The lyric “My English teacher wanted to have sex in junior high / The only problem was, my English teacher was a guy” became “My English teacher wanted to flunk me in junior high / Thanks a lot, next semester I’ll be 35.” The lyric “Extraterrestrial killing pedestrians, raping lesbians while they’re screaming, ‘Let’s just be friends!’” became “Extraterrestrial running over pedestrians in a spaceship while they’re screaming, ‘Let’s just be friends!’”.” Said Siffre, “Dissing the victims of bigotry – women as bitches, homosexuals as faggots – is lazy writing. Diss the bigots, not their victims. I denied sample rights till that lazy writing was removed. I should have stipulated “all versions” but at that time knew little about rap’s “clean” & “explicit” modes, so they managed to get the lazy lyric on versions other than the single and first album.”

For Throwback Thursday this week, Tunes du Jour revisits some of the musical highlights of 1999, kicking off with Eminem’s “My Name Is.”


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It’s Q-Tip’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Here’s the thing…I started writing today’s blog entry about mishaps I’ve recently encountered in on-line dating, specifically with an app I downloaded last week that despite my creating a profile that says I’m a man looking for a man, keeps trying to set me up with straight guys. I tied that into today’s birthday, Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, by saying he’s one straight guy who wouldn’t date me. I quoted lyrics from Tribe’s song “Georgy Porgy.” While I was typing those lyrics, my stomach turned. I had trouble finding the humor in a song that refers to a gay guy as gross, ill, a fag, wounded, weak, a fucking faggot, and then some. The post started out funny but when I got to Q-Tip’s lyric “You can call me homophobic but I know it and you know it/ you’re filthy and funny to the utmost,” I decided I may be funny, but he isn’t, nor is he worth celebrating.

Odd that such a hateful bigot should appear on a record by Deee-Lite, a trio of gay and gay-friendly performers. Q-Tip appears on a lot of good records.

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. Today’s playlist doesn’t celebrate the loathsome Q-Tip, but rather twenty great club tracks, a few of which feature Q-Tip. I’ll fill you in on my dating app experiences later.


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It’s Moby’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

On September 11 I was living in New York City, two miles from where the Twin Towers stood. I remember voting that morning, as it was Primary Election Day. I remember walking to work. I remember my boss coming in to my office to tell me the towers are falling and I should go home. I remember how crowded yet quiet the sidewalks were. I remember spending the rest of the day sitting on my bed crying. I remember thinking about dinner. I don’t know how to cook. I usually ordered in or went out. I regained some composure around 8 PM. I opened my apartment door to find the hallway full of smoke. A neighbor down the hall saw me and yelled “The building’s on fire. The fire department is here.” I went back inside. The only food I kept in my apartment was a can of soup for emergency colds. That night for dinner I had a can of soup.

I remember a lot more details about that day and the days that followed. I still cry when I think about them.

On September 12 I had dinner with my friend Jesse. As the police would not allow anyone below 14th Street who didn’t live in that area, as Jesse did, he came to my place on 16th Street. We figured we’d see if any restaurants in Chelsea were open.

Not only were almost all restaurants along Eighth Avenue open, they were packed. Music was playing. People were laughing. That may sound strange to people not there, but amidst all the horrendousness, amidst the postings of missing people that started to cover all available wall space, amidst the stench that worked its way uptown and permeated our neighborhood, people were celebrating life and friendship.

I’ll never forget what my city was like on September 11. I’ll never forget that night of September 12 either. Life is fleeting. Take advantage of being alive. Celebrate.

Every Friday Tunes du Jour celebrates life with a dance playlist. We kick off this week’s party with Moby, who turns 50 years old today.


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The Problem With Music Streaming Exclusives | It’s Florence Welch’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Dr. Dre recently released a new album, Compton. If you want to stream it, the only place to do so is on Apple iTunes’ new streaming service, Apple Music.

Prince announced that his new album would be available for streaming exclusively on Tidal.

Both Apple Music and Tidal charge monthly subscription fees. Unlike paying a monthly subscription fee to HBO and Showtime, thereby giving you access to exclusive content on each network, the majority of material on Tidal is also on Apple Music. If you pay for Apple’s service, is it worth paying an additional amount to Tidal just to hear Prince and see a few behind the scenes videoclips?

The situation reminds me of what happened in the late 1990s. Record companies stopped releasing commercial singles, so if a consumer wished to own, say, “Tubthumping,” that consumer had to purchase a Chumbawamba CD for $18.98. “Tubthumping” is a great song, but is it $18.98 great? Yes, you get other songs on the album, but be honest – it’s all about “Tubthumping.”

It turns out an alternative appeared – illegal downloading. Consumers rebelled against being forced to pay $18.98 to get that one song they wanted, so they found a copy of it on the Internet for free. And while browsing the store known as the World Wide Web, they found some other selections that they felt were well worth the price of nothing.

Many folks want to hear the new Dr. Dre album. Many folks will want to hear the new Prince album. Many of those folks don’t want to pay for both or either streaming service. Many will download the albums for free from places not owned by Apple of Tidal. The services likely paid Dre and Prince and their record labels a pretty penny for the exclusivity. That’s the only way I can see anyone winning in this scenario, though will those labels win in the long run?

I subscribe to neither Apple Music nor Tidal. I have access to Amazon’s streaming service via my Amazon Prime subscription, but I can’t recommend that streaming service, as their music library is paltry. I use Spotify’s free tier. Its library is a good size and it is convenient. Because it is the most popular streaming service and available to everyone at no fee, I use it for this blog’s playlists.

Spotify isn’t perfect, however. Far from it. Many songs are misidentified and there are far too many cheesy re-recordings of songs in place of the original hit versions. Many of the tracks I’d love to include on our Friday dance playlists – Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood,” Club Nouveau’s “Lean on Me,” David Naughton’s “Makin’ It,” Junior’s “Mama Used to Say,” – are not available, save for crappy-sounding covers by the original acts.

Therefore, our weekly dance party doesn’t include any of those (or anything by Prince, who removed his music from Spotify to make his catalogue exclusive to Tidal). However, it does include twenty tunes to get you jumping, kicking off this week with Florence + the Machine, whose Florence Welch turns 29 today.


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The Song Retains The Name

Winston + Bobby Brown
Today is Bobby Brown’s 46th birthday. A former member of New Edition, Brown had his first solo hit in 1988 with “Don’t Be Cruel,” which reached #8 on the Hot 100. Though it shares its title with an Elvis Presley #1 hit from 1956, Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” is not a remake.

That brings us to today’s playlist, which I call The Song Retains the Name. It consists of different songs with the same title. I initially planned to include twenty such songs, but more kept springing to mind. Before I knew it, I passed 100 entries. There are plenty more, so I decided to open this up to my reader(s). If you have songs that share titles you’d like to add, feel free to do so.

(NOTES: I included The Jacksons’ “This Place Hotel” because when it was released in 1980 its title was “Heartbreak Hotel.” Thought he didn’t have to, Michael Jackson, the song’s writer, later changed its name to “This Place Hotel” to avoid confusion with the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel.” Whitney Houston didn’t feel the need to make the same Hotel accommodation.

Also, though it is listed on Spotify as “The Best of My Love,” the Eagles track does not have a “The” on the 45 or the band’s On the Border album.)

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It’s Björk’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

“I think everyone’s bisexual to some degree or another; it’s just a question of whether or not you choose to recognize it and embrace it. Personally, I think choosing between men and women is like choosing between cake and ice cream. You’d be daft not to try both when there are so many different flavors.”
– Björk, Diva Magazine, October 2004

I love cake, but I prefer ice cream. I’m not into vanilla – it’s too…vanilla. I’ll eat it if there are no other options, but I prefer chocolate. I could eat a big dish of chocolate ice cream every night and never tire of it.

However, my favorite flavor is chocolate chip mint. Everything is better with a hint of mint. Chocolate and mint together? If one has that at home there is no reason to ever leave the house.

Dulce de leche is next on my list. Mmm mmm. That sweet caramel makes my tongue so damn happy! Throw a little hot fudge and whipped cream on top and it’s the perfect late night snack to enjoy before dozing off to sleep.

While I prefer ice cream, I enjoy going to a good bakery to check out the cakes. As with ice cream, I love the chocolate cakes. (“Chocolate Cake,” by the way, is the title of an underrated song by Crowded House.)

I like many cakes, but I don’t care for fruity ones. I’m not referring to fruitcake. I have no idea what a fruitcake is; it’s something I’ve heard used as a punchline on Christmas specials, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered one in real life. I’m referring to cakes that have jelly in them, or strawberries or anything else that may be construed as healthy. It’s a friggin’ cake! Don’t be getting your healthy fruits mixed up in my cake. A banana is welcome, but that’s it. Chocolate and banana is a combination I love. Add a hint of mint and I’m all set.

Ringo + Björk
Today Björk turns 49 years old. Celebrate with some cake and ice cream. Our weekly dance party kicks off with her first post-Sugarcubes single, “Human Behaviour.”

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The #52 Album Of All-Time

Winston + Moby 2014-09-11 10.12

Ten facts about Moby and his album Play:

  • Moby was born Richard Melville Hall. Said Moby “Supposedly Herman Melville was my great-great-great-granduncle.” He took his stage name from Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick.
  • Play spent five weeks at #1 on the UK album chart; however, it only peaked at #38 on the US album chart, despite selling over two million units domestically.
  • Play has sold over 12 million units worldwide to date. Prior to this, Moby’s biggest-selling album was Everything Is Wrong, which scanned 250,000 units. Moby’s manager hoped Play would equal that album’s sales success.
  • LA Weekly was not a fan of this album upon it release. The paper’s critic wrote “There’s a song on this album which asks ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?,’ and the reason is because I’m listening to this album.” Ouch. However, in the Village Voice’s annual survey of nearly 500 music critics, Play was named the year’s best album.
  • Every track on Play was licensed for use in films, television or advertisements.
  • Nine commercial singles were released from Play. The eighth, “South Side,” was the only one to make the US pop top 40, albeit in a new version with additional vocals performed by Gwen Stefani.
  • Moby wrote “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” in 1992. It started out as a techno song. Moby tried it again at a much slower tempo, which morphed into the version that appears on Play.
  • A music journalist friend of Moby received an Alan Lomax box set consisting of field recordings made by the ethnomusicologist and archivist. The friend didn’t want the collection, so he gave it to Moby. Samples from three of its songs were used by Moby on the Play tracks “Honey,” “Find My Baby” and “Natural Blues.”
  • Presently I rank Play at #52 on my All-Time Albums list.
  • In 2002, Moby wrote on his web-site: “Strange fact: best friend in 1973 was Robert Downey Jr…. haven’t seen him since.”

Today Moby turns 49 years old. Here are ten of his finest, with a focus on Play.

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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

Gwen Stefani, the lead singer and lyricist of the band No Doubt, wanted to do a dance-oriented solo album, but when the band finished its Rock Steady tour in November 2002, all she wanted to do was sleep. “I wanted to take a break and was really burned out, but the record company were ready to go.” Her label, Interscope, wanted her to work on her solo album with singer-songwriter Linda Perry, who was available for only five days.

Without the time to recharge, Stefani’s anxieties about doing the record rose to the surface and she spent a lot of time crying in bed. She’d been with the guys in No Doubt for seventeen years at that point; could she do a record without them?

On their second day in the studio together, Perry presented Stefani with the music of a song she stayed up the previous night to write. Stefani was to come up with lyrics, and she took the speed with which Perry came up with the song as a dare, as if to ask her “What are you waiting for?”

That was the inspiration Stefani needed. She wrote the lyrics to “What You Waiting For?,” addressing her fears about doing the record, her lack of inspiration, and the pressure the felt her label was putting on her. The song opens with Stefani referencing her bandmates and their years together – “What an amazing time / What a family/ How did the years go by?/ Now it’s only me.” Then the repeated background vocals of “tick tock” suggest the clock is ticking and she needs to get to work on this solo venture. Her nervous side sings “I’m worried if I go it alone,” to which her confident persona responds “You never know, it could be great” and “Take a chance, you might grow.”

“What You Waiting For?” was the first single released from Stefani’s first solo venture, Love, Angel, Music, Baby. The album sold seven million copies worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Hit singles from the album were “Hollaback Girl,” “Rich Girl,” “Cool” and “Luxurious.”

Of the experience making the record, Stefani said “I think it’s very important to put yourself in a situation that’s uncomfortable to be able to grow.”

Is there something you wish to do but have not yet started to tackle? What you waiting for?
doggies + Gwen 2014-07-18 11.34

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. We kick off this week’s party with Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For?”

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