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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (5-13-20)

Inspired by the May 13 birthdays of Stevie Wonder, Alison Goldfrapp, Mary Wells, Ritchie Valens and Bea Arthur.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0H7OM76oeLbENs2YEdlI8L

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It’s Danger Mouse’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

About Bill Cosby, rapper A$AP Rocky recently said, “He did so much positive things leading up to one thing, which he was convicted of being innocent for, by the way.” First off, it’s so many positive things, not so much. Secondly, it’s for which he was convicted of being innocent. Thirdly, one gets convicted of being innocent? No wonder our nation’s jails are overcrowded. Go on, $AP. “All you remember is the 56 woman and all that kind of shit.” Yes, all that kind of serial rapist shit. Nobody remembers he introduced the world to Fat Albert and Raven Symone. Just rape rape rape and more rape. Oh, sorry. I interrupted this genius again. Back to you A$$. “I’m not his lawyer, but I do know he’s innocent.” And even if he is guilty, “All we know is that he was accused, he allegedly raped however many woman he raped, which, you got, it’s so much issues in the world, you know I’m saying?” I know what you’re saying! There are so many issues in the world, so why spend any time on one of the issues in the world, that being the issue of crime?

I expected better from the guy who rapped “I be fuckin’ broads like I be fuckin’ bored / Turn a dyke bitch out have her fuckin’ boys, beast” and “I swear that bitch Rita Ora got a big mouth/ Next time I see her might curse the bitch out/ Kicked the bitch out once cause she bitched out/ Spit my kids out, jizzed up all in her mouth and made the bitch bounce.” It turns out he’s not as intelligent, articulate and thoughtful as those lyrics make him out to be.

The only time I ever bought the “clean” version over the “explicit” version of a song is when I got A$AP Rocky’s “F**kin’ Problems,” from which the dyke bitch lyric is taken. The beat is great, but the lyrics are so over-the-top misogynist, and that’s saying a lot for a genre in which far too many lyrics are extremely misogynist.

Rocky is a talented guy, albeit one with a vile attitude toward women. Usually I can separate the person from the art. I love the movie Chinatown, even though its director, Roman Polanski, pled guilty to statutory rape. I love the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” even though the producer of those records, Phil Spector, is presently serving time for second degree murder. I love Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” even though he’s Robin Thicke. I don’t know what I’ll do if Chris Brown ever releases a halfway decent song. Good things the odds of that ever happening are mighty slim.

I’m not defending these artists. Being a monster and being talented are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes I can listen to or watch the art and not think about the crimes allegedly committed. Is that wrong? If it is, that’s my f**kin’ problem.

CeeLo Green gave us the great “Fuck You” in 2010. In 2012, Green was accused by a woman of drugging and sexually assaulting her. CeeLo’s attorney said the sex was consensual, with the singer tweeting “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH Implies consent. People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!” Fuck you.

I still listen to Green’s “Fuck You,” but I don’t set out to listen to his newer music. In part it’s because of his attitude. Even if he didn’t drug and or rape this woman, I read his tweets about rape and think “Does that make him crazy? Probably.” To be honest, I also don’t listen to his newer music because it sucks. Everything the man has done since “Fuck You” is pretty bad. Did you hear his song “Robin Williams” from last year? It’s shit. I’m not saying I’m glad he died, but the actor is lucky he never had to hear it.

So I’ll listen to “Fuck You” and I’ll listen to “Crazy,” the worldwide smash he had as one-half of Gnarls Barkley. The other half of the duo, Brian Burton, professionally known as Danger Mouse,” celebrates his 39th birthday today. Tunes du Jour kicks off its weekly dance party with Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Will I be celebrating when CeeLo’s birthday comes around? Maybe by singing “Fuck You.”


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Throwback Thursday – 1997

Randy Badazz Alpert received many requests to license “Rise,” a song he co-wrote that became a #1 hit for his uncle Herb in 1979, as a sample in hip hop tracks. He said no to Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice, Eazy-E, and the others who requested permission. However, when he received a cassette from the producer then known as Puff Daddy of a new song utilizing the sample, he consented. He loved the new tune and felt it could make his song go to #1 again.

He was right. The new recording was “Hypnotize” and it was performed by the Notorious B.I.G. “Hypnotize” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1997, less than two months after the rapper was killed in Los Angeles.

This week’s Throwback Thursday playlist spotlights the best of 1997, kicking off with The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize,” which uses a sample from a songwriter whose middle name really is Badazz.


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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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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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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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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

Our weekly dance party kicks off with the Beatmasters’ remix of Moby’s “Everytime You Touch Me,” a track that appears in its original form on Moby’s third studio album, Everything Is Wrong. Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A-; The New Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it 4 stars.

Get your groove on. I’ll be back Sunday with part one of my top tracks of 2013 list.

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Ten Facts About Björk

1. Her last name is Guðmundsdóttir.
2. Her first album, entitled Björk, was released in December 1977 when she was twelve years old.
3. Before forming The Sugarcubes, Björk was in the bands Spit and Snot and Tappi Tikarrass. The latter is Icelandic for “Cork the bitch’s ass.”
4. When they formed The Sugarcubes, Björk was married to the band’s guitarist. They divorced and he married a woman who became the band’s keyboard player.
5. The Sugarcubes’ biggest US hit is entitled “Hit.” It spent five weeks at number one on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart.
6. Her single “Earth Intruders” reached #84 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart. It is Björk’s highest-placing single to date on that chart.
7. She wrote “Bedtime Story” for Madonna. The 1995 single was Madonna’s first to miss the US top 40 since before her breakout hit “Holiday” twelve years earlier.
8. Her performance in the motion picture Dancer in the Dark won her the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
9. Her album Medúlla is mostly a capella. One song has a piano, one a bass synthesizer, and another a gong. The remainder of the sounds is created by human vocals.
10. Today is her birthday. I don’t know if she’s smoking cigars.

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