Crystal Castles - “Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith)” (2010)
Whoo, gurl…still recovering from a big night out at the goth club. Some sick NIN remixes but no Crystal Castles, so I’ll be blasting this all day. I love these ‘full circle’ moments in music. Crystal Castles (always growing on me more and more), at the forefront of a new goth moment in love, calling on fairy godfather Robert Smith to do vocals for a cover of Platinum Blonde, a band that rode the success of the Cure’s new wave look and sound. Swish.
If the album cover alone doesn’t slay you, prepare yourself for the tunes.
Scottish new wave/post-punk band The Associates are a largely underrated gem. The duo, fronted by outrageously gifted vocalist Billy MacKenzie, were active between 1979 and 1990. This is a cover of the number 1 song in America the week of my birth, “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross (or so I’m told).
I only discovered this cover tonight, sorting through LPs I’d purchased but had not given a listen. I’ve had a copy of The Associates’ debut, The Affectionate Punch (1979), for sometime, and “Tell Me Easter is on Friday” from their second record Fourth Drawer Down (1981) has been a fixture on many a mix CD I’ve made over the last two years. How I’ve overlooked Sulk to just this evening is a mystery. Suffice to say, it is a completely brilliant release, definitely their most danceable, party-ready album in all its theatrical glory.
Mackenzie also worked with Yello, Shirley Bassett, British Electric Foundation, and Paul Haig of fellow Scottish act Josef K. Alan Rankine, the other half of the Associates, works currently as a record producer. Robert Smith of the Cure, Martha Ladley from Martha and the Muffins, as well as members of SPK and the Mekons have contributed to Associates records or performances.
Billy Mackenzie’s suicide in 1997 has been eulogized in song famously by The Cure (“Cut Here”), Siouxsie Sioux (“Say”, as the Creatures), and Morrissey (“William, It Was Really Nothing”). In June of this year, a play entitled Balgay Hill was performed at the Dundee Rep Theatre in Mackenzie’s hometown celebrating his life and career.
Here is more Associates—a performance of “Club Country” on Top of the Pops. SO SO SICK!
**cross post from SECOND WAVE, another blog I maintain.
Specifically, there are some amazing disco tracks with lots of dub flava i.e. LASER SOUNDS!
These are prominent in (T.W.) Funk Master’s “Love Money”, a gem of disco-dub that I needn’t post because it’s already here on a UK blog. Check it out!!!!
Note the laserFX kinship between the Blood Sisters version of “Ring My Bell” and Anita Ward hit version. Maybe not such a connection between MJ’s original and this remarkable cover of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”
This is Lola’s cover of Arthur Russell’s “Wax the Van” produced by her then-husband Bob Blank. With amazing gems like this and “Go Bang!” I would drown a kitten for a secret in-the-vault album of Arthur/Lola.
Also check out Junior Vasquez’s truly “Awesome Edit” below as well as a weird but fairly decent fan-made video response to the original version by the late-great Arthur Russell.
Lola - Wax the Van (Junior’s Awesome Edit)
Arthur Rusell - Wax The Van
….and just for funzies…. Check out the Bronx post-punk princesses ESG in this 80’s movie starring Nicholas Cage! WTF!
ESG perform Moody in A Vampire’s Kiss (Clip, 1989)