A GUEST POSTING by JEZ
This time last week, I offered up a sixty-minute mixtape comprising seventeen songs with the word ‘love’ in the title. In doing so, I said that I was going to make a fresh one at the start of each month during 2022, but would willingly make space for a guest posting if anyone out there wanted to have a go.
To my absolute delight, the mighty Jez from A History of Dubious Taste was very quick off the mark. Here he is…..
Hello. My name is Jez and I am addicted to making playlists.
It has been three days since I put together my last playlist.
I’ve done mixes – compilation tapes, CD-mixes, playlists – for years now, always managing to find spaces where they could be heard: when I was younger, there were compilation tapes in the 6th Form common room, or in the motorway ‘restaurant’ I worked in during the holidays at 6th Form and at college (and for a year after I graduated). I would craft a new tape every other evening to take in the following day with which to wow my friends and work colleagues. Like snowflakes (the old usage of the term), no two were ever the same.
Becoming a DJ at college was almost inevitable and my plans for world domination moved on at pace: I started off by taking over the fortnightly Indie Night, before also becoming the regular DJ at the retro-80s night (which, incredibly, started in 1990), occasionally hosting the retro-60s & 70s night, playing between and after the bands on live music night, and eventually even the coveted Saturday night “Chartbuster” gig. (The fact that I was the Social Secretary and decided who got paid to DJ which nights was *coughs* entirely coincidental.)
After I graduated, I worked in a video shop for a few years, which only had a cassette player to play music through, so the compilation tapes kept coming. But as technology progressed I willingly followed, creating CD-mixes and then iPod playlists to soundtrack many a Friday night in with my flatmates, when we were too skint to go out, but between us could afford the ingredients to make several pints of White Russians until one of us inevitably fell asleep in the bathroom. This was the birth of the Friday Night Music Club which I’ve recently resurrected over at my place, A History of Dubious Taste (a link for which you can find over in the sidebar should you care to investigate further).
And of course, there was the far-more-frequent-than-I-care-to-admit compilation tape or CD-mix lovingly prepared for a young lady I was trying to impress. If you’ve ever read Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, (and if you’re reading this, then I would be extremely surprised if you haven’t) then you’ll know, if you didn’t already, that there are rules one has to observe when making such a thing.
For example (and I’m paraphrasing here):
• Thou shalt not include the same artiste more than once in the same mix; and
• Thou shalt bury a particular song which you want the recipient to hear somewhere towards the end of the mix (but not within the last three songs, and definitely not the final track) – mid-way through the second “side” of a C-90 compilation tape should be about right.
As you’ve probably guessed, it’s my love of putting together playlists which brings me here today. For last week, whilst laid up with a touch of the Covids and trying to decide what could feature in this week’s mix at my place (which is now last week’s mix, do try to keep up), the latest missive from our host dropped. It included a playlist, which, as one would expect from such an eminent source, was rather fine, featuring a load of songs with the word love in the title.
And there, at the end of the post, JC had written these words: if anyone out there wants to have a go, I’ll willingly make space for a guest posting.
Now, one of the things I love about doing a mix is trying to make a theme of it, but drunken flatmates would inevitably roll their eyes when I started to grill them as to what the theme might be each week, so I try to shy away from them these days (themes, that is: I got rid of all the flatmates years ago).
But here was an invitation to create just such a thing, so I knocked this mix together and sent it to JC.
As with most of my mixes, it’s predominantly Indie Disco but with a fair smattering of pop tunes chucked in for good measure:
(Love is…also not caring that neither of you appear to have genitals…unless it’s just cold there….)
mp3: Various – “Love Is…”
• Squeeze – Labelled With Love
• Sandie Shaw – Long Live Love
• Erasure – Victim Of Love
• Sub Sub feat. Melanie Williams – Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)
• Little Boots – Love Kills (Buffetlibre vs Sidechains remix)
• Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX – I Love It
• The White Stripes – Fell in Love with a Girl
• Frank Wilson – Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
• Kim Wilde – Chequered Love
• Echo & The Bunnymen – The Back Of Love
• Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Love Burns
• The Smiths – Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
• The Bluetones – Autophilia Or ‘How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Car’
• The Wedding Present – Give My Love to Kevin (acoustic)
• Half Man Half Biscuit – I Love You Because (You Look Like Jim Reeves)
• The Beautiful South – Love Is…
My usual Friday Night Music Club disclaimer applies: any skips and jumps in the mix are down to the mixing software I use; any mistimed mixes are down to me; all record choices are mine.
It turns out that I had rather misunderstood the request, and JC wasn’t asking for playlists on the same theme as he had created.
Still it’s done now, so you may as well give it a whirl.
At the very least, if you’re not familiar with my place it gives you an idea of the sort of stuff I usually post (along with sentences which are far too long and have waaaay too many brackets and semi-colons in them): stuff you’ll know; stuff you might not; stuff you’ve forgotten and are pleased to be reminded of; some you wish had stayed forgotten – all posted under the Where There’s No Such Thing as a Guilty Pleasure banner, which gives me carte blanche to post anything I fancy.
Feel free to drop by sometime.
Oh, and: more soon
A few things worth mentioning.
Jez has incorporated at least four songs I had on my shortlist when pulling together the previous mixtape, and it’s great to hear them surrounded by others I wouldn’t have thought of.
Jez has also plucked out some songs I know nothing or very little about – Little Boots and Icona Pop/Charli XCX are certainly making their debuts on TVV – and I can’t ever recall hearing that Kim Wilde number before.
Jez has also included The Smiths. This will be the first time since December 2017, when ICA 150 was put together, that a Smiths number which isn’t an instrumental has been featured on these pages. I’m still not quite ready to make time to knowingly listen to The Smiths, and by that I mean pulling out a single or album and placing it on the turntable, but I won’t go out of my way to fast-forward a mixtape or hurriedly switch to another radio station if a song comes on. It was really lovely to hear ‘Last Night….’ once again. Maybe it’s the beginning of me being softened up…I certainly had to resist the strong urge, after coming home the other Sunday from an open mic event, to not play Rusholme Ruffians, having enjoyed listening to an old punk from Ayrshire offer his take on His Latest Flame. Who knows? If I do end up digging out some Smiths songs to listen to, I’ll be sure to write about it.
All of which is a bit of a side issue. I really hope you enjoy Jez’s contribution – there’s a few cracking pop songs in there that are most unusual for TVV, but that’s exactly why I really value guest contributions. It would be a bit monotonous if it was just my own musical preferences on display every day.
So… who’s next for a mixtape? I’m sure there’s a bit of Jez in all of us……..