Released on the seminal Trax Records in 1986, Marshall Jefferson’s pivotal “Move Your Body” single was a smash success and helped put Chicago’s dance music scene, already thriving locally for years, on the map. “Move Your Body” may also be responsible for popularizing the term “House Music”. Although the tag was in use within the scene, Jefferson’s song made the term available for any one who did not personally attend a set by Frankie Knuckles, Chip E, or Larry Heard. Anybody who has had even passing exposure to house in techno will recognize the tune (it’s been sampled and referenced myriad times), but few have heard it in all of its rapturous glory. Here’s your chance.
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On Thursday of last week I received one of those emails that usually cause me to wince. A colleague had sent me a link to a YouTube video that he wanted me to watch. I was all set to hate it because it was going to be political, or about 2012, or have some kitten frolicking in a cardboard box. But, since I knew he would ask me about it later I clicked on the link. Apparently I did the same thing as almost three quarter of a million people have since.
I will freely confess that initially I thought my associate had sent me the wrong link. The video, made by a fan of the indie music group Bad Lamps, had a bunch of close up shots of what seemed to be TV or movie actresses that looked like they were pulled from some VHS tape circa 1987. I didn’t understand what the big deal was until I started reading the comments. Those hadn’t been actresses I was watching. They were adult film stars.
Here’s a playlist of tunes to keep the idea that hope springs eternal into the transition of summer. Every week in May seemed to bring another solid release into the music stream and new tunes were ripe for the picking. Enjoy!
1. Toro y Moi/Still Sound
Chazwick Bundick is the mastermind of Toro y Moi (which loosely translates to “Bull and Me”), creating electronic pop that became an integral part of the chillwave movement. (He is a good buddy of like-minded artist Ernest Greene of Washed Out from days at the University of South Carolina). This bouncy tune “Still Sound,” is off his second release, Underneath the Pine.
The Wild Swans are one of those bands whose legend is several times bigger than its discography.
In 1982 the Liverpudlian band, led by singer Paul Simpson, released “Revolutionary Spirit”, which has been called one of the best British indie singles ever. The lineup fragmented, and the band didn’t reappear until they released the wide-eyed cult favorite Bringing Home the Ashes in 1988.
Again, there were lineup changes, with Simpson teaming up with the Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie for the psychedelic pop of Space Flower in 1990.
What a year it’s been for Fitz and the Tantrums. Since the PopMatters interview last Memorial Day weekend in the basement of a small venue in New York City, the band has toured non-stop with a full schedule ahead—now they’re on the bill at Sasquatch. Their music has found placements on television and they were called upon to remake “Arthur’s Theme Song” (maybe the movie didn’t do so well, but still!) VH-1 also honored the band as an “Artist on the Rise” in the “You Oughta Know” series in April, and as of this week’s Top Twenty Countdown, “Money Grabber” is at number 14. Whether this song was on your playlist last summer or not, it’s a fun rock-out tune to kick off the season.