Summer Fridays 2.5


It's a big holiday weekend, I'm already late enough so I'll spare you the liner notes you probably don't read anyway. Those are zeppoles, by the way, from the Giglio Festival in Williamsburg (which is where I live) which starts July 8. Zeppoles are the best fried bread, better than elephant ears or funnel cakes. And few things mean summer in Brooklyn more than them. Hopefully you'll find this week's mix almost as tasty. A shout-out to Toby at The Finest Kiss, whose new Basementcast is where I heard the Rose Elinor Dougall track. Enjoy the weekend.


Roxy Music – Pyjamarama
McLusky – She Will Only Bring You Happiness
The Mo-Dettes – Fandango
The Monochrome Set – Martians Go Home
Rose Elinor Dougall – Start/Stop/Synchro
Ultramarine feat. Robert Wyatt – Kingdom
Joe Crow – Compulsion
Pete Shelley – Homosapien
The Clean – Anything Could Happen
Ganglians – Lost Words
The Divine Comedy – The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count
The Bird and the Bee – Diamond Dave
Colin Blunstone – She Loves the Way They Love Her
Don Gibson – Sea of Heartbreak
Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi
Pink Floyd – See Emily Play
Pulp – Mile End
Miracle Legion – The Backyard

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to… sing!


By now you’ve probably heard that Jack White and Alicia Keys are doing the theme song for the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. Disappointingly, the song is called “Another Way to Die” — presumably because it would be really hard to work the film’s title into the chorus. (How about “your love is lawless / the Quantum of Solace”? That totally works.) Which is probably also why the theme to Octopussy was titled “All Time High.” (Again, they could’ve sung “James is no wussy / he loves Octopussy”) Also, since the movie title this time doesn’t feature a generic combination of “live,” “die” or “kill” they sort of had to put it in the theme song. And I bet Sony execs with “Another Way to Die” was the name of the movie. But not me, I’ve grown to like Quantum of Solace. It’s better than GoldenEye.

I think having Jack White behind the controls of this first-ever Bond duet is a potentially great thing. The closest we’ve had to a good Bond theme in the last 20 years is Garbage’s “The World is Not Enough,” though it cribs so liberally from John Barry’s ouvre it sounds more like a cover to me. David Arnold has scored the last four films and he gets the Barry-but-updated vibe mostly right (though sometimes it drifts a little to far to hair salon music for my taste) but he’s not much of a songwriter. Hopefully Jack White has written a song worthy of 007 and produced it in a way that will still sound like a classic 40 years from now, the way my favorite Bond theme, “You Only Live Twice,” does. Nancy Sinatra sang the original (sampled by Robbie Williams on his 1999 hit “Millenium”), but here’s a cover by onetime Chameleons frontman Mark Burgess:

MP3: Mark Burgess – You Only Live Twice

I think that was from some aborted Imaginary Records tribute album. (The label put out a zillion of them in the late ’80s/early ’90s). Bjork also covered “You Only Live Twice” for 1997’s Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, which was a bunch of covers all produced by the man who would end up landing the job as 007’s music man a year later. It ended up being pulled from the album at the request of Bjork herself, and she later explained why: “I learned the hard way that you should never cover your favorite tunes because they are good already. Cover bad tunes and make them good.” I agree with her argument but it’s a pretty gorgeous rendition:

MP3: Bjork – You Only Live Twice

It’s removal was probably for the best, as most of Shaken and Stirred hasn’t particularly aged well, reeking of mid-’90s UK electronica (Leftfield, Big Beat stars Propellerheads who you may remember scored a hit with Bond’s golden girl, Shirley Bassey), though he did cast well with some appropriately melodramatic singers: ABC’s Martin Fry, then-hot-stuff David McAlmont, and Pulp who covered Octopussy’s “All Time High” as only they could do:

MP3: Pulp – All Time High

And one original for you, the unused original Thunderball theme song, and a great one, “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as sung by Dione Warwick.

MP3: Dione Warwick – Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Way better than Tom Jones’ hamfisted “Thunderball” they ended up using. “He strikes like Thunderball”? Really?