Sunday, May 31, 2015

Perl blog post #39

This week I finally solved a Perl problem that had been kicking my ass for quite a while now.  So I decided to write a post about it on my Other Blog.  If you’re not one of my more techie readers, you may want to take a pass.  But, if you are, go check it out.  It’ll be fun.  Promise.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Moonside by Riverlight I

"Far Beyond the Stars"

[This is one post in a series about my music mixes.  The series list has links to all posts in the series and also definitions of many of the terms I use.  You may wish to read the introduction for more background.

Like all my series, it is not necessarily contiguous—that is, I don’t guarantee that the next post in the series will be next week.  Just that I will eventually finish it, someday.  Unless I get hit by a bus.]

Retro-swing is all about recreating the big-band sound, but that means more than just swing.  Swing songs are the fast songs, the upbeat ones, the ones that make you want to move your body.  But of course any band has to have at least a few slow songs, and many have more slow than fast.  The big bands were no different, and the retro-swing bands follow suit.  This slower music, typically performed by the same bands doing the more upbeat swing, is itself sometimes lumped in with swing.  But in my view it’s more correctly referred to as lounge.

Frank Sinatra is of course the godfather of lounge, but his compatriots Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as other greats such as Tony Bennett and Burt Bacharach are equally famous for this style.  The “lounge” of the name is undoubtedly referring to a lounge in Vegas, where most of these fellows became famous.  In contrast to proper swing music, lounge is smooth, usually with a slower tempo, inspiring one to slow-dance rather than jitterbug.  The vocals are crooned, and while the instrumentation is still brass heavy, it’s more likely to be one lonely saxophone than an insistent horn section.  Even when the tempo is faster, it’s more likely to make you want to snap your fingers and bob your head in your seat than to get up and dance.  It’s the type of music you might expect to hear while sitting in an outdoor café, with a huge full moon in the background, the sound of the river closeby, the house band playing, the singer singing directly to you and your date ...

Several of the same bands we’ve grown familiar with from the various volumes of Salsatic Vibrato can be found here as well.  In fact, it was Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ excellent “Come Back to Me” that inspired this mix in the first place, and it kicks off the festivities here on volume I.  It’s a fairly upbeat tune for lounge, but it still has that smooth, romantic quality that defines the genre.  The Brian Setzer Orchestra is back as well, with two more cuts off The Dirty Boogie—including an excellent duet with Gwen Stefani (“You’re the Boss”), and a rich, smooth ballad that really epitomizes the sound (“Hollywood Nocturne”)—as is Lee Press-On and the Nails with another excellent track off El Bando en Fuego!.  Koop and the Honeydrippers are actually even better suited to this mix than Salsatic Vibrato, and both contribute two tracks here.  For Koop the standout is another Yukimi Nagano track (“Come to Me”), which is probably the least electro- this electro-swing band has ever done.  For the Honeydrippers it’s their hit “Sea of Love,” which is of course a song from way back in 1959.  We also have what is likely Pink Martini’s best song ever (“Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love”); they too are a band whose ouevre falls more into lounge than swing.  And, finally for the Salsatic Vibrato crew, we return to the soundtrack for Swing, for the rare track not sung by Lisa Stansfield, Georgie Fame’s playful “I Thought That’s What You Liked About Me.”

The most prevalent newcomer is, indirectly, Bobby Darin.  Now, remembering that my father is an avid collector of early rock-n-roll 45’s, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I always thought of Bobby Darin as “that guy who sang that silly song about taking a bath.”  That is, until I saw the fascinating biopic Beyond the Sea.  It turns out Darin had like 3 totally different careers: the first with straight pop/rock like “Splish Splash,” and the final one drifting more into country/folk.  But that middle one ... pure lounge, baby.  Kevin Spacey plays Darin, and Kevin Spacey can sing.  I picked up the soundtrack pretty quickly after seeing the movie, and I found that I enjoyed Spacey’s versions even more than Darin’s originals.  So we have 3 tracks off of that album here, all great, but the title track being the greatest.  There’s something about that song that really makes my blood sing.  It also provides our volume title this time out.

Of course, while most of the artists we associate with lounge are men, the truth is there are some great female vocalists in the genre as well.  Besides the Pink Martini track, and the aforementioned Koop track, I use the Brian Setzer/Gwen Stefani duet to springboard into a female-dominated section which takes us to the center of the mix.  And that stretch kicks off with Sarah Vaughan.

Now, I have to confess that I never even heard of Vaughan before accidentally stumbling across “Whatever Lola Wants” (and I can’t even remember how that happened).  I was blown away.  Now, often when I hear an older track like this, I immediately start hunting around for more modern versions, to see if anyone has done anything exciting with the tune that might strike my fancy more than the original.1  But the simple truth is that no one else can sing this song the way Vaughan can.  Her voice just oozes sexy, and it traipses up and down scales in a way that makes you shiver.  When she sings

I’m irresistable you fool

you fucking well believe it.  And the arrangement (by lesser-known bandleader Hugo Peretti) is strongly rhythmic, containing just a touch of the exotica sound that will be more featured on another mix.2  Like Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing,” Sarah Vaughan’s “Lola” isn’t the original version, but it’s the definitive one.

“Lola” blasts right into “Heartbroken” by Meaghan Smith.  The Mother heard Smith’s version of “Silver Bells” sometime around last Christmas and asked me to download it for her.  Since I’d never heard of her before, I decided to see what else she’d done, and discovered The Cricket’s Orchestra.  This album is a little bit lounge, a little bit pop, and a little bit country, which means that it has two songs on it that I have to skip every time I listen to it.  But the rest of the album is crazy good, and “Heartbroken” is probably the best.

Then we hit “Coax Me a Little Bit,” another fine Lee Press-On tune sung by Lee’s lovely wife.3  And we wrap up this stretch of songs devoted to crooners of the fairer sex with Devil Doll.  Another of my Pandora finds,4 Devil Doll is the ultimate purveyor of that style I keep threatening to make up a name for.5  Wikipedia calls DD’s music “rockabilly,” but it isn’t.  Nor is it neo-rockabilly, like the Stray Cats or Dave Edmunds, nor is it psychobilly like the Cramps or the Reverend Horton Heat.  Although that last is much closer: it’s fast, and vaguely punky, like psychobilly, but it’s not punky enough, plus it lacks the camp so often associated with true psychobilly acts.  And it has brass, which destroys the basic rockabilly simplicity of guitar + bass + drums.  All the other bands I’ve mentioned as examples of this style also do retro-swing, so of course it has brass, and the 50’s songs it harkens back to (without ever truly imitating) often had some brass in them as well, or at least a single saxophone.  While Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Eight to the Bar are about half-and-half between this and retro-swing, Imelda May is closer to 70/30, and Devil Doll is all the way, baby.  It’s a rich, diverse style6 that allows for some rollicking tunes, some dancy tunes, and the occasional slow ballad ... such as might fit on this mix.  “Bourbon in Your Eyes” is a smoky, sultry track that fits in perfectly here.

And, speaking of psychobilly and the Reverend Horton Heat, he has a track here as well: “In Your Wildest Dreams,” one of the rare serious moments from the good Reverend.  Not that serious is a requirement here: both the Jane’s Addiction track and the one from the Circle Jerks are examples of the respective bands just goofing around.  Although they’re fine tracks: “Thank You Boys” is a lovely bridge into our first Kevin Spacey/Bobby Darin tune, while “When the Shit Hits the Fan” provides one of many amusing moments in Repo Man (“I can’t believe I used to like these guys ...”).

Moonside by Riverlight I
    [Far Beyond the Stars]

        “Come Back to Me” by Cherry Poppin' Daddies, off Zoot Suit Riot [Compilation]
        “In Your Wildest Dreams” by Reverend Horton Heat, off Liquor in the Front
        “Let's Elope” by Koop, off Koop Islands
        “Let's Never Stop Falling In Love” by Pink Martini, off Hang on Little Tomato
        “Thank You Boys” by Jane's Addiction, off Nothing's Shocking
        “Hello Young Lovers” by Kevin Spacey, off Beyond the Sea [Soundtrack]
        “You're the Boss” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, off The Dirty Boogie
        “Whatever Lola Wants” by Sarah Vaughan [Single]
        “Heartbroken” by Meaghan Smith, off The Cricket's Orchestra
        “Coax Me a Little Bit” by Lee Press-On and the Nails, off El Bando en Fuego!
        “Bourbon in Your Eyes” by Devil Doll, off Queen of Pain
        “Young Boy Blues” by The Honeydrippers, off Volume One [EP]
        “Beyond the Sea” by Kevin Spacey, off Beyond the Sea [Soundtrack]
        “I Thought That's What You Liked about Me” by Georgie Fame, off Swing [Soundtrack]
        “Flake” by Jack Johnson, off Brushfire Fairytales
        “Wedding Vows in Vegas” by Was (Not Was), off What Up, Dog?
        “Sea of Love” by The Honeydrippers, off Volume One [EP]
        “Hollywood Nocturne” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, off The Dirty Boogie
        “Wicked Ways” by Blow Monkeys, off Animal Magic
        “Come to Me” by Koop, off Koop Islands
        “When the Shit Hits the Fan” by Circle Jerks, off Repo Man [Soundtrack]
        “That's All” by Kevin Spacey, off Beyond the Sea [Soundtrack]
Total:  22 tracks,  72:19

The other 3 tracks here are a mixed bag.  First we have Jack Johnson’s first hit, “Flake.”  Johnson can’t really be described as lounge, but there’s something polished and laid back about this tune that’s always put me in the same headspace as the true lounge songs.  Towards the end of the tracklist, a reminder that the 80’s weren’t composed entirely of new wave and synth-pop; occasionally there was a band that hit a mood I usually describe as “alternative smooth jazz.”  Most of those tunes will have to wait for another mix,7 but the Blow Monkeys often blew well past smooth jazz territory into lounge-land.  “Wicked Ways” wasn’t the hit off this album,8 but it’s a smooth track that slots in nicely here.  And, finally, a true gem of a song, Was (Not Was)‘s offbeat track “Wedding Vows in Vegas.”  WNW is one of those bands that’s very hard to pin down: much of their output was powerfully soul and R&B infused alternative tracks such as “Walk the Dinosaur” and “Spy in the House of Love,” but every once in a while they would just go off the map the map entirely and do something really out there.  This is a true lounge tune with a wry lyrical twist, sung by no less than Frank Sinatra Jr, giving this volume a real touch of authenticity and respect for its roots.

There’s another volume of Moonside by Riverlight in the works, but it’s not yet ready for primetime.  Instead, next time, I think we’ll see what happens when the music from a video game gets under your skin.


1 Although the Vaughan version in this case is not the original.  Much like the situation with “Sing, Sing, Sing” from Salsatic Vibrato III.

2 Which we shall come to in the fullness of time.

3 LPN vocals tend to be split about 50/50 between Lee and his wife Leslie Presley.

4 Along with Caro Emerald, Imelda May, and Eight to the Bar, as we discussed back on Salsatic Vibrato III.

5 Recall that I brought it up in both Salsatic Vibrato II and Salsatic Vibrato III, in connection with Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Imelda May, and Eight to the Bar.

6 In fact, I note that, of the five Devil Doll tracks that I’ve put on mixes not a single one shares a mix with any other.  That’s pretty unusual for an artist.

7 Which we shall come to in, you guessed it: the fullness of time.

8 That would be “Digging Your Scene,” which ... well, refer to previous footnote.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another working weekend

I started on a blog post this week, but I never got the chance to finish it.  I’ve been working on a particularly thorny problem for $work.  Well, it’s particularly annoying to test in any event.  I have to build two different machines simultaneously, but they have to coordinate with each other at various points as well.  An interesting problem, and most of it is solved, but it’s still giving me more trouble than I’d expected.  So I’ll have to finish the post later this week and throw it up for you next week.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get back and iron out the last lingering issues in this script of mine.  It’ll annoy me no end if I can’t figure it out before it’s time for bed.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Developing Biannual Traditon

Four years ago I wrote my first blog treatise about The Mother.

Two years ago I wrote about her again.

Apparently, every two years I feel compelled to write a meandering post on Mother’s Day noting how much I appreciate The Mother of my children.  So, I suppose it’s that time again.

Although that makes it sound like a chore.  The truth of the matter is that every two years is about how often I need to be reminded of how much I rely on The Mother and appreciate her.  Obviously without her I wouldn’t have my 3 adorable children.  Who, I was just recently pondering, are very similar to the Animaniacs: one talks a lot, one eats a lot, and the other is small and cute.  It’s somewhat disconcerting living with real-life Warner Brothers (and Warner Sister), but at least it’s always entertaining.  And I would have none of that without The Mother.

Every year around Mother’s Day, we ask The Mother what she wants to do—where she wants to go, what she wants to eat, if there’s anything we can buy for her, and so forth.  Her demands are always very modest, considering.  Here’s a person who does a fair amount of cooking and cleaning, not to mention all the bill-paying and child-educating.  She plans all the family trips, handles all the appointments for medical visits, home repair, and yard work, and does all the educational and financial planning.  In return she asks for very little—this year, at her request, we’re going to relax, maybe swim in the pool a little, and grill outside.  We might go out this afternoon and buy her some wind chimes.  Not terribly taxing for a once-a-year celebration of all she does.

When we first moved to California, she decided to become a stay-at-home mother.  This despite the fact that she had continuously held a job since she was 17 (which is longer than I have, honestly).  I was convinced she would hate it.  I told her she’d be bored, that she’d fight with the kids too much.  That they’d soon be sick of each other.  But I was wrong.

She deals with crap that I don’t want to, so that I don’t have to.  Which is a good thing, because I generally suck at dealing with things I don’t enjoy.  Happily, I enjoy my chosen profession, and I enjoy going to work every day, and even more happily I’m employed by a group of people who respect me and treat me well (including paying me well).  But paying bills and dealing with repairpeople and all that: I hate all that.  So I procrastinate doing it forever, and then I suck at it when I finally get around to doing it.  Except that I don’t, and I don’t, because I don’t do it at all, because she does.

Likewise, I really suck at planning things such as vacations or children’s birthday parties.  This is partially because I’m not very organized.  But also because of my laissez-faire attitude towards outings: I prefer spontaneity and just going with the flow.  Which is one of those things that sounds nice in theory but in reality means you’re just plain unprepared.  So The Mother takes care of those things for me.  I’d like to tell you it’s because she’s better at it, but that’s not it at all.  She’s just more determined to do a good job than I am.

Sometimes I think I’m not as impressed by everything she does as I ought to be.  As time goes on and stuff just happens without you having to really think about it, it becomes easy to take the agent of those accomplishments for granted.  But it’s not like the planning fairy stops by, or the chore gnomes come out at night.  These things take time, and effort, and patience.  None of which I have a large supply of.  Happily, I don’t have to worry about it.

So, for the most part, I get to concentrate on my work, and my hobbies (such as this blog), and, when it comes to my children, I get to have the fun times without much worry over the parts that are more like work.  That’s something that is worth celebrating, I think.  And, if some food and some swimming and maybe a set of wind chimes once a year is all it costs me, I’ll count myself lucky at twice the price.

To The Mother, I say: cheers.  And thank you.  For everything you do.  It’s more than I deserve.  And I just wanted you to know that I know that.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Salsatic Vibrato III

"South of Hell's Borders"

[This is one post in a series about my music mixes.  The series list has links to all posts in the series and also definitions of many of the terms I use.  You may wish to read the introduction for more background.  You may also want to check out the first volume in this multi-volume mix for more info on its theme.

Like all my series, it is not necessarily contiguous—that is, I don’t guarantee that the next post in the series will be next week.  Just that I will eventually finish it, someday.  Unless I get hit by a bus.]

And now we come to my favorite volume of Salsatic Vibrato, and in fact one my favorite volumes of all my mixes.  It’s just such a fantastic collection of tracks which are all pitch-perfect for this mix.  And we start it all off with “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

“Sing, Sing, Sing” has been called the “swing anthem,” and for good reason.  It has everything that epitomizes the genre, and it’s insanely popular.  It’s been in two of the four movies we talked about as being at least partially responsible for the popularity of retro-swing,1 and dozens of others.  There are countless versions of it, and pretty much every retro-swing band has at least one song that sounds just like it.  Its reputation is well-deserved.

Now, typically, I prefer retro-swing remakes over originals when it comes to classic swing tunes, so when I decided to include “Sing, Sing, Sing,” I listened to a lot of versions of it.  But the thing is, nothing beats the Benny Goodman version.  Now, it’s not the original version, despite the fact it’s the one most people think of as the original.  But the original is actually a Louis Prima song, with words.  Really stupid words, but words.  Prima, in fact, is a bit of a swing godfather: he did the original “Jump Jive an’ Wail” from Salsatic Vibrato I, and of course his famous song from The Jungle Book, which we’ll see next volume.  But while Louis Prima is amazing at writing swing songs, he’s not really that great at performing them, which is why Benny Goodman smoked him with his own song not a year and a half after Prima originally released it.  Goodman’s clarinet playing is part of the reason, for sure, but let’s not kid ourselves: it’s Gene Krupa’s fantastic work on the toms that makes the song.  Distinctive, electrifying, driving ... it gets under your skin and doesn’t let go.

For the rest of the set, there’s plenty of old friends come back for more.  Cherry Poppin’ Daddies with another great tune off Zoot Suit Riot,2 Lou Bega with another track off Little Bit of Mambo, and Movits! with another one off Appelknyckarjazz.  For Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, we’re branching out; they don’t really have any other full albums as good as Americana Deluxe, but there are plenty of great individual tracks, such as the one we use here.  We have a similar situation with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, straying from The Dirty Boogie to what is certainly their best song not off that album and one of their best tracks all around.3  Contrariwise, for the Squirrel Nut Zippers we go back to their best—Hotfor their biggest hit: “Hell.”  I’d avoided using it on the first two volumes because it seemed like too obvious a choice, but it really is just a great tune and doesn’t deserve to be overlooked just for the crime of being popular.

Plus we have plenty of new friends.  One of my favorite discoveries in the retro-swing genre is the Atomic Fireballs.  John Bunkley’s voice is just so rich and gravelly.  Running a close second is Lee Press-On and the Nails.  LPN can be so campy and kitschy that it starts to cross a line, but they can also be brilliant.  And then there’s Asylum Street Spankers, which is where we really start to deviate from the swing revival umbrella.  Some of their songs are retro-swing, true, but others are more reminiscent of Squirrel Nut Zippers, still others are more country-fied,4 some are just raunchy fun,5 and some are nearly impossible to categorize.  The track here, “Digga Digga Doo,” is a remake of a song from a Broadway show from the 20’s.  BBVD also has a version, but the ASS version is better.6  We’ll hear from all three of these folks in future volumes of Salsatic Vibrato.7

Another out-of-the-blue discovery was Eight to the Bar, one of those bands who is mostly known in their local scene8 (which is the greater Boston area).  I first heard them on Pandora,9 and was intrigued.  Their style covers a fair amount of ground, from swing to that Motown-grounded 50’s sound that I tried to define last time.10  After listening to a hell of a lot of their songs, it turns out that there’s only a few that I actually like, but I like those quite a lot.  We’ll hear more from them as well.

Also introduced to me via Pandora are Imelda May and Caro Emerald.  Imelda May actually concentrates on that hardcore Motown/50’s rock sound,11 but she has a few really brassy songs that fit perfectly here.  Caro Emerald, on the other hand, is one of Europe’s new-ish electro-swing acts,12 combining swing, loungy jazz, and electro to forge something truly inspiring.  Her album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor is highly recommended.

Of course, the masters of electro-swing (as far as I’m concerned) are from the birthplace of swing mash-ups, Sweden, the same country that brought us Movits!.  For electro-swing, it’s Koop.  When I first discovered their seminal work Koop Islands, I was totally blown away.  If you go backwards from there in their discography, they get more electro and less swing, but Islands is the perfect balance in my view.13  The selection I chose here has, atypically, vocals from two of Koop’s prolific stable of singers: Earl Zinger and Yukimi Nagano.  It’s a great song, which gives us our volume title as well as a magnificent clarinet solo.

But neither Koop nor Movits! can claim the title of Sweden’s most bizarre swing mash-up: that honor has to go to Diablo Swing Orchestra.  Remember the first time someone tried to explain to you about how Dread Zeppelin was a reggae band doing covers of Led Zeppelin songs with an Elvis impersonator for a singer?  This is going to be worse.  DSO is a swing-inflected metal band with an opera singer and a male vocalist who sings through a voice-distortion unit.  Now, swing and metal are already bizarre enough of a mash-up, but throwing the opera and the VDU into it means that most of the songs from this Swedish outfit just don’t work.14  But, when they do ... it’s glorious.  Completely indescribable.  Their track here, “A Tap Dancer’s Dilemma,” which is our centerpiece, is their very best.15

The ska this time around is brought to us primarily by old-school greats Madness, and another new discovery, the lesser-known Mad Caddies.  The Caddies are from Solvang, just up the coast from me, and concentrate on power-ska, but also have eclectic tendencies and do pleny of branching out.  There’s just a taste of their brilliance here in the bridge track to DSO, but we’ll hear more from them in other volumes and mixes.

The touch of salsa in this volume comes via Kid Creole in the Coconuts, who were contemporaries of Miami Sound Machine and had a similar style of dancy, latin pop: sort of disco-salsa, you might say.  I never cared for Kid Creole at the time, but in later years when I had grown to have a greater appreciation for the big band personalities who inspired them,16 I thought I’d give them another try.  Most of the music I found hadn’t grown on me.  But I picked a few tracks that were pretty good,17 and at least one that was great, which I included here.

Salsatic Vibrato III
[ South of Hell's Borders ]

“Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman [Single]18
“Hell” by Squirrel Nut Zippers, off Hot
“Man with the Hex” by The Atomic Fireballs, off Torch This Place
“I'm Trumpin'” by Eight to the Bar, off Behind the Eight Ball
“That Man” by Caro Emerald, off Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
“Why Me?” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, off Rattle Them Bones
“Bai Mir Bist du Schøn” by Lee Press-On and the Nails, off El Bando en Fuego!
“Digga Digga Doo” by Asylum Street Spankers, off Mercurial
“The Dirge” by Mad Caddies, off Keep It Going
“A Tap Dancer's Dilemma” by Diablo Swing Orchestra, off Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious
“Big Bad Handsome Man” by Imelda May, off Love Tattoo
“House of Fun” by Madness, off Complete Madness [Compilation]
“The Glamorous Life (Club Edit)” by Sheila E., off The Glamorous Life
“The Most Expensive Girl in the World” by Lou Bega, off A Little Bit of Mambo
“The Lifeboat Party” by Kid Creole and the Coconuts [Single]
“Lilly” by Pink Martini, off Hang on Little Tomato
“Forces ... Darling” by Koop, off Koop Islands
“One More Night with You” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, off Wolfgang's Big Night Out
“Ta på dig dansskorna” by Movits!, off Äppelknyckarjazz
“Mister White Keys” by Cherry Poppin' Daddies, off Zoot Suit Riot [Compilation]
“This Business of Love” by Domino, off The Mask [Soundtrack]
Total:  21 tracks,  77:26

The tracks that fill out this set are anything but filler.  First off is Sheila E.‘s über-classic “The Glamorous Life.”  This song has it all: intelligent lyrics by Prince, salsa touches provided by Sheila E.‘s amazing percussion, and brass courtesy of one of those sax solos you only get from the 80’s ... they just don’t make ’em like that any more, more’s the pity.19

Pink Martini is another band in the same vein as Diablo Swing Orchestra or Kid Creole and the Coconuts for me: most of their stuff I don’t care for, but when they put out a winner, it really cooks.  Their music is sort of a cross between loungy jazz and world.20  Generally, I like my world in the form of electro-world (what some call “ethnic electronica”), like Transglobal Underground or Thievery Corporation.  So the majority of Pink Martini’s non-English work doesn’t particularly excite me.  And even the English tunes are more often suited for a different mix,21 but “Lilly” is an unusually upbeat track for them and fits perfectly here.

Finally, to close out this great set, I go back to the soundtrack for The Mask, the same place I first heard “Hey Pachuco!”.22  This time out it’s the almost loungy “Business of Love” by West Coast rapper Domino.  It’s a sly, brassy, fun tune and a great way to end the set.

Next time around, I think we’ll go lounging around.23


1 Specifically, Swing Kids and Bright Young Things.
2 For some reason, I’ve always felt that “Mr. White Keys” was the spiritual cousin of SNZ’s “Bad Businessman,” which we saw on our first volume.
3 It is, in fact, off Wolfgang’s Big Night Out, in which every song reuses the tune of a piece of classical music.  See if you can guess which one “One More Night with You” is based on.
4 Some too much so.  There’s a couple of ASS tracks that I have to regularly skip lest they trigger my country music gag reflex.
5 As you might have guessed from their initials.
6 Not to mention includes a hot-jazz-jump-swing version of some very familiar movie music in the breakdown.  See if you can identify it.
7 And on other mixes as well.
8 Remember my definition of an obscure band: must have only skeletal entries or no entries at all on both AllMusic and Wikipedia.  Eight to the Bar definitely qualifies by that definition.
9 I don’t typically listen to Pandora—that is, not just sit and listen to it for entertainment—but as a music discovery service it’s tough to beat.
10 In reference to Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, about half of whose music falls into that category.
11 Man, I wish that style had a name.  Besides CPD and EttB and Imelda May, we still have Devil Doll to get to, so I’ll have to dance around my vague description all over again next volume.
12 Ms. Emerald is from the Netherlands.
13 Not that I want to discourage you from checking out their first two albums as well.  Both are very good, if not quite so good as Islands.
14 Well, maybe they’d work for me if I was a bigger fan of speed metal.  But I only dabble, at most.
15 Although they’ll crop up again on Salsatic Vibrato IV with one almost as good.
16 In particular, Cab Calloway.
17 This is one of the joys of buying music in the digital age.  In the old days, I would have never sprung for a full album of Kid Creole and the Coconuts, not even one of their greatest hits compilations.  But now that I can purchase individual tracks that I’ve pre-sampled, I can get just the stuff I like.
18 There’s like a million versions of this song out there, most of them free.  The one I linked you to is not bad.  Actually, the one I personally use is a five-minute one I found on YouTube.  You just have to convert it to MP3 and trim the dead air off the end.  But use any version you like.  Except I think the 8-minute versions—and even longer ones—make the volume too long.  Certainly it won’t fit on a CD any more if you go with one of those.
19 You want the “Club Edit” version of this track.  Like the 8-minute version of “Sing, Sing, Sing,” 9 minutes of “The Glamorous Life” falls under the rubric of “Too Much of a Good Thing.”
20 Singer China Forbes sings in 15 different languages, according to Wikipedia.
21 Which we shall come to in the fullness of time.
22 Which you may remember from Salsatic Vibrato II, although there I used the slightly different version off Royal Crown Revue’s own album.
23 Yes, I know I said that last time too.  But next time, for reals.