Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shame #3: Taffy - I Love My Radio

Italo Disco is the ultimate in shameful genres. At least your generic Bee-Gee type disco sold records. It may have been shit but it kept hundreds of producers and record company executives knee deep in cocaine for the entire late 70's. Of course Italo had no actual connection to the genre it shares a name with, especially as it came a good four or five years later towards the mid 80's. The only thing the two share is what the kids call "Hi-NRG" sounds and a predilection for being completely shit.

However delve deeper into the wide world of Italo and you'll find some of the catchiest dance music of the 80's. In fact the genre as a whole rips traditional disco a new a-hole. Tonight we present one of the finest, and most underrated, tracks of it's era. This is Taffy and I Love My Radio

Presumably you will think two things upon viewing this clip.

a) Phwoar Taffy goes alright (may only occur if you're male and can ignore the fact that she's wearing the same hat that Krispy Kreme give out to impressionable children to wear)
b) What in god's name has any of the clip got to do with radio? If she didn't actually appear in it herself you'd swear that they'd just lined up stock footage of a day at the drag races. Couldn't they have at least taken her to some rinky dink community station or something? At least she could have driven a 80's model Triple M Black Thunder around the track. Except that she was British and therefore would have no comprehension of the power and majesty of the Black Thunders.

To be fair she does briefly appear in a studio, but then for some reason ends up back inside what appears to be an Ice Cream Van driving around the circuit. But don't let the clip related shenanigans detract from what is an otherwise fine song. Note for the instance the line "now the radio is my mind's new video" which, despite really meaning nothing, cleverly subverts the message in Video Killed The Radio Star. After Buggles declared radio dead Taffy came to us not to bury radio but to praise it. Incidentally this song was a hit in France first, and when it crossed over to Britain they had to edit it so it didn't mention "midnight" radio because barely any stations actually broadcast after midnight.

Let's face it you're never going hear Taffy rocking it in a club no matter how of a retro angle they're trying to get over, but it's certainly catchy. The single edit in the above video chugs along for four minutes and never outstays it's welcome, while the "extended" mix runs for about nine. We recommend that if after watching Taffy do her Penelope Pitstop impersonation you seek out more Italo classics. See for instance Eddy Huntington and Mike "Agent Of Liberty" Mareen. Yes, it's shame music and you won't tell anyone you listened to it but you'll be rewarded if you do.

Shame Rating: - Quite shameful.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Shame #2 - Juice Newton - Queen Of Hearts

First there was disco shame - now let us introduce you to pop/country shame stylings of world renowned two hit wonder Juice Newton. Leaving aside the searching power ballad "Angel Of The Morning" for now let's take a look at her other momentary flash of pop superstardom - Queen Of Hearts.

There are so many reasons to be ashamed of liking this song. The fact that it is as 80's as anything ever released is chief amongst them - that it is barely disguised country is another. But when has barely disguised 80's country/pop ever been a bad thing? To be entirely frank I like Islands In The Stream so this is an absolute doddle for me.

Another point against Juice is that it has one of the shonkier clips in a long standing tradition of bad 80's videos. The highlight of this is Juice being put in jail just for making a man fall off a swing. This IS as ridiculous as it sounds.

The song itself, though, rattles on charmingly and always makes me nod along. In an ideal world I'd also sing along but that's never going to happen unless I'm really, really drunk. What really takes it to another level in my book is the clever double layered chorus where just when you think they're going to verse up again it goes into the "laying out another lie" bit. Most importantly her voice suits the track perfectly - especially when she sings "fooooooool" - it's just nice and there's not enough niceness in music these days. The whole track might be as cheesy as f**k but there's a certain indisputable feelgood factor to it. In an era where everything's about bitches, hos and shaking that ass what's wrong with a 'nice' song?

With it's appearance as one of the songs on the K-Rose radio station in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Queen Of Hearts has enjoyed somewhat of a revival amongst younger people that hadn't heard it before. Despite this, and the related images of driving over people in trucks and shooting them with machineguns while listening to it, you would not drive down the street with your windows down and 100% Juice blasting over the stereo. Therefore it is a natural inclusion in the Shame FM files. But just how shameful?

Shame rating: - quite shameful

Disclaimer: This Juice Newton not to be confused with Leigh "Juice" Newton who played 13 games and kicked 6 goals for Melbourne in 1997. We do, however, believe this to be the first and so far last example of 80's country pop forming the basis of a sporting nickname.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shame #1 - Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)

There are two things that an allegedly heterosexual mid 20's male should not do.

a) Dance under any circumstances
b) Rock out to any song widely considered to be a crucial gay anthem

Point a) I concur with in the strongest possible manner. Unless I'm drunk off my ass and trying to score you will never me anywhere near a dancefloor. Point b) on the other hand is somewhat more troublesome. What exactly defines a "gay anthem", and just because it somehow falls into this

The only particuarly troublesome aspect of this song for me is how Sylvester himself looks like Joan Armatrading but has a voice like he's inhaled several hundred quarts of helium. Watch on and see - and if it'll really get to you to click play there are women in short shorts humping each other too!

Helium Armatrading and the fact that it was used in an advertisement for Fox8 aside there's no doubting the dancefloor shaking quality of this track. Even the fact that he actually appears in drag at 1.37 shouldn't put any other than the most knuckle dragging of homophobe off from at least tapping a foot to the thumping disco beat that is backing up Sylvester's chipmunk-esque vocals. Besides his hat is quite nice and his technique with the hand fan is more than admirable.

If you start to wane in enthusiasm as the video goes on don't worry because they replay the female ass thrusting at 2.20 - hang in for a second serving of that. Suffice to say you probably wouldn't storm down the main street of Frankston (if it has one) with this playing at eleven on your car stereo but unless somebody actually told you it was a 'gay anthem' would you even know? Seems to me that tag is only applied due to the fact that the man responsible for it was out and proud. To me it represents the acceptable face of disco (and Shame FM is all about showing you the acceptable side of things you thought wrong) and you'll be hearing a lot more from this genre as the Shame experience rolls on. We say fire up your Sylvester albums and dust off the Divine 12" (!?) and be out and proud about your love for dodgy disco.

Shame Rating: - somewhat shameful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What is Shame FM?

Every song, album cover, video or artist who we secretly admit our love for will be ranked on a 5 scale. Where the most shameful confession scores and the most mainstream and least embarassing selections score just

We are aware that it is not socially acceptable to be in favor of some songs but we're ready to stand up and say proudly that we love them no matter what anyone else thinks. Power ballads, wrist slashing emo, country comedy classics, novelty records, obscure Swedish hits and drunken instrumentals - they're all here. Get 'em while they're shameful.