Sunday, 15 September 2013

Love Theme from Shame FM

This half-written post would never have been published if I'd ever sat down to finish it. In the tradition of modern TSP I'm just posting it in its rubbish form. Let the good times roll.

On 18 April 2007 (at which point Melbourne had only been shit for three games) Elle G from Cassettes & Chocolate Milk and I started the Shame FM blog. It was intended to pay homage to songs which we liked but nobody else did on a scale on 1 to 5 of these .

It lasted three posts and 11 days before we gave up, but every once in a while I hear a song or see a clip where my fingers are poised over alt-tab like that weird kid at school who used the rise of the internet to look at naked women in the middle of the school library (his name was Corey. Of course it was), and I think that it would be a worthy inclusion if I could be bothered writing a post. It's never happened yet, so here are a few examples from half written posts over the last few years.

Alcazar - Crying At The Discotheque

How I'd love to play the hipster card and pretend that I totally ignored this at the time and only rediscovered it when I found out about Spacer by Sheila B Devotion about five years later, but no. I loved this right from the start and I'm not afraid to say it online without my real name attached so it can't be used against me when applying for jobs in the future.

Shame rating: 

Cold Chisel - Choir Girl


Chisel get a fearful kicking thanks to their unintended alliance with some of the worst people in society, singing Khe Sanh at the top of their lungs while they chase an immigrant down an alleyway - but if this isn't a timeless Australian classic then I'm not here.

Not only does it reasonably cover the 'slightly contentious' topic of abortion with a dignity that eluded Two Minutes To Midnight by Iron Maiden, but for an ultra low budget video it's loaded with highlights. Witness a grinning Barnsey playing pocket billiards in a casual white suit like he's just finished slave trading in Manilla. See the late drummer in a fetching blue singlet singing his heart out while Don Walker - the man who wrote the thing in the first place - loses interest. Consider the way Ian Moss looks exactly like Doctor Turf. Find absolutely nothing of interest in the other guy.

As for the song itself are there all that many better moments than when Jimmy rips out the "she's my connection.." bit? And the "suffer little children" singalong, magnificent. Don't be fooled by people with Southern Cross tattoos on their neck, Chisel are still a mighty force - and this is up there with their best.

Shame rating: 

Falco and Brigitte Nielsen - Body Next To Body

It's not just because it's got the future Mrs. Flavor Flav in it, at this point the finest woman in the world, but it mostly is. At the risk of being labelled a pervert (again) I rate the bit where she's being groped at while walking through the tunnel at the start on a par with Gwen Stefani being hauled off to the gas chamber and a jilted bride gang leader Katy Perry as the hottest moments in music video history.

Shame rating:  (for liking the song)  (for the exposed perversion)

Mi-Sex - Shanghaied

I can see why this didn't chart as well as their earlier stuff, after all the guy who sung Com-pu-pu-pu-pu-pu-PU-PU-PU-ter Games is relegated to a secondary role behind some bloke who looks like he's just nipped out of the local RSL, slapped on a bow tie and been handed a microphone and a lyrics sheet. No wonder 'the kids' declined the options to put it into the charts in either Australia or New Zealand.

Sadly this means they missed out on an absolute belter, and it's only thanks to people who upload old clips to YouTube that it's not lost forever. Its chart success can't have been helped by the alternative lead singer's clunky attempts at getting the crowd to clap along when they performed live on Countdown but his unusual vocal stylings and the piano playing combine to create ART. Also at one point the guitarist almost forgets that he's supposed to mime and has to charge to the microphone at the last minute.

It starts well, but it ends even better. Starting from the moment he delivers the best (and possibly only) use of the word "wistful" in Australian popular music history it goes up a gear, with old mate delivering a genuinely quality acting performance in playing up to the song's lyrics about being blind-sided and cheated in love. Those who didn't rush to their local Brashs and make this #1 on the ARIA charts did Australian/New Zealand music a disservice - don't blame me, I was four months old at the time.

Shame rating: 

Shakira - Objection (Tango)
Notwithstanding its use in the worst Pepsi ad ever made, and the 'spoken word' bit that grinds the song to a half with the worst 'rap' by a white woman since Madonna's American Life this is a modern pop classic. Let's not let 10 seconds detract from something that is otherwise almost universally perfect.

The lyrics don't stand up to any proper scrutiny, but how often do they? There's even an illusion to her knockers, which is the hallmark of all great Shakira songs (both of them - that's the songs you pervert). Listen to it alongside this and remember the brief era in 2001/02 when the future of pop was based in Colombia. Much like Lady Gaga she didn't have much in the tank after the first couple of songs, but has still managed to pocket MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. She even briefly kicked the door in for other, less successful female Latino singers (double shame - I actually really like that song )

Shame rating: