Playlist Pick: Kraftwerk, ‘The Model’

Or ‘Das Model’ to give it its original name!

I became an ’80s obsessive during the first big nostalgia wave of 1998-2004 (my teenage years), and I had this song on every playlist I made during that time (it was actually a late ’70s track, but one of those late ’70s tracks that was ahead of its time and is more associated with the ’80s in popular awareness today). I’ve been in a synth mood again this week, and this is a highly suitable song. Nostalgic for many reasons!

Playlist Pick: ‘Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis’

I’ve largely been sticking with the LucasArts adventure game soundtracks these last few weeks, as they’re great background music for work (and are very inspirational when doing creative stuff). Fate of Atlantis has always been a favourite for music as well as a favourite game.

It probably has my favourite depiction of Atlantis of all time, and that’s saying something! The music reminds me of many happy hours in my younger years, exploring the beautifully pixellated Atlantean corridors. I really need to pull the game out for another playthrough sometime soon.

Playlist Pick: Monkey Island Ambient Soundtracks

I love my Monkey Island soundtrack playlist with all the original tracks from the games, but it can sometimes get a bit distracting when a more upbeat tune comes on and I’m trying to work. However, a couple of weeks ago, The International House of Mojo linked to some chilled-out ambient versions of some of the tracks on YouTube, and they’ve been my work soundtrack ever since. Great stuff.

Each of the Monkey Island ambience videos lasts about an hour, but the themes around Scabb Island in Monkey Island 2 are probably my very favourite out of all the music in the games. An hour is nowhere near long enough for me to get fed up of it!

Playlist Pick: Lisa Lougheed, ‘Run With Us’

Everyone has a favourite Saturday morning cartoon theme song. This is mine, and it appears on many of my Spotify playlists, including my running one. Many happy memories of cartoon-watching in childhood (funnily enough, while The Raccoons was a perfectly passable and entertaining cartoon, the theme tune was the best part!).

I used this song to test the way music works for Adventuron games earlier this week, so it currently also feels like a victory song. Jam game released tonight and I will link to it tomorrow!

Playlist Pick: Nick Rhodes and Wendy Bevan, ‘Pandora & Prometheus’

I’ve been in a ‘soundtrack’ mood recently, which has coincided well with the most recent piece of excitement in Duran Duran world – Nick Rhodes’ latest side project with Wendy Bevan, Astronomia, released last week.

This album – a series of soundscapes themed around the planet Saturn – has provided a lovely array of background chill for my working afternoons recently. Can’t listen to party tunes all the time!

Playlist Pick: The Midnight and Nikki Flores, ‘Because The Night’

There’s a few new music releases I’ve been excited about this week, including Horror Show, the new EP from The Midnight. I gave it a first listen on Saturday and was charmed by this cover of Patti Smith’s classic ‘Because The Night’. It’s now made its way into my ‘synthwave favourites’ playlist!

The whole EP is good quality synthwave as ever from The Midnight so it might provide a few more playlist picks over the next few weeks!

Playlist Pick: Kesha, ‘Tik Tok’

I’ve been venturing back to more modern times for my pop playlist this week. I’m considerably behind with the UK charts (hence why there haven’t been any New Hits Friday posts or Now! reviews for a LONG time… I’ll get back to them eventually). Still, it’s been nice to enjoy a few favourites from my 2010s list over the last few days. Not every single pop song was awful in the 2010s! Just… most of them.

Geth has been watching The Simpsons on Disney Plus recently and has reached the episodes from around 2009/2010. As such, I’m getting fairly major nostalgia for pop music from early 2010, which was when, after many years of being Too Goff (TM), I started following the chart again as part of a slightly pretentious project to study ‘cultural history in the making’ for an entire decade. Side note: I can’t believe that at age twenty-five, I already felt far too old and out of touch for pop music when listening to the charts. It really is a teenager’s game.

Anyway, this offering from late 2009 has been in my head for a fortnight now due to being featured in the opening sequence of a Simpsons episode that Geth put on twice (he fell asleep the first time it was on). Enjoy!

(By the way, I’m sure you’re all aware that the song is nothing to do with the TikTok app, which is a far more recent source of societal decline.)

Playlist Pick: Soft Cell, ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’

I’ve been working on both of my ’80s chart playlists this week: my ‘proper’ one, which is ongoing as part of my decade-long video-watching project (explained last week), and my ‘holding playlist’ for favourite tracks I’m yet to get to. Strangely, given that it’s only the alphabet that separates them, the two lists seem to have slightly different tones; the first seems to contain more serious tracks, while the second is more frothy. Maybe it’s just the particular tunes that seem to be coming up regularly at the moment!

An exception to the trend is one of my favourite tracks by a band from the latter half of the alphabet, Soft Cell. ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ is beautiful and epic and not at all frothy, and I was privileged to see it performed live when Geth and I saw Marc Almond at Electric Dreams 2018 (though I was less impressed by the audience members wearing inflatable pink flamingoes, as I feel the song deserves a little more reverence).

The video is early ’80s perfection and I’m always disappointed when nightclubs don’t look like this. Not that I go to nightclubs that often these days, even in non-pandemic times!

Playlist Pick: Pet Shop Boys, ‘Heart’

I have a mega-playlist on Spotify for ’80s chart hits that I like. Because I want it to be comprehensive, I’ve been working (on and off) since about 2012 on a project where I watch the video of every single track that was ever a UK chart hit in the ’80s… in band alphabetical order. It’s a long project (it took me about two years just to compile the complete list) and I’ve only made it to the letter ‘J’ so far in terms of watching the videos and adding the best ones to my Spotify playlist.

As such, I sometimes get a bit of a craving for hits by bands who are further along in the alphabet, and have a separate ‘holding’ playlist for this purpose! Pet Shop Boys are one of these bands and also one of my favourite acts of the era. I bought tickets for myself and Geth to go and see them in concert in 2020; the gig was postponed first to 2021 and now to 2022, so I need to be patient for that one!

In recent months (since about November) their 1988 number one ‘Heart’ has been a frequent late-night craving for me. I LOVE that intro. Makes me want to dance! (I don’t, as Geth has usually gone to bed by that point and my loud trampling would probably wake him up. Chair-dancing is fair game though.)

The video is a daft story about a wedding and vampires. ’80s videos were the best.

More musical ramblings next week.