Mixtape: Everything Counts – Songs About Numbers 0

Mixtape Maestro Chris Rooney returns in a numerological fashion.

In the 1984 rock music mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap, guitarist Nigel Tufnel proudly demonstrates an amplifier whose volume knob is marked from zero to eleven, instead of the usual zero to ten. Thirty years later, “Up to eleven” remains a popular pop culture catch phrase. Celebrate the era by cranking up your stereo, laptop or mobile device as loud as it can go with these eleven songs that feature a number from zero to eleven in their title!

The Fixx, “Saved By Zero” (1983)
101: The name of the band’s original record label before signing with RCA.

Blondie, “One Way Or Another” (1979)
298: Position on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Two Tribes” (1983)
9: Consecutive number of weeks that “Two Tribes” stayed at the top of the UK Singles Chart.

INXS, “Three Sisters” (1985)
2: The number of brothers in the band – Jon and Tim Farriss.

Culture Club, “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” (1983)
12: The number of times that Boy George is willing to tumble for you.

The Housemartins, “Five Get Over Excited” (1987)
4: The amount of goals that their hometown team scored in their shutout (aka “a clean sheet”) against London according to the title of their debut album, London 0 Hull 4.

The Cure, “Six Different Ways” (1985)
1: Number of consistent band members since their 1976 inception. Robert Smith is in it for the long haul.

Duran Duran, “The Seventh Stranger” (1983)
7: The number on their album, Seven And The Ragged Tiger referred to the original five band members and their two managers, and “The Ragged Tiger” represented success according to Simon LeBon.

The Clash, “The Magnificent Seven” (1981)
7-11: The convenience store where Marx and Engels stop in at during the song.

R.E.M., “Driver 8” (1985)
21: Number of years the band was together until they finally called it quits in 2011.

Adam Ant, “Apollo 9” (1984)
5: The last number stuttered in Adam’s NASA countdown.

The Vapors, “News at Ten” (1980)
44: The lowly peak position that this follow-up single reached after their one-hit wonder “Turning Japanese”.

U2, “11 O’clock Tick Tock” (1980)
22: U2’s Grammy Award wins, more than any other band.

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Mixtape: Boo Wave —the Hellish Sound Of Halloween 0

Guest mixtape crypt keeper Chris Rooney returns with a selection of spooktacular proportions!

Looking to pair the right “Boo Wave” song with the perfect Halloween treat, whether you are hosting a party on October 31st or need some background music while handing out candy to trick-or-treaters? Read on… (To listen to this and other Mad World mixtapes on Spotify, click here.)

“Dead Man’s Party” Oingo Boingo (1985)
Just prior to the release of Oingo Boingo’s best-known song, “Dead Man’s Party,” frontman Danny Elfman’s career in film and TV soundtrack composing took off with Tim Burton’s directorial debut, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. It began a long-term music score friendship with the cinematic auteur of such dark, quirky horror and fantasy films as Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow and Dark Shadows.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Lifesavers

Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979)
Often credited with releasing the first Gothic rock record, Bauhaus’ debut single got greater attention in the opening credits of the 1983 cult vampire film, The Hunger, starring David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Wax Fangs

Ghost Town” The Specials (1981)
The ska revival band The Specials scored their biggest hit with their 1981 single, “Ghost Town,” a vivid snapshot at the time of the inner city decline in Thatcher’s England.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Skittles

Ministry, “(Everyday is) Halloween”  (1984)
With its opening lyrics, ‘Well, I live with snakes and lizards and other things that go bump in the night’, Ministry’s 1984 12″ record, “(Everyday is) Halloween” was a goth club favorite. Eventually the Al Jourgensen-led band became more of an industrial metal outfit by the late 1980s and abandoned their earlier Gothic synthpop sound.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Candy Cigarettes

The Police, “Spirits In The Material World”  (1981)
So much for the motto “All for one, one for all” from this trio. Having written the song on a synthesizer, Sting wanted to record it that way instead of having Andy Summers play it on guitar. After a considerable argument between the two of them, they compromised by recording on both instruments. The end product had the synthesizer drowning out much of Summer’s guitar. Seems like the lyrics’ commentary on the nature of man’s existence and the failure of our institutions goes hand-in-hand with the band’s conflicting egos.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Three Musketeers

Bollock Brothers, “Horror Movies” (1983)
Numerous references to classic Hollywood and Hammer Studio horror creatures abound as the Bollock Brothers share their love of watching them on the big screen every Friday night with their girlfriends.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Popcorn Balls

The Comateens, “Ghosts” (1981)
Epitomizing “New York City cool” whether it is 1981 or now, the new wave trio built a small cult following with their brittle, deadpan pop.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Pop Rocks

Fred Schneider, “Monster” (1984)
With a silly delivery, silly lyrics, and even sillier claymation, how could anyone take the solo single from B-52’s singer Fred Schneider so seriously? Apparently, MTV wouldn’t play it on the air because of its over-the-top double entendre references to the monster in Fred’s pants. Fred did get some love though from his B-52’s bandmate Kate Pierson who provided backing vocals in addition to appearing on its music video along with Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, artist Keith Haring and drag queen Ethyl Eichelberger.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Charms Blow Pops

Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Halloween” (1981)
Who better to embrace the haunted holiday, than Siouxsie Sioux, the Queen of Goth, with her tousled jet black hair and signature cat-eye makeup?
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Black Licorice

Mental As Anything, “Spirit Got Lost” (1983)
Drawing comparisons to their British contemporaries like XTC, Squeeze and Nick Lowe, the Australian band delivered their brand of new wave with a quirky, ironic sense of humor and a decidedly suburbian local flavor.
Recommended Halloween candy pairing: Violet Crumble candy bars from Down Under

The Psychedelic Furs, “The Ghost In You” (1984)
Richard Butler’s voice and style has often been compared to David Bowie, one of his major inspirations, and it’s most apparent on The Furs’ 1984 light and fluffy song, “Ghost Inside You.”
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Milky Way candy bars

Kate Bush, “Waking The Witch” (1985)
One of the songs on the more experimental second side of Kate’s album, The Hounds of Love, “Waking The Witch” is the spine-tingling pinnacle of her character’s nocturnal journey drifting alone at sea.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Kit Kat bars

“Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” David Bowie (1981)
Bowie welcomed in the 1980s and the third act of his career with his album of the same name as this track. Concurrent to the album’s release, Bowie was doing a three-month run on Broadway starring as the lead character in The Elephant Man.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: (Life On) Mars Bars

“All You Zombies” The Hooters (1985)
Perhaps the high point of their careers, The Hooters performed their mystical, Bible-referencing minor hit, “All You Zombies” at the Live Aid benefit concert in their hometown of Philadelphia. Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof has publicly stated that he didn’t see the Hooters as a high-profile band suitable for Live Aid, but that the band was forced on him by Bill Graham, the legendary American concert promoter for the Philly venue.
Recommended Halloween treat pairing: Really old, shriveled-up Sun-Maid raisins

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Annie Lennox: Why I Won’t Get Plastic Surgery 0

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my idols, Annie Lennox. Sitting in a spacious, all-white office with a view of the Hollywood Hills, she regaled me with colorful anecdotes about the Eurythmics, including the story behind their breakout hit, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Hopefully you’ll read all about it in Mad World: Book 2.

With a new album of melancholic cover songs (think: “Strange Fruit” and “I Put a Spell on You”) on the horizon — not to mention her 60th birthday this December — she was in a contemplative mood. Since that record, Nostalgia, is out today, and since those provocative new photos of Renée Zellweger are inescapable at the moment, I thought it apt to share a few of the things that she had to say about aging, plastic surgery, and why she didn’t want to Photoshop herself on Nostalgia‘s album cover (shown here):


 I’ve had my picture taken many, many times over the years, from when I was in my twenties right up to now. There’s a challenge when you are photographed, as a woman particularly. You get older, you get more wrinkles, obviously. I’m almost 60, and I was like, “How do I do this — because I don’t want to be so Photoshopped that I look like a wax-work dummy. I want to show my age, but I also don’t want to look so harsh that I look really old.” Everybody’s sensitive to pictures of themselves. Everybody wants a nice picture; nobody wants a harsh one. Also, when people talk about me, they think about the eighties and the nineties. But [I’m] not 27 anymore. But if you’re in the public eye, you get kind of stuck that way in people’s minds. I still think of the Beatles as the mop tops.

So I tried to get the balance right. I thought, “Maybe this has caught the truthfulness of where I’m at now.” There was something about the expression that [photographer Robert Siberry] caught in my face; when I looked at it I thought, “It’s like my whole life’s experiences coming out through my eyes.” I really felt that.

I haven’t had any plastic surgery — no Botox, no nothing. Honestly, I would go to the plastic surgeon tomorrow if he could make me just a little bit . . . maybe give me a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But that’s not going to happen. They’re going to do something, and I’m going to walk out of the office, and it’s going to look really obvious that I’ve had plastic surgery. I don’t want that.

We’re all sensitive about how we look — all of us: male, female, some more than others. And women are vulnerable. But what I see happening is that people have a dysmorphic sense of how they look. You can see it from miles away — somebody walks up towards you and instantly you see the work that’s done. What kind of butcher allows women to go out of their surgery looking that way and feeling happy about it? They’re not allowing themselves to age gently. Don’t get me wrong: If people had plastic surgery and it was done in such a subtle way that it just made them look a little bit better, fantastic. Nothing wrong with that. But the majority of time, they have plastic surgery and it looks like a really distorted mask. And they’re going about with these bloated lips and these kind of pulled back foreheads. I look at that and that disturbs me.


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