Disco Sunday #5: Summer. Night. City.

12 08 2007

ABBA Summer Night City

Sorry I’ve been absent for a little while but some stuff went down, and it wasn’t exactly the cherry I’d hoped for on top of my 10 weeks in NYC. But you know what my mom says, which is incredibly genius advice? “Life is for the living.” And for me, the pulse of life is in the throbbing heartbeat of disco. From the timeless 16th note whirl and phase of Moroder to the robot rock of Daft Punk; from the sugary yet hedonistic Swedish pop of Abba to the jangly hi-hat imperfection and post-punk revisionism of LCD Soundsystem; from the retro-Chic of Escort to the slow space of all things Troubleman. From 106 to 131 and all the BPMs in between, it’s The Shit That Keeps Me Fiddling While Rome is Burning.

And so, for my transition back to the real world (insofar as “the real world” is blogdom and San Francisco), here is my first ever DJ mix. It’s called Baron von Luxxury’s So Fucking Disco: Summer Night New York City ’07 Mixx, and it’s by me: Baron von Luxxury, which is my fake name.

It was interesting putting this together since making a “DJ mix” is, it turns out, not quite the same as doing a live DJ set. For one thing, you’re not reacting to a crowd in real time, which is half the fun of performing, since I’m never quite sure what I’ll play next. The other major difference is that it’s meant to be listened to in a different context than a dark room filled with sweaty people – presumably with headphones on the subway or in the background on a laptop. Which, I suppose, could both still be dark and sweaty environments.

Anyway, for this first mix I decided to have it be a snapshot of my most recent live set opening for Scissors for Lefty at Union Hall, Brooklyn on July 21. I also added a few original edits and what I am calling “blends” (sorry, I can’t bear to call them mashups). And because it’s my first mix, it’s got a few tracks from my best of 2007 so far, just so I can catch up. To make up for the not-so-newness of those bloghouse faves, I have also included a special treat for you: the worldwide exclusive debut of “Tom Cruise is a Gay Scientologist”, an awesome new and heretofore unblogged track by my latest discovery, NYC’s Black Russians. You heard it at Disco Workout first!

Enjoy, and feel free to pass this little disco valentine along to the people you love.

xx,
– Baron von Luxxury

Baron von Luxxury’s So Fucking Disco: Summer Night New York City ’07 Mixx
1. “Love Theme from Baron von Luxxury” – Baron von Luxxury
2. “So Fucking Disco (BvL Blend)” – Pase Rock
3. “All Through The Night (BvL Blend)” – Escort
4. “Disco Dynamite” – Mr Flash
5. “Intro” – Alan Braxe and Fred Falke
6. “Into the Groove” – Madonna (snippet)
7. “Transexual (BvL Blend)” – Mr. Oizo
8. “Shadows” – Midnight Juggernauts
9. “Ghetto Ways (Baron von Luxxury’s Super Thanks for Asking Remix)” – Scissors for Lefty
10. “We Are Rockstars (BvL Frida Edit)” – Does it Offend You, Yeah?
11. “Theme From S’Express” – S’Express
12. “UFO (Van She Tech Remix)” – Sneaky Sound System
13. “Acceleration (BvL Blend)” – Franz and Shape
14. “Rock and Roll is Evil (Devin Dirt’s Fat Elvis Remix [BvL Blend])” – Luxxury
15. “I Get Around (Midnight Juggernauts Remix)” – Dragonette
16. “All Systems Down” – Knightlife
17. “Black Arabs” – Black Arabs
18. “Rolling Down The Hills” – Glass Candy
19. “Summer Night City” – ABBA
20. “Tom Cruise is a Gay Scientologist” – Black Russians
21. “Love Theme from Baron von Luxxury (reprise)” – Baron von Luxxury

Download Baron von Luxxury’s So Fucking Disco: Summer Night New York City ’07 Mixx here.





Bangers du Jour #4/Special Edition: Happy Half-Birthday to Us!

20 07 2007

The Workout is six months old this week! To celebrate, each of us will be recapping our favorite hott jamms of 2007 so far. Starting with moi.

Longtime readers may recall most of these tracks from earlier in the year, but some of them are songs that somehow fell through the posting cracks, or perhaps seemed overly-blogged about at the time.

Either way, if you’ve only recently joined the ranks of the billions of readers, fans, and stalkers who patronize The Workout daily, now is your chance to catch up.

***

BARON VON LUXXURY’S TOP 10 OF 2007 SO FAR (PRESENTED IN REVERSE ORDER SO AS TO CAUSE THE READER’S SUSPENSE TO REACH FEVER PITCH):

BvL

Sometimes I hear a new track that strikes my fancy and I find it fantastic to listen to but it just doesn’t really work when I try to DJ it out. And sometimes a track that I was on the fence about just fits perfectly in my set. So I decided for my top 10 to pick the songs that I simply find myself need need needing to play whenever I DJ. Enjoy!

10. “Gravity’s Rainbow (Van She Remix)” – Klaxons

Wow, it seems like ancient history since I wrote about all the NME hype surrounding “New Rave.” But it’s only been a whopping six months, and somehow the words “New” and “Rave” sound even dumber together now than they did in January. But this track is still fresh and ill, not to mention dope and fly, for two reasons and two reasons alone:Van; and She.

9. “Kafka (Bag Raiders What Y’all Kno ‘Bout Five Remix)” – The Valentinos
8. “Love Is Here To Stay (Kissy Sell Out’s Own Private Idaho)” – Chungking

These two always go together for me for some reason. I love them both like children.

7. In The City – Chromatics

Oddly enough, I think of this song whenever I hear the expression “In The City.”

6. “Ghetto Ways (Baron von Luxxury’s Super Thanks For Asking Remix)” – Scissors for Lefty

So I’m way totally not allowed to post an MP3 of this yet until the Eenie Meanie Records big wigs say it’s okay, so for now you can get it on iTunes, or just listen to it on my Myspace profile.

5. Rolling Down the Hills – Glass Candy

Another gem from my favorite sonic jewelers from Portland. Johnny Got His Sampler.

4. My Moon My Man (Boys Noize Remix) – Feist

Mellow gold Canadian chanteuse + vocoder disco noir = so very instantly classic. From “Bangers du Jour #2.”

3. I Get Around (Midnight Juggernauts Remix)- Dragonette

Like double dipping in the candy jar, it rots your teeth so much its somehow healthy. (From Bangers du Jour #3).

2. We Are Rockstars – Does It Offend You, Yeah?

This is just sheer and absolute robot rock. Dance music with absolutely no feminine side. And yet somehow sexxy as shit. From February’s Dirty Disco Traxx post.

1. UFO (Van She Tech) – Sneaky Sound System

Another oldie but goodie from…this April! Audrock and I once drove around in my car singing the whole thing, including the non-vocal parts. That’s how gay this song makes me.

xx,
BvL





(Simian Mobile) Disco Sunday #3

9 07 2007

Simian Mobile Disco

This past Saturday night was 7/7/07, and while hundreds of millions of people around the world tuned in to watch Spinal Tap’s army of bass players, we chose to catch Simian Mobile Disco’s first ever live show on American soil at Studio B, Brooklyn. Call us crazy but as SMD are in the vanguard of the bands/DJs/remixproducer crossover thing that we love so much, it was a foregone conclusion that we’d need to go and do a little gear trainspottin’ from the front row. And now, DiscoWorkout.com is pleased to bring you some of the first shaky homemade videos of SMD’s insane tweakology-in-the-round live show:

Video: “Hustler” – Simian Mobile Disco live @ Studio B, 7/7/07

Video: Simian Mobile Disco’s crazy-ass synthtastic set conclusion:

SMD’s Myspace seems to show them touring Europe nonstop til December but a little birdie told us they’ll be in the SanFranDisco on September 21 with Boyznoise – crazy hott! Go!

MP3: “3 Pin Din” – Simian Mobile Disco
MP3: “Are You The One (Simian Mobile Disco Rmix)” – The Presets
SMD Space

For more supergeekin’ live electro gear trainspotting stuff, check out these amazing pictures from Erol Alkan’s site from inside Daft Punk’s pyramid, courtesy of Create Digital Music. Also, Music Thing recently pointed out some balcony snaps of Nancy from LCD Soundsytem’s maxi-minimalist setup a while back. For extra credit, join the ensuing discussion on how many Microkorgs are too many (she uses four!).

Shakes

Speaking of 2-person bands that are also talented remix producers, Shakes are a couple of brothers from England who have a new EP out on LA’s I Am Sound records. It’s very 80s, which we love, and very Rapture-y (indeed I’m wondering if there isn’t some allusional/referential connection as “Sister Self Doubt” sounds a *lot* like “Sister Savior”, and not just in name…but in a good way, to be sure):

MP3: “Sister Self Doubt (Alternative Version)” – Shakes
MP3: “Fa Fa Fa (Shakes Rmix)” – Datarock
Shakes’ Space
Shakes remixes’ Space

If you live in London you can see them live several times this month, including a gig at Together Club on July 28 along with Para One, David Guetta, The Teenagers, and a Klaxons DJ set. Everyone else can see ’em on the interweb right here and now:

Video: “Disneyland” – Shakes

xx,
Baron von Luxxury

P.S. Vote for me in the URB Magazine Next 1000!

BTW you can download the Hilary Duff remix referenced in the above article at Big Stereo or Palmsout.





(Incredibly Belated) Disco Sunday #2

27 06 2007

After Dark

I actually wrote a draft of this particular post in May but I’m only just now getting to publish it, because there’s just too damn much awesome shit to do in NYC. The Glass played the other night, Kavinsky and Mr. Oizo a few weeks ago, Boyznoise are tomorrow night…and of course let’s not forget the amazing Baron von Luxxury’s solo turn at APT last week – *damn*, I was good!

My man Johnny Jewel has produced a new compilation on fellow multi-tasker Mike Simonetti’s new Troubleman Unlimited imprint, Italians Do It Better Records. It’s called “After Dark” and I’ve been listening to it obsessively since I got it at the Glass Candy show in SF last month. It’s got twelve sultry slow-BPM space disco jams and it’s fucking gorgeous. Here are a few of my favorites:

MP3: “In The City” – Chromatics
Chromatics Space

MP3: “Lady Operator” – Mirage
Mirage Space

MP3: “La Grotta” – Professor Genius
Genius Space

MP3: “Miss Broadway (Demo)” – Glass Candy
Glass Space

All four songs are from the compilation on Italians Do It Better called “After Dark”, available at the Troubleman Unlimited web site.

Speaking of belated blog posting…the In The City conference ended TWO WEEKS ago for Chrissakes, so at long last, by means of a conference wrapup, here are a few final quotes and info tidbits from the panelists. In addition to all the music biz wisdom you will glean, if you read all the way through there are two extra bonus MP3s awaiting your clicky clicky:

* Hitmaker extrordinare Rodney Jerkins on trendy sounds and how he replies when people tell him “we need a song just like X”: “I don’t copy the radio – I MAKE the radio.”
* Matty Safer from the Rapture on how music blogs in the UK aren’t yet as influential there as a certain 3-letter monopolist rag still is: “If your band sounds like what’s in the NME, that means you’ve got 3 months to get hurry up and tour the UK” and capitalize on having the officially approved “sound du jour.”
* Patrick Moxley from Ultra Records on how what artists want is changing with the rise of digital music: “I had a hip-hop artist call me the other day and say ‘I want to do a deal’ – not a record deal, but a *ring tone* deal!”
* The uber-intelligent Marc Geiger on the malleability of taste: “People don’t know what they like, they like what they know.”
* Tony Wilson revealed that he received $150K for New Order’s contribution to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack (“Shell Shock”), but that it cost him $170K to record the track…someone buy this man a calculator and a time machine!
* Apparently Robbie Williams was overheard saying to Felix from Bassment Jaxx, regarding their multi million dollar sponsorship deals: “But are *your* sales improving? Neither are mine.”
* A few bons mots from lifelong Metallica manager (and recent Courtney Love ex-manager) Peter Mensch: “If you want to kill Jimmy Page, throw 2 pence in front of a London bus.” “Artist development still means getting radio, which in turn sells tickets.” “Don’t ever manage Germans!”
* From the Future of Music panel regarding GM’s $60 million budget on music clearances alone: “”Advertising is the new radio – and an ad *is* now the video.” Or, as Usher Winslet from the Whitecap Group put it: “Brand association is the future of economics in the music business.”

On the last night of the event I spoke briefly to Matty from The Rapture before his DJ set at Hiro about how much I love their new Escort remix. The original track is pretty bangin’ too, you can find it on the most disco-est blog out there, the always amazing and erudite 20JazzFunkGreats. Speaking of which, I was sitting outside at Cafe Pick Me Up yesterday and who do you think walked by wearing pink pumps and black eyeshadow? Mr. (well, perhaps Ms.) Throbbing Gristle his/herself, Genesis P-Orridge! I am an ol’ school starfucker, and I digress rather massively, so here’s the damn track:

MP3 “All Through The Night (The Rapture Hush Hush)” – Escort

I also went to see a band called Enter Shikari that was playing as part of the conference as Tony Wilson’s new “discovery.” Though I wish them well and admire their efforts to do an Emo-Nu-rave thing, I have to admit I wasn’t too crazy about them. But I’ll give Mr. Joy Division/New Order/Happy Mondays the benefit of the doubt and see if my ears don’t acclimate better over time. Mr. ’24 Hour Party People’ has been right many times before:

MP3: “These Days (Demo)” – Joy Division

UPDATE: I just found out I may be doing a solo Luxxury show at the Boyznoise gig this Thursday night in NYC…stay tuned for details…





Luxxury Remix Album Parties: Tonight and Tomorrow!

25 05 2007

So as not to sound overly self-hype-y, the following is lifted directly from (and with the kind permission of) the fantastic Disaster from Missing Toof:

“This weekend it’s going down! San Francisco based ‘lectro rockers Luxxury have finally unleashed their long awaited ‘Sweet and Vicious, The Remixes’ CD (cover art work by me!). There will be two back to back record release parties starting this Friday.

First up, Friday, Lights Down Low vs Luxxury. Featuring live performances by Baron Von Luxxury & Johnatron of The Workout joined by the likes of Canada’s ‘All Night Dance Party‘. Special guest DJ Devin Dirt all the way from Brooklyn & of course resident dancefloor destroyer Sleazemore on the ones and two’s.

Michaela your fave door girl taking your money & your hearts. Photos by Vaindeer.

Then this Saturday in the South Bay, record release party #2 presented by Missingtoof! This rowdy bunch invades San Jose’s Johnny V’s for another night of disco debauchery. Live performances by Luxxury (Disco Version), ANDP & Devin Dirt. This time DJ Barbeau of Dirty Sanchez and Missingtoof’s own DJ Basura are holding it down on the decks. Photos will be taken by Chromesick.

Luxxury’s new CD ‘Sweet & Vicious, The Remixes’ is out now on itunes. If you haven’t caught their song ‘Drunk’ in the Pontiac/Transformers commercial peep the beats below. These tracks are guaranteed to totally mess up your parents car stereo speakers.

MP3: Luxxury – Drunk (Toulouse Fight Club remix)

MP3: Luxxury – Sweet and Vicious (All Night Dance Party’s More Vicious Than Sweet remix)

MP3: Luxxury – Rock and Roll Is Evil (Devin Dirt’s Fat Elvis remix)





Yes, There’s More Out There Than Porn

10 05 2007

Luxxury Dim Mak Cobrasnake Cory
Luxxury at Cinespace, LA. Photo: Le Cobrasnake.

Today’s post is filed under “Other Blogs Need Love Too”:

• Track #10 from Justice’s minutes-away-from-being-released debut album is up over at Put the Needle on the Record as well as Call Me Mickey (among others):

MP3: “Stress” – Justice

Plus La New Shit posted a radio rip of track #9 “D.V.N.O.” earlier this week.

So now you *should* have about 2/3 of the whole album, right? Plus another 500 re-edits, unreleased Britney Spears remixes and unauthorized mashups, and perhaps a ripped video or two? I need an entire iPod just for all my Interwebbedly ill-gotten Justice shit.

• Speaking of La New Shit, they’ve just posted a few awesome tracks from the new Luxxury Remixes album. Graph Giraph has a few as well. Collect ’em all.

• I like Dragonette. I was fairly certain they weren’t cool until Fluo told me not to worry and love The Bomb. And then Kitsune called and said “we’re putting one of their songs on our next comp.” So, we’re all allowed to like it now!

MP3: “I get around” – Dragonette

• An open letter to Van She Tech from me, Baron von Luxxury.

Dear Van She Tech –

I love you and I hate you.

I love you because you are amazing.

I despise you because you are amazing.

Your productions make me envious and full of a jealous rage. But then I shake myself like a wet poodle and that moment of pettiness goes away.

And I am yours again.

I love you.

xx,
BvL

MP3: “I Love You (Van She Tech Remix)” – I Am Finn
From MFR

MP3: “Sex City (South Central ‘Dark City’ Remix)”
From Headphone Sex

• New Blackstrobe is ready for you. Dark, surprisingly rock…hell, it’s industrial.

MP3: “Girl Next Door” – Blackstrobe
MP3: “Buzz Buzz Buzz” – Blackstrobe
From Boule a Facettes

Bonus remixes:
MP3: “Never Win (Blackstrobe remix)” – Fischerspooner
MP3: “Ghost Trace (Blackstrobe remix)” – Tiefschwarz
Also from Boule a Facettes

• A few cool non-MP3 links. Clicky clicky.

Sampleur/sample. Sometimes you gotta track down the source material and scratch the itch.

Simon Reynolds’ Bliss Out. Erudite musical ramblings from the author of Rip it Up and Start Again, the best postpunk book ever written.

Out of 5 dot com. Record geeks make lists.

Music You Won’t (Possibly) Hear Anywhere Else – Old 78’s. Not Disco at all. But amazing.





Justi…Oh, You Know

4 05 2007

Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.” video
[props to http://www.discobelle.net]

How much love can a blogosphere give a ‘band’ with only 5 songs? Answer: a lot. And we’re not helping solve the problem, as we love these men with their dirty beats, funky basslines and porn sideburns as much as the next bleary eyed laptop jockey.

But as much as mon amour is pure and vrai, it feels a little pointless contributing what feels like yet another (and superfluous) vote for the already-elected. In a Columbia study published last year in Science, people were asked to listen to, rate and, if they chose, download songs by bands they had never heard of. Half the 14,000 participants were shown the prior download figures for the songs, while the other half were simply shown a list of titles.

The result was that in the first, or “social-influence” group, the most popular songs were much more popular (and the least popular songs were less popular) than in the independent condition. In other words, as The New York Times put it, in their piece about the study “the impact of a listener’s own reactions is easily overwhelmed by his or her reactions to others.”

The reason is that when people tend to like what other people like, differences in popularity are subject to what is called “cumulative advantage,” or the “rich get richer” effect. This means that if one object happens to be slightly more popular than another at just the right point, it will tend to become more popular still.

And there’s the rub: are we not subject to this same prejudice with every post we write, and each corresponding click we make selecting songs to download? Are we blogging about a band or downloading a song simply because we keep seeing it show up on so many damn “tastemaker” playlists, thus predisposing us to assume it’s good – or, worse, that we need to like it to be cool?

Are we listening with our eyes?

Ok, that conclusion was tongue-in-cheek-edly pompous. But it’s late and I am procrastinating sending out press packets of our new remix album. I HATE sending out press packets.

For now, my fellow francodiscophones, drop what you’re doing and add http://www.hatesomethingbeautiful.com to your bookmarkblogrollRSSnetvibes, because there are three new Justice-y things there now:

1. A new Uffie + Justice track, possibly an alternate version of a forthcoming track from the forthcoming Justice album, which drops July 10…

2. …and for which the magic geniuses at HSB have procured a tracklist, as such:

1. Genesis
2. Let There Be Light
3. D.A.N.C.E.
4. Newjack
5. Phantom
6. Phantom Pt. II
7. Valentine
8. The Party
9. DVNO
10. Stress
11. Waters of Nazareth
12. One Minute To Midnight

3. AND FURTHERMORE a couple o’ Justician remixes I’d never heard before:
MP3: “Skitzo Dancer (Justice Remix)” – Scenario Rock
MP3: “Me Against The Music (Justice Remix)” – Britney Spears

So. Go there.

Also: nothing to do with Justice or HSB, but worthy of mention are a few cool traxx I found whilst trolling the world o’ electro bloggage recently. Enjoy. Back to stuffing envelopes for me. So very glam, this rock stardom thing.

MP3: “Music Sounds Better On A Holiday” -Stardust + Madonna.
MP3: “The Brainwasher (Erol Alkan’s Horrorhouse Dub)” – Daft Punk