Just to prove that I don’t take anything too seriously, especially sex, we opened this week’s show with BUSINESS TIME from the absolutely brilliant Flight of the Conchords.
The ‘sexy’ theme seemed to connect with many of our listeners because I had quite a bit of input this week. And its clear that different music serves different moods. For smooth and erotic you can’t go past R&B and for hot and heavy it has to be rock or funk. I tried to steer away from the patently obvious, but some sex anthems just couldn’t be omitted because, hey what the hell, they do it for me!
What makes a song sexy? Sometimes it’s in the smallest details. It can be an erotic tone to the voice or a throbbing bassline. A song that does both has to be AM I THE ONE from the amazing Beth Hart.
On FOXY LADY, Jimi Hendrix’s instrument isn’t so much a guitar as a penis with an amplifier. Even Hendrix might have met his match with Betty Davis, especially when she sings IF I’M IN LUCK I MIGHT JUST GET PICKED UP. Her hubbie, Miles Davis, suspected the two of having an affair at one stage. Despite the song’s title, her carnal, funk-rock delivery leaves no doubt as to who’s picking up who here.
OK, let’s calm down a bit. Time for the wonderful Dusty Springfield with BREAKFAST IN BED. On this track she offers a shoulder to cry on, and much more as well. I have to agree with listener Ian that Al Green just can’t be left out of a playlist of sexy songs, so I included LETS STAY TOGETHER to keep both of us happy.
Dinah Washington and Julia Lee were a couple of free-spirits who used the thin veil of double entendre to sing about their basic desires. Long before she made a name for herself singing the Great American songbooks, Washington often sang from a far more racy playlist that included the blatantly provocative BIG LONG SLIDIN THING. And Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends weren’t ashamed to demand that you DON’T COME TOO SOON.
Chris Isaak is one sexy looking dude and the perfectly pitched WICKED GAME was a certainty for this list. As was the far more explicit HEAD from pocket sexpot Prince. You can’t get a decent Prince clip and I prefer to show you the Isaak clip any old way. Helena Christiansen and Chris Isaak, directed by Herb Ritts. A no-brainer.
Santana’s SAMBA PA TI was suggested by Lynden who says that author Nick Hornby nominated it as a ‘song that exudes sex, despite having no lyrics/ vocals”. I think he may be right.
Alison Goldfrapp is the perfect fusion of disco, glam and electro. Not to mention sex. Check out the video clip of TWIST:
Is there a lyric as sexy as Kate Bush’s breathy, evocative “Mmmm yes” on THE SENSUAL WORLD?
Tim Buckley’s GET ON TOP was requested by Tracey, who assures me that his album, ‘Greetings From LA’ is what you need if you want to rock the Casbah with someone special. I can’t actually argue with that. After all, he talks in tongues and how good is that?
One of my favourite sexy songs comes from ex Belle & Sebastian member, Isobel Campbell, and Queens of the Stone Ager, Mark Lanegan, who sing the very provocative COME ON OVER TURN ME ON. Irresistible. I’d be over in a flash.
Don’t ask me what the title of Happy Mondays BOB’S YER UNCLE means but the lyrics seem to have as much to do with an Uncle Bob as Prince’s Red Corvette is about a car.
Fiona Apple’s song CRIMINAL is apparently a guilty admission about using your sexuality to get what you want. So that’s a bad thing, right?
Two songs that I find pretty sexy, although they couldn’t be more different, followed. On paper, the lines, “Will you come inside me/Do you wanna ride inside my love?” would seem to defy subtlety, but Minnie Riperton’s famous five-octave range lends those words an almost spiritual dimension on INSIDE MY LOVE. Minnie’s polar opposite is the one and only Janis Joplin. From one of my top 10 albums, Cheap Thrills, I chose the desperate yearning of I NEED A MAN TO LOVE.
How sexy is Marvyn Gaye’s LET’S GET IT ON? Here he is a the 1980 Monreux Festival. Someone hand that man a towel! Hotter than hot.
Another sexy song, from the gorgeous vamp Meow Meow, is I’M HUNGRY (AND THAT AIN’T RIGHT). She’s a fantastic New York based cabaret performer that I saw in Sydney in March. If you ever get a chance to catch her act, do it!
Heading towards the end of the show and I hadn’t played any hard rock! Easily fixed with AC/DC’s YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG. The music video has proven to be somewhat controversial with its use of leather clad women and a mechanical bull. During the shot with the bull, the woman playing lead singer Brian’s lover accidentally jabbed herself with her spur twice. The roadie who came to her aid married her a year later. Angus gave them a mechanical bull for a wedding present as a joke. When asked about the meaning of the video, the band said that its goal was to, quote, “be as politically incorrect as possible.” See what you think:
A natural closer was another rock classic – WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, by Led Zeppelin and we even got to fit in about 20 seconds of disco queen Donna Summer’s LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY. Oh, come on, I had to have at least one disco cliche in there, surely.
Thanks to Steve from Sax Leather in the Byron Industrial Estate for a great giveaway of some very saucy sex toys. And thanks too to the Gay Mardi Gras Film Festival, which is taking place this weekend at the Dendy Cinemas, for their ticket giveaway.
Thanks also to Lynden, Tracey, Julie, and Steve for your suggestions this week. Apologies to those whose songs didn’t make the list including Andrew whose pick of Ian Dury’s WAKE UP AND MAKE LOVE TO ME, while amusing, wasn’t what I’d call erotic. But I love having your input. And that brings me to next week’s theme, which was going to be on Winter until I remembered that I’d done that last June! So a little segue to the left and we’ll do a show on BAD WEATHER. Rain, storms, wind and even snow. So get your thinking caps on, preferably a nice little woolly beanie and let me know what you’d like to hear.
Here’s this week’s playlist:
Business Time – Flight of the Conchords
Am I The One – Beth Hart
If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up – Betty Davis, Betty Davis
Foxy Lady – Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix
Breakfast In Bed – Anthology Disc 2, Dusty Springﬁeld
Let’s Stay Together – Tarantino Experience II, Al Green
Big Long Slidin’ Thing – Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Drinkers & Sinners, Dinah Washington
Don’t Come Too Soon – Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Drinkers & Sinners, Julia Lee And Her Boyfriends
Wicked Game – Best of Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak
Head – Dirty Mind, Prince
Samba Pa Ti – The Ultimate Collection (CD1), Santana
Twist – Black Cherry, Goldfrapp
The Sensual World – The Sensual World, Kate Bush
Get On Top – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley
Come On Over (Turn Me On) – Sunday At Devil Dirt, Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan
Criminal – Fiona Apple
Bob’s yer Uncle – The Platinum Collection [Re-Mastered], Happy Mondays
Inside My Love – Perfect Angel / Adventures In Paradise, Minnie Riperton
I Need A Man To Love – Cheap Thrills, Janis Joplin/Big Brother & The Holding Company
Stay With Me Til Dawn – Smooth Groove Masters
Let’s Get It On – Anthology (Disc 2), Marvin Gaye
I’m Hungry (and that ain’t right) – Here kitty kitty … the lost sessions, Meow Meow & Thomas M.Lauderdale
You Shook Me All Night Long – Back in Black, AC/DC
Whole Lotta Love – Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 1, Led Zeppelin
Love To Love You Baby – Donna Summer
Next week: BAD WEATHER
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, those health inducing, anti-oxidising good guys of our diet, provided the theme for this week. Lots of songs, across quite a few genres, so it was a lot of fun. We opened the show with Liz Phair and Material Issue singing THE TRA LA LA SONG from a very cute album Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits.
The great Nina Simone got all educational on us with the story of Adam and Eve and their taste for FORBIDDEN FRUIT and then The Paul Butterfield Blues Band kept things moving along with DIGGIN’ MY POTATOES.
Then it was the late Nick Drake with a beautiful meditation on the effect of fame: FRUIT TREE. So sad that he died at the very young age of 26.
K.T. Tunstall raised the mood with BLACK HORSE & THE CHERRY TREE. Here she is at her first U.K. television performance. The show is ‘Later with Jools Holland’.
Junior Brown loves a woman who’s good in the kitchen and he sings all ab0ut it in CATFISH AND COLLARD GREENS while Lynyrd Skynyrd are totally seduced by GEORGIA PEACHES. But if you want to talk sexy, you can’t go past the gorgeous Julie London as she relates how she feels about WATERMELON MAN.
I didn’t think it was possible for a white boy to sing reggae, but UK band UB40 proved me wrong with CHERRY OH BABY. Check out the video clip and see what you think:
And here’s proof positive that the 70’s was a decade to be reckoned with – it’s The Brothers Johnson with STRAWBERRY LETTER 23. And did you know that the strawberry is the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside? True.
Ray Charles’ Genius Likes Company album has supplied a number of tracks for me over the time that I’ve been presenting Theme Park and that’s because it’s a great album. This week it was SWEET POTATO PIE where Charles is joined by James Taylor.
An interesting combination in a triple play followed starting out with Goldfrapp and BLACK CHERRY, followed by The Beach Boys with VEGETABLES and The Ting Tings with FRUIT MACHINE, which I think might really be about a certain gaming device which is in turn a metaphor for something else, anyway, so what the hell. Check out the Ting Tings, another great indie duo. It seems to be the thing these days.
A couple of blasts from the past rocked us into the second half of the show: Little Richard explained what he meant by TUTTI FRUTTI, (I think), and Dee Dee Sharp got everyone up dancing to MASH POTATO TIME. I love this older stuff so much, I’m going to put both clips up. Little Richard’s is actually a performance he did in 1995 but Dee Dee Sharp’s is pure 60’s.
I love the occasional piece of comedy so was really happy to have stumbled across Stan Freberg’s version of the BANANA BOAT SONG. And just as funny, in their own strange way, are The Presidents of the United States who claim to be moving to the country where they’re going to eat a lot of PEACHES.
I was accused of stretching the topic a bit when I included Marvin Gaye’s I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, but hey, grapes are fruits – right? And besides, it’s a classic.
Talking of classics, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF is a fabulous tune about opposites attracting. “You say tomato…..”. Love it. Ageless.
In complete contrast, we followed with The Kills and SOUR CHERRY from their 2008 album, Midnight Boom. Check them out on this clip:
Couldn’t leave out BANANA PANCAKES by Jack Johnson. Yummy. And the banana pancakes aren’t bad either.
Next up it was PINEAPPLE EXPRESS from Huey Lewis and the News and we followed with the ultimate Tex-Mex supergroup, The Texas Tornados, singing GUACAMOLE.
Billy Holiday gave us, possibly, her most famous recording, STRANGE FRUIT, released in 1939. The song condems the lynchings of African Americans that occurred mainly in the South, but throughout the United States, during this time. Here’s some rare footage of one of the first anti-racism songs ever:
Difficult to know how to follow such a powerful song, but couldn’t go too far wrong with a great piece of instrumental jazz: Dizzie Gillespie’s PICKIN’ THE CABBAGE. And then it was JJ Cale with CHERRY STREET and the wonderful Tony Joe White with POLK SALAD ANNIE.
Before I knew it, the two hours was all up and it was time to sign off with E.G. Daily’s version of LIFE IS JUST A BOWL OF CHERRIES, which apparently means that life is meant to be simple and pleasant.
Next week, is my last show before I take a 2-week break so the theme will be HOLIDAYS. Let me know if you have any favourites you’d like me to play.
Here’s this week’s complete playlist:
I’m a bit of a scardy cat about flying – being a Capricorn I like my feet firmly on the ground. But there’s no denying some of the pleasures of traveling by plane: the first glimpse of a new city at night, the first breath of unfamiliar air… and did I mention the complimentary movies? But, let’s face it, its getting harder: If the never-ending security checks don’t take the last bit of glamour out of air travel, then the eco-guilt will.
This is where music’s power to create magic from the mundane comes in. Who wants to hear a song about removing your shoes at the X-ray machine, or choosing between chicken and beef? Music reminds us that soaring above the clouds, despite all the irritations and anxiety, is a pretty amazing thing.
Back in 1957, commercial air travel was still radiant with romance, particularly, I imagine, if you were Frank Sinatra. Buoyed by Billy May’s breezy arrangement, our opening track COME FLY WITH ME invites us to join the good life. Unfortunately, I doubt that it will ever be as glamorous again.
Another aspect of air travel that you can’t escape from, especially if you live in Australia, is jetlag and The Specials capture those jetlag jitters beautifully on INTERNATIONAL JET SET. Jack Johnson reckons that the safest way to travel is in the air, as he shamelessly promotes NORTHWEST AIRLINES while Billy Bragg and Wilco have booked to travel on an AIRLINE TO HEAVEN.
The Foo Fighters win the prize for the funniest video clip with LEARN TO FLY. Having TENACIOUS D, (Jack Black and Kyle Gass), guesting wasn’t a bad move either. Check it out:
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. Relax….
Time to take a listen to the Boxtops who don’t have time to take a fast train, they need a ticket for an aeroplane. Their baby just sent them a LETTER. The Beatles are keen to tell us all about a “dreadful” flight to the USSR from Miami Beach in the opening track from their White album, BACK IN THE USSR.
Prince is addicted to air travel. After all, without it how could he call himself an INTERNATIONAL LOVER? Jonathan Richman, bless his little cotton socks, likes nothing better that to imagine that he’s A LITTLE AIRPLANE. I think they’ve both got a little bit of explaining to do!
In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.
It would be impossible to choose between the talented siblings, Angus and Julia Stone. Their song, PAPER AEROPLANE,is dedicated to the best way to send a letter. Take a look at this clip.
The Byrds wrote the song EIGHT MILES HIGH about their first trip to London. Lyricist Gene Clark suffered badly from a fear of flying. Roger McGuinn’s Coltrane-inspired guitar solo led some radio stations to ban it because they thought it was a drug song. Silly people.
With AMELIA Joni Mitchell turns to the ghost of vanished aviator Amelia Earheart to confide the regrets of a life ruled by wanderlust: “I’ve spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude.” That girl certainly knows how to write a lyric.
I love AIRPLANE SONG by Scouting for Girls. Here’s the original 2006 demo for you to look/listen to. Yeah, get yourself on an aeroplane, ’cause its been too long since you went away.
We now need to lock our trays and put our seats into the upright position. Turbulence ahead with the Steve Miller Band singing JET AIRLINER, Hoodoo Gurus with I WAS A KAMIKAZEE PILOT, HELICOPTER by Bloc Party and Red Hot Chili Peppers with ZEPHYR SONG.
We can’t forget the humble flight attendant and there’s no better song to do it with than the Hall & Oates number LAS VEGAS TURNAROUND (otherwise known as the, non-PC, Stewardess Song).
We followed with Goldfrapp singing FLY ME AWAY. Now if you listen to the show or read the blog, you’ll know that I’m a film/video freak and especially like good animation. Take a look at this fantastically quirky video clip for Goldfrapp’s song.
To finish the show: Susan Raye’s one and only hit, L.A. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
Now, as you exit the aircraft, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed amongst the Theme Park cabin crew and, as the captain, I’ll get first pick.
Next week: AUTOMOBILES when I’m looking forward to playing Mic Conway’s National Junk Band’s tune, WHO GAVE YOU THE LICENCE TO DRIVE ME CRAZY?
Drop me a line if you have any requests!
Here’s this week’s playlist:
Come Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra
International Jet Set – The Specials
Northwest Airlines Blues – Big Jack Johnson
Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters
Airline To Heaven – Billy Bragg & Wilco
The Letter – The Boxtops
Back In The USSR – The Beatles
International Lover – Prince
I’m A Little Airplane – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Paper Aeroplane – Angus & Julia Stone
Takeoffs and Landings – The Ataris
Eight Miles High – The Byrds
The Airplane Song – Scouting For Girls
Amelia – Joni Mitchell
Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band
Zepher Song – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
I Was A Kamikazee Pilot – Hoodoo Gurus
Helicopter – Bloc Party
Las Vegas Turnaround – Hall & Oates
Fly Me Away – Goldfrapp
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
Plane Crash in C – Rilo Kiley
LA International Airport – Susan Raye
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time. Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org
Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn
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