Desert Living.

Around 10 years ago… OK, let’s stop right there for a minute; has it really been ten years? Actually, it’s been 11 years. Wow.

So, a decade and some change ago, I was commuting back and forth to my software developer job for a telecommunications company. The commute was 55 miles in each direction and involved a little bit of expressway, a little bit of main roads through villages, and a few back roads in Amish company. I liked driving back and forth as it gave my mind a chance to wander a little bit. The drive wasn’t stressful, not even on the snowiest of Upstate New York winter days.

I had my new iPhone in tow and would play some music and would often find myself rotating a certain number of playlists. A fan of electronic and dance music, I found myself listening to an artist named DJ Antoine. To this day I love the original radio and dance mix of his track “This Time”.

Here’s the version of the song that I really enjoy. I still frequently use it as a workout song.

Back in the day I looked up the video and while I didn’t particularly enjoy the different remix they chose for the video (it’s really not my thing at all), I liked the story being told in the video, particularly because it took place in the desert. Being in all the sunshine and exploring the world and the expansiveness offered by the desert seemed like such an exciting thing to do.

The video is actually part of a series; there’s also the same video (with a much different track) from the other point of view

Ultimix.

As we prepare for our move and went through the storage unit in the basement, I was delighted to find several crates of records from my DJ days. I knew they were down there somewhere, but they hadn’t seen the light of day in nearly four years. And now they’re being packed up and prepped for a ride across the country to Tucson.

When I was DJing three or four nights a week I heavily relied on a few of the remix services, including Ultimix, Hot Tracks, and Hi-NRG from Hot Tracks. These “For DJ Use Only” mixes featured custom mixes of popular songs, often with the necessary lead in and break out beats necessary to keep the dance floor moving in constant time as you moved between songs. It’s not nice to make gay men and lesbians trip and fall as you just mash two songs together; you have to beat mix them, and more importantly, do it at the proper time in the track to keep the energy up and the people dancing.

Ultimix, Hot Tracks, and the like certainly helped in that situation.

Friday Night Dance Party.

This was a big, but fairly niche, club track when I was DJing back in the day. I originally heard the song on “Open House Party” hosted by John Garabedian, and since I knew him from my radio connections, I called him up and he told me about the song. I was happy to start playing it right away.

From 1995, here’s “Movin’ Up” by Dreamworld.

Show Me Love.

Back when I was first DJing in small clubs I picked up this 12-inch single in a record store in Boston. I always enjoyed the vibe of this record, and a newer version became a big dance hit in 1992 or 1993. When I was Program Director of WOWZ/WOWB (Wow-FM, “The Beat of Central New York”) and had just discovered Napster, we yanked this version and mixed it into rotation. Don’t tell anyone. It was always fun to play alternative versions of tracks once in a while, though it’s not a very good practice for Top 40 radio.

From 1990, here’s Robin Stone (later Robin S) and “Show Me Love”. This is one of the reasons I enjoy YouTube; folks share the stuff you can’t find elsewhere.

Breakout.

One of my favorite songs of all time, here’s an amazing “2020” cover of Swing Out Sister and “Breakout”.

Menz.

Kylie Minogue’s new album “DISCO” dropped this week and I’m just starting to listen to it on Apple Music.

We must always whet our appetite with this video before listening to new music from Kylie.

Because I am way gay, here’s a bunch of men dancing to “Get Outta My Way”. I have my favorite of the bunch.

Love Or Let Me Be Lonely.

Last week I posted a video of Friends of Distinction singing “Grazin’ In The Grass”. I’ve always loved their vocals and the way they adapted the instrumental track with their own lyrics to make their own spin on the song.

Youtube suggested another Friends of Distinction track for me this week and it was a song I had not heard in a couple of decades. As soon as I heard the track I was transported into the backseat of my Dad’s muscle car, a 1971 Chevelle Heavy Chevy. It’s one of the songs we’d hear on 62 WHEN.

Here’s Friends of Distinction with “Love Or Let Me Be Lonely”. Gosh, I miss the funky sounds of the late 60s and early 70s.