(Don’t) Hang the DJ
Yet another theme that I have managed to overlook. Not to say that it’s always frothy and light here in BMTland.
But today I openly embrace songs referencing murder and death — literally and figuratively. I promise this turned out much better (and less depressing) than I’m making it sound.
Leave it to me to crank out songs about killing just as spring has arrived in the South. I’m a rule breaker, y’all!
The usual BMT trappings are here: iconic bands, loads of live performances, forgotten gems, and a few surprises, too!
This is one of those songs, like “Young Turks” by Rod Stewart for instance, where the chorus betrays the correct title of the song.
Heck, I couldn’t even remember the actual title of “Panic.” But I dang sure knew the lyrics to the chorus!
This live cut from ’86 is a treat! Morrissey’s vocal is perfection, the mid-80s fashion time capsule is spot-on, and all the Smiths members are delivering the rock in alt 80s rock!
For those not in the know, the inspiration for the Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays” is an elementary school mass shooting.
So, yeah, it’s a bleak song, lyrically.
On the other hand, it’s quite catchy, no? And this larger-than-life Live Aid performance with a characteristically disheveled Bob Geldof is spectacular.
A few years ago I heard the Cure somewhere mundane like Target or Seven-Eleven. I was tickled.
Let’s face it, there’s no way Robert Smith et al were writing “Killing An Arab” and thinking: “Ya know, someday people might be buying toilet paper while our song referencing Albert Camus is playing in the background.”
Unsurprisingly, this performance from the Peel Sessions is raw and spiky.
The Jesus & Mary Chain are BMT staples, but I haven’t included them on a mixtape in ages. “Blues From a Gun” hits the spot!
I tend to gravitate towards “Head On” from the stellar Automatic, so I overlook this song. Bad Bonnie!
This is my kryptonite. Dark, edgy, and some reverb against bright guitars and a raspy British vocal. Yummy!
Oops! I didn’t even know that the Stone Roses’ lead singer, Ian Brown, had released solo albums after the Madchester giants broke up. My handful of followers know that I’m a massive Stone Roses fan, so I was rooting for this to be good.
I’m happy to report that “Vanity Kills” is…killer! (Surely I’m allowed one pun!)
Somehow it’s dramatic and simultaneously cooly detached. Ian’s famous swagger is still there but age has mellowed him. Ian Brown of this century is less brash but still sexy.
If I remember correctly, “One More Murder” was the original inspiration for today’s mixtape. I probably heard it on Sirius while driving and realized the theme of murder might be something worth exploring.
It’s not uncommon for my mixtapes to morph a bit when I actually sit down to create them. So the title shifted a bit, but the theme remained.
When I listen to Better Than Ezra, I tend to end up missing the 90s. I love the 80s, but sometimes other decades beckon!
I had zero inclination to include this, frankly, overplayed song, but reluctantly listened to this version out of curiosity.
I was utterly enchanted! Who knew the Buggles performing this early MTV-era anthem live (with the original back-up singers, too!) would be such a triumph?
It’s nostalgiac, yes, but also a sincerely solid performance. I must acknowledge that “Video Killed the Radio Star” is enduring and charming — bravo! (And Trevor Horn has my eternal gratitude for his many contributions to music via producing acts including BMT favorite, the Pet Shop Boys.)
Until her 40’s, Bonnie’s worst nightmare included writing and sharing personal stories publicly. At her friends’ suggestion, she bemusedly started Bonnie’s Mixed Tape on Medium in 2017. She remains shocked that anyone reads her stories and that P.S. I Love You, Assemblage, the Writing Cooperative, and the Ascent have published her work.
Bonnie loves all types of music, but really, really, really loves the 80s.
Thank you for reading this story
I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. you using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!