My summer was an emotional roller coaster. In fact, July was one of the hardest months of my life. August wasn’t so great either.
I managed to encounter every shyster, cheat, liar, and scoundrel in town. Fortunately, I had some people looking out for me, too, but it’s been a ROUGH couple of months!
So today’s mixtape is a shout-out to all the thieves, shady people, and crooks. Y’all suck!
But you know what doesn’t suck? All of these fabulous tunes! As always, I’m bringing: obscure picks, awesome live performances, and favorite singers.
I’ve dug deep into the late alt 80s vault. “Probably a Robbery” by Renegade Soundwave is a cheeky, deadpan club hit (really) from 1990. This is the kind of song that belongs in a Guy Ritchie movie, no?
Beastie Boys swagger + detached trippiness of the Happy Mondays = Renegade Soundwave
The Pixies. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Jane’s Addiction.
These late alternative 80s bands would become part of the musical bridge to grunge. Of course, in 1990 none of us knew that.
Exactly 30 years ago, I was a freshman at FSU. My best pal and I were roommates in a decrepit dorm in the heart of campus. We had an answering machine (duh) that we would swap out messages a few times that year.
One of those messages involved a parody of this song incorporating our names and escapades into it. I can’t recall much, but my best pal has a decent singing voice and it started with her singing [to the cadence of this song] “Bons and Jo can’t come to the phone but leave a message and we’ll call ya back…”
Geez. I promise it was charming and clever instead of the dreck I’m making it sound like.
Anyhoo, “Been Caught Stealing” was a major crossover hit for the quirky quartet. This live performance captures the fashion, style, and vibe of the era.
A different type of liar. Del Amitri’s “Always the Last to Know” highlights both sides of cheating. Clever, biting lyrics against an awesome vocal by the criminally under-rated Justin Currie.
The studio cut is livelier. More recently, Justin Currie has been performing it as an introspective, acoustic format. This live find from 2014 with the entire band splits the difference: Justin Currie is a little more laid back from the original but his delivery is flawless and the band brings lots of great energy.
Del Amitri and Justin Currie remain BMT favorites, so I hope you’ll find a few minutes to listen to this long-buried mid-90s gem.
“No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues.” It might lack the Oxford comma but it’s got loads of charm.
Hailing from Cornwall, the Fisherman’s Friends deliver a celebration to those seeking questionable adventures.
I don’t believe in karma. Good things happen to lousy people. And really bad things happen to lovely people.
Having said that, sometimes life does have a way of catching up with crappy behavior and poor decision-making.
“You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming” might be wishful thinking. But I’ll happily take Robert Palmer’s rockin’, rollicking song as my consolation prize.
My Alan Parsons Project knowledge is limited to a few radio hits of the early 80s. There’s a grittiness to “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You” that made me assume it was from their 70s catalog. Yep, 1977.
In fact, it sounds like a cross between a tv crime show theme song and a prog rock interpretation of “Stayin’ Alive.” That’s not an insult, for the record.
It’s slick and sultry but the last minute gets increasingly evocative. The disdain becomes deliciously palpable.
To the shysters, the crooks, the thieves, and the liars…I wouldn’t want to be like you. Indeed.
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!