Saturday, 21 December 2013

20 November 2013 DJ Set List for Dr Sketchy

Phew! I am whoppingly behind with my blogging. Life has got in the way in recent months: Iwas in Canada for two weeks over Halloween and since getting back I've been DJ’ing a lot and started a very demanding new job. So I'm exhausted and distracted a lot of the time, but if I don’t document my DJ’ing misadventures, no one else is going to do it for me! And besides, I have overwhelming OCD about these things. So this blog will be a speedier than usual catch-up.

As you can see, I eased into the November 2013 Dr Sketchy at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern with some ethereal and pagan mondo exotica via the magic of Martin Denny, Les Baxter and the genre’s ululating high priestess Yma Sumac. I think exotica’s last real hey day was in the easy listening "loungecore" revival of the early nineties, but I’m determined to bring it back again!  Those jungle noises, cawing birds and ominous tribal chanting sound effects are like aural catnip for me. I also suspect I’m the only DJ currently playing calypso on a regular basis. Not the genuine article, but the gloriously ersatz and kitsch variety of faux novelty calypso performed by jive honky white crackers (in this case, Robert Mitchum – who invented the genre with his classic 1957 album Calypso is Like So, Mamie Van Doren and First Lady of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson).

Otherwise: I continue to be obsessed by the angel-faced “Japanese Elvis” Masaaki Hirao. (I try to sprinkle in some other songs by him, but I’m addicted to his version of “Lucille” – in fact I think I love it even more than Little Richard’s original!). It wouldn't be a Dr Sketchy without some Las Vegas Grind-style sleazy, bump'n'grind tittyshaker instrumentals. While the evening’s featured performer Frankie von Flirter modelled, I sound-tracked her poses with cooing sex kittens (Julie London, Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield).

Speaking of international vintage sex kittens, I played a track by ultra-sultry "ooh la la" French actrice et chanteuse Denise Darcel for the first time in ages (her wonderfully camp 1958 Banned in Boston album used to be one of my staples at Dr Sketchy. She croons in a thick comedic French accent – imagine a sexy female Pepe le Pew). The Parisian beauty pageant winner turned Hollywood starlet (specialising in playing characters named Fifi, Gigi and Lola in films like Tarzan and the Slave Girl and Seven Women from Hell) turned nightclub songbird turned (when legitimate show biz offers dried up) stripper was never exactly a household name. You’d be forgiven for thinking Darcel would be dimly-remembered today by only the most rabid of old movie junkies. In fact, her name tops the all-time most popular search engine entries for my blog! So she is clearly a cult figure out there who gets Googled a lot! Darcel died aged 87 on 23 December 2011 – meaning the second anniversary of her death is fast approaching.  Read her obituary here. (I have written about Darcel before in more detail here).  Merci, Denise Darcel - you made the world a more divoon place.

/ Satan's Angel and I at Viva Las Vegas in 2010

Another fabulous babe and source of inspiration is doyenne of exotic dance and true burlesque royalty, Satan’s Angel (the savagely-pouting and bouffant-haired pin-up featured at the top of this blog). I got to see Satan’s Angel perform and briefly meet and talk to her at Viva Las Vegas in 2010. She was great – a raspy-voiced, hard-boiled but sweet tough cookie and a true old-school broad. Since then I've befriended her on Facebook and am always entertained by her straight-talking status updates. Just two of the reasons I love this woman: as an out and proud lesbian on the Mafia-ruled burlesque scene in the 1960s she defiantly endured her share of prejudice. (Apparently her female lovers included Hedy Lamarr and Janis Joplin). Satan’s Angel also used to play bass in a topless all-girl rock’n’roll band called The Hummingbirds who used to do a residency at the nite spot Tipsy’s in San Francisco’s North Beach. (How Beyond the Valley of the Dolls / Russ Meyer-esque! Oh, for a time machine!). Now 69, she’s still performing, teaches her patented “fire tassel twirling” technique to today's neo-burlesque performers – and still stirs up trouble! Welcome to her wild, wild world!

Satan's Angel with her friend and peer, the late great Tura Satana (1938-2011)

/ Candid snap of a very young Satan's Angel at home at Christmas time in the early 1960s. Now that is a killer bullet bra! /

/ Trailer for an intriguing-looking 2013 documentary about the life and career of Satan's Angel /

Jungle Madness - Les Baxter
Taita Inty (Virgin of the Sun God)- Yma Sumac
Misirlou - Martin Denny
Anohi Kara - Masaaki Hirao
Sleep Walk - Henri Renee and His Orchestra
Caravan - 80 Drums Around the World
Kismiaz - The Cramps
Monkey Bird - The Revels
La-bas c'est naturel - Serge Gainsbourg
Champagne Taste - Eartha Kitt
Cocktail for Two - Cliff Dauphiney
The Whip - The Originals
Tonight You Belong to Me - Patience and Prudence
Long Distance - Garnell Cooper and The Kinfolks
All of Me - Mae West
Honey Rock - Barney Kessel
Here Comes the Bug - The Rumblers
I'm a Bad, Bad Girl - Little Esther
The Coo - Wayne Cochran
Intoxica - The Centurions
Leave Married Women Alone - Jimmy Cavallo
Bombora - The Original Surf-aris
Nosey Joe - Bull Moose Jackson
Coconut Water - Robert Mitchum
Dona Wana - Wanda Jackson
Go Calypso! Mamie Van Doren
Vesuvius - The Revels
Save It - Mel Robbins
Night Scene - The Rumblers
Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby - The Earls of Suave
Serenata - The Jonah Jones Quarter
Give Me Love - Lena Horne
Sexe - Line Renaud
Some Small Chance - Serge Gainsbourg (Strip-tease soundtrack)
What is a Man? Denise Darcel
I Want a Boy - Connie Russell
Crazy Vibrations - The Bikini
You're the Boss - Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret
Bewildered - Shirley and Lee
Intoxica - The Revels
Tina's Dilemma - Ike and Tina Turner
Little Queenie - The Bill Black Combo
Jailhouse Rock - Masaaki Hirao
Margaya - The Fender Four
Suey - Jayne Mansfield
Pass The Hatchet - Roger and The Gypsies
Handclapping Time - The Fabulous Raiders
Sometimes I Wish I Had a Gun - Mink Stole
Black Coffee - Julie London
Je me donne à qui me plaît - Brigitte Bardot 
You'd Be Surprised - Marilyn Monroe
Lucky - Lizabeth Scott
The Beast - Milt Buckner
Torture Rock - Rockin' Belmarx
Je t'aime moi non plus - Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot
The Whip - The Frantics
Love is Strange - Johnny Thunders and Patti Palladin
Kool Kat Walk - Julee Cruise
La Javanaise - Juliette Greco
Last Call for Whiskey - Choker Campbell

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