Moped Takeover

Hollywood Holt's

OK, I’ve been waiting for this day for years. between Hollywood Holt’s “Throw a Kit” video (featuring Chicago’s Peddy Ca$h club) and Andy Samberg’s Hot Rod movie, mopeds have officially taken over the hipster market and are finally positioned to become ubiquitous in television commercials and otherwise overexposed and boring, allowing scooters to fade back into obscurity so I can buy them for $800 again. Take note, hipsters, there soon will be folks showing up at moped rallies wearing fanny packs. And not Pac-Man fanny packs from Ragstock, either, I mean actual unironic fanny packs.

That said, “Throw a Kit” is awesome, and the first rap song to ever rhyme “Garelli” with “Minarelli”

Julie Plug’s “Blue Sky Propeller”

Julie Plug

Once again, YouTube (via John Rana) serves up a great music video that slipped by unnoticed (to us anyway) a few years ago. Julie Plug (on MySpace) is a Bay Area band influenced by Britpop and the Sundays. Their 2003 “Blue Sky Propeller” video is pretty much the Filipino-American “Lloyd, I’m ready to be Heartbroken”, only a few years older and more scooter-ific. Read John’s post for more about the band.

Bringing Back Those Memories

Surprised I’ve never seen this, it’s from 2004… Elvis just hepped us to Mark Joseph’s “Bringing Back Those Memories” video. It’s a fantastic clip with lots of vintage scooters and a great retro mod feel, but the song isn’t really my thing. The opening riff sounds like Bettie Serveert, but it quickly descends into teen-idol neoOasisness. Sure, I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like Oasis, and Mark apparently made quite a stir in the UK when it came out, and Cy probably has a Mark Joseph tattoo on his arse, so maybe I’m crazy, you might love it.

Lloyd I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

Here’s a moddy pop masterpiece from Camera Obscura with a great video to match. It’s the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, Style Council, and Kirsty MacColl all wrapped into one and dropped into a world of IKEA lamps and Repro Depot fabrics (Not a terriblly manly song, no). “Don’t You Dare Cheer Up Tracyanne” (from the comments) should be their next single.

Fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar

Canadian TV host Rick Mercer has driven a lot of different vehicles while interviewing celebrities and officials, but nothing could be better than riding a Vespa following Neil Peart of Rush to the band’s “Batcave” for a drum lesson. Peart, aside from being an amazing drummer, has written two books about motorcycle touring, and another about “road music.”

What Rocks Us: Beats International

threelions.jpgSince Norman Cook has given up scootering, here’s a track from his sort-of-forgotten days between the Housemartins and Fatboy Slim: “Won’t Talk About It” from Beats International’s 1990 album “Let Them Eat Bingo.” The song features Billy Bragg, not only in a far-out-of-context sample from “Levi Stubbs’ Tears,” but also on falsetto lead vocals. Don’t ever say Billy is not versatile. The rest of the album’s a treat, too, if you can find it, notably the remix of “Dub Be Good to Me” with the bass part from “The Guns of Brixton.” Both these tracks were popular during the 1990 World Cup (note the “No Alla Violenza” slogan in the video, which sadly does not feature Billy Bragg or his guitar sample).
Won’t Talk About It (mp3)
Won’t Talk About It (Bragg-less video)

Exus’ “Trans Scooter”

I think that's Kau-ku-'ta on the right

I’m having a hard time following this press release I got today, but as I understand it, two dudes named Saint and Kuut (pronounced “Kau-ku-‘ta,” of course), have mystical powers, and when they’re not sewing zippers on things, or doing video art, they paint their heads up like Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In, call themselves “Exus” and record music. Lots of music. One of their ten records due out in July is “Trans Scooter.” I’ll let them describe it:

The wind has blown and the combustion of a new generation takes you for a ride. Motoring to the beat makes others want to follow you. The division of the sexes has ended. Now you can show to everyone what’s between your legs, boy, girl. This is Dimensional Sound.

So, yeah, if you like asexual mellow-ish electronic music with alleged mystical powers (and you already have the complete Brian Eno collection) you might dig Exus. It’s not quite my bag (which is to say it’s nothing like Brian Eno, I was just making a cheap joke) but hey, Saint and Kuut seem like they’re havin’ fun and keeping busy with all their projects, and that’s respectable, I wish I had the time to put out ten albums this month. They’ve saved some space on the site for listeners’ scooter photos if you’re so inclined to send one.

What Rocks Us: England WC Anthems

When 2sb relaunched, one of our promises was secret MP3s for subscribers only. We did a few but dropped the ball. Speaking of balls, England plays tomorrow, so let’s revive the “What Rocks Us” tradition with an England World Cup Anthem Spectacular. If you play all these at once, England might have a prayer tomorrow.

Italia’90: New Order:World In Motion
WIM.jpgWe’ll forget about pre-1990, when the squad itself (e.g. Kevin Keegan) would generally sing the anthem (badly). New Order and comedian/actor/singer Keith Allen changed all that with “World In Motion.” They kept the team involved for some chanting, and let John Barnes rap through the middle. This is not New Order’s best work (It features the Ibiza/House flavor of “Technique” but lacks that album’s sonic depth and creativity), but I bought it when it came out, and it actually had a lot to do with turning me into a soccer fan, so props to them.
Here are all the versions on the CD EP:
World In Motion (mp3)
World In Motion-The B-Side (mp3)
World In Motion-No Alla Violenza Mix (mp3)
World In Motion-Subbuteo Mix (mp3)
World In Motion (Video)
World In Motion (Live Video 1998)
The Result: Impressive, England eliminated in semis by winner Germany, loses consolation match to hosts Italy.

USA’94: England didn’t qualify!
We’re guessing it woulda been Primal Scream with Ian Wright and Matt LeTissier, and the song would have been called “Lion-Hearted World”

England’96: Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds:Three Lions
threelions.jpgOriginally recorded for the ’96 Euro Championships, Three Lions found new life when it was re-recorded with new lyrics for 1998, and the France’98 official song (below) turned out to be so bad. A bit overproduced, but so totally English-sounding, and one of the better, and more enduring, songs of the bunch. It’s also the most optimistic of the songs– where the others talk about the brotherhood of man and “you can do it,” this one pretty much takes it for granted that “it’s coming home.” Probably because the Euro’96 tournament was actually in England, but in the context of France’98, it sounded so sure of itself.
Three Lions (mp3)
Three Lions (video)

France’98: England United (Spice Girls/Ocean Colour Scene/Echo and the Bunnymen): (How Does it Feel to Be) On Top of the World
topworld.jpgvindaloo.jpgI remember hearing about this, but never heard it until just now. It managed to offend Spice Girls, Bunnymen, AND soccer fans, and the re-issued version of “Three Lions” (above) easily topped it in the charts. Keith Allen (of “World in Motion” fame) was back, with Damien Hirst and the bassist out of Blur, calling themselves “Fat Les” and putting out Vindaloo, which is a great anthem, even if it was meant to be an oikish parody of football anthems. Chumbawamba’s song “Top of the World” (they got the title right) was described as “better than the Spice Girls song, but not much.”
On Top of the World (video)
On Top of the World (Live TV video)
Vindaloo (mp3)
Vindaloo (Video)
The Result: Luckless England meets Argentina in the round of 16, and loses a historic ugly-but-tight game in penalty kicks.

Japan/Korea’02: Ant & Dec:We’re on the Ball
onball.jpgWe couldn’t find this one, and it seems generally unloved despite reaching number 3 on the charts. No fewer than 9 World Cup songs made the charts in ’02, including (again) a repackaged “Three Lions” (#16), and another dozen were recorded but didn’t chart. The de-facto anthems became Ricky Martin’s shitty Cup of Life and JXL’s remix of Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation.
The Result: Not bad, England finishes behind Sweden in group and makes it to the Quarterfinals, but gets eliminated by winner Brazil.

Germany’06: Embrace:World at Your Feet
worldfeet.jpghurryup.jpgFootball fans and music lovers were so disappointed with this boring crapfest that, as in 2002, several ‘alternate’ anthems surfaced, most notably Sham69 and Graham Coxon’s sophomoric-but-rather-great “People’s Anthem” Hurry Up England, which is far more optimistic, and rhymes “John Terry” with “Wemberly.” Crazy Frog has a new single out too, but we’ll spare you that, or Wreckless Eric’s, or any of the other dozen contributions.
World At Your Feet (mp3)
World At Your Feet (Video)
Hurry Up England (mp3)
The Result:We shall see! Hopefully the quality of the song is inversely related to the quality of the football.

Thanks a million to Lucash and Cy for all their help on this, sorry I didn’t post it earlier. has a bit about what songs were on the british charts for every world cup, including an exhaustive list of each World Cup’s official and unofficial England anthems and their chart positions.