A Month all about Names – #14 – Diane/Diana

Diane Young – Vampire Weekend (2013, XL Recordings, Taken from ‘Modern Vampires of the City’)

Two things leap into my mind when I think of the name Diane.  The first is figure from my childhood – Miss Diane, who was in the long running Brummie soap Crossroads.  Crossroads for those of you who are under 30 or simply had better things to do in the early eighties, was set in a Motel and ran for twenty years.  It was famous for its ridiculous storylines, such as its kitchen assistant, the wonderfully named Amy Turtle, being arrested for being a Russian spy and its wobbly sets, which were made out of cardboard and often shook on screen when doors slammed. 

Miss Diane, was in the soap for twenty years and in that time she was married three times and it turns out that the only person who actually called her ‘Miss Diane’, like she was some sort of control freak Dominatrix, was village idiot masquerading as a handyman, Benny Hawkins.  Benny for those of you who want to be reminded of Crossroads (and it is accepted that there is absolutely no reason why you should, it was largely terrible for the last fifteen years of its life) always wore a blue bobble hat and spoke with a yokel accent.  So ingrained in my childhood was Benny and his hat, that I used to call the old man who lived at the top of my dad’s road, who always wore a blue bobble hat when he went out, ‘Benny’.  For years even when Crossroads had been axed and I was old enough to know that the man with the hat at the top of the road was called Ron, I still referred to him as ‘Benny’.  I think my brother once shouted “Ooh, Miss Diane” at him once as we cycled past him on our Raleigh Grifters.

The second Diane that leaps into my mind when I think of that name is of Diane from Trainspotting, who must surely be the best Diane to have ever graced our screens.  I remember going to a press only screening of Trainspotting when it first came out.  I came away with a record bag full of Trainspotting swag, which I was supposed to give away in the student paper by setting some sort of stupid question like “Who plays Renton in the film – a) Robert De Niro, b) Edd the Duck or c) Ewan Macgregor.

The record bag contained Tshirts, a copy of the soundtrack, a copy of the book by Irvine Welsh and a massive poster of Diane snarling at the camera (see above).  I kept the bag and the poster and gave the rest away as prizes. 

Just to make people feel ridiculously old, I’ve just checked and that advance press screening took place on February 20th 1996.  Twenty seven years ago today.

There is a cluster of other Diane and for the sake of completeness Diana songs in the music library.  Here are two of each, the Diane ones are the same song, in contrasting styles.

Diane – Husker Du (1983, SST Records, Taken from ‘Metal Circus EP’) – ‘Diane’ of course is a true story.  It was written by Grant Hart about the murder of a waitress called Diane by a chap called Joseph Ture Jr in 1980.  In 2004, Nick Talbot under his Gravenhurst persona, took the song stripped it back marvellously and almost made it his own.

Diane – Gravenhurst (2004, XL Records, Taken from ‘Black Holes In The Sand’)

The two Diana songs are firstly, taken from the debut album by Northumberland’s Everything Everything, who I thought were named after an Underworld lyric, but are apparently named after a Radiohead song.

Come Alive, Diana – Everything, Everything (2010, Geffen Records, Taken from ‘Man Alive’)

Finally for today, a track taken from the debut album by Sweden’s The Concretes, all about listening to songs by the worlds worst penalty taker, Diana Ross.

Diana Ross – The Concretes (2003, Licking Fingers Records, Taken from ‘The Concretes’)

Tomorrow – Annie, who may or may not be ok.

The One Word Countdown – #19

Marmite encased in a techno beat…

Rez – Underworld (1993, Junior Boys Own, Taken from ‘1992 – 2012 Anthology’)

Points 137

There are two alternative charts for this rundown – both of which may see the light of day at the end of the series.  The first alternative chart is the ‘Average’ score chart, which looks at the number of points divided by the number of votes and then minuses 31.  If we use that chart ‘Rez’ sits 5th in the countdown (actually with a bit of mathematical mechanics it’s probably 3rd).

The second alternative chart is the ‘popular’ score chart.  This is simply the number of times the song was chosen by the voters.  If we use that chart, ‘Rez’ is 33rd (and again probably a bit lower if we use a proper equation).

The difference in this is what I am calling the Marmite factor. 

Put simply ‘Rez’ appeared in less of the voters countdowns than any other song in the Top 30.  For comparison, yesterday’s track ‘Rent’ appeared in twice as many rundowns as ‘Rez’ did, but ‘Rez’ scored more points.  The reason is simple.  Nearly every person who voted for ‘Rez’ placed it in their Top Five (although no one voted it at Number One) so it scored huge points whenever it appeared whereas ‘Rent’ scored regularly but quite low on several charts.  So it would seem that the people who love ‘Rez’ really love it and those that don’t, simply don’t.

‘Rez’ first surfaced as a non album single and the original pressings were on a very limited edition pink vinyl (and if you have a copy tucked away in the cupboard under the stairs, you might want to put it somewhere a bit safer).  A few months later it was released more generally and had the future single, the more edgy and trance like ‘Cowgirl’ (and a track that very nearly made it on to this rundown in place of ‘Rez’ simply because it was one of the tracks that when DJ’ing you could stick on and the dancefloor would just go crazy for it) on the B side.

Cowgirl – Underworld (1994, Junior Boys Own, Taken from ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’)

Of course, Karl Hyde’s lyrical chant throughout ‘Cowgirl’ “Everything, everything…” inspired another band to plug in their keyboards and make music.

Duet – Everything Everything (2013, RCA Records, Taken from ‘Arc’)

There was one other Underworld song that was considered for this rundown – and it was seriously considered as well.

Moaner – Underworld (1997, Junior Boys Own Records, Taken from ‘Beaucoup Fish’)

The Sunday Shuffle #21

Cough Cough – Everything Everything (2012, RCA Records)

This is a not so random shuffle this morning.  It’s a confession and an apology and I’m speaking only to one person.  A friend of mine.  A regular gigging buddy, a buddy who I have had countless brilliant nights out with.  Be it seeing the Klaxons in a tiny club in Plymouth or seeing Metronomy on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Totnes. 

A few weeks back he sent me a message asking if I wanted to go so and see Everything Everything up in Bristol.  I kind of did, but I’m sure he said the gig was on the next Monday and I couldn’t go because I had some stuff to sort at home.  So I sent a message back saying “Can’t do Monday, sorry”.  He messaged back saying “It’s Monday the 11th April – is that any better”.

I said I would check diaries and get back to him and then totally forgot, and as I sit here typing on Monday 4th Everything Everything came on the iPod and I suddenly remembered.  Of course, I’ve now checked the diary and I am now booked up for that day, so I can’t go but I could have done if I hadn’t been such a forgetful twat.

Sorry mate. 

I also owe him some money for some cricket tickets, and I kept saying yep I’ll do that tonight and I keep getting waylaid by doing dad things like reading adventure stories or making dinner or rescuing teddies from under the bed.  So I’ve forgotten to do that as well.  I’m sorry, I hope by the time you read this I have sorted that.  I think all I can do is dedicate two versions of the same tune to you – because I know you read on a daily basis (thank you).  I think I know which one you will prefer and I don’t think it will be the same as me.

Soul Limbo – Snuff (1996, Deceptive Records)

Soul Limbo – Booker T and the MGs (1968, Stax Records)

 I will try and be a better friend.

A Linked Series – #3

A Date with the Night – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003, Polydor Records)

The third instalment in this chain link fence of a series sees us move, from the grungy sawdust bar in Atlanta, where Tilly and the Wall and have just finished playing ‘Night of the Living Dead’, to a party in converted warehouse apartment in downtown New York.  Somewhere in the lounge area, the hip, trendy and semi famous are gyrating away to a splendid mixture of gonzo disco noise and post punk playfulness that is blaring out of the stereo.  This is because someone has just shoved ‘Date with the Night’ onto the stereo and, as the phrase goes, shit has going down.

In 2003, the hype that followed Karen O, Nick Zimmer and Brian Chase around was almost as infectious as their songs.  It was believable to see this band, actually being the future of rock music.  Especially when they had songs are catchy and as easy to dance to as ‘Date with the Night’ and singers as aurally impactive as Karen O.

In ‘Date with the Night’ Karen O sounds incredible, like a cross between an over excited 10 year old at a boy band gig and a wailing rock goddess who just happens to be out on the pull.  When you add her vocals to the frankly ridiculously drumming (which is sort of like a contorted 70s disco groove) and the art rock riff that underpin the song, it just makes it all better (also it contains no bass whatsoever).  It has hooks in all the wrong places, and just sort collapses at the end in a triumph sigh.  Its marvellously out of sorts but I have a feeling that its deliberate because it sounds so perfect.

So where do we go next – we can stay in New York and pick up one of the several brilliant bands that call it home.

New York City Cops – The Strokes (2001, RCA Records)

Or we could go another date (Wall are also from New York, so that would be a double link).

Last Date – Wall (2016, Wharf Cat Records)

We might of course, fancy more bands with double words in their name.  Which could lead us several ways – but this probably isn’t one of them

Cough, Cough – Everything Everything (2012, RCA Records)