Five. My first introduction to Frankie Goes To Hollywood was the fruity 16 minute mix of 'Relax' that was essentially lots of samples of zips and "water". I can't say that at the age of 13 I was fully aware of what was going on, but something most definitely was. When I got around to see the video, it shed light -- though not much light, dark rooms are dark for a reason -- on a vision of SICK FILTH unseen before. It was probably my Starman moment. It was probably quite a few people's Starman moment. This wasn't the casual draping of an arm around another man. This was dirty and butch and involved a tiger.
Seven. Frankie Goes To Hollywood as the first act to launch Zang Tuum Tumb was like if Virgin had launched with the Sex Pistols. ZTT helped manufacture them into an amazing thing. A last hurrah and accumulation of all the brilliance and invention of the post-punk and perfect pop years, before pop music got all issue-based, serious and people like Simple Minds donned the billowy coats of problem rock.
Eight. 'Two Tribes (Annihilation Mix)' is probably the highest point of eighties 12 inch culture. Nine minutes of drama, sirens, funk, fear and excitement. In a perfect world, it would spend nine weeks at No.1. Summer 1984 -- with 'Relax' climbing back up to No.2 -- seemed like a perfect world, especially one where a pansexual juggernaut was beating off Prince, Wham! and The Smiths. For any teenager in 1984, it certainly felt like the world could go up in nuclear flames at any point, to the extent that I timed if I could run back home within a four-minute warning. 'Two Tribes', with such darkly intoning quotes from the Protect & Survive booklet, coupled with that year's nuclear bomb drama Threads, exacerbated that paranoia.
Ten. 'The Power of Love'. Not even the wet acoustic cover of recent years can dim its majesty. A sentiment such as "I'll protect you from the Hooded Claw" is all you need in a love song.
Eleven. The fourth number one that wasn't -- 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome' -- is the underdog of this tale. What seemed like excess and pretentious guff on the album, is remade into a propulsive banger. It has come out in the intervening years, and removed it's "only No.2" shame to evoke the entire Frankie ethos in one song.
List of unnamed fictional United States Presidents
Unnamed President in: Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24
The bad news:
Starting this year SXSW is replacing the sample tracks they have provided for years with links to Soundcloud pages. While there are certainly known ways to download those samples, Soundcloud goes through considerable trouble to prevent that from happening. Since these torrents have always been about providing easier access to otherwise readily downloadable samples instead of outright piracy, this regrettably means that, if SXSW sticks with this new design, we will be unable to provide torrents in the future.
The good news:
Since this is a very recent change, we do have a partial set of sample tracks that were released for 2014. It should be on the order of 700-800 songs; however there will likely not be a Part 2. We were not expecting this change, so please be patient as we get our process updated and get a release built. We're hoping to be ready first thing next week (2/24).
So basically, SXSW has made it impossible for me to do my usual prep -- listen to 1500 tracks, decide which ones I like, and then use that list to decide which shows to attend. Without doing that prep, there's really no reason for me to attend at all, because the chance that I'm going to see something I care about drops to basically zero. I'll end up seeing 3 bands a day instead of 14. I wouldn't have bought a ticket, hotel and flight if I'd known I was going to have to go in cold.
Thanks, SXSW. Your attendee-hostility grows every year. It's like you're using Burning Man as your customer service model.
They used to provide full torrents themselves. Then they stopped. Then they used to provide MP3s. Now they've stopped. Next year maybe they won't even bother telling us who's playing!
I guess it's time to update my scrape-sxsw.pl script to try and rip all the music from their site on my own. Anyone got a pointer to a simple, effective and functional Soundcloud downloader? Perl preferred, but anything I can run from the command line is fine.
Update: The torrent is up now, but contains only 783 tracks.