BACKSEAT BALLADS

"The best places are in your backyard or backseat"
Michael Jackson – P.Y.T. [Pretty Young Thing] (70 plays)

Michael Jackson | P.Y.T. [Pretty Young Thing]

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

You gotta love websites like Who Sampled. There’s been so many times you listen to a song and wonder ‘wait a minute, I’ve heard this before’ only to discover later on that it was sampled from another song. Sometimes it can be something relatively recent or it can travel back to tunes from the 1930’s. 

Kanye West’s third album Graduation was one of my favourites in 2007 and his track ‘Good Life’ would definitely have been in my top 20 list of that year. It was only a year later during the ABCD (America’s Best Dance Crew) phase when Jabbawockeez did a dance routine to this MJ classic and I realised Yeezy actually sampled this tune.

It’s always puzzled me how this song can be so overlooked in his entire catalog when arguably it may be one of his best songs off that album. Then again, that album was pretty perfect to begin with.

Donut Cravings

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My cravings for particular desserts can be pretty intense at times. I might be kicking back minding my own business when out of nowhere thoughts of things like scones or cake will enter my subconscious and it’s game over from there. For a long time donuts were my main crux: if you’ve ever been to Olympic Donuts in Footscray will understand just how freaken good they are. 

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Jesse McCartney – Back Together (52 plays)

Jesse McCartney | Back Together

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

It must have been around midway last year when I really started to listen to our boy; JMAC. Now besides Beautiful Soul, I never took notice of his other songs over the years and it was only during our Whatevs Wherevs sessions that Mike introduced me to tracks such as Just So You Know.

Now he’s coming out with a new album and I must admit - I’m kind of excited. We had this debate on whether this or Treasure was the better song and I still believe the latter is much more catchier. Still I remember discovering this song last year and immediately notifying Mike about it. And we knew right there and then:

JMAC IS BACK.

Prince – When Doves Cry (76 plays)

Prince | When Doves Cry

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

And to go back to that night when I was cruising around with Raye in 2012, we had just discovered what seemed to be a godsend at the time: Smooth FM. Or should I say 'SMOOOOTH 91.5'.

At the time most of us got our fix from Love Song Dedications which, sad to say, doesn’t exist anymore. A part of me dies everytime I think about it. We had dropped Peter off home and decided to go cruising around Keilor, singing along to all these great tunes. We reached the main road and just as she was about to take the right turn towards my house, this immediately came on. We looked at each other and knew right there and then:

It isn’t over, this adventure must continue! 

Half an hour later I finally got home.

~

Other songs from that night:

Merril Bainbridge | Mouth

1927 | If I Could

Words with Friends

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One thing I miss about not working full time is the ability to do things spontaneously. And by spontaneous I mean go on late night cruises to satisfy our late night cravings or simply kill time. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen now but it’s simply become much harder when you know you’ve got work at 8am. Though to be honest, I try not to let that hinder me unless I’m really tired.

In recent times I’ve found myself hanging out with Lynh, Age and Peter going out on our late night Scrabble sessions. It’s something they’ve been doing for awhile now, even when Raye was still here. I’m pretty sure back in the day it use to be Monopoly for them but we all know how intense and long that game can be. No doubt Neil is still traumatised after the last time we played.

Now I’ve only joined this these little adventures but I’ve found myself winning majority of the games which I’m sure would make my dad proud (he’s the one who introduced me to Scrabble). Lynh is always trying to find new places to play Scrabble which must contain two things:

  1. Empty space
  2. Lots of light

This was the second time playing at Fed Square and I think it’s the perfect place to kick back at in the late hours of the night when it’s too cold outside. After midnight it’s practically empty with heaps of tables and seating available to be used. Which begs the question:

Why haven’t we had a dinner party here yet?

~

Huy Le

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M2M – Mirror Mirror (52 plays)

M2M | Mirror Mirror

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

One thing alot of people like to tell me is they love the music I have on during my house parties or in my car. A common one is 'OMG I haven't heard this song in years' which brings me great joy to see people try to figure out where they’ve heard this from before it finally kicks in.

With that said I’m always open to find new(old) music through others and it was Myka who reintroduced me to this classic. Driving home from Gelato Messina one night and she connected her phone through the auxilary of my car. “I know this song,” I told her in my sllightly tipsy state ‘Where have I heard this before?’.

And then it finally clicked. 

HOUSE PARTY @ CLUB LE

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When I made the event page for the house party I was holding, many people asked me what the occasion was. “Nothing really,” I’d remark to them. “Just felt like having one.” I’ve been blessed with parents who are rather easy going and don’t mind when I have our usual drinkups/house parties knowing that they tend to go till the early morning with us singing and dancing to our favourite love songs. Or maybe they’re simply use to it by now.

I’d like to think that with the amount of house parties I’ve had over the years that things would get easier. Not necessarily. I still get the jitters leading up to the event and I find myself still running around trying to accommodate everyone and make them feel comfortable in my home. Plus I still tend to leave the playlist to the last minute.

There were a new faces amongst the crowd this time round which definitely made things much more interesting. Although I love the small intimate drinkups we have, sometimes it’s good to simply invite people outside your circle of friends to spice things up and promote some mingling between one another. Once upon a time, Peter would hold some massive house parties at his place (generally for his birthday) where you’d have people from various groups: our group, his uni mates, workmates, etc… Bonds would be formed over shots and quantities of beer consumed through our trusty beer bong ‘Thomas Jones’. We miss you TJ.

July 5 also happened to be Jamie’s birthday so it only made sense we celebrated this occasion as well. Unfortunately - depending on how you look at it - Jam and some of the boys were still recovering from the previous night of drinking hence there was less alcohol consumed this night. Nevertheless it seemed to be a blessing in disguise as we were all tipsy enough to sing and dance to our beloved tunes without getting too messy. 

That always makes the cleanup so much easier.

~

As I messaged everyone the next morning, a sense of relief overcame me as I laid in bed that morning. Although everyone had left at 5am or so, I still had this buzzing sensation inside of me as though I could still party on. We must have went thro

ugh at least 10 polaroid packs that night with all these snapshots spread over the table. In many ways it reminded us of an Asian wedding - photographer would go around taking various photos, get them printed and spread them out hoping people would purchase them. It just made me smile just seeing people gather around the table and look at these images. Sometimes we’re so consumed with editing photos and uploading to Facebook that it’s nice to just have the physical thing right in front of us. But I’ll expand upon that in a future entry.

Age is having what he reports to be the House Party of the Year next month. He’s been talking it up for so long hence it will be interesting to see if it does live up to the hype. Eitherway it will definitely be a messy one.

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Tina Arena – Chains (19 plays)

Tina Arena | Chains

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

I never really listened to much Tina arena during my childhood days hence when John or Law would sing songs such as Sorrento Moon, I would be clueless and pretend I knew the lyrics. Which fortunately enough they would play on Smooth FM later on.

Initially I stumbled upon this song when I was actually trying to find the song ‘Chains’ by Aretha Franklin which was featured in one of my all time favourite films School Of Rock. It became obvious that this was not the same song so I never really did bother listening to it till later on. The guys must have been singing it (most likely JC) hence my decision to revisit this classic tune.

Hence there I was, downloading her album just for this one track. It was only then did I realise just how talented she is.

jennikidd asked: You look like a serial killer with your eyebrows, glasses, facial hair and puffy vest. What happened to you?

I don’t know how to respond to this.

Some snaps from HOUSE PARTY @ CLUB LE over the weekend, fun times were had! #cluble #backseatballads #houseparty (at Club Le)

Some snaps from HOUSE PARTY @ CLUB LE over the weekend, fun times were had! #cluble #backseatballads #houseparty (at Club Le)

Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is (29 plays)

Foreigner | I Want To Know What Love Is

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

During my film school days (aka uni) we had to do oral presentations in front of the whole class about a film we’d been watching during that semester. I chose to write about Fucking Amal (aka Show Me Love) and for some reason blasted the directors choice to use this song during a pivotal kiss between the two main characters. This shocked my lecturer who felt that it actually works where I felt it was too obvious and kind of cheesy.

I know, what was I thinking. If I ever made movies I’d be putting in the cheesiest love ballads all day everyday.

The Black Eyed Peas ft. Justin Timberlake – Where is the Love (59 plays)

The Black Eyed Peas ft. Justin Timberlake | Where is the Love

Raye’s Outdoors mix

One of the most annoying things back in the day of downloading songs on programs such as KaZaa or Limewire is the millions of versions available for you to choose. It became a game of Russian Roulette in many ways as you have to pick the one that you think would be not only the right version but wouldn’t be filled with static or sound like it’s recorded off those el cheapo $10 computer microphones.

Fortunately I was blessed with cable internet in year 9 which gave me the freedom (of sorts) to download multiple versions in hope of getting a good quality version. And obviously it would have to during off peak from 2am onwards. Even though you had to be careful not to go over your download limit - you’d be surprised how much 20gb could last you ten years ago.

How this all correlates to this song is simple: when this song came out I was struck at the fact it was by BEP who I wasn’t a fan of because of that track with Macy Gray on it. This song changed my perception of the group and I found myself liking their later songs. Until that bloody Boom song and now I just hate them all over again.

It was a Sunday afternoon as JC was over my place hoping I could make copies of FF7 for him. We began talking about the song and I explained to him how I’ve been having bad luck trying to find a decent version of this song that wasn’t screwed up.

He simply laughed.

Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek (69 plays)

Imogen Heap | Hide And Seek

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

Back in year 10 (2004) it seemed like everyone was hooked on The OC. Mind you I was too busy watching anime such as Cowboy Bebop & Fullmetal Alchemist hence I just thought it was just another phase everyone was going through. It would all accumulate to that pivotal moment in the show when (spoiler alert) Marissa shoots someone. Now I had no idea what was going on but the frenzy the next morning was bloody ridiculous.

Dex loved the show and he would rave on about how much this song complimented that particular scene. It wouldn’t be until years later when I discovered Jason Derulo, I mean, JASON DEERRRUUUULLLLOOOOOOOOO sampled this in his song. No shame, I use to listen to that song quite abit only because of this sample.

Top Paddock & Scrabble

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The month of June is a hectic one for the Backseat Ballads crew with many people having their birthday’s during this time. Another important date is one many people rejoice when it comes around: Queen’s Birthday. It’s only when I began working full-time that I truly appreciate having long weekends. Funnily enough I feel like workers, especially in the education system, look forward to these public holidays moreso than students themselves. Most people aim to make the most of it through family roadtrips, parties and general relaxation time.

Originally I was planning on doing a daytrip out to Kyneton and checking out some waterfalls. That was cancelled when I got a message from Age and Peter saying that they were going brunch with Lynh instead. So once again, those plans were put on the back-burner.

Which seems to be something that’s happening way too often now. Need to change this ASAP.

'Fuck it,' I thought to myself. I'll go. This would be the third day straight I had brunch with Chez Dre on Saturday and Reverence on Sunday. I had to browse through Broadsheet to see what cafes were opened and we finally decided upon Top Paddock. Initially coffee was all I planned on having but I was persuaded by Lynh to eat. If we're going to be waiting half an hour for a table you may as well get something to eat.

With Scrabble in the boot of the car, we headed out to the Royal Botanic Gardens and found a nice spot to setup for our game. Tea and chips were consumed as we battled it out: the ‘Teachers’ won with Lynh coming in first place (she was escatic) and ending up in last.

Once Queen’s Birthday passes we all find ourselves dreading the weeks ahead until the next public holiday. Melbourne Cup, which isn’t until November. I just hope that within that time I’ll get more opportunities to explore more places and do more things that I like to do.

Which includes this Kyneton adventure I’ve been thinking about for months now. 

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Huy Le

~

Top Paddock
658 Church St
Richmond, VIC 3121
Tel: 03 9429 4332

John Farnham – Break The Ice (23 plays)

John Farnham | Break The Ice

Raye’s Outdoors Mix

It was a Tuesday morning in July last year and we (me mike and Thai) were heading down to Prahan to visit Magnation. Anyone who knows me will understand just how much I’ve invested into my magazine collection, which I honestly don’t even want to think about.

As we’re driving down High Street trying to find parking, Mike took his phone out, and proceeded to play this song to us. Now besides the usual hits from our boy Johnny, I’ve never even heard of this track before but man we were laughing so hard and it’s sheer awesomeness. If I ever start going gym legitimately you can guarantee I’d make the most awesome 80’s workout compilation with this song securing a spot.

We shopped, ate burgers and decided to do an overnight trip down the Great Ocean Road. And the Ninja Thermals was conceived that night.

~

You can read about Mike’s writeups about this trip here.