Song Of The Day 7/21/2014: Alan Vega - "Jukebox Babe (Signature X Mutant Disco Edit)"

Fun With Spotify -- The "Appears On" Game (What This Is): Joshua Alefteras had me look up Was (Not Was), the arch-pop conglomerate who made several challenging, witty, outré works of clever, cracked abandon. Now they're only remembered for the novelty hit "Walk the Dinosaur" and founding member Don Was seemingly producing any album made after 1986 that T Bone Burnett passed on. Bonnie Raitt's career-refibrillator Nick Of Time was a Don Was production. You can also thank him for the B-52s' "Love Shack" and a good hunk of the Rolling Stones' work since the '90s, if those are your thing.

But back in 1979 Was (Not Was) were adorable dance pranksters who found simpatico spirits at New York's ZE Records, at one time the greatest avant-disco label in the world. ZE pumped out records that twisted up the uptight stricture of the coked-out Studio 54 scene by artists like Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Cristina and Don Armando. ZE flamed out in '84 but was revived by founder Michel Esteban, who re-opened shop in Paris and went to work bringing ZE's history into the digital shop bins.

No surprise, then, that Was (Not Was) is on a relatively new ZE anthology called 20 Mutant Disco Uptown Edits, alongside today's minimalist rockabilly/dance gumbo from Alan Vega, still a member of the synthpunk architect band Suicide. "Jukebox Babe" is vintage Vega. Everything on this record supports his basic premise. Respect the hiccup.

Thank (you), Was (Not Was)!

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