Time for something new on Merchants Of Air. I mean, we already did songs for Christmas, Valentine's Day, the LGBT community and many more but we can't make up lists forever, or can we?
Well, today I'll start with a brand new list-series: 10 Songs for whatever is relevant that day. Here is how it works: I go to Wikipedia, click on the current day and see if there is anything interesting to be found. Can be a historic event, a holiday, the birth of a certain person... Anything.
We start with Gordo, one of the first squirrel monkeys that was launched into space on this day in 1958. The rocket would travel over 1,500 miles and reach a height of 310 miles (500 km) before returning to Earth and landing in the South Atlantic. A technical malfunction prevented the capsule's parachute from opening and, despite a short search, neither Gordo's body nor the vessel were ever recovered.
I'm not really sure what this song by German singer-songwriter/rapper Clueso is about but it feels like he created his own 'Major Tom'. Yet, a little research and the accompanying video tell me that Clueso knew quite well who Gordo was, even though the video shows a chimp, not a squirrel monkey. We'll forgive him...
Ok, technically I'm making a mistake here because a squirrel monkey is not an ape but I don't think Gordo will mind. I think his brain was occupied with "what the fuck is going on here???". Anyway. this is also a little tribute to Stephen Samuel Gordon, a British poet and MC, better known as Spaceape. Gordon passed away in 2014 after a battle against a rare form of cancer.
And then I typed "Space Monkey" into YouTube's google search. Apparently, there are more original ideas for a song title than this one. We found 'Space Monkey' songs from alternative rockers Placebo, punk diva Patti Smith, psych-trance knobtwisters Mad Scientist and Lunarave and drum & bass gurus Ed Rush & Optical. You can find many more on YouTube too, most of them in the electronic scenes.
There are also a bunch of bands named Space Monkey or using the words somewhere in their band names. For this list, we picked an eighties synthpop act, founded by Paul Goodchild. More a solo act than a band, Goodchild recruited members from Bow Wow Wow, Mike and the Mechanics and Wham's back-up band. There, now you know that.
There is also a Space Monkey in Cleveland and they play some neat and groovy stoner rock. There debut album was released last year and this tune, 'Smoke', is an awesome track, certainly suited for the stoner rockers reading this list.
This one popped up on YouTube and it's way too awesome not to be on this list. A little research taught me that this tune was released in 1961 when launching animals into space was the next big thing. The Scott Bros apparently released another 45" single before forever fading into obscurity.