heard on the wire

And then I shot myself, so drink, drink, drink

Hospitality are and indie pop trio from Brooklyn, that formed in 2007 but, like fine wines and the best beef, took some time to mature.

Belying an appearance that suggests just another bunch of “quirky” wannabe-indie kids, Hospitality make proper pop records that deserve a much wider audience than bands with their talent usually garner. This track comes from the band’s self-titled debut LP.

Hospitality :: The Birthday

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While the festive season is never short of songs, birthdays are rather less celebrated. Stevie Wonder bucked the trend to popularise the ultimately successful campaign for a public holiday to mark the day Martin Luther King “came to be”, but the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley didn’t make a birthday record to go with their copious festive offerings. At least the Beatles managed Birthday on the tedious/masterful¹ “white album”.

But all that matters little, since 1981 gave us Clare Grogan and the frantic brilliance of an Altered Images single, which encapsulates everything a birthday should be: fun, infectious and in a hot bath. This is the 12-inch “dance mix” by Martin Rushent, which adds little of value to the original but does have the cachet that rarity brings.

Altered Images :: Happy Birthday

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Equally frantic and infectious, Björk recorded this with the Sugarcubes before she went on to achieve international success as a solo artist the world’s most popular Icelander. I hope her birthdays in Reykjavík were as completely bonkers as this.

Sugarcubes :: Birthday

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You might not think of The Smiths when compiling a playlist of birthday tunes—and you’d be right. But depending on your sense of humour, this may be the funniest ever.

The Smiths :: Unhappy Birthday

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¹ Delete as applicable

Photo: Birthday Cake by Will Clayton; some rights reserved

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