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by James Brundage


Ok. I have no life. I’m the type of person who goes to Europe, hates Paris because its too American, hangs out in Leftist bars in Colmar, and stocks up on CDs when I’m overseas. And maybe I do all of this in the hope that I could make an honest buck or two, or eventually end up as a music critic and try to live my life a la Cameron Crowe. Or maybe I do this because I’ve listened to American pop all my life, and the only pop I can really stand any more is named Iggy. Or maybe it’s the fact that I am coming into my own as a raver (a raver, not a candy kid). But whatever it is, I spent way too much money on CDs in Europe. I drained my checking account with CDs, and came back about 40 CDs heavy.

One of the fruits of my labors was the Hot Party mix compilation, courtesy of Universal Music Spa (a company I’m supposed to mention is screwing over, but that’s not really the point), which, to speak with all frankness, kicks the shit out of Now that’s what I call Music.

Unlike American counterparts such as Now, and Drew’s, Hot Party has a selection of songs that doesn’t necessarily come right off of the charts. In fact, only two bands (The Bloodhound Gang and Aqua) will get you anything but a blank stare stateside. You might get a click out Monica Anderson (aka Blondie), but I somehow doubt it. Instead, an American listener will get the rare pleasure of listening to new music mixed in with music they’ve heard before and still coming out of it having fun.

With “My Heart Goes Boom” by French Affair, Hot Party kicks off with a party beat and doesn’t stop until the final song, albeit often causing a few transitional difficulties along the way. From there it goes down a list of songs that you may have never heard of but you’ll still love, stopping briefly at track 4 for the Eiffel 65 remix of “The Bad Touch” by The Bloodhound Gang,” and then heading into songs you’ve never heard until track 21, where you get Aqua’s “Around the World”, and track 23, where you get a remix of Blondie’s “Maria.”

But before you put this into your CD player as a three-track album, remember that they are plenty of never-heards in the mix, too. I particularly love

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