7:47 p.m. - January 19, 2006
Chain Songs Revealed!
Hey, gang, remember the CD mix chain?.
Well, I performed my end of the duty when I received the chain from Heeland Lass, but somehow the winner of my chain disappeared. I made the mix, she acknowledged that she received it, and since then there’s been radio silence. Nothing, nada, zippo.
So, I decided to put all of the other responders to the chain in a hat (I really and truly did. It was my Christjan Albers Minardi Racing Team hat, to boot, because you should always draw out of an orange hat with black polka dots), and the winner was Clipchick! And she has now posted her review of the 26 track (count ‘em) CD on her site, and has kept the chain going. Yeah, rah!
(I’ve developed an art of cramming in everything to the very last possible second on these mixes. I always hated wasting blank tape and now I hate wasting valuable time on a mix CD.)
So now it is my solemn duty to publish the tracks that were on the mix CD. Yes, I know it’s another music entry so close to my huge music project – however, a man must fulfill his obligations, and my obligation is to post what was on that mix and all, and I will do so.
Get jealous, people. This mix could have been yours.
1. Hey Sailor – Mudhoney. This is a very short, quite indescribable something or other. It was actually a B-side to a single. I hope you enjoyed these 23 seconds of insanity.
2. Flat Out F***** - Mudhoney. From their first actual album (though they released a couple of EPs and singles beforehand), this basically sums up Mudhoney. Dirty, grungy guitars (best guitar sound ever!) and lyrics about being a lazy slacker. It’s the real Seattle sound, and it’s still tasty!
3. This Is Not a Photograph – The Mission of Burma. They were Boston’s real contenders in the first wave of post-punk, college-rock, alternative groups. They pioneered the use of tape loops woven into their very loud sound (on stage they were deafening). In fact, guitarist Roger Miller had to play with headphones on, as he was stricken with tinnitus.
4. Whisky Train – Procol Harum. You know them from their moody keyboard piece “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. Here, they actually use their guitar player to great use and almost as much cowbell as you can handle in one sitting.
5. The Full Bug – Van Halen. Diver Down is one album that always gets short shrift amongst Van Halen fans, and for good reason – it’s spotty and has a lot of filler. However, this is one absolute corker from the record. David Lee Roth does his schtick, Eddie Van Halen does his schtick, and all is well.
6. Begin the Begin – R. E. M. This is the first song from the first album when Michael Stipe decides its time to let everyone understand the words he’s singing. Now, whether we understood what the words meant is another thing, but at least he wasn’t mumbling anymore. Peter Buck also decides its time to break out the power chords on this song.
7. Oh Tara – The Knack. Sure, the Knack ran out of steam, sure their songs were a bit puerile, but they were fun while they lasted, weren’t they? And if I could produce their records, I’d give the guitars a little more edge and tighten up the bass sound. But that’s just me.
8. Mental Hopscotch – Missing Persons. They released a five song EP before their first true album (with some wonderful stark videos on MTV), and of those five songs, three of them are the only songs I really like by them. This was their first single, and while it didn’t make a national impact, the video certainly did on 16-year old boys gazing at what little clothing Dale Bozzio had on her body.
9. The Noise of Carpet – Stereolab. I really tried to get my ears around Stereolab, but basically I like this song and that’s about it.
10. No Spill Blood – Oingo Boingo. For a while, Oingo Boingo really had some interesting and unique ideas and sounds in the early 80’s. Ultimately, though, they never released really consistent albums, and when Danny Elfman decided to write soundtracks (songs like this one always had a semi-cinematic feel to them anyway), that was all she wrote for them.
11. Motorcrash – The Sugarcubes. This was the album that introduced Bjork to everyone, even though at times she’s upstaged (and not in a good way) by the ramblings of Einar Orn. I recently saw the video for this, and while I always am confused by what this song really means, the video knocked me back to square one.
12. Long Lonesome Road – Shocking Blue. They had a big hit with “Venus” and Kurt Cobain loved “Love Buzz” so much Nirvana put it on Bleach, but this Dutch group had a few more tricks up its sleeve. You can really tell they’re not from around here. Oh, and for a 70’s track, this is definitely a 60’s style garage band arrangement, with the farfisa and the fuzzbox guitar. Oh, and Mariska Veres is (was) hot!
13. Sheela-Na-Gig – PJ Harvey. I have always admired her – she’s so strong and powerful, yet also feminine at the time. This cut from her debut showcases all parts of her personality in a mere three minutes plus.
14. 7 and 7 Is – Love. An original LA sound band, Love was supposed to be as big as the Doors and the Byrds, but sometimes things don’t work out that way. They released one absolute classic album (Forever Changes) and plenty of other great stuff. This was their lone top 40 single, ringing up at #33 on the charts.
15. Click Click – The English Beat. This cut from their first album ended the first side of I Just Can’t Stop It on an ominous and frenetic note. The bass line on this song is pert near unstoppable and impossible.
16. Sister Europe – The Psychedelic Furs. Oh, could Richard Butler mope and whine in a grating monotone with the best of them. This song is all mood and imagery to me, and it’s a fascinating listen, especially on a cloudy gray day when nothing is going well, and you’re on your third glass of wine.
17. Room With a View – Let’s Active. The name of the band is a bit, idiotic, I suppose, but the songs are great. Mitch Easter, the original R.E. M. producer, wrote a whole bunch of power-pop tunes and produced them so they sound impeccable. Bassist Faye Hunter sings this song sweetly, and the introduction is an intriguing sonic blend.
18. Cool Places – Sparks with Jane Weidlin. Weidlin was always my favorite Go-Go, as she wrote many of their best songs and had something that the other Go-Go’s didn’t have, at least in my eyes. She also seemed to be the hip one, as she teamed with mega-cult band Sparks to record this minor hit single that will have you dancing in your seat!
19. Tomorrow Night – Shoes. Long before indy-rock and lo-fi were cool, the Shoes were recording albums in the guitarist’s living room and putting them out on their own label. Like many cult bands, they released records in the style that inspired them, which usually was against the commercial grain of the time. The backing vocal harmonies give me chills, for some reason.
20. Shoe Money – Ass Ponys. First, gotta love the name. Second, their record company really screwed their chances up, I believe. They wrote a lot of twisted and witty alt-country down home songs that no one heard, because no one knew where to look. Well, except me, I guess. I found them.
21. S*** You Hear At Parties – The Minutemen. It only seemed like the Minutemen released 10,000 songs in their lifespan, but they certainly had enough material to fill up several albums and EPs and have an odds-and-sods compilation as well.
22. Smokers – The Old 97’s. Rhett Miller may be on his way to fame (maybe) as a solo artist, but his band really had its moments. This one, featuring bassist Murry Hammond on vocals, is one of their highlights, a rough and tumble sad-sack song.
23. Flowers On The Wall – Statler Brothers. Oh, I know this is cheesy, but it’s a good kind of cheesy, isn’t it? Isn’t it? This hit #4 on the pop charts in 1966, by the way.
24. Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang – Silver. I have a weakness, a soft spot, for bad pop music of the 70’s. This hit the top 20 back in 1976, and Silver then disappeared from the planet, for better or worse. Believe it or not, I just found out that former Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland was in this band. Wham! Bam!
25. (Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All – The Fifth Dimension. Ok, everyone get your karaoke shoes on and belt this one out with me. I’ll handle the backups.
26. That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be – Carly Simon. Ok, sorry to go out on a downer of a song, but this one has always intrigued me. You know, she could sing, and was quite the looker. However, she does the music for “The Piglet Movie” and at the end they show her singing a song during the credits, and at one point she kind of does a little seduction-type of move (and with those lips, mee-ow, it could work) and I thought it wasn’t too appropriate. Ah, well.
Well, there it is – for better or worse. 26 songs that are mysteries no more.
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