1:41 p.m. - December 09, 2006
I have some holiday CDs to burn (but of course my idea of holiday music may not be the same as you and yours). I have four mixes that I have just started, one I just promised, and then, I have done song selections for a young pup from out West that needs her some musical edumication.
And I’m just the man to edumicate her. (No, not that way! A – I’m married, ya know. 2. She has a boyfriend. iii. When it comes down to it, she COULD be my kid if I got frisky when I was 18 (HAH! Right – if you saw me when I was 18 the only thing I was getting frisky with was my TI-35 calculator!))
So I picked out a boatload of songs, and she MAY be getting a six pack o’ tunes if all works out. And I just thought of another one to add – better write it down.
So why don’t we look at 25 of ‘em, shall we? Hey, it’s the weekend (unless you’re reading this on Monday – then it’s not)!
1. I Don’t Know – Ozzy Osbourne. Ah, The Blizzard Of Ozz! That screams out HIGH SCHOOL to me (well, mainly because it was high school to me)! This is the opening cut from that album, and not only is it a great opener, it’s also the first decent song Ozzy had done in years (those last two Sabbath records he did were real woofers). Sure, Ozzy isn’t really as good as the hype, but he could still rock and roll on occasion. Soon after this record, he started back down the path of laziness, duets with Lita Ford (which causes me to run run away from the stereo anytime I hear it), and being a mushmouthed drug casualty. SHARON!
2. I Predict A Riot – The Kaiser Chiefs. Were they hyped? I think I read a backhanded compliment about them recently. Anyway, this is a groovy tune that deserves to be out there. I’m really stoked about some of the bands of recent vintage that combine a lot of swell influences into something edgy, yet rockin’.
3. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) – The Pat Travers Band. Oh, you know you’re just a hard working journeyman rocker when the most popular album you ever recorded was a live one. Unfortunately, Pat Travers never became Peter Frampton. And I think if pressed to name another Pat Travers song, 99.4% of you all would shrug.
4. Young For Eternity – The Subways. Sure, they may not be the most graceful or intelligent band in the world, but they ROCK out and they have a youthful exuberance about them. I hope they make another record just as good as this one. Go check ‘em out!
5. Bell Bottom Blues – Derek And The Dominoes. Right now, Kristin is rearranging all of my Frank Zappa CDs while I’m trying to type out something sensible about this achingly beautiful blues song. Eric Clapton and Duane Allman are at their peak on this song, and it’s a shame that Clapton has drifted off into the safety of blandness. Maybe it WAS the smack. Who knows? (Though Richard Thompson still does amazing and edgy work, so what’s Clapton’s problem??) Heck, I didn’t mean to get on a rant talking about THIS song, because it’s just heavenly.
6. I Saw Her Again – The Mamas And The Papas. They were on the forefront of a movement, I suppose, but they just made relatively pleasant pop songs, nothing more or less. But they LOOKED like hippies, and Mama Cass was not anyone’s idea of a pop star.
7. I Would Hurt A Fly – Built To Spill. The modern man’s guitar God, Doug Martsch, always spreads layer upon layer of sonic goodness onto his songs. IT takes forever for him and the band to make records, but they’re worth it. This one features a haunting cello underneath everything, putting the complicated arrangement over the top. The ending is also a marvel, as Martsch’s wonderfully dirty guitar sound sprays all over everything in its path.
8. Hold Your Head Up – Argent. Wow, what is it with all of the long ones coming in here randomly? This band was an early 70’s “progressive” band, formed out of the ashes of the Zombies, and most of their stuff is ponderous and overblown. And this one could also be classified as that, but I really dig the simple, yet insistent bass line and the organ riff – though Rod Argent goes a bit into a second-rate Keith Emerson mode during the solo. You don’t have to play 16th notes all of the time on the Hammond B-3 to sound impressive, dude.
9. Intimate Secretary – The Raconteurs. I don’t need to talk more about them. If you don’t have this album it’s a crime against nature. So go buy it.
10. White Punks On Dope – The Tubes. An interesting new wave band from the late 70s and early 80s, the Tubes had a reputation of trying to hard to be funny and smartassy, and yes, sometimes that’s true. But this song is a pert-near perfect parody of the lifestyles of the rich and idle in the 70s, and that was something that needed lambasting back in the day.
11. Riff Raff – AC/DC. If You Want Blood…You Got It is a prime example of how a live record can increase one’s appreciation for a band. Sure, a lot of the songs are very similar to their studio recordings, but to hear them interact with a crowd that is totally into what they’re doing just adds another dimension to it. When Malcolm and Angus swing into the riff of this one, there’s bedlam on the vinyl…er…CD…er…MP3. Whatever. This is Bon Scott’s AC/DC, the best version of the band, and they’re doing what they do best on this record – which is causing trouble.
12. All Mine – Portishead. They don’t have much of a recording legacy (though I’ve heard a new one is coming out) but Portishead were the forefront of the trance-pop craze back in the 90’s. Another live one, but this one is a twist, as they’re playing in NYC with an orchestra. It sounds cool!
13. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n Roll – Twisted Sister. No you can’t. Dee Snider may be a lot of things, but many times he’s right. The drum sound on this one is way too echoey for my tastes – but that’s the 80’s metal fer ya.
14. Chainsmoking In The USA – The Posies. Ok, they broke up. Then this EP came out, and now they’re back together. But they were never really apart, were they? Hell, I dunno. This is a great tune, that’s all I care about at this time and place.
15. Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle – Be Your Own Pet. They’ve been ‘annointed’ by some in the punk rock scene as one of the next big things. Actually, they’re just a bunch of rowdy kids making noise. Let’s hope they don’t mellow out like SOME ‘next big things’ have (I’m looking at YOU Karen O!!!) and continue to rock out with reckless abandon.
16. Apples and Oranges – Pink Floyd. The last single they did with Syd Barrett, and you can definitely tell he was becoming totally deranged and unhinged. Roger Waters loves this song, and says it should have been a hit. It IS a great tune, but I can’t think that the radio would spend five minutes on it – it’s that odd. And for 1968, that’s saying a lot!
17. Modern Swinger – The Pink Spiders. Another new-esque band (though they’ve kicked around a while) that definitely have that punk rock aaaargh in them, with some pretty clever and cool lyrics and harmonies of a sort. This is one of those shower songs, where you will find yourself singing the chorus in the shower for no good reason after it infects your soul.
18. Bright Yellow Gun – Throwing Muses. I’ve always linked this band with the Pixies, mainly because of their original locale and what record company they were on. And really, they don’t have that much in common, except music of quality and distinction. I need to examine their back catalog a bit more. Stay tuned.
19. I Say **** - The Supersuckers. This song is 37 seconds long, and that’s all you need sometimes to say what you have to say.
20. My Sweet Annette – Drive-By Truckers. I had a DBT album earlier, and wasn’t that impressed, but I think I chose the exact wrong one, of course. But Designerchica gave me a tune by them on her fab birthday mix, and well, now I’m hooked, so I’m passing them along. This harkens back to a simpler time – it’s a story song with some tragedy and down home arrangements.
21. Helen Lundberg – Sonic Youth. This was a bonus track off Rather Ripped that I got on iTunes. It’s definitely avant garde, but you expect that from Sonic Youth. I’m glad they’re keeping the flame of the experimental and odd aflame, even if they’re geezers now. (I KID! I KID!)
22. The Drunkard’s Doom – The Louvin Brothers. Sure, they’re way preachy, and sure, one of them actually DID drink himself to death, basically, so they’re that hypocrisy thing, but just listen to the harmonies. That’s all you need.
23. I Have The Touch – Peter Gabriel. From the great Security record, this one has always been a personal favorite, thanks to some interesting percussion sounds and an interesting arrangement. This song was foreshadowing for his big hits in the 80’s, as it was pointing him in that direction.
24. Your Little Hoodrat Friend – The Hold Steady. You know, fashions come and fashions go, but the hooded sweatshirt always is. The Hold Steady are gods – worship them!
25. Sweet Troubled Soul – Stellastar*. I’m going to do an essay sometime about one-track bands, and this is one of them. I really need to check out more by them, but I think there’s just this one song by them that trips my trigger. But what a song. The riff goes and goes. The singer, though, sounds like he’s auditioning for a Uriah Heep tribute band. Ah, well.
Well, I hope she enjoys them! There’s plenty more in this mix to choose from! And now, I need to scoot before my rock and roll dreams become nightmares. Toodles!