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12:02 p.m. - May 11, 2007
The Sunshine Mix
I haven’t been hiding under a log. No, really.

It’s just that I took a couple of days off because of a breakneck schedule coming up, and then my home computer restarted. When that happens, cats, dogs and orangutans fly everywhere.

It’s put me behind on my iTunes project, my burning of some CDs and all kinds of things. And it probably means I won’t be on much at all this weekend, except for the time I need to write my game stories.

But I wanted to share something with you all.

Spring is in the air. The grass is green and growing (growing too much at times). The birds are singing and the hum of lawn equipment is in the air everywhere.

Is that a good thing?

Yes, yes it is. It most certainly is for even the most curmudgeonly goth.

So why not make a mix for this day. It’s the SUNSHINE Mix!

Woot!

(OK, before you even start, yes, there is ONE song that is missing. No, I don’t have it, nor do I want it. You can tell Cindy Brady to stop whining, thanks…)

Let’s begin!

1. Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) – They Might By Giants. Let’s being by dropping some SCIENCE, peeps! Listen to this song, and now we know WHY the sun shines. And with that knowledge in tow…

2. Come To The Sunshine – The Harper’s Bizarre. When I hear this song, I think of little fluffy clouds, bunnies with cotton tails, and cotton candy. Yeah, it’s that much of a weenie song. It’s also a damn barnacle, and you’ll be singing it in the shower, even if you normally wear all black and mope all day. You can’t help it. Also, it has the line “you know I know you know that I love you”. It also name checks Dun & Bradstreet, which was really radical for 1967. Ted Templeman, who was Van Halen’s producer, was a singer and drummer for the band. C’mon Dave, give me a break.

3. Sunshine – The Archies. Wait? Wait? No Brady Bunch? But the Archies? Yes, you see. This is a much better song. And the people that were the band behind the Archies were real pros who knew what they were doing. I just want to tell you that you’re super-fine, whoa. That sad thing is that this pop concoction only got to #57 on the charts. Must have been a bunch of cranky pants back in 1970.

4. Sunshine Girl – Parade. Obscure? Yes. Gotta problem with that? Didn’t think so. The hook leading up to the chorus is effervescent, and even if it’s a pillowy soft song, it’s still a classic. It hit the top 20 back in 1967, and was a hallmark for “Sunshine Pop” which featured light as air harmonies and sunny melodies. Far out!

5. Silver And Sunshine – The Looking Glass. Another example of sunshine pop. This is NOT the band that did “Brandy” – this was another group that was based out of California (of course, where the sun always shines). This didn’t go much of anywhere except on a compilation released by Rhino Handmade a few years ago.

6. Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles. Predictable? Yep! Classic? Of course.

7. Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In – The 5th Dimension. Duuuuude. Far out! Though the Fifth Dimension were about as on the edge as Andy Williams, when all was said and done. It’s just that they used songs by Laura Nyro and Jim Webb and had some hip-cat arrangements. But my MOM liked them, and that tells ya something right there. However, the bass line during the “Let The Sun Shine In” part is most outstanding. I mean, it’s amongst the best bass work in that era of pop. Joe Osborne, who played bass on many LA sessions, did the work. All hail!

8. The Old Master Painter / You Are My Sunshine – The Beach Boys. Oh, I’m not really supposed to have this. This is a Smilesession out-take and I got the CD on eBay. But hey, why not throw it on here. Liberate those sessions! Dennis is the vocalist here.

9. Wake Up Sunshine – Chicago. Back when Chicago was a band that has halfway decent and doing the jazz-rock thing instead of putting out pabulum for teenage girls, they put this song on Chicago II as the kick off for Side II. And it was a great lead in to the “Ballet For A Girl In Buchanon” The arrangement is great, and it really could have been a hit if they would have made it a single.

10. Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers. And I know, I know, I know, I know…

11. Sunshine – Jonathan Edwards. This SOUNDS cheery, but it’s an angry, bitter song with a memorable chorus: “He can’t even run his own life / I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine…” Ouch!

12. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves. Well, you KNEW this had to be on there. Ms. Katrina is probably doing quite well for herself thanks to this song, which STILL gets airplay at sporting events and as music under montages, etc.

13. Sunshine In The Shade – The Fixx. Oh, they wanted to be all serious like, but they were a singles band, first and foremost, and singles like this bring back fond memories of the 80’s. Good times, you all! No, really! The transition from the busy verses to the pretty much straight choruses is a highlight of this song. It did well on MTV, too.

14. Open Up Your Heart And Let The Sun Shine In – Frente. A while ago, they released a record featuring modern indie rockers of the time doing theme songs or other songs from Saturday morning cartoons. This, I take it, was a song that Pebbles and Bam-Bam did in their cartoon series. Actually, it’s a cover of a song that hit it pretty big in the mid-50’s.

15. Steal My Sunshine – Len. Yeah, this one again. I can’t help it. I really can’t.

16. Walking In Heaven’s Sunshine – The Jam. This is a late-period out-take that’s a pretty nifty tune. One wonders why it wasn’t released and some of the stuff on the The Gift was.

17. Flood Of Sunshine – The Posies. From one of their early releases (Dear 23), this was a staple of their concerts for a while as they would really stretch this thing out. And this is one song that could be stretched out, though not to Dead-like lengths, though.

18. Johnny Sunshine – Liz Phair. From her classic record Exile In Guyville, I think she needs to listen to this stuff again and realize that she was best when she did this, and not try to create ‘hits’.

19. Mary Sunshine Rain – Dada. Even though they were around during my “golden era”, it wasn’t until VH-1 Classic came around that I discovered them. And much to my chagrin, a relative youngster, Designerchica, really turned me onto them. I think I need to retire my hipster creds, if I ever had them.

20. Sunshine Tonight – The Shazam. Man, if I ruled the world, songs like this would be HUGE. Well, if I ruled the world, a lot of people would be happier and ALIVE, too. The chorus is catchy as heck, as per usual.

21. Sunshine Superman – Husker Du. By putting this song amidst the punk rock sturm und drang of a typical hard-core punk rock album, the Huskers served notice that they weren’t just going to be total noise merchants. Yes, this is a pretty loud cover, but it’s a cover of DONOVAN, for cripes sake! And it’s a pretty reverent cover at that.

22. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream. Ok, who doesn’t know this riff? You? You’re fired.

23. Shine – Motorhead. Yeah, I put this on here! So what? Great riff and all that! You gotta problem? Take it up with Lemmy.

24. Black Sunshine – White Zombie. Yes, I went from sunshine pop to almost its opposite (actually, Napalm Death may be its opposite, or perhaps the Melvins, but anyway…) however, you must admit that this ROCKS and also…ROCKS! And it ROCKS!

Well, there you have it. Sunshine, blue skies and music – what more do you need? Oh, really? Well, I can’t help you there!

 

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