12:12 p.m. - June 15, 2007
Other than job searching and all that, Iíve been finishing up some iTunes projects, and because Iíve listened to a lot of songs lately Iíve been dropping songs into playlists for mixes. Well, Iíve decided that each mix should just be as random as they currently exist, so as I drop them in that will be how they will stay. You know, itís kind of an anti-mix mix. Or an existential mix, because they are what they are.
Anyway, I have 11 right now, and probably will have a dozen or more before I have to get on with my life / career/ vocation. I donít know if these will be sent out, they may be along with the other mixes that I have lying around that are not going to relocate.
Shall we? Letís explore mix #1, though some of it has already been revealed earlier. But thatís OK, itís tunes right?
1. Ballad Of Barbara Ė Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash released a boat load of records in his lifetime, and obviously some will be forgotten and lost amongst time. This is one thatís probably not as known as others, but itís still worthy. Itís about a man from the country moving to the city, marrying a girl and then hearing the clarion call for home, and his wife says, ďNuh-uh!Ē and Johnny is all like ďUh-huhĒ and the wife goes, ďSee ya!Ē Itís not exactly what Lisa Douglas did to Oliver, is it? By the way, Barbara was married in a Ďsoft blue gowní, so thatís trouble right there, I think. Right?
2. Donít You Want Me Ė Moonshine Willy. I think I mentioned this before, but this a combo of bluegrass fiddles and beat with grungy guitar. It works, trust me, it works. I think my favorite musical spy would get a kick out of it!
3. Rock Me Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again Ė The Human League. And again, and again, and again, and again, and again, ad nauseum.
4. Sister Rosa Ė The Neville Brothers. Itís a good groove and a great message. I think the lyrics are a bit preachy at times, but I can give them a big pass because itís a great tribute to Rosa Parks done by a legendary, yet little heard, band. Itís on iTunes, so you know what to do.
5. Never Gonna Fall In Love Again Ė Eric Carmen. Rock with Rachmaninoff? Ok, not as such, but darn the chorus stays with you. Itís a lamprey, attaching to your gut. OK, letís not get carried away.
6. The Groomís Still Waiting At The Altar Ė Bob Dylan. This is part of his churchy phase in the late 70ís and early 80ís, but he made some fine music then Ė a lot more vital and vibrant than the icky-poo generic Christian rock that exists now. My issue with Christian rock is that for the most part, bands arenít willing to experiment or be edgy or stray a bit off the beaten path and itís hard to stay on that message 24/7 in an album, so it gets wearing for me. Maybe thatís just me. I also prefer old-school churchy songs. Rock of ages, cleft for me, OK?
7. Donít Call Me Whitney, Bobby Ė Islands. It may be slight, light and breezy, but the title is just killer, you know?
8. Painted Ladies Ė Ian Thomas. Itís Dave Thomasí (of SCTV fame Ė he was Doug McKenzie) brother. He had a nice career in Canada, but this was his only US hit. But he got a guest shot on SCTV once. Nice to have connections.
9. Interjections Ė Schoolhouse Rock. Hooray, Iím for the other team!
10. Krautmeyer Ė Dan Bern. I linked the lyrics earlier. Theyíre still a stitch. Would he get parole if he decided to go by Charles Krautmeyer instead of Manson?
11. He Can Hear His Brother Calling Ė The Long Ryders. An outtake from some demo sessions, this is a plaintive ballad that shows the strengths of the late, great Long Ryders. Oh, and it has a harmonica, sadly wailing in the intro. See, harmonicas? (There I go again!)
12. I Invented A Head Ė that dog. This was buried on an early B-side by this group. Ok, maybe for CD singles, they shouldnít be called B-sides anymore, since you donít flip over the CD to hear the other songs. At least, I donít think you do. I know for my Goodfellas DVD I have to flip it over, but thatís a long-ass movie. Anywho, this showcases the gentle harmonies of the Haden sisters mixing with Anna Waronkerís voice and Petra (flutter!) chimes in with some nice violin as well.
13. Lazy Waters Ė I think I mentioned this one before. Itís probably the only decent song Skip Battin ever wrote for the Byrds, and the bass (of course) is prominent, but the harmonies are good as well. Oh, and thereís a plaintive harmonica here, too. I guess Iíll never let it go, eh?
14. Luxury Liner Ė The International Submarine Band. Gram Parsons formed this band before he joined the Byrds and then birthed the Flying Burrito Brothers. Country rock may well have started right here. ďYou think Iím lonesome Ė so do I.Ē Thatís a man who recognizes the truth.
15. Daughter Of Darkness Ė Tom Jones. Is there any song where Tom Jones is subtle and understated? Any? OK, I didnít think so. And thatís why we love him so!
16. New Toy Ė Lene Lovich. She was weird, yes, but underrated, and you can dance to it. No, really! And this actually has a chorus that you can transcribe accurately!
17. Try To Make It Ė Sloan. Another bunch of nice Canadians, and you know, they never really made it here in the States. Why is it that many of the good Canadian bands (besides Rush) we donít go for, but like the Canadian dreck? Oh, perhaps itís because the Canadian dreck tries to sound like American dreck? Yeah, probably. That explains Loverboy, at least, and Bryan Adams. Especially him.
18. Behind That Locked Door Ė George Harrison. Based on his later work, he probably should have made All Things Must Pass a single album and spread the good songs around to his later stuff. Because after this big blast, there wasnít much in the well for George.
19. Return Of The Grievous Angel Ė Gram Parsons. Itís a shame he died so young, but it really was his own fault. But we have not only some great songs like this as his legacy, but he introduced Emmy Lou Harris to the world, so thereís that then.
20. Girls That Donít Exist Ė The Records. The US of A is not the only country that has a blind spot to great power-pop bands. This English group didnít get much traction in the UK, mainly because they existed at the tail end of punk and the beginning of the New Romantic and synth-pop movements, so there wasnít much call for tuneful guitar based pop songs with some crunch to them. ďGirls that donít exist / dressed in clothes that I donít seeĒÖvery clever!
21. Robbie Fulks Ė Fountains Of Wayne Hotline. Just go buy it!
22. Johnny Cash Ė The Sound Of Laughter. Yet another rather obscure one to close this mix out, and this is a B-side that was on the Murder compilation. Itís Johnny talking about gunning down his ex that laughed at him. But like most Cash songs, he sings in jail, and while heís not sorry about what heís done, heís takes responsibility and is tormented just the same.
Thatís a good mix, eh? If I decided to tweak it, Iím sure it could make sense, but thatís life, you know. Itís random. Or maybe Iím just random. I think itís both, you know.