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12:38 a.m. - July 06, 2007
Summer Mix 13 - Something I Needed Today
Oh, I’ve had one of those days.

I want the process of finding a job to be over and out. I want people who are talking to me to actually listen to what I’m saying, and not trying to sell me on this particular job and denigrate someone else I’ve interviewed with all while prefacing, “no disrespect to them, because they are successful at what they do, but…” It’s maddening and annoying.

Plus, Liz steam cleaned the upstairs and did a fantastic job, but all day it had that medicinal cleaner smell not helped in the least by the fact it’s hot and humid as all get out.

So in the middle of the day I had to take a break. I dropped some clothes off to the dry cleaner (so I can have nice suits for my Texas trip) and took a drive through BFE land to clear my head. It helped somewhat.

But tunes also help, as you know, and this is Summer Mix #13.

Well, it is but I have this first:

Dear Muslims, Jews, and Vegans:

Thanks for not eating bacon. That’s more for me.

Yours truly,

Smed

1. Path Through The Forest – The Factory. This is yet another one of the seemingly endless obscurities from the 60’s that is in my collection. No, I ain’t some fogey ol’ hippie, ya know. I may be a fogey, but I’m no hippie. Well, at least I take showers and cut my hair. My hair does weird things when it’s long. Back to the music – they were pretty darn obscure, really. Two singles in the UK and poof, they were gone. The song is classic, with vocals that sound like they’re transmission from Mars and neat backwards guitar parts. Groovy, man.

2. Tainted Love – Gloria Jones. Music buffs know her as the original singer of this song, and it’s got a lot more vim and pep than the Soft Cell version. But did you know she was also the girlfriend of Marc Bolan of T. Rex. The more you know!

3. Show Me – Joe Tex. This summer has been good for me because I’ve had a chance to listen to a lot of the stuff that’s just been sitting on the shelf or collecting dust in my iPod. This is a vital, essential song for anyone to have. I mean ANYONE. Yes, you punk rocker. Yes, you metalhead freak. Get this, now, and dance! And I am a man that’s got a good woman, and I do go to work humming. Well, if I worked. I will again, soon! Mark my words.

4. Tampin – The Rhine Oaks. Have I told you how awesome the Meters were / are? Well, they didn’t just exude greatness on stuff by the Meters proper. Sometimes they moonlighted with other New Orleans or southern musicians and made some great soul / funk stuff just hanging out. This is one case, with the Meters doing a slow groove backed by a horn section. Seek it out if you like a groove, man, and that should be all of you.

5. Simply Irresistable – Robert Palmer. Sometimes you just gotta give in and deal with the fact that you like some fun songs that you know are bad for you.

6. Double Yellow Line – The Music Machine. Some lucky people have this one on a mix already. It’s a happening tune that’s sinister sounding with a powerful meaning and a heavy tune. This was one of the unheard follow-ups to “Talk Talk” that because of some shenanigans by their management were destined for collector’s compilations and nothing more. Pity.

7. I Ain’t Got Time Anymore – The Glass Bottle. Talk about obscure. This was a top 40 hit from 1970 by a band that came and went before they could say goodbye. Their first album showed a sextet of all various shapes, sizes, hairdos, and colors, oh, and mod outfits. They had this hit (originally a B-side), released a second album, and vanished. I mean, poof-like. It’s a cool piece of plastic soul that has Big McLarge Huge production fitting of the early 1970s.

8. Circles – The Who. Ah, what a tangled web this song weaves. This was on their first album, and then on an EP, and then they split with the producer who controlled the tapes and songs like this were rather much lost from the public in pristine conditions for a while. Many European mod bands of the 60’s (mostly from Holland) made it their business to cover this as well.

9. It’s Your Thing – Cold Grits. It’s funny. Singles like this were released in the late 60’s as one-offs by unknown bands (mostly studio concoctions) and if the single didn’t hit, it was quickly forgotten about and probably available for heavy discounts, if at all. Now, original singles would go for $20 or more. The opening of this song has a drum break that all aspiring DJs would kill for.

10. Some Kind Of Wonderful – Soul Brothers Six. Grand Funk Railroad had to ‘steal’ this song from someone, and well, it was the Soul Brothers Six that they copped it from. And copped is the operative word, because it’s basically the same arrangement, just all Farnered up. And yes, I invented a verb just right then. Can I get a witness?

11. A Public Execution – Mouse & The Traps. Some dudes in Texas got together and recorded this song in the mid-60’s and it channeled Dylan from the Highway 61 Revisited era almost perfectly. This really was another “Positively 4th Street”, and it really did fool some people that this was Dylan. Of course, they were listening on transistor radios. Still, this is a hell of a break-up song that everyone should have at their disposal. “You better find yourself a welder, babe!” No offense to any welders out there, though.

12. No Friend Of Mine – The Sparkles. This is another one that a lot of lucky people have on some mixes. YEAH! This is heavy duty mid 60’s garage psychedelia with a farfisa, a heavy fuzzed out guitar and bass, and a sneering vocalist who is telling their ex that they ain’t no friend of his, YEAH! So you better listen!

13. Hindu Gods Of Love – Lipstick Killers. This is a bunch of Australians that wanted to go back to the 60’s garage psychedelic (and it being the late 70’s, that wasn’t so hip) and came up with this winner of a tune. They were really channeling the MC5 and Stooges with their vibe (throwing in some organ as well) and all I can say is wowser. You need to find this and rock out.

14. He Was Really Sayin’ Something – The Velvelettes. One good thing about Bananarama is that they introduced me to this song, and when I found the original on a soul compilation I wondered if Bananarama were just robots, because they have no soul. THIS has soul!

15. Face It – Ed Robinson. You know, this is probably amongst the most obscure of my mixes. But dang, it’s great. I need to burn you a copy. Wait...

16. 19 – Paul Hardcastle. Hey everyone, let’s dance to a depressing documentary about Vietnam! Saigon! Saigon! S-s-s-s-s-aigon!

17. I Don’t Want To Cry – Chuck Jackson. Definitely, this is a song you know when you hear it, but you probably have no idea who sings it. That’s something about the 60’s soul – a lot of it is interchangeable – but it’s still damn good. Those really into it would know all of Chuck Jackson’s material, but now we just blithely go on our way and say it’s a good tune. Which it is!

18. One Third – The Majority. For a band called the Majority, it seemed that a distinct minority of 60’s music fans in the UK dug them, since they released just a few singles. This one talks about spending 1/3 of your life in bed, and you know, that doesn’t seem like enough.

19. Beg, Borrow, And Steal – The Rare Breed. You have a neat, mod combo. You meet a producer that thinks you have a hip sound, so you go and record some songs for him. One of them has a definite “Louie Louie” vibe and he issues it as a single. All of a sudden, it becomes a hit and there’s another groups name on the song (The Ohio Express). But what can you do about it?? Nothing, really. Just know that you recorded that there song.

20. Beep Beep – The Playmates. During the 50’s, there were a lot of novelty hits. It seemed that doo-wop and rockabilly was conducive to such stuff. This is about a dude driving a Caddy that can’t seem to shake a Rambler. Now, my Papaw had a rambler that had three speed on the tree and Dad then inherited it and drove it to work for years. I could never figure out the gear shift pattern, though.

21. Yakety Yak – The Coasters. See what I mean about novelty? This is an all-time classic novelty tune. Don’t talk back!

22. The First Cut Is The Deepest – The Koobas. Obviously, this Cat Stevens tune was heard by the masses when Rod Stewart covered it, but the Koobas got their first (or close to first) and gave it a really heavy psychedelic bluesy arrangement. Did it sell? No. If it did, you’d have heard it. Well, look for it, peeps! It’s well worth it!

23. (Would I Still Be) Her Big Man – The Brigands. From what I can gather, this was a one-off studio band from a record company trying to cash in on something or other. But it’s a hell of a song about a dude who is living way beyond his means as a working class schmo trying to impress this chick. You know, dude, if she really loved you she’d love you as you really are. But this was released in 1966, and not until 1967 could you let it all hang out. Dig?

24. Days Of The Broken Arrows – The Idle Race. Jeff Lynne’s production has a definite sound to it. Just listen to some Traveling Wilbury’s, Tom Petty solo stuff, some later George Harrison, and of course ELO, and that’s all Jeff Lynne. Well, ya know, you can tell it’s him a mile away even in his first band from the late 60’s, before he joined the Move. He didn’t change his bag of tricks, he just had more of a chance to use them.

25. Can I Get A Witness – Marvin Gaye. It’s a simple question, people. Can I get a witness? We can’t make a case without it, ya know!

26. Open Up Your Door – Richard & The Young Lions. “Hey, kids, you guys have a great sound! And you, Howie, you have that Mick Jagger thing going down with your look and voice. Let’s make a record. This way to the studio, Howie. Um, the rest of you can just wait until we’re done. And Howie, you’re now Richard.” Yeah, basically, the way it worked back then is if a producer saw something in a singer or someone in the band, many times they recorded a song with a bunch of studio musicians and sent the band out there on the road to try to play what seasoned pros did in 28 takes with overdubs and fly-ins. Hah!

27. Vacuum Cleaner – Tintern Abbey. If you’re only going to make one single, you may as well make it a good one. They certainly did, with standard requisite backwards psychedelic guitar and cool Entwhistle like bass lines. Far out!

I know, a lot of obscure, but I needed it. I’m in a much better mood now. Rock and soul therapy - as it were. Tomorrow (today) I have calls to make and a lawn to mow before it’s insanely hot. Perhaps I should fire up the mower now?

 

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