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9:24 p.m. - September 09, 2007
Summer Mix #10 - It's Still Summer Ya Know...
You know, I haven’t done a mix in a while. Ever since I moved to Minnesota, in fact, I have eschewed the mix. But it’s time, and I think for no reason but to get “This Is Our Country” out of my head. Thanks, NFL, for inflicting that on me about 912 times every Sunday.

So this is Summer Mix #10. It’s #10 because this was the #10 mix I made this summer, and you know, it’s still summer. Now on September 21, I may THINK about just naming these something else.

Nah…I thought of these mixes in the summer, so they are summer mixes.

PS – I think that the cleaners here actually know what ‘light starch’ means in your shirts. Not ‘just wave the starch over the shirt’ wishful thinking mode but actually use a bit of starch in the cleaning and pressing process. Finally…

PPS – Lots of obscure ones on this one. If you want them, you know what to do…

1. Hot Sand – Shocking Blue. Ah, everyone’s favorite Dutch one-hit wonder band that was fronted by a hot chick. But they really were more than “Venus”, as scholars of rock know. This was a later single, featuring a ‘hot’ electric sitar line (yeah, dated) but Mariska Veres extolled the virtues of making love on the hot sand, and you know, for her, I’d risk skin cancer. Would SBF 80 wear off on some places? Should I ask these questions?

2. Styrofoam – Tyla Gang. Early on, Stiff Records basically tried everything to get a hit. Not that this wasn’t a clever record, but it’s not English nor is it new wave or punk, really. But it’s a decent rock-and-roll tune about the virtues of California women using Styrofoam for all kinds of purposes, good and evil. Mostly good, though. And there’s a nice use of a ride cymbal here, and I always need to point that out as well.

3. You Look At You – The Rollins Band. In reading his book (Get In The Van) about life on the road with Black Flag, I wonder would have happened if he would have had another outlet for that aggression, like, oh, a girlfriend. OK, yeah, he wouldn’t have been Rollins, and I’d also pity the girl. Can you imagine spending a night in Rollins’ bedroom? OK, bleach your brain and concentrate on the tunes here – this is a great rockin’ tune by the Rollins band, which really cooked with Sim Cain, Andrew Weiss, and Chris Haskett. I mean, this ROCKS!

4. Children Of The Sun – The Misunderstood. You could probably write a whole book about the adventures and misadventures of The Misunderstood, especially how some California garage punks thought they could make it in the UK. They did release a few singles in England, and this one especially cooks. It’s pretty darn heavy for the 60’s, with some interesting guitar effects (I think the whammy bar is going to break in two) and some downright heavily distorted sounds. The drumming is excellent, and this SHOULD have been huge in the psychedelic circles. But, life’s another story isn’t it????

5. We Got More Soul – Dyke & The Blazers. Was it bragging? Nope. The US definitely had more soul than the rest of the world combined in the 60’s, and Dyke is just happy to affirm it. Dyke’s pretty darn soulful himself, and the tune is righteous with a happening bass line and horn chart.

6. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones. Here’s something I didn’t realize – of all of the great Stones albums of the late 60’s and early 70’s, this song, as brilliant as it was with an instantly recognizable riff and sound, was NOT on any of those albums, but instead was a single release only. That’s a gas-gas-gas. (PS – I should have kept Marion Barber on my fantasy team this year, dangnabbit!)

7. New Rose – The Damned. If you don’t know this song, listen to it, buy it, live it, love it, learn it. The first UK Punk Rock single is what rock and roll should be, now and forevermore. Amen!

8. Focus II – Focus. Yes, it’s pretentious to name songs after your band, and even more pretentious to name multiple songs after your band, but that’s alleviated by having Jan Akkerman as a guitarist. Well, almost. I mean, it is pretentious, but it slides over into the “good” pretension most of the time, like King Crimson. But you know guys, you didn’t have to change time signatures and tempo every 30 seconds just because you could. We get it – you have chops!

9. Journey To Time – Kenny & The Kasuals. By my iTunes count, this is amongst my top 100 most played songs, mainly because I’ve always seemed to slip it into mixes when people weren’t looking. Heh, I’m sneaky like that, especially when it’s a tune this righteous. Those of you who don’t have it for a mix yet, be prepared!

10. I Just Want To Be Your Everything – Andy Gibb. If my random mixes had manual transmission, half the time they’d need either clutch repair or gearbox work, because of my paradigm shifts. But if you give a little more than you’re asking for your love will turn the key – and that’s the truth ya know!

11. Transfusion – Nervous Norvus. I said these were random mixes back in the day, didn’t I? Anyone who has a collection of ‘goofy greats’ or listened to Dr. Demento know this ditty about car crushes and bad rhymes about blood transfusions like “pour the crimson in me, Jimson”. It’s still cool, though.

12. Love Jones – The Brighter Side Of Darkness. More people probably know “Basketball Jones” instead of this one, but this was all of the rage back in ’72. And yes, they were a bunch of youngsters, so the stuff about high school wasn’t out of the realm here, not like much of the cast of High School Musical. I know what it feels like to have a Love Jones, too.

13. Last Night – The Mar-Keys. You know this, but since it’s an instrumental you may not know the title, just the tune. And since I can’t hum it to you right now, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

14. The Sly, The Slick, And The Wicked – The Lost Generation. Clunky title aside, this is a pretty cool / hot soul tune from the early 70’s. It’s really groovy and has some great group vocals and production, even if the echo is a bit much at times.

15. They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haaa! – Napolen XIV. You either love this song or hate it. I vote yes. (But I can recite it at the drop of a hat.)

16. It’s Only You (Mein Schmerz) – Lene Lovich. Lene was always a bit…odd…and a bit harsh looking, so dipping into the German dominatrix mode wasn’t that much of a stretch for her. While this was probably derivative of many of her other hits, it’s still pretty darn groovy, especially for your schmerz. Oh, wait, ‘mein schmerz’ means ‘my pain’ or something like that. Ah…

17. Man Of Straw – John Wonderling. This is very much a product of the times, with echo washing over all of the hippy-dippy lyrics. But somehow it works, even if it may be a tad bit predictable. He made a couple of singles and then…well…somehow made an album in 1973 that went nowhere.

18. Happiness – The Anita Kerr Singers. Whitest.Song.Ever. I stand by that.

19. The King Is Gone – Ronnie McDowell. Sometimes I put on bad songs for a lark. And this is a huge lark. So huge, in fact, that it’s probably going to disappear. What was I thinking. This song never happened. I mean, there’s maudlin, and then there’s this…excuse me…there…this SONG is gone.

20. Come On – The Atlantics. The Atlantics had a lot of success in Australia as a surf group, but when surf music lost its cache they added vocals to the mix and came out with this tremendous single. However, they never did get back on the hit parade in Australia or anywhere else.

21. The Equaliser – The Clash. Many thought that the Clash overstepped their limitations with Sandanista! and its explorations of world music, especially reggae and dub. Well, most of the reggae and dub excursions were the cuts that were the most vital on the record. I made a 90-minute cassette of the best of the album that has some of the experimental stuff but cuts out the dross. I have to remember which songs I put on that and make sure I can make a mix of them!

22. All Together Now – The GoStation. This is an advance single of their soon to be released album and it’s a pretty darn nifty tune with good guitar dynamics and a grandiose sound. The vocals seem a bit ‘been-there-done-that’ but that will be something they can work on, ya know. There’s something here.

23. Strawberries Are Growing In My Garden – The Dentists. In 1985, this plucky group of psychedelic rockers released this nifty little single in the UK, and they moved right along over there. But in 1994, for some reason, a major label in the US (a short-lived subsidiary major) came calling, and they bit, and the record they recorded stiffed, and that was that. Pity. They deserved better, like THIS song getting airplay.

24. Underdog – The Dirtbombs. You gotta love a grungy-soul band that opens a song with a guitar lick that quotes “Freres Jacques”, don’t ya? Everyone loves an underdog, and if you don’t love the underdog, then get the hell out of my sandbox, ya dig?

Ok, there you go mix lovers. Go find these tunes. Ok, all but #19. But remember, that didn’t exist, right?

 

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