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8:19 a.m. - October 09, 2007
It's Another Mix Preview!
PREFACE: I wrote this last night, but the internet, she died. And now, I’m one-eyed Smed because the lens popped out of the right side of my glasses, and the screw is gone. No one here has a screw. Sigh. I’m stuck until I can get to a Lenscrafters, I guess. Anyone have an eye patch? Poolie?

With it being music week and all, I’m just in a great mood. Well, I think the great mood caused the declaration of music week. But this week I’m going to go through ALL (well almost all – OK most of…) my purchases of 2007, and go through some mixes. And then maybe another video montage to end it.

(I have some Summer Mixes that I haven’t gone through – but well, now they’re just mixes since it’s October and today it was only 59 here in the Cities. But if I decide to make it music fortnight – a possibility – then sure.)

(And those of you care about the family hijinx – hopefully by the first week of November they will return!)

So these next few days will be set aside for music - all to celebrate tuneage. Because tuneage is gooooood.

So what today? Oh, let’s do a mix for someone. Actually, this will be a forthcoming six pack and well, it’s a mix of good tunes and such. So let’s do a score plus five.

1. Sunny Girlfriend – The Monkees. From Headquarters, the album that they did all by their lonesome. This is a long-lost Mike Nesmith gem, about someone who “owns and operates her own sunshine factory.” This is just a delightful romp of a pop song that you can’t help smile and tap your toe to.

2. Easy Money – King Crimson. I just checked and I already gave this person the studio version of this song. This is a live cut off of The Nightwatch which shows the power of this incarnation of Crimson (this was late November 1973). John Wetton’s bass is powerful and mighty, Robert Fripp’s guitars are shattered glass, and Bill Bruford’s drumming is melodic and inventive. Jamie Cross does double duty on violin and mellotron (which is ironic because a mellotron the way Crimson plays it simulates the a string section). I wasn’t much into Crimson until I actually HEARD it, and now I can’t get enough.

3. Three Cool Cats – The Coasters. People know “Charlie Brown” and “Yakity Yak” and think they’re just a novelty act. Well, those people are wrong. Sure, the songs are funny, but they’re a dead serious doo-wop and soul group, performance wise. The Beatles used to cover quite a few Coasters songs in their early performances in Germany and in the Cavern, and it wasn’t because they were easy to play or sing.

4. Hot Thing – Prince. I’d have to nominate this for hottest dance record by Prince that hardly anyone knows. It only hit #63 on the pop charts – I think it melted the tape decks of the stations. It WAS a big hit on the dance floors. I just love the synth lines and the repeating bass patterns. I do know that with this groove you could dance all freakin’ night long. If my knees held out…

5. Moody Blue – Elvis Presley. Alas, poor Elvis. This single was released before he died, and he actually sounded engaged and interested. It was a pretty decent song and charted. The album was a typical thrown-together affair that seemed rushed, but I guess there was some promise that he was going to snap out of his recording funk at some point. And then he took the big dirt nap…

6. Outside Woman Blues – Cream. One reason why mainstream America (read WHITE America) weren’t exposed to the blues was that the powers that be were horrified by songs like this. Blind Joe Reynolds wrote this tale about how hard it is for someone to keep his wife AND his outside woman in line. You know, because they might step out on him. (OK, yes, double standard, I know…) Clapton and company do this song proud.

7. Mr. Stupid – Richard Thompson. No, he didn’t write this about me. Heh. Thompson’s latest album is tremendous, and it’s great to hear that he’s making vital music still, whilst some of his contemporaries are coasting, or worse.

8. Fountains Of Wayne Hotline – Robbie Fulks. Oh, talk about inside baseball and obscure references. First, you should be familiar with the Fountains Of Wayne. You are? (Well, you hang with me.) Good. Then, you need to know that Robbie Fulks is a smart-aleck who kids around a lot (because he cares). And it helps to know some music theory and perhaps some engineering terms. (That kind of talk reminds me of some of the inside jokes on MST3K about the film industry!) Then this song makes sense. Poor Robbie is trying to make a track work, and has to call the hotline and gets advice on utilizing the “radical dynamic shift”, a “slightly distorted melodic solo” and “a semi-ironic Beach Boys vocal pad”.

9. Everybody Knows – Ryan Adams. Sure, he’s released 102,197 songs, and has about 102, 197 still in the can, but he’s still cranking out quality work. However, his concerts have become events, because you don’t know if you will get the good Ryan who plays for three hours, or the evil Ryan that stops after 45 minutes with no encore. There was a lot of talk about his abbreviated set up here in the Cities recently.

10. Hush – Deep Purple. You know what makes this song so great? It’s the little damped funky organ part right after the bombastic intro and right before the “nah-nah-nah-nah” vocal tag. This was Jon Lord’s band, really, but Ritchie Blackmore soon grew into his role and then basically took over the sound. But still, even here, you could get that they were soon to launch metal as we know it.

11. Come Again – The Au Pairs. I think I’ve written about this band a lot in the past few months. Well, it’s definitely one that you need to check out. Of course, we’re all about 25 years or so too late, but thanks to the digital world we live in, you can still buy their stuff. This song is a long conversation after coitus, and they say that they must “do it again, sometime” in a very proper English way. Heh.

12. Knocked Up – The Kings Of Leon. Thanks to Designerchica, I’m converted. But Because Of The Times is also a hell of a record, and you should buy it. This is the album opener, and it sets the tone perfectly. And yes, it’s about rednecks kids having kids and y’all don’t preach, ya hear?

13. Dead Giveaway – Shalamar. Do you remember that Jodi Watley was in Shalamar? Yeah, it’s hard to remember, since Shalamar came and went 25 years ago, leaving behind some funky memories but never really imprinted themselves on the music scene. This song IS funky and danceable. What more do you want?

14. The Elephant Ride – Squeeze. Sweets From A Stranger was the last album by Squeeze in their first go-round, and it suffers in comparison to most of their other early albums, but that doesn’t mean it’s not any good. It’s got some terrific songs that cover the usual Squeeze topics (women, drinking, women and drinking).

15. Love Street – The Doors. Way back in time, I somehow got ahold of some cassettes that my sister had before she married her ex-husband, and Waiting For The Sun was among them. I was only about 9 or 10, and had a really cheap tape player, but I somehow knew that this Doors record was pretty nifty. Even though I think the Doors are overrated and that Morrison was more of a pretentious drunk than a poet, they were a good rock-and-roll band and had a good variety to their songs. They could do a simple pop song when warranted, and Morrison’s lyrics on this song are clever without being overblown. But it’s just a pop song, you know!

16. Rebels – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Another cut from Southern Accents. Radio resisted this album for some reason, but dang it’s got some good stuff. The music industry is in terrible shape because they don’t promote the good songs, and they let radio become safe and predictable. I mean, this isn’t taboo breaking but it’s a good song and was kind of ignored.

17. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot. And just who has been creeping ‘round his back stairs? Oh, I used to give my friend TC a lot of crap for liking Gordon Lightfoot, but in reality, I dug him too on occasion. Just not ALL of the time. I mean, his voice could put you to sleep.

18. Leave Me (Like You Found Me) – Wilco. Sky Blue Sky is a tremendous record. I personally think it’s the best work Wilco has done, even though other albums by them have been a bit hyped. So go get it, you know, blah blah blah.

19. Science Genius Girl – Freezepop. Oh, blind me with science baby!

20. I’m Leaving You (Commit A Crime) – Stevie Ray Vaughan. I often wonder how performers like Vaughan, Clapton, Richards, etc. could make such great and soulful music when they were strung out on smack. I don’t think Vaughan was clean during this period, but this has soul and feeling, and isn’t heroin supposed to get RID of feelings? At any rate, this song, from his live record, just cooks.

21. Chase Me – Con Funk Shun. Oh, hush your mouth about it being disco and just let the groove take you onto the floor. It’s funky people. Funky. And if you can’t get the funk, you may want to get a soul transfusion. And yes, a flute can be funky.

22. Ode To Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry. So what DID they throw off the bridge before Billie Joe jumped to his death? Anyone have any ideas?

23. I Cried Over You – The Dave Clark Five. The bass sound on this is crucial – it’s loud and heavy and definitely was an influence of some American bands. Check out the bass sound of Captain Beefheart’s early work – it was quite similar. The material wasn’t similar by any stretch, but the bass sound was right there.

24. Hurdy Gurdy Man – Donovan. Whatever you do, if you have intestinal issues, don’t listen to this song. It’s a bit unsettling if you’re tummy’s rumbling. If I remember my rock-and-roll history, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are both on this track, and thus Donovan may be somewhat responsible for Led Zeppelin.

25. Here I Am (Come And Get Me) – Al Green. Al Green for president! Well, OK, for everyone’s reverend. Just watch out for the grits! Man, how soulful is he? None, none more soulful.

Well, there you go. A rockin’ sneak preview. It definitely skews older, but remember, I AM an old one, and if you haven’t heard it, it’s new to you, dig?

Word.


 

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