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4:29 p.m. - February 27, 2008
Smed's Top 200: #147-#134. And They Keep On Comin'
Before I get back into Smed’s Top 200, I need to print off this email exchange with my man Moose.

Smed: Dang, the first Montrose album ain't bad. Montrose, UFO....what am I turning into? Do I have to get a Camaro and start parting my hair in the center and grow a real skinny pornstache?

Moose: Better stock up on sleeveless t-shirts, Marlboros and cut-off jeans
shorts too.

I think I’m a sucker for a good riff. Or just a sucker.

++++++++++

Anyway, the Heart Mix from Heather shall wait. I feel a need, a need to post more of Smed’s Top 200. Again, these are the most played songs in my iPod as of 12/31/07. Yeah, at some point I’ll do a recap. What do you think this is, a VH-1 show? Do I look like a bored out-of-work comic/actor or one of those Modern Humorist guys?

Wait, don’t answer that…

So, let’s start where we left off.

147. She’s A Runaway – The BoDeans. When they first started, they had a conceit where everyone in the band was tagged with the surname “BoDean”, but soon, it wore off and it worked out that that BoDeans, at the core, were Sammy Llanas (he of the nasally whine) and Kurt Neumann, with a loyal bass player (nice work if you can get it.)

This song was the lead cut for their debut Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams which was a fabulous rootsy record. They moved away from that unadorned sound, had a couple of hits and are still a going concern. However, I think this may be their finest moment. It certainly got my attention when I first heard it.

146. Volume – Pylon. I got into Pylon at the time of their ‘comeback’ in the early 90’s – too late for me to experience them live in their original go-round. Of course, I’d have to have gotten into clubs when I was like 14 to do that, ah well. Anyway, they’re like the American Gang of Four with arty lyrics and an arty style. They don’t make sense in a linear sense, really. Every once in a while they get together and play again. Why not? They still have it!

145. New Europeans – Ultravox. Ah, Ultravox. They’re always good for a mix or two. This is from Vienna, the first Midge Ure album and one where they were meshing the punk era and the synthesizer era and calling it ‘New Romantic’ or something like that.

This has a kick booty riff (my weakness) and a very arty video. Well, I don’t expect anything else BUT arty videos from this icy cool bunch.

144. I Ain’t The One – Lynyrd Skynyrd. This band name always makes my spell check go hog wild. I commented to my man Moose that their debut album was close to brilliant, with the first side just solid back to front and then ending side two with “Freebird” (of course). This was the first cut on the first side and introduced the band to the world in a strong way, showing one side of their personality. The second cut, “Tuesday’s Gone” introduced another side. And “Poison Whiskey” introduced their socially conscious side. Yes, they had one!

143. I Just Want To Celebrate – Rare Earth. Thanks to Six Feet Under this song became a barnacle in my brain so I had to find it. (If you recall, it’s used with great effect near the end of the series when Nate was dead.) Rare Earth’s gimmick used to be recording side-long versions of Motown classics and then cutting the songs down a bit for a single. Then they released this which was pretty self-contained without going over the 5 minute mark. It’s got a great groove, and it IS a barnacle.

142. Rise Up With Fists!! – Jenny Lewis w/ The Watson Twins. Oh, man, I just lurrrrrrrrve this song. No ifs, ands or buts. And if you needed a mix from me during a certain time frame, this was sure to be on it! Of course, I loved the video as well, since I did watch Hee-Haw. Sometimes, even by choice! (In fact, in our cable system, we’d get three feeds of it that would be off by a second or two and so when flipping channels it was like deja-vu all over again.)

141. Impossible Space – Arson Garden. Another great cut from this long lost Indianapolis band. I fortunately grabbed their CDs before they went away, and now I have them in my hard drive for ever more. So that means when I mix, you’ll probably get ‘em too!

140. Glad I Don’t Know – The Lemonheads. Funny, this is on TWO records by the Lemonheads and not a single video clip is extant – at least in my searching. The version I mix often is from Hate Your Friends - their debut and it was still when they were more of a band and less an Evan Dando project. It’s a punkier version of the song than the one on Lick.

I know Dando sings the latter, but I’m not convinced that he sings on the former. It sounds like Ben Deily’s rasp, but they were all being ‘punk rock’ so it could have been either one. Anyway, I don’t know left from wrong either, Evan.

139. Modern Love Is Automatic – A Flock Of Seagulls. “I Ran” and “Space Age Love Songs” were the hits and sounded great on MTV and the radio, but when I got the album, I flipped for side two, with “Telecommunication”, “DNA”, “Standing In The Doorway”, and this one. Because of that, I’ve felt the need to mix it a lot to tell the world that the Flock was not just a few-hit wonder band and had some depth. I said SOME depth, like maybe 1 ½ albums worth of depth. After that, you’re on your own. By the way, I am in need of “What Am I Supposed To Do” from their second record. Can’t find it.

138. Out Of The Blue – Roxy Music. I used to loathe Roxy Music. Then I really heard them. Now I heart them. This is from their 1976 tour . They still rock the oboe (as best you can on stage) and violin. Ferry has that nasty little thin moustache. I think that’s Rick Wills on bass before he joined Foreigner. BTW – Foreigner had former members of Roxy Music and King Crimson and they sounded like…well…Foreigner.

137. I Predict A Riot – The Kaiser Chiefs. They were ultra-hyped, as is normal with UK bands, but I thought they delivered. And their second album wasn’t SO bad, now.

136. Divorce Song – Liz Phair. Good Liz Phair. Liz Phair the way its supposed to be. Here’s someone’s unofficial video. And here she is herself!

135. Take It Off – The Donnas. This may be the peak of the Donnas, because you can only milk something like this for so long before you run out of ideas. Sadly, I think the Donnas have ran out of ideas. But this is still rad! And they’re great live, too!

134. What Do All The People Know – The Monroes. A sad, sad, story, this. This song was poised to break out nationally, and the record company went URP! I don’t know if this is the right video but the song is right, and you know what – that’s all that matters, eh?

Ah, my time here is done. Next time on Smed’s Top 200: The Captain, a WTF moment for a sunshine pop band, a WTF moment in general, and a loud bunch of Brits.

 

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