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3:06 p.m. - February 06, 2006
A Mix CD Sample
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…where the chili has all been eaten. Drat, no leftovers.

I’ve been making mix CDs like a madman. (Insane, insane, again, I say). I have one set that needs to go out this week (I forgot to burn them this weekend and I must, I must). I promised the immor(t)al Smash that I’d make a soundtrack of tunes inspired by the great soap opera Rockin’ (of which many great people around these parts are a member of the cast, such as me. Though I may seem like a lothario in that soap, I’m small taters compared to some of ‘em!) and send them across the pond.

And recently I promised another set, but that can wait until March.

But as you know, I’ve been doing this for a while. I started doing mix tapes way back when. I wrote about my mixing habits here.

And what’s really funny is that in the process of doing my real job (which does entail some internet research) I stumbled across a name of a person that I dated briefly in 1991 or so. She was really sweet, but a college student and I was in the real world and that’s the way it works out sometimes. However, her last name is rather unique and unusual and you can’t miss it nor forget it. And woe to you who pronounced it wrong. So somehow she popped on a list of bloggers on a search I was doing about people in Tennessee and I clicked on her place.

One email later, it was confirmed that she was who I thought she was. And she did remember me (how could anyone forget me – heh!). In fact, she recently found mix tapes that I made HER back in 1991. Holy cow!

I wonder what the hell are on them! I’m impressed she saved them. When we moved, I asked Liz about the mix tapes I made her back in the day and she said they could be pitched, since we have either CD players or the iPod and she has access to all of the songs anyway.

(BTW – I know that she’s probably read a whole mess of my stuff – ma’am, it’s OK to comment! I don’t bite! And you can send me what’s on those tapes, too. I want to see what I thought was hip and trendy 15 years ago.)

Later this week, after I finish selecting the initial songs for the “Rockin’” soundtrack, I’m going to jam all of my mix CD playlists together and perhaps do a ‘mix CD’ countdown and find out how many people I’ve given these CDs to since April 2005, and what are the songs I’ve mixed the most - as the frenzy started with CDs to The Candidate. I’ll also link to all those I’ve given CDs too, just in case you wonder who the cool people are (and who have inspired me in some way).

And in case you haven’t gotten on the mix list – don’t fret. It may be that I’m too awe inspired by your presence, or you would mock and shame me with my piddling thoughts on tunes. Or you may be on a future short list for tuneage! We shall see.

But before then, I wanted to write about some of the tunes that I’ve recently sent away, or will be sending away very shortly. And I haven’t done a music entry in quite a while, so I’ve got the music in me. Away we go…

“Come And Get Your Love” – Redbone. What’s not to like about this happy, infectious tune from 1974. This was a big hit for Redbone, and a last hurrah as well. If you don’t know it, no doubt you’ve heard it. I love the bass line and the drumming throughout. (Although, on iTunes you can buy the 5:00 album version, and I wonder how they could extend it as I think the single version is nearly perfect).

“On Fire” – Van Halen. From the 1978 debut album, this was the album closer (though I first heard this on the cassette, and it closed the FIRST side of the cassette, and the second side ended with “Ice Cream Man” and to this day when I put in the original album it sounds out of place at the end…) Eddie throws down a monster riff with some neat little guitar noises interspersed and Diamond Dave sings it like he means it.

“Hot Pants, Pt. 1” – James Brown. You’ve got to use what you got to get just what you want. Good God! This is a smokin’ hot groove, with actual lyrical content (rare for a 70’s James Brown record), and a minimum of chatter, at least on Part 1. I’m going to do an essential semi-obscure James Brown essay soon.

“Everywhere With Helicopter” – Guided By Voices. Of the 291 songs that GBV put on every album, there are always two or three that really stand out, and this is one of them. What the hell the lyrics mean? I don’t know, but you can sing along with the chorus (of course) and bob your head up and down in a very knowing way. This clocks in at 2:36, so it’s an epic by their standards.

“Stupid Girl” – Garbage. I cringed when this first came out, even though it was sung by a lady. (BTW, it’s not the same song as Neil Young’s “Stupid Girl”) But I soon got over it and have succumbed to its wiles, its groove and the way Shirley Manson sings. Meeeow!

“Back In Flesh” – Wall of Voodoo. Yeah, all everyone knows is “Mexican Radio” but this is a rare gem from their first album (though I have just a live cut, not the studio version) and is cut from the same kind of mode as their best known song. It has twisted lyrics, weird singing, odd noises and it all holds together somehow.

“Whole Wide World” – Wreckless Eric. From England, and from Stiff Records, and from a time when Stiff Records tried pert near everything to be ‘different’, comes this delightful little ditty. Sure, it’s off key, but it’s sung with gusto and abandon, and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

“It’s A Sin To Go Away” – We All Together. Bands come from all over the globe, sure. But a song this good coming from Peru? Yep, it’s true. This is a neat little confection of Beatle-fandom by four lads from Lima. I love the use of the organ and the drumming, along with the silky harmonies. You couldn’t tell they’re Peruvian, either, they sing like Englishmen.

“I Don’t Wanna Know” – Fleetwood Mac. Liz to Smed, “Hey, I’ve always loved that song. Turn it up!” Seems I’m not the only one in the family who listened to entire albums, and not just the hits. Buried on side two of Rumours, this is an almost perfect Lindsey Buckingham pop nugget. And everyone can sing along, since it’s basically a duet between ex-lovers. Let’s karaoke this one!

“Sinatra” – Helmet. Oof, this is an intense one, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This is pre-major label Helmet, so it’s loud and gnarly. The bass line is menacing, the drumming incessant, the guitars dissonant and powerful, and the whole song sounds like it’s trying to pound your ears out.

“Crumbs Off the Table” – The Glass House. Woman stays home, while man goes out and works. When man gets home, wants nothing to do with wife in THAT way. “Tell me, tell me, who ya been doin’???” So that’s it?? Maybe he’s Mr. Roper, and you’re Mrs. Roper. Think about that? Anyway, this is a great lost 70’s soul classic, featuring Scherrie Payne (Freda’s sister) on vocals. They also recorded the original version of “Want Ads”, but for some reason it didn’t come out.

“Chicken Pox” – Booker T. and the MGs. Remember when I said that Kenny Loggins stole “Footloose” from the riff of the James’ Gang’s “Funk #49.” Well, the James gang stole the melody of “Funk #49” from this song – or it’s very very close. What a great groove, featuring, of course, the organ of Booker T. and the Steve Cropper on guitar.

“Happen Happened” – The Three O’Clock. Ok, technically, they were the Salvation Army when this was recorded. But you know how lawsuits are. Anyway, this is all about Doris Day and pill popping, and it’s a snappy little punk-pop tune. The guitarist at the time is Johnny Blazing, and he’s…we’ll he’s got issues let’s just say. And the drummer at the time had issues too, with time (it’s especially evident on the Salvation Army’s lone LP under that name). Still it all works in the end.

“The Lord’s Prayer” – Sister Janet Mead. What child of the 70’s doesn’t sing this version when saying the Lord’s Prayer in church? Nice wah-wah, nice bassline, and nice tambourines. She’s an Aussie, too! Oy!

“Song For The Dumped” – Ben Folds Five. We’ve all felt like this, haven’t we. However, whilst I have not claimed any reparations from ex-girlfriends, I do have all of my black T-shirts.

“Tonight” – The Raspberries. Oh, I could go on and on and on about how the Raspberries were quite an underrated band, and had a lot more hits than what they wound up with because they were out of step with the times, blah, blah, blah. But face it, Eric Carman was the leader, and it would have only been a matter of time before we were subjected to “All By Myself” anyway, with or without them. So enjoy these records and try to forget about his solo stuff. (BTW – in his huge solo hit, during that pregnant pause near the end, don’t you wish he just stopped right then and there…and not subject us to another 10 minutes of his bleating about him being all alone??)

Well, there’s just a sample, a TASTE of what’s been on my mix CDs lately. Sure, it’s not like hearing the tunes, but by gosh, you all live vicariously through me anyway, right?


Hello? Hello? Anyone there?


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