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1:41 p.m. - April 26, 2006
Red's Tunes
First off, I’d like to say kudos to The Queen of Tart for the new layout for little ol’ me! Yay!

I love it so much that I could kiss her, a lot, big time, well except that I’m married and she’s taken and I’m here and she’s there, but yeah, it’s great isn’t it! She will be rewarded for sure!

But now on with the show, and what a better way to debut the new template than to talk about music, eh?

Right now, I have five (soon to be six) mixes brewing. One has song selection done, and the others are still in that mode (well, the sixth is for The Queen of Tart and I’m going to be sure that one is great guns, eh?) (And I have to be careful which one I say because Stepford Tart is also one of my buds, and she’s amongst the coolest as well.)

But I have one mix that I am in a rush mode for, as I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. It’s for Red, the Traveler, as we announced our mutual love for a corny 80’s song at a dinner with some colleagues, and I just can’t let that go unrewarded. Oh, and I brought my iPod down to the hotel lounge and she got to hear a few selections. We Wonder-Twinned power on a lot of the songs.

Dorks, much? Yeah.

So here’s a sneak preview of her mix. I may be in Smed-overdrive mode, but hey, it’s passed muster with my ears and those around me, thus far. So here are 20 sneak preview songs that YOU should consider for the inner dork in you.

1. Happiness – The Anita Kerr Singers. Earlier, I claimed this was the Whitest.Song.Ever. I knew she HAD to hear it, and Red was just bopping along to it like I knew she would. It’s also highly recommended by Vicki as well; however, Zon reserved judgment. I found this on a Rhino Handmade collection, so it may be very hard to get, but get it you must, just to raise your blood sugar!

2. One Toke Over The Line – Brewer and Shipley. Oh, the things that pop up in your iPod when you least expect it. I had forgotten I loaded this thing on my most beloved machine, and when it came up randomly I immediately starting singing the chorus all over the house, which drew me a look (not THE look, but a look nonetheless). (For you kids, this duo bridged the important gap between Zager and Evans and America in the pantheon of wimpy folk-rock!)

3. Eres Tu (Touch The Wind) – Mocedades. Anyone take Spanish in high school? Anyone NOT learn this song in Spanish class? This, my friends, is pure Vegas style pop that was somewhat en vogue in the 70’s, with the big dramatic horns and overblown chorus. When I reminded City Mouse about this song once, she said her Dad used to sing it back in the day.

4. One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show – Honey Cone. I have been putting this on a lot of mixes recently, as it’s a song that seems to have been lost in the shuffle. It’s a slick piece of classic soul from the 70’s, a follow up to the classic “Want Ads”. It was written by General Johnson, among others, and Johnson was the leader of the Chairmen of the Board.

5. Give Me Just A Little More Time – Chairmen of the Board. A neat little soul shuffle from the 70’s. It’s very bouncy and Katie approved for dancing with daddy, too. (Of course, Katie’s favorite part is during the bridge when everything drops out but the bass and the vocal of General Johnson, when he gives a raspberry!) I remember a TV album that used this as a hook for you to buy the record. Heck, yeah.

6. I’m Telling You Now – Freddie and the Dreamers. Oh, jeebus, how was I missing this song forever? I mean, it’s just a little pop trifle, but it’s SUCH a good pop trifle with an infectious melody and hooky verse. You can’t help but smile as you sing along to it. It’s a shame Herman’s Hermits outlasted Freddie, because this one is much better than anything those guys ever did.

7. Itchykoo Park – Small Faces. Duuuuuude. Allegedly, the first song with phase-shifting in it (at least it’s the first pop single with phase-shifting). (Phase-shifting gives it a spacey, hollow effect about 2/3 of the way through it – Queen used it a lot.) I wonder how this got past the censors at some stations, with the whole “What did you do there? I GOT HIIIIIIGH!” lyrics. Maybe it was all too beautiful, and they just forgot about the whole druggy thing.

8. Photograph – Ringo Starr. Sure, Ringo was a bit limited vocally, and he barely wrote any of his own songs, (though he co-wrote this and wrote two of his best singles, too) but his voice was suited perfectly for songs like this. And yes, this is another one of those songs I sing in the shower when the mood strikes me. Perfect production as well, it’s tasteful for the 70’s.

9. Fairies Wear Boots – Black Sabbath. There’s some insider jokes here that happened about the table, where I said I was a “the CD mix fairy for my little internet group” and someone joked about using that word, and well, there you go and here you are. This is the capper to Paranoid, one of the finest pieces of sludge anywhere on the planet. When the riff kicks in at about 1:19, just try not to bang thy head.

10. I Don’t Know – Chris Bell. Chris Bell was part of the first incarnation of the legendary Big Star, and had a hand in writing many of the gems that group put out in 1972 (that, of course, not many people heard, but still…). This is from the posthumously released I Am The Cosmos and while it seems a bit ragged vocally, it’s just a perfect upbeat pop tune. And it uses a cowbell quite effectively near the end.

11. AEIOU (Sometimes Y) – Ebn / Ozn. Oh. My. God. First this was on the XM radio station Vicki and I were listening to. Then Vicki said she had this, so I emailed it to myself. Then I was extolling it and Red’s eyes just lit up and she said “EBN / OZN!!!!” That’s when I knew she was a geek like me! If you haven’t heard it, you must, you must, you must. Because we all need to feel cavalier.

12. I Know There’s Something Going On – Frida. I think this is the only solo hit by anyone from ABBA, and it’s one song that you hear, and then 15 or 20 years later you hear it again, and you go, “Dayam – that was a fine tune that was.” And then you just keep playing it and it never gets old. Phil Collins (!) actually rocks out and sets the tone with his relentless drumming.

13. Spellbound – Siouxsie and the Banshees. Yeah, they were a bit too much of a culty band for me (fans way too rabid for my tastes) and they got overplayed in the late 80’s, but some of the early stuff is fascinating. This has an infectious melody and chorus and has some spooky guitar lines weaving all through it.

14. Vanishing Girl – The Dukes of Stratosphear. Wow, a little nugget I had forgotten about. I KNOW I played this on my college radio station, but it was just filed away until I got the Children of Nuggets collection recently. I know it’s basically XTC being psychedelic (which isn’t a stretch, really) but this really should have been a big hit, and it COULD have been a hit in 1968, even.

15. Good Guys And Bad Guys – Camper Van Beethoven. What’s not to love about this song? It’s got an infectious hook, unique instrumentation, and smart ass, yet truthful lyrics. Cracker became a well known band, but CVB was a much, much better band. Let me play your guitar!

16. Sorry – The Easybeats. Known primarily for “Friday On My Mind” in the States, and a few other singles in the U.K., these Aussies (well, not really Aussies, any of them, but that’s where they were based) rode the British Invasion wave, and this song is a perfect distillation of their sound. George Young, the guitarist, is best known as Malcolm and Angus Young’s older brother.

17. Nobody Knows – The Raspberries. A band that was unfairly put into the teeny-bop category, competing with David Cassidy and others of that ilk, the Raspberries actually wrote smart, catchy and complex pop tunes. This was just a ‘throwaway’, really, a song just stuck on an album, but you hear it and you hear magic. Eric Carman really had a gift for this stuff, but I guess he’d rather have been all by himself.

18. Bad Reputation – the dB’s. When you’re out on a forefront of a movement, then sometimes the early pioneers will get the short shrift. The dB’s, along with Pylon, were the first great American post-punk college-radio bands, and they paved the way for R. E. M. and many other bands of that ilk. Unfortunately, they never got a proper American recording contract before the duo of Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple split up when Stamey left to go solo.

19. Red’s Song – The Jayhawks. Well, of COURSE I had to put this on there. This is a moody piece of alt-country, from one of the most underrated bands of the 90’s. I put this on Freshhell’s mix, in tribute for one of her kids. However, it’s not really a tribute, per se, when you read the lyrics. But it’s a fine, fine tune.

20. Portions For Foxes – Rilo Kiley. I must have been living in a cave, or something. How did I ever miss the wonderful Rilo Kiley? Yeesh, Smed, sometimes this radio avoidance thing is just ass-backwards. What a great song! What a great band! I also recommend Jenny Lewis’ solo record, too. And you know what? I’m bad news, too.

Well, there you have it, friends. Those are twenty more great songs for you to check out, if you have the time, or inclination. I’m going to put the finishing flourishes on this stuff, send it out, and go rock and or roll some more! Woot!


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