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11:46 a.m. - September 14, 2006
Another Mix CD Preview!
Hey gang! Music week rolls, rolls, rolls along, and this time it’s another CD mix preview. This one is for someone who I recently found out was a reader, and since I will be in their area in a couple of weeks (as I am going from Crawfordsville to Evansville then to Toledo for a conference – yeah – don’t ask – part of that trip is for a writing project) I wanted to be sure to get it done so I can hand deliver it.

And don’t worry if you don’t know many of the songs here. Of course, that’s the POINT of making mixes, at least I think so.

1. Sri Lanka Sex Hotel – The Dead Milkmen. The Dead Milkmen, like any band that depends on comedy, have a lot of hits and misses. But the Beelzebubba album was fairly consistent with hits, like this little demented stream-of-consciousness thing deal bit that juxtaposes some, well, interesting imagery in the lyrics.

2. Love Is Like Oxygen – Sweet. Oh my! Hot diggity! I love love love this song! It’s so kitschy, yet cool. It has a hella riff and some unforgettable Sweet-like moments, like the backing vocals and the drumming into the last chorus. But it’s also got some sweet and tender parts despite the bombast. Crank it up AND karaoke it, baybee!

3. Been It – The Cardigans. The Cardigans always sounded so sweet, even when they were covering Black Sabbath songs, but this has a bit of a sleazy edge to it, which is a pretty darn good thing. Because I always want hot Scandinavian chicks say “Baby I was your whore / Who could ask me for more”, ya know. Excuse me for a sec…

4. Jam Up And Jelly Tight – Tommy Roe. I have a weakness for bubble gum pop of the 60s and 70s, and Mr. Roe was quite the purveyor of said kitschy goodness. This was a top-10 hit that just escaped everyone’s mind after the chart run was over, but it’s irresistible. “You don’t say you will but there’s a chance that you might!” Just WHAT could he be talking about there, hmmmm?

5. He’s Kissing Christian – that dog. I’ve written about this some on my spot, but I will again, because it’s a pretty darn good tune. There’s quite a dichotomy at work here, with the very gentle verses, the sweet harmonies, and during the bridge there’s this nice violin piece, and then the chorus just goes all gonzo punky grungy with a heavy burbling bass line and squally guitar noises. It’s quite cool!

6. She’s So Cold – The Rolling Stones. Oh, I know there are better Stones songs out there, but this was from my junior high years and it has stuck in my head for a long time.

7. Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage – Killer Pussy. Umm…yeah. I really have no excuses for this one. It’s an artifact from the early 80’s, when one could be clever and punky and new wavy and rather much rude at the same time. At times, this is clever (“There are no vacations / just evacuations”) and musically it’s fun with a cool farfisa organ, rockin’ guitar solo and a neat bass line. But the song does go over the top at the end with the…joke.

8. Restless – The Bangles. What say you, Smed? The Bangles? Oh, yeah, because this is from their fantastic first record that no one bought because we had our heads up our kiesters. This is one of Vicki Peterson’s songs, and she’s actually a better songwriter than Susannah Hoffs, I think, and I like her voice better too. But she didn’t have that eye thing going, though.

9. Traces – The Classics IV. They had a few hits, in a very poppy mellow way back in the late 60’s. What’s remarkable is that the same guitar riff shows up in each one of their hits. What’s in “Spooky” also shows up in “Stormy” and in this one and even in “Every Day With You Girl”. Oh, you could karaoke the HELL out of this one, big time, and give it the old lounge singer “I’m really into this slow one and I’m going to SCORE with that chick over there because I’m emoting just to HER” act.

10. Cowboy Song – Thin Lizzy. For one record, Jail Break, Thin Lizzy coalesced into the band that they could be. This one absolutely cooks. Phil Lynott starts singing a plaintive cowboy’s lament, and then Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson get it cranked up and it’s just rock-and-roll baby.

11. Libertine – Utopia. For the life of me, I have no idea why they didn’t release this as a single, or feature it as an album cut for AOR stations to play. It was the leadoff cut on their 1982 self-titled album and it absolutely rocks and cooks. Todd Rundgren’s guitar solo shreds in a very 80’s new wave way, and the song sends an important message, too. “Stay away from Libertine!”

12. Feeling Gravity’s Pull – R. E. M. The leadoff cut from the darkest, densest R. E. M. album (Fables Of The Reconstruction); this has always been one of my favorite cuts by them. Peter Buck’s guitar line is perfect and memorable, and the mood and atmosphere of the song is mysterious and eerie, with a perfect cello counterpoint throughout. Put on the headphones and just mellow out.

13. Angel – Belly. Did everyone have high hopes for this band? I sure did. I liked both albums they did, and were surprised when they went…um…Belly-up. (Oh, I’m bad). They seemingly had all of the components for success – good songs, interesting sounds and a sense of adventure and not complacency.

14. Tomorrow’s Dream – Black Sabbath. Despite Ozzy’s recent droolings on TV, and despite their image, Sabbath actually released a lot of intelligent, thoughtful music in the 70’s. Oh, yeah, and it KICKED ASS too! This has a great sludgy riff, especially the transitional riff between the verses. Oh, everyone needs some sludge in their life, even if you don’t think you do. You gots to have it. I mean, what else are you going to teach your daughter to air guitar to, anyway?

15. The Funky Judge – Bull & The Matadors. One of the joys of the Rhino Records soul collection from the 60’s is finding neat little singles like this, that rather much disappeared but are now a great listen. “I didn’t do it, occifer!” They probably were destined to be a one-shot deal, but this is a fun record with a heavy bass line some interesting feedback near the end that sounds unintentional.

16. Level – The Raconteurs. Now, I never FULLY bought into the White Stripes cult of Jack White’s Personality – yet I do realize he’s got a lot of talent. And this group seems to have brought all of it to the forefront. This is just a great, great song that really should be a big hit, I think.

17. DNA – A Flock of Seagulls. Ok, sure, they were rather much a joke after a while, but I think it was all because of the HAIR, and not the songs. This is an instrumental cut that really shows the Seagulls at their best – creating atmospheres of sound that the guitars can just flow over. They actually rock more than you remember they did.

18. Mama Told Me (Not To Come) – Three Dog Night. They were so money; they made a hit out of this Randy Newman song. Of course, I don’t know if many bluehairs or bluebloods knew what kind of “crazy party” this really was! But I think it was at Bob Guccione’s pad, though.

19. When My Baby’s Beside Me – Big Star. Sure, no one knows this song. Ok, a FEW of you do, but once you hear it you can’t resist it. When my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry at all, either.

20. Hip Hug-Her – Booker T. and the MGs. Listening to Booker T (and the Meters) you can get the entire foundation for soul and R & B in about two minutes and 26 seconds. And really, that’s all you need.

Well, since this is a random sampling of the tunes in the mix, and iTunes was playing jokes and laughs on me, it seems skewed one way and it’s really pretty a broad based mix, trust me! You have to! Pretty please!


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