12:14 p.m. - October 02, 2006
So right now I’m in progress for FOUR mix CD sets at once, and it’s a bit different this time. One is a Diaryland reader, for sure, but the other three are locals. So I’m spreading some tune magic through BFE land, here. One of the locals is the Queen of Pabst, the other is a mad wicked arty Scorpio with a hot Asian boy that she has for entertainment, and the third is I, Engineer,
(Personal note to I, Engineer. I know on Friday I said that I’d be writing about new artists that I’ve downloaded to help you in exploring, but I’ve decided to change it up. It’s just my I way, and I know that upsets your sense of balance since you are such a C. Ah, well, tra-la-la.)
So with four mixes, I’ve decided to list six songs from each and discuss them. And we begin…
1. Lonely Is The Night – Billy Squier. Yes, he made the gayest video of all time. (And I didn’t make that observation – Liz did – for his fine work in “Rock Me Tonite”.) And yes, a lot of his stuff is just bland rock and roll, like a harder edged Richard Marx. But for a while, he had the goods and some songs, like this one. This wasn’t blasted all over the radio like “The Stroke” or “Everybody Wants You”, but it’s still a hell of a tune. Crank it!
2. Easy Lover – Phillip Bailey and Phil Collins. Is there anyone who sings a falsetto better than Phillip Bailey? Anyone? Didn’t think so. This dates from back when Phil Collins could make tolerable music on occasion. The production is nice, and Phil’s drums don’t overwhelm the song (big shock).
3. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys. This is probably the best love song ever written. Just listen to Carl Wilson’s vocal, the soaring harmonies, the vocal close with Carl, Bruce Johnston and Brian, and the how the songs structure keeps rising and rising. Breathtaking! And, it only hit number 39 on the charts, once again proving that we’re idiots here in America.
4. Apology – The Posies. Their first album was recorded as a duo, but when they released Dear 23Ken Stringfellow and John Auer had an honest to goodness band. And they also had a great ear for harmonies and production. This is a brilliant and complex song. “And I asked again / would it be alright for me to acquire someone else's disenchantment” is just a brilliant opening line.
5. Orgasm Addict – The Buzzcocks. Well, um, this is pretty much straight forward. It’s great punk rock, and it’s rather witty. Go check out the Buzzcocks (the old stuff) because they made a lot of great songs in a short amount of time.
6. Deny Everything – The Circle Jerks. Another punk rock feast for the ears, this time from LA. It’s short, sweet and to the point.
7. Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine – Country Joe and the Fish. Believe it or not, this was the only charting single by that group, even though they are known for “The Fish Cheer” and “Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-To-Die Rag”. And what a single. This hit 95 on the charts even though it’s a ditty about a woman who can only pleasure herself by killing her lovers, slowly.
8. Games Without Frontiers – Peter Gabriel. On the home stretch from my trip, I had my iPod on shuffle of my five star songs and this popped up. I listened, intently, and fell in love with it again. Robert Fripp on guitar, Kate Bush on backing vocals, and Peter Gabriel being insidious and mysterious. You can’t help to whistle along!
9. Purple Parallelogram – The Lemonheads. Of course, it’s a catchy song. You expect nothing less from Evan Dando. However, the subject matter? Um, OK, sure. A purple parallelogram he got in Amsterdam. Gee, what could THAT be? He co-wrote this with Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and he had it removed from Car Button Cloth for whatever reason. Quite a shame.
10. Holidays In Cambodia – The Dead Kennedys. Be sure to pack a wife! Everyone needs a little in your face punk rock once in a while, I don’t care who you are. Believe it or not, the non-Jello Biafra members of the Dead Kennedys sued Jello because he refused to license this song to Levi’s for a commercial. What the hell kind of commercial would THAT be?
11. Mr. Soul – Buffalo Springfield. Neil Young at his best – dense, foreboding, and doomed. I thought I knew who this was about a few times, but perhaps it’s about no one in particular.
12. Twenty Flight Rock – Eddie Cochran. Oh, this is the one, baby. Get your poodle skirts and let’s go to the sock hop. It’s old, but it still cooks.
13. Brand New Lover – Dead or Alive. I have to admit something. When I fill out those janky surveys on MySpace, and they ask if I find any male attractive, I always say, “No.” Well, um, I need to say yes, because Pete Burns is the prettiest male I know. See? . That doesn’t make me a bad person, does it? The cat’s OUT of the bag. Actually, I’ve seen recent pics of him and he has done something funky with his lips (hold the collagen, dude) and looks like a haggard meth user, too. Ick.
14. Big Dumb Sex – Soundgarden. Not a song to be putting on a mix for a first date, now, because it’s actually kind of a joke. It rocks like no one’s business, even though this is when Soundgarden really tried to be Led Zeppelin’s grungy nephew.
15. More Than This – Roxy Music. In high school, I HATED this band, HATED this song. Now, I know better. It’s a beautiful tune. And yes, once again Bryan Ferry sings like he’s going to get him some right after the session. Well, he probably did.
16. Love Me Tomorrow – Boz Scaggs. I can’t help it. I’m putting this song on about one in every three mixes. It’s just a slinky reggae groove with Boz singing like only he can.
17. Rock And Roll Singer – AC/ DC. Oh, this IS AC/DC at its best. Loud, raucous, almost out of control. Bon Scott sneers like no one else. Crank this mother up!
18. In Your Mind – Built To Spill. I haven’t written much about Built To Spill, but I love them so. Their songs are complicated, complex, thought provoking, and a guitar lover’s dream.
19. (Wish I Could) Hideaway – CCR. Yeah, a Creedence song that’s probably not on the Dude’s tape that was stolen. This was on their last great album titled Pendulum and probably it was almost all John Fogarty solo, anyway. This derivates from the CCR formula, using an organ as its main instrument, creating the tension and drama in the song.
20. Scissor Man – XTC. A fun song with a fun sound. While I’m not a huge XTC fan, as I find their albums all sound samey after a while, this is a unique sound for them and always brings a smile to my face.
21. She’s On It – Beastie Boys. One of the first songs post “Cookie Puss”, this was on an EP released before Licensed To Ill, but sounds like it could really fit in on that record. Yeah, it’s rude and crude and crass and not for a prude, but the guitar riff goes and goes.
22. Hard Bitten – Arson Garden. A band from Bloomington that I thought had a chance to break out in the 90s, yet a janky record company stopped their progress. This has a neat sound, with April Combs’ voice floating over the guitars and the bass line is quite moving, literally.
23. I Am Your Flag – English Beat. Wha’ppen is their least essential record, but that’s like saying that cheese is the least essential ingredient of a pepperoni pizza. This is a tuneful song, and is a standout in their all-to-brief career.
24. Rockin’ And Rollin’ With My Rock and Roll Rock and Roller – The Shazam. For the title alone, it should be nominated for about 25 Grammies, and well, the song is just great. Everyone needs to download this one NOW! Get to it! I’m waiting….