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11:51 a.m. - January 04, 2007
Revelation: Holiday CD #1
Well, now, here is a moment that some of you have been waiting for. Just what was in those Holiday Mix CDs that Smed is going to send out soon?

Well, now, I'd be remiss if I didn't share with you the winners of said exercise for one. (The winners thus far, because you can still get a 2 CD set, as long as you do what I have asked, as you know.) Please, go check them out.

From the Diaryland world, we have:

Katress (though she replied on her MySpace)

From MySpace, there was:

The Queen Of Pabst. (Ok, she didn't blog, but she left a comment and I always do what she says.
My PA Compatriot.

From other Blog Sites, the winners were:

Got Cow Now?

Like I said, it's not too late. Oh, and for the above. It's too late. No backing out now! Heh.


Let us begin with Disc #1. Yes, it's a "Holiday" mix but only because I'm sending it out during the Holiday season. These songs have nothing to DO with any sort of holiday or anything. Well, at least I don't think so. But they rock, groove, and do other things to you. Oh, and it's not very family friendly. But that's rock and roll, isn't it.

1. Get Off Your Ass And Jam - Funkadelic. See? Not very family friendly is it? However, it's a hell of a groove, and you can't help but do what the song commands. Eddie Hazel burns your Eustachian tubes with a fantabulous funky guitar solo, and that's a heck of a bass line from Bootsy Collins, too. It's a great way to start this off, if I do say so myself.

2. Funky To The Bone - Freddi / Henchi & The Soul Setters. Now, thanks to Rhino Records (a company I could marry) I am quite funkifed this winter because they released What It Is?, a fantastic box set of obscure funk gems from the late 60's and early 70's. This is a scorcher with a great riff, a great groove, and everything you look for when you wants to get funky. Yet, believe it or not, this was NEVER released. It was only a promo single. Can someone explain why?

3. Kissing My Love - Cold Blood. Yet another lost gem of funk from the 70's. The drum sound is right in your face, and the wah-wah guitar, funky bass, and burbling keyboard make it a funk fest for everyone. The singer has some Janis Joplin in her, and it fits for this song, I think. They recorded a few albums that critics didn't like and people ignored, but you know, if they sound like this, I'll dig it.

4. Rein Ne Va Plus - Funk Factory. Oh, joy! Any student of the Beastie Boys will recognize this as the main sample from "Car Thief" off of Paul's Boutique. What a smooth, sultry groove, with the singers adding a great vocal overlay in a very seventies type of thing. Why this wasn't a hit is beyond me, because you can definitely get yer freak on with it.

5. Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson. I know, I know. He's of now. But this was before he was all weird like, and he looked like a human being. Listen to this song closely, and marvel in the guitar lines in each channel, the percussion and the low, insistent bass line.

6. Debra Kadabra - Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. From Bongo Fury, which isn't on my top Zappa album list, and a rare collaboration from these two long time friends, this is quite a paradigm shift from the funk. Or is it? It definitely starts with a groove, but the song moves into several sections that all have interesting qualities, much like Beefheart's vocals. The words are hilarious, but one needs a reference book to get all of the allusions. But that's what the 'net is for. However, "Give me bas relief!" is an all time line.

7. Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy - Frank Zappa. I put this on there as they somewhat segue into each other on Bongo Fury. This is a pretty typical Zappa song talking about odd sexual practices, with a neat arrangement in the background, cool references (like a Roger Daltrey cape - no doubt that fringy thing he wore at Woodstock), a great electric piano from George Duke, Tom Fowler's bass line is groovy, and it has one of the best sounding Zappa guitar solos. That guitar sound that he had during the mid-70's is one of all my all-time favorite guitar tones, ranking very close to Mudhoney's first tone in grit and oomph.

8. Honky's Ladder - The Afghan Whigs. NOT kid-friendly, in any way, shape or form. Ah well. Play this mother loud. It's dark and evil and creepy and just fantastic.

9. Little Dawn - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists. A great guitar line to open it, and then the song just rocks in a very traditional rocking way, but traditional rocking is rather much unheard of nowadays. I mean, all those emo kids can take their sub-Creed (and that takes something) whining and sub-Pearl Jam grunge and go away. This is just rock and roll, which I guess makes it alternative now. Did you realize that back in the mid-70's Cheap Trick and Tom Petty were considered new wave, basically because they just rocked and didn't do anything fancy or progressive?

10. Young For Eternity - The Subways. They're young and exuberant, which is all you need in rock and roll, really. I'm not expecting lyrical genius here - I'm just expecting to jump up and down and play air bass to this one. And I do, and what a sight to behold. Kristin loves it!

11. Future Foe Scenarios - Silversun Pickups. Thanks to Rolling Stone and iTunes, I was able to find this band, sample this band, and now I want to marry this band. There's definitely a Smashing Pumpkins vibe here with the guitars and the somewhat dreamy atmosphere, and the sudden change for semi-quiet to yelling. But unlike Billy Corgan, thus far they're not caught up in themselves. Yet.

12. Point Of Know Return - Kansas. Ok, another paradigm shift, or is it? I think it flows in well with the dreamy rock, but what do I know. All I know is that I, for some reason, still like this song. Mainly because it evokes a quieter, simpler time for me, or something, or other.

13. Hold Your Head Up - Argent. This was a band formed out of the ashes of the Zombies, and they gave into to a lot of the pretentious noodling that hallmarked second-tier English progressive rock of the early and mid 70's. And I chose a version of this song with a long, wanky, solo, yes. But I love the menacing, insistent bassline and the transition from verse to chorus. Oh, and there's cowbell during the wanky solo.

14. Made Up Love Song #43- Guillemots. A dreamy, heartfelt pop song from this UK band that I know little about. I do like the bass line and when the song starts going about a minute in, the way the guitar chimes between channels. They seem intriguing, and I need to keep an eye out on them. (I know they have a full length album now, but my budget just got squeezed.)

15. Bright Yellow Gun - Throwing Muses. This was a star-crossed band, for sure. They got a lot of good writeups, and were kind of paired with the Pixies, for better or worse (based on their location and both being on 4AD records) but no one really bought their records, and now, they're almost a footnote even though Kristin Hersh is a brilliant songwriter and an evocative performer.

16. On The Road To Gila Bend - Los Lobos. I think a lot of people forgot about them after the hubbub of La Bamba died down and they released an album of traditional Mexican folk songs right on the heels of that. But you know what? They're still plugging away and making great music.

17. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Again) - The Decemberists. The panel of friends that I sent advance copies out to is very split by this band. Some don't like the dude's voice, and some just can't get into the quasi-folky-Americana sound. Yet this is an outstanding song. It's a grim subject, but it's not melancholy. To my ears, it's the sound of true love between a man and woman, even if one is dead and gone. Laura Viers does an excellent job on the vocals along with Colin Meloy. The record company must be happy - this album hit the top 40!

18. My Sweet Annette - Drive-By Truckers - Rather much a companion piece, I think, except instead of Americana this is pretty much close to straight country as you can get. (Well, straight alt-country, anyway.) It's a somewhat sad story that relates to a simpler time (eating homemade ice cream, yum!) and does evoke sad country ballads from the past. The plaintive fiddle adds a great texture to the bridge between verses as does a sweet pedal-steel piece after the last chorus.

Well, there you go. 18 tracks going out of my friends and readers! Tomorrow, the final CD and that's somewhat holiday in tone. I said somewhat. I'll hopefully get these mailed out in the next few days (I have 12 sets burned but need more CD mailers and double CD cases - Staples ho!)



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