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6:46 a.m. - February 07, 2007
One More Mix (Oh, Der...)
Ah, wintertime. Snow, cold, snow, cold, cold, cold, snow, cold. Oh, and tunes.

Yeah, tunes.

I’m back to making mix CDs again, and have a whole slew of people that I need to get some too. But I’m off to a good start. I have delivered a six-pack and am working on another. And as you see below that other six-pack will be darn good. Of course, I do say so myself, but prove me wrong, peeps? Money back if not satisfied, of course. I mean, if you don’t like the CDs, they make great coasters, eh?

So let’s sample four from each six, shall we. So here’s 24 tunes that are coming up in a mix for someone.

(PS – I have also announced that coming soon will be a LOVE / HATE double CD mix set that I’m going to put out on the 13th and 14th of this month. Those should good ones!)

1. Star Baby – The Guess Who. Sure, they weren’t as good after Randy Bachman left and formed Brave Belt, which morphed into BTO, Burton Cummings kept the Guess Who rolling along. They became a singles band, mostly, releasing little pop gems like this one with catchy melodies and nice harmonies. This barely scraped into the top 40 in the US.

2. Everything – Scruffy The Cat. I had thought that this band had some potential, based on a couple of decent records. Coming out of Boston, they had a rootsy rock base but had a weird world-view, which always is appealing. Moons Of Jupiter was an overlooked record at the time, and they soon split up.

3. Long Flowing Robe – Todd Rundgren. Another relative obscure song from Todd Rundgren, this is a perfect pop concoction. Great vocal arrangements, a neat hook, and that electric piano sound is the aces. Rolling Stone called Runt: The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren “the best album Paul McCartney never made.” I’d say that’s worthy praise that holds up to this day.

4. Blue Letter – Fleetwood Mac. At one point, long before Ms. Vicki found me, I muddled through an essay about songs like this. This could have been a huge hit, but it wasn’t a single. And people are too wimpy to actually listen to something they haven’t heard before. Ah, well, that’s why I make mixes, ya know.

5. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt – We Are Scientists. A great riff, a great beat, and great lyrics that are fun AND sexy at the same time make a great song. I think this band will be around for the long run, as they have a way with hooks and arrangements.

6. Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That – Robert Randolph & The Family Band. It takes some doing to make a pedal steel rock out, but Mr. Randolph can do it. Of course, anyone who masters an instrument like he has mastered the pedal steel is gifted to begin with. With this latest release, the songwriting is better, and that’s a sign for good things to come.

7. Rien Ne Va Plus – Funk Factory. Yeah, I’ve mixed this a lot recently, but it’s my goal in life to be sure that everyone gets down and gets funky, especially to a slinky slow groove like this. Right on! Where’s Billy Dee Williams when you need him?

8. Me So Horny – 2 Live Crew. Oh, um, yeah. Hey, it’s just damn catchy, alright? And no, I never play this out loud. But still, you’d have to admit it’s catchiness, right? RIGHT?

9. Your Little Hoodrat Friend – The Hold Steady. This is a story-song about a relationship between the singer and this weird addict type person. He’s not really a singer, per se, but my gosh, Craig Finn can unwind a complicated tale like this and make it sound so real. It may be real.

10. Rockin’ And Rollin’ With My Rock And Roll Rock And Roller – The Shazam. Hands down, the best song title I have in my collection, and the song is definitely worthy of the title. You don’t get much better power pop than this, do you? Didn’t think so! And there’s cowbell in effect, too, during the bridge! That seals the deal!

11. Goodbye June Fool – Madder Rose. A wah-wah guitar washes all over the intro and then it dissolves into a delicate song, but with distorted guitars. The bassist and the drummer have a very gentle interplay going on through the song, which is why I love it so. There’s so many layers to this onion, and I’m tear free as well.

12. Lost Souls – Matt Mays & El Torpedo. The wonderful Judith recommended them to me (well, everyone) and they are pretty nifty. It’s just conventional rock and roll, but it sounds good because no one does that anymore.

13. Knockers – The Darkness. Yeah, they’re just a silly, silly band. And yeah, they probably aren’t going to be in the running for a lifetime achievement award. But sometimes rock and roll just needs to be dumb fun. The over-the-top falsetto of Justin Hawkins is well worth the price of admission.

14. Madison Blues – George Thorogood. Really, he’s not much of a songwriter, and over the course of an album, he kind of gets samey, but in short doses he’s brilliant, and this is one of those doses.

15. Take It Off – The Donnas. Simply irresistible. It rocks hard and that’s all you need.

16. Boom Boom – Trio. Spartan, minimalist, and a bit, well, touched at times, this German band scored (thanks to Volkswagen) with “Da Da Da”. This shows that they know their way around a guitar riff, and it’s a most impressive riff. Metal-heads would be proud.

17. Leave The Biker – The Fountains Of Wayne. What’s not to love about this group? A perfect pop sense, great, witty lyrics that make you laugh and think, and a world view that I can relate to. This is MY band of the aughts!

18. Prime Time – The Tubes. They had some high points, some silly (“Sushi Girl”, “White Punks On Dope”) and some just straight rock-and-roll (“She’s A Beauty”). This is one of the straight ones and it’s relatively straight forward and all. It wasn’t a hit, but it could have been, easily.

19. Lady Sniff – The Butthole Surfers. This one, however, could only have been a hit in a rather alternative universe, almost a Bizzaro world. It’s just sheer insanity – sheer madness – with found sounds – rude noises – and Gibby Haynes making no sense whatsoever. That’s what makes it great. One of the ideas I have kicking around in my head is the Butthole Surfers guesting on American Bandstand, back in the day.

20. Crawl Back (Under My Stone) – Richard Thompson. What an amazing guitarist and performer! Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Clapton gets the accolades but Thompson is the real deal as an artist and guitarist. Just listen to some of the Fairport Convention stuff. Sheer beauty.

21. Only In 3’s – The Breeders. I was playing Pod at work a LONG time ago, and one of my co-workers said, “Wow, how can you listen to that dark music?” Um…really? Dark? Well, ok it’s not poppy and spirited and they use minor chords and weird tunings and are noisy, but dark? This is from their first album which doesn’t have the pop sheen but I think has better songs.

22. Strangers – Portishead. It was a genius idea to put this electronic band up against an actual orchestra on their Roseland NYC record. I heard they may be coming out with something new. It’s about time, ya know! The electronic pulse of this song lures you in, and Beth Gibbons’ vocals take you away.

23. Smart Patrol / Mr. DNA – Devo. Continuing their theme of De-evolution, the first part of their song talks about “suburban robots that monitor reality” with a nice little locked in groove and some tasty guitar work from Bob 1. Then there’s the second piece, which is a little faster in tempo, has some weird synthesizer stuff going on in there, while talking about someone who is there to “spread some genes.” It’s just wild, wacky stuff, and one wonders what the mainstream really thought of them. Oh, wait, I do know.

24. Dirty White Boy – Foreigner. It’s definitely not a PC song, and probably wouldn’t get airplay nowadays, but it does rock as hard as Foreigner was allowed to rock. For the record, that is semi-hard, like a semi-precious stone. Yes, Foreigner, the Lapus Lazuli of rock and roll.

Well, there ya go! 24 more songs sent off to a happy (let’s hope) home. More will follow – if I can pay for it! Oh, please! Let there be caysh so there can be tunes and much rejoicing!


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