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4:14 p.m. - July 14, 2007
Summer Mix 12 - Chasing The Ambiguity Away - Or Not
Clarity, it’s a good thing. A very good thing.

The search rolls on with one offer (that’s looking verrry good) and only one other place that I’m considering (and that’s hit a delay, but I’ve called about compensation so let’s just see what happens).

Texas was nice, but it was hot. Baltimore was nice, but housing costs too much. And Kent State isn’t quite ready to pull triggers yet, even though they really want to talk to me. I don’t think I can wait as long it will take. I need to start earning.

Wow, that sentence made me sound like I’m a member of the Soprano crew.

Perhaps the trip to Texas was ill-fated as I spilled coffee on some first class passenger on Thursday morning (just a little, but it splashed on his shirt) and then American Airlines held us on the ground in Dallas yesterday for about 20 minutes waiting for a gate on the hop back from Waco, and then held us on the ground 20 minutes or so as they ‘turned the airport around’. Yeesh. There’s nothing like waiting on a tarmack. I’d rather have my nether regions prodded with skewers. No, really, I would.

(Mind you, the interviews (or recruitment) went fine – it’s just I don’t think that’s a good fit for me at this time and place.)

Anyway, I am decompressing this weekend and to do that, a mix.

This is Summer Mix 12, and I listened to it on the plane yesterday. So it’s passed my test already. Will it pass yours? It had better, dang nabbit.

1. Run, Run, Run – The Gestures. One thing people don’t realize about a lot of the garage bands that started in the 60’s after the Beatles cropped up were that many of them were teenagers. These guys were teenagers from Minnesota, and definitely looked like they cut the record between Spanish and gym class. It’s a hell of a record, though.

2. I Need You – The Kinks. Sure, it’s rather simplistic, with a simple (yet rockin’) riff and simple lyric structure, but dang, it kicks booty. This is what rock and roll should be.

3. You Burn Me Up And Down – We The People. This Florida garage band had some nice moments scattered amongst obscure singles that were big hits in the Sunshine State. The fuzz guitar dominates the verses, and the bridge and the intro is an interesting change to the verse and chorus. If you play this, crank it up real high.

4. Smell Of Incense – The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Yeah, they’re a band from California that existed in the late 60’s. How could you tell? Was it the longish song that at times seems like a meditation on the subject matter with some fuzzy psychedelic touches all throughout. Duuude, it’s heavy, man.

5. I Ain’t No Miracle Worker – The Brogues. Yeah, I got into a garage band thing during this mix, but these are all keepers. This is a great pop / grungy tune using a fuzzed out guitar (with a bit of unintentional (?) feedback at the beginning of the solo) and a farfisa (of course) providing support. It wasn’t a hit, but it could have been and should have been.

6. The Funky Judge – Bull & The Matadors. Sometimes you really only get one shot, so you may as well give it your best one. Back about the time when Laugh-In used the catch phrase “Here Come Da Judge!” this Chicago soul group cut this number that was a moderate sized hit, but nothing else happened with them. The bass line is out there and powerful, and there’s some “oops, the guitar fed back but we don’t have time to recut it” feedback at the end. Great stuff!

7. Thunderbird – ZZ Top. “Juice juice juice makes you loose loose loose!” You know they weren’t talking about the car, now. Wow, does this kick. Billy Gibbons is God, but you knew that.

8. Wilma’s Rainbow – Helmet. I really don’t like their ‘comeback’ stuff, as it’s less melodic vocally and not as interesting instrumentally. They really had something with a huge crunch and roar that was a lot smarter and intricate than it sounded to some meatheads.

9. Julianne – Ben Folds Five. “I met this girl / she looked like Axl Rose”. Um…ick?

10. The Concept – Teenage Fanclub. Spin named Bandwagonesque the album of the year in 1991. People scoffed, because there were a couple of records by Nirvana and Soundgarden and U2, amongst others, that were also released in 1991. In retrospect, that mag may have been right.

11. Bottle O’ Tears – The Georgia Satellites. So, you don’t have In The Land Of Salvation And Sin? You slacker! You fool! You oaf! You need to rectify that, if you can!

12. That’s Good – Devo. Remember the show Square Pegs. In one of the episodes, Devo plays live at their high school and this is the song they spotlighted. It also happened to be the second single off of their current album (naturally). The one thing I remember clearly is Mark Motherspaugh playing this little push button electronic percussion device that sounded a “crash” during the chorus in such a precise way.

13. Heaven And Hell – The Who. Back in the early 70’s, the Who opened their shows with this obscure John Entwhistle penned B-side, because it was a good warmup for everyone. It got everyone limbered up, and it’s a pretty rockin’ tune. “Why can't we have eternal life / and never die.” Well, John, I guess you’ve answered that question already, right?

14. Space (I Believe In) – The Pixies. Sometimes songs just write themselves, I guess. On Trompe Le Monde, they used a tabla player named Jef Feldman, and Black Francis wrote a song about how they used Jefrey (with one ‘f’) to fill the space. It’s pure genius, it is.

15. Sorry Somehow – Husker Du. A Grant Hart masterpiece, this is the sound of Husker Du branching out and sounding like a cross between a 60’s garage band and a punk rock band. It’s too bad Hart always seemed to have relationship issues, but then we wouldn’t have had a lot of great Husker Du songs if he was happy all of the time (or even part of the time!).

16. EMI – The Sex Pistols. Ok, so you wanna drop us from our record contract? Fine, we’ll keep the money and write a song about you. Take that!

17. A Question Of Temperature – The Balloon Farm. A total psych garage band classic. Is it a question of love? Is it a state of mind? No, it’s a question of temperature, whatever that means. Only the fuzz guitar and the little theremin sounding thing knows.

18. Getting Out Of Hand – The Bangs. Actually, this is the first single by the Bangles, and it’s a tremendous little power pop retro thing that is infinitely better than a lot of the dreck they did late in their career. Yes, dreck. What else can you call “Eternal Flame”?

19. Baby Workout – Jackie Wilson. This song moves and grooves and gets you off of your seat. Why wouldn’t it? It’s a funky big band-ish soul arrangement. The funny thing is that the backup singers sound about as white as one can. It’s quite a dichotomy there.

20. Chug Chug Chug-A-Lug (Push N’ Shove) – The Meters. You want a groove, you said? Well, here’s a groove for you! You’re welcome.

21. Getting Uptown (To Get Down) – United 8. This is a one-off single that could be another funk band moonlighting to expand their sound. It’s a funk workout with a horn section that has a great groove and feel and some interesting ‘conversation’ about going uptown to get down. That may mean something other than going towards the Loop on the El.

22. Too Young To Date – D-Day. This is a rather infamous single, because it’s pretty rude and crass. The music is typical 80’s new wave pop, and the lyrics are a bit over the top, and would not pass muster in this Chris Hansen influenced days. In fact, they make me cringe, and I don’t cringe easily.

23. Rose Petals, Incense And A Kitten – The Association. This is probably amongst the top-10 wimpiest songs of all time that I like. Now, it’s not like I wasn’t expecting it to be rather wussy, since it IS the Association and all, and the title doesn’t really signify power and might at all. I doubt if Slayer would want to cover it, but it may be funny to hear the Rollins Band do it. The Posies would do a great job on it, but they could cover anything and make it sound great.

Well now, that’s the name of that tune. One day, everything will be resolved. One day. And I’ll be alive when that happens.


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