8:55 a.m. - 2007-August-17
Yeah, it’s another mix. This is Summer Mix 20, and it’s a good one. Crank it.
2. Break The Chains – 24-7 Spyz. For a brief moment, there was some attention paid to ‘black’ heavy metal or hard rock acts. I think there was a group called the Black Rock Music Coalition, and Living Colour was the #1 driver behind it. This was also a product of that coalition and that era, and they made some decent, if spotty, albums. This is from one of their last ones (Strength In Numbers) which is worth checking out if only for Jimi Hazel’s wonderful heavy guitar work.
3. Fire Engine – The 13th Floor Elevators. Roky Erickson may not have been really insane, but he sounds deranged on this record, for sure. And Jim Hall’s electric jug (no lie) adds another demented element to the mix. Too bad the record sounds like it was recorded in a grain silo. Well, maybe that’s not too bad. That just adds to the dimension. Television used to play this live back in the day, which is funny because as clean and polished as Tom Verlaine liked to make his records, this is anything BUT.
4. Take On Me – a-Ha. Sure, away from the video the song loses something, but still…it’s good and it brings me back. And there’s no way I could sing like that.
5. (It’s Not Me) Talking – A Flock Of Seagulls. Mostly remembered for one hit and a hair-do, the Seagulls actually released a few songs that got on the radio, and some of their albums had decent tracks on them. This is one of them – which on surface seems like a standard techno-pop new wave song but has some unique elements in the mix that make it sound rich and dense. Paul Reynolds is also an underrated guitarist; I always enjoyed his sound and how his solos soared like the namesake of the band.
6. Shoot To Thrill – AC/DC. Nothing gets you going like a good AC/DC song. I said good, because a lot of their later stuff isn’t, but this, this is GOOD. It makes you want to jump up on stage yourself and play with Angus and the boys. And you know, in about 10 minutes, you may know the song!
7. That Was Then, This Is Now – ABC. ABC got a lot of flack for releasing Beauty Stab and breaking their ‘momentum’, but I think it was due to the fact that radio was reluctant to embrace this record, for whatever reason. It’s got a different tone than their early hits, but still sounds grandiose and lush and Martin Fry sings the hell out of it, and the lyrics are erudite as ever. Hmpf.
8. Bored Teenagers – The Adverts. One may have thought that they were pretty limited thanks to “One Chord Wonders”, and while they’re not virtuosos, they know more than three or four chords. This has some interesting changes in it. The subject is universal, of course. I mean, what teenager ISN’T bored? Even when they have things to do 24-7, they’re bored. Bored and sullen. They either snap out of it or listen to the Cure for the rest of their lives.
9. Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios – Adam & The Ants. Sure, Picasso visiting the Planet of the Apes. Why not? I’m sure the apes all had both eyes on the same side of their heads, too. Adam said he didn’t drink or do drugs. Um, sure.
10. Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me) – Wings. Heh. Yes, this is random, but sometimes I decide what random is, as one song inspires another. This charming cut from Band On The Run illustrates the lighter side of Paul McCartney, but without it being mushy, cloying, or irritating. It’s also neat to hear splashes of the other songs on the album intermixed throughout. At least I think so. Jet! (oooh-oooh-ooooh-ooooooh-ooh-ooh-oooooh-ooh-ooh)
11. Legal Tender – The B-52’s. Who else could pull of a sunny kitschy pop song about counterfeiting?? Now, it’d be all gangsta or wanksta or stuff, but here it’s Kate and Cindy just singin’ about gangster presidents in front of a techno beat.
12. Girls And Boys – Blur. Ah, Blur vs. Oasis, played out in England and some of the promo men desperately tried to get that feud over here, but we really didn’t give a hoot. That was no feud. Here, when musicians have feuds, someone winds up dead. Right Tupac? Right Biggie? Feud? Feh.
13. It’s Too Late – Bob Mould. Bob was always a cranky sort, and sometimes he made entire albums full of angry diatribes that weren’t exactly bundles of joy to listen to. Sometimes, though, a song cuts through his gloom, and this is one from Black Sheets Of Rain that has some spark and energy even though it’s as dour as the rest of the record.
14. Dragon Attack – Queen. I remember the first time I heard this song. I rewound the tape over and over and over again and just listened in awe. Sure, The Game had big big hits, but THIS was the cut for me. It didn’t hurt that I was into Dungeons & Dragons, either.
15. Old Days – Chicago. One thing you miss from latter day Chicago is the guitar work of Terry Kath. The beginning of this track, with his insistent wah-wah, drives the track and gives it a grit that Peter Cetera never had and never will.
16. Caught In A Mosh – Anthrax. It’s not every mix that goes from Chicago to Anthrax, is it? And I’m not going to even try to justify it – remember – it’s random. That’s the beauty of it. Now just go over in the corner and bang yer head.
17. Goodbye Columbus – The Association. And we change paradigms again, without a clutch. Grind those gears, dude. This was the theme song to the movie starring Richard Benjamin, and it actually sounds more like a TV theme song. And you know what? It still could be! Why not?
18. Rust – Antenna. If I had my way, this would have been all over the radio. It has a great riff, it rocks, the bass line is cool, the arrangement is interesting and it references Coltrane. That’s a quinella, right there!
19. One Way Out – The Allman Brothers. Now this is a great song that was on the radio, and you kids out there should take heed and listen to it. Not just hear it. LISTEN to it. If you listen, you can discern why this is great – hear all of the parts coming together and the musicians playing off of each other. It’s all interrelated. The bass and drums lock into a groove, and the guitarists take that groove and motivate with it, especially the wonderful slide work from Duane. You take one listen, and you realize why his death was such a loss.
There you have it. Now kick butt and take names, everyone!