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11:30 a.m. - February 15, 2008
The New LOVE Mix - A Day Late - But Happy Valentine's Day Anyway
Ack, I’m getting forgetful in my old age.

I was supposed to post my love mix yesterday. However, I had parenting issues and then work emails and then Liz came home from a meeting and we relaxed and chilled.

But we’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day TODAY anyway, so perhaps that’s the excuse. Yeah. Sure.

And now I just spent an hour in the dentist chair. You know, I think masochists should want to go get novocained up as much as possible. “This will pinch a bit.” A bit = 20 seconds of hell.

Oh, but it’s time to get cheery, and it’s time for the LOVE MIX. I participated in the mix tape exchange with the CDP readers and I was going to post what I considered a love mix this time so the person I sent this two and the CDP his own bad self could get where I was coming from. Mainly because he’s a 20-something dude and I’m an old hipster doofus who bought records on vinyl back in the day.

This is not to be confused with my original Love mix (or my Hate mix. Though many of the songs on THAT Love mix wound up on this LOVE MIX.

So, here we go!

1. Meant For You – The Beach Boys. I decided to start this off with a brief tranquil meditation from the underrated Friends album. Mike Love delivers a great heartfelt lead and the boys fall in with a vocal chant. It’s 40 seconds of bliss.

2. Happiness – The Anita Kerr Singers. Some sunshine popsters may know this from the Association version, but Anita Kerr and her band of mellow gave us the definitive version, with breathy vocals and an arrangement that can’t help but put a smile on your face. “Yeah!”

3. We Love Us – The Association. Another light, cheery sunshine pop tune. I hope you realize that I was only 2 or 3 years old when this stuff was originally released, so I’m not THAT old. This is Ted Bluchel’s best work. He’s was the drummer, and also the most romantic of the group. It’s a perfect song for snugglin’ with yer honey.

4. I Want You Still – The Dave Clark Five. I decided to up the tempo a bit. Part of love is pining for the ones that got away, because that’s when you realize that you are in love. This is a typical stomper from the DC5, with an incessant drum line and then about 55 seconds in you get the famous DC5 rumbly bass that comes to the fore (a bit). This was just an album track, but it has a sense of urgency and a sense of craft that shows the DC5 cared about their work.

5. Dino’s Song – The Quicksilver Messenger Service. Duuuude. Quicksilver was one of the ‘original’ San Francisco bands that got a lot of acclaim but not a great deal of record sales. This track was written by Dino Valenti, and he was slated to become a member, but wasn’t able to due to legal obligations. (The fuzz busted him and he took the rap, man.)

6. Flowers And Beads – Iron Butterfly. No, I wasn’t born with a plume of smoke around my head. I really do think that there’s a lot of breadth and depth to some of the ‘hippy dippy music’. This one has an intriguing mix of ‘heavy’ sounds and ‘light’ love song lyrics. Someone thankfully did a tribute to them, and used this song, so here it be.

7. Love, Love, Love, Love, Love – Pacific Gas & Electric. They had one hit and released a few albums. My brother had the record with “Are You Ready” (the clip I linked to) and this song led off side two. It’s a pretty typical heavy rocker from the late 60’s / early 70’s with a great bass line. The lead guitarist for PG & E was Glenn Schwarz, who was the original guitar player in The James Gang, but left because PG & E had more ‘potential’, he thought. Of course, that led to Joe Walsh joining The James Gang, and the rest is history.

8. Love – The Cult. The title track from the album that broke them in the States. They were a little more psychedelic in this incarnation, and not just heavy. Billy Duffy loved him some wah-wah (at least on record). Here’s a live clip from this era. I don’t know which one of their 42,129 drummers is on this clip, but Mark Brzezicki, who drummed for Pete Townshend and Big Country, did the work on the studio version, and he was a solid skin-slammer.

9. It’s Love – King’s X. Anytime I do a love mix of any sort I always come back to this tune. What harmonies! What an arrangement! Why wasn’t this more popular? Was it the black bass player with the Mohawk? Was it the neo-Christian thoughts in the lyrics of their work? Was it the fancy chords? Who knows. They rocked!

10. When You Smile – The Dream Syndicate. Hello feedback! HELLO FEEDBACK! Nothing wrong with a little noise, is there? Nah. It does seem like the end of the world when Liz smiles.

11. Books About UFO’s – Husker Du. Pining for the nerdy girl! Gotta love it. Here’s a live performance from them in my old stomping grounds. Wish I was there.

12. Love Is – I Love You. Yeah, like you were going to find this tune somewhere, right? LA alt-rock (not metal, just rock) from the late 80’s and early 90’s that rather much stiffed. Though I did find one clip but not of this particular song. “Love Is” has a neat arrangement, rather bottom heavy and the drummer’s sound is solid and hollow.

13. I’ve Been Waiting – Matthew Sweet. Another one that I keep coming back to. Why? Because it’s practically a perfect tune. That’s why. What’s also groovy is that Richard Lloyd, from Television, is on the track (and many others) adding an old-school edge to the proceedings. (He also used the great, underrated Robert Quine on many tracks as well. Sweet has great tastes in guitar heroes!)

14. What You Do To Me – Teenage Fanclub. It’s hard to believe, but the album of the year in 1991, according to Spin was not Nevermind or Badmotorfinger, but rather Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub. At the time, I was resistant to the charm and the power pop goodness, but now, I’m all over that like flies on syrup! Isn’t it irresistible?

15. Better Than Nothing – Jennifer Trynin. “I’m feeling good!” Oh, talk about randomness. Back when MTV played videos once in a while (or was it VH-1), I stumbled across this and almost immediately went out and bought it. It’s a great record, and I have no flippin’ clue why it wasn’t a hit. Well, I have a clue. The sheeple that declare things ‘hits’ are eeediots! God, I LOVE that guitar sound she has. Rock on, Jen!

16. I’d Run Away – The Jayhawks. Sigh. The Jayhawks. I don’t know if this is a traditional love song, as the Jayhawks were always complex and complicated about items like love, but man, isn’t it a sign of love if you’d want to run away with me, baby?

17. You Won’t Be Happy – Paul Collins Beat. Sadly, no video evidence exists, but this is a pert-near perfect power pop pontification on the perils of leaving a pert near perfect relationship.

18. Tara – I Like You – Carmalina – The Pursuit Of Happiness. Their final record, The Wonderful World Of The Pursuit Of Happiness was released pre-MP3, so many of the songs ran together. When I ripped the album onto iTunes, I successfully welded these three together into one file. (Go me…) While I love the lyrics to “I Like You” (“my friends and family give you a B….plus”) I found a video for Carmalina so you can experience at least 1/3 of this trio!

19. Wedding Of The Bugs – Robbie Fulks. Ah, what would we do without little katiehoppers everywhere!

20. Blue Eyes – International Submarine Band. This was the first that anyone outside of very limited circles ever heard Gram Parsons, and well, actually, since this record sold about 9 copies, I guess no one heard him then either. It is rather subversive for a straight country tune. “I bite my nails / and if that fails / I got get myself stoned…” didn’t play well on the radio in 1967. Funny how that is.

21. Sweet City Woman – Stampeders. From Canada, you gotta love a banjo driven song that mentions macaroons, right? I always hear this in the grocery store, as I think they think that 1970’s pop helps you when you’re picking out bananas and grapes. They were big in Canada as you can see!

22. Sweet Mary – Wadsworth Mansion. A classic one-hit wonder band, but what a hit. This is the best video you gotsbut you know, it’ll do, right? It’s not really about Mary Tyler Moore. You cannot resist singing along, though.

23. I’m In Love With A Girl – Big Star. A sweet, gentle song from the master, Alex Chilton. Obviously, this clip wasn’t what Alex had in mind, but you know…it’ll work for the song!

24. Because – The Dave Clark Five. This is a timeless piece of pop, and you can really tell the girls understood. And you can hear the thudding bass line rumbling along as well!

25. My Best Friend – Jefferson Airplane. If your lover is not your best friend, you’re doing it wrong.

26. Our Sweet Love – The Beach Boys. I had to close with this one. It’s a song that is very special to me, and the Beach Boys really nailed it on this one. From Sunflower, which was criminally ignored in 1970, this seemingly was lost to time. It shouldn’t have been. Brian Wilson comes up with one of his best arrangements (I just love the strings after the bridge) and Carl’s lead vocals are perfect. It’s a stone cold classic.

Well, there you go. 26 tunes about all aspects of love. I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day!


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