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11:32 a.m. - 2007-08-16
Summer Mix 27 - Spanish Fly Placebos
As you read this (if you are reading this on the same day as it is posted) I am driving up towards my new home in Minnesota.

Now, how can I post and drive at the same time?

Well, we all live in a world of illusion. Oh, wait…that’s Doug Henning.

Actually, my good friend Moonfaeryy (she of the cats and tats) is posting these for me for the next few days. I should be live and in person by Tuesday the 21st, I think. I hope.

Anyway, I’m going to be lazy and use this time to post some mixes that I haven’t gotten to. Yes, it’s the summer of random mixes, posted at a random schedule. But now here are four in a row (or so). Can you deal with so much music in so little time?

Well, yer gonna hafta.

1. Hip And Well Read – The Embarrassment. Ah, Wichita’s finest, circa 1982! The cool thing is that most of their catalog is available on iTunes (thanks to a compilation and rarities CD released about 10-12 years ago). They were a hip, edgy band that was too smart for their own good. Here is their discography for those of you who want to know more. Besides, what other band would use the line “She’s taking Spanish Fly placebos”?

2. Come On Up – The Rascals. Does this ever cook? This single only hit #43 on the pop chart, but the album it’s on (Collections) wound up in the top 10 on the ‘black album chart’ as it was called then. Listening to this song closely reveals a lot of details that may be just glossed over. Dino Danelli’s bass drum work is tremendous, Gene Cornish’s work on a fuzzed out guitar is marvelous, and Felix Cavaliere’s organ is loud yet doesn’t get in the way. A fine record that’s an instant party – this should have been a bigger hit.

3. Golden Ball And Chain – Jason & The Scorchers. Back in the day, I played this quite a bit on my college radio show. I did the early morning shift, and I just wanted to wake everyone up – me included. I’m still mystified why the people who said they loved ‘rock and roll’ didn’t embrace them. Maybe they were too country? Right. I mean, this is tons better than hair-band metal, and without the guilt and shame.

4. Sloganistic – Pylon. Many people slagged their 1990 comeback album (Chain) but most likely it was because it didn’t quite match up to their earlier stuff. Point taken – but on its own merits songs like “Sloganistic” are just as new sounding and edgy and odd in an endearing way, just like classic Pylon. Words? Nah, don’t try to make sense of them. Just groove.

5. We Used To Be Friends – The Dandy Warhols. I’m sending this one out to…oh, now, that’s cruel, catty and callous.

6. Francesca – Richard Thompson. Words can’t describe him, really. You should go buy his new record. Heck, buy anything by him. Can you go wrong? Not on your life.

7. I’ll Go Crazy – James Brown. If you’re an idiot OCD completist like me, trying to match up songs to James Brown albums is pure insanity. How many albums has he put out, 29,129? It seems like it. This is an early, early one back before he discovered the funk but could sing that sweet soul music like no other.

8. Sylvia’s Mother – Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show. And the operator said 40 cents more…for the next…three…minutes….PLEEEEASSSE MRS. AVERY. I actually dated a girl with the last name of Avery. I did get along with her parents.

9. The Days Of Wine And Roses – The Dream Syndicate. A blast of noise from the Paisley Underground, with this song the Dream Syndicate seemed to be poised to be the next big underground thing. Somehow, they did not turn out that way. There was a lot of discord in the band for various reasons. From my ears, it seems like the song speeds up a few beats per minute during the second stanza of the first verse, and obviously they didn’t have time or money to correct that mistake. If this was Def Leppard, they would have spent a year on this song alone. But this sounds fresh and alive.

10. The Deeper In – Drive-By Truckers. Um, yeah, this song is about what you think it’s about. I would make some Kentucky jokes here, but now that I’m a resident of Minnesota, I don’t know which state I should pick on? Iowa? North Dakota? Wisconsin?

11. New Religion – Duran Duran. No, I’m not ashamed to like this song. Just listed to the bass line from one of the Taylors and the tasteful guitar from another one of the Taylors. I know that Roger Taylor is the drummer, so I just need to recall if John was the guitarist or if Andy was. (Oh, I could look it up – but why?) Anywho, this is a tree-mendous tune, and Nick Rhodes doesn’t get in the way like he can at times with his rinky-dinky keyboard parts. The singer? Oh, him…who?

12. Bury Me – Dwight Yoakam. Mr. Yoakam was the first country artist I embraced, thanks to a good review of his first album. Not only did it set me up to enjoy ‘real’ country music, it also showed me that good music is good music, no matter what label you put on it. This one has Maria McKee singing a duet with Dwight, and that’s a hot combo. Yowza!

13. Alta Mira – The Edgar Winter Group. This group had Dan Hartman, Edgar Winter, Ronnie Montrose AND Rick Derringer (on occasion). That’s a pretty powerhouse lineup, but they weren’t able to hold it together for very long. Something about egos and solo careers and all that. Of course, it WAS called the Edgar Winter group.

14. Ma Ma Ma Belle – ELO. This starts with a classic riff from Jeff Lynne’s guitar, and never veers into the treacle that ELO sometimes veered. The strings are even hard and rockin’ (and sound that way because instead of an orchestra, they just overdubbed their violin and two cellos umpteen times, so it does sound heavy duty that way). Lynne could be a rocker, and not sound forced, when he put his mind to it.

15. Tokyo Storm Warning – Elvis Costello. The Attractions sound loud and angry, and Costello sings it with some bile and fervor (which is when he’s at his best). There are about a jillion words to this song, including “We've always been like worlds apart now you're seeing two nightmares collide"

16. Rubberneckin’ – Elvis Presley. Elvis pretty much mails this thing in, and the song is pretty lightweight (not that you really want heavy duty social consciousness from Elvis) – but the bass line kicks serious tail. Oh, and the female moans and groans are pretty risqué for a late 60’s record. Probably on the radio they weren’t as recognizable as they are on iPod.

17. Sky Pilot – Eric Burdon & The Animals. One thing about Eric Burdon – when he jumped on a bandwagon he landed on it hard. This is pure anti-war psychedelia, as Burdon was enamored with the San Francisco scene at the time. Later on, Andy Summers joined the Animals. People don’t realize that Summers was a pro’s pro and an old dude when the Police STARTED.

18. Don’t Choose The Wrong Song – The Embarrassment. Having DJd a few times in my life, this is the worst fear that you have. I DID choose the exact wrong song once. Argh!

19. This Charming Man – The Smiths. On one of my forays to Satan’s Discount Store, I noticed people playing Guitar Hero. I thought that this would be a hell of a test for someone on that video game. The intro bit by Johnny Marr sounds great, but it also sounds complicated as heck. Let’s expand the palette a bit, eh?

20. Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore – John Prine. Just read the lyrics. That’s all I ask!

Well, I hope you enjoyed that. I definitely was rockin’ to this mix on my way up to Minnesota! Peace and love and all that.


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