June 21, 2005

Mixed Bag 2: Those Ca-Razy Tunes

Luckily, having much more free time allows me to catch up on listening to various discs in the Mixed Bag 2 exchange. (I'm not just a reviewer - I'm also a participant). First, though, a quick movie review: Batman Begins is the movie we should have gotten in 1989. Well-written, well acted for two roles, well worth your time.

Anyway, onto the music - most mix tapes (or CDs) are usually either a collection of tunes based on some theme, or various wacky, quirky tracks. The three discs I'm reviewing this post are very quirky, and demonstrate a really strong, eclectic taste in tunes.

My personal favorite of the three is Andrea Faetwini's Playgeek. (Andrea, if I mispelled your last name, my apologies - you can misspell mine anytime). What's there not to like - a mixture of old (classic Elvis Costello, The Who), new (Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Ani DiFranco, "Half Fling") and assorted sundry stuff (samples from various Joss Whedon productions, sound bites, television themes). Somehow, it all hangs together - she even makes Duran Duran's cover of "White Lines" somewhat listenable. (Not a big Duran Duran fan, sorry - too many bad high school memories). As close to mix CD perfection as you can get (so far), like Greg's and Ian's.

Coming in a close second is Happy Smiling Naked Man by Dorian, who answers the question "What does Crispin Glover's cover of These Boots Were Made For Walkin' sound like?" (I had a morbid curiousity about it - however, it should have stayed unfulfilled. This disc is part decent tunes, part Doctor Demento, and part Golden Throats. However, for entertainment value, you can't beat it - Tony Randall chanting "Nature Boy" on LSD, Milton "I'll show enough to win" Berle's take on "Yellow Submarine". In addition, I lucked out to get the MB Phase 1 disc, which was more straightforward). Luckily, Dorian redeems himself by including some cool sound files and "Tongue Tied" from Red Dwarf. It is very hard to believe Dorian has that warped a sense of humor, but maybe it's because of who he hangs with.

Speaking of which....Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike. I'm worried about you. I'm not sure whether I should compliment you on your off-kilter sensibilities or recommend some form of 12-Step (or other) recovery. Sure, there are some great moments on The Uneasy Rest of Thomas Edison- "Spring Pants Has Come", a killer version of a Sesame Street Song, a really cool version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", Tenacious D doing the "Star Trek" tune, an ode to Rex Mason....but tracks 16 through 18 have me concerned. Taken singly, they might be good, but together....going from the Smurfs to Burt "Boy Wonder" Ward to Ed "Kookie" Byrnes....I'm concerned. So much so that I'm considering contacting the Samaritans.

OK, it's not that bad - actually, it's pretty good, Mike. Just avoid playing with sharp objects, is all I'm saying.

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