October 6, 2005

Mixed Bag 2: The Final Chapter

First, news - I have two job interviews next week (and one looks very promising), and since I was invited to another Halloween party later in the month, I'm dressing as # 4 in this entry on Saturday, and # 2 at the second party. And with that, onto the last Mixed Bag reviews (at least, unless I am chosen for Lefty's Halloween Mixed Bag).

Hearing the first five installments, the Mixed Bag exchange has proven fruitful - some great tunes by some excellent bloggers. This final edition is no exception - if you want to say, "save the best for last" that's fine - however, that might be putting the other participants down.

First, as always, the ever-dependable Johnny Bacardi knocks it out of the ball park with Different Stuff by Different People, Volume 4. First, the cover alone - a nice, pulp-influenced work - set my heart racing. However, inside is a rather eclectic collection that never fails to satisfy. Let's face it - if you can fit such diverse acts as Jill Sobule, Roy Wood, Cibo Matto, non-big-hit Kinks, and Warren Zevon onto the same disc, you have a ready-made hits collection. My only quibble - I like the single, 3 - 4 minute version of Street Hassle by Lou Reed; nine minutes is way too long, but I blame Lou, not Johnny.

Mrs. Brown's Feelgood Mix, like Roger's disc, is mandatory listening for a road trip - or, if you like, sitting at home and trying to improve your mood. Easily one of the most upbeat discs I've heard in a long time - pleasant and frisky without being annoying.

Finally, Lefty Brown's Under Cover - I have to admit, it took me awhile to get into these discs. Nothing wrong with them - I might have just been a little Mixed Bagged out, and a double disc covers collection seemed somewhat intimidating. However, these two discs have some great moments and some out-of-left-field choices (Black Crowes doing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds? Etta James going I Got You Babe?), but they make for great listening. My only quibble - I don't know if I would have done more than one cover of a songwriter in a row, followed by more than one of another writer. (Of course, some intrepid future Mixed Bagger might put together a compilaiton of cool covers of one particular artist). However, both of these discs have provided some great listening.

My thanks to all those who participated - and for those who didn't, a very stern fingerwagging and strong encouragement to do so next time. You'll dig it. Trust me.

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