April 6, 2006

Mixed Bag 4: Director's Commentary

Luckily, thanks to Lefty Brown (and the US Postal Service being open late at night), it's time once again for the Mixed Bag CD exchange. (Hey, maybe one of these day's I'll sponsor one for the two college students who read me). Anyway, here's the track listing - nothing more than just a cool assortment of tunes I've entitled "....This World, Then the Fireworks" (after the Jim Thompson novella). No theme, no wacky sound bites, just some good tunes put together. (Plus, it features this Picasa-inspired collage on the cover - read into it what you will)

Note: if you're not part of the exchange, but would like a copy, e-mail me at blogthispal (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send you one gratis.

Ghosts of Princes in Towers - Rich Kids: after being booted from the Sex Pistols, Glen Matlock put this group together, and they only released one album. Think of this track as a tighter, more polished Pistols track, and you'll see why it's the lead-off.

Happenings Ten Years Time Ago - Yardbirds: This is probably the only recorded instance of both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck playing in the Yardbirds at the same time. Homercat could probably steer me straight. Listen to this track, friends, and you'll never ever need to take drugs.

I'm Gonna Make You Mine - Shadows of Knight: I loves me some garage rock, and although this band is better known for "Gloria", this is just sheer teenage joy. Killer guitar riffs, great snotty vocals - it's like Greg's blog set to music. (And Greg, that's a compliment - trust me)

Treason - Naked Raygun: Chicago old-school punk part one - first, buy some Naked Raygun albums. You'll do yourself a world of good. Personally, I think that if Pete Townsend gets snarky about using his songs as CSI themes, this song should be a contender. The guys could use the money, and the "it's never just black or white/I know the reason, reason" chorus just sticks in your brain.

Mob Clash - Effigies: Chicago old-school punk part two. Even though they were hardcore (you gotta own Remains Nonviewable, dude), they also had a diverse stylistic palette. I mean, it takes talent to make a hardcore punk song about Nazi's in Skokie, played against a disco backbeat with an Arabic-sounding guitar solo, come together. These guys manage it. You will believe.

Lies - Knickerbockers: The best Beatles sound-alike single ever.

Rat Race - Specials: I like ska. A song that I haven't heard since high school, which just came across my radar, a calm (but snarky) diatribe against "the man."

Slowly, Slowly - Magnapop: Because you have to have at least one generic 90's alternarock track. Actually, this Bob Mould-produced track is rather intricate, with a killer opener, tense verse, and then wide open chorus.

Divine Hammer - Breeders: For some reason, I think of Roger and Lefty when I hear this song. (Sounds like a Willie Nelson tune, doesn't it? "Roger and Lefty". Works for me)

Death or Glory - The Clash: The main highlight of March's Record You Should Own.

Novelty - Joy Division: Another song with contrasts - slightly funky beat with lyrics like, "You're on your own, now don't you think that it's a shame/But you're the only one responsible to take the blame". It shifts the mood of the disc slightly, taking it into darker territories.

Elevation - Television: From the underappreciated Marquee Moon, this song is almost a mini-movie in itself, suggesting drama and intrigue with impressionistic lyrics and clean, crisp, jazzy guitar lines. If you don't buy the record after listening to this track, well....I can't help you.

This Vicious Cabaret - David J: I wish this track had been featured in the movie. However, it does show that Alan Moore (even if he had a little help) could have been a killer songwriter.

Man in the Corner Shop - The Jam: A latter track, I dug it as a teenager because of the jangly guitar. However, as I got older, I realized exactly what Paul Weller was trying to say. Given that he was in his early 20's, it's even more impressive.

Valerie Loves Me - Material Issue: I've got kind of a Chicago theme going on with this disc - I love how the intro sounds rather creepy, the verses bounce, and there's a killer chorus where Jim Ellison screams "Valerie Loves Me!" That, plus the fretboard "solo" help give this song a really unique flavor.

Pink Frost - The Chills: This New Zealand band's big "hit", which should encourage you to seek out Submarine Bells and Soft Bomb in your local indie record store's cutout bins.

I'm Going Slightly Mad - Queen: One of the few times Freddie Mercury underplays, going for subtlety over bombast. (And before you flame me - I like Mercury's bombast. Just showin' a different side, that's all)

Banana Republic - Boomtown Rats: Before Bob Geldof became a saint, he wrote some cool Ray Davies-esque tunes, including this little reggae number. You can't do wrong by finding one of the various Boomtown Rats best-ofs at your local indie record store.

(No, I'm not being paid by any indie record stores - they just have better selections than your usual suspects).

King Midas in Reverse - Hollies: Usually covered live by Elvis Costello, this is a slightly melancholy yet psychedelic number about a loser. It's kind of like "Carrie Ann", only not as annoying. You'll like it.

Staring at the Sun - U2: I'm not a big fan of latter-day U2 (meaning - some of their work leaves me cold), but for some reason, this song resonates with me, especially the "stuck together with God's glue" line. One of their (I'm presuming) more spiritual songs. Definitely worth a listen.

My Dark Ages - Pere Ubu: One of the most noir-ish sounding songs I have ever heard. Great for listening to while driving around a city at 3:00 am.

We Live As We Dream, Alone - Gang of Four: Big 80's production aside, this is a song with some clinical, almost cold lyrics. It was one of those listen to nonstop songs when I was unemployed. "No man's land surrounds me/With no money, we all go crazy.". Only Go4 could make a Nietsczhe quote work in a pop song.

Thanks,and for those participating - they're in the mail. Enjoy!

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