Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Aw Heck

Strange Loop and I were talking about Pete Townsend the other day. Now I know there are more than one reason that have nothing to do with the incredible music to despise Townsend , but Strange Loop was most frustrated with the way Townsend is so full of self-adulation. I told him that if he was going to only listen to modest artists, his pickings would be quite limited. As with most of our casual conversation, it because the germ of this mix. I was originally going to include him more as an alt-dj, but then I actually made a list twice this long as artists I either consider “humble” or at least self-deprecating. As I told Strange Loop that day, the expression inherent in the title track epitomizes what I am looking for with these artists.

As far as those not included, some names were quite easy to remove: U2 (a “favorite” target here for their high level of self-absorbtion), Zappa (though he is a monk compared to Beefheart), The Glimmer Twins (and their Beatles counterparts), Dylan (every great mind throughout history has been considered an asshole by the general populace... ), David Byrne (whose ego could possibly drown the entire world, Dylan included). Pure arrogant wankers every one.

And while I do listen to those guys (some much more than others), I always take a “never mind the bollocks” attitude with the personalities of artists I enjoy.

So for this list, I mostly eliminated all “rock stars” since there obviously is something about being a rock star that inflates one’s ego tremendously and affects even nominally “nice” folks such as Neil Young and Warren Zevon. I suppose that because of that, the mix is made up of mostly country, blues and jazz artists. Now of course, those genres have their own particular jerks (for example Miles, Sonny Boy, George Jones, respectively), but in general the artists are more low-key than their rocker counterparts. Al Green, like Johnny Cash, found humility in their later years, but I have eliminated them both here for the bridges burnt in their youth.  I remember we debated a bit about Waits, and he seems to be a down-to-earth guy, and the fact that he can work with his wife is a big plus in his corner. His artistic vision implies a rather large ego, but I’m not sure. Well, maybe he will be saved for the sequel.  And I would have liked to have put Bruce Springsteen and latter-period Elvis Costello here, but they just talk so fucking much.  I don’t know if I can watch another Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony with Bruce pontificating till the cows come home. It’s really no wonder that the  Bruce Spectacle was spread out to two episodes.

Speaking of people left off, here's what could be the second theme song to the title track here. But I know that Mr. King could wander into blues braggadocio quite easily. You might say the same thing about B.B. and Freddie, though Albert was always my favorite King. 

Of course I’m sure many, if not all, of the artists I included have had their moments through their history and so I may be basing this on nothing more than my own naïve ignorance, but I did try to put forth my case for each of them being included here.
And one extra detail I noted when 're-mixing' this mix, the fact that so many tracks fit on a CD-length mix speaks volumes to their humility.

01 John Prine - Aw Heck
The ultimate in self-deprecation and proof that good guys can finish first.
02 Norman Blake - Blue Ridge Mountain Blues
A quiet artist who has managed to put together an incredible body of work over his career.
03 Nat King Cole Trio - Dream a little dream of me
Nat may have smoked too much and given the world a junkie progeny to schlock up his greatest hits, but I think he was a pretty cool dude.
04 Doc Watson - Sitting on Top of the World
Similar to Blake above, but an even deeper and longer career.
05 Mississippi John Hurt - Waiting For You
Any of those guys who simply went back to farming when the Depression killed the record industry have to be included here.
06 John Hartford - On The Radio
Another good old folkie, I was so happy to hear him get his dues before he died.
07 Charlie Watts Quintet - Bluebird
I had to include somebody who could put up with those two brilliant pricks all those years.
08 Rosanne Cash - Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow
I wanted to put Johnny, but I nixed him in the final draft. Every time I see well-deserved accolades thrown Rosanne’s way
09 Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Please Remember Me
Anyone who would subvert his personality to another’s has to be humble, though I prefer these songs from one he found his own voice.
10 Buddy Guy - I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
Thinking back to seeing quote marks around living legend Buddy Guy and the fact that Buddy didn’t rip their hearts out or at least sue them puts him in the humble camp in my book.
11 Levon Helm - Stuff You Gotta Watch
I know the heroin helped, but putting up with the shit RR did for all those years while keeping his cool for the most part earns my respect. Also proof that good guys can finish first.
12 Arlo Guthrie - All This Stuff Takes Time
I saw Arlo on a film in biology class way back in the 12th grade and he said the Huntington’s Chorea didn’t bother him, that we all suffer from the same incurable disease.
13 The Beach Boys - Friends
Obviously a track sung by Carl. Dennis had the cocaine madness, Brian had the direct line to God and Mike Love suffered from the evil that infected RR, meanwhile Carl stayed in the background, perfecting his Berry licks and added that sweet tenor. (Yes, Ken, I could have included our mutual FB friend
14 George Harrison - Let It Down
I love the bit in Let It Be when George tells Paul “I'll play, you know, whatever you want me to play. Or I won't play at all” and John was another one who (thought he) was tapped into the divine. Look at the album this track is from and realize how often George had to suck in his ego in 69/70. Bonus points for being the heart of the Wilburys as well, which even sort of made Zimmerman egoless (to a point).
15 Billy Preston - I Wrote A Simple Song
Double kudos here for being the only musician to do an album with the Beatles and the Stones, but you knew that.
16 Ringo Starr - Early 1970
Although his style added a uniqueness to their sound, I really think his humour is what centered the boys.
17 Rick Nelson - Are You Really Real?
He did have the strength of will to work through his teen idol days (even though he was by far the best of the bunch), he seemed like he was a pretty nice guy.
18 The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Everybody's Jumpin'
Another living legend who you could have over to your house for tea without his head getting stuck in the doorway
19 Merle Haggard - My Baby's Just Like Money
I just saw the American Masters on Merle and while he believes in his art, he doesn’t think he has done the best he can.
20 Fats Domino - My Blue Heaven
He’s not quite dead, despite rumors to the contrary. Really one of my desert island songs. I think I rented that movie just for an excuse to hear the song one more time.
21 Louis Armstrong - All of Me
Not a living legend, obviously, but he had the perfect demeanor to be, as the album this version is from, Ambassador Satch.
22 Sam Cooke - Another Saturday Night
I don’t know a lot about Sam Cooke, but I know he sang from the heart, with more soul than just about anybody. I love the self-deprecating nature of this song.
23 Buck Owens & His Buckaroos - Pick Me Up on Your Way Down
Blame the booze, but the fact that he would goof it up on Hee Haw all those years speaks for something. I’m sure he treated folks bad over the years, but I’ll always remember his goofy smile and that red, white & blue guitar.
24 Mose Allison - I Love The Life I Live
This is the only name I can remember from the ones Strange Loop rattled off. Just from Mose’s vocal style and song titles, you can tell what kind of guy he was.
25 Todd Snider - I Can't Complain
Ending it with a similar sentiment from Prine’s musical heir proves the circle will remain unbroken.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vampire Weekend Weekend (ika, doowadette & doowad's big adventure)

To go away on a summer's day, never seemed so clear

The doowad family went to Chicago for Doowadette’s 14th birthday last March to see Vampire Weekend. As adopted St. Louisans, they have a true love/hate relationship with their bigger brother city to the north. This trip played on both aspects, though it was more about the love and admiration, tinged with a bit of envy for the resources available for Chicagoans, in spite of their baseball team on the north side. This mix had its genesis in the playlist doowad made for the weekend sojourn up I-64. Since that time, it has been quite the trial to get the two ladies to sit down with him and work on this. The weekend was the highlight of their year (even with some conflicts between teenage daughter & her mother, natch). The concert was really just the cherry on the top of the sundae of the experience. The road trip was a great bonding time for the three of them, laughing to the FOTC cuts, singing along with the VW songs, and otherwise enjoying the soundtrack of Chicago blues, Talking Heads, Zevon, Clash, the proto-VW of Mr. Simon, and the proto-Simon of the Everlys. The last two tracks on the mix were not on the original playlist, but have been on constant repeat in doowadette’s iPod the past few months and she insisted on their inclusion here.

Now it’s a different game

They left early so they could arrive just after noon and head to the Museum of Science & Technology which doowad had heard about since he was a boy growing up in small-town Missouri. In any case, the old-school and large-scale exhibits impressed him the most, though some exhibits were similar to what they have here at their little Science Center off Kingshighway. From there, they went to a funky Arab market on the south side. The sage tea went down just right after dinner. The next day was concert day, so they had a low-key itinerary, mainly hitting Laurie’s Planet of Sound for souvenirs and a few CDs (the Vampire Weekend remix disk was a gift from Laurie, actually) then on to Hot Doug’s for a late lunch. They were thankful they hit them on off-peak hours since the line at Hot Doug’s invariably winds out the door and around the building. There would be enough waiting in that bitter Chicago March wind before the concert.

Winter’s Cold Is Too Much To Handle

They made a roundabout trip to give the finger to Wrigley in Wrigleyville, just north of the Riviera where VW was playing. Luckily there was a bookstore just across the street from the theater where the band was playing (doowadette wanted to plug the national chain, but doowad doesn’t believe in corporate sponsorship, I guess that is ironic considering the bombardment of ads featuring the titular band over the past two weeks, ni modo). Doowad kept an eye on the front door of the theater to make sure they didn’t end up too far back in the GA crowd. When he saw two guys make their way, doowad figured it was time to stake their claim. It wasn’t too bad, about or 4 or 5 hour wait , though doowad definitely understood why Chicago was called the Windy city as the air ripped through the street, nearly relieving a few concertgoers of their tickets. He made friends with the other kids in line, though he was easily 20 years their senior. Normally, doowad would feel a bit ridiculous being the old fart at such a gathering, but the reward of seeing the smile on doowadette’s face made it all worth it. The two teenage boys who had been able to nab first in line had actually just driven down from Milwaukee where they had just seen the band a couple nights before (not that there was anything wrong with it). About an hour before the show, doowad called ika & doowadette to come on over. So being third in line allowed them to land a place front row-center, which was just Goldilocks, especially after his chilly wait. The crowd eventually filled in behind and around them. The first act was fine, Abe Vigoda, also a bit of 80s throwback, but more like New Order, Smiths & Depeche Mode (not that there was anything wrong with that either) than Paul Simon, Talking Heads & Clash like the headliners. A seemingly nice couple was making conversation with them, but turned out it was only for the convenience of getting on to the rail as well, actually putting themselves between doowadette and him with ika on the other side of the couple.

A devastating backstroke

They felt a little squeezed in, but that was nothing compared to when Ezra and the boys came out. The whole mass of youth came crashing around them as the first notes of White Sky started. Whenever doowad or doowadette want to remember the concert, they call to the other one “Oh, Ezra!”. Doowad locked his hands onto the rail, basically cocooning doowadette from the crowd behind him. Unfortunately, they looked over for ika and didn’t see her, then all of a sudden they saw security reaching down and pulling her up and over the rail and literally carrying her off to the side. It really seemed as though she had fainted, and the security guy who offered to help her out of the crowd obviously thought so too, though it turns out she was just bending down to grab her purse. After her “rescue”, she didn’t have it too bad, basically in the press quadrant for the rest of the show. It was basically impossible for doowad & doowadette to move from where they were. Doowad actually did have a few taps on his shoulder for people wanting to try to get in near where they were, but doowad told them he had been out in the cold for 5 hours and he wasn’t giving up his spot for anything. Like doowad said, since doowadette was safely in the cage of his arms, and he is a head taller than her, he was really the only one of the in danger from the overly-lathered crowd. Doowadette didn’t even notice how close he came to getting elbows in the face, especially from some particularly enthusiastic young man to his left who rocked out a bit over the top enthusiastically to Holiday & Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (again, nothing wrong with that). Doowad said later that he felt like he had received the best massage ever, just adjusting his back up and down among the bony little elbows & shoulders pounding him. After the show, they were relieved to find ika safe and sound and that she had actually been able to enjoy the show.

Around the corner, the house that modern art built

So yeah, the concert was great, and this mix is obviously dominated by their family’s mutual appreciation for the group, but the real highlight of the trip was the next day when they visited the Chicago Art Institute. With the lyrics to White Sky still ringing in their ears, they really spent a nice afternoon wandering the halls. From the Renoir to the Van Gogh to the Monet and the Picasso, they could feel the power and genius within each canvass. After a late lunch at the museum cafeteria, they turned their van southward and headed home.

As a postscript, none of them are pleased that the band has reached the full sell-out level, but well, that seems to be inevitable with so many artists. And, as the final two tracks prove, doowadette herself has “moved on” from VW somewhat (at least till the next album comes out), though the as a family, they can separate the cheesiness of the 60-second spots from the permanently-etched memories of those glorious few days in March. 

Disk 1

The Everly Brothers - Illinois (doowad) 
Paul Simon - St. Judy's Comet (ika) 
Vampire Weekend - White Sky (doowadette) 
Warren Zevon - Genius (doowad) 
Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere (doowadette) 
Joaquín Sabina - Máter España (doowad) 
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (doowadette) 
Son Volt - Too Early (doowad) 
Paul McCartney - I Lost My Little Girl (doowad) 
The Rolling Stones - Play With Fire (doowadette) 
Magic Sam - Sweet Home Chicago (doowad) 
T. Rex - Jeepster (doowadette) 
Ryan Adams - Firecracker (doowad) 
Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (doowad) 
Tilly and The Wall - Shake It Out (doowadette) 
Mecano - Hoy no me puedo levanter (ika) 
Everything But the Girl - Lullaby of Clubland (ika) 
Vampire Weekend - Holiday (doowadette) 
Queen - You're My Best Friend (doowadette) 
Flight of the Conchords - Think About It, Think, Think About It (Live) (ika) 
Mr. Loco - Papas (doowad) 
Toy Selectah - Contramelt A (doowadette) 

Disk 2

Neil Young - Walk On (doowad) 
Honeyboy Edwards - Sweet Home Chicago (doowad) 
The Clash - Long Time Jerk (doowadette) 
The Zombies - Just Out of Reach (doowad) 
Vampire Weekend - M79 (doowadette) 
Paul Simon - Gumboots (ika) 
The Beach Boys - Heroes and Villains (doowadette) 
George Harrison - What Is Life (ika) 
Queen - Bicycle Race (doowadette) 
Toy Selectah - Contramelt B (doowadette) 
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - Love Is All Around (doowadette)
The Tourists - I Only Want to Be with You (ika) 
Vampire Weekend - The Kids Don't Stand A Chance (doowadette)
The Beach Boys - Hang On To Your Ego (doowad) 
Toy Selectah Mex-More Remix - Cousinz  (doowadette) 
David Gray - White Ladder (ika) 
The Who - Pure And Easy (doowadette) 
Ezra Presley & The Boys - One (Blake's Got a New Face) (doowadette)
Warren Zevon - Splendid Isolation (doowad) 
Bill Withers - Lean on Me (ika) 
Paul Simon - Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War (ika) 
Columbia University Choir - Giant (doowadette)
The Beatles - I Need You (doowad) 
OK Go - End Love (doowadette) 
Phoenix - Lisztomania (Unplugged) (doowadette) 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Only Hope for America is Jeebus

The Only Hope for America is Jeebus

01 Krista Branch - I Am America
02 American Citizen - I'm a Good Ole' American (Anti-Obama song)
03 Teabag Lady 2 - Tea Party Anthem
04 Signe Walsoe with Johny Noer - The Rainbow Belongs to God
05 Alice Honey Worship Chorus - It's Your Blood (That Cleanses Me)
06 Jesus Christ - The Battle Cry of Freedom(confederate version)
07 Ray Stevens - If 10% is Good Enough for Jesus (Live)
08 Todd Allen Herendeen - My Name is America
09 Dan Roberts - Mr. Scam Man!
10 Mercy Me - Here with Me
11 Obone2008 - The Obama National Anthem
12 Brent Johnson - Land of the Free
13 Gary McVay - Sarah
14 Herman Cain Supporter - O Say Can You See
15 Carman - The Only Hope for America is Jesus

VOTE 2014

Dastardly duo StrangeDoo strikes again, with a lot more phony patriotism, a bit less homoerotic Jesus love (though just a smidgen less, after all the whole schmeal is basically “eat my flesh and swallow my bodily fluids”), though as always, chock full of Easter Eggs.

Not as “organic” as our Shower Time for Dr. Dino, but we wanted to get this together for election time… Neither of us are big believers in the coincidence of our births that underlies traditional feelings of patriotism, but if the lunatics represented here continue to get their people into office, we are all seriously FUKT. So vote the donkey, eh?

Also, we’d like to send a big shout-out to the folks at Scathing Atheist and Cognitive Dissonance for unknowingly providing a few of the aforementioned Easter Eggs. I would also say the same for the Aroostock Watchmen, but fuck those guys. Check both anti-theist podcast/blogs out, you won’t be disappointed. Those podcasts and this mix are NSFW and highly offensive, amusingly so.
 And here's a couple bloggish things we borrowed to emphasize the point:

13 Reasons “I” Voted Republican

1.       I voted Republican because you can blame problems on poor people instead of the rich ones who actually run things.
2.       I voted Republican because firefighters and teachers are scum-sucking leaches, but the oil companies raking in record profits NEED those hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies.
3.       I voted Republican because I believe companies like my cable TV provider, insurance company and credit card  company could do a better job running the country than the government, no matter how much they screw me over.
4.       I voted Republican because I don’t trust the government, although I favored the government spying on my health/financial records and tapping my phone when Bush was in office to keep us safe from ‘trrists.
5.       I voted Republican because I don't really care whether terrorists, murderers and drug dealers own guns or not.
6.       I voted Republican because I believe climate change doesn't exist; if I can't see it with my own two eyes, it doesn't exist.  Like gravity.
7.       I voted Republican because I hate women having abortions, but once the baby is born and dies from a preventable illness that’ okay.
8.       I voted Republican because I believe in laying off workers to boost profits; then I get to complain about lazy unemployed people.
9.       I voted Republican because I understand capitalism.  Demand doesn’t increase jobs…ensuring corporations pay no taxes and cutting healthcare and education does.
10.   I voted Republican because I care about the deficit and support cutting services that I really need.  But extra tax cuts for the super-rich that actually caused the deficit should be extended indefinitely.
11.   I voted Republican because I believe in never having to  solve any problems in the government because I insist government is the problem anyway.
12.   I voted Republican because I hate activist judges, unless they are conservative (Yes, corporations should get to spend unlimited money in elections).
13.   I voted Republican because spite and fear is better than hope and change.

 30 Reasons to Vote Democratic

  1. If you remember Bush/Cheney, vote Democratic.
  2. If you want to retain control of your uterus, vote Democratic.
  3. If you think BP was not owed an apology, vote Democratic.
  4. If you know “smaller government” is code for “fewer services” vote Democratic.
  5. If you support the minimum wage, or think all workers deserve a “living wage” vote Democratic.
  6. If you are concerned about Global Climate Change, vote Democratic.
  7. If you support unions and the right of workers to organize vote Democratic.
  8. If you have never considered burning a Qu’ran vote Democratic.
  9. If you would rather build schools than prisons, vote Democratic.
  10. If you think Defense cuts should be “on the table” vote Democratic.
  11. If you think the time has come for marriage equality, vote Democratic.
  12. If you believe it’s better to allow fertilized embryos to be donated for medical research than to throw them away, vote Democratic.
  13. If you don’t want to bomb bomb bomb or invade Iran, vote Democratic.
  14. If you see a difference between a fertilized egg and a baby, vote Democratic.
  15. If you want to continue unemployment insurance for those still out of work, vote Democratic.
  16. If you don’t want two years of Congressional investigations, White House subpoenas, and court battles between the branches, vote Democratic.
  17. If you think evolution should be taught in science class, but creationism should not, vote Democratic.
  18. If you have never felt the need to acquire an assault weapon vote Democratic.
  19. If you think in any wealthy country health care should be a human right and not a privilege for the wealthy, vote Democratic.
  20. If you know “tort reform” is code for “less safe,” vote Democratic. “Caveat Emptor” Sucks.
  21. If you think the answer to hate speech is more speech, not head stomping, vote Democratic.
  22. If you want to continue to give hungry children meals at school, vote Democratic.
  23. If you think our soldiers have been asked to serve too many tours of duty, vote Democratic.
  24. If you remember Katrina, vote Democratic.
  25. If you were ashamed of Abu Gahraib, vote Democratic.
  26. If 66,000 civilians killed in Iran gave you a pang of conscience, vote Democratic.
  27. If you are not afraid to try terrorists in American courtrooms in front of the whole world, vote Democratic.
  28. If you think there should be a liberal but enforceable guest worker program, vote Democratic.
  29. If you’re down and demoralized and disappointed, but you have an ounce of fight left in you, don’t give up, vote Democratic.
  30. If you are not a rich, white male without empathy for the human race, vote Democratic.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What's Old Is Young

This mix was a fairly long time in the making, and even longer in the posting. I am embarrassed to say that the Australian duo and I started it in the Spring of 2013. And then my gutbucket brethren helped me finish it up last winter. The basic idea was for us to pick artists where we have a distinct preference for their early work or later work. Basically, this was a concept for artwork in search of a mix. I started disk 2 not only because I had more musical ideas, but because this artwork needed another 20 or so faces...

Johnny Dark
01 Ella Fitzgerald - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
I found Ella's voice far more appealing when she dropped to a lower register and lost the 'girlish' quality.

Robert Song
02 Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy
Always had a fascination with Leonard Cohen. His young voice seems much sweeter than I remember it being at the time, certainly is when compared to his current style.

03 Merle Haggard - The Wild Side Of Life
I'd like to follow that with some smooth honky-tonk from Merle's later years. The Wad & I saw him open for Bob a few years back and I could have listened to Merle sing the phone book, I just love his voice.

Johnny Dark
04 Russell Morris - The Big House
My next choice comes from an artist who was something of a teen idol here in the 60's.  His voice seems to have weathered very nicely over the intervening years.

Robert Song
05 Wings - Wild Life
There was a time when Paul McCartney could really go wild vocally and shake off the pretty boy only sings ballad image. Helter Skelter for example but there are numerous other examples early on in his post-Beatles career.

06 Charly García - Nos Siguen Pegando Abajo (Pecado Mortal)
Anyway, this is a guy I really like, but I got into him with this MTV Unplugged album he did in the 90s. I do love some of the group work he did in the early and late 70s, very Beatlesesque, but in the 80s, he got a little too synthy for my tastes, at least for artists I respect (there is a fine line between crappy good music and good crap music). Even though he was old enough to flub a few of the lines, he put in a hell of a performance. Kind of the Argentine Lennon, though he looks a bit like Frank Zappa with highlights.

Johnny Dark
07 Paul Young & The Q-Tips - SYSLJFM (The Letter Song)
Before his solo success Paul Young fronted a soul revival band called the Q-Tips in the late 70's/early80's. I caught up with him again at an 80's all-star spectacular 7 or 8 years ago, where all traces of what was a passable blue-eyed soul voice had completely disappeared. In fact he was embarassingly bad. Here he is before the fall.

Robert Song
08 Etoile de Dakar - Absa Gueye
Youssou N'Dour was still a teenager when Etoile De Dakar recorded their first album which this pick comes from. Mark Hudson described his voice at this time as " a high pitched, gilded shriek, the voice of a teenager, raw, androgynous, capable of an almost supernatural tonal range". His voice became smoother and more controlled as his career went on but nothing compares to those early years.

09 Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio - El Barzn
I hadn't thought to put this group on this mix, but this song really represents why. These guys are my favorite Mexican rock band, but while their early music was great, they bordered on party music (classic rock lyrics about "instead of melons, God gave you oranges".) Great rhythms, naturally, but rather narrow vision. This was not that far into their history, less than 10 years, but they had progressed like other groups (Beatles and Beastie Boys come to mind) from mindless to profound. This song is a protest speaking in defense of Mexican small farmers, who are sharecroppers at best and indentured servants at best. I have always loved the vocals, long before I could decipher all of them, but most of this album just really comes together as a perfect unit, with very tasteful melodies. I wish I could sing like this, though, Dylanesque in the machine-gun nature of the lyrics. A barzn is yoke, and this talks about the literal yolk breaking on his oxen, but also the metaphorical yolk of indebtedness that all poor dirt farmers have around the world. El Barzn as a proper noun is also the name of the farmer's union in Mexico. But since, as Dylan said, power and greed and corruptible seed seem to be all that there is, this protest song really did nothing and now it is not only the landlord coming down on the farmers, but the multinationals.

Johnny Dark
10 Frank Sinatra - That's Life
Give me Rat-Pack Frank over big band crooner Frank anytime.

Robert Song
11 Dexys - Lost
I loved the first three Dexy's Midnight Runners albums. Kevin Rowlands vocals were passionate but at times could be indecipheral. So after 25 years when they released the album 'One Day I'm Going To Soar' last year under the shorten band name of Dexys, it was a joy to hear him singing with the same passion and being able to understand almost every word.

12 Miguel Bos - Gulliver
Bos is an interesting character, his mother was a good friend of Pablo Picasso and would leave young Miguelito to play with his friend Paloma. She was a famous actress, his dad was a famous bullfighter (which he deals with a lot on this album). Miguel was always a gentle soul, and to this day hasn't officially come out of this closet, but we understand. In any case, his early years were quite bordering on teeny-bop, and has had to really fight for his true self to come through. This is from his "later" period where his vision and voice really came of age. One thing about him that impresses me besides his voice and cool lyrics is that his albums really challenge the listener. You usually don't enjoy it at first, even his most strident fans. This album was one of them, Sereno from 2001. And his albums are clearly-defined statements, each with their own continuity and vision. For many of those reasons, I thought it was a perfect fit after Dexys.

Johnny Dark
13 The Faces - Cindy Incidentally
My 85 year old mother has become quite fond of Rod Stewart in his recent incarnation as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook. I prefer him from around 1973.

Robert Song
14 Gregory Isaacs - Don't Pity Me
When he was young he was the Cool Ruler, but after the cocaine and the jail time he was never the same

15 Steve Earle - Sparkle and Shine
Here is one of the few artists who actually came out of his heroin addiction with most of his soul intact. I like all periods of Steve Earle's career, but he really has mellowed well as an elder statesman.

Johnny Dark
16 Chris Smither - Make Room For Me
Another who's voice has weathered nicely over the years. This one from his latest release. 

Robert Song
17 David Byrne - Un Di Felice, Eterea
Who would have thought from his early Talking Heads days that one day David Byrne would record stuff like this.

18 Chavela Vargas - No Volver
We have tended to focus on the "autumn years" as Monty Python puts it. And here's a singer I love at all stages, but there's something in the innocence of her voice from her first albums, before the tequila and cigars and before being chased out of Mexico for swearing at her audiences from stage. One of the most expressive vocalists you'll hear in any language, mi Chabuelita, Chavela Vargas...

Johnny Dark
19 Paul McCartney & Wings - Maybe I'm Amazed
Recently caught a concert film of McCartney and Wings 1976 US tour, from which my selection is lifted. He sounded as good to me during this concert as anything he recorded with the Fab Four.

Robert Song
20 The Modern Lovers - She Cracked
I guess Jonathon Richman might have just been trying to be Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground early on his career but that was at least way better than where he ended up some fifteen years later

21 The Ramones - I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
Okay, well, time for a group that I'm sure is universally preferred in their younger incarnation. Though they had some nice stuff later, there was nowhere to go but down from their debut album

01 David Bowie - Oh! You Pretty Things
I picked this Bowie pick more out of ignorance of most of his later period, and laziness to dig deeper than anything. I have heard good things about his more recent work, though "Dancing in the Streets always seemed like the classic jump the shark moment for picking him in his prime.

Funky Ratchet
02 Them - I Can Only Give You Everything
As far as Van Morrison goes, I'm sure an easy case could be made for the Astral Weeks/Moondance era but I still find the '60's R&B Van with Them much more to my liking. I'll leave my enjoyment of his Bang Records contractual obligation songs (i.e. "Ring Worm") for another time. Van's ego is the result, I assume, of the bit of revisionist history that occurs on the Nuggets II box set, crediting "I Can Only Give You Everything" as a Van solo track rather than a Them track; however, that's easily rectified with a few key strokes.

Strange Loop
03 Gene Harris - Elephant Blossom Blues
He was ok with the Three Sounds in the 60's and went the synth-soul route like other jazz players in the 70's, but he really shined once he came back on the more "traditional" jazz scene with Ray Brown and then went on to do his own amazing thing. By far my favorite jazz pianist!

04 Joan Manuel Serrat - Lucia
A published poet and songwriter without par in many languages. He should re-record all of his songs just like this, with a light touch piano and with his aged voice. Nothing compares to it, and his early work is so overproduced, it renders it unlistenable at times.

Funky Ratchet
05 Willie Nelson - Devil in a Sleeping Bag
After disappointing record sales and a self-imposed retirement in the early 1970's, Willie returned with the Shotgun Willie album in 1973. Right on the cusp of the Outlaw country movement, before they all began singing self-referential songs about being an outlaw, Willie started his trek toward becoming a punch line, and Waylon became a caricature of himself. I grew up on early '70s Willie and I've always loved the strength of his voice and songs during this period.

Strange Loop
06 Ween - I'm Holding You
This track is the opener from their 1996 country album 12 Golden Country Hits for which the duo hired Nashville players to back their awesome, weirdo shit. For me, this album and the one before it, Chocolate and Cheese were the beginnings of the more grownup and experimental

07 Wilco -  Sky Blue Sky
Just as Brother Loop went to his well for his pick, so will I. It amazes me how easily Wilco can do this type of pretty little songs. These kinds of songs just fit like a glove.

Funky Ratchet
08 REM - Wendell Gee
It’s hard to imagine any incarnation of R.E.M. beyond about 1986 recording this little folk tune. I wouldn’t say I like one era of this band at the expense of others, but part of me is partial to the early- to mid-1980’s R.E.M., at the height of their folky southern gothic capabilities and just before they began leaning toward a bigger rock sound that would fill larger venues.

Strange Loop
09 The Beach Boys -  I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
Sadly, Brian was just better on drugs & madness.

10 The Beatles - Girl
John Lennon probably would have done quite interesting things in the 80s, but truly he only had one consistent solo album, with some great singles. As has been rehashed over and over, the greatest thing John & Paul had was each other. Amazingly, I had not used this song on a mix previously, but I learned new appreciation for it after watching one of doowadette's favorite movie Across the Universe. Of course nothing compares to the original, especially when you are talking to one of the greatest voices of the 20th century in his prime. I consider Rubber Soul to really be the last Beatles album. It wasn't Yoko that killed the group, but the solipsism found through Lysergic acid diethylamide.

Funky Ratchet
11 Beck - Lost Cause
My first awareness of Beck was “Loser,” “Devil’s Haircut,” and the like but I’ve really come to prefer his low-key 2002 break-up album Sea Change, which nods to his early countryish output on K Records while keeping a little of the experimental flavor he came into in the ‘90s.

Strange Loop
12 Chet Baker - Everything Happens to Me
My favorite Chet Baker tune of all time, from back when he had only been chasing the dragon for a little while and wasnt a total mess. Although, his version of Almost Blue is another great, great song from MUCH later in his life

13 Nat King Cole Trio - Calico Sal
Nothing to compare between this and the schmalzy tripe he released later. Not even cheezy enough to be good pap, but this just warms the soul.

Funky Ratchet
14 Howlin' Wolf - Spoonful
To be fair, I pretty much love Howlin' Wolf's entire catalog. But given a choice, I'll take early lean/mean Wolf over the latter stuff, including the tepid bloat of the London Sessions. Now if I can just get my hands on that elusive Complete Chess Masters box set...

Strange Loop
15 Frank Zappa - Zomby Woof
I like the wacky changes and musicianship of the Zappa of this period best.

16 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Grown So Ugly
Well, yes, a bit obvious after the Frank pick, but what the fuck. I prefer this album as a balance between his early blues stuff and his later experimental weirdness. The title to this track seemed more than appropriate!

Funky Ratchet
17 Bruce Springsteen - State Trooper
I'm probably more of a Springsteen appreciator than a fan but Nebraska is the distinct exception. If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm obsessed with this album. As much as can acknowledge the durability of his career and music, he has always, to me, seemed to split the difference between artist and workhorse. Nebraska, however, is lightning in a bottle.

Strange Loop
18 Primus - My Name Is Mud
Primus sucks.

19 Tom Waits - Chicago
We are all huge Waits fans, so it was either not pick any Waits period here or pick “all of them” in Sarah Palin style... And by picking “later Waits” after Funky jumped the gun with “Middle Waits”, we are forcing Strange Loop's hand. And since he always kind of looked like early waits to me, that is just the icing on the cake of this epic mix.

Funky Ratchet
20 Tom Waits – Down, Down, Down
There are Tom Waits tunes that I love from all stages of his career so far, but I much prefer dark and weird Waits over his early barroom/lounge singer persona. In fact, I find his affectations during that period grating enough that I can’t even stand to watch interviews from those years. Granted, there has always been, and still is, a Waits “persona;” I just find it more to my liking from the mid-80’s on. I also enjoy many of the more recent songs too but the newer albums have begun to strike me as simply “Tom Waits performing as Tom Waits,” rather than striving to break any new ground.

Strange Loop
21 Tom Waits - Looks Like I'm Up Shit Creek Again
Well, song sums up my position as the default “early Waits” pick. And well, since doowad thinks I look like early Waits, I guess it's only natural...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Promesas sobre el bidet

01 Joaquín Sabina - Calle melancolía  doowad
02 Alaska y los Pegamoides - El hospital  MarkSmith
03 Doberman - Balada de los días grises  MarkSmith
04 Duncan Dhu - Una calle de parís  doowad
05 Mecano - Los amantes  doowad
06 La Unión - Hombre lobo en paris  doowad
07 Los Impecables - Chicas guapas  MarkSmith
08 Soda Stereo - 1990  doowad
09 Caifanes - Mátenme porque me muero  doowad
10 Línea Vienesa - Cangrejos en la cocina  MarkSmith
11 Flash Strato - Madrid en tecnicolor  MarkSmith
12 Las Chinas - Amor en frío  MarkSmith
13 Los Secretos - Déjame  MarkSmith
14 Serú Girán - No llores por mí, Argentina  doowad
15 Beirut la Noche - Ella se hizo monja  MarkSmith
16 Café Tacvba - El catrín  doowad
17 Polanski y el Ardor - Ataque preventivo de la URSS  MarkSmith
18 Mano Negra - Mala vida  doowad
19 Zombies - Groenlandia  MarkSmith
20 Charly García - Promesas sobre el bidet  doowad
21 Aterciopelados - Baracunatana  doowad
22 Molotov - Frijolero  doowad

So I made a new “amiguito” a year or so ago, (let's call him "Jim") and completely outside of my fanatical music obsession (though we did bond over movies and Fawlty Towers). He started showing up at some of doowadette’s sporting events, which I thought was really weird when I found he had no daughter on the team. But well, eventually I figured out he wasn’t some perv, but rather a superfan...

In any case, as I said, our conversation eventually drifted around to British comedy and Strange Brew and all kinds of wild and groovy things.  What was bonus was to find out that our kids were already good friends (I had met his son, but didn’t associate the two guys for some time, clueless dad that I am). Then even more bonus, we both got along with the wives, which apparently is a serious problem among married couples. They are now frequent fliers at our backyard parties (our soirées, since according to ika, parties are only parties if you dance. At the last one, when she went in to get some food, we all stood up and started boogieing as only a bunch of 40ish white suburbanites can to prove to her we were having a party). 

So, as inevitably happens, the subject of some of our conversations soon turned to music, mainly out of the random mentions of R.E.M. and other groups that would find their way into my party playlists.

In fact, this mix is really Jim’s fault since he sent me a Cure album on youtube that he was listening to. In typical do-it-all doowad, I shot back three links of my own, Caifanes, Soda Stereo y La Unión. The first two because they basically started out as Cure cover bands, down to the Robert Smith hair on the lead singer and gothish make-up on all the fellers. La Unión I threw in because they got boobies in their video.

But it was kismet that he said he liked the Caifanes the best, since they are actually my favorite Rock en español group. So then I was thinking, well, maybe I can throw a few of these songs, like I have done for other gabacho buddies in the past. But knowing what a huge fan he was of 80s/90s new wave, I decided to “seed” my mix with this classic, 4-volume set from our old amigo, MarkSmith:

So then I was trying to figure out a more imaginative name than just “Jim” as I had on my mediamonkey playlist as a placeholder. This title track was one that was echoing in my brain the past few days and I thought well, I didn’t really make any promises about this CD to Jim, and I don’t have a bidet (unless you count the massage setting on my shower head that has the perfect stream of water that can go right up….uh, nevermind).

But since our humour is usually in the toilet, this seemed ideal. One last “anecdote”, or advice, do not google “bidet gross” or you will get what you are looking for…also be prepared for lots of crotch if you google "athletic supporter".

David García
[No sé que hizo este cabrón, pero] me llamo David Garcia en el mundo mixcloud, MarkSmith en el mundo 2.0 y "eh. tú, bastardo" en el mundo real...