20 February 2006

Random Musicness

I dusted off and plugged in my old Creative Nomad Jukebox (10Gb version). I don't think I've listened to anything on this for about 2 years, but my computer fried, I'm stuck on my mother's ancient Toshiba Satellite 1805-5203 laptop so it was listen to that old thing or actually put CDs into my DVD player. (Which I've been doing lately, but sometimes you begin to miss the joys of shuffle).

The music on my portable was my tooling around campus and driving back and forth between Santa Monica and Riverside music so certain ommissions were made as far as albums (no classical, not much jazz or blues, good to listen too, not good while riding a bike or stuck on the freeway) and I think I only have about 100 or so albums on the player.

So it's not reflective of the entire breadth or depth of my collection (and there's no albums released since '04) but it's something and since all the cool kids post their musical randomosity I thought I'd add my contribution to that genre of post.

To the list.

Ministry of Love, Eurythmics from For the Love of Big Brother
A discussion of this album popped up in this old post. Great album.

James, Bangles from All Over the Place
Damn, this is good, really, really good, I love me some Bangles.

You Me World War Three, Gavin Friday from Shag Tobacco
Oh lord this is a great album, and this song should be the theme song for a watchable Bond film (or Bond film parody). Sleek, sexy, lush, adult.

Dreams Come True, Bangles from Everything
The last album before their breakup, they were winding down then and this song is pretty banal.

Path Through the Forest, The Factory from Nuggets II, Vol. 3
If you don't have both Nuggets Box Sets then there is something seriously wrong with you. 60s Garage is perfection. The more the better, and both these boxed sets (original U.S., II mostly Europe) have some of the best songs from that time. A must for any collection.

One Track Mind, The Knickerbockers from Nuggets I, Vol. 4
60s Garage bands can be divided into three main groups, those that wanted to be the Beatles, those that wanted to be the Rolling Stones, and those that wanted to be the Who. The Knickerbockers would be part of the first category. One of the quirks about me is that I love faux-Beatles and am indifferent to hostile to actual Beatles. I know that makes me a freak, but the more you hear of this stuff the more you'll understand. (It's cause the faux has all the fun without all the pretension, Beatles got to be sooooo ponderous towards the end).

Three Longers Later, Stereolab from Mars Audic Quintet
See, I don't hate everything French. Great uptempo ambient with vocals. A genre hard to do right.

Knock, Knock, The Humane Society from Nuggets I, Vol. 3
This would fall into the faux-Stones category of Garage. A solid straight ahead rocker, it will be fueling a car/beer/Target or other product ad at some point in the near future (and may have already done so in the past)

I Must Be Mad, The Craig from Nuggets II, Vol. 2
Dude, this band's name is 'The Craig' how awesome is that. The Nuggets II compilation covers a slightly later time frame then the original Nuggets so the music is a bit trippier and edgier (also fewer chart hits). Another driving, percussive jolt to the synapses, I love this stuff.

Pyramid Song, Radiohead from Ultra Chilled, Vol. 2
This is a remix of Radiohead from the Ultra Chilled collection. These are really worth picking up, all these Ultra compilations are thoughtfully put together and are great 'mood setters' if you catch my drift (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Subtle Body, Fila Brasilia from Maim That Tune
One of the better Electronica/Organica bands from the early/mid 90s and this is their best album. Yummy.

Firey Jack, Toy Dolls from Dig That Groove Baby
My Jukebox has a sense of humor playing this track after that meditative ambient track. The Toy Dolls were a terrific English Punk Band from the 80s that had more energy than a dozen nuclear power plants. Frenetic (and funny) doesn't begin to describe them.

Can't Stop This Feeling I Got, Prince from Graffiti Bridge
This album is the silver medalist in the competition for best album from worst movie (the gold medalist is also by Prince, but that would be the album Parade, inspired by the film Under A Cherry Moon). This isn't one of the better songs on the album (the two essential and amazing songs from that album are Joy In Repitition and Release It)

I Think I'm Down, The Harbinger Complex from Nuggets I, Vol. 4
More Garage goodness, a little more never hurt no one.

It's Cold Outside, The Choir from Nuggets 1, Vol. 3
Really, I've got more than just Nuggets CDs on my player, it just doesn't seem that way at the moment (sometimes random isn't as random as you'd like, though if it's truly random the seeming not randomness might only confirm the random nature of the randomness (follow all that?))

Cool It Down, The Velvet Underground from Loaded
I love this song, this was in their faux-CCR phase, but it still works. Great headphone music too, they play with the left/right channel thing quite a bit in this song.

Touch You, The Golden Palominos from Pure
I don't know what to say, an essential album to own. It's kind of hard to classify or describe other than to say pick yourself up a copy already (plus the CD cover has a photo of a most remarkable nipple).

Two Tribes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood from Bang! (Greatest Hits)
This and Relax are the two songs they are best known for. I like the Pres. Reagan sound-a-like in this song, even if they are making fun of him and trying to blame him for the eventual destruction of the planet (how wrong they were).

My Friend Jack, The Smoke (NZ) from Nuggets II, Vol. 1
A great driving beat to this song, this probably leans towards the faux-Who (much more common on this collection compared to the American compilation). Good, good stuff.

Power of Love, Joe Simon from Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Vol. ??
Great compilations from Rhino, unfortunately the volume number is hidden behind my players character limit, but you should pick up all of them. This particular song highlights what was right about how folks sung songs in the early 70s and how much is wrong with how folks sing now. To think you can actually hold notes, sing in a single key, and not try and shout at the end of every line. What a concept! He's soooo smooth, I love this kind of stuff. The thing that gets me during American Idol are all the Mariah and XTina wannabes with their runs and warbles and VOLUME. That's not singing, that's just vocal exercises, I can't wait till all that crap finally fades out of fashion.

Inertia Creeps, Massive Attack from Mezzanine
This album still sounds so fresh and new, It's hard to believe it came out quite a few years back. This song really has a great edge and menace to it, too. Creeps into your consciousness, and doesn't want to let go.

You Set the Scene, Love from Forever Changes
If you don't have this album (frequently near the top of best ever album lists) then you are doing yourself a major disservice. The best album from a majorly important band. Much more appreciated outside of the U.S. than within, that's always the way with prophets, shunned at home.

It's a Sin To Go Away, We All Together from Nuggets II, Vol. 1
More psychedelic tinged garage from a bunch of foreigners. Not much to add, not a super distinctive track, but not bad, either.

Twisted, Annie Lennox from Bare
This album rocks harder than hard. Annie brought it all on this album. Hear her bare her soul (there is a reason this album is called Bare, it's palpable, and in every word, every note)

Better Ship, The Kinks form Ultimate Collection
A great 2 disc compilation, has all the hits, and some not hits. Ray Davies really was (is) mind blowing. And as it so happens has a CD coming out Tuesday which received rave reviews in today's LATimes, maybe a trip to the shop (or a click over to Amazon) is in order.

Indoor Fireworks, Elvis Costello from Very Best of. . .
Another excellent retrospective, certainly not comprehensive or complete but it covers the bases nicely, and this song is so well sung, so heart breaking, would make a great country song.

There She Goes Again, The Velvet Underground from The Velvet Underground & Nico
The famous banana peel album. This is the doowop song from that album. It would be fun to actually record an honest to god doowop version of this with proper singers singing in proper harmony. But this works too, another album that if you don't have in your collection you are doing yourself a serious disservice.

Seems I caught up to the player now, so the next track (whatever it may be) will be the last I list and describe.

Sweet Jane, Lou Reed from Between Thought and Expression
Well this gives me a chance to tell a little tale. This is a compilation that was released to coincide with a collection of his songs arranged like a poetry book. It came out in the early 90s and I had a young girlfriend at the time (we were both young 20 and 22 I think) and we both shared a passion for Lou Reed. She saw that he was doing a book signing at Book Soup I think it was and she decided she had to get some signed copies to give as Christmas presents (one to me, and another to Gordon Gano (yes that Gordon Gano, I saw a LOT of Violent Femmes concerts back then due to that connection, everyone was a blast). What's the point of this story, well I'm getting to that, don't rush me, It's sort of like the live version of this song that they chose for this compilation, the intro goes on for 4 minutes before Lou first says "Standing in the corner. . .". Back to the story about my girlfriend, she was young, voluptuous, pretty, but not yet really sure how to wield the power that provides and not always comfortable with the attention that draws. So when she gets to the front of the line, and Lou Reed is there and she stares at him, she notices that he's staring back at her (and when I say staring at her, I mean he's gaping at her cleavage, or at least that's the impression I get from her description of the moment), and his stare is pretty intense and making her pretty uncomfortable. So the moral of this story? Be careful when meeting your heros, they may (almost certainly) turn out to be flawed, typical human beings afterall.

UPDATE: Bill of So Quoted (who I've blogged rolled just now, with suitable caption) fame, wins the prize for stamina, he actually read to the end of this epic lengthed post to have caught the bit about Gordon Gano. He poses a question as to what might be the contender for the bronze medalist for best soundtrack for worst film. I'm going to go out on a limb and offer my choice for this title. The Tank Girl Soundtrack crosses the finish line in third place amongst all the worthy contenders in my opinion. I didn't hate the film, and thought it was unfairly dismissed at the time, but nevertheless I'm judging this by disparity between the quality of the two items (soundtrack v film) more so than the intrinsic quality of either (which is why Parade defeats Grafitti Bridge, Parade is my choice for best album of the 80s, period, so that makes the disparity massive between that and the film that inspired it, whereas Grafitti Bridge is a far worse film even than Under a Cherry Moon, but the album isn't as good so the disparity is less). Back to Tank Girl, if you click on the Amazon link provided you'll note that their reviewer loves all of the soundtrack save one song, Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg singing Cole Porter's 'Let's Do It'. Now I agree with all the customer reviewers, that's the HIGHLIGHT of the album not the lowlight. It's Joan 'Freakin' Jett and Paul 'Goddamn' Westerberg doing Cole 'for chrissakes' Porter. In what universe could you not appreciate the greatness of that moment? That's a universe I deny. Anyway the rest of the Soundtrack features some great cuts from some of the best bands at that moment and still acts as a solid time capsule of the music from the early 90s. If you don't already have it you should think about picking it up.

Well anyone whose eyes glazed over while looking at the length of this post will surely avoid the added update, oh well, I'm not here to please everyone, just exercise my fingers.


bill said...

Gordon Gano? Dude that is so cool.

First time I saw the Femmes was at First Ave (Mpls - it's the club in Purple Rain), 1984. Didn't really know who they were, but was at a party in 7th St Entry - the smaller club attached. Walked into First Ave and never left, watching the Femmes that first time was like a religious experience. I still enjoy listening to "Hallowed Ground."

Do you have his CD, "Hitting the Ground," from a couple years ago? PJ Harvey does a perfect Gordon Gano.

Absolutely correct on the gold and silver for best album from the worst movie. Now I have to come up with the bronze.

reader_iam said...

Damn, XWL, there's a least one sentence in there that makes me fear you're one day going to morph into Faulkner. (I must confess a fondness, for Faulkner, though, never fear.) I, however, was not daunted and read the whole thing.

(Did I ever mention that another of my quirks is that if I notice someone has done an update to his or her post, I have to re-read the entire original post before reading the update? So I deserve some kind of freakin' reward here, don't I?)

I'm fond of Bill's blog, too, as you might have noticed, and I must say I got a kick out of your tagline for it (would that be the longest one you've written, btw? More evidence ....).

Also, your handle has been "taken in vain" (LOL) in connection with bizarre body-piercing floor shows. Somehow, this relates to toilet paper.

; )

bill said...

Hell if I know, myself...

Now I have to find the Tank Girl Soundtrack. Sounds like the most interesting Cole Porter duet since Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop sang "Well Did You Evah" on "Red Hot +Blue."

Bonus points: Paul Westerberg will have music in this movie. Check it out, the teaser looks like a fun movie, while the actual trailer just makes me sad and disappointed.

Ok, one more...did you ever hear the 2 Nice Girls " Sweet Jane (With Affection)"? A combination of Sweet Jane and Joan Armatrading's "Love and Affection."