Friday, December 24, 2004

Eureka!

I did it once and I've done it once again. I've created the perfect mix, even better than my first perfect mix (Redrum Grammar) from the spring of 1998. The other playlists on my iPod are all jealous now, fighting for time. But they got nothing on my latest creation...behold, I give you "New Feeling":

1. New Feeling > A Clean Break, Talking Heads -- I cannot plug The Name of This Band is Talking Heads enough. It is sheer beauty, one of the greatest live compilations ever released, or re-released for that matter. Perfect way to start off any mix, be it for your daily commute, summer lover or high school steady. I wanna kiss David Byrne on the mouth.

2. The Punk and the Godfather, The Who -- This is the little known gem off Quadrophenia that rocks my socks off every time I hear it. Sometime last year I got really into this album, and then really into The Who, mostly because of this song. I defy you to listen to this and not fall in love with the Godfather's "I'm the guy in the sky flying high flashing eyes no surprise I told lies I'm the punk in the guttttter" declaration in verse. (In a related note, the rock opera that is Quadrophenia: Unfuckingreal.)

3. Sailin' Shoes > Hey Julia > Sneakin' Sally Thru the Alley, Robert Palmer -- Yes, the recently deceased Palmer actually made good music before the Addicted to Love/Simply Irresistable era. Actually, that phase was pretty cool too. Anyway, backed by members of Little Feat and the Meters, this trilogy is as sexy as something that's sexy as shit.

4. Time Loves a Hero, Little Feat -- Folks, I'm that damn creative. Palmer featuring Little Feat perfectly segues into Little Feat's best tune. I rule. More importantly, this song rules. And it's message is fairly important: I'm pretty sure the narrator is commending his uncle for ditching his nagging aunt in the States and bummin' round the beaches in Puerto Rico...days in the sun, nights in the casino. Now that frickin' rules.

5. Golden Years, David Bowie -- I feel like disco dancing with an I-tal chick when I listen to this, and that's a good thing. This one's a Fiedler Find, a dynamite number. Often times in 2003 this was the first song I played after leaving the office, a real pick-me-up.

6. Under Pressure, Queen w/ Bowie -- Self-explanatory. For chrissakes, Freddie Mercury has four straight lines that go like this: Ee do ba bup, Ee do ba ba bup, No wo, Baylup. What the fuck is Baylup? Must mean "awesome" in queer.

7. Don't Do It, The Band -- The last song these guys ever played. Sentimentality aside, the song kicks ass, Danko kicks ass on it, The Band kicks ass always, go rent The Last Waltz, and eat my fucking shorts.

8. You Can't Blame the Youth, Bob Marley -- On Dec. 8th, I wrote the following about Marley's Talkin' Blues album, so I'll just cut and paste rather than provide original thought: "Talkin' Blues -- A Hoobs Special, this was probably the most listened to disc in our room (Cloud City) throughout junior year. After putting it down for awhile, I picked it up again and haven't been able to put it down again. To me (and Hoobs and others), this is Marley at his finest, a sound unlike much of the music on Legend or any of his other works. A strong recommendation, especially for Walk the Proud Land and You Can't Blame the Youth, two songs prominently featured on WNUR's Block Party radio show (hey, we had a few listeners, including a nice old lady who recommended "Fire" by the Ohio Players)."

9. Get Up Offa that Thing, James Brown -- Warning: JB at perhaps his funkiest, so wear your best dancing shoes. Your gaggle of family pets can commit ritual suicide in your living room and this song will still put you in the toe-tapping mood.

10. Think, Medeski, Martin and Wood -- MMW's Shackman is just an incredible album, some of the trio's finest work. I got nuthin'.

11. Bra, Cymande -- Another Hoobs special...neither of us know all that much about this band, other than the fact that they're fucking awesome. Listening to their self-titled album, there are times when you can't actually tell if there are four, fourteen or forty members of the band. Here's a little bio (apparently Spike Lee and Hoobs have the same taste in music)...

12. Jack Rabbit, Greyboy Allstars -- These guys don't play much anymore, having split into a few separate but awesome groups (Robert Walter's 20th Congress and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe), but if you can get your hands on their 5/1/04 Jazzfest set, I'd highly recommend it. Every time I hear Denson's sax I think about the time junior year in Evanston when he played outdoors in a 20-degree chill on the lawn outside our house right after I lost to one of his old band members in NCAA Football 1998 on a last second hail mary. Ahh, college.

13. Sweet Jane, The Phish from Vermont -- Every bit as chirpy and melodic as the Velvet Underground version but with a jam at the end that even Lou Reed could never have envisioned. Phish's 10/31/98 show gets largely overlooked in the pantheon of Halloween covers (especially since the Dark Side of the Moon show took place two nights later), but the boys covering Loaded always gets a smile from me.

14. I Got a Woman, Ray Charles -- Big fan of the man, but I'll admit I think most of Ray Charles' songs sound similar. This one, however, always stood out from the rest, my favorite of the lot. Again, I got nuthin' really.

15. Caravan, Van Morrison -- I nominate Van the Man for the Biggest Discrepancy Between Voice and Looks Award. The guy sounds like a million bucks, looks like a buck-fitty. If you can actually put this playlist together, try to grab the version off The Last Waltz, a balding Van crooning in a purple jumpsuit with Bedazzled rhinestones backed by some of the greatest musicians of all time. Nothing like an obviously coked up Morrison doing these air kicks in a purple suit while tilting his head to the side and shouting "And a one more time" before walking off the stage like a prize fighter.

16. Dance to the Music, Sly & the Family Stone -- Possibly my favorite song of all time, by any band, from any era. I have zero musical talent and I can't sing for shit, but somehow I performed an impromptu version of this tune at my brother and sister-in-law's wedding in front of nearly 300 people a few years ago. Live karaoke with a real-life funk band in a tux minutes before your best man speech: try it some time.

17. Shattered, The Rolling Bears -- The coolest song in the Stones' repertoire, not even a comparison. I can't give it away on Seventh Avenue, this town's been wearing tatters.

18. Black-Eyed Katy, Pheesh -- White guy porno funk at the height of the white guy porno funk spectacular that is Fall Tour '97...'nuff said.

19. Push On Til the Day, Trey Anastasio Band -- I'm not one of those boycott fools, I never said "freedom fries." But I did say to TJ in OH right after the break-up announcement that if I ever go see Trey's solo act, he can fly to NYC and kick me in the teeth and junk as hard as he can. And that guy's got a mule kick. That was foolish, because Trey can really play, and the man's new band can play all night long. I've always been disappointed by TAB because they're kinda Yoko-esque and they're just not Phish...but now that the latter is officially out of the equation, I think I could probably sweat my balls off while dancin' to the horns. This song especially, an incredible number.

20. Faithfully, Journey -- Quick anecdote: The night before my buddy PB's wedding this June, about six of us were sitting in his apartment, and this song came on the stereo. With the most serious face in his facial arsenal, PB looked at everyone and said, "They just don't write songs like this anymore." PB's always been a smart man. I mean, am I the only person who gets a semi when Steve Perry belts out "They say that the road ain't no place to start a family..."? I don't think so.

Well, Merry Christmas to all...although it's certainly a shitty one, this is my gift to all of you. Enjoy your holidays and we'll see you right back here next week. Smell ya later.

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