Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Liner notes to some mix-swap discs I made.

STÄPLEKLÄW Vs. (A particular mix)

1. A song before dying: "The Big Gundown" by Ennio Morricone - If you're gonna do a suicide by cop, you gotta get yourself hyped up for the event somehow.

2. A song about a body part: "Cirrhosis of the Heart" by Foetus - I figure the cardiac muscle is going to see a lot of representation in this category, and why should I buck such an ancient and venerable trend?

3. Cover better than the original: "Starman" by Seu Jorge - Never liked Bowie that much, really.

4. No vocals and/or what instrument is that?: "Twinkle Toes" by Max Roach and M'Boom - A percussion only jazz(ish) band. Tuned drums and blocks are always a tough ID for me.

5. A mixed vocal duet: "(We're Not) The Jet Set" by John Prine and Iris Dement - Don't have the George and Tammy version, but this one is pretty perfect anyway.

6. Song about aliens or space travel: "Earth Intruders (Mark Stent remix)" by Björk - Only...WE ARE the aliens! Dah nah nah NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

7. Ultimate road song: "Jesus Built My Hotrod" by Ministry and Gibby Haynes - Familiar to nearly everyone on the distro list, I imagine. Still, hard to resist.

8. Divine Vox: "Rockin' In Rhythm" by Ella Fitzgerald fronting the Duke Ellington Orchestra - I know, you've heard this out of me a million times. It's still RIGHT, damnit.

9. Song for which I wish I didn't understand the lyrics: "Fly Away" by Goodie Mob - Generally, I love these guys, and obv. I can relate to southern pride. But chill with the queerbashing, could you?

10. Guitar wizardry - "So Goes the Story" by Eddie Hazel: The original maggot brainiac lets all them cranial worms wiggle loose and get funky.

11. Song of laughter - "Charlton Heston" by Stump: The frogs on the rhythm track, confusing the Pentateuch with Paramount Pictures. This track has it all. LIGHTS! CAMEL! ACTION!

12. Song of tears - "My Dog is Dead" by Glass Eye: No explanation neccesary nor provided.

13. Song to film - "Where Are They Now? (80s remix)" by Nas and Feat. MC Shan, Raheem, Doctor Ice, Kangol, Kool Moe Dee, Sha Rock, Tito, Grandmaster Caz, Lique, Dana Dane, Pebblee Poo & Just Ice: When will the seminal years of hiphop get their "24 Hour Party People" or "Velvet Goldmine"? That shit is loooooooooong overdue.

14. Before 1950 - "Biaute Paree De Valour" by Guillaume de Machaut: fuck tha, man. Before 1650! Maybe even before 1550, but I can't find anything besides birth and death dates for the man, so I can't be sure.

15. Song no one else has (before now (you hope)) - "Hey Hey My My" by Devo and Neil Young: I dunno if anyone else loved this enough to track down the mp3 after the video disappeared from youtube, but they should. Crazy.

16. Song I loved at 16 - "The Whole of the Moon" by the Waterboys: SHUT! UP!

17. Wild animal - "The Panther" by Dexter Gordon: oh, yeaahh......

18. Before they hit it big - "Lies" by Spectrum City: It is pretty atypical for their later, better known career as Public Enemy (after some personnel changes) but you can definitely hear the seeds of future greatness here.

STÄPLEKLÄW Surprise (A Holistic Mix)

1. Charles Mingus - "Eat that Chicken": Mingus plays piano. And sings. For a guy principally known as a bassist and composer of instrumentals, I think that probably counts as at least a departure, if not quite a surprise.

2. Rakim, Featuring Rahzel - "It's a Must": Now, it's one thing for a rap song to have a guest MC, or even DJ, or even beatboxer. And it's one thing for a rap song to sample previous work by the same artist. It's unusual, to say the least, for a guest beatboxer to simulate scratches of a previous song by the main artist as his contribution to a track.

3. Arabian Prince - "Strange Life": Wait, Arabian Prince is still making music?!??

4. Mission of Burma - "Spider's Web": Would you have believed anyone if they had told you ten years ago that Mission of Burma's best album was the one they would made in 2006?

5. Archie Shepp - "Mama Too Tight": When I downloaded this, I didn't even know Shepp had ever done a straight ahead jazz record, never mind a funky gospel soul jam.

6. Dylan Hears a Who - "Oh The Thinks You Can Think": Oh right, like YOU saw this one coming.

7. Joi - "I Believe": UNRELEASED SHIT! From like ten years ago no less, and a goddamn shame it is, too. Fishbone do a hell of a job here as a back-up band.

8. Merle Haggard - "Bareback": Yeah, old fashioned western swing about wearing rubbers. I don't think Bob Wills or Ernest Tubb could have imagined this.

9. Pharoahe Monch - "Body Baby": For some reason, there are not that many Elvis impersonations in contemporary rap.

10. Fatlip - "What's Up Fatlip?": For some reason, there are not that many ruthlessly self-deprecating songs in rap.

11. Johnny Cash - "The Mercy Seat": Most folks wrote off Johnny Cash as a relic. Then he started covering songs by Nine Inch Nails and Nick Cave and had one of his most popular and creatively fertile periods right before his death.

12. Drive By Truckers - "That Man I Shot": Southern rock about a guilt-ridden Gulf War II vet. Maybe not all that surprising, but a hell of a great song and I wanted to put it on a mix to share. Oh wait, I know! it's surprising that the protagonist of the song seems to have returned home and hasn't been redeployed under an involuntary Stop-Loss order.

13. Boris - "Bell - The Bell Tower of A Sign": Until I heard it, I didn't know Japan had classic heavy acid rock like this.

14. Kate Bush - "Aerial": It's pretty seldom that a poetic figure of speech like 'all of the birds are laughing' is made musically literal.