2006-02-02

Little Music + more (half a mix)

Medium: 5" CDR
TRT: 78:22
Made by: me
On or about: October 05
For: P.

I thought my friend P. would enjoy Little Music,  a collection of singles &c by the lovable Denver band Dressy Bessy.  Since the album is only 35 minutes long, I had a bunch of extra space to play with.  Now, it's not that I feel a need to fill up CDs all the way.  Tapes are another matter: you gotta fill them up.  Leaving a bunch of blank tape is an affront...to...something.  With a ceedee tho, I've no problem leaving the blank space be.  But, in this case, I had thought of a bunch of songs that w'd sound good chasing this album.  Plus it was kinda nice to throw a few cuts on the end of this disc and not have to commit to making a full mix.

(1) - (13) Dressy Bessy "Little Music"
Source: CD "Little Music" by Dressy Bessy (singles collection on Kindercore)
Collecting various 45s and things from 97 to 02, this is evrybody's faverit Dressy Bessy album. No wonder-- it's solid, simple, and mad catchy all the way thru.  You put this on and bounce all over the room like a happy little 60s girl with Tigerbeat pinups on the wall.
(14) Television Personalities "Smashing Time"
Source: CD collection of TVPs stuff...calld...I think, "Part-time Punks" (another great song).  Yeah...I lent the disc out shortly after I bought it and havnt gotten it back, so.  The exact details escape me right now.  When I get it back I'll edit all this stuff out and put in the proper title and label info and like that.  That's what you gotta love about the "web": nothing's permanent.  Hey where's that page I wuz looking at yesterday?  I can't quite remember but I think it had the meaning of life on it.  Ha! It's gone! Gone down the fucking memory hole, sucka!

Surely I get a couple obscurity points for using a Television Personalities tune?  In this sweet, understated, heartfelt, Ray Daviesish number, the speaker shows his cousin Jill around London.  They go to all the usual sights a visitor to London might be expected to go to.  They have somewhat bland reactions of the sort they might be expected to have.  "We were scared in the London Dungeon, it's silly I know / And we both felt slightly embarrassed in SoHo / We went to a wimpy bar but it wasn't all that nice / And then we walked in Hyde Park eating ice cream."  Probably the speaker hasnt been to most of these landmarks before even tho he lives there.  If you live in a Great city, you might take your out-of-town guests to the usual attractions out of a sense of obligation, even tho you might have just as much fun going to your neighborhood bar and playing darts.  Nonetheless they both have a smashing time.  (That's what the title means, a smashing time-- like, a fabulous, really terrific time.  Although when I see the title on its own, I often think first of something like, "It's smashing time!"-- kind of like "It's clobberin' time!"  But nothing c'd be further from the spirit of the song.)  "The best weekend that she had ever had."  It wouldnt've mattered where they went, they had a good time becuz they were hanging out together and it was a special weekend.  I'm sure I'm making it out to be all to cute, but it's not.  
(15) Buzzcocks "What Do I Get"
Source: CD "Singles Going Steady" by the Buzzcocks
This song should not need much explanation.  One of the best pieces of powerpop ever.  Jittery, fast, and strongly melodic, this will heat up the mix a bit.  Like all the best rock n roll, it totally fails to keep a steady beat.
(16) Television "Friction"
Source: CD "Marquee Moon" by Television...not the remastered one.  The cheap one.  It sounds good anyway.  It would be hard to fuck up this album.
Sensing a theme?  More 1977 British punk shit.  Tho it's probably one of the more intense Television songs, it still cools things back down again.  Then I really kick things into high gear with--
(17) Gang of Four "I Found That Essence Rare"
Source: CD "ENTERTAINMENT!" by Gang of Four, Rhino reissue
Are you loving this reissue?!  The best freaking album I never got the chance to hear.  I'd heard a 4-song EP, which as it happens is included at the end of the CD reissue, and the (incredible fucking) song "Anthrax".  My balls were itching for years to hear this album; and when I finally did, it actually was as good as it was supposed to be.  These are guys who are enraged to an almost pathological degree because they read the paper every day.  And they're razor sharp.  Anyway, this song is one of the best of the lot (aw hell, they all are) and fits in pretty good here.  
(18) LCD Soundsystem "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House"
Source: a mix CD I got from V.-- "Matt's Mixtape: The 'Rock' Disc" (tho this cut can more easily be found on the eponymous double ceedee from Capitol)
I been diggin on this single for a while.  Have you seen the video?!  They used to use it as filler on the late digital cable channel, Trio.  Man, Trio was pretty cool.  Too bad....  This is a newish record, but it still fits the British class of 77 theme cuz it's partially an imitation of The Fall.  This cat spends a lot of time imitating The Fall in fact, and I got to say I kinda dig it.  This tune, if you havnt heard it, is a fantasy about just what the title says.  ("All the furniture -- is in the garage. . . . The robots-a! -- descend from the bus.")  Silly, but totally kick ass.
(19) Björk "Triumph of a Heart"
Source: CD "Medulla" by Björk (2004)
The album Medulla was a let-down, sad to say.  The idea of a Björk album featuring only Voice-- and featuring the unbelievable Rahzel (of tha Roots)-- sounded terrificly promising, but ultimately (and I gave it a chance!) this cut is the only one that is truly hot.  And it's a bloody good dance tune.  This cut drops the Funk right away: the voices of Björk, Rahzel, Gregory Purnhagen the human trombone, and Japanese beatbox Dokaka are twisted around to create wicked polyrhythms.  I'm a little addicted to it.  Perfect mix tape fodder.  And now that we've moved into the realm of weird sounds, I can bring out the Chemical Brothers....
(20) Chemical Brothers "Playground for a Wedgeless Firm"
Source: CD "LateNightTales: The Flaming Lips" (2005) a mixtape compiled by the Flaming Lips...on Azuli...part of a series.
I dont really listen to these guys much; so thanks to the Flaming Lips-- who put together the really, really good mixtape that I got this cut from-- for digging up this cool tune which lay buried near the end of the Chemical Bros. debut album Exit Planet Dust (1995).  I probly never would a heard it otherwise.  The Chemical Brothers are yet another good group I just havnt made the effort to keep up with.  But they know how to chop shit up.  With a couple samples & some space noises, they crafted a compelling and hip-shakin two minutes and twenty seconds.
(21) Belle & Sebastian "Your Cover's Blown"
Source: CDEP "Books" by Belle & Sebastian(2004)
Throwaway song from the Books EP.  Follows on heels of "Playground" well.  Drumbeats of that one flow into drumbeats of this one.  Continuity of hip-shaking-ness.  The epeez from B&S these days are not as Crafted as the old ones (evrybody's hating on em these days, if they wrnt already, but I swear I am doing No Such Thing), but they're more Fun.  This song is wicked fun to lissen to except it's too long and does some silly things at the end.
(22) Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps "Be-Bop-A-Lula"
Source: Bonus track on Capitol CD reissue of album "Bluejean Bop" by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps (originally issued in 56 as the flipside to the Capitol single "Woman Love")
Everybody knows this old rockabilly number.  You hear this on the oldies station, you dont change it.  Lessun you want me to go upside your head.  Normally I dont go for much of this type of stuff, but this is a real good pop record.  It's one of those records that just came together right.  I like the way the end of "Cover" trails off and immediately Vincent's "We-e-e-e-ell" fades up.  Vincent's breathy, frantic delivery (blatant Elvis imitation, but a little of his own style ends up coming thru) driven along by the snaredrum, the smoky guitars, the screams-- it could've been spooky if they were going for that, but instead they were just looking for something safe that the teenyboppers would make into a hit.  
(23) Yo La Tengo "You Can Have It All"
Source: CD "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out" by Yo La Tengo (2000)
Helping us cool out and wind toward an end, Yo La Tengo's version of the disco hit by George McCrae.  Thought of this song cuz it has real drums playing along with a drum machine, and the last song on Little Music has that too.  It used to be very trendy.  "Bum bum ba-bum baa bum-bum," sing the boys in the background as Georgia croons away.  Little cello for good measure.  In their live show, they sang this along to a tape and did a little Temptations dance routine.  (Fat, uncoördinated white boys version of a Temptations dance routine that is.  We ate it up.)
(24) Saint Etienne "Nothing Can Stop Us"
Source: CD "Foxbase Alpha" by Saint Etienne (1992)..."Nothing Can Stop Us" was an earlier single that got tacked on to the US version of the album...it was also the first appearance of chanteuse Sarah Cracknell, for you trivia buffs.
Still coolin out, but nudging the metronome up a touch to end on an upbeat note.  I feel a bit cheesy sometimes for being as susceptible as I am to this groop, but this is a song you just cant argue with, cheese and all.  The laid-back bassline, the synths punctuating the beat on the &s, the fake flutes playing their stoopid little 3-note riff a 5th apart, and Sarah Cracknell's sultry, half-spoken vocals.  If this shit dont melt your heart, then...well your heart has too damn high a melting point.  That must be so awful for you.

7 comments:

  1. Gang of Four, eh? Shared equipment with The Mekons in that hotbed of punk, Leeds. Delta 5 was another Leeds band that started at the same time.
    Sisters of Mercy started a bit later.

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  2. matt you dorkball!!!
    television was from new yawk

    but otherwise sweet friggin blog
    keep it coming please

    god bless the golderned internet

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  3. Hey, Elias, apparently we've been introduced in a haiku. Nice mix tape. I lived through the oldies on this (except Gene Vincent, which pre-dated my birth by something like two years), but you've got a nice quirky take on the stuff I loved a long time ago. And, the newer stuff should be worth checking out when I get the time.

    There's so damn much music in this world to hear, isn't there.

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  4. Obviously, I was talking about the other band called Television that none of you are cool enuf to know about.

    Thanks for setting the record straight on my dorkball-ness.

    Thanks for the kind words.

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  5. I used to think the Smiths were from Ohio so geography's not my subject.

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  6. Matt,

    I would have chosen James Brown's Kansas City from the second Live At The Apollo (1967); the bass line just CRUSHES everything in sight.

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