A Funky Groove To Funk To

Time for another CD Mix Challenge from Stennie and the gang—now with video!

Along with not repeating any songs from past mixes, I managed to stick to my pledge to not repeat artists. Or at least no Patty Griffin. This time around I I happened onto music that I didn’t even know I had. Thanks, friends, for forcing me out of my musical ruts.

Like River Selkie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how it turned out. Songs you love/hate, what you think of the choices, how it flows overall, etc.

On with the countdown:

1. Sellout (Mix #4)—a song that is used (or has been used) in a TV commercial.
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, “Somewhere over the rainbow”

I first encountered this in the “Wizard of Oz” episode of “Scrubs.” It’s since been used in an ad for some heinous Clorox wipes. I would imagine everybody’s pretty burned out on it by now, but if you can get past the overexposure, it’s a really lovely reading.


2. A song that’s in a foreign language (Mix #1)
Mohammed Rafi, “Jaan Pehechaan Ho”

Given the song’s Johnny Rivers/surf guitar energy, and the fact that everybody in the video is sporting a Lone Ranger mask, I can only assume that the title translates as “Secret (South) Asian Man.”

While I doubt anyone would think I have some vast reserve of early-60s Indian show tunes, I must immediately cop to the fact that this came from the soundtrack for “Ghost World.”

3. A song about cheating (Mix #3)
Amazing Rhythm Aces, “Third Rate Romance”

This is one of my all-time favorite songs, near the top of my nostalgia heap. I suppose it could be argued that He and She are having a one-night stand—it never explicitly says they’re cheating. To which the more cynical/pragmatic side of my brain says, “Bollocks!” Anybody who hits it at “The Family Inn” is cheating on whoever’s at home, which is why they’re not going there.

4. Song that makes you cry (Mix #2)
Nanci Griffith, “Gulf Coast Highway

It’s the bluebonnets and the blackbirds’ wings that do it.


5. B-side (Mix #3)
Donna The Buffalo, “Tides of Time”

This is the category I struggled with the most. As I wrote to Stennie, who the hell buys 45s or singles anymore? (not me). She suggested any kind of outtake or bonus track would suffice. I got this from a compilation CD called “Crowd Around the Mike,” a series of in-studio recordings done when bands visit WNCW. The CD itself was, I think, a premium for being a station member. The funny part is, I had literally never even opened the jewel case until I started working on this mix--and I've had the CD since, like, 2002. So, for all I know, this could be DTB’s biggest “hit” ever, the utter antithesis of a B-side. Still, it’s a cool song, I think.

6. Kick-ass cover song (all)—no restrictions on the kick-ass cover song this time, as long as it is a cover song and it kicks ass.
Stan Ridgeway, “Ring of Fire”

This would have been a good “answer” song, had the question been along the lines of “What do your nether regions feel like after a night in Tijuana eating barbequed iguana?”

7. Earworm (Mix #2)—a song that gets stuck in your head.
Carol King, “One Was Johnny”

Combine the fact that it’s Carol King, one of the all-time masters of the pop hook, with the fact that it’s a kids song with a putative pedagogical imperative, and voila: Earworm Extraordinaire!

8. A favorite live track (Mix #1)
Barenaked Ladies, “If I Had A Million Dollars”

If you are not grinning like a jackass by the time this is over, you are clearly dead inside. Ironically, I have never actually been to a BNL show.


9. Title out of nowhere (Mix #5)—a song in which the title does not appear in the lyrics at all.
Live, “Selling the Drama”

I have a theory: there are not now, nor will there ever be a country song that fills this category. Although "The Weight" by The Band comes close.

10. A favorite song you have discovered since our last CD Mix (Mix #4)
Kaiser Chiefs, “I Predict A Riot”

The trouble with this category: with very few exceptions, the preponderance of new-to-me music comes via these mix exchanges. But somebody loaned me a compilation of stuff the kids are into nowadays (or two years ago) and this happened to be on it. I like their happier take on the XTC sound.

11. Favorite artist duo collaboration (Mix #1)
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, “Last Thing on my Mind”

12. Geographical location song (Mix #3)—any song that mentions a geographical
The Jam, “A Town Called Malice”

Bet's use of "That's Entertainment" got me thinking I needed to use The Jam on a mix.

13. Musical question… (Mix #4)
The Producers, “What’s He Got?”

In retrospect, I would have liked a bit more stylistic distance between this and #12, but, oh well. One of my favorites from the “Golden Age of MTV.” I call it that because it was a time before anyone gave a damn about “heavy rotation” and they played, literally, any videos they could get their hands on. These guys should have been at least as big as the Romantics.

14. And answer! (Mix #4)
—track #13 is a song with a question for its title, and track #14 has a title that answers that question.
Sarah Vaughan, “Whatever Lola Wants”

Funny how this sets up a little triptych about sin, souls and damnation. Another happy accident . . . with dire consequences! (Hey, Stennie!)

15. Four-letter word (Mix #5)—a song whose title consists solely of a four-letter word.
Squirrel Nut Zippers “Hell”

“Teeth are extruded/and bones are ground/and baked into cakes/which are passed around.”

Consider yourself warned.

16. Seven Deadly Sins (Mix #2)—a song about any one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Franz Ferdinand, “Fabulously Lazy”

An ironically energetic paean to sloth.

17. A song you wouldn’t play in front of your Mom (Mix #1)—and again, if your Mom isn’t the type to object, feel free to choose a song that you wouldn’t play in front of my mom—if you know what’s good for you.
Tenacious D, “Sex Supreme”


18. Song about violence and/or death (Mix #3)

Lyle Lovett, “L.A. County

But for the lyrics, would you ever guess that this is a song about death and grief and sorrow and murder?


19. Guilty pleasure song (#2)
Pink, “Just Like a Pill”


20. Amnesty Song - with a twist! A song that fits any two of the categories above. (Mixes #2-5, minus twist) I prefer to call this the “two-fer” category.
John Prine & Bonnie Raitt “Angel from Montgomery

This is, like, a “five-fer” (a cover, a duet, a live track, about a place, sometimes makes me cry.)


9 comments:

Bet said...

Hey-O -

Mohammed Rafi is my new favorite singer. I can't get that out of my head. Yes, you've created my next earworm.

No cheating song? How could I have missed it - you used the definitive (well, except for maybe "Your Cheatin' Heart").

I knew the Carole King number was for the mancub!

Poor Porter. The man dies and he gets used all over the CD exchange. Wonder if they laid him to rest in a Nudie suit?

"What's He Got" was an alternate last time for me, with Elvis's "He's Got You" as the answer.

Can't go wrong with "Hell." (I broke the chandelier.)

I am head over heels in love with "LA County." I hadn't heard it before. I've played it a million times to make up for that.

Love your mixes!

stennie said...

LOVE:
- "Third Rate Romance" - I've previously heard a cover by Elvis Costello, but not this version.
- "I Predict a Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs are cool, I need to check them out.
- both of your duet choices (Bet's right, lots of Porter this mix)
- "Gulf Coast Highway," great song.
- "Tides of Time" woo! Some zydeco, baby!

NOT SO MUCH:
- Pink. What is with the preponderence of Pink in this mix exchange? At least you have the decency to feel guilty about it.

stennie said...

I totally forgot to mention "Sex Supreme," an awesome song that is so filthy that I doubt I would even play it in front of me, never mind my mother.

Mr. Middlebrow said...

Bet:
The Carole King song is indeed one I have sung and danced away many hours to with the Man-Cub. Kids music tends to make for insidious earworms. Be glad I didn't go with "Little Red Caboose."

Any time I can get you to say (a) you haven't heard/didn't know a song, and (b) you love it, my life is pretty much complete.

Stennie:
Regarding Pink: let she who is without the Carpenters cast the first stone ;^P

You think Sex Supreme is filthy? You should have heard my alternate track: "Fuck Her Gently," also by Tenacious D. Ultimately, I felt it lacked the discreet charm of SS.

Both:
Glad you liked the ARA version of 3d Rate Romance. AFAIK, they're the "original artist," as the K-Tel folks would say. I was really hoping the "cheating song" would make a comeback, because I've been sitting on that one for years, waiting for such an occasion.

Regarding Porter/Dolly, that's another song I've loved for years and was just hoping for an excuse to use on a mix. (I didn't intend it as a tribute; I would have used it if Porter were still above ground). But I can only hope and assume we went properly attired to his final reward.

Bet said...

One last word on this:

I really think we should all meet somewhere - the mix exchangers, the read each others' bloggers, the hucklebuggers, and recreate the scene with Jaan Pehechaan-Ho. This can only happen under one condition, though. I get to be the girl in the gold dress.

oklahomeless said...

You know what's cool about The Jam?

Everything.

river selkie said...

i've been slack. i'll come back and let you know. 1 and 15 are songs i like but not new to me. :)

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