Sunday, August 3, 2008

Clam Snout

So, the most recent mixtape that I made was just one for myself, with some jams on it I have been enjoying recently. For some reason, I decided to title it "Clam Snout", which I suppose follows in my long standing tradition of giving mixtapes really random and bizarre names ("Flying Tree No. 6", "Snert", "Slimy (Oh Yeah)", etc.). Here's the track list:

Side 1
SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT-PAT BENATAR
STRANGERS-THE KINKS
THE STALLION, PT. 5-WEEN
WEIRD LITTLE BOY-TOWER OF DUDES
WHITE HORSE-LAID BACK
LAYIN' IT ON THE LINE-JEFFERSON STARSHIP
TROUBLED TIMES-FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE
BIG JILM (LIVE AT STUBB'S VERSION)-WEEN
SHUT EM DOWN-PUBLIC ENEMY
TOUR DE FRANCE-KRAFTWERK
THE MESOPOTAMIANS-THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

Side 2
SOMEONE KEEPS MOVING MY CHAIR-THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
UNDER PRESSURE-QUEEN & DAVID BOWIE
TRANSDERMAL CELEBRATION-WEEN
I AM THE WALRUS-THE DEAD MILKMEN
STARMAN-DAVID BOWIE
THE ENEMY-GUIDED BY VOICES
AFTERNIGHT-TRANS AM
LIVIN' ON A PRAYER-BON JOVI
SHINING IN THE MOONLIGHT-JEFFERSON STARSHIP
TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP-THE ROMANTICS
I SAW HER STANDING THERE-THE BEATLES
YOUR PARTY-WEEN

"Shadows of the Night" was a song I remembered hearing maybe only once or twice in my childhood, and when I heard it for the first time since then and realized I remembered it in a frighteningly accurate manner, I decided I should just download it from iTunes and rock out. It's lost a little bit of luster for me since then, but I am intrigued by the "arena rock" sound that it has; most of Pat Benatar's other hits don't really have that vibe.
"Strangers" is probably my favorite Kinks song right now...I am on an ongoing journey with the Kinks, getting closer to them every day. I still do not have the passion for them that many have, and I have hope that I'll arrive there at some point. This song is, of course, a Dave Davies composition, not a Ray Davies one, but I don't think it can really be denied how fantastic a song it is. Used to great effect in "The Darjeeling Limited" as well.
"The Stallion, Pt. 5" may be my favorite of all Ween's "Stallion" series. It certainly rocks the hardest. If you can find a copy of their "All Request Live" CD, that's the place to get it.
"Weird Little Boy"...I discovered these guys doing reviews on Garageband.com. This wasn't the song I reviewed...I found this song after my review was done and I went to their page. This song is so brilliant to me...probably because it is absolutely ludicrous. The lyrics are juvenile, but the vocal delivery is eerily awesome. Anyone who's willing to use the word "spaz" in a song is alright by me.
"White Horse" is the quintessential electro jam of the 80's. Period. I've heard that Juicyfruit Jenkins got a lot of inspiration just from this one song. "Bitch". More songs should have that one word sung by itself in a low-pitched voice, because it's hilarious.
"Layin' It On the Line" is from "Nuclear Furniture", the finest Jefferson Starship album of the Mickey Thomas era. It was the last one before they became simply Starship, and has been a favorite record of mine since childhood. Is it a record that is appreciated on a large scale in the music community? No, of course not, but it is a fascinating listen. Not only does it have these Mickey Thomas/Craig Chaquico butt-rock style jams on it, but Paul Kantner was still trying to do some quasi-sci-fi stuff and "make a statement" at the same time. Find a used vinyl copy somewhere and treat yourself.
"Troubled Times"...If you're in a relationship that has been successful and continues to be so, listen to this song and be thankful that it's not about you. Works for me every time.
"Big Jilm"...This version kicks serious ass. See, here's where this gets challenging. I so badly want you to seek out THIS version of this song and find out why it's so awesome. I fear that's the only way you'll understand. Some musical experiences cannot be put into words.
"Shut Em Down" is my favorite Public Enemy song. Hands down. I know, it's not from either one of their true CLASSIC albums ("Nation Of Millions", "Fear Of a Black Planet"), but it is so slammin'. I can't recall off the top of my head who did the production for this track, but it shares all the good qualities of the best industrial music; heavy beat, vaguely machine-like sounds, great scratching, all with Chuck D dropping some serious shit on top. Hell yes.
"Tour De France" was a song I heard during childhood as well, except the version I heard was credited to 10 Speed. This is another example of the kind of randomness that I'm incredibly entertained by. I love the way he says "tour de France, tour de France", I love the silly synth riff and the fake slap-bass sound. I love the cheesy bicycle sound effects...
"The Mesopotamians" is my favorite jam from the newest TMBG album. It's in the upper echelon of their canon, for sure. It reminds me of when Dr. Pants were on Buzz Born & Bred (a radio show here in OKC), and I was talking about our "fake" story of where our name came from (that Dr. Pants was the name of an ancient scientist who studied the effects of rock on the human brain). I commented that there wasn't rock & roll in ancient times, and Lacey, the host, said, "That we KNOW of!"
"Someone Keeps Moving My Chair"...Okay, so I totally broke a mixtape rule and opened side 2 with the same band that ended side 1. I don't do it often. I just couldn't find a way around it this time. This song is definitely in a renaissance with me. It wasn't really ever one of my favorites from "Flood" until recently. I think the melody (and the way the words rest in it) is so incredible, especially the last part of the verse form ("would it be okay with you if we wrote a reminder..."). Oh my weasel! Who writes melodic phrases like that? There's a genius there that is rare, indeed.
"Under Pressure" is still the jam. The form is fantastic. There's not really a clear-cut verse or chorus. The bass part is really the only real hook, and yet it's still poppy, still catchy, still freakin' awesome. Sheesh.
"Transdermal Celebration"...The best song from "Quebec", Ween's misfire from back in 2003 or so. The guitar solo is soooo dope. Especially the last phrase. I convulse with pleasure every time I hear it.
"I Am The Walrus"...The Dead Milkmen are one of the most under-appreciated bands of ALL TIME (see, that's the kind of statement that obviously discredits any claim of objectivity). They wrote twisted, hilarious, groovy, rockin' songs and utterly failed to be commercial in any way. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when they came up with some of this stuff...What on earth were they thinking? It makes me think of Ira Glass talking about "Meet James Ensor" in the They Might Be Giants documentary: "It shouldn't even BE a song."
"Starman"...I am finally catching on to "Ziggy Stardust", the album. Took a while. This is certainly enough to make anyone take a second look. What a gorgeous melody.
"The Enemy" has been one of my favorite songs for a while. It's a good one to listen to right before a gig to get psyched up. I have already made a couple of pretty blatant attempts at duplicating the effect that the outro section has...it is one of the most rocking moments ever captured on record.
"Afternight"..."TA" wasn't their best album, but this is definitely the best track on it. Trans Am continue to fascinate after all these years.
"Livin' On a Prayer"...Don't front like you don't like this song. It's so awesome. I would have never guessed ten years ago that I would consider this and "Wanted Dead or Alive" to be classic songs, but they are.
"Shining In The Moonlight" is another selection from "Nuclear Furniture". One of my earliest air guitar experiences.
"Talking In Your Sleep"...I almost wish that "What I Like About You" wasn't by the Romantics, just so that this song could get its due as the masterpiece that it is. Jangle-pop didn't ever sound this sinister or dark ever again. The arranging is just brilliant.
"I Saw Her Standing There" is quite simply one of the greatest, straight-ahead rock & roll songs of all time. Paul's vocal performance on this song IS rock & roll.
"Your Party" is the most brilliant Ween song in recent memory. You can picture every image he describes...it's one of those songs that totally embodies what the band is about. When you listen to this song, you gain an understanding of what it is that Ween does.

Whoo...That was a lot longer and more involved than I anticipated. We'll see if these entries get any briefer.

2 comments:

Rodney said...

I find that as I get older my favorite Beatles record gets earlier and earlier. I remember being 17 years old and thinking Sgt Pepper was the bomb and that Meet the Beatles was an embarrassment. Then I got into Revolver, then Rubber Soul. A couple years ago I fell for Beatles For Sale hardcore.

Last month, I watched Hard Day's Night for the first time in years so right now that's definitely my favorite. Funny how this works. I think you have to be older and more sophisticated to appreciate the innocence and naivete of early Beatles.

And, I don't remember, did I put that Bossa Nova version of Livin on a Prayer by Pastel Vespa on 'Teenage High?'

Mixtape Jones said...

Yes, yes you did. Quality stuff.