Archive for the ‘mixtape’ Category
today is australia day which commemorates the landing of the first fleet at sydney cove in 1788. while i can’t share the ubiquitous BBQ, pavlova and sunburn with you, i can share some of my favorite australian music. of course, australia has its own diverse music scene, i just happen to like indie pop/rock form the early 90s so my mix is pretty biased!
the go betweens – streets of your town from 16 Lovers Lane
its hard to pick a favorite from the go betweens, but streets of your town just sounds so summery. and you actually can see some of the streets in my town in the video clip!
rat cat – don’t go now from blind love
9 year old pilgrim fostered a crush on simon day and his eyeliner and stripes!
the sugargliders - ahprarahn from there and back again lane: sarah 100
one of sarah records 100 perfect pressings (look for sarah 72 for this single)
frente – bizarre love triangle from marvin the album
poor often maligned frenté were my first ever gig, watching from the kitchen of the bar where my stepfather worked.
architecture in helsinki - the owls go from fingers crossed
such a sweet song, from an entirely sweet album!
do you have favorite australians in your music collection?
i’m not so big on grand, sweeping new year’s resolutions, it seems to just set myself up for failure a few weeks into the year and what kind of a tone does that set for the next 11.5 months?! a sucky one, that’s what! so instead of QUIT THIS! LOSE THAT! take some inspiration from my mix tape of new year’s mantras.
new year’s resolution – donovan
do what you’ve never done before
see what you’ve never seen
feel what you’ve never felt before
go where you’ve never been
sing what you’ve never sung before
say what you’ve never said
bear what you’ve never borne before
hear what you’ve never heard
so many times i was the one who stopped myself from doing things
so many times i was the one who grounded myself and clipped my wings
so i say:
do what you’ve never done before
for fear of losing face
you’ve got nothing to defend now
in your state of grace
all is not as it would seem
nothing ever remains the same
change is life’s characteristic
bend and flow and play the game
loose your chain…
and do what you like
get on your back and do what you like…
don’t you think that sums it all up perfectly? copy it down, and carry it with you at all times to be reminded… or get on your bike and do what you like!
fill your heart – david bowie
happiness is happening
the dragons have been bled
gentleness is everywhere
fear’s just in your head
only in your head
so forget your head
and you’ll be free
the writing’s on the wall
free yeah, and you can know it all
if you choose. just remember
lovers never lose
’cause they are free of thoughts unpure
and of thoughts unkind
gentleness clears the soul
love cleans the mind
and makes it free
bowie takes a hippie turn and if you’re going to listen to someone’s advice, it really should be david bowies.
look for the silver lining – chet baker
good advice for 93 years and counting!
break away – beach boys
i can break away
from that lonely life
and i can do what i wanna do
and break away from that empty life
and my world is new
blondie vs the doors - rapture riders mashup
what?! isn’t the rapture happening this year? may as well go out dancin’ – advice be damned!
i think that donovan more than any other artist has shaped my taste in music. his folky, hippy, jazzy ways are exactly the things i love in some of my favourite contemporary artists. my parents loved donovan and i fell asleep being sung his songs so often i couldn’t begin to count. i studied his album covers and practiced drawing my own versions for tapes i made from the records. who knows, the man could be responsible for my whole fascination with psychedelia! but i want to share some of his music with you today. you probably know mellow yellow, and you might’ve seen the spoof of atlantis on futurama (hail the sunken city of atlanta!), but he has many lovely songs you possibly haven’t heard….
sunny south kensington from mellow yellow
let us begin with a very groovy song with some rockin’ harpsichord. i love the name dropping of mary quant and ginsberg! wouldn’t you die to be there?! contrast the aforementioned british scene with the LA scene of the following song…
the trip from sunshine superman
sunshine superman was one of the first full blown psychedelic pop albums and it is an awesome blend of instruments and styles. you might know the title track, but this song ‘the trip’ is a very cool, bluesy account of the west coast (USA) psychedelic scene. it reminds me a lot of creeque alley by the mamas and the papas in that its an upbeat biographical ballad that name-checks people in the scene at the time (bob dylan and “joannie” baez). fun pop cultural fact 1#: donovan wrote the excellent song the fat angel for mama cass. fun pop cultural fact #2: notice the stuttering lyrics delivered similarly to the ’my generation’ by the who? could it be these two poor english boys were stutterers? no. speed, don’t do it.
And-a all in all, the seagull said,
As I look to where I’ve been,
The whole wide human race
Has a-taken far too much Methedrine
entertaining of a shy girl from hurdy gurdy man
of course it’s not all mind bending drug-addled name dropping epics. donovan was an influence on (amongst many others) the exquisite nick drake and this song couldn’t be more of a direct line between the two. my dad would sing this song to me when i was little, because believe it or not, i was a painfully shy child. there are a lot of sweet, fey songs by donovan, inspired by pretty girls, nature or celtic folklore that lend themselves to being sung to sleepy children at bed time! other sleepytime favourites include the sun is a very magic fellow and little boy in corduroy.
ferris wheel from sunshine superman
speaking of dreamy, this is my current favourite donovan song. its blissy and the sitar and drums are just psychedelic sixties enough to make me feel like i’m hazed out on a pile of moroccan pillows.
and the moral here, if any, my friend:
follow through your dream to the end.
dig the seagull fly across the sky
to build its nest in the ferris wheel
catch the wind from catch the wind
and lastly, the very beautiful ‘catch the wind’. this slow building, soulful version of donovan’s first single is – in my opinion – so much lovlier than the bob dylan-esque original. donovan’s early recordings attracted lots of comparison’s to dylan’s work, and in the original recording of this song it seems donovan is mimicking dylan’s nasal strummy style. i’m not really a fan of bob dylan’s music – gasp, i know – so this version of ‘catch the wind’ hits me so much more. its especially dear to me in a bittersweet way because it reminds me of my dad, who passed away a little over a year ago. he sung and played this on guitar to me many times and i hope wherever he is now, his old busted up guitar ‘gertie’ is with him.
to feel you all around me,
and to take your hand, along the sand,
ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.
did you know there is a radio station here in australia that ran a best 100 songs ever poll and not a single female vocalist made their list of ONE HUNDRED artists. i must admit that my musical collection is slightly gender biased, but come on! so today’s mixtape is dedicated to the fine females in my music library. it was tough to just pick a handful when there are so many diverse and talented female vocalists, and these aren’t my definitive top artists, but they are what i’m liking today.
sarah blasko – always worth it – from overture & the underscore
you might recognise this song from the finale of the tv show six feet under, or maybe you’re an aussie and you know sarah blasko from radio/tv play. this album is really reminiscent of 2004 for me. i love her voice and she’s managed to turn a few of my least liked songs into excellent covers! she has a magic touch, obviously.
feist – my moon my man – from the reminder
i’m sure everyone knows feist. and to be honest i as pretty sick of this album until it surfaced in a shuffle session and i realized i was ready to hear it again. i love feist’s voice, and the pounding piano beat in this with those intense keyboard parts in the chorus: superbueno! i saw her live and she was triple superbueno with a cherry on top. she even performed ’1,2,3,4′ with sally seltmann (who originally wrote it) for the first time! now that was exciting.
the sundays – here’s where the story ends - here’s where the story ends
sigh. jangly guitars: check. dreamy vocals: check. pilgrim in ecstasy: check. to be honest, this song reminds me of falling in love. perhaps it should be renamed “here’s where the story begins” eh?
nancy sinatra – the city never sleeps - boots
i adore nancy sinatra. if you’ve never heard her music (aside from ‘these boots are made for walkin’ which every living creature has heard multiple times i’m sure) you’ve got to listen. if you like ‘she & him’ then you’ll like nancy and lee hazlewood, i guarantee because its virtually a facsimile. this isn’t my most favourite nancy song, but youtube wasn’t offering much choice. seriously, go and get boots, how does that grab you, and nancy and lee. then we can be friends.
mary ford – hummingbird - the best of…
last of all a trilling little tune from the cutest lady a guitar pioneer could ever want! mary ford was married to les paul (inventor of the electric guitar) and they performed together. cute, right? and that fluttering mandolin sounding instrument is sped up electric guitar. it sounds like a futuristic django reinhardt gypsy song! mary’s voice sounds so practical and she really doesn’t seem too bummed out about this restless hummingbird lover of hers. i bet she’s give them a stern talking too and they’d change their ways!
what are some of your favourite female performers? recommendations welcome!
so much for forethought and planning – i sort of shot myself in the foot with regards to a birthday party mix by doing a dance! mix last month. and though i could do another similar ‘get the party started’ mix of all my favourite dancin’ songs, i thought i’d make it more of a challenge and restrict it to songs whose title contained the word ‘party’. its a mix that’s for sure!
party all over the world by ELO from xanadu: original soundtrack
every party needs a cheesy song in the mix. you cringe and yet you can’t stop your feet from moving. i really love ELO, and i do really love xanadu but wow, ELO sound like they checked-out before the record was done haha. anyway, put your skates on and join me for this groovy, but also kinda apathetic partying call to arms (i think ELO were saving their enthusiasm for something other than xanadu).
the party’s crushing us by of montreal from sunlandic twins
this is almost ELO-esque! don’t take those skate off yet. i’d quite like to have a rollerdisco party, but i’m not great on skates. this album, on the other hand is quite great. and i just realized it makes a great segue because of montreal are from athens, georgia just like…
keep this party going by the B-52′s, from funplex
the b-52′s cosmic thing was my first album, and i still love them many years later. how could you not?! there seemed to be mixed opinions on last year’s funplex album but i really liked it. it was campy fun, and what more would you ask from such a band? so they’re older, so they’re trying new sounds, so shut up and dance!
party hard by pulp, from this is hardcore
aw flashback! i was so obsessed with jarvis cocker’s yellow watch in this videoclip. i’m a pulp completist. they were my main favourites in highschool so i was a rabid fan girl and bought every single, hunted down every rarity etc.
when i came home from the party by the clientele from strange geometry
perhaps not the most ‘party’ spirited song, but beautiful nonetheless. the clientele are a very special band for me, i’m moved by their music. sigh.
so do you have any actual favourite ‘get the party started’ kinda songs? speaking of b-52′s you’ve gotta have love shack at a party, right? “sign says STAY AWAY FOOLS! cos love rules and the lu-uh-ve shack!”
dance! ok, now stop dancing and read this. is mixtape day, so this month i’ve made you a mix of my favorite songs about dancing that you can dance to. ok, resume dancing!
if you’d like to listen to a consecutive playlist, or if the youtube links become dead, click this link to be taken to the playlist on grooveshark.
by the pipettes from the album we are the pipettes
the pipettes: they’re so cute, and fun and phil-spector-with-a-modern-twist. this song is one of the singles from their first album. i saw the pipettes live a couple of years ago and they were super fun, with synchronized dance moves and co-ordinated outfits and even dance moves for the crowd to learn. a new album is apparently being released soon, but there’s no sign of it yet.
i’d rather dance with you
by the kings of convenience from the album riot on an empty street
ah kings of convenience! so lovely. i listened to their first album non stop for a month and fantasized about moving to norway and being more winsome. unfortunately those plans fell apart when i realized i’d never be winsome, anywhere. this track is from their equally excellent second album and despite their quiet ways, is really pretty danceable. and who could resist a cute norwegian hipster boy inviting you to dance?!
dance this mess around
by the b-52′s, from the album the B-52′s
the b-52′s have long held a place in my heart. my very first album was their cosmic thing which opened my tiny mind up to all sorts of greatness. i was about 13 by the time i finally bought this album and hoo boy, the b-52′s album had even greater greatness than cosmic thing!! this song remains on of my favorites of all time. its cool and measured then crazy and always danceable.
dance to the music
by sly and the family stone, from the album dance to the music
now we’re moving into classic dancing territory! i bet you can’t sit still while this song is on, i know i can’t. i have an epic 6hr playlist of soul, funk and disco on my ipod that i work out to (when i work out) because i can’t not be jumping around to its grooves. it makes me so energized and happy. and who can resist the line “al the squares, go home!” yeah!
by the mothers of invention, from the album we’re only in it for the money
i know, i know! i just did a zappa mixtape last month, but aww c’mon! this song is excellent, and its on topic. the song, like the album we’re only in it for the money, satirizes the hippie subculture of the 60s.
who cares if you’re so poor you can’t afford
To buy a pair of mod au go-go stretch-elastic pants…
there will come a time when you can even
take your clothes off when you dance
an instrumental version of this song finishes the amazing lumpy gravy album and in that context it’s kind of like goofy closing credits music. i heart it very much!
i hope you liked my mixtape. its always hard to narrow these things down to something less than 30 songs! what are your favorite dancing songs?
until my boyfriend introduced me to frank zappa’s music i’d had an impression of it being an impenetrable catalogue of kookiness. i love kookiness, but the rabid fans and wide ranging styles of music that zappa produced seemed overwhelming. all it took was one song to coax me in: peaches en regalia. it sounded to me like a sweeping orchestral piece played on cartoon instruments in the discotheque of another dimension. i was intrigued and my preconceptions melted away as i fell more in love with the range and depth of a collection of music like no other. i’m really loving working while listening to zappa lately. if you don’t know much of his work, he is so much more than his most commercial song ‘valley girl‘ (though like so much of its stuff is hilarious but bitingly satirical) or some two-bit novelty-song writer, or whacked out hippy. sure he kinda looked like a hippy, but no drugs fueled his creativity. there is something about his pure musical genius that really taps into my subconscious and tickles my creative bone (tee hee.. i said bone! but its ok because sometimes i listen to jazz, so i can make ‘bone’ jokes.) so if you think you might not be into this post thats ok, but at least give this first song a chance and tell me it doesn’t make you smile a little bit:
peaches en regalia, from the album hot rats
what do you think? its pretty i think. i love those sweeping piano parts and the honky horn section. if you like the go! team, i think you’d enjoy this song. something about it makes me think of sesame street too, for some bizarre reason. did i mention i love the organ section? its an incredibly original composition, executed with such precision by such talented musicians. a rare thing these days for sure.
who needs the peace corps, from the album we’re only in it for the money, by frank zappa and the mothers of invention
this song is goofy and it reminds me of peter sellers’ character in ‘i love you alice b toklas’ trying so hard to fit in with the hippies. its sung by frank who is channeling a hippy poseur detailing their plan of action once they get to the hippies mecca – san francisco:
first i’ll buy some beadsand then perhaps a leather band to go around my headsome feathers and bellsand a book of indian lorei will ask the chamber of commerce how to get to haight streetand smoke an awful lot of dopei will wander around barefooti will have a psychedelic gleam in my eye at all timesi will love everyonei will love the police as they kick the s#%t out of me on the streeti will sleep…i will, i will go to a house…that’s, that’s what i will do:i will go to a house where there’s a rock & roll band ’cause the groups all live togetherand i will join a rock & roll band and i will be their road managerand i will stay there with them and i will get the crabs
the delivery of the line “Oh, my hair is getting good in the back!” never fails to make me giggle. frank’s social commentary is largely done in a goofy way but always nestled in a brilliantly composed piece of music. hotcha! “how i love ya ‘frisco!”
i promise, from the album zappa in new york
this track is dreamy, and has such a great 70s sound. the start of it is quite cinematic and i’ve included this in my mixtape for you as an example of frank’s compositional prowess. not everything is goofy, or satirical. some things are just experimental, or beautiful, or all of the above. it reminds me a bit of some songs by air (the band) in terms of the sound of the keyboards, synth and the bass. halfway through this is just like some amazing space oddysey. its a beautiful, languorous track.
uncle remus, from the album apostrophe (‘)
as i mentioned, zappa was so good at writing lyrics that seem humourous on the surface but are incisively truthful. this is written shortly after the civil rights era and talks about the changes in attitude within the african american community. in case you didn’t know, uncle remus is a character from folktales that justified slavery or made an effort to convince people that slaves were complicit with the system. from zappa wiki jawaka:
“Uncle Remus” paints a picture of african americans as having largely given up the fight. They accept the fire hoses turned on them, and casually say that it’s not so bad as long as it’s not winter time, when the water is cold. Instead of standing up for themselves, the would-be nephews of “Uncle Remus” are excited about the potential of their afros growing out and enjoying how snappy they look in their new clothes. If that’s not superficial enough, their way of “fighting back” is by sneaking around in the predawn hours and vandalizing the yard ornaments of rich white folk.
doreen, from the album you are what you is
oh my, this whole songs makes me want to sing along super loud and rock out like a crazy lady. please note the amazing harmonies. please also note the awesome guitar solo. please dance about with me now. to-ni-yiy-yiy-yight!
what do you think? are you a zappa fan already or just considering dipping a toe in the water? to make it easy for you here is a starting point of what i would say are good albums to start with:
Freak Out! really great 60s sound, good songs with some pretty funny, very 60s quirkiness. find out what’s got into suzy creamcheese and immerse yourself in some excellent psychedelic rock.
this one could be a bit more challenging, but i love it. its essentially like falling into a tv or radio, alice in wonderland style. fragments of dialogue fade in and out and some excellent orchestrations pepper the hallucinatory soundscape. its conceptual but not unlistenable, if you liked ‘peaches en regalia’ you’ll enjoy the compositions.
One Size Fits All sounds both futuristic and of-its-time. its jazzy in parts (like ‘i promise’ i mentioned earlier) but has some really good 70s sounding songs.
Apostrophe (‘) this one is much more playful and gonzo yet still there’s some (and i quote my boyfriend) “crazyass musicianship”.
very approachable, not too challenging but fun and zappa being zappa. eg ‘montana’ is about becoming a dental floss farmer. where else are you going to find a really good song that just so happens to be about dental floss?