Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today’s random desktop radio is not so random, inasmuch as I decided to skip around and play songs from many of the CDs ripped to my digital wasteland. So dig this 21st summertime century mix-tape:

“Hanging on the Telephone” – Blondie
“TWA Corbies” – Boiled in Lead
“A.D.I.D.A.S.” – Killer Mike feat. Big Boi
“Jimmy” – Bongwater
“No Sleep” – Brutal Truth
“From the Cradle to the Grave” – Butthole Surfers
“Mangun” – Boredoms
“Cool Jerk” – The Capitols
“Super Gizi” – Brazzaville
“Small Ones” – I.S.S.
“Demon Chills” – Faxed Head
“Off This Century” – Unwound

Some notes:

The Blondie song rocks hard. I’ve always thought that this song and “Dreaming” were the best things she ever did, though “Atomic” has risen high on my list thanks to Cassandra. I’m also a sucker for songs that start with the sound of a phone ringing. There are more out there than you’d think.

“TWA Corbies” is pretty ominous. It really diverges from the path set by Blondie, but I think it works. If you’d like to try and decipher the Ol’ Scottish, read these lyrics: . Pretty fucking macabre.

And then there’s the hip-hop. My coworker stuck this song (featuring Big Boi of Outkast, one of my favorite MCs) on a mix CD and I have to thank him for it. It’s the catchiest song I’ve heard in quite a while, but, you know, in a good way. I hate the idea that a catchy song is inherently good. AIDS is catchy, doesn’t mean I want it.

“Jimmy” is a Bongwater song I was slow to embrace, but it ranks high among their best. Very strange, oddly beautiful at times, though the lo-fi production muddies it a bit. That was the idea, though. There are a lot of things going on in this song, so it’s difficult to parse, which, of course, is the fun.

“No Sleep” represents the grindcore. And then some.

So you know the Buttholes are coming to town, right? Not only that, it’s the reunited line up of Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, King Coffey, Jeff Pinkus and Teresa Taylor. That’s right, two drummers and Pinkus all back in the band. This is enough to make me come out of retirement and go see a live show. This particular song is from a concert that Xtop somehow got his hands on, sneaky internet bastard that he is.

“Mangun” is a throw away track from the Boredoms that ended up on the Bad Sun Rising series of Japanese rock that Steve Albini had something to do with. The cover art of these CDs is ferocious and has offended a good number of people, many of which were exposed to it by me, giddy as a schoolgirl to have these discs. There are some goddamn gems here, including a song called “Tomogui No Mura” by Maria Kannon. That track alone is worth the price and the offensive cover art. Anyway, the Boredoms were, at this point, still a bizarre freak-out band lead by Yamatsuka EYE who shared vocals with Yoshikawa and the incomparable Yoshimi P-WE. And there was also their “dancer” God Mama. They were the most exciting thing happening in music at that time. Since then, they’re lost a few members and morphed into the Voordoms, a drum/vocals/electronics band that creates beautiful trance/dance music with songs that last approximately 20 minutes. There’s no real way to classify the Boredoms at any point in their career, but I will note that this song, while seemingly a slight effort, exhibits a side of the band that was rarely seen. Sure, there’s the screams and the noise, the bulldozer assault of feedback, all of that, but the guitar riffs have a bit of that Morricone (to invoke the oft invoked composer) style Spaghetti-Western flavor loved by so many. Really, this is a glimpse of what the Boredoms would have done with a soundtrack, had anyone been mad enough to commission them for such a task.

And then there’s “Cool Jerk” by the Captiols. Do I really need to go into this one? It’s a damn classic.

“Super Gizi” is a cut from the Mimicry sampler, circa 2004. I love this song and am curious about the rest of Brazzaville’s output, though I am less enamored by their second track on the sampler, which means I ought to just let it go and enjoy this song, not do the in-depth research and somewhat blindly purchase their CD. But this is laid back smooth rock that Greg Dulli wishes he could write. Enjoy.

Also from the Mimicry sampler: “Small Ones” by I.S.S. Lead by Estradasphere’s Tim Smollens, this high concept boy band is endlessly fascinating to me. Why do I love this Brian Wilson parody when I hate Brian Wilson so much?

Last from the Mimicry sampler, “Demons Chills” by Faxed Head. Read about them on your own; I can’t explain this band.

The end of the great summer mix-tape come from the now defunct Unwound, who ended their career on the highest of high points, the ambitious double CD Leaves Turn Inside You. Think I’m all into this esoteric avant-garde crap, eh? Well, Pitchfork loves this CD, so all you indie hipster assholes can kindly shut the fuck up.

On that note, I’m off to listen to some Dire Straits. That’s right, Dire Straits. Then Thomas Dolby. Stick that in your smoke and pipe it.