CD 007: Licensed to Mix – Tracklist/Alternate Tracks

I was recently invited by the gracious Stennie to join in on her CD Mix Challenge. And boy, it sure was a challenge. It took me a while, but I waded through several of my CDs and MP3 files to pull together songs to fit specific criteria for the exchange.

Well, I’ve sent all my discs out and have been enjoying the CDs of several others in the exchange. I provided a tracklist with my disc (see above – a few hours, Adobe programs and the Internet: it works wonders), but in order to put a cap on the whole thing, I’m listing them again here.

(Hmm. This will interest me and probably no one else, so I’ll do it after the jump.)

1. Kick-ass cover – of a song someone else has used in a previous mix – Pixies/Winterlong

Well, I got a free pass of sorts here, since this is my first CD mix exchange. I’ve always liked the Pixies version better than the Neil Young one, too. Sue me.

Alternate tracks: None.

2. Song that gives you goose bumps – Elliott Smith/Needle in the Hay

It kinda came down to WHICH Elliott Smith song I was gonna use. His ongoing struggle with drug abuse followed by his tragic death kinda brings up a haunting feeling when you listen to his songs – especially the ones that sound autobiographical, like this one does.

Alternate tracks: Other Elliott Smith songs; Galaxie 500/Blue Thunder.

3. Song about the state you live in – Paul Butterfield Blues Band/Born in Chicago

Other than Sufjan Stevens’ album-long dedication to the Prairie State, state-wide recognition has been pretty scarce. However, there are TONS of songs about Chicago. So I chose this one, a white-man’s blues song about the dangers of city life. Nice harp playing here.

Alternate tracks: Anything on Surjan’s Illinois; any number of blues songs about Chicago.

4. Paranthetical: a favorite song with parentheses in the title – Brendan Benson/Cold Hands (Warm Heart)

Also known as Jack White’s better half in the Raconteurs, Brendan Benson has consistently put on great little pop songs. The parentheses here seem rather silly, since Benson uses the entire title consistently in the lyrics. Did that stop me from including it? HELL NO.

Alternate tracks: Beatles/Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown); R.E.M./(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville; Rolling Stones OR Devo/(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

5. Therefore I Am: Song about thinking – Portastatic/Bright Ideas

This song just seemed appropriate to me on the day I created the mix.

I thought I found the panel but the switches broke off
Thought I found the panel but the switches were broken off
I sanded down my edges but the world plays rough
I put my bright ideas right back in the box

Yeah, it was a glass-half-empty type of day.

Alternate tracks: Aretha Franklin/Think

6. Alliteration: Song with alliteration in the title – Folk Implosion/Pole Position

Had a very hard time finding a song that fit the criteria. This one did!

This is a pretty good lead off track to a good album called One Part Lullaby. And, most importantly, it fit the criteria!

Alternate tracks: A lot of songs with repeated words like Mony, Mony or Sugar Sugar.

7. Favorite song from the year you were born – Curtis Mayfield/Pusherman

Christ, 1972 was a wasteland.

Alternate tracks: None.

8. Song about an animal – Michael Jackson/Ben

The theme to the sequel of 1971’s Willard, about a murderous effing rat named Ben. I wanted to use a song about a SPECIFIC animal, and this one sprung to mind.

A couple of thoughts while I listen to this one:

1. What a corny-ass song.

2. Actually, it’s kind of beautiful. Michael sure could sing.

3. Knowing what we do about his upbringing, I can actually picture Michael becoming friends with a rat instead of his family.

4. It’s the theme to a PG horror film. Who approached whom about a member of the Jackson Five to perform it? Crazy and brilliant.

5. I not-so-secretly love the Crispin Glover version as well.

Alternate tracks: Rolling Stones/Wild Horses; The Cramps/Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?

9. Song performed by a non-traditional musician – She & Him/Why Do You Let Me Stay Here

Luckily, I picked a DIFFERENT She & Him song from Mike. This one is little more bubblegum. I heart Zooey Deschanel.

Alternate track: C.W. McCall/Convoy

10. Grammatically Incorrect – The Minutemen/This Ain’t No Picnic

One of my favorite Minutemen songs. It’s an anti-work anthem, but sort of a slacker one. Not “let’s burn down the building”, more like “let’s secretly seethe in our cubicles”.

Alternate track: Bill Withers/Ain’t No Sunshine, also see #12.

11. Song with your favorite guitar or instrument solo – Del Shannon/Runaway

Thankfully, my mother never misplaced all her old 45s. I used to play this song, Jan and Dean’s “Dead Man’s Curve” and ? and the Mysterians’ “96 Tears” to death on my crappy record player. I had those little yellow spindle adapters for 45s all over my room as a youth — another thing lost on the current generation.

Here’s some fun – thanks to Wikipedia and Google Maps – the route taken on the drag race from “Dead Man’s Curve”. It does look like a tough curve on Sunset…

Alternate tracks: None.

12. War! What is it good for? – Phil Ochs/I Ain’t Marching Anymore

Why not a protest song? They’re so darn earnest. P.S. Can anyone think of a pro-war song? And please don’t mention that Lee Greenwood “Proud to Be an American” bullshit.

Alternate tracks: Billy Bragg/Island of No Return; Talking Heads/Life During Wartime; Fear/Let’s Start A War

13. Song about sex – The Magnetic Fields/Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits

And do what bunnies dooooo.

Alternate tracks: Liz Phair/Fuck and Run; Many artists/Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love); Grinderman/No Pussy Blues

14. Song about drugs – Velvet Underground/Waiting for the Man

One of my favorite VU tracks. Better than “Heroin”.

Alternate tracks: Black Flag or Camper Van Beethoven/Wasted

15. Song about rock & roll – Spoon/Car Radio

My kinda rock song. My take is that it’s about a music fan hearing a great song on the car radio. Perhaps “My Generation”?

Alternate tracks: Lenny Kravitz/Rock & Roll is Dead; Ramones/Rock & Roll High School; Jesus and Mary Chain/I Hate Rock & Roll; LCD Soundsystem/Daft Punk Is Playing at My House

16. Why so sad? Song about the blues, a broken heart, crying, etc. – Neko Case/Things That Scare Me

I listed the entire criteria here so that you can see how – after searching for songs in my library for hours – I could misremember this topic to read: “Why are you crying?” Because this title, nor its song, is specifically about crying, a broken heart or the blues, even though there are lots of songs that fit. Forgive me for that, but hey, enjoy Neko Case!

Alternate track: The Cure/Boys Don’t Cry, which is so much more appropriate.

17. Bonus/hidden track – Elvis Costello/Radio Sweetheart

Had to go back to my Rhino re-release of My Aim Is True for this one. Kinda fits with the tone of that album, but a true one-off.

Alternate track: Cracker/Eurotrash Girl. I think people forget that the song was unlisted on the Kerosene Hat album, and included as track #69 before radio got a hold of it. Or, maybe I just want to stun you with my knowledge of useless trivia. You decide.

18. Perchance to dream – Ride/Like a Daydream

Picked it because I like the band, and it picks up the tempo. The cymbal effects in this song are SO dated, though. I still love it, but find myself cringing a bit.

Alternate tracks: The Smiths OR Low/Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me; Tom Waits/Innocent When You Dream. Glad I didn’t pick the Waits one since Mike used it.

19. Famous title: same title as book or movie – The Clash/The Magnificent Seven

Struggled with this one big time before this one fell in my lap. Whew!

Alternate tracks: Elvis Costello/Less Than Zero; Kate Bush OR The Decemberists/Wuthering Heights; Jim O’Rourke/Insignificance

20. Amnesty song – Rogue Wave/Lake Michigan

Apparently, I like any song featuring handclaps and this one has ’em. Tried to use this for #3 (state song), but (a) a lake isn’t a state, and (b) Lake Michigan borders four states. Couldn’t wedge it in with good conscience, so it ends up here.

Alternate tracks: None.

Thanks again to Stennie and everyone else who played along! I’m looking forward to others posting their tracklists too.

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Posted on May 9, 2008, in Music, Web and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. damn! i had a she & him song too, and i almost picked the one you have because i like that one a lot. instead, went with ‘change is hard’. haven’t seen what mike picked yet. fingers crossed it is diffy. also, almost went with elliot for a song…and even almost picked sad kermit’s version of needle in the hay. :)

    haven’t listened to any cds yet, just sneaking a peek at the tracklist. which tells me only some. :)

  2. Just got yours today — OOOOOOOOH! Nice cover art. Just about to import it into iTunes — will be back tomorrow with comments on the songs. Thanks for joining in!

  3. Wow, you’re really throwing down the gauntlet with the cover art. I and my pathetic blue Sharpie are duly humbled.

    #7: You managed to come up with a song so great that it could single-handedly redeem 1972 from its wasteland status.

    #11: What a coup! I wish I’d thought of it. What the hell is that, anyway–an organ? A calliope? A theramin? Awesome. (BTW: I totally get the yellow spindle thingy reference.)

    #12: There are some pro-war songs. I considered Johnny Horton’s “Sink the Bismarck” and “Battle of New Orleans,” which came out long after the conflicts they commemorate. To do a pro-war song during a controversial war, now that would take a pair. See, e.g., “Ballad of the Green Berets,” Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler (1966)

    #14: Never underestimate the power of punctuation–imagine your comment w/o the quotes around Heroin.

    #16: Any rational basis for including Neko is good enough for me.

  4. Re: Cover Art – It’s all about packaging, baby. It covers the fact that inside could be a steaming pile of poop. Also, if I’d spent a bit less time on design and more on track choices….
    Had some time to kill, and felt inspired. Used to do similar with mix tapes. If nothing else, gives you something to look at while listening.

    Re: She and Him – There’s 3 songs from the group in the exchange. Apparently, they get the thumbs up all ’round! I also heart M. Ward.

    Re: Needle in the Hay – after watching the Sad Kermit video – hilarious! – I remembered that this is the song that is used during the Luke Wilson suicide attempt in Royal Tenenbaums. Here come those goose bumps again.

    Re: #11 – And the answer is…. The Musitron. Thanks Internets! I really couldn’t have wagered a guess, but it always struck me as so unique the way it just sings from the solo through the end of the song.

    Re: #12: Among my mother’s 45s: Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans”. Really should’ve remembered that. Also, the parody/homage “The Battle of Kookamonga” by Homer and Jethro.

    Re: #14: Kinda walked into that double entendre, realized it, and left it. Which might be surprising if you knew how much I’m not fond of “punny” humor. That said, I’m guessing in the short term, heroin might just kick that song’s ass.

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

  5. Hey Patrick, I got to listen to the mix this morning and thought it was just great. You nailed a few of my alternates (VU, Del), so I won’t have to worry about neglecting those.

    I have to say, though that I’m mildly disappointed to see ’72 getting abused so. A great song could have been pulled from any of the following albums: Straight Up, Ziggy Stardust (among my top ten ever), Pink Moon, Into The Purple Valley, Everybody’s In Showbiz (there’s my Kinks bias flaring up again), Sailin’ Shoes, For The Roses, Saint Dominic’s Preview, All The Young Dudes!!!, Sail Away, Exile On Main Street, Something/Anything?, Can’t Buy A Thrill, The Slider, Talking Book, Harvest, #1 Record,Transformer….not to mention a host of great soul singles.

    (Next, watch as I attempt to defend the otherwise indefensible year of 1974).

  6. You know – I totally approached the 1972 thing the wrong way. I went to Billboard’s pop and singles charts – rather than my own music. Luckily I found Curtis Mayfield there – which I adore. I also found Al Green, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

    But to be honest – they were buried under the likes of the Osmonds, Carly Simon and Carpenters. What can I say, I’m a snob, and reacted accordingly. “Baby I’m-A Want You”??? What are you, a-kidding?

    As I mentioned before, if I’d only stayed away from the pop charts, I could have pulled a Suffragette City, Pink Moon, Heart of Gold, Superstition or Walk on the Wild Side and been satisfied. Seriously, who’s up for a listen of the 23-minute Genesis opus Supper’s Ready?!? I know I am!

    Or I could have saved a lot of trouble and asked Bet to kazoo me some The Harder They Come.

    All in all, knocked the mix out in maybe 4 hours – and from now on, I think I’ll need more time.

    Thanks much for listening and commenting. I welcome all criticism and commentary, as long as it’s overwhelmingly positive and filled to the brim with compliments.

  7. Oh, and you’re right – it’s 1974 that’s a wasteland. Until I’m proven otherwise.

  8. “We learned to make sparks by rubbin’ sticks together, and if we catch some girls, then we’ll set the woods ablaze…”

    I can’t believe there’s someone else who knows about Homer & Jethro. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Bet did.)

    Careful what you say about the Carpenters. Stennie’ll come over and go all “Top of the World” on your ass.

    And 1974? Um, hello?! “Hooked on a Feeling (The Ooga-Chaka Variations)” by Blue Swede.

  9. I do believe you win this mix’s “obscure songs I didn’t know” award. No political statements in your acceptance speech, please.

    “Ben” cracked me up.

    Oh, and your birth song gives me an opportunity to tell about my favorite radio station of all time, WMMT, out of Whitesburg, KY. They once played “How Great Thou Art” followed by “The Pusherman,” thus cementing them as untouchable by any other station.

    PS – You have no idea how close I came to using “Radio Sweetheart,” and another of yours is an alternate for me, which you’ll hear about in alternate tracks.

  10. Did I say 1974? I meant 1674. An utter wasteland.

    WMMT sounds amazing, like something out of fiction.

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