CD 09: Of Cats and Clouds – Tracklist


Thanks again to Stennie for inviting me to indulge in MP3-nery for her latest CD Mix Challenge, which apparently is the penultimate mix. So, those that are waiting to join, don’t wait too much longer.

Full tracklist, random video links and other ramblings after the jump.

1. Shortest song in your collection—comb through iTunes and find the shortest song in there: Descendents – I Like Food. [video]

Is it truly the shortest song in my collection? Probably not. Still, it’s a catchy little ditty about something dear to me: getting fed.

2. Color my world—no blue: Neko Case – Red Tide.

Simply too many choices for this. Decided to showcase one from Case’s latest.

3. Good song from a rotten movie: James Brown – The Boss (from Black Caesar). [video]

Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (no relation) has charisma, but is hampered by this Jack Hill blaxploitation gangster pic. James Brown, however, captures just the right tone, and makes it funky.

4. Sincerest form of flattery —Song that steals (or borrows, if you prefer that terminology) from another song: Mates of State – Fraud in the 80’s. [video]

Man, maybe it’s me, but that’s just gotta be Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” at the outset. This song would also have fit for #6, as the Mates of State are husband and wife.

5. Song about a character you don’t like—someone who is a jerk, or obnoxious, or violent, or has some other quality you don’t like: Spoon – Jonathon Fisk. [video]

Had too many encounters with schoolage bullies in life.

6. Family Act—Song performed by artists who are related—brothers, sisters, husband & wife, etc.: Handsome Furs – Evangeline [video]

Husband/wife. This one’s off their brand-new album, Face Control.

7. Song about sex: James – Laid. [video]

As always, sex changes everything. You start by waking the neighbors with your exuberant lovemaking, and you end up seeing shrinks and fighting with kitchen knives.

8. Department of Redundancy Department—song with repetition in the title: Wrens – Per Second Second. [video]

The rhythm, the rhythm.

9. Song about the time of day—can be a specific time, or a general time like morning or nightfall: A.C. Newman – The Palace at 4 A.M. [video]

A.C. Newman might be better known as one of the New Pornographers from Vancouver, BC. (Neko Case is also a card-carrying member.) Also merely one of the greatest living pop songwriters, IMHO.

10. A song that “takes you back”: Rose Royce – Car Wash. [video]

It’s 1977, in the backseat of my mother’s car, windows rolled down, sticking to the leatherette seats.

11. Spoken word: Paul F. Tompkins – Peanut Brittle

A rant that just makes me hungry. Will have to stop by the greeting-card shop on the way home.

12. Alternate version—a demo, acoustic, live, or alternate take: Peter Gabriel – Spiel Ohne Grenzen

AKA “Games without Frontiers” [video]. Apparently, there’s no direct German translation for the word “knockout”. Kate Bush insists on singing defiantly in French, not unlike Victor Laszlo in Casablanca.

13. SAT vocab song—Song whose lyrics include a fancy two-dollar word: Decemberists – The Rake’s Song. [lead singer Colin Meloy solo video]

The $2 word is “foxglove”, which apparently is another term for digitalis, a series of poisonous plants. Those with green thumbs might already know this. Pretty nasty song, sung like a character out of Poe or Dostoevsky.

14. Epic—Song that would make a good feature-length film: Wilco – Misunderstood. [video]

I think this was actually made into The Graduate. Not sure where plastics fits into it.

15. Nonsense—Song containing gibberish: Syd Barrett – Rats.

Good old Syd Barrett, nutty as squirrel poo. The third verse is complete rambling of multisyllabic words that have absolutely no sentence structure. That’s not to say that the rest of the song makes a lick of sense.

16. Song about first love: Billy Bragg – The Saturday Boy.

Too bad first love almost always turns into knife fights (see #7).

17. Kick-ass cover song: Cat Power – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now). [video]

The “cat” from the CD title. (In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, Cats and Clouds both have connections to the number 9. Think about it.) Kind of a sucker for a decent cover of an Otis Redding classic, and this qualifies.

18. Song you wish you had sung backup on: New Pornographers – The Bleeding Heart Show. [crappy video, but the best I could find]

See #2 and #9 above. I’m apparently sold on the New Pornos.

19. Amnesty song—as in past mixes, any song you wanted to use (in this or any past mix) but couldn’t find a place for: Devin Davis – Giant Spiders. [AWESOME fan video]

Chicago musician that’s completely fallen off the radar for a few years. This song is for those of you who still like to rawk occasionally.

20. Greatest song ever written, period: Galaxie 500 – Blue Thunder. [video]

Can’t really put a finger on it, but this song wins me over every time I hear it. It’s the simplest lyric ever, which might just be an ode to highway driving (see #10), but it never fails to give me chills.


Posted on April 20, 2009, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Good call for sex song — I haven’t heard “Laid” in years. Somewhere I used to have a live acoustic version of it, very melancholy.

    Oh, and thank you for the Paul Thompkins Peanut Brittle rant as well — listening to it in the car yesterday I nearly drove off the road laughing.

  2. I love the overdramatic, goofy way James sings “skewers”: “fought with kitchen knives and SKEWWWWERS.”

  3. Because of Tim Booth’s goofy enunciation, I never knew what that second thing was until the dawn of lyric sheets on the Internet.

    Sticky words?
    Sickly worlds?
    Sister twirls?
    Sexy words?
    Simple turds?
    Strudel whirls?

    Mmmmmm. Strudel whirls…

  4. Every mix of yours has at least one song I groove on incessantly (last one was “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”). This time around, it’s “Fraud in the ’80s.”

    FWIW, depending on the jurisdiction* hearing the case, and assuming MoS didn’t deliberately copy without permission, I think Ms. Anderson would have a hard time establishing similarity substantial enough to support an action for infringement. The two works have essentially the first seven notes* in common, then the MoS work differs substantially from O Superman in that it has, y’know, a melody, as well as different time signature, etc.

    *One court found infringement where a defendant had copied three notes.

    **I don’t know enough about music to know if it’s actually the same note, but the fact that each work repeats a single note 7 times would weigh slightly in Anderson’s favor.

    • I’m guessing that Anderson couldn’t sue since it’s essentially ONE note repeated endlessly. I think if it’s a nod at all, Anderson would approve.

      Clearly an attempt to wedge a song I like into a category that doesn’t fit. I don’t apologize, cause I can still showcase two artists (MoS and LA) I like.

      I won’t take credit for Rufus Wainwright in the last mix – purely my wife’s suggestion.

  5. Neko and Newman = great disc. And my old pals Wilco (I can say that because I went to high school about 10 miles away from where Tweedy and Farrar went at the time).

    If Middlebrow wins on track 16, you come in a very close second.

    • Glad you liked. Tweedy married one of the owners of the infamous Lounge Ax club and subsequently, Wilco is now claimed by Chicago, even though I knew he and Farrar are from downstate.

      Re: #16. It was the first song that popped to mind, and I never purged it. Bragg’s always worn his heart on the outside, but this one’s always seemed particularly autobiographical. Again, thanks for the nice words.

  6. Ah, where would we be but for the gentle and loving ministrations of our wives…? Mine, btw, LOVES that RW song. We really need to figure out Carol Stream-Carolina rendezvous.

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