Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lost Soul Shoots Himself With Rock n' Roll- Story At 11

Isn't it good to be lost in the woods?

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1. Walk On- Neil Young- "Some get strong, some get strange". Neil Young, David Bowie, Brian Eno and John Cale towered over all in the 70's, those four guys carried the decade.

2. I've Got A Feeling (Acetate)- The Beatles- "I'm so ashamed, I goofed again". The sound of things falling apart, and yet there's something strangely compelling about this ragged early version of "I've Got A Feeling". John is sickly from his slight junk habit (just a sniffer), his voice is shot, and he's obviously in a shitty mood (listen for his sarcastic "good" after Paul sings the first line about having a feeling) but Paul's enthusiasm manages to rouse him, he just pulls the performance out of the band through sheer fucking will. Everybody had a hard year.

3. Music When The Lights Go Out- The Libertines- And speaking of ragged, right on cue- these guys. It took me a long time to make up my mind about The Libertines. I liked the first album but then all the predictable and boring rock n' roll decadence stories that filled the press afterwards turned me off. Nothing against drugs mind you (like drugs, just not most of the people who do them) but be discreet. Decadence IS boring. 

Anyway I've decided I like them a lot now, as the songs really hold up and these cats are never scared to lapse into la la la's or even shoop shoop's. I like that. I started listening to them again after sitting through a crappy movie called Kill Your Darlings about Lucien Carr, at the very end of the movie over the credits the Libertines "Don't Look Back Into The Sun" played. I had never heard that track and it was easily the best thing about the whole damn film. Maybe I just want to be one of the lads, heh.

4. Heckler Spray- Pavement- Powerful stuff, couldn't decide whether or not to lead off the mix with this one, the overtones from the guitars always used to make me think I heard horns somewhere in the mix.

5. I Am A Scientist- Guided By Voices- Probably my favorite song of the 1990's, just perfect. Great lyrics- "I am a scientist I seek to understand me, all of my impurities and evils yet unknown". Nice jump shot too! It's a shame Bob Pollard doesn't edit himself a little more as their catalogue is way too large- you're a great songwriter but you don't have to release everything you write. If you are looking for a place to start, choose Bee Thousand.

I saw them at a Matador Records showcase at SXSW I think it was 1994 or 95 this was back when you could just walk up cold to a SXSW show and get in with out any nonsense or hassle, which is what I did, the old Austin Music Hall I believe it was. SXSW nowadays is strictly for out of towners, not that I care about any of the bands these days anyway, so it all works out, my only goal during it is to lay low and avoid all the riff-raff. I can watch Foxygen act like foolios on youtube.

Back to that Matador showcase- Guided By Voices were great at that show, very endearing.  I remember all the Austin kids though sort of pulling back because this "old guy" jumping around on stage like he was an adolescent miming to the Who in his bedroom was not their idea of "cool"- this is a large part of what I found so charming about GBV.  Back then Austin was still enthrall to tons of shitty sub-Butthole Surfers type noise bands and stupid ass gimmicks, so even though GBV was the IT band of the American underground, the locals were not so easily convinced. I also tried to go to that EMOS show they pulled out of (I think this was the year before the Matador showcase) because of the dickheads that run that place-which is covered in the great documentary Watch Me Jumpstart. More GBV stories some other time.

6. Octopus- Syd Barrett- One has to be careful when unlocking your mind cause as that German philosopher said- when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

7. Lucky Like St. Sebastian- The Momus- When Momus played Austin he stepped in dog shit at the club (EMOS) much to his chagrin. I find this anecdote fitting and amusing. 

8. Everybody's Been Burned- The Byrds- I thought I'd used this in another mix but I can't find it in a search, so here it is, one of my favorites by the Byrds and probably the best thing Crosby ever wrote. Of special note is Chris Hillman's beautiful bass playing on this track.

9. Forget That Girl- The Monkees- Eternally sound advice from Chip Douglas and Davey Jones.

10. Like Glass- The Soft Set- This is my old band, I really like the guitar parts on this one. I love the sound of interlocking guitars, and how the chorus for the song is an instrumental bit, no words, just a delicate guitar figure.

This Japanese label approached me at one point about releasing this but wanted me to replace all the harmonica with trumpets, thought that was funny. The Japanese are nothing if not wacky. Wish this cd wasn't mastered so loud, I remember at the time asking the guy about it and he just said "industry standard" which is/was unfortunately true. 

11. Holiday- The Bee-Gees- 60's Bee-Gees chamber pop is pretty nifty once you've acquired a taste for it. The film Melody is what finally drove home the appeal for me. Those "dee dee dee's" are a bit much, but whatever. 

12 Lucy Leave- The Pink Floyd- Early Pink Floyd, this one has been blacked out on youtube by whoever owns the copyright, so no video to accompany it, you'll just have to download my mix if you wanna hear it. But here's a groovy 1966 photo of The Pink Floyd.

13. Shoulder Pads 1- The Fall- "You couldn't tell Lou Reed from Doug Yule" sounds like somebody is a bit of a Velvets snob. Doug does after all sound a lot like Lou and vice versa. The line "my power's" reminds me of that Burroughs preacher bit "my power's coming, my power's coming". 

I was in a record store a while back and they were playing Bend Sinister, hadn't heard it in a while, and damn it sounded so good, especially this track, people could dance to this one, its got that much groove. I would love to see a dance floor filled with people dancing to this, that would be something. 

14. The Sad Skinhead- Faust- "Apart from all the good times I gave you, you alway felt bad with me". It's hard to believe this was done in 1973, guess its that higher Germanic thought process.

15. Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel- Townes Van Zandt- Another beautiful ballad from Townes.  I hated how in that documentary on him "Be Here To Love Me" they played up only the tragic side of Townes and had idiots like that crap hippie artist Devendra Banhart (looks like Russell Brand)  talking shit about how he didn't like how "goofy" Townes was on stage, its interesting when someone so clearly doesn't get something. Townes humor is/was a large part of his appeal and a saving grace, far as I'm concerned if you don't get that or find it goofy then you don't get any of it, now go curl your hair.

16. Summer Babe- Pavement- Powerful live performance below, it's amazing what a difference their first drummer Gary Young made (see video)- sometimes you need that wild card in the mix to up the energy level. "Everytime I sit around I find I'm shot", boy tell me about it.

18. Used To- Wire- Sometime I forget how great Wire were ( I wonder if its cause they were so faceless) until I hear a track like this again and it just knocks me out. 

19. An Hour Before Light- The Clientele- "And when I awake enchanted and alone, I don't know where to turn my eyes". I want to get the vinyl reissue of Suburban Light, just found out about it, sounds like its nicely done. 

20. Everybody's Got To Live- Love- I'm just trying to live was a favorite expression of one my pals. God I love Arthur Lee.

21. Don't Look Back Into The Sun- The Libertines- These guys are perennially sweaty and disheveled, is that what makes them lads? I'm very clean though so I might not make it. I do however favor and tend to write little single line guitar hooks like these.

22. My Back Pages (Alternate Version)-The Byrds- I prefer this alternate take, it sparkles with that Leslie-fied guitar. 

23. When You Come Out Of The Wilderness- James Collins and the Hunter's Chapel Singers

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