Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

3Aug/099

The Monday Morning Mix – Three Legged Dog Daze – 8/3/09

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About Today's Mix:

Bro-mance alert!  Today's mix comes to us from sunny Los Angeles, California! Within the inner shell of 1888 Media Matrix exists a man known to many only as Baron Reventón.

Four score and several beers ago, Reventón found himself charged with the mission:  The mission to ROCK the planet, using music blogs worldwide as his weapon.  And so B-Rev found his way to my digital doorstep, armed with news about some particular musical project that I can't remember now.  All I know is that it rocked, and I lost hearing.  My memory loss is no doubt due to the ill-advised yet completely necessary banging of the head that occurred while listening to Ry Cooder.  That's another story for another day.

Baron Reventón graces us with his royal presence, and had his people bring us a mix for today's Monday Morning Mix!

Check it.  And play this sucker loud!

Mix Notes:

Monday mornings are often a time to reflect about drinking on a Sunday night. For awhile, it was Tony Soprano’s fault as Sunday nights over an intermittent six years were filled with copious amounts of wine and pasta among friends. Somewhere along the way, I befriended a winemaker named Eric Dunham and although the series eventually ended, my preference for alcoholic grape juice from Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla, WA soldiered on. The Dunhams produce world-class Syrahs & Cabernets and make a great table wine called Three-Legged Red named after Port, their beloved three-legged pooch. Like a loyal companion, any of their reds continue to provide an enhancement to Sunday nights; whether it’s Dexter, Californication, Entourage or True Blood, their complex hues colour the engrossing boob tube. At times, I refer to the Cab as ‘Fadernet,’ a trivial mash-up of getting ‘faded’ and Cabernet. And while I’ll take dubious credit for Fadernet, I won’t for take it for ‘Faderade,’ a concoction of vodka and you guessed it. Urban slang strikes again. I digress.

Thanks to Matt at ATV for the opportunity to contribute a MMM. Going into this, I knew piecing together a mix was going to be time-intensive, brain-consuming and most likely accentuated by Columbia Valley nectar. The whole process actually provoked debate amongst friends whether I should be self-aggrandizing, politically correct, generationally cognizant, playlist to the presumed audience or be wantonly obtuse and obscure. I chose to spit into the torrid San Fernando Valley swelter. So, with much anticipation and slight trepidation, I set sail a few weeks ago to dig through my archives and revisit music that has been gathering dust for a long time in hopes of parsing together a seemingly congruent slab of music that might entertain and engage while also providing a glimpse behind the concave mirror of its creator.

Coming from the era of 8-tracks and TDK/Maxell Chromium oxide cassette tapes where one had to be concerned with space left on a side before the tape ran out (digital-age hucksters have it made) into a situation where there really isn’t a limitation (you can even edit songs as I did). Regardless of the medium, the method remains the same. Devise a tune-stack that lets the music do the talking while occasionally providing a window to the soul (or lack thereof).

This mix went through many, many re-iterations and sequence changes and fortunately (or unfortunately) for those willing to give it a listen, many of my fringe favorites were left out; Mozart, Slayer, Life Sex & Death, tOOl, Yngwie Malmsteen, Deadmau5 & DJ Tiësto (though he’s mentioned in ‘Corona and Lime’). If there is a loose arc to this excursion, it’s tangentially thread together by the various shades of love and how its perception is shaped by context. And, yes, it’s 40% cover songs!

In a perfect world, this mix would be posted as a single (mastered) mp3 with ancillary notes posted after the fact, allowing the listener to indulge their senses with an unassuming unbiased attention span. An old school pipe dream, I know. Oh, how I long for the album idolatry of the 70s…a couch, a purple Graffix, a needle on the record and your imagination was a complete experience. Pass the Cocoa puffs por favor.

Much like any creative excretion, it’s difficult to know when to stop squeezing it but after several sustained moments of silent lucidity, it occurred to me that this Three Legged Dog Daze was ready for consumption and dissection with the understanding that it’s better to burn out that fadernet away. Without further ado, here’s 57 minutes and 7 seconds of my temporary proprietary musical sanctum.

Three Legged Dog Daze

download complete mix (link is good for one week only)

threeleggeddog
Artwork ©Eric Dunham; Three Legged Red Wine Daze c/o Dunham Cellars

1) Gasoline – The Airborne Toxic Event - from The Airborne Toxic Event
I only own three TATE songs but I play them frequently. One day I may actually get the whole album. On the surface, this is a band I would never like but I was wrong. “Your memory blazes through me. Burning everything. Like gasoline”. Sign me up.

2) Bye Bye Love – The Ditty Bops - from Moon Over The Freeway
The happiest loneliest song this side of the Bayou. The Bops cover The Everlys with sly aplomb. I saw some entertainingly engaging Ditty Bops Vaudeville-esque shows at The Mint / Largo before they released their debut Warner Bros album. I also give them props for riding across the country from L.A. to NYC on bikes during a tour to promote their Moon Over the Freeway album.

3) Walking on Air – Kerli - from Love is Dead
Esoteric bass-heavy electronic ear candy from an Estonian chanteuse that eschews “a little creepy girl with her little creepy face saying things you’ve never heard”. Throw in her ‘little creepy cat and a little creepy bat’ as lyrical imagery and its Tim Burton’s spawn. Not really, but like high fructose corn syrup, it’s incredibly addicting. I am walking on air.

4) Beat It – Fall Out Boy ft. John Mayer - from Now That's What I Call Music:  Vol. 28
It’s hard to screw up a classic song and harder to outdo it. This cover has plenty of go-go juice and pork chops. I first listened to Michael Jackson because my guitar hero Eddie Van Halen played on ‘Beat It’. There are those who will say that Mayer’s solo better fits the song. “It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or who’s right”.

5) Corona & Lime – Shwayze - from Shwayze
Yeah, it’s a silly love song, years removed from Captain & Tennille, but it goes down as smooth as a cold Corona & Lime. “Let me tell you about a girl I know.” Shout-outs to the 818 (my area code) and the fact they accurately stereotype girls by city AND what electronic music they listen to makes me smile. “If you’re looking for love, won’t you put your hands up.” Hard to think that everyone at a club somewhere at some point didn’t throw their collective hands in the air and woot woot!

6) My Prerogative – Britney Spears - from Greatest Hits:  My Prerogative
New jack city meets uptown knob-spinners and produces a slice of guilty goodness. What can I say? From time to time, I like me some slick manufactured candy-coated pop. “I don’t need no permission, make my own decisions. That’s my prerogative”. Earlier this year, I stood at a VIP ringside booth during Britney’s Circus tour. Production expanse that only a boatload of money can provide orchestrated the Circus de Soleil stage while the unified piercing screams of 19,000 fervent fans was wholly spontaneous and unbelievably infectious. It was a joyful exercise in sensory and pulmonary excess. Brit-mania was alive and well in the O.C.

7) SpongeBob SquarePants Theme – Avril Lavigne - from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
A palette cleanser. Like a piece of stanky cheese before the next glass of vino at a tasting. This one’s from Canada, not France (though Avril is a French word that means ‘April’). There are those in my social circle who give me shit for liking this pseudo punk rocker. Fair enough, but Ms Best Damn Thing is rocking out the SpongeBob theme, ranting about Nautical Nonsense and it’s less than a minute long. Just do a shot of Limoncello or Espresso and lighten up Francis!

8 ) Baby Elephant Walk – Monkey Bars - from Upstairs at Larry's
Eight months of my life were spent producing Upstairs at Larry’s: Lawrence Welk Uncorked. I had complete creative freedom to choose any dusty two-track tapes in the Welk Music vault to have them remixed by a slew of International DJs / producers. During the final stages, I would shift the track sequence (nearly every day) and listen to the entire record as I drove through Topanga Canyon to PCH. I must have done that for an entire month before locking it in. Sequencing and psychological pacing are key aspects of all great albums. I was proud of the meticulous result. Being interviewed by the L.A. Times and hearing this song on Nick Harcourt’s ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ on KCRW one morning while driving to work are indelible moments, frozen in time.

9) Let’s Play Dumb – The Wah Wahs - Unreleased
Band out of Ireland I tried to sign to a U.S. label deal. Didn’t work out but this song from the nine they recorded is a small slice of playful rock ‘n roll swagger that’s been heard by almost no one.

10) Real Love – Regina Spektor - from the various artists compilation Instant Karma
For a long time, this song used to come on my iPod during a random playlist shuffle and I never knew who it was but it struck me down with its poignancy every time. Like a sublime angel from above coaxing a piano to emote, this one stays with you. I imagine John would be proud.

11) Bad Things (theme from True Blood) – Jace Everett - from Red Revelations
Sunday nights are all about True Blood, True Love, Anna Paquin, True Blood, True Love. “When you came in, the air went and every shadow filled up with doubt. I don’t know what you’ve done to me but I know this much is true…I wanna do bad things with you. Scowl!” A ditty about Vampires set to a boot-stompin’ Texas Two-step shitkicker beat? Better believe it! Better turn it up! This one’s fangtastic!

12) Hello Hopeville – Dead Ringer Band - from Hopeville
The DRB was a family affair. Dad Bill Chambers, mom Diane, son Nash and daughter Kasey grew up in the barren Outback of Australia singing Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline round the campfire. This rollicking version of Michelle Shocked’s “Hello Hopeville” provides a glimpse of Kasey’s unencumbered effervescence. I’m a long-time KC fan and lobbied / helped secure her to contribute ‘Little Sparrow’ to the Dolly Tribute album while I was working with Sugar Hill Records.

13) Acid Jazz Singer – The Fratellis - from Here We Stand
When I think of the Fratellis, I think of SXSW (about 3 years ago) when they were “the” buzz band that you HAD to see and they played like 7 times. Then it was the incessant Apple commercial. I still wasn’t convinced. When ‘Here We Stand’ came out, a friend let me rip a copy. I never listened to it. Fast forward to this spring. We were driving home from the NIN|JA tour in Irvine and for some ridiculous reason, the I5 was closed down and we had to take a detour…this annoyance coupled with the fact that my car’s confounded screen interface wouldn’t load my iPod library in any order other than alphabetical by song title. So, AJS soon came on and it was a revelation, though we had no idea who the artist was. This one will induce random cravings, albeit with an air guitar longing for the spotlight.

14) Jade’s Song – Jake E. Lee  - from Badlands
Jake E. Lee followed in the footsteps of Randy Rhoads in Ozzy’s band. He was (still is) a monster guitar player and had all the rock god inclinations, but also had a badass electric tone all his own…could recognize it a mile away. Saw Ozzy w/ Jake and Badlands several times while Ray was still alive. Jake named this song after his daughter Jade. I met both of them at a Foundations heavy metal convention in the early 90s. Good times.

14) Wash – Pearl Jam - originally a b-side on the Alive single, now available on Lost Dogs
I tried (in vain) to include a song from Pearl Jam’s Ten (which is in my Top 5 of all-time favorite albums) but nothing was working so I came across this song (on the Alive single) recorded during the same era.

16) 79th & Sunset – Diamond David Lee Roth - (unreleased)
Cheap Trick’s ‘Heaven Tonight’ was the first real album in my collection (my K-Tel comps with ‘Smoke on the Water’ don’t count). After Cheap Trick’s ‘Gonna Raise Hell’ from their subsequent ‘Dream Police’ record I was lead down a guitar-heavy path to infamy where I soon became immersed in the bombast of Van Halen and never looked back (6th row for VH on the Diver Down tour is an unmitigated concert milestone amongst my thousand+ shows). Every time that DLR / VH were on Rockline, I would tape it on cassette. Much hilarity ensued during those appearances (“live before your steaming ears”). Here’s Roth at his Diamond Dave best on KMET in L.A. doing a take on Humble Pie’s classic song about a prostitute.

17) Whores (2009 Trent Reznor mix) – Jane’s Addiction - from NIN/JA Tour Sampler
I was fortunate to see the Nothing’s Shocking tour 20 years ago. They played the early show at The Riviera in Chicago. As I was exiting this incendiary show, a line was forming for the late show…Milli Vanilli. Sad but True. Fast forward to earlier this year when I went to the tiny Echoplex in Echo Park to see a 500-person reunion show of the original line-up. Soon thereafter, I was hired to work their Cabinet of Curiosities box set (an honor) and was rocking out with them in the wee hours of the Playboy party at SXSW. Their muscular double bill with Nine Inch Nails on the much ballyhooed NIN|JA tour wasn’t the icing on the cake, that came in the form of Trent Reznor producing a re-recording of this classic track from the band’s early days and giving it away for free. Truth is Stranger than Fiction. What a long strange trip it’s been.

18) In A Simple Rhyme (End Riff) – Van Halen - from Women and Children First
‘Women and Children First’ was the first LP I bought with my own hard-earned money. Hearing ‘And The Cradle Will Rock…’ on FM Radio was revolutionary! Couple that with the wicked riffage of ‘Fools’ and ‘Romeo Delight’ and WACF will always be my favorite Van Halen album. In retrospect, I feel that although the band was coming apart at the seams from an excess of drugs and booze, this record found the band at their Rock Gods peak. EVH & Alex are gargantuan on this opus. Side 2 is one of the most underappreciated 14½ minutes of rock history. “Babe, I think you’re headed for a whole lot of trouble”. I tried to work a track in but I kept coming back to the riff after the end of IASR. I was always aggravated that a cool off-the-cuff riff was not fully realized. It left me wanting more. Perhaps that was the point. And so I leave you with it as well.

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  • csmcgee

    In A Simple Rhyme (End Riff) – Van Halen –

    Amazing, I almost put that on my mix earlier this summer. I always wondered if there was something more complete with that riff laying around in the VH vaults.

  • http://twitter.com/1888Media 1888 Media

    The Bromance on the open road began with New Order. Nice contraction to B-Rev; I'll use it as my fake DJ name. BTW, it is past noon, so it's time to get faded.

  • Matt

    B-Rev,

    Thanks for helping to refresh my failing memory!

    I believe you're the first person to post a comment here via Twitter. That's awesome. Excuse my geekiness for a second, but it's cool how Disqus pulls your Twitter addy, and user icon automatically!

    Awesome.

    Thanks so much for an awesome mix contribution, and for your continuing support of ATV!

  • tomlatkins

    Sweet selections and great commentary.

  • ddillinger

    Thanks for the introduction to the Dead Ringer Band and The Ditty Bops. I like that vintage sound. It's interesting how the dance and pop interplay with the rock and alternative – not as incongruous as it seemed. Good, unexpected stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/1888Media 1888 Media

    Interestingly, the name of this Van Halen instrumental, nowhere listed on the packaging, is “Growth”, and was originally going to be used to as the opening track to WACF's follow-up. I guess the blazing intro to Mean Streets out-grew Growth…though prophetically, the lyrics to MS echo “and what you think is nothing, might be something after all…” I bet more of this track surfaces one day.

  • jrenton

    That track from Upstairs at Larry's is the coolest track ever! Totally bangin'! If you would, tell some war stories from putting that record together. Where can I get it?

  • http://twitter.com/1888Media 1888 Media

    Interestingly, the name of this Van Halen instrumental, nowhere listed on the packaging, is “Growth”, and was originally going to be used to as the opening track to WACF's follow-up. I guess the blazing intro to Mean Streets out-grew Growth…though prophetically, the lyrics to MS echo “and what you think is nothing, might be something after all…” I bet more of this track surfaces one day.

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  • jrenton

    That track from Upstairs at Larry's is the coolest track ever! Totally bangin'! If you would, tell some war stories from putting that record together. Where can I get it?

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