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The Monday Morning Mix – House of Dub Winterfest 92 – 8/17/09


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A Note From Matt:

Today's mix comes from ATV's own Kevin Brennan - As many of you are aware, the Foo Fighters dropped one of their first jams on unexpecting radio listeners across the planet, a little ditty called "This Is A Call."  While there is no Foo Fighters to be found in today's mix, I do believe that THIS is a call.  You'll want to answer this particular call, and musically educate yourself a bit, or perhaps revisit a stack of old favorites that you already know, and haven't heard in a while.  This is one man's view of what mattered musically in the dawning moments of 1993.  In your hands, you're holding a jam tape loaded with 80 minutes that emphasize the jam part of "jam tape."  From the opening chords of Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" to the closing moments of the Georgia Satellites classic "Dan Takes Five," this sucker never lets up for a second.

As a final note, Kevin happened to mention that all of these tracks were merged on his original tape.  To stay with that feeling, I took the CD tracks and mixed them so that the entire mix segues from track to track, as it did on the tape back in the day.   This mix might be digital, but man, I swear I hear moments where the "tape" is worn out from playing it over and over.  Perhaps you'll hear it too!

P.S. - Note the Smithereens, Del Amitri, Matthew Sweet, and Social D tracks, and you'll begin to see why Kevin and I are friends!

Mix Notes:

Hey everybody, I guess it’s my turn at sharing the love of mix tapes with the flock.
Mine is a gem that I actually put to cassette tape on January 5, 1993 as I moved into my senior year of college. The name “House of Dub” comes from the fact that my two roommates and I had about 2,000 various titles on record, cassette, reel-to-reel and CD and any time there was an occasion for music, we got the call. There were about eight projects which comprised the “House of Dub” series and maybe we will get to more of them in the future.

This one brings forth many of my favorites from the 80s and early 90s.

Download complete mix (link is good for one week only.)

#1 – “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour from Vivid – Loved these guys from the day I first heard them. This song is just as relevant today as it was in 1989 and will continue to be so as long as there are leaders and followers. Stunning guitar by Vernon Reid, thunderous drums and bass by Will Calhoun and Muzz Skillings respectively and the power and glory of vocalist Corey Glover. The band is recording again and should be on your list of must-see live acts.

#2 – “Orange Crush” by R.E.M from Green – One of many excellent tunes from this album and one of the most interesting due to its commentary on the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Great production, great mix, great energy and unfortunately for me, the last album by R.E.M. that I really liked. By the way, Orange Crush is my favorite pop in the world.

#3 – “When the Love is Goob (I Mean Good)” by the BoDeans from Home – These guys had a fresh sound, catchy songs and were a lot of fun to listen to. This song leads off the album and sets the tone for what should have been a breakthrough project after the interest shown in their debut, “Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams.” It was to some extent but the sales didn’t match the quality they put forth. Guaranteed to stick in your head after one listen and that’s a goob, I mean good thing.

#4 – “Blood & Roses” by the Smithereens from Especially For You – If you have ever heard this song, you know it has one of the greatest bass lines in rock history. Besides that, it is very representative of what makes the Smithereens so good – Pat’s great songwriting and sad sack vocals lamenting the loss of love, Jim’s stinging lead guitar, and Dennis’ underrated drumming. These guys were schooled by the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks and AC/DC and that is all evident here.

#5 – “You’re Gone” by Del Amitri from Waking Hours – Another song of lost love by a group of guys who deserved better than what they got. Very interesting lyrically as the lonely guy observes that life goes on in the face of his breakup. Beautiful arrangement, great pacing, a masterful vocal by Justin as he brings the light and the dark to the front at just the right times and also one of my favorite Del Amitri passages ever: “They say that it's better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all/But if you sit down and count the cost of/All those losses/There's no profit at all.” True that.

#6 – “Worldwide Brotherhood” by John Doe from Meet John Doe – The angry punk grows up a bit, realizes that the world still sucks in many ways and he decides to sing about it. There’s more than that here as the song is one of disillusionment and knowing, one of anger and laughter and above all, it flat out rocks. The song comes from Doe’s overlooked solo debut in 1990 which is a tremendous record. If you liked later-day Johnny Cash or always felt that John Hiatt should have been a bit more cynical and dangerous, then you need to find this out-of-print gem. This also includes the awesome Tony Marsico on bass from the Plugz and the Cruzados. “Life is so beautiful with the butterflies flying in the cotton-candy clouds/Whoo, I’m telling you that I love my life…”

#7 – “Under the Big Black Sun” by X from Under the Big Black Sun – The John Doe vibe continues with the title cut from X’s third album. This song has a bouncy hook and feel that belies its detailing of Exene Cervenka’s struggle to reconcile the death of her sister in a car crash with her religious beliefs and the fact that she has spent years with “plaid perfume on my breath” while waiting for stardom to come. It sounds heavy and it is thanks to X, the thinking person’s punk band.

#8 – “Girlfriend” by Matthew Sweet from Girlfriend – This tune came out of nowhere in 1991 and blew me away. Killer guitar, drums up high in the mix and a driving bass line all built around a pop song about a guy who misses his girl. It’s rock and roll the way it should be. This tune also features the work of Richard Lloyd on guitar who contributed heavily to the Meet John Doe album.

#9 – “Blues Before and After” by the Smithereens from 11- The band was primed for the big time and put out their best overall album led by “A Girl Like You,” but this song was the real jammer on the record. It’s heavy, it’s tight and it’s also a fantastic video that didn’t get much run on MTV. The subject matter is a guy who takes the abuse of a semi-interested woman and can’t get enough of it, not much of a stretch for Pat to write about but always interesting nonetheless. Great vocal by Pat as well. The guitars are crunchy and piercing, the drums pound and the bass walks along like a net keeping it together. Ed Stasium is the producer (Ramones, Living Colour, Motorhead, Soul Asylum, Hoodoo Gurus) and it sounds beautiful.

#10 – “Let It Be Me” by Social Distortion from Social Distortion – This song is nothing but energy, energy and more energy. An absolutely killer song that is representative of the best the band has to offer. If you don’t have this album, go get it now!

#11 – “You Don’t Move Me” by Keith Richards from Talk is Cheap – Keith’s now famous ode to Mick that is biting, sincere and shows that Keith still wanted to rock in a serious way. Steve Jordan’s drumming is always top-notch and he carries this song while Keith lays down some nice guitar. Keith’s production skills are also tremendous. This guy has a feel that is undeniable and he himself is indestructible despite the best efforts of drugs, alcohol and island trees.

#13 – “The Morning” by the Call from Reconciled – A confused man tries to sort out where he is going, what he should do and why it all matters. Again, it speaks to the struggle we all face at one time in our lives and does so with great conviction. One of Been’s best vocals ever backed by stomping drums and some wicked and wiggly slide guitar. “I’m standing at the edge of my mind/If I look in, I might fall in, I sense danger/I’m divided but I’ve decided it’s my nature/But if I look back I might fall back into yesterday.”

#14 – “I Wanna Be a Flintstone” by the Screaming Blue Messiahs from Bikini Red – A fun novelty song from a wickedly rocking band. Produced by the late great Vic Maile (Godfathers, Motorhead, Girlschool, Kinks and more), this tune recounts the entire Bedrock scene with vocalist/guitarist Bill Carter sounding like a speed freak playing manic guitar. This band suffered the double hit of being dropped by its label after its third album and Maile dying of cancer in 1989. Check them out as they have much more to offer besides this track. If you saw them live, you know what a wacko Carter was and how much fun they were.

#15 – “Love For Sale” by Talking Heads from True Stories – The album was David Byrne’s sardonic look at American culture and the song sums up the state of electronic media circa 1986. While still a pop song, the guitars are tough, the drums are loud and the message is clear: “I grew up in house with the television always on/Guess I grew up too fast/And I forgot my name.” As much as things change, they often stay the same…

#16 – “Jesus & Johnny” by the Havalinas from The Havalinas – A tune about a drug deal gone wrong that comes off like a good short story with a driving beat. It slaps and grooves its way along with ultimate cool until moving into overdrive. The band includes former Rockats members Smutty Smith and Tim Scott along with drummer extraordinaire Chalo Quintana (Plugz, Cruzados, Izzy Stradlin’s Ju Ju Hounds).

#17 – “Whiskey Talk” by Guadalcanal Diary from Flip-Flop – An in-your-face riff and a lesson about the dangers of being a stupid drunk. Cleverly written and loud, there’s depth in the song which shows that this band had what it took to make it but yet never quite did.

#20 – “Walkin Talkin Johnny Cash Blues” by the Godfathers from More Songs About Love and Hate – A rockabilly tribute to the Man in Black that cooks all the way through. The always great “I could care less” vocals by Peter Coyne are here and all else rocks. The late great Vic Maile produced the album and it was their best.

#21 – “Glamourpuss” by the Hoodoo Gurus from Magnum Cum Louder – It’s all about the one who’s the star and she’s all over this song. Played at a full throttle pace and noisy in good way, this tune helped drive the album to the top of the College and Modern Rock charts in 1989. Frantic vocals by Dave Faulkner and furious drumming by Mark Kingsmill set the tone.

#22 – “Six Feet Underground” by Jason and the Scorchers from Thunder and Fire – Likely the heaviest song laid to tape by the band and it is epic. Warner Hodges is monstrous on guitar and everyone runs to the finish in organized chaos. Lyrics by Perry Baggs are among his best and Andy York played on this album and toured with the band until their breakup.

#23 – “What Side of the Door” by the Paladins from Let’s Buzz – Very cool mix of organ and a big fat riff power this song about a guy who wants to know where he stands with his girl and then ultimately doesn’t care as long as he’s somewhere. Dave Gonzalez is lean and mean on guitar and vocals. A fine blues/rock band that appeared on Alligator Records in the 1980s around the same time as then-labelmates Johnny Winter, the Kinsey Report, Tinsley Ellis, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials and Koko Taylor.

#24 – “Dan Takes Five” by the Georgia Satellites from In the Land of Salvation and Sin -
Dan breaks up with his wife/girlfriend, feels like he got screwed and wants to shout it out. This one burns from front to back, start to finish and everything else. Rick Richards is a guitar god and Mauro is a machine on drums. Nothing fancy, just rock and roll that any guy can empathize with.

Nearly two dozen songs in 80 minutes for your listening pleasure. Until the next time.

P.S. - A few omitted tracks that were on the original cassette mix - trimmed due to CD running time limitations:

#12 – “Everywhere I Go” by the Call from Reconciled - Lead singer and bassist Michael Been is a songwriter who brings simple yet insightful lyrics together with some great grooves and turns out wonderful cuts like this one. Yeah, I know the band had a religious angle that the label always tried to downplay and that was always cited as a reason for them not breaking out but don’t let that scare you. This is a song of faith that translates into everyone’s need to depend on someone for strength at some point just to carry on. The rhythm section is relentless and Peter Gabriel is back there somewhere singing along.

#18 – “Drive South” by John Hiatt from Slow Turning – A landmark album in Hiatt’s career, this song is the first cut and opens the door for a slew of tunes that together cemented his place as a great songwriter. Nice bouncy feel, makes you think of driving and summertime and that’s always good.

#19 – “Sweet Guy” by Paul Kelly & the Messengers from So Much Water So Close To Home – A great riff that doesn’t go away in the vein of “The One I Love” by R.E.M. and a story about love of an abusive type. Truly an excellent song that was radio ready. A legend in his native Australia, he never made it here after signing with A&M in the 80s. Thankfully, I worked at a record store and got a copy on cassette which led me to 5 other Paul Kelly albums.

  • MellieMel

    Wow! This is a GREAT mix today. Reminds me of a similar tape I made for my first car in high school. Nice work!

    Kinda miss my Hyundai Excel right now… (uh, not) LOL

  • tor_hershman

    New here, yep…that's one groovin' mix.

  • Matt

    Tor – welcome!

    Glad you dig it!

  • Matt

    Hyundai Excel…haha. I'm sure you were happy to move on from that one.

  • Stacy

    Hokey smokes that's a good mix. Thanks!

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  • zandria1

    Living Colour, Matthew Sweet and Social Distortion all in one mix! NICE :)

  • tom thumb

    I introduced my 12 year old son to this mix today.. his head really spun hearing cult of personality at 118db. Than I REALLY turned it up loud for blood and roses……

  • tom thumb

    I introduced my 12 year old son to this mix today.. his head really spun hearing cult of personality at 118db. Than I REALLY turned it up loud for blood and roses……

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