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

31Aug/098

The Monday Morning Mix – I’m Gonna DJ – 8/31/09

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About Today's Mix:

Today, we welcome our good pal Annie Zaleski with a stellar mix. We're going to let the mix -- and Annie's mix notes -- do the talking on this one.  I will allow that this is one of my favorite mixes to date.  I keep saying this, and once again challenge you to top today's mix with your own.  Here are Annie's notes, with track listing and Amazon purchase links as well!

Mix Notes:

I have been a huge R.E.M. fan since about 1993 or so. (I have a license plate indebted to "Driver 8." True story.) Naturally, I’m predisposed to like stuff that’s jangly/mysterious/poppy – although my pop music collection ranges from Ace of Base to Yaz. That sort of explains the theme of this mix, although that’s merely a jumping-off point for the songs included here. Accidentally, however, the following collection contains an insane amount of bands that have played with R.E.M. – and has many tunes produced by Canton resident Don Dixon.

Download complete mix (link is good for one week)

1.  The Connells - Scotty's Lament - from Boylan Heights
2.  Guadalcanal Diary - Get Over It - from 2x4
3.  Material Issue - Renee Remains The Same - from International Pop Overthrow
4.  Beat Rodeo - Just Friends - from Staying Out Late....With Beat Rodeo
5.  Wilco - A Shot In The Arm - from Summerteeth
6.  The Jam - Smithers-Jones - from Setting Sons
7.  The dBs - Never Before and Never Again - from The Sound of Music
8.  Bruce Springsteen - Human Touch - from Human Touch
9.  Let's Active - Talking To Myself - from Big Plans for Everybody
10.  The Pretenders - Night In My Veins - from Last of The Independents
11.  Orbit - Medicine (Baby Come Back) - from Libido Speedway
12.  Suzanne Vega - Luka - from Solitude Standing
13.  World Party - All Come True - from Private Revolution
14.  Sloan - Waterfalls (McCartney cover) - from Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Tribute to Paul McCartney
15.  Orbital - Illuminate (featuring David Gray) - from The Altogether
16.  The Go-Betweens - Streets of Your Town - from 16 Lovers Lane
17.  Grant Lee Buffalo - Arousing Thunder - Storm Hymnal : Gems From The Vault Of Grant Lee Buffalo
18.  Sun Kil Moon - Carry Me Ohio - Ghosts of the Great Highway

The Connells, “Scotty’s Lament.” Formed by a pair of brothers, the Connells were one of many great jangle-rock bands that sprouted in the South during the ‘80s. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the band became global superstars with the 1993 single “’74-‘75,” but their ‘80s stuff is quite a bit darker. Wikipedia compares this song to the Smiths, and so it now makes sense why I like it. This song is from 1987’s Boylan Heights, a Don Dixon/Mitch Easter production. The band is still together and does the occasional show.

Guadalcanal Diary, “Get Over It.” A jangle-pop group from Marietta, Georgia, that formed in 1981. (Guess what they sound like.) “Get Over It” is found on 1987’s 2X4, an album produced by Don Dixon. (Guess who else he produced.) All snark aside, GD’s four ‘80s albums have brilliant moments of pop craftsmanship which transcend geography and association – like this song, which in a weird way conjures the heartfelt stuff of the Barenaked Ladies. (That’s not a diss.)

Material Issue, “Renee Remains the Same.” “Kim the Waitress” – a cover of a tune by the Green Pajamas – might have been Material Issue’s hugest hit in Cleveland. But power pop doesn’t get much better than the Chicago trio’s 1991 LP, International Pop Overthrow. (I even named my radio show after it.) Although tackling the time-honored theme of “songs about girls,” IPO remains a near-perfect debut LP, one that contains just the right touches of heartache, euphoria and longing. “Renee Remains the Same” wasn’t a single, but it could have been – which sums up exactly how solid the album is. Sadly, Material Issue vocalist/songwriter Jim Ellison committed suicide in 1996.

Beat Rodeo, “Just Friends.” The Suicide Commandos were Minneapolis punk-pop legends long before Husker Du and the Replacements. But after splitting in 1979, bassist Steve Almaas formed  Beat Rodeo. Like stylistic peers (and I.R.S. labelmates) Jason & the Scorchers, the band specialized in twang-punk before it was de rigeur. From 1984’s Staying Out Late With…Beat Rodeo, an album produced by Dixon (sans two tracks which were produced by Richard Gottehrer).

Wilco, “A Shot in the Arm.” A piano-sprinkled tune from Summerteeth. Contains my favorite Wilco lyric: “We fell in love/In the key of C.”

The Jam, “Smithers-Jones.” The Jam are known for its compact mod-rock tunes, but this string-laden one (which comes from 1979’s Setting Sons) shows off its sensitive side. Penned by Bruce Foxton, not Paul Weller.

The dB’s, “Never Before and Never Again.” I listened to this tune compulsively after a break-up a bunch of years back. One of the gentler jangle-pop tunes in the band’s career, it details the sometimes-brutal process of re-finding your individual self after being part of an “us” or a “we” – what you learned, what you’ll, er, never tolerate again. dB’s principles Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey have a new collaborative record, Here and Now, out on Yep Roc.

Bruce Springsteen, “Human Touch.” I will vouch for solo Springsteen. Including this tune – and its simple sentiment: “I just want someone to talk to/And a little of that human touch.” Isn’t that what we all want?

Let’s Active, “Talking to Myself.” Quite possibly the quintessential Let’s Active tune. Beautiful lyrics from the Mitch Easter.

The Pretenders, “Night In My Veins.” Chrissie Hynde’s status as a rock icon goes without saying. This tune makes me feel like I can fly – or take on a gang of thugs all by myself.

Orbit, “Medicine (Baby Come Back).” A late-‘90s one-hit wonder from a Boston band that should have been much, much bigger. From the awesomely named album Libido Speedway. Incidentally, Orbit has reformed for the occasional show in recent years.

Suzanne Vega, “Luka.” Tied with ‘Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” and Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” as the best song addressing familial/domestic violence.

World Party, “All Come True.” One of the band’s lesser-known early singles, “All Come True” comes from 1984’s Private Revolution (which was super out of print until being reissued a few years back on CD). Moody and brooding.

Orbital, “Illuminate.” Best known for being electro-trance innovators, this tune features David Gray on vocals. (Apparently, he’s the brother-in-law of Orbital dudes Phil and Paul Hartnoll?) Why was this song not huge?

The Go-Betweens, “Streets of Your Town.” I could go on for hours about the merits of Australian act the Go-Betweens. But I’ll just point folks to 1988’s 16 Lovers Lane, which contains this song (along with “Love Goes On!” and “Was There Anything I Could Do?”). Buy the 2-CD reissue if you can find it. Ivy did a fantastic version of this tune on its covers album, Guestroom.

Grant Lee Buffalo, “Arousing Thunder.” That Grant Lee Buffalo even saw the mainstream light of day in the ‘90s was a testament to how bizarre the musical landscape was back then. (The band also toured with Pearl Jam and R.E.M., which probably didn’t hurt.) Quirky Americana characters and sepia-toned folk-rock with rushes of noise – akin to American Music Club, in an abstract way – made GLB one of my hidden treasures as a kid. This one’s from the underrated follow-up to 1993’s Mighty Joe Moon, 1996’s Copperopolis, which you can probably find for about a dollar at your nearest Exchange. Grant-Lee Phillips has since released a slew of solo albums, including a covers disc which features an amazing version of Robyn Hitchcock’s “I Often Dream of Trains.”

Sun Kil Moon, “Carry Me Ohio.” The finest moment of Mark Kozelek’s post-Red House Painters band (and that’s including SKM Modest Mouse covers LP and several Neil Young-inspired LPs since). He’s a Massillon, Ohio native – and I believe was pals with another one-time Clevelander, Jason Molina of Magnolia Electric Co. -- which you can tell because he pronounces “Tuscarawas” correctly in this tune. A good one for the impending autumn and the changing of leaves.

  • anniezaleski

    as is my wont, i was late getting in mix notes. sorry for the delay…

  • Matt

    Good things are worth waiting for!

  • Stacy aka Jukebox65

    Yup. All smiles on this one. Can't wait to hear it. Thanks Annie.

  • Deb

    Thanks for the great mix – lots of stuff I don't ordinarily listen to, as well as a few old favorites. Really enjoying it this evening!

  • zandria1

    Another great mix! And also a great idea as to how you created your list :)

  • zandria1

    Another great mix! And also a great idea as to how you created your list :)

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