Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mixed Bag Review-a-palooza 

Mix 23

I've liked Grant Lee Phillips since we was hanging out with the Buffaloes, so "See America" was a great way to start out this disc. "Opus 40" by Mercury Rev has a similar "almost country" feel to it that's appealing, mixed with a vaguely retro sound. Devotchka's "Queen of the Surface Streets" is very strong as well. Jamie Cullum's "Twentysomething" was pretty fun as well. A nice mix of snarkiness and a faux-jazz score. The Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #3" struck me as well. It's a bit repetitive, but I've enjoyed it. The Elliot Smith track with a name too long to be contained on the track listing ("A Distorted Reality is Now a Neccessity To...") has a similar sort of sound and I liked it quite a bit as well. I can generally be counted on to like Radiohead, and "A Wolf at the Door" is fine, but not one of my favorite songs of theirs. Grandaddy's "El Caminos in the West" has a bouncy tune to it that I enjoy as well. "Hideaway" by the Olivia Tremor Control was a great song, and while I'm not the big William Shatner fan some others are, there's a certain sense of wry cynicism and knowing cheese to "Common People" that elevates above the novelty record level of most of Shatner's past musical output.

NMH Mix One

"The New Year" by Death Cab for Cutie has a certain quality to it. I'm not certain I like the particular song, but the sound of it has me intrigued enough to be curious about the band's output. I have a very similar response to the New Pornographers' "The Body Says No." The song itself doesn't quite work for me, but I'm curious enough about the band now to want to hear more. I really dug OK Go's "Get Over It," though, as well as Rock and Roll Soldiers' "Funny Little Feeling." Both are good, straight-forward, unapologetic rock songs. "Another Round" by Enter the Haggis has a nice sound to it, and while G Love is hit or miss for me, "Gimme Some Lovin" is a good, bluesy tune from him. And I've been a fan of Sea and Cake for awhile, so I've had a copy of "Soft and Sleep" but it's a good song, so its presence here was welcome. Iron and Wine's "Such Great Heights" has a similar sound and I liked it quite a bit as well. And Cake's "End of the Movie" continues with that slightly melancholic sound, and it's tone makes it a great final track for the disc.

The Ded Mix

I've not been too impressed with the Jet tracks I've heard in the past, but "Last Chance" was actually quite good. And I still have a soft spot for the Beach Boys, so I can find no flaws in "Sloop John B." And, as I've mentioned before, I do really like Green Day, so I enjoyed "Macy's Day Parade." I'm not a Counting Crows fan, but "Hanginaround" was quite good. "Lonely Day" by Phantom Planet was lovely as well, but that's more or less what I expect from Phantom Planet. Son Volt's "Drown" is excellent as well, with a strong country element to the music and vocals.

Ringwood Ragemix

"Will You Smile Again?" by "And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead" has a great, hard-driving rock beat to it. I can easily get behind this tune. And much to Pal Corey's dismay I'm not really a Queens of the Stone Age fan, but I quite like "Burn the Witch" anyway. And I always feel vaguely guilty about it, but I kinda like Garbage, so it was nice to hear "Metal Heart." Supergrass' "Brecon Beacons" is great, as is the Rev. Horton's Heat "Baby I'm Drunk," which is a great showcase of his typical style. "Harelip" by Tomahawk has a certain quality to it. I'm not quite sure I like it, but it's very striking. Same deal with "Speaking in Tongues" by the Eagles of Death Metal. And, ah, Bill Hicks...we lost our greatest American philosopher. Elastica's "How He Wrote Elastica Man" and the Gorrillaz's "New Genius" have a similar kind of sound, and I sort of like it, but I can't imagine listening to a full disc of it. And, when exactly did Nick Cave get good. I really like "The Curse of Millhaven" and all the other songs of his I've heard recently, but I remember intensely dislike him when I was younger. And, being a comics fan, I'm well aware of the fact that your taste is at it's best when you're young (or so all the people who tell me that comics were better when they were kids tell me), so it can't possibly be that my taste has matured over the years to the point where I'm able to appreciate Nick Cave.

And at Tom's insistence...

You'll Play It and You'll Like It, Vol. 1

Let's see, I kinda liked the Donna's tune, "I Don't Want to Know" and "The Legend of Finn MacCumhail" by Dropkick Murphy's. And Tori Amo's cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is wonderful, and it's something I've only ever heard before in not very good live recordings. And the tracks by Ben Folds Five ("The Battle of Who Could Care Less"), Green Day ("Uptight"), Gary Numan ("Cars"), Joe Jackson ("I'm the Man"), Kim Wilde ("Kids in America"), The Lemonheads ("Style") and Patsy Cline ("Crazy") all have the benefits of familiarity and pre-existing good-will. But I do prefer Kermit the Frog's cover of "Coconut" to Nilsson's.
But, this was the other mix disc that Pete really liked.

The Progressive Ruin Mix CD of Love

There's something wrong with Sterling. I mean that in a good way. There's nothing here I actually dislike (well, maybe "I'm a Little Weenie" by Dick Baker), I just find the actual album itself, in its entirety, hard to listen to. Oddly, Mike's second disc, the one put together with a "Think my taste in music is weird, do they? I'll show them! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!!!" attitude, I like much more and find more tuneful. I can't listen to this disc while I drive, for example, but the second disc I can slide in, hit the "mix" button, and go happily about my commute.

That's it. All the first round of Mixed Bad mix-discs reviewed. Now I just need to finish burning the second round discs and get them in the mail. It's taking some time as I decided that folks who missed out on the first round will also get copies of my first mix. Just so they don't hear only my deliberately strange disc and think I'm completely insane.


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