Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Mixed Bag Review-a-palooza! 

Roxy's World

Roxy's disc starts out strong with Harold Melvin's "Don't Leave Me This Way" and continues with Liam Lynch's "United States of Whatever" which is great in it's upbeat cynicism. "Girl Named Michelle" did nothing for me, however, just blending into the background noise. To be honest, it was kind of annoying.

"Sheep Go To Heaven" by Cake was fun and very silly, with the sense of humor I've come to expect from the other Cake songs I've heard. Liz Phair's "Polyester Bride" is up next. I've always enjoyed her work, but I've never gotten around to buying anything by her. I can't think of any way to describe this track other than "Liz Phair-ian."

Next is "Patient Boy" from the Misfits. It's hard to go wrong with the Misfits.

PJ Olssen's "Whistle Song" is very catchy, but it's naggingly familiar. I think it may have been in a commercial I really disliked, hence why it rubs me the wrong way for no good reason. Which is a shame, because if it wasn't so naggingly familiar I think I'd like it more.

"Six Underground" by the Sneaker Pimps started out well, but went on a little too long. I enjoyed it, then it got kind of annoying. I think it was the beats that just got too repetitive. But Mercury Rev's "Spiders" was a strong come-back. It's got a very big sound to it that I quite like. And Carbon Leaf's "On Any Given Day" is great, probably my favorite track on this disc. I really dig the singer's voice, and the lyrics are fun.

I generally like remixes, but the "Brimful of Asha" one hasn't grown on me yet. If I was more familiar with the original song it might mean more, but I don't think I've ever heard it, so I had to take this version on it's own merits. It's good, but it suffers from a lot of the problems that many remixes have...the beat gets to be over-whelming. I couldn't listen to "Camel Walk" by Southern Culture on the Skids. It just rubbed me the wrong way the first time out, and it hasn't endeared itself to me on any of my relistens. In a similar vein, I thought the songs from Moulon Rouge were kind of kitschy the first time I heard them, but once you get over the initial amusement at them, they just leave me cold, so I've been skipping "Tango de Roxanne" on my relistens as well.

I've never been a big fan of the Barenaked Ladies, but "Falling for the First Time" is enjoyable, surprisingly so. And it's hard to find a Morrissey song I don't like, so the inclusion of "Suedehead" works for me. Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" is very soft and mellow and liked it a lot too. Finally, David Carter's "Southern Cross" is a nice way to finish off the disc. Acoustic guitars almost always sound good to me, and Carter has a nice, bluesy voice.

I'd have to say I liked most of this mix. There was really very little that didn't work for me on some level on this disc.

The In One Ear Mix Volume 1: Baby Flies A Comet

I really should put some kind of spoken word track on my next disc. I've done it on discs for myself in the past, and almost everyone else seems to have done it...

"Flyswatter" by the Eels is gloriously demented. It's a great way to start out the disc and now I feel strangely compelled to find more of their music. "No Milk Today" by Herman's Hermits is very catchy, and the Hermits are one of those bands that it's hard to find bad tracks by. I've been seeing all these ads for the new Nine Inch Nails album, and I've been joking "New NIN album? How could you tell?" So, sorry, but I've never really gotten into the band, and most of their songs all sound too alike for me, and "The Hand That Feeds" is no exception.

"Baby Flies a Comet" from LS Underground caught me off guard. I liked the opening riffs, disliked the singer's voice, and then it grew on me and I ended up digging the song. Similarly, though I'd heard it before, I never used to like Nick Cave. Sometime around my 30th birthday he suddenly got good, because it couldn't possibly be that my taste changed enough in ten years for me to really dig a song like "There She Goes, My Beautiful World." In contrast, "Arching Heart" by Cush is the sort of thing I'd probably have liked much more when I was younger. It's not any one particular thing about it, other than it just strikes me as maybe a little too self-aware. "Like Titanic" by Damian Juarado and Gathered in Song has largely the same problem. I actually kind of like it, though, despite a really annoying feed-back like sound running through the entire song.

"Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)", the second track by the Eels is catchy, but not quite as demented as the first. I still really liked it though. And then there's a track by a female vocalist that doesn't seem to be listed on the track listing. It left me a little indifferent. It was neither good nor bad, just another alterna-rock girl group. The kind of thing that, had I heard it on the radio, I would have happily listened to as background music. "Jewel to Sparkle" by Juliana Theory has that same not-quite-describable quality to it of something I probably would have liked when I was younger. And I've never liked anything I've heard by the White Stripes, so "Black Math" left me cold.

Green Day is another one of those bands that it's hard to go wrong with, so "Give Me Novocaine" was welcome. Next up were "All These Things I've Done" by the Killers and "Evil" by Interpol. I haven't felt the need to buy the albums yet, but I've been enjoying the songs by both bands that I've been hearing, so these two tracks may eventually prove to be the impetus that I've needed to drop some cash. "When You Say Love" by Over The Rhine I've eventually come to like, but at first it just sort of blended in to the background and was too easy to ignore. And then we get another Eels track, a brilliant cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love."

"We Give We Take" by the Choir isn't bad, but it never seems to stay with me after listening to it. "Not Funny" by Starflyer 59 is another one of those tracks that I've just had to skip. The very beginning of the song just annoyed me for no good reason, and I haven't had the patience for it to give it a good listen. "Blow it Away" by The Lassie Foundation had much the same effect on me, though I found it more listenable. It just doesn't stay with me. And I'll probably be beaten soundly by many of my friends for this, but I've never cared for Joey Ramone's solo stuff very much, so despite my general enjoyment of covers, especially ill-conceived ones, "What a Wonderful World" didn't do much for me.

"Black Betty" by Spiderbait starts out with a really great guitar riff, then layers on some more. It's not at all the kind of stuff I usually like past that point, but I dug it anyway. Sometimes stuff I don't think I'll like sneaks up on me like that and I end up liking it anyway.

I'd like to say some words about "The Poison" by Pedro the Lion, but none of my CD players have been willing to play it or the final track.

All in all, I'd say this was a pretty good mix for me. About half of it I liked, and most of the rest was okay, just not anything of particular appeal to me.


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