Nothing tropical on this week's mix but songs contained herein are pulled from at least a couple desert island discs. Another great cover from Greg Morris who really came through in the clutch. I have to say this week's mix turned out pretty good. Nice mix of new and old and everything flows together well… so no shuffling ok? That is a running gag at this point but, you know, funny cause it's true or something.
EDIT: Greg just pointed out that "Any Major Dude" was on the first-ever Summer Fridays mix. (Which is now out of print.) I try to keep track of these things but it was bound to happen at some point. Coulda sworn I used "Barrytown." Sorry folks. Refunds at point of purchase.
Here's the tracklist:
- The Boo Radleys – (I Wanna Be) Touchdown Jesus
- Dungen – Soda
- My Tiger My Timing – This is Not the Fire
- Fugiya & Miyagi – Taiwanese Boots
- The 6ths – San Diego Zoo
- Steely Dan – Any Major Dude
- Shrag – Tights in August
- This Many Boyfriends – I Don't Like You ('Cos You Don't Like The Pastels)
- The Pastels – Simply Nothing to be Done
- Dog Day – Wait it Out
- Violens – Acid Reign
- The Cribs – Housewife
- Fergus & Geronimo – Girls with British Accents
- Bare Wires – Dancing on a Dime
- Candy Butchers – What I Won't Give
- The Byrds – Why?
- The Jazz Butcher – Big Saturday
- Frankie Rose & the Outs – Girlfriend Island
- Built to Spill – Fling
- Louis Armstrong – We Have All the Time in the World
Liner notes after the jump.
The Boo Radleys – (I Wanna Be) Touchdown Jesus
One of my favorite bands The Boo Radleys' ambitious 1993 album Giant Steps just got the three-disc Deluxe Edition treatment via Cherry Red and this is one of the many bonus tracks, one of the bands best-ever b-sides. (Toby may disagree?) I think this was a b-side to some edition of "Lazurus" (not the original Creation EP but after it showed up on Giant Steps) and they had pretty much dropped all shoegaze tendencies by this point. The Giant Steps reissue is well worth picking up, as the bonus discs have many of their best pre-GS EPs on there — if you don't own them all already like some of us do. Song's title, as you may know, is a reference to the famous mural outside Notre Dame Stadium.
Dungen – Soda
This summer Tame Impala may have gotten a lot of attention for their percussion-heavy psych-rock sound of which they cribbed (and maybe dumbed-down) just a little to these Swedes who tend to sing in their native tongue. Dungen, meanwhile, continue to do their own thing and their new album, Skit I Allt (our next month on Mexican Summer) is quite lovely, maybe the most mellow, jazzy thing they've done.
My Tiger My Timing – This is Not the Fire
Don't know much about this London outfit whose 2009 single I downloaded from Emusic the other day for some reason and now here it is on this mix. It starts off sounding like it's going to be some kind of early '90s dance track ("Rhythm is a Dancer" perhaps?) but quickly turns into a twitchy, Foals-y type thing. I cannot for the life of me remember what led me to download this, but I'm glad I did.
Fujiya & Miyagi – Taiwanese Boots
I can't remember whether Fujiya & Miyagi's last album had the live drummer or not. But you can definitely tell a person is behind the kit for this new song from them which may or may not appear on their forthcoming fourth LP, due out January 2011. If so, it's promising. F&M have such a specific sound — whispered vocals, Kraut-funk grooves — it's easy to suffer fatigue (which I think is why 2008's Lightbulbs fizzled) but this sounds pretty good.
The 6ths – San Diego Zoo
If no one is making a tribute album of your work, you might as well do it yourself. Stephin Merritt recruited a Who's Who of indie rock (Dean Wareham, Mac McCaughan, Mary Timony) to sing for 1995's Wasp's Nests which is maybe harder to pronounce than the band's name. It's also one of my favorite albums Merritt has made, a winning batch of songs sung by a gaggle of great guys and gals. This is the lead track from it, featuring Barbara Manning who, the liner notes helpfully inform us, "is the guy from the San Francisco Seals and is also Barbara Manning."
Steely Dan – Any Major Dude Will Tell You
The 'Dan was bound to show up on a Summer Fridays mix at some point or another and here we are. "Any Major Dude Will Tell You," from 1974's Pretzel Logic, is a great entry-point for the Dan-phobic. There's minimal soloing (though Denny Dias' short one is a beaut), no saxophone whatsoever, and is loaded with great Fagan lines that manage to be flip and heartfelt at the same time. A great song for anyone who's feeling low. Have you seen a squonk's tears? Well, look at mine.
SHRAG – Tights in August
Indiepop can be a bit of a dirty word but SHRAG are flying the flag defiantly, with some balls too. Like Comet Gain, these folks deserve a bigger audience than they're currently getting. Which may happen soon. While their first album showed much promise, the upcoming Life! Death! Prizes! is a real winner that is bound to take them beyond the cardigan crowd.
This Many Boyfriends – I Don't Like You ('Cos You Don't Like The Pastels)
Where Shrag are soon to break boundaries, This Many Boyfriends are indiepop at it's most inside-baseball. If you understand the title, you're already hooked. And the Let's Wrestle-ish shamble will take you the rest of the way there. I hope this isn't a true story because if someone took a hammer to my copy of "Truck Train Tractor" I don't know what I'd do. This is hypothetical, mind you, as I don't own "TTT" in single format but I do have Up for a Bit on vinyl and would probably disown anyone who would purposefully do harm to that.
The Pastels – Simply Nothing to be Done
After a song like that you have to put the Pastels on next. You have to. I was Music Director at my college radio station when Sittin' Pretty came out which I put in Heavy Rotation and was nearly universally-loathed by everyone on staff but me. Stephen Pastel's voice is an acquired taste I guess. They also hated the Mekons and Galaxie 500. I digress. Not sure how you hate this song, the album's lead track, which is kind of an indie rock "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart."
Dog Day – Wait it Out
In the early '90s, Halifax, NS was a hotbed of indie rock, giving us Sloan, Jale, Thrush Hermit and more. Bands broke up, Sloan moved to Toronto and the scene seemed to dry up. Dog Day are keeping the flame alive. This is from last year's terrific Concentration which sounds a little like Figurines to me. The band are in NYC this weekend which prompted me to pull this one out.
Violens – Acid Reign
Here's a band that cites Prefab Sprout and Norwegian black metal as influences which seems unpossible but then you hear this single you just say "yep, ok." Knowing that frontman Jorge Elbrecht was a main conspirators in Lansing-Dreiden brings things into focus, even when the band seem to be at war with themselves. They rework songs constantly and, seeing them live, a friend tried to tell me they sounded like Coldplay. Well, this song definitely does not. The band's two-years-in-the-making debut is finally due out this fall. Will the real Violens finally stand up?
The Cribs – Housewife
Brand spanking new single from The Cribs, released this week on an unsuspecting world (wide web). Driven by a dirty keyboard hook, this is a new direction for the Jarmans (and Johnny Marr who's still in the band) and I approve.
Fergus & Geronimo – Girls with British Accents
Another band in town this weekend, Austin's Fergus & Geronimo are usually on the '60s R&B party band tip but this is laid-back and sounds to me like laying under a tree looking up at the clouds. That's probably not what they were going for, but like looking up a clouds, two people can see (or hear in this case) entirely different things.
Bare Wires – Dancing on a Dime
Just when you think the San Francisco area can't possible another great, garagey band here come Bare Wires. You know they're good because their album is on Castle Face, a label that only seems to lurch into existence when John Dwyer hears something awesome. (I don't think they've released anything since the first Fresh & Onlys LP last year.) It's jam-packed with party-friendly raveups like this one. Not unlike White Wires actually. Someone should get those two bands to tour together, actually.
Candy Butchers – What I Won't Give
Mike Viola was the voice on Oscar-nominated song "That Thing You Do" and around the same time was wowing crowds at NYC's Fez on a monthly basis with his own '60s inspired pop. Mike sang and played acoustic guitar and the drummer Todd only played a snare and they were brilliant. Signed to a newly-reactivated MCA imprint Blue Thumb, Candy Butchers recorded all those great early songs for a record that never got released as the label went belly-up. Mike parted ways with Todd soon after and formed a rock band version of the band and made overproduced records with Bob Clearmountain that never had the charm of the early stuff. Tapes of the Blue Thumb album made their way around the internet and was briefly released by Viola himself on his website (maybe still is?). Worth seeking out. Viola stays busy these days with a couple bands of his own when not writing songs for movies like Walk Hard and Get Him to the Greek.
The Byrds – Why?
This was the b-side to "Eight Miles High" and can now be found on the CD reissue of the band's super-psychedelic LP, Fifth Dimension. As great as their country-leaning album are, this is The Byrds I really love: tripped out, jangling 12-string guitars, great harmonies.
The Jazz Butcher – Big Saturday
For those who knew me in college, The Jazz Butcher was maybe the one band that which which I was synonymous. I was a superfan. And still am. Perhaps known for his wackier songs, Pat Fish was at his best making straight-up pop and this is one of his best. Why this wasn't released as a single is beyond me. I think only Jarvis Cocker could get away with "shan't" in a pop song like this.
Frankie Rose & the Outs – Girlfriend Island
Part of me wishes Frankie was still drumming for Crystal Stilts (they don't seem to have quite recovered from her departure) but I am glad the Outs exist because Frankie has a great ear for melody and harmony and the way things should sound in general. The Outs' debut LP will be, um, out on Slumberland next month and I just couldn't resist putting another song from it on a mix. Unassuming at first, this album really delivers on repeat listens.
Built to Spill – Fling
In the '90s Doug Marstch could do no wrong. A guitar god equally adept at melody, and great lyrics to boot. He was even capable of that rarest of things: the non-cheesy ballad. "Fling," from 1994's There's Nothing Wrong with Love, is just acoustic guitar and cello and is absolutely perfect. From now on.
Louis Armstrong – We Have All the Time in the World
This one floors me every time. I especially love the change when it gets to "Every step of the way…", it just lifts up and you're floating. From On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the most underrated James Bond film… and one of the most underrated Bond themes. The song's title is the final line of dialogue in it. If you've seen the movie it's hard to hear this without a tragic undercurrent (it's fairly wistful on its own). This one's been covered a bunch of times (My Bloody Valentine, Iggy Pop) but nothing comes close to the original. Louis Armstrong's voice (this was his last-ever recording) just gets you right there, you know?Once John Barry stopped writing the music for Bond themes, they pretty much went downhill. I could listen to this on repeat for an hour. And probably have.