April 26, 2008

Oceans Never Listen To Us Anyway: Muxtape Numero Tres

Oceans Never Listen To Us Anyway: Clicky Clicky Muxtape No. 3
Kids hip to the Twitter feed got the early word Thursday, but now the rest of you can spend an hour or so listening to and generally pondering our third Muxtape. The same caveat applies; that is, we were surprised and disappointed at how much of our music is encoded in the AAC format and therefore not eligible for uploading to Muxtape. That said, it has become another facet to the game of creating the mix. Looking over this one a couple days later, we're not sure of the order in a couple spots, and the Cherubino track might rock a little too much for this mix. But it is what it is. Here is a link to the Muxtape, and below are remarks for each track:

1. Galaxie 500 -- "Ceremony (Live)" -- Copenhagen
(Listened to this live record incessantly around the time we started dating the missus. Dean Wareham really takes things higher when he finishes out the lyric and goes to the solo to bring the song home. But isn't there a second guitar here all of a sudden, backing him up during the solo? Did Kramer step up on stage to fill out the sound there? Dunno. We'll have to go back to the liner notes. Incidentally, the interview segment Wareham did last month on WMBR to promote his recently issued memoire "Black Postcars: A Rock And Roll Romance" was very enjoyable, insightful, and we look forward to reading the book.)

2. Lilys -- "Salad Bar" -- The Station Tapes demos
(Rare, unreleased Lilys demo recorded in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1991 in a basement studio. Really sublime stuff, sounds Ride-influenced. It is a shame the song didn't get a proper re-recording in Lancaster, PA where and when the sessions for In The Presence Of Nothing were done. It seems like Lilys-leader Kurt Heasley has been doing some cleaning out of the proverbial closets of late, what with the offer for sale of virgin copies of Eccsame The Photon Band recently. Perhaps he'll get together some odds and sods sets -- we're sure there's got to be acres of demos and outtakes.)

3. The Mendoza Line -- "Now Or Never Or Later" -- 30 Year Low
(Heart-stopping, slow burning demo version of a track that was featured on the Slow Dazzle record, which featured the now dissolved partnership of Mendoza Line fronters Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle.)

4. David J. -- "I'll Be Your Chauffeur (Original Version)" -- Songs From Another Season
(No rhythm section on this version. Another classic mixtape track from a gentleman who know lives in parts unknown and who had ripped out the only working bathroom in his house around the last time we spoke. The other version of the track will always signal autumn for us, but this more subdued take seems more dreamy and optimistic. Very tasteful saxophone here.)

5. Girlfriend 2000 -- "Ladybug"
(Unreleased track from a former combo of our once and current bandmate Jeff Stern, whose songwriting prowess should be supported by copious grant funding so he can just do it full time. Although he'd probably use the grant money to make a movie. Even so, this track continually reveals itself in different shades of emotion every time we listen to it. Very tasteful organ here.)

6. Gravel -- "Yesterday" -- International Hipswing comp
(This song is pretty flat as far as structure and production goes, but it captures a cat-gray, flannel-shirted mood of isolated desperation common among indie boys of the age at the time.)

7. Cherubino -- Car Wreck -- Bird
(This record was treated poorly by Pitchfork when it was released about six years ago, and we think it deserved better based on the two very strong songs on the set. "Car Wreck" is one of these. The band featured Haywood drummer (and, truly, one of only two people you should ever call if you need a drummer, since he's tops) Rob V playing bass and hitting the backup vocals. Keep talkin' 'bout it, keep talkin' 'bout it.)

8. Destroyer -- "I Want This Cyclops" -- City Of Daughters
(We made this muxtape the day this very good Catbird Seat item was posted about Destroyer's large, but mostly new fanbase. The only reason we were cool enough to know about Destroyer early was because we know a guy who knows a guy, and that second guy was/is a partner in Misra Records, and that first guy one day gave us a handful of Misra CDs for free out of the trunk of his car. One of those records was Streethawk: A Seduction, which is a splendid recording and features some very compelling and Bowie-tastic tunes. "I Want This Cyclops" we got from some blog, perhaps the late, lamented Mystical Beast.)

9. Ambulance Ltd. -- "Stay Where You Are" -- Ambulance Ltd. EP
(This songs seems to be singular in the Ambulance Ltd. catalog, as if they wrote it, realized it was awesome, and then decided they didn't want to be pigeonholed by it. Which is a shame, because if Ambulance Ltd, which has undergone some lineup changes in recent years, created entire records of subdued pop gems such as this, they would be our favorite band. Sadly, the long introduction is excised for the video, which is otherwise a pretty nice piece. As it stands, "Stay Where You Are" is at the top or very near the top of the list of most-played songs in our ITunes. More recently the band issued a set that included a cover of Pink Floyd's "Fearless," if memory serves.)

10. Boys Life -- "Two Wheeled Train" -- Boys Life/Christie Front Drive split 10"
(Another song with a long introduction, and a song with a huge payoff. This one cataclysmic in scope. At the climax, about two minutes in, hair on our arms stands up. Every time. And then this song has a weird outro, as if the storm has passed and the clouds are breaking up.)

11. Sunset Rubdown -- "Shut Up I Am Dreaming Of Places Where Lovers Have Wings" -- Shut Up I Am Dreaming
(We used to see the word "restraint" bandied about a lot in relation to one of our favorite bands back in the day. This is not that band, but even so this song epitomizes restraint. Which is why "Shut Up..." has such a huge payoff when it finally gets to the second go-round of "oceans never listen to us anyway." It's a musical journey, and when you get there, it is immensely enjoyable.)

12. Adrian Crowley -- Trilogy -- A Strange Kind
(If not the perfect mixtape beginner, then certainly the perfect mixtape ender. Ambient washes. Sad/creepy piano.)

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