July 1, 2008

Muxtape No. 12: Things I Need To Do Before The Batteries Die

Welcome to the weekly Muxtape, or at least the various scattered thoughts centering thereon. Seems like the theme this week is remarkable lyrics. Kind of a general idea, nothing like trying to prove a point about Dosh and Gastr Del Sol as we endeavored to do last week. You can listen to all the tracks here. Read on for our musings.
1. The Mendoza Line -- "Road To Insolvency" -- Fortune
(We're surprised by two things: 1) that Shannon McArdle will have a solo record out before former Mendoza Line and life-partner-in-crime Timothy Bracy and 2) that the songs at Ms. McArdle's MySpace cabin are so appealing. If we haven't come right out and said it before, we'll say it now: we always preferred Bracy's tunes to McArdle's in the Mendoza Line canon. Such as this song "Road To Insolvency." The guy can write amazing lyrics, his singing voice is rumpled to the extent of being wholly ace. But this new McArdle stuff is really very good. We saw Large-Hearted Boy hosting an MP3 from the set today, hopefully have time to do a post about it later this week. Ah, what the hell, we already wrote about the tune last week, so here it is: Shannon McArdle -- "Poison In My Cup" -- Summer Of The Whore; right click on the hyperlink and save as.)

2. The Replacements -- "Staples In Her Stomach (Outtake)" -- Stink [Expanded]
(This is the "bonus" track we were most interested in hearing from the recent Mats reissues, as it had been hyped more than once in the books we've read concerning the erstwhile Minneapolis band. And while it is slightly one-dimensional, it doesn't disappoint. It's was appended to the expanded version of Stink, but seems to be more of a piece with Sorry Ma. Another great lyric.)

3. Nosferatu D2 -- "Broken Tamagotchi" -- Nosferatu D2
(When Ben Parker yowls "the telephone is ringing!" in this track the hair on the back of our neck stands up. No one does literate and terribly exercised like Mr. Parker, whose acclaim falls far short of his immense talent. The title to this Muxtape is taken from this searing tune.)

4. Modest Mouse -- "Whenever I Breathe Out You Breathe In (Live)" -- Bootleg, May 19, Some Year
(Originally on the band's first single backed with "Broke," and while the Modest Mouse catalogue has many, many great songs, we tell anyone who will listen that they've never surpassed the excellence -- or at least the annihilating emotional impact -- of the first single. This live version is a nice take on the recording, and it was posted to some music blog a billion years ago when music blogs were shorter and lived closer to the water.)

5. The Swimmers -- "Pocket Full Of Gold (Live)" -- The Hideout, Chicago, 2008
(So we figured we'd post up another live track. We really like The Swimmers record that was finally released this year. The Philly-based quartet was giving away -- for a while anyway -- MP3s of their show last spring at The Hideout in Chicago. "Heaven" was the "big" track from the record, but we are equally as enamored with this rocker. We enjoy those plinky tones at the beginning, and the drumming on this recording sounds particularly forceful, in a good way.)

6. The Trolleyvox -- "Stomping Grounds" -- Luzerne
(And then we figured we'd keep it Philly style. This is from the T-vox's double set released last year. It's a quiet acoustic and violin-appointed thing, a ruminating vocal. This track is about a million miles away from the vitriol packaged above in the Nosferatu D2 track, and truthfully this seems more like an autumnal jam, but it's so purty we'll just leave it here.)

7. Wimp Factor 14 -- "Rebuilding Europe" -- Some 'zine comp
(We've always preferred the Eggs cover from that band's amazing Exploder! release. But even so, we were always intrigued to find and hear the original, and then it finally was posted to BCO or some such outpost of musical musicery, and we were pleased. This track features one of the best opening lines of the '90s: "I don't want to be part of your Marshall Plan...")

8. Unwound -- "Lady Elect" -- Repetition
(This record came out at the end of our college days and even now seems to sum up that period of time well. But even outside of our own context, Unwound seemed to harness the disaffected zeitgeist of the early and mid-'90s, post-grunge indie northwest. It would seem that when Mr. Cobain died, this trio, who we once saw destroy the Khyber in Philly many moons ago, stepped in to carry the mantle of the broken and disturbed. Love the subtle vibraphone -- we think that's what it is -- at the end of this track.)

9. The Sea And Cake -- "Civilise" -- The Fawn
(We referenced our strong feelings for The Sea And Cake's The Fawn Sunday, so we thought we'd throw in a track here from that excellent album. A nice gentle chorus, and wonderful pattering snare drum in the verse under spare piano and guitar. A very handsome package, and a track that could just have easily been on the more guitar-oriented set The Biz, rather than the somewhat electronically tilted The Fawn.)

10. Yo La Tengo -- "Beach Party Tonight" -- Summer Sun
(We were just at the beach. It was nice. Almost as nice as this top shelf Yo La Tengo dreamer. In a perfect world this song would lull us to sleep every night.)

11. Lifter Puller -- "Nassau Coliseum" -- Soft Rock
(We came to this pre-Hold Steady band way late, we admit. This track is amazing, as amazing as anything Mr. Finn has put his name on since. The relentless listing of cities and towns at the end leads up to a bawdy but stirring finish.)

12. The Promise Ring -- "Best Looking Boys" -- Boys And Girls
(So this sort of acts as a chaser of sorts to Mr. Finn's x-rated proclamation above, as here we have one of Davey Von Bohlen's innocent pop confections. It's no "Red And Blue Jeans," but few songs approach the greatness of that amazing track. So here we send you off with a pop song. Have a nice day.)

1 comment:

Bryan Hamill - Executive Editor said...

Nice work on this weeks Muxtape.
After just coming off the beach today, you have me reaching for some Yo La Tengo.

Evil Speakers