Awright, here we go for the tenth time. Some of the best songs ever written, some of the worst, and all of them made awesome by bands that grabbed something familiar and made it their own. Or something like that. There's usually two ways a band can go with a cover. One is to play it close to the original, and the other is to re-invent the song into something entirely different. In either strategy, I tend to prefer the ones that maintain the melody. Those hooks were put there for a reason, people - mess with 'em at your peril.
Twelve of these twenty-two songs come from the '70s, which is still the great goldmine of classic bubblegum pop. Of course, that might be a declaration made by my own prejudice and preference - but, let's face it, something like the Sweet's "Little Willy" couldn't have existed in any other decade. It's equal parts hook-riddled genius and cloyingly saccharine; you just know the hippies of the 60s would've shunned it with the same fervor as the noo wave disco mavens of the 80s would have banned it from the VIP room. In one sense, the same could be said about every tune included here, regardless of era: it's all so cool it ain't cool no mo', which only makes it cooler. Or, y'know, something like that.
1. Tsar Pool Party (The Olsen Twins)
2. Needles//Pins Picture My Face (Teenage Head)
3. Rocket Rocket (Mud)
4. Bamboo Kids Jet Boy, Jet Girl (Elton Motello, by way of Plastic Bertrand)
5. Howler Up the Bracket (Libertines)
6. Best Coest Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
7. London Calling Just Got Back (Cheap Trick)
8. Nushu My Best Friend's Girl (The Cars)
9. Tina & the Total Babes Tell That Girl To Shut Up (Holly & the Italians)
10. Kasey Anderson & the Honkies Save It For Later (English Beat)
11. Warm Soda Waiting For The Man (Velvet Underground)
12. DM3 Sweet Hitch-Hiker (Credence Clearwater Revival)
13. Material Issue Little Willy (The Sweet)
14. Imperial State Electric I Don't Know What I Want (Raspberries)
15. Yesterday's Kids Tired of Waking Up Tired (Diodes)
16. Ko & the Knockouts If I (Nolan Strong & the Diablos)
17. Superchunk Cruel Summer (Bananarama)
18. Boys School S.O.S. (Abba)
19. The Connection Yeah Yeah (Ramones)
20. The Dollyrots Dream Lover (Bobby Darin)
21. Bayside Oliver's Army (Elvis Costello)
22. Ash Teenage Wildlife (David Bowie)
Spring has sprung, which means I'm a little overdue for the first faves mix of the year. But never fear, good things come to those who wait (usually in the form of a 20% gratuity).
The first four months of 2013 have produced some outstanding music. Too much for a single mix, in fack, which means a) there's already a fine chunk of Volume 2 primed for posting, and b) this one is chockful of greatness. Among the new(-ish) finds you may note the reappearance of some of my longtime obsessions (for example, I'll be pushing the Yum Yums, Zachary James, and the Biters until they all become as hugely popular as they deserve), as well as new ones by 80s faves the Del-Lords and the Grapes of Wrath. There's also a bonus track, hidden more out of my paranoia of major label assholeishness than any sense of added value.
Let the sun shine in. And remember: SPF 30 or above is not sunscreen, it's a shirt.
1. Slam Dunk Dying Breed
2. Purling Hiss Rat Race
3. The Yum Yums I Like Good Music
4. Biters So Many Nights
5. Night Marchers Big in Germany
6. Warm Soda Jeanie Loves Pop
7. Two Hours Traffic Ready For a Look
8. The Postelles Caught By Surprise
9. Grapes of Wrath Good To See You
10. Polly Put a Little English On It
11. Bed Wettin' Bad Boys Sally
12. Red Jacket Mine Someone Else's Cake
13. The Del-Lords When the Drugs Kick In
14. Sugar Sugaar Stoned
15. Dirty Fences King's Cross
16. Dick Diver Alice
17. Mount Mariah Bright Light
18. Matt Costa Shotgun
19. Har Mar Superstar Lady, You Shot Me
20. The Virgins Prima Materia
21. Zachary James & the All Seeing Eyes Runnin' Outta Tyme
Power pop, garage, R&B, Americana, soul, glam, and punk all mixed, matched, masticated, and otherwise mulched.
Everything on this blog is an attempt to support bands and artists that I feel deserve more attention. If you have a problem with my use of a song or a link, please contact me directly and I'll simply remove it. T'ain't no big thang.