Variation on the Word Sleep

Monday, November 15, 2004

November - Volume 1

One mix a month. Distributed to whomever wants a copy. Here's November's annotated tracklist. Email me if you would like a copy.

November - Volume 1
1. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Me and the Mia from Shake the Sheets
Um. Not really much to annotate here. This is why it's on this mix.

2. Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead from Set Yourself on Fire
"You were what I wanted/I gave what I gave/ I'm not sorry I met you/ I'm not sorry it's over/ I'm not sorry there's nothing to say/ I'm not sorry there's nothing to say." I love it when songs articulate things you've felt, but never managed to express.

3. Metric - IOU from Old World Underground Where are you Now?
I discovered both Stars and Metric through Broken Social Scene. When they played at the 400 Bar partway through the show during an ocean of feedback a woman walked on stage, grabbed a microphone and began screaming into it. The noise -- feedback and screaming -- then subtly morphed into a song. It was Emily Haines lead singer of Metric and a startlingly attractive woman.

4. Modest Mouse - Sleepwalking (Couples Only Dance Prom Night) from the Interstate 8 EP
This is one of my favorite Modest Mouse songs -- a cover of an instrumental song from the 60's with lyrics added. "The white trash boys/ listen to their headphones/ blasting white noise/ in the convenience store parking lot."

5. Pulp - Dishes from This is Hardcore
Jarvis Cocker's initial's are the same as Jesus' (if you count Christ as a last name). He was 33 when This is Hardcore came out, an album about aging, sex, and morality. He writes songs with a moral like a Woody Allen movie -- "You don't want to be as depraved and empty as me." From the same album in fact: "You look like me, but please don't turn out like me. You look like me, but you're not like me at all. I look like a big man, but I only have a little soul." He needs a hug, or less heroin.

6. Neko Case - Twist the Knife from Some Bootleg
I love the beauty and sadness of her voice. "Carefully, quietly, you took what's young from me/ Didn't deserve it, I gave it away/ Cowardly, thoughtlessly you walk away from me, and I'll tear my heart out to save you the pain." Liz fainted at a Neko Case concert once. Neko asked after her health.

7. Built Like Alaska - Burnin' Mine from Hopalong
Built Like Alaska deserve to be much more popular than they are. There's a calm beauty to their music -- it perfectly fits the landscapes they describe. They have a new record deal and a new album coming out soon.

8. Stars - Heart from Heart
I put one song from each of Stars' albums on this mix. This is from their second album which is probably my favorite. The female singer (also connected with Broken Social Scene) has a voice that makes me want to melt.

9. Aesop Rock - No Regrets from Labor Days
I love this album. I love this song. "You can dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." It's such a strange and engaging song.

10. Talking Heads - Psycho Killer (Live) from The Name of this Band is the Talking Heads
Someone explain this song to me. I love it -- especially this version, but what the hell does it mean?

11. The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence - Pavement from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (LA's Desert Origins)
"Some bands like to name-check, one of them is R.E.M." A deliciously odd song. The lyrics include listing the songs off of Reackoning which is my favorite R.E.M. album. Then somehow it shifts to the civil war. I think Pavement must have been smoking a lot of grass when they imagined the confrontation between General Sherman and R.E.M.

12. Prince Paul ft Big Daddy Kane - Macula's Theory from A Prince Among Thieves
This song is so wrong that it's right. I don't even know where to start -- the opening joke? Sometimes you have to turn off your ability to be offended and just enjoy. "While y'all are making love/ I'm making love into a buisness."

13. The Flaming Lips - Brainville from Clouds Taste Metallic
Given how amazing the Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots are, I think a lot of people overlook Clouds Taste Metallic. It's a tragedy that we don't have a Brainville -- we could send our president to have his "space enlarged".

14. Pulp - Bar Italia from Different Class
This is the ultimate hangover song. It says something sort of disturbing about me that it is the Pulp song that I most often put on mixes for friends. This captures breakfast the morning after -- preferably at the Triple Rock. The way Jarvis Cocker delivers the end of the line: "Oh look at you, you, you're looking so confuse/ oh what did you lose... It's okay it's just your mind." Of course the kicker is the very end "If we get through this alive, I'll meet you next week, same place, same time."

15. Stars - This Charming Man from Nightsongs
A cover of a Smiths song. I confess that while most people seem to adore the Smiths and Morrissey I can't stand either. Which is particularly odd considering the other music I like. This song is good though and this electro-pop version seems particularly appropriate.

16. Softies - Holiday in Rhode Island from Holiday in Rhode Island
My first (and I guess only) real love was from Rhode Island. I went to visit and when I ran across this song I couldn't help but love it for the happy and sad memories.

17. Grandaddy - Why Took Your Advice from Under the Western Freeway
I like Grandaddy. This is from their first album which is endearingly unpolished. There's something sad and obscure to this song.

18. Broken Social Scene - Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl from You Forgot it in People
This is one of those songs that took hearing live to really appreciate. The weird vocal filter. The slow building repetitveness. The banjo. Emily Haines' voice.

19. The Coup - Ghetto Manifesto from Party Music
This album cover originally had Boots Riley setting off explosions in both towers of the world trade center. "Got a house arrest anklet, but it don't bling bling/ got a hommie with a cell, but that shit don't ring." Like public enemy except all about class.

20. Angelo Badalamenti - The Dance of the Dream Man from The Twin Peaks Soundtrack
You know you love this song. You love the little midget with his backwards dancing crazyness. The owls are not what they seem. Oh and your favorite gum is going to come back in style.

There it is. It's fairly random. December is going to be quite a bit more deliberate -- I've already started picking tracks. I figure throughout November when I hear something I really connect with I'll toss it on a list and then whittle that down.


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