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Monday, February 01, 2010

My Last Mix-Tape

No one is going to read this . . . but then again, no one is going to listen to every word of your best mix tape either. I've made a few in my time, and the following 20 songs complete the 'Only Mix-Tape I Should Have Ever Made.'
This one's for me, but I'm inviting you to take my glasses and see the world of music as I've seen it for the last 24 years. I'll stand by everyone of these songs, and would be happy to argue anything about their merit and/or meaning. So what do they mean to me . . . . well here goes:

1. "You're Not Very Well" Charlatans U.K.
Thriller was my first tape and I still think that's pretty cool. "Some Friendly" by the Charlatans was my CD. I knew that I'd only have one chance to buy 'my first CD,' and I blew it on these guys. I was in high school, my bro was in college. He liked the Charlatans, so did I.

2. "Close to Me" The Cure
I was in a Radio and TV class in high school. Every one of us had to 'play DJ,' roll out some chit-chat and spin one track. My voice was lame and I spun 'Fortunate Son' by CCR. Some girl with Doc Martens, black hair and a ton of mascara rocked 'Close to Me.' I thought I hated The Cure. This song changed everything.

3. "Bats in the Belfry" Dispatch
When you see a band so many times that you can call their encore and still be blown away, you know they're in your top five. If I could only listen to 5 albums for the rest of my life, this album would make the list . . . . and forget Pete Townsend. I still dream of jumping off an amp like Chad Urmston.

4. "Mirror Song" Live
Ed Kowalczyk and his boys were much better when they were young, blue collared rockers from Pennsylvania. Before Throwing Copper killed this band, this album gave me plenty to think about.

5. "Have You Seen Me Lately?" Counting Crows
My wife loves these guys, and I must admit . . . I'm a fan too. I tried to leave them off but I'll join Adam in a sing-a-long every time I hear this track. The original is horrific, but they've created an incredible 'cover' of their own song. Never seen that before, but I'm not a Phish fan either.

6. "This Ain't Living" G. Love & Special Sauce
They came to Davidson in '94 and played in front of an empty gym. I was unimpressed, but "Yeah, It's That Easy" became an album that I spun more than any other. One of the only songs I've ever written (Stick it to the Man) is based off this song. It continues to suck, but one day I hope to play it as smooth as G and Jasper.

7. "Half the Man" Jamiroquai
He was my Tracy Chapman. I couldn't believe Jay K was a man. I made my way to a 70's party in 1999 and I brought 'Return of the Space Cowboy' because I couldn't stand the thought of dancing to 'Brick House.' Jamiroquai burned that place down.

8. "Man in a Suitcase" The Police
The greatest 3 piece of all times. This track could be my favorite from Gordon, Stu and Andy. Sting was like Larry David at this point in his career. He could make an amazing song out of absolutely nothing. I did end up seeing these guys at Red Rocks, and it improved my opinion of the band . . .

9. "Son of Byford" Run D.M.C.
Deacon D.M.C. "Baptized" me in Salt Lake at a small club by throwing a bottle of water on the crowd. These guys changed music for my generation. John Paul Sperling brought 'Raising Hell' to my sixth grade class and played it during our Wednesday art lesson. I brought 'The White Album.' We both thought we were cool, and in retrospect . . . we were.

10. "Deeper Shade of Soul" Urban Dance Squad
Like Panoff is to 'People Under the Stairs,' so am I to UDS. Self proclaimed 'Originators of Rap-Rock,' I guess they gave us Fred Durst. But before that they gave me some of my favorite tracks to play in the old Honda Accord. I remember watching the video and wanting a yellow shirt with a big black jagged line. Apparently I thought looking like Charlie Brown was pretty sweet, too.

11. "King of the Mountain" Midnight Oil
I've listened to this track for 20 years. Peter Garrett freaked me out, but this was a band that I invested some money in. I felt like I had 'ownership' of Midnight Oil. Looking back, I think I did because everyone I run into hates these guys.

12. "Timeless Melody" The La's
I almost left this one off. When my hall counselor came around Freshman year and asked all of us for our 'favorite track,' I gave him this one. (Wish I could get my hands on that Mix Tape.) My musical mentor (Neuburger) told me that these Liverpudlians were the new Beatles. "There She Goes" was no "Let it Be," but I thought the were bigger than Jesus at the time.

13. "Fall on Me" R.E.M.
I've always wondered if Al Gore likes this song. My bro had U2, and I had R.E.M. Mike Mills' backing vocals have always intrigued me. I think he's at his best on this one.

14. "Dune Buggy" Presidents of the United States of America
At one point I claimed that "If I could be part of any band it would be the POTUSA."
Hard to believe I said that, but after Dune Buggy I remember why. Brad Corrigan took some guitar lessons from Dave Dederer and always threatened to put me on the phone with him. Boy how I'd love to talk Bassitar.

15. "Mellow Mood" Slightly Stoopid
Andrew Lumpkin is more of an SS guy than me. I just thought this was a brilliant (please read sarcastically) collaboration here.

16. "Rush" Big Audio Dynamite II
Clearly a terrible band by their name alone. This almost didn't make the list, but Mick Jones is a legend, and this track represents on of my greatest 'Mix Tape Edits' of all times. The middle of the track is littered with some sampling nonsense, and I made one of the most seamless and sickest cuts back in '91. The tape is gone, but the song remains.

17. "Elvis Presley And America" U2
I could put any U2 track on here and be totally comfortable. I just thought I'd reveal a track that's haunted me for 15 years. 'Unforgettable Fire' is my favorite album, 'Bad' my favorite track, and this song is somewhere in the mix. This is one of those songs that highlights some of my favorite things about the band. Bono, Eno/Lanois/ and Larry Mullen. Not sure how they'll celebrate the military drumming of Larry Mullen Jr. when he's gone, but I'm guessing it might be with Sunday Bloody Sunday, and this song.

18. "When the Day is Done" The Samples
Another band that people love to hate. They came to Davidson in '96 and I saw this guy and this girl dancing, without shame, to some Boulder Rock. It's forever burned in my memory. I've always wanted to be able to cut loose at a concert . . . .

19. "Only You" Yaz
I went to Shawnee Mission South. The Girl I liked went to Shawnee Mission East. She liked Yaz . . . enough said.

20. "Untitled" R.E.M.
I like to call this track "11." Perhaps my favorite R.E.M. track off my favorite R.E.M. album. I recently learned that they switched instruments for this recording. Now you know what it sounds like when Michael Stipe plays the drums.

Here ends "The Only Mix Tape I Ever Should Have Made."
Put it in your tape deck and sing a long.

Hayes 'DJ Eddie Harris' Trotter