Sunday, April 24, 2005

Power Pop Goodness

The mix CD swap is happening again. Since others have posted the contents of their mix CDs, I thought I'd share, too. Anybody is welcome to one of these, although it would be even better if you could compile a mix of your favorite music and pass it along to me as well. That's the real purpose here: music says a lot about who we are. So put together the music that means the most to you, and let me understand you better.

Here's what's on my Power Pop Goodness CD. It's loud, crunchy, and melodic. I love The Who and The Kinks, and the bands/artists on this CD, although they've recorded most of these songs within the past year or two, clearly love them too.

1. Plan to Stay Awake -- The Deathray Davies
2. Creation Myth – Dear John Letters
3. Freakin’ Out – Graham Coxon
4. Solar Sister – The Posies
5. Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub
6. Hold Me Up – Velvet Crush
7. Four-Eyed Girl – Rhett Miller
8. Department Store Girl – The Rosenbergs
9. Sort It Out – Caesars
10. Speed Racer – The Redwalls
11. Don’t Let Me Go – Michael Penn
12. Hi-Fi Killer – American Hi-Fi
13. Denise – Fountains of Wayne
14. Nothing Gets Me Down – John Davis
15. Secretarial – A.C. Newman
16. Season is Over – Matthew Sweet
17. Louie Louie – Fastball
18. Fingerpops – Garageland
19. Box Full of Letters – Wilco
20. When Everything Was Alright – Sam Roberts

11 comments:

Fred Kohn said...

hey andy, can you whip one of these babies up for me? i'll pick it up tuesday night.

Andy Whitman said...

Will do, Fred.

Joshua said...

my "teenage symphonies to god" t-shirt was loved to death, andy. raggedy at the neck, holes in the pits, but i still love that shirt. glad to hear there are v. crush fans still out there.

teddy dellesky said...

i'm halfway through the mix...great stuff...i was a huge teenage fanclub fan back in the day (banwagonesque album)...

danthress said...

Yeah this is good. This is a great late afternoon mix. Shaking the cobwebs off my head, remembering what adrenaline feels like. John Davis rocks. Feeling better, thank you.

megan, former blogger, now in hiding said...

Andy,
You don't know me. But I know who you are. Here is my mix cd list for the month: (though, I don't think you will understand me better. I don't know if that's possible.)

1. Carry Me Ohio- Sun Kil Moon
2. Moonlight Mile- Rolling Stones
3. Chicago- CSN&Y
4. Sinnerman- Nina Simone
5. Lonelily- Damien Rice
6. Wayfaring Stranger- Jack White
7. New Slang- The Shins
8. Jesus On The Mainline- Ollabelle
9. The Other Side- Bob Schneider
10. I Am The Man Thomas- Ralph Stanley, sung by Bob Dylan (I heard Bob Dylan sing this one live. BEAUTIFUL)
11. Old Habbits Die Hard- Mick Jagger
12. I'm Going to Set You Free- Nomos
13. Holy Now- Peter Mayer

Andy Whitman said...

Glad y'all are liking the mix. Joshua, the "Teenage Symphonies to God" album is definitely still a favorite. Last I heard, the main guys in Velvet Crush were playing in Matthew Sweet's band. I have a song from his latest album on my mix CD. And Teddy, Teenage Fanclub never went away and never stopped making great music. They just fell off the radar screen after "Bandwagonesque." The song on my mix CD is from "Grand Prix," a 1997 album, and probably my favorite of their albums.

I'm liking your mixes as well. Teddy, I *love* Sam Beam (Iron & Wine). And Dan, I too am really impressed by the new take on "A Love Supreme." I think it's cool how the bass carries the melody. And the percussion is out of this world.

Megan, I love your mix CD, and I'd actually love to hear it. Want to do a swap? I have the Sun Kil Moon, Rolling Stones, CSN&Y, and Ollabelle tunes. Great stuff. That Sun Kil Moon album is probably my musical find of the past year. Rather than re-writing what I've already written, I'm adding a recent comment on "Ghosts of the Great Highway" that I posted on a music discussion board last week.

And please come out of hiding. I know who you are as well (that sounds a lot more ominous than it's intended :-)), and would love to get to know you.

---------------------------

I try my best to keep up with music, but there's so much newly released material that inevitably some worthwhile artists and bands fall through the cracks. So one of my joys is going back and discovering a wonderful musician and songwriter with whom I'm not familiar, but who has a huge back catalogue of great material.

Mark Kozelek has been that discovery for me over the past couple of years. He's been making music for the past fifteen years, first as the leader of the SF slo-core group The Red House Painters, and more recently as a solo artist and as the leader of Sun Kil Moon, which features members from previous incarnations of Red Hill Painters and likeminded SF band American Music Club.

Kozelek has the high-pitched resonance of a slightly more tuneful Neil Young, plays winding guitar solos that recall the Godfather of Grunge in his Crazy Horse mode, and writes drop-dead gorgeous ruminations on loss and yearning and mortality that remind me of the suicidal geniuses Nick Drake and Elliot Smith. Don't come looking for feel-good anthems. But those who appreciate a melodic approach to melancholy will find much to like.

The Red House Painter albums are hit-and-mess. There are several gems on each album, but also lots of noodling self-indulgence -- thirteen-minute songs in which beautiful choruses and hooks are bludgeoned to death by being repeated for the last eight minutes of the song, for instance. There are some curious choices for covers, as well -- The Cars, Yes, Paul McCartney/Wings ("Silly Love Songs," which, although bizarre, greatly improves upon the original by moving into loud, atonal territory and avoiding the McCartney saccharine), AC/DC, and John Denver, for starters. But there are also originals of incredible power and beauty.

"Ghosts on the Great Highway," Kozelek's 2003 debut under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, gets it almost exactly right. He tones down the wankery, skips the covers, gets more focused in his songwriting, and delivers a ten-song song cycle that is breathtaking in its beauty and overpowering in its sense of loss. And this time the fourteen-minute song is one of the highlights, and "Duk Koo Kim," an ode to a South Korean boxer who lost his life in the ring, is by turns elegiac and solemn and swirling and panoramically gorgeous. I think the whole album is stunning, and I've probably played it more frequently than any other album over the past year or so.

megan, former blogger, now in hiding said...

andy,
I'd love to swap. I don't know any of the bands you mentioned. (Well, except for: The Poises, teenage fanclub, Fountains of wyane, and matthew sweet) I don't get Paste anymore, so I'm not on top of stuff! But I can bring you a copy of my mix to church this Sunday. I'm coming to hear my little brother preach at the Hip V. I mean Central Vineyard. I may add a few new things I'm listening too as well. But look for me there at church.
As for coming out of hiding... I don't know about that. People read this stuff and do mean things with what we say. But if you ever care to get a livejournal acct. I can add you to my "friends" list and would love to have you "get to know me" You just have to let me know you got the acct. Then I go to your webpage and "friend" you.

teddy dellesky said...

megan...make one for me too...i'll make you one of mine as well...hugs and kisses

Andy Whitman said...

Megan, I'll have a CD ready for you on Sunday.

Fred Kohn said...

'k andy, been listening to power pop goodness for about a week now. i'm surprised at how closely the levels of all the songs match. is this something you did or is it the marvels of modern mastering techniques?

my favorite lyric:

"I just can't find the time
To write my mind
The way I want it to read"

my least favorite lyric:

"I wanna smoke crack
cos you're never comin back...
i wanna sniff glue
cos i can't get over you"