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Friday, October 28, 2005

Halloween Mixed Bag

Chris Brown, a/k/a Lefty announced another Mixed Bag CD, this one in honor of the season. He actually said: "This is a Halloween themed mix, but I'm leaving it wide open to however you want to interpret that and how far you ghouls wants to take it." But I had started thinking about it after he started hinting about it, so I decided that I'd try to do the October 31 theme.

But ya know, I'm not one of those All Hallows Eve folks. As an adult, I can remember only a few times that I dressed up, (but one of those times, I looked fabulous, just FABULOUS!) I don't really collect, or even gravitate to, Halloween tunes, so it would be a difficult exercise. So why do it? Because it would be a difficult exercise.

I used to belong to a book club at my former church. 10 months a year, we'd get together and read a book, any book in a category agreed to by the group: nature, humor, love, whatever. Sometimes I'd find a book on my shelf that I had been planning to read that fit the category, but sometimes I had to read something that I would not otherwise have attempted. I decided that the exercise was worthwhile; it's how I ended up reading Margaret Atwood, among others.

So, I've decided that this is a good thing. But I might not do it NEXT year.

Oh, and one more thing. I AGNONIZED over what it would the tunes, and especially the order. Must have recorded it FIVE times, and if I didn't let it go, I'd STILL be fussing with it. The one thing that was on a couple versions that didn't make the final cut is Night on the Bare Mountain, not the Rimsky-Korsikov adaptation, but the 12-minute original Mussorsky. Maybe next year. Maybe not.

Most of these songs have deep, resonating vocals. Here's what I came up with:

1. Evil-Howlin' Wolf: love that rumbling voice! A blues classic.

2. Title Music from A Clockwork Orange: as I think I've said before, you ought to see this movie ONCE. This is moody moog music from Walter/Wendy Carlos

3. Halloween-Duplex Planet: occasionally, I join record clubs. Not your traditional record clubs, but quirky record clubs. Hello Records put out a bunch of oddball artists, along with obscure stuff from people like Andy Partridge (XTC), Frank Black, and They Might Be Giants. This is one of them. Most of the albums are 15-20 minutes long. One of the few cuts specifically on target.

4. Celtic Rock-Donovan: my friend Mark and I were big fans of the Open Road album that came out in the early 1970s. Sounds Lord of the Ringian, I think.

5. Intruder-Peter Gabriel: first song from his third album, generally called "Melt". I think someone is in the house.

6. Lovely Creature-Nick Cave: from his Murder Ballads album. One that isn't as gruesome as some of the other tunes, and not filled with curses like a couple of the tracks, but still very moody/scary, even with the leavening of the female vocal. I have a friend who worked for a record company and sent me discs from time to time; this was one.

7. Your Long White Fingers-Gothic Archies: another Hello disc. The songs on this album are all very short; this one is 1:29.

8. Gnomus (Pictures at an Exhibition): a section from the Mussorsky classic. Change of pace.

9. Greed-Duplex Planet. Less than 30 seconds.

10. The Dead Only Quickly-Gothic Archies. Just over a minute.

11. Paint It, Black-the Rolling Stones. When I was growing up, I had (and still have) the Aftermath LP. Then in the 1980s, Tom Skulan of FantaCo brought me the Aftermath CD from England. I decided on this song, and then I realized that I DID NOT OWN Paint It, Black. I had forgotten that the American version had the song:
1. Paint It Black
2. Stupid Girl
3. Lady Jane
4. Under My Thumb
5. Doncha Bother Me
6. Think
7. Flight 505
8. High and Dry
9. It's Not Easy
10. I Am Waiting
11. Going Home
but that the British version did NOT:
1. Mother's Little Helper
2. Stupid Girl
3. Lady Jane
4. Under My Thumb
5. Doncha Bother Me
6. Goin' Home
7. Flight 505
8. High And Dry
9. Out Of Time
10. It's Not Easy
11. I Am Waiting
12. Take It Or Leave It
13. Think
14. What To Do
It's like the Beatles' Rubber Soul; an American album with the same name and some common tunes, but not all. And of course, the American version is always shorter. (This music butchering also explains why "Ruby Tuesday" shows up on two U.S. LPs in a row.) NOW I have all the Rolling Stones albums through Goat's Head Soup, at least the non-live, non-Greatest Hits discs.

12. Voodoo-the Neville Brothers: New Orleans funk from the Yellow Moon album (the second time I've referenced that album this week, the first being when Rosa Parks died). It probably belongs on my Top 50 or so list.

13. I Put a Spell on You-Creedence Clearwater Revival: logical follow up as both talk about casting a spell.

14. Zombie Jamboree-Rockapella: this wasn't on the first couple versions because I FORGOT. Harry Belafonte did a version of this song that I received from Zombie Tom. From the Spike & Co. a cappella album, Spike being Mr. Lee, who was in Albany this month (didn't see him).

15. Catacombs (Pictures at an Exhibition) - starts with an abrupt octave change.

16: Thriller rap-Vincent Price and Michael Jackson: on the extended Thriller CD, you can hear the second verse of Price's priceless pontification.

17. Black Cat-Janet Jackson. This was on, then off, then on again. I couldn't resist putting Michael and his baby sister together.

18. Wastepaper Basket Fire-Brian Dewan: another Hello disc. Just because. Very dramatic reading of a dramatic event.

Thanks to Al, Brian, Darrin, and Mark (who will get a copy of this disc when he comes up to fix my computer!) for some sources of the tunes and/or suggestions.

Lefty has reviewed my disc on October 25.

Others have sent me their musical masterpieces and I won't review them per se, if only because I haven't heard them enough.

Logan did a cover version piece. Thing about cover versions is that you really appreciate them, or hate them best, when you can compare them with the originals. I liked all of the covers for which I recognized the originals. For those I didn't, primarily the rap stuff, it was more of a mixed bag. Played twice.

Gordon picked songs that evoked the mood, many of them familiar to me. And it ticked me off. Why didn't I think of that track from the Specials? Actually, I liked the collection quite a bit. Played once.

(Note: Roger's Rule is that one cannot fully judge a piece of music until it has been played thrice.)

I just got discs from a guy named Gilbert (a "bad song" mix, featuring the Williams Shatner and Hung) and Greg Burgas, which I haven't heard yet.

Lefty's mix, described in his blog of October 27, I haven't received yet. I assume I'll get his wife Kelly's at the same time. I know what I'll be listening to on Monday.

8 comments:

Greg said...

Isn't it "Night on Bald Mountain"? Have I been living a lie???

Yours is a good mix - you done good. The Gothic Archies (whom I haven't googled, but should) sound suspiciously like Stephen Merritt of Magnetic Fields fame. Some of the Mixed Baggers (it may have been in the first round, so you may not have gotten them) included Magnetic Fields on their mixes, so you can compare and contrast! Still, good stuff.

I hope you like mine - it's not really a Halloween thing, but it's the best I could do.

Roger Owen Green said...

Night on Bald Mountain is the common name for St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_on_Bald_Mountain
or http://www.musicstore.jp/~tohru/bare_mountain.eng.html

There's even disagreement about the spelling of Moussorgsky's name.
Greg, you're not wrong, and neither am I. Talk about win/win!

Roger Owen Green said...

And Mr. Greg is correct! http://www.houseoftomorrow.com/gothicarchies.php

Gothic Archies IS Stephen Merritt's goth-bubblegum group. Goth bubblegum?

Johnny B said...

I wish you could hear (if you haven't already) Harry Nilsson's version of Zombie Jamboree- it's a lot of fun. It appeared on 1976's ...That's the Way It Is, and I don't have it on CD or I'd burn you a copy...

Gilbert said...

Hey a bad mix?
AWW, tell me after looking at my disc are you not scared?
the song or the singers on my mix scare the hell out of me.

Roger Owen Green said...

I meant bad (or presunmably bad) songs, not a bad mix. Perhaps a good mix of bad songs. I'll tell you tomorrow.

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