9.29.2008

FCM #12 - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

FCM #12 - PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES Lots of transportation related songery here and nothing about those two pillows. (we'll save that for booty-shaking theme week!) Click here to download the whole FCM #12 - PTA or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

Next friday's theme - VERBS! So pick a song that deals with one of your favorite action words and (if safe for work) submit alongside your song and description a photo of you or someone else performing that action.

"Paper Planes" M.I.A. - 2007
Margaret writes: I've been obsessed with this song for the past month or so - it's dang catchy and fun. She mentions planes, trains, trucks and pumping gas - apparently she's all about transportation. That's all I got.

"The Letter" Box Tops - 1967
Christine writes: Hold up Mister, the trainís not fast enough for this reignited lover, get him an airplane! Put aside the fact that she mailed him a letter that probably took at least two weeks to reach him and could be over him again by now, itís a pretty endearing song. This Memphis-bred group led by husky-voiced sixteen-year-old Alex Chilton broke free from the bubble-gum pop so many were apt to chase after in this era and instead relied on more local influences. Their first and probably best single skyrocketed to #1 but the rest of their "best of" CD still has some charmers like "Cry Like A Baby" and "Neon Rainbow."

"Flight 180" Bishop Allen - 2006
Ben writes: "My friends, my friends, I'm coming' home." Bishop Allen wrote a bunch of great songs in 2006 - this is only one of them. It's the lyrics and vocal delivery that keep me coming back to this tune. I love the way he weaves the flight narrative together with his own thoughts and preoccupations. It reminds me of the way I think and so it strikes me as being "true" - if you know what I mean.

"Red Eye" Ace Enders - 2008
TJ writes: This song is from the singer of a band I used to love back in my own band days called The Early Novemeber. I don't know if I've put anything from them on here bit I feel like I have. Anyways, whatever, here is a song called "RED EYE" by Ace Enders.

"Mission Control" No Knife - 1998
Chris writes: The second offering this week comes from an oft-overlooked post-rock band by the name of No Knife. They embody the opposite of the Louvin Brothers, though many things remain the same: two voices, an ambiguous story, travel to places unknown, and a lamentable fate. No Knife, however, is a pounding, swerving, diving ship of distorted guitar and throaty vocals that might certainly seem futuristic to the Louvin Bros. Here, No Knife is happily losing their shit over a botched space mission ("Monkey's a goner!"), whereas the Louvin Brothers were just saying goodbye to a girl they'd never see again. Ahhh, simple times.

"Planes Over the Skyline" Swervedriver - 2005
Nick writes: I am pretty convinced that every single Swervedriver song could fit this mix somehow, so here is one of them.

"No Train to Stockholm (Lee Hazlewood)" Dax Riggs - 2008
Brian writes: I know, I know..."Another Dax Riggs song? Isn't this thing supposed to be about discovering and posting new/different music?" Well, hear me out. I've only actually posted 1 Dax song so far, and the others that have followed are just really, really good songs made even better by Dax. So, I look at it as a 2 for 1 deal.

Dax has introduced me to the music of Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Nick Cave, Nick Lowe, Nick Drake and countless others not named Nick. In this case, Dax introduced me to the music of Lee Hazlewood (RIP).

In 1970, Hazlewood released Cowboy in Sweden as a soundtrack of sorts to accompany the TV show, also called Cowboy in Sweden, that Hazlewood starred in. Being an album for a TV show, it is somewhat on the poppier side, and very, very catchy. Near the middle comes a song that is fantastically catchy (especially the chorus), but with lyrics that are extremely powerful and way too relevant today. That song is No Train to Stockholm.

I had never heard of Hazlewood at the time, but in early February 2008 I came across this video of Dax performing No Train... It was instantly in my head. I looked up the lyrics and learned to play it on guitar immediately.

A couple weeks later, I saw Dax at Double Door, and he didn't play it. I was talking with him afterwards, and I mentioned the video and how great I thought it was. He asked if I wanted to hear it, and when I managed to form the word "YES", he grabbed his guitar and took me "backstage" (which at Double Door is pretty much like a boiler room in the basement...but with a couch and chair) to play it. It was just me, Dax and a girlfriend of his, and he played the hell out of this song, and a couple new songs, for me. It was a pretty awesome experience.

Anyway, here's a bootleg version of No Train to Stockholm from a couple weeks after that night. I believe it was the last show of the tour.

Wow! This is really long again...Ah well...

"In The Pines" The Louvin Brothers - 1956
Chris writes: I'm bringing two to the table this week because it was so damn hard to choose between the past AND the future of transportation. First up is an old country classic that dates back to days when a loved one could get on a train and never be seen or heard from again. It's "In the Pines", a number that's been covered and recreated throughout the last 100 or so years, but no one's done it quite as well as the Louvin Brothers (Smog came very close, however). Just try and get that train-whistle-like mournful harmony out of your head!

"Train Song [Live]" Tom Waits - 1988
Jane writes: Something tells me that the train songs for this theme are going to be waaaaay under-represented. I hope I'm wrong, because trains are fantastic.

Anyhoo, here's my contribution. I promise not to lay too much Tom Waits on the FCM, though it is by far my largest collection from any one artist. Blame it on me being a drunk in college and friends in record stores (records!!). I chose the live version of this song because it kicks off with a humorous story... a humorous story that leads into the most gutwrenching of laments. Weird juxtaposition. A rollercoaster of emotions. The tears of a clown.

I love this line:
"a steeple full of swallows that could never ring the bell"

I picture them, and it's the saddest part of the song for me. But I'm a sucker for birds and animals.

"Love In Vain" The Rolling Stones - 1969
Brian writes: This is one of my favorite Stones songs from possibly my favorite Stones album. It also happens to be a great train song (and it sort of sounds like Mick Jagger says blueline and redline when he's actually saying blue light and red light). It was originally written by Robert Johnson in the '30's, and later re-worked by the Stones on the album Let it Bleed. So, there you go...2 for 1.

"I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo" Glenn Miller - 1942
Renata writes: Perhaps a loose interpretation of our Trains, Planes, and Automobiles theme, Kalamazoo is a song my cousins and I grew up with as we spent time together on our annual Kouka family vacation up at Moose Lake in Wisconsin (Kouka = mom’s side of the family). The song is about a guy about to travel to Kalamazoo, MI (via plane!) to visit his love—the toast of Kalamazoo, of course! A loose fit, but a fit nonetheless :)

Grandpa always had the radio set to a big-band station and so Kalamazoo, along with other classics such as The Chattanooga Choo Choo and Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing), are songs I will always hold a certain fondness for! To add the story, this past April I drove through Kalamazoo on my way to a student advertising competition. I found this hilarious and immediately texted my cousin, Kimberly (who now lives out in California) to share in the excitement.

A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-IIIIIIII got a gal in Kalama-zoo-zoo-zoo-zoo …

"The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side" Magnetic Fields - 1999
Felix writes: I remember someone mentioning this album to me while in grad school (2000), but I didn't pick it up until after I arrived in Chicago. At the time, I was dating someone still living in Ohio, and from time to time would make the brutal drive from Barrington, IL to Columbus, OH after work on a Friday (oftentimes not arriving until 1AM, factoring in the time change).

Back when I was still listening to actual CD's, Volume 1 was one of my favorites of this album. This was a great song to sing to, and that final high G note at the end of the song is just... ridiculous.

"Motorway" The Kinks - 1972
Walt writes: Okay, it's been a couple of weeks since I tossed a Kinks song out there. Here's Motorway from the Everybody's in ShowBiz album from 1972 . Motorway food is the worst in the world!

"Always Crashing in the Same Car" David Bowie - 1977
Allison writes: Okay, here's a Bowie track from a seminal Bowie album (Low, circa 1977) that apart from a lyrical metaphor about crashing a car, also provides me a vehicle (Ha! Vehicle! Get it?!) for me to link to the video for one of my most favorite, most hilarious bits by Flight of the Conchords, "Bowie in Space."

"Passenger" Deftones - 2000
Justin writes: This is probably one of my favorite songs on the White Pony album, if not my favorite. I absolutely adore Maynard's singing voice and at the time was a really big Deftones fan. I felt the title and lyrics fit well for this week's theme and I thought I would share this with you.

"This time won't you please, Drive faster!"

"Flipside (featuring Peedi Crakk)" Freeway - 2003
Justin writes: I feel like there isn't enough rump shaking hip hop in the mixes so I'm ever so slyly inserting this into the list. Mostly because the artist has dubbed himself "Freeway" and discusses many automobiles in the rhymes that he drops. I mean just examine the first few lyrics he spits in this energetic piece.

"Cars (Jlab Mix)" Gary Numan - 1998
Walt writes: It's the only way to live...

"The Glass Is Half... Awesome" Inkwell - 2005
Justin writes: I found this band a few years ago whilst I was attempting to start a clothing line of the same name. Upon my "is this copyrighted" searches I found this group and generally liked their stuff a lot. I thought is was funny that had I not been pursuing the name check I would've never found them.

Anyway this one is very much about automobiles and it's catchy too!

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9.19.2008

FCM #11 - Dance Party

FCM #11 - DANCE PARTY I'm glad to see this mix come together organically and STILL include the "Cha Cha Slide." Admittedly, there are a LOT of different ways to dance and I'm sure you could go through most of them through the course of this mix. Don't miss Felix's link to "Partydance" which has been an office comedy favorite for some time. Click here to download the whole FCM #11 - Dance Party or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

We're voting again for next week's theme. Choose one or these. (1) Break Up Mixtape, (2) Planes, Trains & Automobiles, (3) Fight Songs

"Twistin' the Night Away" Sam Cooke - 1962
Felix writes: Really difficult time with this one. I don't tend to dance all that often (it's a rare thing for me, and usually only happens when I'm alone). While I was tempted to make my pick Ed Shepp's "Partydance", I decided to go with a more traditional pick: Mr. Sam Cooke.

"Genius of Love" Tom Tom Club - 1981
Sarah writes: I love funky dance parties! The first Wednesday of every month is Funk and Soul night at Danny's in Bucktown. The DJ duo Sheer Magic play the funkiest music ever recorded, and the tiny dance floor is packed with people who can't resist the beats! One of my favorite things - I look forward to it every month.

At first I had trouble narrowing it down to one song, but when I remembered 'Genius of Love,' the choice was clear. It speaks for itself. "Who needs to think when your feet just go?"

"Nobody Dances Anymore" Brandston - 2006
TJ writes: Well, this track is from the band Brandtson, a late high school/college fav of mine. This song is totally about people not dancing anymore so I figured it would fit perfectly. And it's always made my rump shake. Any for reals yo, please go check out the video. The whole thing is just people dancing to the song. Enjoy.

"Don't Leave Me This Way" Communards - 1985
Walt writes: Imagine a large ballroom dance floor with three dozen dancers in pink and champagne taffeta gowns with hoop-style skirts just rockin' out to this song ... well that's what I do.

"September" Earth, Wind and Fire - 1978
Margaret writes: I had never listened to funk music before I met Justin, but he's a big fan and now I'm hooked as well. We have a Saturday morning ritual where we blast funk music and dance around our living room like a couple of dorks, and this song is a standard on the playlist. It's impossible for me not to move to this song.

"Let's Pretend We're Married" Prince - 1983
James writes: Only Prince could pull off a line like this without taking a knee to the tenders:
"Excuse me but I need a mouth like yours
2 help me forget the girl that just walked out my door
Let's pretend we're married and do it all night"

"Paper Tiger" Spoon - 2002
Chris writes: I'm a big electro fan and there are a number of fantastic speaker-destroying tracks I thought I might like to include on this mix (see works from Justice, Boys Noize, Calvin Harris) but I decided to go with something more personal - hence this track from Spoon's Kill the Moonlight. When I first moved to Chicago I lived in a big, empty apartment in the Ukrainian Village for the first month and a half while waiting for a roommate. I had a chair, a desk, my computer, a bed, and a little TV stacked on a milk crate. I had no cable and no phone, and I didn't have a job either. I spent my time putting my portfolio together and doing a smattering of freelance work to keep myself alive. I didn't know a single soul in the city, but for that first month and a half it didn't really matter. I played my music loud, I became fascinated with Korean television (see: Age of Warriors), one of the few channels that I could get on my TV, and I sang and danced to break up the time I spent working away at my desk. I wore the grooves out (so to speak) on Kill the Moonlight, and Paper Tiger was the star of the show. I would stand up from my desk and shuffle around the bare living room whenever this song played, dancing a sort of soft shoe that seemed to perfectly fit the mood. Spoon have an acute minimalist's touch when it comes to instrumentation and they have perfected the science of finding just the bare essentials needed to create a beautiful song. Britt Daniel's closing lyric inspired daydreams of what the city might hold for me: someone to be with when I turned out the light.

"Strength Beyond Strength" Pantera - 1994
Brian writes: I was 14 years old when Pantera's Far Beyond Driven was released. I ditched school so I could get my hands on it immediately when the record store opened. My first listen was a magical one, and the thousands that followed were so inspiring and therapeutic to me in my youth. I still get chills when I hear it.

I was almost 15 when I saw Pantera live for the first time at The Aragon Ballroom in 1995. That was the first show I had ever been to like that, and I've never seen one like it since.

Just like the Far Beyond Driven CD, they opened up with Strength Beyond Strength. To this day, I have never seen a crowd move like they did at that moment. And I do mean the entire crowd...from front-to-back and side-to-side, that entire place was DAN-CING! I saw Pantera at least 5 more times after that show, and the reaction was nowhere near the same. Not your typical dance music I'm aware, but this is the dance music I grew up on.

"Cuttin' In" Chris Farlowe - 1966
Jane writes: Couples's skate time!! Oh my... hope I'm not the only slow dance in the mix this week.

Chris Farlowe is an incredible guilty pleasure of mine. Mostly known for very self-indulgent covers, it's a study in disbelief to listen to his music then find out that he LOOKS LIKE THIS!

"Beat Connection" LCD Soundsystem - 2002
Ben writes: Everybody here's afraid of fun. Dance-tastic. LCD Soundsystem opened their (2005) set in at The Metro with this song which (until that point) was never one of my favorites. The energy of that performance was like nothing i've experienced. I hear it in a different way now - and I LOVE it. I've listened countless times and nearly every time I bounce involuntarily, just like the crowd at The Metro and the drunk girl next to me who really wanted to grind... Yeow :(

"Wish" Ellen Allien - 2003
Allison writes: Ellen Allien is a kick-ass DJ from Berlin, and this super-danceable number, "Wish", is from her 2003 album Berlinette. The lyrics are at once oversimplistic and wistful, but the real star of the show are those shuddering, grinding (yet vaguely clinical) German beats. Yum!

"High Fidelity" Daft Punk - 1997
Nick writes: So I picked a Daft Punk song called "High Fidelity", which was featured on their first album, Homework. This predates their being robots by a few years. I picked this one because it seems like many people don't realize that Daft Punk had much of a career before Discovery beyond "Around the World". But their first album was and remains ridiculously influential in house music, especially among DJs, and it (along with, yes, "Around the World") gave them the popularity and money to turn into robots and record Discovery.

On Homework they called clicks 'n cuts with "High Fidelity" five years before Luomo and Akufen; they called progressive house with "Alive" three years before Sasha and Digweed; they recorded a synth line so ridiculous that they reprised it at the end of the album by playing it backwards, and it still managed to sound good.

This video of a rave in Milwaukee(!?) from 1994, three years before Homework came out, gives some good perspective. A few way-old Daft Punk tracks are duly chopped up and thrown in, but the majority of it is Detroit techno and acid house. Daft Punk have some interesting roots.

"21st Century Life" Sam Sparro - 2007
Justin writes: This Australian-Singer-Songwriter-Producer I discovered on one of my many internet surf-a-thons. Upon hopping website to website I fell upon this former child star's homepage and that's when I was entranced by this funktastic music video that immediately started playing without anyone's permission. Needless to say my ass began to shake. And then I got this stirring sensation in my legs and it quickly spread to my upper body. "My God!", I said to myself, "I can't stop the jive!"

That was a while ago, since then I've been plagued with the Chronic Jive. Every time this album plays my body is riddled with fits and vibrations. It's an overwhelming sensation that should not be under-whelmed. I recommend this song and album to everyone but listen at your discretion. You will not be able to stop the groove, funk, dance-pop, or jive. You know it, I know it, our asses know it. Enjoy!

"Whoo! Alright - Yeah... Uh Huh" The Rapture - 2006
Ben writes: This comes from The Rapture's second album, which is no where near as good as their first. I don't do a lot of dancing, but when this is on and I am home in my underwear I tend to gallop around a bit and enjoy myself.

"Casper Cha-Cha Slide (Live Platinum Band)" Casper & Col'Ta - 2000
Renata writes: I cannot dance. At all. Except to this lovely track. And by this track, I mean this exact version, which has played at every Junior High and High School dance I can remember … and almost every wedding I've ever attended. And I'm good. Real good. See you on the dance floor …

"Closer" Nine Inch Nails - 1994
Brian writes: I think it's pretty imperative that this band/song be in the mix.

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9.11.2008

FCM #10 - From the Movies

FCM #10 - FROM THE MOVIES Turn your cell phones and pagers off, we're headed to the cinema. We've got everything from Superman to Rosemary's Baby represented in this mix. Click here to download the entire FCM #10 - FROM THE MOVIES or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

Next week's Theme - Dance Party! That's right, bring out the most danceable tracks you've got. Doesn't have to be "dance" music, but it MUST be danceable!


"Superman - Prelude and Main Title March" John Williams - 1978
Walt writes: The theme to Superman - The Movie is one of my all time favorites. I still get chills every single time I hear it. I love the majesty and joy of it and its ability to get the blood pumping. And when I watch the movie, I'm amazed that a 26-year-old unknown actor was so completely able to master the duality of the Superman/Clark Kent relationship and portray two believable and distinct characters. So here's to you Christopher Reeve, you never gave up!

P.S. I have a photo of me with Christopher Reeve from 1980. I'll try and dig it up tonight.

"Going Up The Country" Canned Heat - 1968
Christine writes: Appears in: Woodstock: The Movie (the original one - Margaret) and in Meet The Fockers (1994). The song was also used in the "Northern Exposure" episode when Dr. Cappra was travelling to replace Dr. Joel Flieschman as the town doctor (thank you google!). Anyways, this is one of those songs that I remember listening to when I was a kid and it just made you feel good. I was recently reminded of it when my sister put it on a comp CD for me. The singer has a really interesting voice that you can't help but try to imitate (poorly) and it is one of the few songs where I really appreciate the addition of a flute to the musical lineup... if only there were cowbells too...

"Ain't No Sunshine" Bill Withers - 1971
Ben writes: From "Notting Hill." Yes, I love the Julia Roberts. This fantastic song is used in a great scene where a year passes while Hugh Grant walks through Notting Hill. I love that scene, and the song is just perfect for it.

"Kaze Wo Atsumete" Happy End - 2003
Felix writes: Though I've seen "Lost in Translation," I never really heard this song until Liz played it for me. It's one of her favorites and she can sing it all the way through, word for word (despite the fact that she has no idea what the lyrics mean). Personally, I love the key changes and the slow, rolling tempo throughout. For some reason, in trying to figure out how to best describe the happiness this song elicits: it's like having someone hand you a large sum of money, but in slow motion. Good stuff.

"Are You Ready For The Sex Girls?" Gleaming Spires - 1984
Jane writes: Wha wha WHAT??!!! This incredible song just happened to be nestled inside the most pivotal movie from my pre-adolescent years?? The one that convinced me it was not only OK, but COOL to be in Scholastic Bowl??! It's true. Not only nestled in, but MADE FOR. You can tell by the brainstorm-style lyrics that someone involved with the movie said "OK, so we need a song about the Omega Mu's coming over for their first mixer at the Nerds' frat house... Riff on it!"

This is a splendid work of art. A bit long, but just try to keep its catchy chorus out of your head for the days to come.

"Dead Already" Thomas Newman - 1999
Masha writes: Here's an arrangement by Thomas Newman for the American Beauty score. I first heard it on a mix tape (remember those?) played in the background of an hs art class. Enjoy!

"I'm Shipping Up To Boston" Dropkick Murphys - 2005
Ben writes: From "The Departed." I was so completely blown away by the film, the anxiety and energy of it, particularly in regards to DiCaprio's character as he gets deeper and deeper undercover. This song was just perfect for the film and it was also my ringtone for some time. My kids and I used to run around the house like crazies with this song blaring.

"Big Bad Wolf" Bunny and the Wolf Sisters - 1985
Justin writes: I had to include this classic. It is probably one of the most ridiculous songs ever created for a film. And one of the catchiest. I inspire you to drop what your doing and do the "Big Bad Wolf".

In case you need some inspiration...

"Less Than Zero" Glenn Danzig & the Power and Fury Orchestra - 1987
Jane writes: If you're ever playing "8 Degrees of Separation" and get stuck trying to connect 80's Brat Pack chump Andrew McCarthy with Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig, never fear because this sweet tidbit is the missing link that will save your hide. Believe me. That situation happens more than you're probably thinking it does.

Boasting over-production, female backing vocals, and general syrup, I'm positive that this concoction remains the ugliest of stepchildren in Danzig's catalogue, but MY GOD it's a guilty pleasure.

"Tommib" Squarepusher - 2001
Nick writes: Squarepusher's "Tommib" was featured on Lost in Translation. It's a short song, but very good - it doesn't need to do a whole lot to get the point across.

"Child Psychology" Black Box Recorder - 1999
Margaret writes: I am a huge Gilmore Girls fanatic. I love the quirky characters, the rapid dialogue and witty banter, and getting bombarded with hundreds of pop culture references in each episode - on a good day I'll catch about 1/3 of them. I got the soundtrack as a gift, and this has got to be one of the most obscure songs I've ever heard in my life - but totally fitting for the show. It surprises me that I like this song, but I find myself listening to it fairly often.

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Theme" Jon Brion - 2004
TJ writes: Jon Brion has made some very awesome soundtracks to some of my favorite films including this theme for the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He also did the "I Heart Huckabees" soundtrack. Check it out. Hope you like it.

"Hide and Seek" Imogen Heap - 2005
Justin writes: This is a song off the soundtrack of the film, The Last Kiss. For those not familiar with Imogen Heap she is one half of the group Frou Frou. And Frou Frou is well know for their song that was featured in another Zack Braff film, Garden State. Because I was a huge fan of the Garden State soundtrack, and Frou Frou it was easy for me to spot Imogen's track in The Last Kiss.

I saw her live around a year ago and she had an awesome performance. She talked a lot with the crowd and shared some of her stories, methods, and ways she made her music. This track is also featured on her album "Speak For Yourself" which is one of my favorite albums of all time. I love it, and I hope you do too. :)

"Mad World" Gary Jules - 2001
Allison writes: Is the end of the world nigh? Is the tangent universe near collapse? Hell if I know. Rent the Donnie Darko DVD for more on that note (however abstracted). More to the point, however, this is a Gary Jules heart-swelling cover of the Tears for Fears 1983 track "Mad World". The lyrics are gripping, sad, and -- especially these days -- immediate.

It's one of those three-minute gems I wish was twice as long. It plays and I wish it was playing me just a little bit longer.

"Simple Man" Graham Nash - 1971
Renata writes: I stumbled upon Graham Nash's Simple Man semi-recently while renting the movie Reign Over Me. As the opening scenes played, I remember being overcome by the song … it really spoke to me that day, having struck my mood just right. I was moved. I immediately jotted a few of the lyrics down on a Post-it with the intention to later Google them in hopes of finding the song title so I could then download the track.

I ended up watching the movie for a second time a few weeks later with my mom. As the song played, I told her how much I enjoy this song and, because of this movie, had downloaded and now play it regularly. Her smile widened. She was very familiar with the song and even had a few records from the various guys’s attempts at solo careers (which she immediately whipped out of storage from the family room)—one of which had Simple Man on it! It would up being a really neat bonding experience as mom shared stories of her various concert-goings and reminisced over her favorite artists and albums.

"Ben" Michael Jackson - 1972
Chris writes: Ben was a horror film released in 1972. Here's the synopsis:
A police detective investigating the death of a young man named Willard makes the shocking discovery that the victim was attacked and mutilated by a pack of rats. Ben, the leader of the pack, was Willard's pet, and now the nasty rodent has a new master.
The synopsis neglects to mention that the "new master" is actually a 10-year-old kid with an upper-register voice who cries when the pack of killer rats is decimated by the townspeople. (SPOILER ALERT! Ben survives.) Despite a dismal showing at the theaters, Ben managed to come away with an Academy Award Nomination. Why? Because Michael F'ing Jackson sang the theme song. A young, silver-tongued Michael Jackson who melted hearts with a song about a killer rat and sung for a horror film's end credits. It's a touching song and it makes me think of our very own Ben - Ben, you've got a friend in me.

As a final note, the fairly recent Crispin Glover film "Willard" was set up as a prequel to Ben. Here is Glover's video from the Willard DVD, featuring him singing the title song. It's a gem (and slightly NSFW, but whatever).

"Rosemary's Baby" Fantômas - 2001
"Experiment In Terror" Fantômas - 2001
Brian writes: Named after a super-villain from a series of old French crime novels, Fantomas are an endlessly unique and interesting band, featuring members of Faith No More, The Melvins, Slayer and Mr. Bungle. How could a lineup like that possibly go wrong? The answer is, it can't. In 2001, Fantomas released one of the greatest albums of all time, The Director's Cut. The Director's Cut is a 16-song album consisting of various movie theme songs. They are covers, but just barely. They really took the originals and put their own insane twist on them. I slowly narrowed down my selection from 16 to 2, and I just can't decide. So, I'm including 2 songs. These are the themes from "Experiment in Terror" and "Rosemary's Baby". Also, the band will be performing this album in it's entirety for the Don't Look Back series in December of 2008. For more info on that and a full track-listing, click here.

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9.04.2008

FCM #9 - Colors

FCM #9 - COLORS We've put together a fun one this week. Lots of good things to listen to and think about. A warm welcome to Sarah, who's joining us for the first time. Also, a big thanks to Allison for making this week's cover. If you want to do the next one, drop me a line! Click here to download the entire FCM #9 - COLORS or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

Next week's Theme - From the Movies! Could be a song from a soundtrack or a song featured in a movie, whatever. Get your thinking caps on!

"Green" Ken Nordine - 1966
Allison writes: Please know that this track, GREEN, is part of an entire delightful album of colors by the great voiceover artist and word jazzist Ken Nordine. 34 tracks, each for a certain hue, from black to blue and crimson to puce! Funnily enough, this album's origins were in a handful of mid-60s radio spots Nordine recorded for a household paint company. People began calling in asking where they could find the music, and shortly thereafter, his record COLORS was born.

"Pretty Green" The Jam - 1980
Jane writes: I went through a huge Jam phase back in college, and this song was always one I would skip over because it's such a diversion from their 70's sound I'd grown to love. This was 80's, and I didn't dig it. What was this, disco?

But, like most of my music obsessions go, once you leave it behind for a while, you're much more able to say "This one song was my favorite by so and so" or "Looking back, I can see where they were going with this...", etc.

This was not my favorite song by the Jam, and I'm still not sure where they were going with it, but when I go back and play these records, I no longer skip it. That's saying something, right? In fact, I think Pretty Green is Pretty Great. And it's talking about buying fruit and jukebox plays with everyone's favorite green. The money kind.

"The Village Green Preservation Society" The Kinks - 1968
Walt writes: The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks is a great little song about the loss of tradition and how old things should be preserved and passed down while still leaving room for what's new. This version of the song is from the BBC sessions that many British artists performed in studio. And it's a Kinks song, so there, Ben! ;P

"Red and Purple" The Dodos - 2008
Nick writes: Here is a very good song by indie folk band The Dodos, who are from San Francisco.

"Blue" The Jayhawks - 1995
Felix writes: I first heard this song while an undergrad, but didn't really get hooked on it until late in my grad school career. Mostly it makes me think of being single, or of those transitional periods where friends are moving away... or you're moving away from friends.

"Red" Okkervil River - 2002
Ben writes: This is the first Okkervil River song that I ever heard. I love it for its soothing rhythm and the lovely melody.The lyrics in general and the way it comes together at the final climax - "...she still remembers your touch. I know that it's not much, but you still haven't lost her" - beautiful.

"Silver Lining" Rilo Kelly - 2007
TJ writes: This is a track from the latest Rilo Kiley cd. I really love Jenny Lewis for mainly her voice :) AND the fact that she was in "The Wizard" (I'm pretty sure I've stated this on one of these mixes already so sorry for the broken record :)

"Blackpowder" Jucifer - 2008
Brian writes: Sorry this is long, but I like to talk about music...

I wasn't sure about this theme at first, but upon searching iTunes for colors I came across so many random songs/bands I never would have thought of. I'm listening to one of them (Black Flag) as I type this. The color black seemed to bring back the best results, and I narrowed it down to two; The Black Art of Deception by Goatwhore and Blackpowder by Jucifer. In the end, I chose Blackpowder by Jucifer (sorry Goatwhore)!

Jucifer gets big points in my book for many reasons.
1. They are a guitar/vocal and drum duo (who also happen to be married)
2. The sold their home 8 years ago, and replaced it with an RV that they take around the world touring, almost non-stop
3. The guitarist/vocalist, Amber Valentine, is BEAUTIFUL and badass. She literally plays through a "wall of amplifiers" to create a textured guitar tone and bass guitar substitute.
4. The release that Blackpowder appears on, L'autrichienne, is a 21-song concept album about the French Revolution (with some songs sung in French). It was supposed to be a double album, but they squeezed it onto one disc to keep the price down for fans.

"I Think It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too" Black Moth Super Rainbow - 2007
Chris writes: Black Moth Super Rainbow is an explosion of color and light and sound. It's a fuzzy, washed-out landscape of motion trails, blown out television tube hues and a bouncy late-70s PBS fantasy. It's visions from a softer sphere that are all played out in the swirling hiss and buzz of their music (bonus: no drugs needed). This is music that emanates from technicolor children's shows lost to the ether, re-bottled by this band in the form of sound collage. Listen to some of their other material and prepare to relive some faint, hauntingly happy childhood memories that aren't even your own.

"Black Hole Sun" Soundgarden - 1994
Justin writes: This track is a perfect addition to this weeks theme for color. Being post Temple of the Dog and pre Audioslave I loved this is a song as a kid and is really drew me in to become a big Soundgarden fan. Remember the creepy video with all the characters and their distorted expressions? It was a definitely a music video I will never forget.

"Sunken Cathedral" Claude Debussy - 1991
Sarah writes: When I think of colors and music, I think of timbre. Timbre (tone color) is what makes an oboe sound like an oboe, a tuba sound like a tuba, and Art Garfunkel sound like a cherub.

Impressionist painters emphasized how light effected subjects and focused more on the overall 'impression' of an image rather than the details - Debussy was an impressionist composer. Sunken Cathedral is for solo piano, but the piece is all about colors - especially when you listen to it with Monet's series of paintings of the Rouen Cathedral at different times of day in mind.

It moves pretty slowly, but try to make it to 3:30!

"Mellow Yellow" Donovan - 1966
Margaret writes: An old Gap commercial from the late 90's introduced me to this song, and I've had it stuck in my head ever since. I love the simplicity of it, and I also love the word "saffron" -- so it's a win-win for me.

"Green" Locash - 1998
Christine writes: So I was going through my collection trying to decide what to choose for this week's topic. After self-eliminating any bands that had a color in their name I came to realize that I was narrowed down to about 5 different versions of "Blue Moon". After contemplating for a moment why everyone and their mother covers that song, I kept scrolling and came upon this little gem. This is actually Rob's kid brother's band from highschool. Obviously now defunct, but for a group of teenagers, they really could put on a show. I have to admit their album fell short of what they could do live. I have to give them credit though for mixing in a DJ prior to Linkin Park coming on the scene. They've all pretty much moved on as most kids do except they can claim that one "made it" - their bass player Allen is now in Story of the Year on Epitaph Records.

"Little Green" Joni Mitchel - 1971
Masha writes: I confess! I used to love Joni Mitchell. The acoustic arrangements on her album "Blue" struck with me in high school. Here is "Little Green," a personal song written about the child she had to give up for adoption. "All I Want" "River" and "California" are other great ones on that album.

"99 Red Balloons" Nena - 1983
Walt writes: 99 Red Balloons is the English cover of 99 Luftballoons (99 Balloons) by the German band, Nena. The song made a big red splash in 1984. The song is about an over reaction between nations but most importantly it references both Captain Kirk and super-heroes.

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