10.29.2009

MCM#3 - HALLOWEENIEST

MCM #3 - HALLOWEENIEST We never talk anymore, you and I. Our relationship—so joyful and full in it's early days—has become as cold and unfeeling as the dead. I spend my nights in silence, shivering from pain, regret, and loss. Download the full MCM#3 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. The wonderful image on the mix artwork was created by Paul Sapiano.

"Nightmare On My Street" DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Mark D writes: My submission is from the "He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper" album that came out in 1988. I love this song because it uses the music and character from one of the best horror flicks of all times Nightmare on Elm St. This was when the Fresh Prince was just a rapper and not Will Smith the mega star actor and Dj Jazzy Jeff is still one of the greatest DJ's ever. If this song doesn't embody what Halloween is, then nothing will, it has the creepy music, the scary guy and the victims. Classic Halloween track IMO.

"The Time Warp" The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tracey writes: When I was a kid the video for the Time Warp (Rocky Horror Picture Show) terrified me. I would fall asleep to the video channel, and it would always come on in the middle of the night, and I'd wake up right when it was coming on. Hunchback men with skullets and creepy voices are way too much for a pre teen with an over active imagination.

"Night Of The Vampire" The Moontrekkers

Justin Step writes: This spooky lounge track conjures vision of a hep cat Dracula, but Dracula's also a spy, and he's rifling through the diplomat's desk drawers while guests ponder the lovely daughter of the house, discovered prone behind a large potted plant with curious bite-marks on her slender neck. It's a swinging, cinematic track with a real gone vibe, perfect for Halloween happenings.

"Press Gang" Murder City Devils

Chris writes: Thank God we don't live in 18th century Britain, am I right? Squalid conditions, class struggles, violent crime, and the ever-present threat of a press gang were just a few of life's cruel realities. Well, prepare to be arrested by the terror of time forgotten as MCD spins this blood-chilling tale of a young man "twisting in the breeze / dripping something on the street" after becoming the victim of a press gang. Hear the haunting groans of the organ, the foreboding grit of the guitar, and the devilish details of the story as they are shouted and strained from the lips of one of the best frontmen in the business. Listen closely, friends, and let this man's fate serve as a warning to ye: "It could be you / it could be me / twisting in the breeze."

"Bloodflow" Smog

Ben writes: Cheerleaders chanting "Be eL double-oh dee eF eL Oh double-U, Bloodflow, Bloodflow! Yes, please.

"Sober" Tool

Contributed by TJ

"Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" Marilyn Manson

Tracey writes: Marilyn Manson, Sweet Dreams. Need I say more? Ok...Marilyn Manson. I said more.

"All I Want For Solstice Is My Sanity" Lance Holt

Justin Step writes: One part Yuletide carol, one part Cthulhuean pseudo-mythology, this song is as schmaltzy as evil can get. Your family may never forgive me. A truly maddening song, it will tunnel into the lovely, pristine places of your brain and drive you to states of frothy, babbling dementia. It frightens me nearly as much as The Hideously Terrifying Monster at the Centre of Mozambique, or The Horror at the Void Beyond the Stars.

"Thank Heaven For Little Girls" MGM Studio Orchestra

Christine writes: Why this is creepy: I remember the first time I saw the movie Gigi on TV I was horrified. It's basically a "coming of age" flick where an older guy ends up turning a girl into a "woman" and marrying her. The title soundtrack is sung in the movie by a creepy grandpa-looking guy who should not be thanking ANYONE for little girls and I think it's a good basis for most child protection laws.

Not the kind of creepy you were probably looking for, but it always gives me chills when I hear it.

"Marie Laveau" Bobby Bare

Contributed by JVO

"The Rainstorm" Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Juicy Justin writes: This track has the theme of the Psycho soundtrack weaved into it quite menacingly. If you have not seen the film it truly is a classic horror. I usually don't put much faith in these old B&W films, having sat an watched so many with my parents whilst growing up. But Psycho is in deed a creepily chilling flick. I was able to catch it over the summer for movies in the park. I highly recommend for your bewitching weekend festivities!

"Blood and Tears" Danzig

Jane writes: The Empty Bottle, October 31st 1997, begins a night that my best girlfriend Tonya and I still love to pore over and pick apart to this day.

On stage that night, Blackwell—a surprisingly effective KISS cover outfit from Detroit. Drinks were ingested, flirtation from the crowd ensued, and before we knew it, Tonya, Blackwell and I were closing out the bar. I was getting along with the Ace Frehley particularly well, and Tonya the Paul Stanley. These guys were funny, and though they still sported thick, smeared make-up at this point, you could tell they were fairly young and, dare I assume, handsome?

They lamented having a lot of cleaning up to do, but wanted to meet up with us right after giving an interview backstage, so we wrote down the address for Estelle's, and Tonya and I giggled our way into a cab and out to the bar to wait for their arrival.

At least 4 more beers were downed before a smiling pair of guys appeared at our sides... Only having height to recognize them by, I threw an arm around the taller of the two.

"ACE!" I shouted. He started laughing.
"We were just talking about the show..."
"What show?" he said.
... Silence ...
I started laughing, then Tonya, then all of us. Then another round of beer was ordered.

The rest of the night is a blur. We went to at least two more parties. I remember thinking Ace wasn't quite as smart or funny as my first impression had led me to believe, and he really seemed uninterested in talking about the band or Detroit... they just kept asking Tonya and I about ourselves. Oh, and how girls hate to talk about themselves. Looking back, the warmth of drunkedness prevented many clues from being recognized into the morning hours. It wasn't until about 5am when he picked up an acoustic guitar in this random party's livingroom and proceeded to serenade me and a half-dozen sleeping/passed out partygoers with "Blood & Tears" by Danzig that I realized the whole night had been a misunderstanding.

This was not Ace I'd spent the last several hours with gallivanting arm-in-arm around Chicago on Halloween night. This was just someone who probably decided after a certain amount of KISS references that he'd just play along. But one thing he WASN'T playing was this god-forsaken guitar. He could barely find the notes, and could not hold a tune vocally whatsoever.

We still wonder if the real fake Ace & Paul ever showed up to Estelle's that night, or whether the fake fake Ace & Paul minded too much when we slipped out the door into the morning after saying we were going to find the can.

Either way, Another Foolish Story of Youth and Booze™.

Enjoy this not so Halloweenie, but darkish song from Danzig II Lucifuge.

"Wax and Wane" Cocteau Twins

Allison writes: This is an early cocteau twins track harking back to their gothier days. as a long-time lover of their later dream-poppier work, i don't often listen to the older albums (a little too theatrical to my taste, perhaps), but i find this one suitably spooky for a halloween mix.

"You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" Queens of the Stone Age

A-NINNY-PUSS (anonymous) writes: Many moons ago, Queens of the Stone Age played a Halloween show at Metro (the show actually took place on Halloween night). The night of the show, those of us attending gathered at a friend's house to do a little pre-partying. One friend brought mushrooms. The magic kind.

Now, I don't condone that sort of thing these days—but on this particular evening, I indulged. Shortly thereafter we headed, on foot, to Metro.

To no one's surprise when we arrived at Metro there was a line to get in, as security needed to do a pat-down on all concert goers. The line was moving pretty slowly - and at a certain point, you could hear that the band had taken the stage. Right around this time I noticed that the mushrooms were kicking in.

For those of you unfamilar (and I sincerely hope you all are unfamilar), magic mushrooms cause hallucinations. You see things - but the things you see aren't really the things you think you're seeing. You hear things - but the things you hear aren't really the things you think you're hearing. And so on...

Fast forward twenty minutes and we are now in Metro, walking upstairs to the balcony and the fungi are in full control. We arrive and there are more people in the balcony than I've ever seen before.

And they're all in costume.

There's the Cat in the Hat. Freddy Krueger. Sluttly Alice in Wonderland. A zombie. A witch. Some guy dressed like a bear ate his face.

The air is saturated with smoke and humidity from the body heat. People are pushing, pulling, jumping and bumping.

And the Queens are putting out thundering, low-end bass sounds that, in a place as small as Metro, are louder and more impactful than anything I've ever experienced.

My heart is racing. My rib cage feels like it's vibrating. My hair feels like it is vibrating. The floor under my feet, it's vibrating.

As I'm processing these details, trying to determine what is real and what is not, the Queens finish the song and the crowd erupts in a frenzy.

At that moment I am hit with the type of thought you pray will never enter your mind while in a psychedelic state: the balcony is going to collapse and we're all going to die.

The balcony - IS GOING TO COLLAPSE!

We - ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!

I'm paralyzed by the (irrational, but very realistic) fear of this thought.

I consider heading for the stairs when, as if on cue, I am snatched back into a sea of insanity as the Queens rip into this tune (which at the time was unreleased). A few seconds pass and I am off on another roller coaster ride, battling ghosts and goblins, real and imagined, praying that I make it through the night alive.

That Halloween night wat the first and last time I took mushrooms.

Listening suggestion: Play this song at a time, and in a place, where you can play it LOUD!

"Thriller" Michael Jackson

Phil writes: Fellas...... it don't get anymore goolish then this...

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6.30.2009

MCM#2 Lip Synch or Sing Along

Month two, and it's a doozie! Thanks to Renata for the keen suggestion and thanks to everybody who participated - it's a fun one. The cover features Felix in a still frame from a video of him singing one of his favorite songs. Click here to download all of MCM #2 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.

"Mony Mony" Billy Idol

Jennifer writes: I have pretty much always been a big fan of Billy Idol which dates back to his GenX days. In fact, I'd have to admit that the biggest highlight of 2008 was seeing him at The Venue and getting to sing a part of "Ready, Steady, Go" with him from the front row.

"Mony, Mony" is not my favorite (cover) song of his - but the category is Sing Along songs and you cannot deny this is a classic Sing Along song.

I also wanted to pick an artist that was as much of an icon of the early MTV days as Michael Jackson as a mini-tribute to MJ's music and the music of that era.

"Say It Aint So" Weezer

Juicy Justin Sid writes: Besides being one of my all time favorite songs and my karaoke instant go-to choice this Weezer classic holds a special place in my nostalgic heart. This track has always and forever been one of the only songs I can even remember how to play on my guitar. So when introduced into a group of people and forced to play my guitar at shiv point I always default to the age ol' goodness that is Weezer. This is most definitely a song that you do not play quietly. You must crank the volume knob and scream/chant/wail the epic chorus up into the heavens!

"Ticket To Ride" The Beatles

Allison writes: It's The Beatles, it's infectious, it's highly sing-alongable, and in my opinion, one of John Lennon's finer song-writing moments. Though the majority of Beatles tracks were always authored as "Lennon/McCartney" this one in particular was always attributed to him.

(One of his other fine, much later, song-writing moments was also penned by Christopher, below. Yay for semi-synchronicity.)

Anyway, the accompanying video, as excerpted from the 1965 Beatles movie "Help!", is also a barrel of fun. When I was 12 (and very obsessed with the fab four) I'd watch this segment on VHS every day during the summer... for months on end... it's still a total delight!

"Ego Trippin' [Part Two]" De La Soul

Ben writes: There was a period of time when I owned a run-down 1986 Buick Centry station wagon. It had a tape deck and De La's Buhloone Mindstate was constantly playing. Listening now, I can't believe how completely ahead of their time they were. It's old school, for sure, but some of the production and techniques they used in 1993 didn't show up in the mainstream for years. ANYWAY... Some 12 or more years later i'm still singing along and i know every word. Yeah!

"Diva" Beyoncé

Tracey writes: I picked this song because like me, it has much attitude! AND you get to say “I’m a Diva” like 50 times. So, it’s sort of like brainwashing you into thinking that you are one (You will take me to Jabba now). I have a mic and some sunglasses with bling, underneath the passenger seat of my husband’s car just for when this song comes on. He hates it, but is amazed at how quickly I can whip them out when the song comes on. Now all I need is an air plane, so I can deny passengers like Beyonce! “NO PASSENGERS ON MY PLANE!” (Insert evil sinister laugh here)

"In The Street" Big Star

Jane writes: It was the summer of '98.

I was settling down in my apartment in Wicker Park to work on a big project for which I'd already been up 2 straight days. Delirious and wired on coffee, I heard a familiar song coming from the TV. I zombily wandered into the living room to see the opening sequence of some new show where kids in a car were singing along to... this song... from one of my Top 25 All-Time Desert Island Albums... Though it was being covered by somebody and the lyrics were changed up, I stood in wonder.

It was most definitely a tune I never expected to hear on prime time – kinda like how T.G.I.Fridays is using that Tight Bros song in its commercials now – a jawdropper.

Though there are better tracks on #1 Record/Radio City by Big Star, "In the Street" from that point on was catapulted into synonymity with "sing-a-long”... at least in a cheesy sitcom sort of way.

Note: The TV program was the premiere of That 70's Show, and with a little research I found the person covering the song was a gentleman by the name of Todd Griffin. Season 2 sported a shiny, new Cheap Trick version, complete with "Hello, Wisconsin!" by Rockford's own favorite son.

"Time For Me to Fly" REO Speedwagon

Dan writes: When I was getting near the end of a not-so-fun 3 year relationship, this song helped me belt out a lot of pent up frustrations. Glad my apartment had really thick walls. Although I no longer have any of the feelings this song describes, it is still fun to sing along. Go ahead, try it.

"Summertime" Kenny Chesney

Mike writes: While Country music has been around for some time, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered it. The music just feels more "relatable" to me than most these days (for lack of a better way to put it) and there's a storytelling aspect to many of the songs that I also find very appealing. And lyrically, the songs tend to be pretty straightforward. Hence my selection: a sweet, summer ditty by one of the current kings of Country. One that I often find myself singing along to in the car, the office, on the train; when I’m shopping for cowboy hats, loading up my twelve-gauge, popping in a plug of chew or changing the oil on my pick-up...

"What's Up?" 4 Non Blondes

Renatá writes: The College of Business at UIUC is a huge fan of group projects. Sometimes such projects are incredibly boring … while others are actually fun. My senior Marketing Communications project (one of the fun ones!) encompassed building a team with other students, starting our own “agency” and creating an Integrated Marketing Campaign for FIJI Water. (FIJI had approached both UIUC and USC with this concept — and so the FIJI Bowl was born.) Hours upon hours upon HOURS were poured into the project by my team (Team Tabua). Touted as the group that enjoyed the work and each others’ company “too much,” we were of course the winners at UIUC. In preparation for our final presentation to the FIJI CEO and assorted executives out in LA, we really ran ourselves thin on sleep and fun. To remedy this, we all decided to go out, let off some steam and get super drunk together. I'm not really sure why What’s Up spoke to us on this particular night, but as soon as it came on at the random campus bar we were at, the six of us belted out the whole song at full blast. Random, really, but ever since we’ve considered it our team anthem.

A few weeks later, we trekked out to LA, dominated our presentation and won the competition. To celebrate our victory, FIJI treated us to a wild night in the clubs … and we very well might have belted out What’s Up a capella on a cab ride between parties. Now any time I hear the song, I really can’t help but sing along. Loudly. Good times!

"Oh Yoko" John Lennon

Chris writes: Oh, John Lennon. I could sing this song 1,000 times and never grow tired. Listen to that jangly piano, the harmonica solo, the double and triple-tracked vocals, the bouncy drum beat. The words are so simple, the sentiment so pure. This is a song about thinking of that special someone at any time of the day (in the bath, in the middle of a shave, etc.) and crying out with joy and love. I hope everyone can experience that feeling at some point, and I know I share Lennon's urge whenever I think of my lovely wife. It also happens to be one of the many songs Leslie and I belt out in pure adulation whenever it comes on the radio.

"Ain't Too Proud To Beg" The Temptations

Margaret writes: It took me a long time to master the timing of this song (especially the “beg and plead” lyric), but since I got that down this song has been a mainstay in my “songs that get sung at random” playlist. How can you not like this song? I know you do, because when I sing it at the office, y’all join in. It’s just one of those songs.

"Rise Above" Dirty Projectors

Sarah writes: Dave Longstreth (the lead singer) is the king of inserting R&B vocal runs into indie rock - and I love it. I’ve probably learned more about ear training from attempting to sing along with Dave Longstreth than from four years of music school. Rise Above is one of Dirty Projectors’ most straight forward songs, but that doesn’t stop him from ornamenting like whoa. Highly recommended solo sing along track here, folks - plus, if you’re too lazy to sing along with Dave, you can harmonize with the ladies.

Most people know how I feel about Dirty Projectors, so I’ll keep my proselytizing to a minimum. But, if you like this, let me know - I’m always eager to spread the Good Word.

"Life Is Shit" The Dead Milkmen

Ben writes: This is one of those great sing-alongs that I turn to when others might turn to booze or the crack pipe. There's something wonderful about joining in on this chorus when everything in your life is up in flames. Next time you get your ass kicked all day long at the job, crank this one up and join in.

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5.31.2009

MCM #1 - Live Songs That Don't Suck

We're back! Due to an overwhelming inability for me to cajole songs out of people and post them up weekly, we've switched to monthly. Click here to download all of MCM #1 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.

"Ágætis Byrjun [Live]" Sigur Rós

Allison writes: If there is one show I can recommend you ever attend in your life, it is one by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. The sheer epic beauty of it all will blow your mind.

This track in particular was part of their return home to perform a series of concerts across the island (i.e. at the base of mountains, on the street, next to waterfalls, inside an abandoned factory, etc).

I must also take this opportunity to plug one of the most lovely DVDs released last year: Heima. It's their documentary of their aforementioned live music adventure across the incomparably strange and wondrous country of Iceland. There is a strong likelihood that watching it will enhance your life in some way, however small. Or at the very least give you a new travel destination.

The trailer is here, and contains one of my favorite most explosive songs of theirs, Í Gær. (I would have included it here but the recording is technically is not live): http://www.heima.co.uk/video/

Watch and get some chills!

"Airtap" Eric Mongrain

Felix writes: While many folks have attempted a similar style before (most notably, I'm thinking of the blind guitarist Jeff Healey, from the late 1980's), Eric Mongrain is someone that caught my eyes and ears a year or so ago.

He plays guitar normally, but for this particular track has the guitar flat on its back, across his lap. He strums and plays with both hands, tapping frets as well as the body of the guitar, and makes a pretty great song out of everything combined.

I liked this track when I first came across it, so much so that I took great pains to figure out how to convert the track over to an mp3. I still play it on my iPod from time to time.

The quality of the audio isn't great, but the performance is a good one. And it's quite stunning to actually see him perform it via video.

"Comfortable" John Mayer

Margaret writes: I've always appreciated the sentiment of this song - it's very sweet and tender, and a bit heartbreaking. I'm especially fond of this lyric:

"I loved you...grey sweatpants...no makeup...so perfect"

"Lola" The Kinks

Walt writes: How could I not start off the Monthly Collective Mix Tape with a Kinks song? This live version of Lola is from The Kinks One for the Road album – the album that connected me to the Kinks. Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world except for Lola!

"Rid of Me (Live at the Vic Theatre)" P.J. Harvey

James writes: Great slow-burner of a song laid bare in front of a crowd of 1500 rabid Polly Jean followers in Chicago.

"Now I'm Here" Queen

Dan writes: I’ve been a Queen fan since the late ‘70s and quickly started enjoying some of their more obscure tunes. When I finally got my hands on Live Killers, their first live album, from a second-hand album store in Evanston sometime in the early ‘80s, I was pleasantly surprised by the live rendition of one of my all-time favorite Queen songs, “Now I’m Here”. I’ve never seen this performed live, but whenever I hear part of this song where Freddie is stating more than singing, “Now I’m Here” several times, I imagine that he is running from one spot on the stage to another. Who knows, could be true. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

"The End Is Begun" 3

Juicy writes: This band is chalk full of talent and it oozes out of every member. Of the 100+ bands I've seen live I have to say 3 is the best live performance I've ever seen. Each band member is very good at playing their instruments and that doth please the musician in me. The show stealer is most definitely their lead singer Joey Eppard who has a R&B type vocal style that is juxtaposed on top of his very unique and impressive guitar playing. He is probably the only person alive that rocks the shit out of a venue playing an acoustic guitar. (you get a taste of this in the song) I recommend picking up some of their albums and catching their next live show!

"Willie The Wimp" Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

James writes: Two-bit Chicago gangster Willie Stokes, Jr. was immortalized in this SRV live classic. While it's true that crime doesnt pay, it kinda kicks ass that Stokes was buried in a Cadillac coffin.

"Mystery of Iniquity" Lauryn Hill

Utopia writes: Live from MTV's Unplugged series, Lauryn Hill brings thoughts and verses of years of absence from the limelight. I am always amazed at the depth and craft of her lyrics-both raw and thought provoking, Lauryn proves to be a true MC. Many may know this song from the hook of Kanye West's song, "All Fall Down." Lauryn is the original songstress and here is where it all began.

"You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies" Simon & Garfunkel

Sarah writes: Thanks to my mother, I'm a big Simon and Garfunkel fan and this live album is my favorite by far. Just their voices, acoustic guitar, and the songs . . . this is the way they are supposed to be heard/played. After hearing this album, the other ones sound way over-produced. I picked this particular song for Paul Simon's stellar guitar playing. They were both 25 years old at this performance.

"Rosa Lee McFall" Grateful Dead

Mike writes: I voted for this category and yet found it incredibly hard to settle on a song. That said, my submission is by the Grateful Dead, a band that (arguably) owns the notion of “live performance.” The song is called “Rosa Lee McFall” and is from a two-disc set of live, acoustic material recorded in September and October 1980 (for a live album called “Reckoning”). I have nothing prophetic to say…I hope you enjoy this two minute and fifty-four second tune about love and love lost.

"Everybody's Talkin' (Live)" Fred Neil

Brian writes: I don't really have any proclivity towards the live version of this song, but it is a fine song that I happen to possess the live version of. You may or may not be familiar with Harry Nilsson's version of this song in the movie Midnight Cowboy. Fred Neil wrote the original version, and this is it.

But what would the first MCM be without a Dax Riggs reference?: I've had Neil's Bleecker and McDougal album for some time. There is a song on there called "Little Bit of Rain" that I highly recommend. Anyway, when I was in Baton Rouge and New Orleans on April 24 and 25 this year, Dax played "Everybody's Talkin'" and I could not get it out of my head. I sing/play music every night and every morning before work. Since April 26 I have sang this song in particular, every morning and every night.

"Coxcomb Red (Live)" Songs: Ohia

Ben writes: There was a period in time when I was infatuated with Jason Molina. During that time I saw him play as Songs: Ohia at the Empty Bottle. The crowd was unruly and nobody was listening. Near the end of the show, he attempted to play this song just as you year it but was almost drowned out by the chatter from the bar. He stopped playing mid-song and said goodnight. I always liked him for that. In this recording, he finishes it.

"Cortez the Killer" Built to Spill

Chris writes: I first heard Built to Spill's Live when I traveled up to New York with my girlfriend towards the end of college. Her brother was going to NYU for music composition and spent a lot of time sitting in his room, getting high and listening to records that would "take him to another place" in order to reveal some deep thread of musical importance he had yet to consider. This type of behavior is not at all uncommon amongst students of music (or college students in general, for that matter). Although I wasn't high at the time, listening to this epic (20+ minute) rendition of Neil Young's classic "Cortez the Killer" with the lights out and the volume cranked definitely "took me to another place." Close your eyes, climb aboard the soaring, aching guitar and hug its neck as it carries you back to the past to reveal heart-breaking Aztec atrocities.

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11.20.2008

FCM #17 - Songs About Buildings & Food

FCM #17 - Songs About Buildings & Food I was afraid we'd be all food when this came together, but it's not. Big welcome to Tracey on her first week here. FCM alumni Bryan is back for a visit too, shipping in his contributin from SF. Big thanks to Allison for creating the cover this week. Click here to download the whole FCM #17 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 we're off to be thankful. We'll pick it up after that.

"Savoy Truffle" The Beatles - 1968
Allison writes: Creme tangerine and Montélimar, a ginger sling with a pineapple heart! Cool cherry cream, nice apple tart!

"Savoy Truffle" is a cool little dessert-centric Beatles tune from their self-titled album circa 1968 (AKA The White Album). Apparently George penned this in honor of his buddy Eric Clapton's sweet tooth.

Bonus trivia: Montélimar is a town in the southeast of France known for being the birthplace of NOUGAT.

Bonus Bonus trivia: NOUGAT (soft white and hard black) comprises two of the Thirteen Desserts of Christmas in Provence, the other eleven being raisins, dried figs, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, dates, apples, pears, tangerines, melon, and the Pompe de Notel a l'huile d'olive (which I think is cake).

"Vegetables" The Beach Boys - 1990
Justin Step writes: Brian Wilson sings of life's simple pleasures: cars, sunshine, beautiful girls. Here, a simple ode to veggies, written with Van Dyke Parks and featuring Paul McCartney on celery-percussion. I absolutely love the innocence and naïve genius of this tune. He tried to kick the ball, but his tenny flew right off?! I sure hope the super 8 was running for that precious moment! The song was recorded in 1967, and originally intended for the (in)famous, lost-now-found Smile album.

It could be a fine theme song for the Grocer, don't you think?

"Sugar Shack" Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs - 1963
Margaret writes: No great story with this one, I just think this song is a lot of fun and I love the hook. I wish he wouldn't say "expresso," though - that really bothers me.

"Coconut" Harry Nilsson - 1971
Ben writes: I first encountered this song during my first year of college at MCAD. My friends Anisa and Denise would often play it in their apartment while we were cooking or just hanging out or whatever. To me, it's just one of the fun-time songs that keeps the spirits high and brings back the lightness of my days at art school in Minneapolis.

"Cherry" Ratatat - 2004
TJ writes: I like this song... Its relaxing, and one of the first I could find related to food. Since there are no words, we'll never really know if it is supposed to or not, or if it was just a random name the tacked to it. Does it make you feel like a cherry?

"Pink Cookies In A Plastic Bag" L.L. Cool J. - 1993
Tracey writes: This is LL Cool J, "Pink Cookies in Plastic Bags Getting Crushed By Buildings". I'm sure it's a metaphor. I wonder for what though. Anyway, I'm choosing this song, because it's a song about buildings AND food....or is it?!?! Moooooowaaaaaahh HAA! HAA! (evil laugh).

"Brick House" Commodores - 1977
Bryan writes: how do you not wanna get funky when you hear this track? if you say you dont, you're a liar and lying makes baby jesus cry.

"Kewpie Station" Kaki King - 2003
Justin Sid writes: I found this talented guitarist when I caught her performance on Conan O'Brien late one night in 2003. Her style was crazy unique and her performance was breath taking. I've been a huge fan of hers since then.

If any of you have caught the film "August Rush" the main character's bang/slap/tapping playing style was actually Kaki hands playing the guitar.

I also saw her live once when she came to Chicago and despite my attempts I wasn't able to track her down to accept my invitation for marriage.

"The Dishwasher" Ezra Furman & The Harpoons - 2008
Sarah writes: A few months ago my friend invited me to see his friend Ezra from high school play at Schubas. I tend to decline this genre of invitation based on previous experience, but he must have caught me in a good mood. Good thing I went because there's not much better than being genuinely pleasantly surprised. Ezra Furman carries that particular precocious gene of young uber talented folks - he's so good it manages to make you feel jealous and inspired at the same time.

The Dishwasher may not quite fit into this week's category, but it's in the general area - "people don't wanna eat their food off dirty plates." It's a classic ballad about work - and no, I am not passive aggressively complaining about dishwasher duties.

Regarding the category: I saw David Byrne when he was in town earlier this month and I think the US government should preserve his DNA for the benefit of future generations.

"House Where Nobody Lives" Tom Waits - 1999
Brian writes: I will spare you the sad story that led me here, but this is probably my favorite Tom Waits song.

"Love Lives Here" Faces - 1971
Chris writes: There's a buddhist principle that says, "Life is a bridge; therefore build no house upon it." It's a sentiment that relates to the ever-changing nature of our lives, the process of evolution and the idea that circumstances, no matter how lovely, will change and clinging to a certain stage along the way will only cause suffering. It's a principle that I learned and lived by when I first moved here to Chicago, and it's one that I found reflected in this song from The Faces. I played this song repeatedly as I busied myself around my apartment, returning to the terrible Caliphone record player I had brought up from Florida and resetting the needle for the umpteenth time to hear those opening guitar strains all over again. It reminded me of my past homes, it reminded me that tomorrow always comes calling, and it reminded me that all the homes we build in life -- at some point -- become old bags of lumber disappearing on a cart down the road.

"Chelsea Hotel No. 2" Leonard Cohen - 1975
Felix writes: Justin Step. introduced me to Leonard Cohen, and this ranks as one of my favorite tracks. Written about Janis Joplin, these are my favorite lines from the song:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel / you were famous, your heart was a legend /
You told me again you preferred handsome men / but for me you would make an exception
.

In digging around online, I found this page that features both the lyrics and several covers of the song as well.

"Johnny McEldoo (Live)" The Clancy Brothers
Walt writes: This ia absoulutely my favorite song about food. I picked the slower live version of this because, quite frankly, in the regular fast version it's difficult to understand what the brothers are singing due to their thick Irish brogues -- but it's more fun. One can only dream about such a delicious repast.

"Put Me On a Plate" Gluecifer - 2004
Jane writes: Oh food... food and all of its metaphors. This song is ridiculous!! Ridiculous and addictive.

I'm a big fan of the Scandinavian cock rock, and Gluecifer (representin' Norway) definitely falls into that category. Much of what makes this music fun is their use of the English language, which you can tell they understand and speak well... it's just that sometimes idioms or cultural differences really shine through conceptually. It always leaves me scratching my head wondering if these songs are meant to be serious or tongue-in-cheek? Maybe a bit of both. Like "Trapped in the Closet" lite.

"Bring a big napkin... cuz it's gonna be a big mess!"

"Tower Of Song" Dax Riggs
Brian writes: This is originally a Leonard Cohen song. Hard as I tried to not post another Dax Riggs recording, this one was just too perfect for this theme, and (no offense to one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but...) I don't like the Cohen version.

"Punk Rock Academy" Atom & His Package - 2002
Christine writes: Ok, so it's a fictional building but hey, who wouldn't have wanted to go to High School here? It's listed as a release date of 2004 on iTunes but it's been around before then. My sisters and I spent our entire lives together (this happens with a set of twins and a sister whose only 11 months older) up until college. My twin sister, Lauren, decided to break the mold so to speak and went off to the University of Missouri in Columbia while my older sister Betsy and I stayed in town and went to Washington University in St. Louis. Up until that first week we were separated, my twin was, well, a bit difficult shall we say to get along with. We fought like crazy one minute and the next we would be in the car heading out to our favorite coffee shop together. I remember she called me after her first week away and was crying about how hard it was up there (she was a GDI at a very Greek school) and didn't have anyone to lean on like I did. Ever since then, our relationship has been a lot less volatile and more sane. I would go up to visit her as often as I could (somehow I won the battle on who got to keep the shared car) and we would go see bands together - including this guy. He is a one-man band and is hilarious and we would play this song all the time. We got in the habit of calling each other whenever a funny song came on like this one and, if you didn't pick up, the whole thing got left on your voicemail. This was before the advent of auto-delete so there were many a time I had to sit through all of "Informer" before I could erase.

"Eat The Menu" Sugarcubes - 1989
James writes: Long out of print and finally available digitally is this overlooked bizarro track from the Sugarcubes' 1989 release, "Here Today, Tomorrow, Next Week."

I have to eat something otherwise I'll die.  But the choice is too great...

"The Cheese Song" Julie Wachter - 2006
Margaret writes: My friend Julie is a singer/songwriter, and for some reason decided to write an ode to cheese. I heart cheese, and therefore I heart this song.

She pitched it to Kraft as a jingle, but they wouldn't pick it up because they don't offer all the cheeses listed in the song.

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8.29.2008

FCM#8 - Labor

FCM #8 - LABOR Most of us really like the work we do. That's how we know eachother, in fact. However, I'm certainly happy it's Friday and I think we all are. Click here to download the entire FCM #8 - LABOR 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 is not yet determined. Let's have another vote! The choices for next week are (a) Get Political (b) From the Movies (c) Colors. Vote in the comments, please! Voting closes tuesday at noon!

"Government Center" The Modern Lovers - 1973
Jane writes: There are some artists that conjure vivid imagery of landscape and love and loss and joy... but Modern Lovers' songwriting tends to sound like the lyrics were made up about 2 minutes ago about something that just happened. I love it.

Here's the essence of "Government Center". Dude was waiting in line at the post and thought the workers looked bored. In his mind he daydreamed about rocking the joint and cheering up the staff in the process. The end.

"Bang The Drum All Day" Todd Rundgren - 1983
Walt writes: What better way not to work than bang the drum all day? Matt B says that you get tired of a song after hearing it 200 times. For this song, I say ... nonsense! Enjoy the day off, I know I will!

"Found A Job" Talking Heads - 1978
James writes: It's the American Dream! True entrepreneurial spirit! The bored protagonists of this song decide to start their own reality show (decades before the genre dominated television, I might add), and save their relationship in the process.

Consider this song a gateway drug to a near-perfect Talking Heads album.

"Working Man" Rush - 1974
Chris writes: The summer I turned 16 years old my family and I moved to Florida from Virginia, a move I both welcomed (thanks in part to the promise of sunny beaches and sun-kissed women) and despised (gaining vehicular independence while losing all your friends is a downer). Being a one-car family kept me from doing much exploring on my own, but after scoping out the local sunny beaches and sun-kissed women (it was all true!) I decided my life in Florida would be much improved with my own set of wheels. So I, like any red-blooded American worth a damn, went to work at the nearest Wendy's fast food restaurant. I worked my skinny, teenage ass off and before long I was working the drive-thru, the grill, and other positions of power within the Wendy's institution. Within four months I'd saved a grand, drove up to the outskirts of Alabama with my dad and drove back in an $800 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 that had sat in a yard for more than a few years.

It was in reasonable shape, and after tweaking the engine timing, rewiring the whole damn vehicle and spit-shining every piece of chrome, I roared (literally - this car had original glass packs!) off toward school with my sister next to me on the bench seat. My sister was later replaced with a girlfriend, and there were other things in that vehicle that were replaced and improved - the best of which was a CD player installed under the dash and a pair of bass-heavy 6x9 speakers I cut into the rear deck. I loved the way music mixed with the rumble of the muffler - everything was loud, proud, and probably obnoxious. I continued to work at Wendy's through high school, and this song became something of an anthem as I drove home at 10 or 11 following a closing shift. I'd roll down the windows, crank this song and drive my way down a mostly deserted street, feeling very much like the rough-and-tumble blue collar worker this song epitomizes. I was, of course, just another obnoxious teenage fast-food worker driving a car that was as painfully loud as the music I was playing, and I wasn't going home to crack a cold beer like the song suggests. No, I was just going home to climb into bed, wake at seven, and do it all again - just like the working man. This song takes me right back to those days, that car, and my pure love for heavy guitar. Just have a listen to that solo, would ya?

"I Hate My Fucking Job" Moto - 2003
Jane writes: May I also submit the super-catchy "I hate my fucking job" by MOTO? You can't get more base than this one. That's why I felt compelled to put a little more thought into our theme (see above). Well... that, and I DON'T hate my fucking job.

"For The Workforce, Drowning" Thursday - 2003
Justin writes: I'm going to have to leave this week's description up to Geoff Rickly the lead singer of Thursday. Here is an excerpt of his thoughts about this week's theme:

"Falling from the top floor your lungs
fill like parachutes
windows go rushing by.
people inside,
dressed for the funeral in black and white.
These ties strangle our necks, hanging in the closet,
found in the cubicle;
without a name, just numbers, on the resume stored in the mainframe, marked for delete."

"9-5ers Anthem" Aesop Rock - 2001
Ben writes: We the American working population hate the fact that eight hours a day is wasted on chasing the dream of someone that isn't us. And we may not hate our jobs, but we hate jobs in general that don't have to do with fighting our own causes. We the American working population hate the nine-to-five day-in/day-out when we'd rather be supporting ourselves by being paid to perfect the pasttimes that we have harbored based solely on the fact that it makes us smile if it sounds dope.

I think any artist can relate with this statement.

"Why Don't You Get A Job" The Offspring - 1998
Christine writes: Offspring is one of those guilty pleasure bands for me. This song is awesome because it's catchy and hilarious. Who doesn't know a friend (or maybe yourself) that is constantly complaining about a friend or significant other who is a constant moocher? These people have Labor Day everyday.

"Surf Wax America" Weezer - 1996
TJ writes: This is just about blowing off the day and going surfing. Pretty basic yet when I think about it... I wish I could just do that (if I only knew how to surf and lived near an ocean). At least thats what I want this to mean so cause I want it to, it does, enjoy :)

"East Bound and Down" Jerry Reed - 1977
Felix writes: I probably first heard this song from the seminal first Smokey and the Bandit movie. However, I was re-introduced to it by my friend Ron Fuhler, who was my Flash mentor back in 2000... the first guy who showed me the ropes, and taught me a lot of the fundamentals of the program.

He and I worked for a small company in Barrington, and this was a song he'd play whenever there was a rush project, a fire, or something that required a lot of focused energy/attention. It was a playful thing, but it stuck with me over the years.

I tend to employ this song during all nighters, and have had it blasting, full-volume, from my computer more times than I care to remember. But it's a great tune, and it works. At 3:30 AM, when you're bleary-eyed and wanting an extra burst of energy... this song is as good as a strong cup of coffee or a cigarette.

"I Don't Wanna Grow Up" Tom Waits - 1992
Brian writes: This was a difficult theme for me. I really have no Labor Day/song connection in my mind...Which is very odd, because I have some sort of music-related connection to pretty much everything else in my life. Well...As of today, I can now say I have a Labor Day song. While it's not really a song about the working man/woman, or taking a break from the grind, it is a song that celebrates having a mind free of the responsibilities and headaches that come with being a working citizen in the U.S. of A. It's also a reminder to not let the complexities that come with being an adult (like a job), overshadow the simple joys in life. And on top of all that, it's just a great f'ing song. Covered by The Ramones, Cold War Kids, and more, here's the original I Don't Want to Grow Up by Tom Waits.

"Fred Jones Part 2" Ben Folds - 2001
Margaret writes: Poor Fred Jones - he got canned and no one even notices. This is basically Milton from "Office Space". This song depresses the hell out of me...I wish I could find this guy and give him a hug and tell him that it'll all be okay.

"Yulquen" Autechre - 1994
Nick writes: I listen to this pretty often at work.

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6.20.2008

Friday Collective Mixtape #2 - Summer

FCM #2 - SUMMER This week's theme is "Summer," and i think you'll all agree that everyone put their best foot forward. Click here to download the whole FCM #2 - SUMMER or hunt and peck below. Thanks to Walt this week for submitting the cover. 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 - Cover Songs!

"Green River" Creedence Clearwater Revival - 1969
Chris writes: If you're anything like me you can't deny the sweltering swamp rock that Creedence Clearwater Revival embodies, and you certainly crank that (bleep) up when you're cruising around town and those trademark guitar strains start picking their way through your car stereo speakers. Can you hear the bullfrog calling you? CRANK THAT (BLEEP) and come on home to Green River.

"When Alice Comes Back To The Farm" The Move - 1970
Jane writes: In high school, just outside of town, there was a small field surrounded on three sides by woods and one side by cornfield. On summer nights we could sneak down, make a small fire, pass around a bottle of cheap whiskey, sweat, laugh, fight, love, and hang out until morning... On the best nights, someone would carefully navigate their car through the trees just so we could pop the trunk open and listen to the cassette deck. And either the adults in town didn't know about this place or collectively agreed not to wreck the mystique of it all. We were appreciative. Looking back now, I realize they'd probably enjoyed the spot when they were younger too. But at the time, it was so rebellious. This was the heaviest of guitars... with violin; rock with shuffle. This was a bunch of Brits in silk shirts in the 60's with an incredible take on blues.

"The Good Life" Weezer - 2000
TJ writes: This just brings be back to high school with my friends, having a gay old summer time!!! Nothing beats that!! Enjoy!!

"Girl" Beck - 2005
Margaret writes: When I was in college I worked at a summer camp in northern California for a month, and they played this song everytime a new group of campers would arrive. Everytime I hear it, I immediately go back there. Plus, it just sounds like summer to me.

"Summertime" DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - 1991
Bryan writes: Just reminds me of the summer of 91 and being an 11 year old kid. listening to it on my walkman in the parking lot while playing games or family bbqs. fun times.

"Another Summer" 213 - 2004
Ben writes: This song evokes summer weekends like no other i've heard. Barbecue, pool party, kids running around, etc. Snoop's flow is as smooth as ever, and the song mixes up rap, soul, and R&B into something truly magical. Gotta love the smooth Kanye West production too!

"Pit Stop (Take Me Home)" Lovage - 2001
Brian writes: There are A LOT of songs that remind me of summer, but Mike Patton was a topic of discussion today so... Lovage... Pit Stop...

"Everyone's A V.I.P To Someone" The Go! Team - 2005
Nick writes: I first came upon the Go! Team's debut album "Thunder, Lightning, Strike" in August 2004, and it quickly became my favorite album of the year (sorry, Arcade Fire). This is the last track on it. I have lots of memories of driving around North Carolina in 95 degree weather with the windows down, listening to this album the whole way through again and again. As for this song, you pretty much can't beat the part when the drums come in, halfway through.

"4th of July" X - 1980
James writes: Nothing says "summer" like the Fourth of July. Growing up in the Windy City, I've always thought of Independence Day as a time when sweaty fat people in neon tank tops stood elbow-to-elbow after paying far too much for chicken-on-a-stick at the Taste of Chicago. The fact that the holiday actually commemorates America's birthday? Well, that's the proverbial gravy on the chicken-on-a-stick.

X always appealed to me with the way they hung on images of American squalor. Consider the following line when you fire up your Weber Grill meat orgy on the Fourth:

"On the stairs I smoke a / cigarette alone / Mexican kids are shootin' / fireworks below / Hey baby, it's the Fourth of July"

Happy Birthday, America!

"This Is the Sea" The Waterboys - 2004
Sean writes: (nothing?)

"Crack The Liar's Smile" Drain STH - 1997
AJ writes: Drain STH is an all girl metal band from Sweden. They don't scream, they sing. Bad ass chicks, and actually attractive. It reminds me of summer because they were on Ozzfest the year I went to 3 different Ozzfests. The singer married Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath after the tour.

"Open All Night" The Urge - 1995
Christine writes: Summertime in STL in high school meant that we would head down to Mississippi Nights for the $1.05 Urge Shows. I don’t think we listened to anything but ska and punk back then so it was really lucky that we had one of the best ska bands around in our city. This is just a silly song from a really talented band.

"Battlescars" Ozma - 2001
Justin writes: This song for me paints pictures of my end days of high school joy riding around the suburbs with my friends on an endless search for something, anything interesting to occupy our time. On our search we crank up the stereo sing our hearts out (to this song) then we arrive at IHOP and spend 4 hours there talking about our dreams. Oh youth!

"Summer Wind" Frank Sinatra - 1966
Walt writes: There are so many good summer songs out there, it's hard to choose. Certainly there are those that are titular in nature but there are also those that tied to summer, at least for me. John Cougar's Jack & Diane, Bobby Bloom's Montego Bay and, heck, even John Williams theme from Jaws evoke summer. That said, I'm going with Summer Wind by The Chairman of the Board.

Several summers ago I was was walking south on Wabash after crossing the river and a band, fronted by a guy who did a more than passable Ol' Blue Eyes, was playing this song. It reminded how much I liked it and how much time had past since I last listened to it. The funny thing is, I rarely listen to it in the summertime. It's more of a winter song for me, as I anticipate the sun and warmth returning to my life.

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9.10.2007

Respect me in this bitch!

I've been doing A LOT of painting and i've got really really attached to this song. It's old news, but these ratatat hip-hop remixes are so completely bad-ass. Enjoy!
Beanie Sigel "Two Glock Nines (Ratatat remix ft. Jay-Z)"

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8.31.2007

I can't handle this pressure for shit

It's been awhile, and i'm almost certain that nobody's looking at this anymore. Two amazing hip-hop tracks to share:

Common "Misunderstood"

Blu & Exile "Dancing in the Rain"

both of these albums are ridiculously great. buy them.

Blu & Exile's "Below the Heavens" on iTunes ($9.99)

Common's "Finding Forever" on Amazon ($7.99)

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5.30.2007

Same thing as the other time

The New Pornographers just let us in on a song from their forthcoming record, Challengers. I can't get enough of this band. Their grasp of melody is so good - I can't wait for this record. Enjoy this one!
The New Pornographers "My Rights Versus Yours"

The New Pornogrphers on iTunes ($)

also...

I have an obsession with R. Kelly. It's a sad / comical / silly thing. His new record came out yesterday and i've listened to a few ridiculous tracks. Most notable song i found is one that's not on the new album - "Blow it Up." Click here for a listen through the hypemachine.

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3.25.2007

Laying down the 1st wash

 Art making in progress


Not a music related post, really. BUT - the music track behind the video is by The ARE via FWMJ's Rappers I Know.

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3.23.2007

Back on the block again

If you're one of my coworkers it won't be a surprise to see "Alright" posted here. I've been fairly addicted and obsessed with this tune and nearly every other Ratatat remix i can find from their forthcoming Remixes Vol. II (tour only LP?). Aside from choosing great material to start from, they've made some significant changes (and improvements) to the originals. Would you believe that the Memphis Bleek album version of this song is a laid back introspective downtempo number? I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on the rest of this record. Run the hype machine on "ratatat remix" for more - don't miss Slim Thug's "3 Kings" if you end up trollin'.

Memphis Bleek "Alright (Ratatat remix)"

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