Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Midsummer Menagerie

Here is a collection of songs new and old to accompany a typical hot Summer's night, be it camping out in the woods, driving aimlessly with all the windows down, jumping the sprinkler in your front yard or even just lying in a field somewhere, hoping to spot a UFO or two!

As always,

*** ENJOY ***

You can download the playlist RIGHT HERE.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

1987 Honda Civic

This mixtape was created especially for my lovely friend, Lauri.

Many a weekend in our high school days we'd all pile into her 1987 Honda Civic and head for Dauphin Island to goof around, soak up the sun and splash in the ocean.
This is a collection of songs that definitely would have been included on the cassette tape 'soundtrack' to one of those dizzily joyous trips of yesteryear.

Yesteryear or not, it's still a perfect companion to Summer adventures and excursions!

As always,
*** ENJOY ***

You can download the mix HERE.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Brian Teasley presents Xmas In July

This whirlwind of a mixtape was compiled by Mr. Brian Teasley, drummer for the legendary band Man Or Astroman? and owner of the fantastical new Birmingham venue, Saturn.
He had this to say about this Summertime collection :

Whether undeniably great or unlistenable, compilations can be murderous weapons—at least for me. Not that I’ve ever escaped being nearly stabbed to death by the dull edge of a TDK 90, but making a compilation is sort of the auditory version of passing a kidney stone. And I don’t know if you know this, but when you pass a kidney stone, you pee blood: that is to say, blood spews from your penis because something sharper than a diamond’s titty has jaggedly pierced the tender lining of your urinary tract. Make sense?

So I had a earlier, better, "final" version of this “mix” (djs have ruined that word haven’t they?) earlier today that had a faint taste of perfection in it—at least it all made some sense in the very limited landscape of my mushy and mercurial mind. Needless to say, I was rather happy with it. Unfortunately though, I started trying to fuck it in all the unconventional places—and you know what that means, yes, I have indeed lost its glass eye. Don’t ever listen to people yelling from off camera to “Go for the skull!”

This will be probably be as long winded as a Humpback whale’s fart but I felt these songs too important to not write something out—even if it’s stupid, trite recollections or observations from my own dumb self. Also, I pretty much blew through the stream of shit you may now choose to read, and I apologize if it could have been written better. Hope it makes some kind of fucking sense to someone. I just want to take this moment to say I fucking hate Nick Hornby and wish him a mediumly slow death. So anyway, here it is.

You can download the mix HERE.

And if you want read along as you listen, Brian went on to give a detailed account of how each song affected / inspired him :

Tally Ho!  by The Clean:
Back in the grand old 90s I had a couple garage scenesters relay to me what an overt pussy I was for listening to “Kiwi” pop crap” like this. Of course, upon discovering that the Clean were from New Zealand, it just strangely reinforced the coolness of something that was already inherently there for me. Well, color me with the pussy crayon, I’m still a huge fan and luckily after the Merge Anthology compilation, a lot more people are too. There’s simply nothing wrong with this song. Plus, the vaguely nautical theme seems like a good way to start a comp.

Panik by Metal Urbain:
I remember hearing this for the first time years ago and not being able to believe that it truly existed. The brief opening guitar bit is just immediately odd and confrontational and then guess what…wait for it… they fucking start singing In French. If you want “Anarchy in Paris” (as the album title relates) then I’d say you’re pretty fucking pissed. Imagine being a huge Six Finger Satellite fan and then discovering a proto-punk version of that band existed in France in the late 70s that have a record called “Anarchy in Paris.” Yeah, lucky to be me!  Saw a reunion at SxSW a few years ago. It could have been worse, but not much a fan of the reunion circuit for anyone even robotic French anarchists.

Crazy Horses by The Osmonds:
My first ever concert. What a fucking jam. I forget which one it is but the amazing Moog or ARP analog synth slides are both unbelievably campy and disturbing at the same time. You get it? That crazy keyboard sound is a crazy fucking horse! Look, if you ever wondered if Donny Osmond had hair on his balls, listen to this. Sounds like he’s got a caveman’s beard hangin’ from his scrotum on those pre-chorus bridge parts. And If you think Donnie Osmond is a chump, please set up an appointment with me to hear you sing: “What a show, there they go smokin’ up the sky…yeah / Crazy horses are the riders in you and I.” After that, I’ll decide who the chump really is.

It's Catching Up by No Means No:
Wrong is still one of my favorite records of all time. I could have choose any song off of it, except Oh No, Bruno because that always sounded like it should be a Hanson Bros. song. As stupid as it may be, this still makes me want to go play the drums or do what every great song should do—start a band. Also, what better than a zombie metaphor for more or less everything thing in your life being irrevocably off course? The chorus reminds me of my own life rather frequently:

“It’s catching up.
 I’m fucked.
A dead duck.
Shit out of luck.”

Underwater Moonlight by the Soft Boys:
Unequivocally put, one of the best from one of my favorites. The lyrics are brilliantly seemingly nonsensical couplets that would have made Dr. Seuss put up his Green Eggs and Ham for white statues and giant squids. I like all things about this song. A true case of an imposter being better than the original; neo-psychedlia should have never been this good. One of the few songs that actually sounds like its name.

Don't Laugh by The Louvin Brothers:
Section, Alabama’s finest harmonizers still reign high as some of the most pleasantly pitched fellows the world has ever seen. Paul (shameless plug) painted an amazing portrait of them as a Siamese twin that we hung by the soundbooth at Bottletree. I hope a lot of people will take the painting at face value and assume they were indeed combined at the hip. Regardless, all their records sound as if they were unquestionably connected at the throat. Doesn’t matter what song it is. I could listen to these guys sing an ode to nutritional yeast and be down.       

No Pussy Blues by Grinderman:
This may sound pretentious, but rarely does an artist ever actually actualize their art. It’s all in the attempt. No Pussy Blues sounds like everything Nick Cave has always wanted to try to make in his bitter twisted heart and bitter soul. If the Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party had hate-sex and then shot crystal-meth steroids into the resulting, unwanted fetus you would have this song. Well done by someone who almost always does it well. I mean, he fucking rhymes “hour” with “Chihuahua” for Christ sakes! And you did read that the song is called No Pussy Blues, right?

Down In Mexico by The Coasters:
I used to put this on all my high school comps. and it would freak out my friends out because it didn’t sound like R.E.M. or Black Flag. It sounded “old.” It was the first time I really appreciated that the arc of what music I could like could went beyond five years past the present time I was living in. Still love how abrupt the rhythm changes and yet how it feels like it fits perfectly in the same song. Someone said Quentin Tarantino used this in some movie or something. Shows you what shitty taste I have.

Instant Pleasure by Simply Saucer:
Surely Robert Pollard was informed on this band when he was making some of the GBV records. Regardless, one of my favorite bands ever. Definitely my favorite lo-fi, early 70s Canadian proto-punk psych trash band. Ha! That’s funny because there weren’t any other bands really like that, thus I am going through your mental backdoor to show you their originality and importance in a context of time and genre. I hate when people do shit like. Don’t know why the fuck I just did.

Poison Pen by Bauhaus:
Let’s get this out of the way, “Fuck you. I indeed unabashedly love me some Baw-Hiz-ouse” as we say in Alabama. Swing The Heartache is not the Bauhaus record a lot of people start with, but it’s what they had at Wuxtry the day I decided I would buy my first Bauhaus record. This changed so much for me. Immediately my “free from the ravages of talent” high school band gave up on verses and choruses, got rid of tube screamers and got delay pedals, and we started playing with hardly any lights on in my basement room. We were absolutely irrefutable in our teenage ability to poorly copy something and make it unfathomable worse than one could even imagine such a thing to be. That said, Bauhaus was a great band and these BBC session are a living testament that they weren’t just studio dramatists. They actually were pretty decent on their reunion tour (because they still, more or less, were skinny). This is my favorite Peter Murphy vocal performance of all time.

Every Picture Tells a Story by Rod Stewart:
This is an obvious pick, but Jesus Christ is this still an amazing jam. Truly un-fukcking-believable track by an un-fukcking-believable supporting cast. I love how the guitar and drums don’t quite hit squarely together right after the intro—somebody could have just thrown the take away but they kept it, and it, obviously, in retrospect, was such a perfect inarguably performance for the tune.  I remember hearing it on the radio on some AOR station when I was a kid and it sounded so unabashedly lewd--like getting molested by a nonexistent hot aunt who was still managing to keep a cigarette lit during the process of molesting you. Rod Stewart has to be one of the biggest douches of all time. He’s also probably one of the best singers. If you one of those people who want to get something started that’s “all rootsy and raw,” please listen to this and quit trying to play music.

Freight Elevator by The Rogers Sisters:
It has always been bands like The Roger Sisters that have made me value the music made by people younger than myself. I remember hearing the frenetic, inspired naivety of this when it came out and starting thinking all the music I was presently making must seem like old people groping in a Ben Gay factory. The panning and production is ridiculous. I probably never had as much fun in the studio as they did while making this.

Casey by Dick Rosmini:
Long, lame story about this one, but it took me forever to find out whose song this was. I know this is some sad-sacked sappy shit, and I rarely share this side of my connection to music, but I was going through absolutely one of the worst of imaginable, suicide inducing break-ups, and all that was left in the house was a stereo I had “won” in the mock divorce. It rested upon a massive and empty and scratched Cherry Pine hardwood floor, and when I unplugged the cord to it, I was surrealistically but also literally about to change everything in my life from my home to all my friends to my music career.  I pressed play on a cassette that was in the deck that I had never seen before--it was some old unmarked mix tape that wasn’t mine. This song came on and it and it killed me. I probably wept for hours over some two minute little piece of finger picked acoustic guitar music. Needless to say, it was the last song I listened to in that house. I can still taste the air in that moment when I listen to this. It seems conspicuous and stupid to write this, but there was something in the way the bassier notes rang over the empty cellar that made me realize that life doesn’t work out at all like how fate should have deemed it to be and maybe that’s okay.

Starry Eyes by Roky Erickson:
Another super-predictable song choice, but I don’t have some nerd-ass collector’s connection to his work. Satan and U.F.O.s are rad, but really I just like anything that he sings on from any period. This is one of the first songs I ever heard by him. If I actually had a soul, I wish it sounded like Roky.

Jump The Fence by The Big Boys:
I owe a lot to a lot of people, but everything in my musical identity relating to community, ethics, support, friendship, fun and intensity was learned from Tim Kerr. They’re a handful of people’s music in this world who have keep me from either blowing my own head off with a shotgun or turning one on a public space. He is one of those people. I used to play this to open “Mystery Playhouse” (the punk show on WEGL in Auburn) and it still sounds like the first time heard it. How many fucking songs can you say that about?

Whoop 'Em Up, Cindy by Uncle Dave Macon:
I have always gravitated toward showmanship and inspired novelty and who better represents such things than Uncle Dave Macon.  A true entertainer if there ever was one.  If could pick a handful of people I would want to see live, one would be Uncle Dave either in Vaudeville or at the Opry—doesn’t matter. People who came out of Vaudeville actually knew how to entertain an audience, and you can hear that in ever one of Uncle Dave’s recordings. There a “let’s make this shit fun”-ness to everything he did.

Three For The Festival by Roland Kirk:
Listen to the air he’s pushing in middle of this! Fucking amazing. Not the track of his I would necessarily take to a desert island, but I had to find a short one to fit here. Ladies and gentleman, there are some things you can do with a horn that you can’t do with a guitar. Rashad Roland Kirk did all of them.

 Oh How to Do Now by The Monks:
Another fairly obvious one, but I only used to have a VHS tape of them playing on German TV that I dubbed for people about 60 times and it eventually wouldn’t play. Years passed, and I finally got some Monks bootleg CDs in Germany on tour and I felt like a crack baby rediscovering how good crack was an adult! What band commits to anything as much as the Monks did to their look and sound?  This still freaks me out. Another big realization: you can do something just to be weird and yet it could still be good. Black Monk Time is a must read for anyone who reads or like music or does neither.

Death Scene by The VSS: This was a last minute choice so that probably means it’s actually good. Probably one of the least “important” tracks in the realm of musicology bullshit here, but I just remember hearing this record and wishing I was in the band. Whenever a band is so good that you want to kill one of the members in order to replace them, you know you’ve found something pretty fucking cool. Sonny from that band always has been a cool dude to me and that probably helps slide the scale a little. So be it.

Hearts are Trump by Trio: I like this a little better than the original German Herz Ist Trumpf version—maybe that’s because I speak English.  Still such a perfect sounding record. People spend shit tons of money on equipment and tones and never come close to being as sonically pure as Trio. One of the few bands I wish could play both my wedding and funeral. This is the kind of stuff they beat you up in high school for listening to—that’s always the test if something is punk to me.
Crazy Feet, Sensible Shoes by Curlew: I must admit I discovered this band just in the last few years. I bet Stuart Elllis had this in college and I somehow missed it. Anyway, I’m often a sucker for shit that just is wacky, and this sounds like Raymond Scott fronting a No Wave band to me. That said, don’t try to make me listen to that Mr. Bungle crap because I will fucking stab you in the anus with a shiv that I have made from a broken piece of your own femur bone.

That's How Strong My Love Is by Otis Redding:
I’m going to be some lame-ass white boy waxing romantic about how Otis can put you in the mood or some limped-dick cliché like that. Shit, just listen to it. It makes me want to be a tall black man in love with a beautiful black woman...or maybe just a white guy with Otis’ voice. Oh wait, yes, I do see the inherent contradiction in that.
Wild Wind by John Leyton (produced by Joe Meek):
One of Joe Meek’s many guinea pigs, Leyton was a totally absolutely stock, pappy singer, but the Joe Meek production on this is so clipped-out that you feel like you’re about to have your cerebral cortex pulled out with dental floss by a guy who has huge grin on his face and is covered in his own shit. It’s an absolutely average song sung by a less-than-average crooner and the production makes it sound like the world is about to fall apart. Joe Meek was a genius amateur –the best kind of genius there is. He definitely had ears that could hear beyond that of we mere humans.

Timeless by Zolar-X:
Biafra gave me a tape of this band a long time ago, and I never forget him saying in full Biafraness (in reference to Man or Astro-Man? claiming to be from outer space), “Theeezzza Guyzzzz Haddda Theirrrra Owwwwwn Languaggggge.”  Talk about feeling one-upped. I had been listening a lot to the Dead Boys and Hawkwind and I instantly felt like peanut butter and chocolate had skipped the orange wrapper and just fucked. Later on I read We Got The Neutron Bomb and became a completist of everything I could get by them.

Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny:
Since my first note of introduction, I’ve always been a huge Santo and Johnny fan, but one of my favorite documentarians, Robert Stone, used this song for the opening an episode of An American Experience called The Satellite Sky—one of the most intriguing and artistically engaging remembrances of the Space Race ever made. The initial shot of the film follows a normal launch site scene where a rocket blast into the sky pretty “been here done that” stuff, but not long in, after take off, the rocket misfires and blows all to fiery hell and back. You soon realize the reason why he choose such a seemingly contradictory piece of music for the beginning of the film was because it absolutely fits perfectly to the cascading flaming tragedy of shit and debris that is now falling like sedated ballet dancers on fire out of the sky. My favorite film opening of all time. Regardless, it still fits perfectly for the ending to anything as melodramatic as, say, life itself or just a simple mix tape.

Note to God or other reigning celestial deity or deities: Please play this song when you finally decide to end this giant shit rock you made as I think it works pretty well.

Brian Teasley (one of the billions of humans lying in your final infinite sea of rubble and overwhelming destruction)