Mixed Bag Director's Commentary
John in Taiwan signed my GuestMap! Hi John! You can too!
I mentioned that I was part of a CD exchange run by Chris "Lefty" Brown. I have received a bunch of CDs in the mail, and I'm listening to them when I can (which is, unfortunately, not as often as I'd like) and should have some things to say about them soon. So far I've liked them all, which means I would enjoy a lot more music if I had the money to purchase it. Some people, like Lefty himself, Fred Hembeck, and Tom the Dog have posted some commentary about their songs (if others did it and I missed it, sorry!). I thought, what the hell, I'll do it too. I titled my collection "As uncool as you thought it would be," because, as I will point out when I start talking about the others, everyone's songs are cooler than mine. Mine are good, I think, but the other ones ... are cool.
1. The Artist Formerly and Currently Known as Prince starts the CD off with P Control, which is from his 1995 album "The Gold Experience." This is just a fun, funky, bitchin' tune about female empowerment. The "P" stands for "pussy," in case you're wondering. "Pussy got bank in her pocket, before she got dick in her drawers." Amen, sister! Lyrics,if you're interested.
2. I love the Indigo Girls. Therefore, after a funky beginning, things calm down with Come On Home from their 2004 album, "All That We Let In." A nice song about a crazy man and the woman who puts up with him. Here are the lyrics.
3. Going from nice to nasty, Steve Earle sings The Truth from 2002's "Jerusalem." Prison blues, essentially, but uncomfortably in your face. Lyrics? Sure!
4. Now the disc could have gone nastier, but I'm not that kind of guy, so I threw in a nicer song, Genie by Marillion from their 2004 album "Marbles" (yes, it's a dumb name - but my name is on it!) It's a nice song but with an edge, which is the best thing about Marillion - they usually have a edge to their stuff. They're only the best band in the world, after all. Lyrics are here, but you actually have to click on the song title.
5. Fun stuff from John Legend is next, with Let's Get Lifted from his 2004 debut album, "Get Lifted." He's a talented pianist with a smooth voice, and although comparing sex to smoking marijuana isn't that original (and stay away from drugs, kids!), he makes the song work. Check out the lyrics here.
6. Back to the Indigo Girls for Tether, another song off "All That We Let In." A nice subtle political song with an excellent second verse. My friend Roxy almost got in a traffic accident listening to this song! Warning: It may cause poor driving! See what made her distracted here!
7. Well, the CD needed some kicking in the ass, since I was getting a little mellow ("Tether" isn't mellow, but it's still the Indigo Girls), so I threw on some Streetwalkin' Cheetahs and their tune White Collar Money from their 2001 disc "Waiting For The Death Of My Generation." What a great song. "Making white collar money in a black market world." Hell yeah! Guess what? I can't find the freakin' lyrics anywhere. Shazbot!
8. Okay, now that the asses have been kicked, it's time to dial it back down. What better way than with a gay cowboy trucker love song? And who better to sing a gay cowboy trucker love song than the Magnetic Fields? That's right, no one, so it's on to Papa Was A Rodeo from 1999's "69 Love Songs," one of the saddest and yet hopeful gay cowboy trucker love songs you'll ever want to hear. Even hard-core Republicans will soon be singing along, "Home was anywhere with diesel gas, love was a trucker's hand." See the rest of the sad, sad lyrics here!
9. Now that some repressed people needed a shower, I decided to hit 'em with a non-gay cowboy trucker love song, so I threw on You're Gone, by that greatest band ever, Marillion, from the same album. Funkier than they usually are, just as gripping, just as sly, and painfully true lyrics - "You're gone, and suddenly, I can't see - I'm in the shadow of you." Check out the rest of them here - again, you need to click on the song. Damned Brits!
10. Well, country music really ain't my thing, but when it's Steve Earle warbling with Lucinda Williams, I say go! You're Still Standing There is off Earle's 1996 release "I Feel Alright," and it actually takes on some added layers when you consider that Earle had just gotten out of prison before recording this. A sweet love song by two people who, you can just feel, have had more than their share of heartbreak. You need to read the lyrics!
11. The most obscure track on my disc is probably Better Or Worse by Liquid Jesus on their 1991 album "Pour In The Sky." They were a great band who disappeared after this album (I think - at least, I've never seen any others, but I'd like to know if I'm wrong), and it's a shame, because this is a very good collection of songs. Bruce Hornsby plays piano on this song, by the way. Just a nice song about falling in love. I actually found the lyrics, if you want to check them out.
12. There are a couple of bands that MUST be on any compilation I put together. Marillion is one, and The Pogues are another! Steams of Whiskey from 1984's "Red Roses For Me" is just such a typically wonderful Pogues song. "I have cursed, bled, and sworn; jumped bail and landed up in jail" - really, Shane? You don't say! The excellently garbled lyrics are here!
13. I'm not the biggest rap fan, but when it's good, it's fan-fuckin-tastic, and Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta by the Geto Boys is fan-fuckin-tastic. I have this on the soundtrack to "Office Space" from 1999, but it's an older song. This is the reason why you should never watch "Office Space" on a censored television show. "And real gangsta-ass niggas don't run for shit cuz real gangsta-ass niggas don't run fast." Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Get all the inappropriate-for-children lyrics here!
14. After the heapin' serving of "fuck-you" from our Geto friends, we dial it back down with the excellent PJ Harvey and the second-to-last track off her 1995 masterpiece "To Bring You My Love," Send His Love To Me. God, what a great song. "This love becomes my torture, this love becomes my crime. Sing it, Polly! The haunting lyrics are here.
15. Another must on any CD compilation that I make is, of course, ABBA. Surprisingly, more than one other contributor also included ABBA tunes on their discs, which means they are cooler than the rest! My selection is When All Is Said And Done from their last album, 1981's "The Visitors." A wistful yet uplifting song about putting the past behind you and being proud of your life. Excellent. The triumphant lyrics are here.
16. I thought about ending the album with "When All Is Said And Done," because it's a good song to end and album with, but I opted for one last Marillion song, the 12-minute epic Neverland, which ends "Marbles." It has some Peter Pan references, but it's more about the love of a good woman (or man, I suppose) making you a better person. Beautiful. "At times like these, any fool can see your love inside me." Tell it like it is, Steve! Again, some effort is needed to get to the lyrics.
So there you have it. Any questions? I hope everyone who got one enjoys it, and if you didn't participate, we're going to do it again soon, so check it out! It's fun!