More compact disc goodness!
But onward to the ones I already have. Today's quick reviews are threefold.
First up we have the Ringwood Ragemix from Ken Lowery, who I hope isn't as angry as appears, since that's not healthy. Serenity Now, Ken! His musical taste, though: impeccable.
His CD contains several tracks that can only be described as aaaawwwwesome. The first four blow me away: Will You Smile Again by ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Burn The Witch by Queens of the Stone Age, Metal Heart by Garbage, and Unbroken (Hotel Baby) by Monster Magnet. I've always heard decent things about the first three bands, but never got around to buying any of their stuff. I might have to now. The mix continues with less excellent, but still strong tunes until the 8th track, which is Harelip by Tomahawk. It's a good song, but if it's not by ex-members of Faith No More I'll eat my hat. Can anyone help me out? Ken follows it up with Speaking In Tongues by the Eagles of Death Metal, which is surprisingly bouncy and un-death metal-like. The only thing I didn't like on the mix was the comedy stylings of Bill Hicks, which follows this song. I hate Rush Limbaugh as much as the next guy, but the humor was just ... too icky. Grossing people out isn't necessarily funny. A couple of okay songs follow by Elastica and Gorillaz, and then Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds weigh in with The Curse Of Millhaven, which isn't exactly fun but I still dig it. The Burden Brothers and Too Much Joy finish the CD, and while there's nothing wrong with the songs, they don't fill me with joy like some of the other stuff on it does. This is a very good mix, and I like playing it LOUD.
Moving on, we have Mike Sterling and his CD of Love. Awwww. This is totally packed with tunes (28 of them) and therefore there's some potential for not-as-good songs to sneak in there, but not many do. There are a few that I'm not wild about, but nothing that makes me want to gouge my ears out with a spoon. The highlights: Johnny Q by the Crazy 8s, which is a great song by a Portland band, the greatest hits of whom I own, so I actually had the song before it showed up here. It's a fun, boppy, brassy tune with lots of horns - you can't go wrong with horns! Bad Party by The Tan is a fun little tune, especially because it's about, well, a bad party. I heard 7 Seconds' cover of 99 Red Balloons many years ago (in '88, maybe?) and dug it then, and here it is again! I also love the fact that the lead singer of 7 Seconds is Kevin Seconds! Did his mother know something???? I really like Communist Love Song by Soltero. It's a weird little song with cute lyrics, and it's awesome. Celtic Elvis's She Likes Girls is such a fun tune about, well, lesbianism and it sucks to be a guy sometimes. Science Fiction by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is a clever tune about, hmmm, science fiction. I always enjoy a cover of Prince's Kiss (by Age of Chance), but they always remind of how good the original is. Disintegrated Einstein's Nevermind The Mollusk is a nifty little sort-of rap song that contains the line "He said goodbye to his friends and anenomes" - that just makes the song! I really like the delicate weirdness of the Deadly Nightshade Family Singers and their song The Effects Of Weightlessness In Space - it's like one of those old Victrola recordings from the 1920s, but all mod! The instrumental version of Stairway To Heaven by the Dixie Power Trio is nice (more horns!), but it also reminds me how excellent the original is (yes, it's overplayed, but still excellent). There's some weaker songs, but overall, it's a fascinating look into the mind of Mike Sterling. Ummm, maybe that's not where we want to look.
Before I move on, I will point out that Mike has the coolest band names on his mix. Here are some: Channel 3; Crazy 8s; The Tan; 7 Seconds; Ookla the Monk; All Girl Summer Fun Band; Young Fresh Fellows; Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives (that rules!); Celtic Elvis; Me First and the Gimme Gimmes; Tsunami Bomb; Phooey; Disintegrated Einstein; Victor Banana; The Deadly Nightshade Family Singers. Phew! Good stuff, Mike.
Finally, we have the soundtrack to Couscous Express, which was brought to us by the venerable Larry Young. I have checked out the book here (it's there, trust me), so now I will check out the CD!
It's good. I'm not sure if it's something that fits the book perfectly (it's the "soundtrack," after all), because some of the stuff is too old-school for a young punk like Olive, but the music is good. As befits a soundtrack, I also thought there were too many instrumentals on it, especially the three straight in the middle of the disc. It's not that they're bad songs, it's just that they're all stacked together. A minor quibble. There's a lot of good music on the disc, including fun punk stuff from Murphy's Law (How To Start A Fight, a great way to start the CD), Sick Of It All (Step Down - and how fun to hear Sick Of It All again - it takes me back to my college days ...), Dropkick Murphys (The Gauntlet), The Offspring (She's Got Issues - I'm not the biggest Offspring fan, but they're fun in small quantities), and Circle Jerks (Wild In The Streets - see my comment on The Offspring), while he throws in a bunch of reggae as well. Reggae is not my total cup of tea, but again, in small quantities I dig it, and here it's fine and dandy. My favorite song on the CD is probably Lovely Day by Bill Withers - what a nice song. This is a cool blend of fast stuff and funky stuff.
Man, what a lot of good music I get to listen to these days. I've been reading some of the other reviews, and I can't decide if I'm a wuss or scared that the other bloggers are going to come to my house and beat me up or what, but so far, there's nothing on any of these CDs that I really hate. There's some stuff I'm not gaga over, but everything is either brilliant or at least solid listening. And soon I'll have more. Sheesh.