Monday, June 15, 2009

A Mixtape: An Act of Penitence

I know I haven't updated this blog in going on nine months, but I've resolved to post more often from henceforth, I swear. And yer yer yer, I know I've said the same thing in the past, but I'm determined this time.

Anyway, as a means of making it up to you, I put together a mixtape which I've titled: The Very Best of Sweet Baby Jesus and the Orphans.

You can download it here:

The songs don't have a whole lot in common other than that they've stayed with me since I first heard them and remain to this very day some of my favourites.

Track Listing:

1. The Sonics - Keep A Knockin'

They say The Sonics were a punk band before the term "punk" was ever applied to music. They were active in the early to mid '60s - before reforming in 2008 to mixed reviews - and their influence on bands such as the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, the Pointed Sticks, Screeching Weasel and the Hives is plainly obvious. This is in my top five songs of all time. It's as primal and urgent as rock n roll comes and just plain one of the most kick ass tunes ever. Sure it's a Little Richard cover, but the Sonics fuckin' perfected it.

2. The Exploding Hearts - Making Teenage Faces

I just about well up in tears every time I hear 'Shattered', the B-Sides compilation from which this songs comes. The record was released after three members of the band died in a car accident. The reason I get misty eyed? Well because it's that damn fucking good, these guys had their whole lives in front of them and surely would have continued to churn out power pop gems such as this.

3. The Fast Cars - The Kids Just Wanna Dance

A clued in buddy of mine put me onto this one and I instantly shit my pants over it. I remember playing it 20 times over the first time I heard it on the band's MySpace. Taking their name from the Buzzcocks song, this British power pop band were never widely known. They remain active to this day, occasionally touring Japan and the like. While this is as good a sing-along as the punk rock genre produced in the 70s, it's by far and away the Fast Cars' best song, so don't really bother tracking down their other shit.

4. The Fatal Charm - Spend The Night Alone

This is about as esoteric as you can get. I first heard this song when Head released a cover of it on 7". I immediately tracked down the original after falling in love with it and, despite my reserverations that Head's version couldn't be bested, I found the original to be very much superior. To this day I don't know much about The Fatal Charm other than that they were a female-fronted pop/punk/new wave band around the late '70s and early '80s. The rest of their catalogue, from what I've heard, is pretty much dross, so save yourself the leg work and don't both with anything else they did.

5. The Wipers - Tragedy

Straight up one of the catchiest songs ever. If you don't know the Wipers, school yourself and pick up their first album 'Is This Real?' from which this song comes.

6. Lazy Cowgirls - Never Got The Chance

I've loved this song for what feels like an age. Great fodder when you find yourself pissed off with the world.

7. Jay Reatard - You Mean Nothing To Me

Jay Reatard is hands down my favourite artist to emerge over the last couple of year. Yer yer, I know he's been active with other bands for about a decade, but he's managed to shit out one A1 LP and a couple of B-Sides and Singles albums as a solo artist in the space of three years. Mother fucker is prolific. I once heard him say he likes to write at least one song per day. I'd probably believe it. This comes from last year's Matador Singles Collection, which I found myself going back to repeatedly.

8. The Muffs - Saying Goodbye

Ok, I'm going to level with you, and this could have a negative influence on my reputation as a pop punk affecianado. I've only come to like the Muffs in the last few months. Yeah. I've always managed to dismiss them based on my, former, dislike for Kim Shattnuck's gravelly vocals. This track comes from their first, self-titled album which is one of the best slices of pop punk I've ever heard. At least I'm man enough to admit when I've gone wrong.

9. Crimpshrine - Tomorrow

I've had very animated debates with people over whether Crimpshrine are (as I see it) melodic, raw, homespun and enchanting punk rock and a vital cog in punk's evolution OR atonal crap. Anyway, I love both Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus just about everything they've done since.

10. Lemuria - Yesterday's Lunch

This comes from 'Get Better', my favourite album of last year and probably the best record to tread the fine line between emo and punk rock since Jawbreaker's Dear You. Yeah, I went there. No shit.

11. The Thermals - Born Dead

This comes from their first album, 'More Parts Per Million'. Part indie rock, part pop punk, all kick ass song writing. MPPM is a masterpiece of simplicity, recorded on an 8-track and I reckon one of my favourite albums of the new century.

12. The Clean - Slug Song

If you live outside of New Zealand - the band's home country - or Australia, you probably haven't heard of this band. My jaw hit the flaw when I first heard them. They're legends in their own right, single handedly kick starting the New Zealand indie rock scene. Importantly, they were the first band to release an album on the seminal Flying Nun record label. I don't know what you'd call them. Post-punk? Fucks me. While their arrangements are sparse and dreamy, their songs are at the same time catchy and to-the-point.

Anyway, please enjoy the mixtape and I sure hope I put you onto a band you've never heard. I dig that, and that's very much my itentions here. I've also included cover art - as seen above - so you can upload it on your Ipod.

Thumbs up,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call on Jay (May he RIP) and The Thermals! Born Dead's the standout track from MPPM for me as well.

4:25 PM  

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