Twisted Wind Down

Much like the ancient computer that eventually won out in forcing me to cease and desist from creating posts for this group, my heart is literally broken over the news that Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday will be closing its doors for a spell in three short weeks!

I’m going to try to participate in these final endeavors, though at the speed with which my ‘puter works, they may not be ready until Wednesday/Thursday time frame.

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Jen, you are still (in my mind at least) easily one of the top five people (give or take) in all of human history for creating this prompt, and I want to thank you for hosting our musical maniacal meanderings over the past year.

As this is the last “Your Choice,” prompt, I suppose none of us should be surprised that I went here…

Darin did it all. Really. Rock, pop, country, and folk. He even (as detailed here) could be said to have been one of the originators of the Gothic scene. Don’t believe me? Try some of this pudding for your proof…

Rock:

Pop:

Country:

Folk:

And yes, even “Gothic:”

You see, with B.D., we always got “the real thing.” With B.D., we always got more. Which leads me to my third-to last bonus track (there’s always a bonus track…), my personal favorite most favorited of all time, Darin tune:

PS: I intentionally avoided his more “popular” songs today as I was hoping to broaden horizons while applying my adept skills at music snobbery…

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You Suck.

You suck at life…

You suck in your marriage…

You suck at fulfilling your potential…

You suck in love…

Hell, you even suck at limiting this post to just 5 songs…

You suck.

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Please visit Jen’s Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday for more songs about sucking.

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PS: Should you listen to only (1) this week, go with track number #6, as it is damned near the “You Suck” anthem of all time. But also try to give picks 1 through 5 a audio peek as well. I mean, hell, this IS a mix tape, right?

Leonard Nimoy Gets Laid…

Listen, love ain’t free. You and I both know it, so let’s stop beating round that sad old bush and face the facts, OK?

Even when you wistfully think, “hey, no strings attached,” you just know that you’re lying to yourself. There’s ALWAYS strings attached. If not in heart, then at the very least, in purse…

And sometimes in heart as well, sometimes even a heart filled with disappointment…

But for the masses, disappointment is a worn-out old suit. Ill-fitting, uncomfortable and an embarrassment. Especially when the purse beckons towards instant gratification, especially when disappointment can simply be turned into a jaunty lil’ jingle to help celebrate the sin…

And speaking of jingles, are there any better than the one where instant attraction leads to instant fireworks? And instant fireworks leads to rings being exchanged? And rings being exchanged leads to some sort of happiness ever-after? But most often, only after those rings have lost their shimmer, going off on their merry pawn shopping way…?

But that’s just it – a blessed few get to realize their happiness ever-after, and the rest of us are simply relegated to dealing with the truth of the matter (most usually, only long after our purses have been drained of cash and fight) that eventually everyone has to pay, even Nimoy…

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So Jen told us this week’s Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday prompt was “No Strings Attached,” and I instantly gravitated towards prostitution. None too sure why, but I feel that Anita said it best, when she cooed that she had been through the “mill of love,” only to find every type but True. And maybe that in itself is the truth of the matter. I mean, at least when dealing with General Hooker’s women, you know that you’ll be broke by the end.

Oh, and speaking of Hooker’s women, here’s your bonus track for this week – I hope that you enjoy =)

Judy & Friends

The second-most virtuous man I know is going through a pretty intricate operation today. Please keep him and the most virtuous man I know, his husband, in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks, and this post is dedicated to them…

Sinatra did it.

Streisand did it.

Bennett did it.

Hell, Martin and Cole did it, years after they were already pushing up booze-soaked daisies.

But the Mother of all dueting, the forevermore Queen of all that the duet sun shines itself upon, was one Ms. Judy Garland. A consummate professional, she was confident in her talent enough, as to not throw under the bus whatever musical tit-for tatter happened to be working with her at the time. A lesson that one of her co-stars embraced. Another consummate professional in his own right, maybe you’ve heard of him before, and maybe it was here that you did…

To be sure, Mr. Darin was no stranger to the art of duet either, a talent that shown through never brighter, than when he cajoled a little-known lyricist (and founder of Capitol Records) into doing an entire album with him – one produced for Capitol’s competitor no less, the ATCO Records label…

Now if Judy ever sang with Mercer, I don’t know, but I do know she eventually nailed both Sinatra and Martin – in a one-two punch that left them reeling…

Speaking of duets, unbeknownst to most, Sinatra and Martin weren’t actually opposed to working together, and on very rare occasion, these two would lock horns (of the musical variety, of course), even if Garland wasn’t able to come out and play…

Hell, they were even known to on even rarer occasion “Pack” it in with Sammy in tow…

But it will still be Judy who ends the day (not to mention this post), with her ability to pick ’em, work with ’em, and make everyone a winner in the process. Even when the artist chosen had everything to gain, more the still when compared to Ms. Garland’s absolute nothing to lose…

Oh, and for all of you Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesdayers who thought about this bonus ditty the VERY SECOND you heard Sinatra’s name today; I want you to know that, 1) you are waaaaay old and, 2) it was the first thing I thought of as well… enjoy!

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PS: I decided that since any of the “relevant” duets I could have come up with (Queen/Bowie, Fine Young Cannibals/Somerville, Public Enemy/Anthrax, Strummer/Cash, Pogues/Maccoll,  Reznor/Murphy) would most likely already be addressed by other, more capable Tuesdayers, it left me the room to actually drop my music snobbery for a spell, and play around with this prompt instead. I hope you dug this momentary diversion into what – I fear – will soon to be a forgotten entertainment treasure, and I hope you do your part to help us remember a world wherein talent was what drove the industry we so love.

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What A Wonderful World, Pt. 2

No, IZ is not actually one of “the five” chosen for this week, but I love his take on these two songs, and thought it to be the perfect tie-in between last week’s post and this. Give it a listen. I’ll wait.

S’good, right?

So, week two in the 00’s (and to my knowledge, still no clear consensus as to how to pronounce that). The end of the decade found my musical knowledge reawakening somewhat, but this time not of my own accord. No, these new ear worms came from (3) primary sources, all of whom were nonexistent in my life previous to this decade.

1) My online tribe. Most of whom I have never actually met, many of whom I never will, a small number of whom I might, all of whom refuse to let me simply sit on my musical laurels, while the world continues to careen madly out of control, voice modulators be damned. It’s through good folks like these that I “discovered” a little known Hasidic Jew with a penchant for beat box…

They also introduced me to two upbeat kids with a small budget, big talent, and bigger dreams. DIY for the new century…

And speaking of kids…

2) The kids, AKA My Lovelies. Old enough now to form their own tastes, they’ve begun to fill my head – and my life –  with all sorts of new sounds. Sounds I would have never found on my own, or if I had, wouldn’t have appreciated nearly as much as I do. All because the very people I was blessed to have a part in creating, and am now responsible for raising, thought enough of me as to share their new-found treasure with. Treasure like Pink…

And treasure like these two newer players. Two who could very well, if they’re not careful, shortly turn the music (and video) world on its ever-living ear once again. A turn that, in my humble opinion, is much needed right about now. If you listen-watch to only one song in this post, make it this one…

3) The world-wide interwebs. Sorry, but these days I do rely on it much more than I do simply strolling the aisles of the record store. Partially because I’m lazy. Partially because I don’t have anything even close to the time required any more. And partially because – in Buffalo anyway – libraries even have more new music by lesser known artists, than the brick and mortar record stores do. It was online that I discovered that one of the few remaining members holding a piece of my youth is still recording. And as it turns out, doing a damned fine job of it as well…

So now we’re here. And tomorrow beckons. Will I be on-board? Most likely not. But that’s OK. I had my time, and my time was good. Tomorrow beckons as it always did, for the young people to stand up and have their voices heard. Voices that they are only now learning how to create. My prayer is that they will be more influenced by folks like The Clash and Public Enemy, Matisyahu and Macklemore, then they are by the Disney Machine.

They’ve the power to do either, and only time will tell.

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Another Tuesday, another Twisted Mix-Tape. This one rounding out our stroll through the decades. I’d like to thank Jen for pushing me into dredging up these musical memories, and I hope you enjoyed them as much as I.

Oh, and before we leave the decade, let’s take just a moment to celebrate the rebirth of Rick, through the 00 introduction of the “mash-up.” I knew you’d do it, Mr. Astley. I mean, after all, you DID say that you would never let me down, right?

Arms Aloft (Where To Now?)

You see, Sherman done moved on up.

sherman-hemsleyBut there’s no need to worry about that any longer.

And I think maybe Weezie had done so before him, but I can’t be certain. And that’s not the point at any rate, now is it? No, the point is that Sherman done kicked it in the 21st century, and when he left, he took a piece of my childhood with him. Now to be sure, it was a piece I gave freely, but still, a piece forever gone as a result of his departure.

Seeing as I had mentioned last time that I had pretty much “checked out” musically by the end of the 90’s, in lieu of immediately addressing new acts for the new century, I thought I would take a moment to breathe. Instead, devoting Part One to the those individuals who I entrusted a piece of my youth with, and who then took it with them as they rushed up unannounced to Saint Peter’s gate.

As far as a “mix” goes, this will most likely be shaky at best, but as far as a confession of unadulterated devotion and love goes, this is about as close as I’ll ever get, Again, musically speaking that is…

Joe. I still miss you. I never met you, but still I miss you. Honest to God! You really did help to make me the man (?) I am today, and you showed me that it’s not about “them,” or their actions – it’s about Me. It’s about Me, and what I do with that knowledge that counts…

Alan Meyers, you and the other Spud Boys taught me that it was OK to be “less” and still achieve more. You taught me that even plugs without sockets, still get theirs from time to time. Human Metronome, bang on my brother…

Adam. Dear peaceful Adam – I’ve been told all too often (most usually by a certain someone I used to know) that I was far “too white” to ever truly grasp the genius of rap. Thank you for opening that door to me, all while playing a mean-ass bass, to boot…

Back to post-punk in a second, but I do have to take a moment to say goodbye to Dave. God bless Dave.

Say what you will. Pontificate on any number of given topics, but you must admit, without Jazz, you have no rock and roll. Without jazz, you have no punk. Without jazz, you have no Two Tone. Without jazz, there is no black people playing with white people in harmony. There is no Jew playing with Christian. There is no musician simply looking at another while saying, “Let’s jam, man.” Without jazz, you don’t have modern music. And – in my humble opinion – without Mr. Brubeck, well man, you just don’t has jazz…

OK, so that was that, and this is this. I end Part One of the 00’s with Joey. Because of all the musical family members lost in the 21st century, his was to me the first. And as such, it hurt the worst. His death forever stole from me the idea I had long-held that there could somehow ever be pieces of my youth that would never die, nestled as they were gently in the arms of my Rock Gods.

A lot more would eventually die for me in the 21st century, and a lot more most likely will. But it was these musical nuggets of my past – my serenity while growing up, really – that have eventually proven the hardest to truly say good-bye to.

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mixtape-jenkehl1-300x300Jen’s Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday is Phat with a “P. H.” (I’m in the right decade for that, correct?) and I really wish you would play along to show me your musical memories. Next week we conclude the 00’s to date, and I’ll try to show that I at least have somewhat of a grip on the current goings on…

The Final Scene

When first tasked with writing about the musical 90’s, I was a little depressed to realize that I could no longer speak of The Clash. And then I remembered, I began the 90’s in Okinawa. And in Okinawa was where I first heard this:

The Blue Hearts were termed by many as “the Japanese Clash,”and while they’ll have no further say in this post, I just couldn’t leave the 90’s – or Okinawa – without a shout out to them.

As we discovered last week, not all were part of the club kid scene of the decade. But there were others to choose from, and it could be safely said that there wasn’t one singular breathing person on the planet’s face – sans a certain Richard and Judy Stover – who did not at least dip a toe into a little known scene coming out of the Seattle…

Now did I just use the same band there twice? I believe I did. But in all honesty, I never felt as if the Mother Love Bone end of their existence received its proper due. So there.

Of course, if that scene didn’t tickle your musical funny bone (or if you simply preferred over-sized rain gear and floppy hats, to flannel and torn jeans), you only needed to look to Manchester, England to find a slightly more refined sound…

The “Madchester scene” as it came to be known, opened the door just enough to allow for yet another British invasion of sorts. An invasion that. also never really received its proper due…

Of course, telling people in the U.S. to kill their television is akin to going to India and asking for a cheeseburger. So while all this madness was being thrown at us from without, we were busy at work creating a bit of it from within as well. In addition to grunge, the indie scene kicked it up a notch in the 90’s, with the aid of some pixies and a chick named Jane…

“So t, did you actually get into all these scenes?” You bet your sweet parachute pant-wearing booty I did! And then some!  But as the 90’s drew to a close, I was back in the states, and I was busy making babies. Babies that would quickly eat up my time, my attention, my love, and – sure as hell – any budget I had previously had in place for new music. As such, I had just one last scene to attend to, before the decade drew to a close.

It was a scene that incorrectly gave the credit to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. It was scene that would throw its creator, Fishbone, firmly under history’s bus one last time. It was a scene that would eventually die under No Doubt’s steadfast removal of any semblance to what made it fun in the first place. And it was a scene that would give birth to the SKAturday’s I still occasionally make my babies suffer through till today. It was a scene that followed two others like it, (Jamaican and Two Tone), and it was as a result called simply “3rd Wave…”

It would prove to be my final scene, but no worries. It was a good place to hang up my hat of music snobbery, especially when considering what the next decade would eventually bring – or more succinctly – take away from us.

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Another Tuesday over at Jen’s Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday, and yes, I did take full advantage of the “two for Tuesday” clause buried deep within the contract. So this week saw a total of (5) scenes, (2) songs per. Plus a helping of Blue Hearts to help make the whole thing go down real smooth-like. Next week we walk into the 00’s, so you’ll be able to see my knowledge of the topic drop to levels lower than the IQ of the average Kei$ha fan… See you then!