WALRUS DAY 2009: 4

Posted by Job O Brother, October 4, 2009 04:54pm | Post a Comment
Only 4 more days until

(In which we mix up something good.)

Posted by Job O Brother, August 10, 2009 08:28pm | Post a Comment


Today I’ve been doing one of my favorite things: making a mix-tape. Of course, I’m not using any tape in this process, but somehow saying “mix cd” feels awkward. Much like saying “dump Coke” and “poop shoulder” – those are also awkward to say.

Anyway, crafting a playlist for a pal is one of my great joys. I don’t have much free time these days, what with my stupid ol’ grown-up lifestyle, but I used to make mix-tapes for people at the drop of a hat. The most casual of relationships could be an excuse.

“What are you doing, Job?”

“Making a mix-tape.”

“For who?”

“A guy from the bakery.”

“What guy?”

“…The baker.”

“Oh. You’re friends with the baker? The old dude? Isn’t he, like, half deaf?”

“Is he? I dunno. I only just met him yesterday. Well, I mean, I saw him. Baking... things. I didn’t really talk to him. But there was music playing in his bakery – some Sarah Vaughn – so I thought I’d make him a mix of cool jazz and vocalists and maybe even throw in some early French cabaret…”

And so it goes.

A good mix-tape isn’t just an assortment of rad songs, though they’re the meat of it. I’m of the opinion that truly neat-o mixes are bound together by little, sonic amuse-bouches; snippets of odd, silly, or even spooky clips. A line from a movie, an excerpted musical flourish, an individual sound effect even – all these things work.

Also – and I’m starting to wish I had instructed you in the beginning of this blog to imagine these words being said by Julia Child, because I love the idea of her giving insights into making mix-tapes… Tell you what, from now on, just imagine her voice as you read, okay?


Anyhow, one thing I like to include in mix-tapes are novelty songs. By this I mean songs that I don’t necessarily think the listener will love, per se, but marvel at. They might be horrid tunes, or hilarious ones, or maybe just something designed to confound the listener. My dear friend Carrie, for instance, has received many mix-tapes from me, and I always include at least one song from a musician I know she thinks she hates, all in my devoted* attempt to get her to open her heart to the artist.

What follows now is a compilation of tunes or acts that I’ve used in mix-tapes, not for their catchiness, intelligence or beauty, but simply because they add a certain je ne sais quoi. (That’s French for total, home-style radness.)



Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 29, 2009 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Having covered cityscapes in another blog, I've tried to focus a bit more on signular structures. It's actually pretty difficult to do; companies that chose buildings for their label image wanted the cool skyline at nite thing.

Mickey Mouse

Posted by Whitmore, May 15, 2008 06:15am | Post a Comment

Contrary to popular belief, Mickey Mouse’s film debut was not in Steamboat Willie which was released in November 1928. 80 years ago today, May 15, 1928, the world was introduced to Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they made their first appearance in the silent cartoon short Plane Crazy. In the cartoon Micky tries to become an aviator to impress Minnie-- Charles Lindbergh he is not. Plane Crazy was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, with Iwerks working as the chief animator, a responsibility he would have for all of the early Disney cartoons released in 1928 and ‘29. Who knew by this modest, unassumingly innocent beginning Mickey Mouse would one day rule the world with an iron-fist in a velvet glove!

S-s-s-s-s-soundtrack of sh-sh-sh-shame

Posted by Job O Brother, February 5, 2008 11:55am | Post a Comment
I thought it would be difficult to find songs I was ashamed to love. Fact is, it’s much more challenging to keep my attention span with this series, so, I’m going to wrap this “soundtrack of shame” up with a grand finale. Cringe with compassion.


Little River Band had a gift for recording songs that would one day become a staple of grocery stores’ piped-in music. It might surprise you to know they had 13 American, Top 40 hits, despite the fact that their “sound” is akin to a waiting room lobby in a retirement home.

This song got a lot of radio play in Hawaii when I was growing up there – learning how to body surf and not learning my times-tables – so I associate it with childhood and a dark, iced tea that you could always buy at Kailua Beach.

This video is a perfect example of what “boring” means. I mean, even the lead singer brought a book to read during the bridges! I was surprised to see a 30-something-year-old Cousin Oliver as part of the band.

MARY COSTA “Once Upon a Dream”

I think animated Disney films are pretty swell, provided they were actually produced by Walt Disney himself (the last of which was “The Jungle Book”). Something happened in the 1970’s when the Don Bluth posse was still working at Disney – something gross feeling. I’m not saying Bluth is a bad man, but (with the exception of “The Secret of NIMH”) every movie he worked on, post-Walt, makes me crazy. And not crazy in a rad, Spuds Mackenzie way. Crazy in a “Christina, bring me the axe!” sort of way.

My favorite Disney film is “Sleeping Beauty”. The animation – based on Medieval illustrations, and thusly more stylized than any film Disney had made before, is gorgeous. The choice of colors – mostly cool and brilliant – are spooky, which is always a compliment coming from me. It’s also the last Disney film to have cells that were inked entirely by hand, which I much prefer to the computer-generated creations of today. Also, I defy you to find a better villain in an animated film than Maleficent. She rocks. She rocks so hard.

Doesn’t sound like I’m ashamed of this film, does it? For the most part, I’m not. Until this happens…

This song (with music based on the ballet “Sleeping Beauty” by Tchaikovsky) makes me all knobby-kneed. I think it’s romantic. And it makes me wanna barf. Is there a word that means both those feelings at once? Someone let me know so I can use it next time I talk about this.

FRIDA LYNGSTAD “I Know There’s Something Going On”

Known by many as “not the blonde one” from ABBA, Frida (born Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad) left the group (the closest thing Sweden’s had to a WMD) to pursue a solo career.

The result was “Something’s Going On”, her third solo album and biggest departure yet from ABBA’s sound (in interviews it’s mentioned that she wanted something akin to Pat Benetar). The album was produced by… uhh… urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Sorry… getting woozy here…

…The album was produced by fuh fuh fuh… Phil Collins fkjdfhjlndlf knk fjklsdjlksjfsd, jhsg ueru 84urfj kfdkjgk dfgjc.gkdfjgk fjgslijtgshf hsdfui ghkjwh fjsdhfgjhs djhfgsfgu skfghsklhj kdgf789e y98fhieug hdrigiz dfhgkh jhhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhh hhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Uh… ow… Sorry – blacked out and hit my head on the keyboard.

Anyway, the album was produced by… this one guy, who’s involvement is reason enough to feel ashamed for liking it.

While my favorite track from the record is a cryptic ballad called “Threnody”, only the title track has a video attached to it, so that’s what you’ll see here:

I’m guessing she acquired that hairstyle second-hand from David Bowie, who was no longer using it. Note, too, Frida’s apartment, which I assume she’s renting on Cloud City, Bespin.

PEACHES & HERB “Reunited”

Another childhood memory, not limited to this song: I came home one day to find my older sister, Jenny, sporting cornrows. For a five-year-old like me, this was discombobulating, and there was a moment when, at first, I wasn’t sure who she was. I don’t know if my facial expression had something to do with it, but Jenny didn’t have that hairstyle long.

Now, you’re old enough to know the truth: Peaches here (she’s the one wearing the silken Glad bag) is actually Linda Greene, who was the third of five incarnations of “Peaches” (six, if you count potty-mouthed, electroclash sensation, Merrill Beth Nisker). That’s right, my child, there were five Peaches.

See, when a Herb wants a hit single, he finds himself a Peaches and… well… go ask your father.

DOLLY PARTON “Here You Come Again”

I am a proud fan of Dolly’s early, country career, but once she began dabbling in that "pop sound" we kids are so fond of… well, I’m still a fan, but now I’m blushing.

This one is dedicated to Jaime Leftkovich, former Amoeba Music employee and full-time resident of my heart, who’s birthday it is today.

MILLA JOVOVICH “Gentleman Who Fell”

As I am bringing up the tail end of Generation X, I can love all these horrible songs and still retain some semblance of cool because there is a safe distance between now and when they were recorded. For example, all the hipsters today love mid-1980’s Madonna, but back then, admitting you “quite fancied ‘Papa Don’t Preach’” was enough to get your fag-tag yanked (or maybe it was just your use of the term “quite fancied”).

Therefore, this next song is probably the most dangerous one to admit loving, so far. It’s not that old (comparatively) and is sung by someone, not only still famous, but also famous for being a supermodel. (If you never hear from me again after this, you’ll know it was because my blogging privileges were revoked).

That about raps it up. I hope you’ve enjoyed this frivolous and self-absorbed series. Feel free to share any songs you love but dare not speak their name. You have the advantage of posting anonymously, after all. Cheers.
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