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The illustrious Phil Freeman put me in the lineup, so I guess it's time to take a swing:

"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to."

I dunno what this "spring" stuff is all about -- it's been summer here in south Texas for at least four months now. But here's seven songs that have formed the soundtrack to my aimless driving around lately:

1. "Hits from the Bong", Cypress Hill (Black Sunday). A more or less accidental rediscovery of this sweet single from CH's second album has led it to find a place in frequent rotation on road trips and zooted grocery runs lately. The catchy sample here is from Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man", but as with most DJ Muggs productions, there's a lot more going on than just the hook: a lot of the song's stone appeal comes from the slow-and-low bottom, some of which is made up of a terrific Lee Dorsey drum break.

2. "Mole Skin", Bobby Kool (Funky Funky Chicago). Funky Delicacies' regional funk anthologies are crammed with great forgotten funk and soul sides, and not surprisingly, the one from my old home town is a favorite. "Mole Skin" is a real oddity -- the bass and the clanging drums couldn't be more greasy-funky, but the horns and the free-riffing organ sound like some forgotten Ventures surf single. This one and the jaw-dropping "(Get Up Off Your) Rusty Dusty" by Casey Jones and the Firemen have been getting a lot of play at my place of late.

3. "Sudbury Saturday Night", Stompin' Tom Connors (The Northland's Own Tom Connors). As much as I love Canadocentric country hooter Tom Connors, he can get pretty hokey at times. Not here, though -- with its driving beat, propulsive acoustic guitar, and hard-partying lyrics about miners on a bender (Connors never sounded more convincing than when he belts out "the boys are gettin' stinko!" like he was Shane MacGowan displaced in Ontario), he could pass for an outlaw country legend. Makes one fair long for a Beer Store, it does.

4. "If You're Into It", Flight of the Conchords (The Distant Future EP). Having finally caught up with this HBO comedy after the release of the first-season DVD, I go against conventional wisdom in saying the best part of it is the deadpan character moments, not the sporadically amusing song parodies; but "If You're Into It", with its markedly confused seductive tone and bizarro-Johnny Cash choruses by Jemaine Clement, is a real winner, and it's short enough not to wear out its welcome. "Foux da Fa Fa", with its processed-cheese sound and cod French, was the soundtrack to my recent stay in Paris, but this hummable little bastard has wormed its way into my workday ever since.

5. "Bros in Arms", the M's (Real Close Ones). This terrific, underrated Chicago alt-rock outfit always gets accused of excessive Brit-popping, and there's no doubt their Kinks influence turns up in the verses, but they're uniquely American, as plenty of little touches -- from the droning keyboard that always threatens to explode to the buzzing Funkadelic guitar that opens the song -- demonstrate.

6. "Cold Gettin' Dumb", Just-Ice (Back to the Old School). One of the great forgotten rappers of the 1980s, ex-punk/proto-thug Just-Ice, straight outta Brookyln, took the rap world by storm for about five minutes before fading into just-as-instant obscurity. This was his first major single, and it's an absolute smash -- a jangling hardcore beat that sounds like a perfect blend of the old-school bare-bones mixed with the East Coast gangsta sound that was still to come, and Ice at his most lyrically sharp and aggressive.

7. "Endless Drifting Wreck", Farflung (A Wound In Eternity). Of all the metal that's showed up in my mailbox the last month, none of it has stuck with me like Farflung. At first listen, they seemed like a competent second-tier spacey stoner rock combo, but each subsequent listen has turned up weirder elements that enhance the whole thing. This one starts out with an instantly catchy heavy rock riff, but the oddly lo-fi thrashing drums, crazily echoed vocals, and the slowed-down, trippy, '70s-style break at the end of the song really push it over the top into something special.

I'm supposed to pass this warm potater on to seven other people, so here goes: y'all are up.

Nate Patrin
Hayden Childs
Jon Morris
Tasha Robinson
Neal Von Flue
Whitney Pastorek
Robert Newsome

And whoever the hell else wants to do it.


Jun. 9th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
I did this despite not being tagged. I have violated Meme Law.
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
The meme police will come for you at your desk.
Jun. 10th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
The meme police, they live inside of my head.
The meme police, they come to me in my bed.
The meme police, they're coming to arrest me, oh no.
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
An we think no more of Inco...
You love guns, liquor and Stompin' Tom. You'd fit in perfectly here.
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Re: An we think no more of Inco...
I tell you, man, I wish I'd known about that song when I was in Sudbury. That town is as dull as chalk.
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Aw man, I got dinged!
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
Oh man oh no!

I'll try to fit something in at some point today.
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Oh yes!
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
I've been obsessing over new songs that remind me of bands that I used to be really into. I think this means I'm getting old.

The Futureheads, "Work is Never Done," which is "Drums and Wires"-era XTC but without Colin Moulding ruining everything.

13ghosts, "The Lonely Death of Space Avenger," which is "Under the Western Freeway"-era Grandaddy.

Atmosphere, "YGM," which has exactly the same beats as a track from Prince Paul's "A Prince Among Thieves."

What Made Milwaukee Famous, "Sultan," which is "The Stranger"-era Billy Joel. EXCEPT I TOTALLY LOVE IT.

The Exit Strategy, "The First the Finest the Future," which is "Chairs Missing"-era Wire.

Grand Archives, "The Crime Window," which is that only Polyphonic Spree song that anybody ever heard.

eMC, "Leak it Out," which reminds me of Masta Ace because Masta Ace is in it.
Jun. 9th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
Man, I noticed that about "YGM" too! I wonder if Paul gets royalties, or at least gets to punch Ant in the mouth.

I have had several people try and get me to like What Made Milwaukee Famous, but it ain't happenin'. The Exit Strategy is pretty good from what I've heard of 'em, though.
Jun. 10th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
1) To be fair, "YGM" appears on Strictly Leakage, which follows classic mixtape tradition of blatantly lifting other producers' beats

2) The title is short for "Young, Gifted and Mixed," so technically ANT is ripping off Marley Marl

3) If Marley Marl and Prince Paul and ANT got into a fight, I think Prince Paul would win because he is crazy
Jun. 9th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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