Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Ides of Drew

Of everything I've done since starting at my current job, I'd have to say my creation of a CD exchange club ranks among the greater accomplishments. It works as follows: Each member has a month on which he or she must compile a mix CD, make copies for everybody in the group and distribute them before that month finishes and then legally enjoy them in the privacy of their own home, before praying to Protestant God and saluting Old Glory. Yes, it's a little effort when you're month rolls around, but everybody else need only to sit back and graciously accept the new music.

My month was last month. I wasn't going to bother mentioning it here, but today I stumbled upon this post on the blog Slowly Going Bald, which demonstrates a handy way of legally sharing a mix CD by making it simple for readers to access the iTunes store and pick up any given song.

Thus, I'm proud to present The Ides of Drew, or what I listen to that I didn't think would make my coworkers think less of me. Clink on the iTunes link to take any of the songs for a test drive. If you want it for your own, you still have to buy it, of course. But this makes it all a bit more accessible.

1. "Too Drunk to Dream" by Magnetic Fields The Magnetic Fields - Distortion - Too Drunk to Dream
This is the from the Fields album that came out a few months ago. Feel happy-sad!
2. "Out of Zone" by Marbles Marbles - Expo - Out of Zone
I really like The Apples In Stereo. They represent everything I love about music and I feel like they're whole aesthetic is spot-on. Marbles is a kinda-sorta side project that, unless I'm mistaken, existed before the Apples in Stereo but was released much later.
3. "Cherry Tree" by Grand National Grand National - Kicking the National Habit - Cherry Tree
I also like anything that you can dance to that defies most of the characteristics of what you'd call "dance music."
4. "Bonnie and Clyde" by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot - Monsieur Gainsbourg Originals - Bonnie and Clyde
I don't speak French, but I still like this song. Highlights: That weird background instrument that kind of sounds like a person hiccupping, Brigitte's inability to pronounce "Bonnie" correctly, Serge's use of "ka-tick-ka-tick-ka-tick" to represent the sound of gun fire.
5. "I Hear the Bells" by Mike Doughty Mike Doughty - Haughty Melodic - I Hear the Bells
I used to really liked that band Soul Coughing. It doesn't exist anymore, but the lead singer still does cool stuff. This song was featured in an episode of Veronica Mars, and for whatever reason I picture the girl singing back-up being Veronica Mars.
6. "Helena Won't Get Stoned" by Tarkio Tarkio - Omnibus - Helen Won't Get Stoned
The lead singer of the Decemberists, pre-Decemberists, I think.
7. "Is It True?" by Miss Ludella Black Miss Ludella Black - She's Out There - Is It True
As near as I know, this singer is totally contemporary, but just sounds every bit like she's four decades old. That's a good thing.
8. "Lady Bird" by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Nancy & Lee - Lady Bird
I think Lee Hazlewood is good, and not in a kitschy, ironic way. I think this the best of his duets with Nancy.
9. "Lotion" by The Greens Keepers Greenskeepers - Polo Club - Lotion
A strange, dark little number that nonetheless has a dance beat. It takes a memorable line from Silence of the Lambs and makes it… different… and creepier.
10. "Rainfall" by The Apples in Stereo The Apples In Stereo - Velocity of Sound - Rainfall
My favorite song for, like, two years.
11. "Empire City" by Bishop Allen Bishop Allen - Charm School - Empire City
Upbeat and strange.
12. "Wet and Rusting" by Menomena Menomena - Friend and Foe - Wet and Rusting
Not so upbeat, but very pretty.
13. "Oh My" by Office Office - A Night At the Ritz - Oh My
I kind of hate this band for having the name "Office" when a TV show called The Office is existent and funny and well-known. But this sing is pretty damn good.
14. "I Did What I Did for Maria" by Tony Christie CHRISTIE, TONY - Worldhits & Love Songs - I DID WHAT I DID FOR MARIA
A spirited, Tom Jones-style ballad that justifies murder.
15. "Autobahn" by Karate
I know nothing about this song. I downloaded it back in the glory days of Audiogalaxy. It's likely mislabeled, and that's probably why I can't find it on iTunes. Hence the lack of link.
16. "Harmony" by The Clinic Clinic - Walking With Thee - Harmony
I used to love this bad. Then I hated them. Now I love them again. Their music sounds like a children's lullaby and the theme from Halloween had a baby. They wear surgical masks over their mouths when they play. Even the guy on clarinet.
17. "Dangle" by Daylight Titans The Daylight Titans - The Daylight Titans - Dangle
A fairly unknown band that's scored a few hits by being on movie and TV show soundtracks. I blogged about them once, and the lead singer wrote me an email to thank me. I thought that was nice. Now offering them to you.
18. "Let Me Take Your Photo" by The Speedies The Speedies - Let Me Take Your Photo - EP - Let Me Take Your Photo (2005 Remix)
Don't hold the fact that this was in a photo printer ad against this song.
19. "L'Aventurier" by Nada Surf
Again, I don't speak French. I know — weird that I put two on this album. The only lyric I can pick out in this is "Jack Kerouac." (Also, until I looked it up on iTunes just now, I thought the song was called "Indochine." It's actually a cover of a song by the group Indochine. Things you learn.)
20. "Boner" by Grand National Grand National - Kicking the National Habit - Boner
More dance-y goodness. Ignore the fact that this song is called "Boner."
21. "Magic" by Marbles Marbles - Expo - Magic
A very short, very good song.
22. "Africa" by The Gaylads The Gaylads - Mojo Rock Steady - Africa
First, I don't like reggae, in general. But these guys are an old, old reggae band who do some way cool stuff. Second, seeing as how they're an old, old reggae band, I don't think the band name "Gaylad" is meant the way most modern ears would hear it.
23. "High Art, Local News" by The New Pornographers The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema - High Art, Local News
Is it corny that I put this on here? I like this song.
That was my contribution, anyway. In case you're interested in sharing with your friends what CDs you've been burning, the little cajigger that makes the link to the iTunes store can be found here. Too bad neither version of "L'Aventurier" exists on iTunes. Here's YouTube versions of both.

The original by Indochine:

And the cover by Nada Surf:

And as for the enigmatic "Autobahn" — which I'm positive isn't a cover of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" — we'll just have to wait until I find out what the song is actually called.

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