Monday, November 26

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (The End).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party - Will Betheboy.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I'm waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a few days to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you'd expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My final reviewed mix belongs to one half of the unstoppable L.A. duo of Will & Nina, Will Betheboy. Here we go.

1. Needle In The Camel's Eye - Brian Eno

I haven't listened to nearly as much Brian Eno as I should, so this was a welcome and unheard opening track for me. Marching drums, fuzzy, rapid strumming and singalong verses kicked everything off, not long enough to overstay its welcome, and inviting me to dig more into the Brian Eno catalog.

2. I Heard It Through The Grapevine - The Slits

This disco-fied cover of the Marvin Gaye Motown classic is...different. Remember in 1979, where artsy bands were more heralded by being kooky and sheik, rather than possessing actual talent? Well, I'm not going to be that hard on the Slits (who are quite heralded themselves, in a completely different way than Marvin Gaye), but the track straddles the line between hipster and unnecessary, which is what I guess all hipster stuff is. I dig the jangly guitar, bass and dancy drums, however.

3. Rumble Ring - No Doctors

I could have sworn this song was from the early 80's post-punk scene, but a quick Wikipedia search revealed that this lo-fi, noise rock churner was actually from the late 90's. Damn; you learn something new every day. I don't really know what else to say about this one; nothing too exciting sticks out to me. If I could really sit down with the lyrics, maybe there's a hidden gem I'm not gathering, but until then, I got nothing.

4. When Jesus Gets A Brand New Name - Jim White

The broad term 'Alternative Country' can branch off into many different sub-genres. This paranoid, jazzy, twangy number sounds like the droning ramblings of a raving lunatic, which sounds far more appealing that it seems. I liked the vocal mixing, the production of the random instruments in the background, causing a disjointed and trippy feel throughout the entire 5 minutes-plus of this track.

5. I Do I Do - The Maids

This is a straight-ahead punk number from what feels like the CBGB's era of the early 80's. I've been wrong before, however. This was a good addition to shake off the lingering insanity from Mr. Jim White. A flat-out slam dancer; nothing to think too much about, here.

6. When You Touch Me - Reigning Sound

Will seems to dig the garage-punk sound, which is just fine with me. It's been too long since I've really sat down and rocked out to this particular genre. When the synth beats and new-wave scene get a little too ridiculous to handle, a few hours of punk rock seems to set me straight again. Good theme, good flow and good variety so far for Mr. Betheboy.

7. Name Names - The Mendoza Line

I can't believe I didn't get a single Replacements song from anyone who sent me a mix. This will have to do. The Athens, GA sound is typically a little more bouncier and Zombies-influenced than this Athens band, but the 'Mats sound is loud and clear, here. If you know what that entails, I really don't need to say any more. If you don't, please pick up Pleased To Meet Me this instant.

8. Get Back My Name - The Silos

Will can't seem to stop the rock. No monster ballads or radio-friendly pop tunes for our Los Angeles resident with a decidedly more east coast taste in music. I remember when The Silos played in Green Bay about 10 years ago; I was too young to care at the time, but looking back, I really should have been there.

9. Teenage Kicks - The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain

To answer your first question, yes, ukuleles are involved. Secondly, this song is an oft-covered masterpiece. Ash, one of my favorite bands, has actually covered this song as well. This is an acoustic version, still dripping with 70's melodies and Motown doo-wop goodness. I loved it, you'll love it, America loves it.

10. Undress For Success - McLusky

Why haven't I heard of these guys before? Quirky, grungy, catchy, fuzzy, lo-fi, across the pond and full of attitude. This seems to chalk up Will's taste in music to a T. At my core, I'm the same way, which is why this mix is pretty humbling to me. I'm getting schooled in underground bands that i should be plenty aware of my now.

11. Radio Aktiv - Bruset

As catchy as this mix has been, Radio Aktiv is the first track so far to feature both hand-clapping and the shredding guitar solo within 5 seconds of each other. Some bands pull out all the stops when it comes to rock and roll, and this German-sounding surf group knows what it takes. I was tapping my foot the entire time.

12. Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby - Islands

When this track, my ears perked up. Not only because it's a song that I'm already aware of, but the production values are Phil Spector-like as opposed to the last 11 songs on this mix. Islands have been featured on four of the mixes that were passed around for this Nationwide Trade, and for a good reason. It's timelessly wonderful, universally accepted by fans of all genres, and truly one of the top 5 albums of last year.

13. Intoxicated Man - Mick Harvey

This song lays on a smoky jazz feel; very film noir, dirty and sultry. I'd like to listen to this while I'm driving through downtown Madison at bar time, spotting shady characters and catching the eyes of beautiful women who are more than willing to chain me to a hotel room bed and steal my money.

14. Gene Autry - Beulah

Why, why, why did these guys have to break up? I love their musicianship, their masterful indie hooks, blasting horns and pretty much everything else. I think if they could have hung on for another album, they could have reached the current levels of popularity that Of Montreal is riding in 2007. The Coast Is Never Clear is another one of those albums that is just constantly listenable at any time.

15. Bomb Shelter, Pt. 2 - The Halo Benders

I may be stating the obvious, or perhaps missing out on an obvious in-joke, but Calvin Johnson cannot sing to save his damn life. The joke between me and the Missus whenever we're listening to any Beat Happening is "Boy, Calvin Johnson must be a really nice guy," referring to all of the projects and interesting bands he has his hands in, despite a lack of any discernible musical talent. That all being said, this half-sung/half-spoken track about wartime America is downright hilarious and poignant at the same time.

16. 24 Hour Shop - Fish Turned Human

I think that Will threw this track in just to prove that he knows about more bands than I do. I mean, I can obviously hold my own in any arena the world over, but man, this is sort of insane. Normally, I can tell you a little bit about nearly every band that you toss my way (as seen over the last two weeks), but Fish Turned Human? Come on. Seriously. If anyone else on this page knows about these guys, sound off and let me know.

17. How Great Was Husker Du! - Anthemic Pop Wonder

I like that even though the title of this song is a question, it doesn't end with the question mark. That's because it's not really a question; Husker Du was the greatest, period. Every once in a while me and the Missus will drive the 150 mile trip back to our hometown and blast Everything Falls Apart at peak volume. Makes me happy; makes me love the Missus, too.

18. Long Neck Bottles - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Captain Beefheart is a lot of things. Experimental musician. Bizarre lyricist. Accomplished artist. These are all true. However, the one thing you need to know before jumping head-first into the Beefeart catalog is that he is 100 percent, Grade-A, certifiably bat-crap insane. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The theme of this mix is prevalent, the flow is steady and the depth is pretty decent. For awhile, I thought that Will was just going to throw on a bunch of bands that I had never heard of before, proclaim his indie superiority and ride off into the sunset. Not true. These are good songs by good bands, no question.

19. To The Dogs Or Whoever - Josh Ritter

Folk music is hit and miss to me. When done incorrectly, it's annoying at best. When done right, however, it's the most emotional and personal music every created. This is an example of folk done right. Wow; I don't really know what to say right now. That was an amazing song. It's hard to accurately describe a personal experience to someone who isn't there to share it with. Maybe someday, we can all get together for a beer, crank this song and toast all of our past mistakes.

20. Chicken/Payback - The Bees

Will likes catchy new bands that sound like catchy old bands. He also likes catchy old bands that have influenced catchy new bands. Sorry; I'm in pop-overload mode right now. This mix started off slow and got better and better as it went along. Kudos.

BONUS TRACK: Virginia Reel Around The Fountain - The Halo Benders

Last week, Will sent me this track after a conversation about The Halo Benders. While Chicken/Payback was supposed to be the actual end of his mix-tape, this actually works far better, in my opinion. The high-pitched, swooning tone of Doug Martsch combined with the monotone-bass of Calvin Johnson work far better than it really should, resulting in a surreal, almost romantic experience.

Wow. Great stuff, Will! Time for stats!

Total Number Of Tracks - 21
Number Of Above Average Tracks - 11
Number Of Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Below Average Tracks - 4
Number Of Tracks That I Own - 2
Best Track - To The Dogs Or Whoever
Worst Track - Rumble Ring
Total Score - 8.3/10

I want to thank everyone for participating in the 2007 CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade. I want to do a love song-themed Trade for Valentine's Day 2008, if at all possible. More details on that as the date gets closer.

Tomorrow, the final countdown to the release of 65 Poor Life Decisions begins. For an accomplishment as important as a book release is for me, you won't believe how miserable and uncooperative I've been for the last 6 months. The full scoop arrives tomorrow; until then, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Nicely done, all in all a fair read but I've got a few editorial corrections:

Song 3, Rumble Ring: was released just recently but the band has been around since the late 90's.

Song 5- I Do, I Do, self produced and self released in 1978 by the Maids. This is the B-side to the single Back to Bataan. Look that one up, it's quite a story.

Song 7 - Get Let it Be as well.

Song 11 - Radio Activ - I believe they are from Sweden. This song is from 78 or 79.

Song 13 - The title track from the first collection of Mick Harvey covers of Serge Gainsbourg.

Song 16 - This is the only song of theirs I have, if you listen again you'll notice it's resemblance to Dylan and The Band's "Million Dollar Bash"

I'm glad you liked it, I wonder if the person who I actually sent it to did.
Wow Will, it seems nicely done!

want to do a love song-themed Trade for Valentine's Day 2008, if at all possible.

Dang it! I was already working on my next mix with the theme "Covers You By Heart". But then the world will miss out on Travis' version of "Hit Me Baby One More Time".
Not-So-Secret-Secret: I married Will because he gives great mix tape. (I know, I know, they're CDs. But they'll always be mix tapes to me.)
WILL - Glad you liked my review. It was a rad mix; thanks for the additional information. I can't remember who was the official recipient of your mix, though. You took me behind the proverbial indie woodshed, and I have to say it felt kinda good.

HOSS - Oh, any mix will do. I like the idea of a love-themed mix, but anything will go, as usual. A covers-themed mix sounds decent, too.

NINA - They'll always be mix-tapes to me, too. If I had more clout, I'd demand that these were all done on cassette.

He does create a good mix. It's good to have so many readers that understand the art form that is the mix. My hope is that the next time I do this, I get twice as many participants.
This mix-tape trade has me so envious that I've been out of touch the past couple months! Hopefully I'll be around for the next one, though I'm afraid my choices for a love-song themed mix might betray my cynical-side a little.

Because of this mix-tape thing, me and a buddy were playing "High Fidelity" this whole weekend with themed Top 5 lists.

All of you have certainly given me specific new musics to search out. Thanks for doing the work for me, since I don't have time to search this stuff out for myself!
I'm an educator, first and foremost. Then, somewhere near the very bottom of the barrel, an entertainer. Glad we could help.

I think the comments section today needs some Top 5 lists. Any suggestions to start the Monday off?
Top Five Cereals

1. Cocoa Cripies
2. Honey Nut Cluster
3. Cap'n Crunch w/Berries
4. Frosted Flakes
5. Apple Jacks
In no particular order:

Honey Bunches Of Oats
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Honey Nut Cheerio's
I'm glad you liked it, I wonder if the person who I actually sent it to did.

I can't remember who was the official recipient of your mix, though. You took me behind the proverbial indie woodshed, and I have to say it felt kinda good.

That would be me. I fear the majority of your talent was wasted on me. Indie music has much the same appeal to me as unedited gangsta rap. I can listen to a little, but I can't even begin to relate to the people who made it. I'm musically deep enough to hate pop and too shallow to appreciate indie.

I listened to every song though and have to admit that the flow was perfect and the blending from one song to another was nearly flawless. There were a few transitions that were so seemless I had to look back to see where one song started and the next song began.

Glad WaitingForGodot is back. This has been reunion month at the CDP. Who's next? Aaron?
I'm pretty sure now you can all see why I cringed a little when my name was drawn to make a mix tape for Will...
1. Frosted mini wheats
2. Honey nut Cheerios
3. Cocoa Crisps
4. Lucky Charms
5. Special K red berries
1. Cracklin' Oat Bran
2. Frosted Mini Wheats
3. There is no 3.
This has been reunion month at the CDP.

No doubt. It's like my own personal Sweeps Week. We should see my long-lost brother pop in any second now.

We need a new Top 5. Anyone?
Top five sandwich fillings:

1. Stawberry Jam
2. Chocolate Spread
3. Chicken
4. Tuna + Sweetcorn
5. Turkey
BluStaCon- Thanks for giving it a chance, sorry it didn't do it for you.

If anyone would like to check the mix out it can be found for a short time, here:
Also Hathery, you did just fine. I still keep your mix in my car and not just so I have something to throw at dirty hippies.
Embrace the opportunity, friends.

1. Soy Turkey
2. Toasted Cheese
3. Peanut Butter
4. Soy Bologna
5. Strawberry Jelly

Tuna & Sweetcorn? WTF? I need to see a picture of that monstrosity.

Can we maybe do a Top 5 that doesn't have to do with food?
Will, I believe that Hathery threw The Features on your mix, which is a band that I pretty much tell everyone that will listen about. Their music is worth your time, in my opinion. A wee bit mainstream, but rock-solid, nonetheless.
Tuna and sweetcorn owns life itself.

'Nuff said.
Is that exactly what it sounds like it is? Man.

I vaguely remember day 7 of my 9 day excursion to England in 1997, when I exclaimed "Your food sucks!" to anyone within earshot of Westminster Abbey.

I have to say, though, that Sugar Puffs makes it all worth it. I can't tell you how big of a kick I got out of those Honey Monster ads.
If we're making lists here's one:

5 Largely Forgotten Bands Due for A Rediscovery

1- Rockpile
2- Gutterball
3- Grant Lee Buffalo
4- Hoodoo Gurus
5- The Monks

In addition I'd like it if everyone remembered Soul Asylum as the band who put out "Say What You Will, Clarence...Karl Sold the Truck" and not only as the guys who sang Runaway Train.
The English can make an ale like nobody's business. Probably to wash out the taste of dinner.
5 Largely Forgotten Bands Due for A Rediscovery.

1. The Revetments
2. Gnatbuster
3. Charlotte's String
4. Fingerfood
5. Kalishnakoff
Will, an old friend of my band (Ben Pearlstein) was Soul Asylum's manager for awhile. He might still be, actually. Hathery? Want to sound off on this one?

Brits make three things correctly: Beer, Candy and Women. No doubt about that. I bow deeply in appreciation.

5 Band Names That Were Far Cooler Than Any Music They Ever Wrote.

1. Let's Go Bowling
2. The Get-Up Kids
3. Five Iron Frenzy
4. The Mr. T Experience (debatable)
5. Mediocre At Best
Five Iron Frenzy makes me vomit with rage.

Was it Soul Asylum or Collective Soul that Ben managed? I can never remember, really. Either way, I like both of those bands.
Oh, and let it be known that the guy who directed American History X directed the video for "Runaway Train." So if you thought that video was cheesy, I guess you hate Ed Norton.
5 MORE Band Names That Were Far Cooler Than Any Music They Ever Wrote

The Gazza Strippers
Anal Cunt
This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb
Jefferson Airplane
Billy Joel
I was seriously going to mention A.C. on my list, but I didn't want know...actually type it out. I'm glad someone else did it for me.

Hathery, you remember the Gaza Strippers, right? Didn't they used to play with the New Bomb Turks at the Cafe all the time?

Billy Joel...beh-heh-heh.

5 Bands Who Are Far Cooler Than Their Names Would Have You Believe:

1. The Queers
2. Mew
3. Neutral Milk Hotel
4. All
5. At The Drive-In (named after a line in the Poison song 'Talk Dirty To Me')
Yah, the Gaza Strippers were at the Cafe every 2.5 seconds if I recall.

Now, you like Bruce Springsteen? Because if you tell me that you like Springsteen but not Billy Joel, I might hafta hurt you.
Teenage Kicks - The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain


That's what it's all about. I say just tape this tune 15 times. Yeah.
Hathery, I like Springsteen just fine but any resemblance to Bruce and Billy Joel is purely coincidental.
That's it....I'm hoppin' on a plane to LA and your arse is as good as kicked.
I will pay to see this.

KAY - Teenage Kicks absolutely rocked the box. I'm in the process of purchasing every cover of it that I can find.
Surely the poor air-quality has addled Will's brain, leaving him confused and disoriented.
I've always wnated to be in a band just do I could name it "Drinking Beer."

That way, kids would say things like "Drinking Beer rocks!" or "Man, I love Drinking Beer!"

Also, the potential for album names is endless
Drinking in Detroit
Drinking Beer in Cars

Sadly, the only musical talent I ever displayed was on a tuba, and there's not much call for those in rock bands.
But, but there's lots of call for the tuba in polka bands, and ain't nobody drink more beer than a polka band!

Top Five Animals I'd Choose to be Violated by Before Purchasing a Billy Joel Album

1- Grizzly Bear
2- Rhino
3- Joe Mantegna
4- Giraffe
5- Donkey
Christmas is just around the corner, and I have your address...I knew there would be benefits to this mix-tape party. *tents fingers maniacally*
Hell, who wouldn't want to be violated by a Giraffe? They're adorable!

Joe Mantegna.....Fat Tony....heh-heh.
They don't call him Fat Tony because he eats too much.
Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't say this mix is "indie rock" as mentioned above, but EFF labels. This is just straight up good tunes. Effing Reigning Sound? Eff yeah!

Top 5 Things You Don't Do
1)come in to someone's work and slap the dick out of their mouth
2)any dick-slapping
3)talk about dick-slapping on CDP's site
4) think it's funny to talk about dick-slapping on CDP's site
5) anxiously await the tounge-lashing soon to be received for talking about dick-slapping on CDP's site

There. I filthied this up a little for you.
'Indie' was the only word I could think of. I'm well aware that it lost its definition a billion years ago. I hope Will understands that I understand.

"Hey, I don't come in to where you work and slap the dick outta your mouth!"

Normally I wouldn't be talking like that on my page, but I've always found that joke hilarious. Seriously though, expect a spanking the next time I see you.

Yeah, I meant it in the sexiest way possible.
Dick slapping is totally allowed over at my blog but we're a relaxed bunch with our "indie" music and our lubricated condoms.
I'm not sure how to feel about where these comments are heading...
Surely, Will's talking about some snooty, underground condom that's critically acclaimed, but I've never heard of before.

Just cracking myself up over here. It's been a good day on the CDP.
Yup, Bruset were from Sweden. I should know, since I did the gutitar-shredding on Radio Aktiv and was probably involved in the handclapping as well.

More info and music at

all the best,

/Hans A

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