It’s been a crazy ride so far this summer and I’m loving it. The process of creating mixtapes based on the decade has forced me to look back and think of the music I was listening to “way back when.” I can’t help but think of what was happening in my life and it’s fascinating – although a bit odd. One of the connections I have definitely noticed is – for me – the 90’s was a decade of album rock. As I tried to choose my playlist, I realized that I listened to every single song on the albums I have included. Radio was not part of my life in the 90’s, in 1992 I became manager of a now defunct music store chain. The Compact Disc Store – Where You Can Listen Before You Buy. (That’s how I had to answer the phone) I had the opportunity to listen to anything I wanted to, had access to everything before it came out in the form of promo CD’s and was exposed to many genres. It was my favorite job ever, and the saddest day was when that final Best Buy moved in right next door to that last surviving store and we had to close our doors.
For part one of this list I am going to focus on what I was listening to that was current to the decade. Part two will be what I was listening to that was from the past, but would become part of my lifetime soundtrack. (Because I was already a grown-up in the 90’s, what??!!)
For you this mixtape is Music of The 1990’s – You know what you like, and you know what’s playing but the world is going to end in 1999 so there will be no music after that.
My Happiness Mix
Adrian Belew – So many people don’t even know who he is! Let me tell you who he is. he’s the guy you love to listen to playing guitar with Talking Heads, David Bowie, King Crimson, Brian Eno and yes – Frank Zappa too. This guy is awesome, an amazing musician – experimental, so underrated. He is still constantly inventing cool tools to help musicians make their music better. If you’re a music geek, click here. I am going to include two songs, because I can’t help but love the “pop” song, but the real good stuff is the rest.
Oh Daddy – Adrian Belew (with his daughter Audie)
Peaceable Kingdom – Adrian Belew
Poi Dog Pondering – I don’t know what it is about these guys. They were founded in Austin, then moved to Hawaii for a while and eventually relocated to Chicago in 1992. That’s when I got to know them. (because I’m from Chicago :-)) They played live a lot, and were spectacular. But they also had some awesome studio albums that were always in rotation for me in the 90’s. They really were brilliant, a combination of unusual voices, un-common instruments and percussion; created a sound that was completely unique. If you ever want to listen to a really great representation of why I believe this band is so incredibly underrated check out the album Volo Volo – Poi Dog Pondering. It is hard to pick just one, but this song is still in rotation on my iPod, so I guess it’s the one.
Be the One – Poi Dog Pondering
They Might Be Giants – What’s amazing to me is that even though the album Flood – They Might Be Giants went platinum, most people have never heard of it. It gained a lot of traction with the younger folk, because this album was full of ridiculousness and funniness. I loved it and played it constantly from the 1st song to the last, still listen to it all the time, now the boy loves it too. If I ever make a list of top ten albums of ALL TIME, this will be on it. The song most of you folks will know, if you have children, is Istanbul is Constantinople, but I’m saving that for a later list. Anyway, I want you to hear some awesomeness that you might not know. Two more points: 1) This album came out in 1990, I was 20, it was so freaking good and funny and silly I would actually jump on my bed while listening to it. 2) This album is so awesome that a gagillion people have gone through the
trouble fun of making their own music videos to the songs. AND I am now going to further assault your mind by including some of the lyrics, so you can understand the brilliance that is They Might Be Giants.
Dang. OK part one:
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair – They Might Be Giants
Mr. horrible, Mr. horrible. Telephone call for mr. horrible
But before he can talk to the ugliness men, there’s some horrible business left for him to attend to
Something unpleasant has spilled on his brain as he sponges it off they say:
Is this horrible? Is this horrible?
Its the ugliness men, mr. horrible
Were just trying to bug you we thought that our dreadfulness might be a thing to annoy you with.
But mr. horrible says, I don’t mind, The thing that bothers me is – Someone keeps moving my chair
Would you mind if we balance this glass of milk where your visiting friend accidentally was killed? Would it be okay with you if we wrote a reminder of things well forget to do today otherwise, Using a green magic marker, if it’s alright on the back of your head?
(….. there’s more but that’s a taste)
And – because I suck and I’m tired because I drove to Madison yesterday, bonus track pop song that made it to #3 on the Billboard Charts! (insert radio announcer voice) I CAN’T HELP IT!
Birdhouse in Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
I’ve got one more word for you – Cake. Yup, Cake. (I’m a liar, I have lots more words) I think I love them so much because they are an amalgam of They Might Be Giants and Herb Alpert. I love to belt out “You’ve got your grand piano, you don’t even play piano and I’m the one who plays piano.” All the while being serenaded by a trumpet. This is a band with lots of wit and no genre. I thought there wasn’t a person alive that wouldn’t love Cake if they heard them; when I met my brother-in-law I realized I was wrong. I guess I gave him too much credit because he married my sister. There is a Cake song on 50% of the mixtapes I make (so I don’t make any for my brother-in-law). You will see them again my friends. I included the live version of this song, because if you look at the lead guitar player…that’s how I feel when I hear this song.
You Part the Waters – Cake
The beginning of the 90’s found me touring with the Grateful Dead. I had decided to take a break from school for a while and headed for San Francisco where my best friend was going to college. During the colder months the Dead stayed on the west coast, so that seemed like a good place to be. Truthfully, if I could, I would have stayed there forever, but…. In the early 90’s a little known band named Phish was making its way on the scene. They had a great sound, and were a jam band not unlike the dead. So it was a gimme that they would attract the same audience. When Jerry Garcia died, many of the Deadheads had nowhere to go, so it seemed like a good thing to follow Phish, I went back to school and let them do all the work. But that’s a story for another day. This is my happy song, it was then and it still is today.
Bouncing Around the Room – Phish
Whoa. That could have been ugly. I got it down to 7 songs, because when I really thought about it. I only wanted to include the songs that I connected with so strongly I knew they would be on my MixTape forever.
Now it’s your turn. I want to hear what you’ve got! This week’s theme is The 90′s Part 1. For next week, we’re going to mix it up and it’s going to be, the 90’s part 2. Psyche! (love that show)
The rules of Twisted MixTape are as such: Try and create a 5 song mix based on this week’s theme. As we move through the decades the assumption is you know about the music in the past, but not what is to come. Create your own post and link it up, or put your mix in the comments. If you’re going to link-up there must be a song – relating to the theme – in your post. Share this all over the place, the more the merrier. And go visit my lovely cohort – Kristi at Finding Ninee. She’s always got a song, a funny story and some silly Drawrings. Mostly, just have fun, there’ s no pressure here.
Here is The List of all Lists (with one small change):
July 23 – 90′s and before pt. 2
July 30 – The 00′s part 1
Aug 6 – The 00’s part 2 up to and including 2013
Aug 13 – Duets ( this can be duets or duos like Hall & Oats or Loggins & Messina you decide)
Aug 20 – No Strings Attached (I know none of this feel this way – wink wink. But there are a lot of great songs about having a relationship/one night stand with no strings attached)
August 27 – You know what? I suck/ You suck. Get your venom out here, or maybe that ballad that basically says ‘you suck’”, or play it this way: you’re the one who did wrong and you know it. This is your apology/acknowledgement for being an ass. Or a mix of the two. You decide.
September 3 – “BEST OF” pick a band, any band, and put together a “Best of” playlist. Easy peasy for the holiday weekend.
And if you can’t live without any of the songs on my list, click on these links to go straight to iTunes:
Oh Daddy – Pretty Pink Rose (Duet With David Bowie) – EP
Be the One – Volo Volo
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair – Flood
Birdhouse In Your Soul – Flood
You Part the Waters – Motorcade of Generosity
Bouncing Around the Room (Live Version – Clifford Ball, 1994) – A Live One (Live)