Here it is. This year's Halloween mix. It's the usual mix of songs, movie scores, movie clips etc. I had a lot of fun this year mixing in quite a bit more score than usual I think. I also had the opportunity to record some original narration with Bill Oberst Jr. whose face also graces the cover of the mix this year. I did a little interlude about half way through the mix with Bill narrating in the voice of a character he created named Lord Bateman. I think it is kind of creepy.
There are also a few kind of originals again this year. There are two tracks that exist only here, consisting of some beats/loops mashed up with movie clips into what is hopefully a few enjoyable and creepy Halloween tracks that I previewed on the blog a few weeks back. Hope you like them.
The track listing can be seen in the images I'm posting. If anyone has any questions about what really went into some of the tracks, just ask. There are often more layers than what are listed. It would take too much space to list everything that went into some of these tracks. So turn down the lights and get out your jack-o-lanterns and listen to this year's mix.
This is a record I've wanted to write about for a long time. I prepped this page actually several years ago (uploading the images), but never got around to writing the post. Then I ran into the trouble of having my mediafire account wiped out and I backed off on writing anything for a long while. Well, now I'm back in the swing and I figure I'll try and take out anything that might be a red flag to the powers that be and try to fly a little more under the radar. I'll try and not list track names or even make it appear that I'm posting music from the record. Of course if you are interested in hearing this rare gem, contact me and I'll see what I can work out.
Klark Kent was a side project from Stewart Copeland of The Police. This little EP is a super fun power pop/new wave record. Even the packaging of the record is fun. It is a 10" record and the sleeve is actaully in the shape of the letter K. Another interesting thing about this record from my perspective is that a friend of mine gave this to me for free. He just wanted me to digitize it for him and burn him a disc. Can't beat that deal.
Well the EP has 8 tracks. The first track is stellar and super catchy. It is my favorite track by far. The 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th tracks all have echos of The Police musically. The vocals aren't very Sting-like, but the music is very reminiscent. To me it shows how much influence Copeland probably had on the sound of the police. The scans I have included give you the track names as well as the lyrics that were on the inner record sleeve. Sorry the images aren't better. I did these several years ago and my techniques weren't as refined. You can also see that is was pressed on Kryptonite Green vinyl. Pretty cool.
I don't know if this is available on CD or for purchase anywhere. You can find the songs collected on a compilation entitled "Kollected Works." It goes for a mint on Amazon. If you don't have that kind of cash, I'm sure you can find copies of the vinyl on Ebay for a more reasonable price and I'm sure other blogs have featured this record as well because it is an interesting footnote in rock music history.
Here is another record I picked up this past summer at a yard sale. I don't have a ton of gospel type music, but every once in a while I will pick one up that looks interesting. I've actually got several albums by The Chuck Wagon Gang. You can read up on their history at their official website. You can also read the liner notes on the back of this record. The photo I've provided should be clear enough to read.
This album God's Gentle People is from 1962. It doesn't seem to be available on their website, so I don't know if it is in print these days. You can find used vinyl copies for sale with a simple Google search. I really like the harmonies and arrangements of the songs on this record. Voices are certainly the shining feature in these arrangements with simple instrumental accompaniment. Tracks 1, 4 and 5 are the standouts for me. I personally think that even if you don't have religious leanings you can enjoy the sincerity, joy and spirit of these songs.
This past weekend I spent nearly 10 hours organizing my records. It was a lot of alphabetizing, filing and moving records around. The nice thing is that it cleaned up the room and made it nice to go in there and put on a record again. I'll be honest it was such a mess with boxes of records on the ground that it was kind of an obstacle course. Now everything is on the shelf. So I've been back to listening and digitizing records. This is a record that someone gave me this past summer. My only real knowledge of Jaye P. Morgan before listening to this record was her appearances on game shows like The Gong Show when I was a kid. I knew she was a celebrity, but I had no idea for what. Turns out she was a singer. The record is good for a listen or two.
The orchestra behind her is Frank DeVol's band. DeVol you may remember as the man behind music for The Brady Bunch. More importantly to me, though is his run as the character Happy Kyne on Fernwood 2 Nite. I've recently watched a bunch of episodes on YouTube. Still hilarious. I wish that show would be released on DVD.
Anyway, the record is old and has plenty of noise. I've done my best to clean it up, but its far from perfect. As far as I can find this isn't on CD so finding the record on e-bay or digital rip is perhaps your best chance of hearing the whole record.
Happy Independence Day America! What better way to celebrate than with a mix a songs with no apparent connection other than I like them and I've been listening to them a lot recently. Okay, there are many better ways of celebrating, but this can't hurt. I hadn't posted anything in a long time and I had a little time on my hands so I threw together some songs. I didn't spend any time (and I do mean any) trying to come up with some grand theme to the mix. I can however write a little bit about each track to give some context as to why I've been listening to them or how they vaguely connect to this summer.
Track 1 is the music from the Prometheus trailer. I saw the movie a few weeks back and it wasn't very good. The trailer was better than the movie. The music was a highlight for me which is why I searched it out and it is now on my iPod.
Track 2 is Transitioning by The Beastie Boys. I guess this is there because of the passing of Adam Yauch in May.
Track 3 is one of two tracks on the mix that really made me want to make a new mix. Bangarag by Skirllex is the best dance track of the year in my opinion. I fell in love with it when the EP came out earlier this year, but when I played it recently for my daughter she fell in love with it and asked that I put it on her iPod. It made me think that I needed to share this amazing track with others. By the way this track is also the best thing in the trailer for "The Watch."
Track 4 is the song that lead me to playing Bangarang for my daughter. This is a song my daughter turned me onto just this last week. This may be the first song my daughter has introduced me to that I fell in love with. I remember this phenomenon happening with my son and now I am please to have my daughter opening my eyes to new music. The song is Too Close by Alex Clare and it combines some of the instrumentality of Bangarang, with with an amazing soulful voice. The whole album reminds me a lot of Jamie Lidell's album Multiply, but with a dubstep influence. Love it.
Track 5 is the number one reason for the mix. Last week I discovered the song "Let's Go Home" from the latest Best Coast album "The Only Place." It is a bit of a joke in my family that I really love my home and I'm a bit of a homebody. Sure I like going out and seeing the world and going on an adventure now and again, but I do love my home. When I heard this song I instantly had to play it for my wife. I told her I found a new theme song. I now have played the song just about everyday.
Track 6 is from a record I bought at a yard sale a few weeks back. I listened to it the Saturday that I bought it and thought this is a record my mother would love. The record was "Songs Of The West" by the Norman Luboff Choir. I bought the record for the album cover that had no text. It was just a great picture of cowboys herding cattle. The album is full of cowboy songs that I new my mother would love. When she came to visit a week later I played her the record and she did love it. So I digitized the record and made her and me a CD. Since then I've listened to the record a bunch of times in my car. The second track on the album is "The Old Chisholm Trail" and it is an upbeat sing-a-long-able song. It also features Thurl Ravenscroft. He is one of my favorite Disney voices and many of you will recognize his voice even if you don't know who he is.
Track 7 is "Under African Skies" by Paul Simon from his album "Graceland." This album was mentioned on one of my favorite podcasts, "Stuck In The 80's" recently which is why I was listening to it. I decided to put on track that wasn't super obvious.
Track 8 is the Gipsy King cover of "Hotel California." This has no more significance other than it came up randomly on the iPod a few times recently. It is a great version of the song.
Track 9 is an instrumental that I've listened to several times recently by the band Raven. Raven is pretty much a heavy metal band, but like so many metal bands from the 80's they had the odd classical guitar instrumental to show off some guitar virtuosity. This track "39-40" seemed like a good way to follow the driving guitar of the Gipsy Kings.
Track 10 is more great guitar work by Django Reinhardt. This song "Shine" is one of my favorite Django songs and gets played a lot. Seemed like a good time to share my love.
Track 11 is a novelty song called "Cincinnati Dancing Pig" which a discovered recently. It is infectious and fun.
Track 12 is a song by the band The Flash Express. The Flash Express opened at the first concert I ever went to with my son. For that reason they hold a special place in my heart. They also stood out to me at the time because when they were introduced, they were introduced as being from Burbank. "Baby I'm Wrong" is a fantastic song in which they give it their heart and soul.
Track 13 is Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison and it is perhaps my most favorite Van Morrison song. It may not be the most popular, but I can listen to this song over and over again. The singing is superb. Talk about singing with heart and soul. This song is nothing by soul. There are also some magical moments in this song that involve the backup singers coming in with the line "she's an angel". The song rises and falls. It comes in like a whisper and builds to a roar. It is a masterpiece that probably belongs on another mix, and it may be on one someday.
Track 14 is an interesting piece of coincidence. Recently my brother posted "Many Rivers To Cross" by Jimmy Cliff on his Facebook page. I happened to be listening to my iPod around the same time and just a little while after seeing his post the cover by UB40 came up on my iPod. This song is on the mix just so I could tell that story.
Track 15 is a favorite Steve Miller Band song that many may not know. It isn't on The Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits album that has sold millions and millions of copies. If you don't have that album in your collection, you should get it. Every track is a classic. That aside, this song is from an earlier time in the band's history. I discovered the song when I bought a vinyl copy of Steve Miller Anthology which was an earlier greatest hits album from before he had his real big hits that comprise the a fore mentioned Greatest Hits album. It is one of my favorite early Steve Miller songs.
Track 16 is a Weezer track from the blue album. There isn't a single bad song on that first Weezer record. This song "The World Has Turned And Left Me Here" is just one of them. That record came out when my son was little and he loved the opening track "My Name is Jonas." He would dance and jump around to that song like it was the greatest thing on earth. That was probably the seed that has lead to his love of playing music.
Track 17 is "White Night" by the Postelles. I loved this song when I first heard it a few years back. I heard it again recently and thought I loved it so much that I searched out the album on Amazon and made a purchase. That is saying something.
Track 18 is "Gigantic" by The Pixies. Can't go wrong with The Pixies. This is pre-Doolittle days and so is a little more raw and ragged. It has the classic Pixies formula of alternating loud and soft. I love the opening bass line. I have done a little editing here shortening it to make the mix flow a little better. However I recommend seeking out the original for the full version.
Track 19 should be on a Halloween mix. The opening synth organ on Depeche Mode's "Dressed In Black" is wonderfully spooky. I was recently listening to songs that dealt with dark themes for a project I'm working on. This is one of the songs and has lead me to listening to this song over and over. My wife and I were discussing this album during one of the reecent listens and we decided that "Black Celebration" was our favorite Depeche Mode album.
Track 20 is "The Chauffeur" by Duran Duran. This was also inspired by Stuck in the 80's which recently did a podcast celebrating the 30 year anniversary of Duran Duran's album "Rio." I almost when with the title track "Rio" which is a timeless song that still holds up great today, but instead went for this darker song because it just seemed to go with "Dressed in Black." So enjoy some dar Duran Duran.
Track 21 is "Locals Only" by Agression who was a skate punk band from the 80's. The album "Don't Be Mistaken from which this song is taken has a picture of a kid skating in a pool. I few weekends ago I went to an all day event at the Pink Motel in Sunland, California. Skaters could skate the pool and there were bands playing all day. I went to support some of the bands and to take photos of the skating. This song may be more about surfing, but I love it and seemed to relate to that event ever so slightly. As a side note the picture for the artwork of this mix was taken at the Pink Motel as the sun was going down.
Track 22 is by a band I discovered that day at the Pink Motel. The band The Chimpz played that day and I loved them so much that I bought a couple of their CDs. They do the whole wrap metal thing, but in my opinion stand above many of the other bands who adopted this genre in the last 20 years. I think I also like their LA centric attitude. They were great live and their recordings are great too. I chose the song "Home Invasion" to share here. It was great live and sounds great on the record. It has a very Rage Against the Machine vibe to is.
Track 23 quiets the mix down. The music is the exit music to the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland. Before going to Disneyland recently I had my wife call and get us a reservation at the Blue Bayou. She called when we were in the car going to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. While she was on the phone I put this music and the banjo music on in the car so it would be playing as she made the reservation. It was our own little inside joke. To be honest I play music from Disneyland rides all the time. Great stuff.
Well that closes out the mix at just under 74 minutes. Have a listen and see if there are some tracks you like.
This is the fourth and last installment of this Big bands Forever series. Solid record, but I wouldn't expect anything different from Benny Goodman. These aren't necessarily the big hits from Benny and the band, that first come to mind, but that doesn't matter. There are plenty of songs you may know from the era. I like this record a lot. The huge stand out for me is "It's Only A Paper Moon" which I sang for a full week after digitizing this record. I think I sang it every morning in the car taking my daughter school. I'm sure she was sick of it.
01 Taking A Chance On Love 02 Gotta Be This Or That 03 Jersey Bounce 04 Where Or When 05 Amapola 06 It's Only A Paper Moon 07 Let's Dance 08 Symphony 09 Why Don't You Do Right 10 One O'Clock Jump
This is the third installment of the Big Bands Forever records. For my money this is the weakest of the four. It's not bad, but the other are just better. Tracks on this record are:
01 I Can't Give you Anything By Love. 02 As Time Goes By 03 It Isn't Fair 04 In The Mission Of St. Augustine 05 I'll Be Seeing You 06 Harbor Lights 07 Daddy 08 Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone 09 Dream A Little Dream On Me 10 Let Me Call You Sweetheart
You can see from that list the record has a good share of classic song. My favorite on the record is Daddy. This was a number one hit for Sammy and his orchestra back in June of 1941. The song was written by Bobby Troup. This was one of his first hits. He later wrote the classic "Route 66". Then later in life he had a bit of an acting career. He played Dr. Joe Early on "Emergency!", which was a show I actually watched when I was very little. He played opposite his wife Julie London who you may also know as a singer. In fact before they wed he produced her hit song "Cry Me A River" in 1955. Okay, that's enough rambling about Bobby Troup. The song is good and the standout for me on the record. Enjoy!
This is the record that help start this project of digitizing this series a few weeks back. This is the record with the ole "Woody Woodpecker Song" that I had on that old mix CD. I was so glad I went back to digitize this whole record because there are a lot or great tracks on here. Listening to the record again and again in prepping it for this blog made me appreciate Kay Kyser all over again. Let's go down the tracks.
Track 1 Jingle Jangle Jingle. First of all I love some of these songs of this era that we kind of cowboy songs, but at the same time were just jazzy swing songs. Another example of this that I listened to recently is Bing Crosby singing "Deep In The Heart of Texas." Bing isn't really a Cowboy and Texas doesn't immediately come to mind when I hear his voice, but you know what? It works. Same thing here, except perhaps even better. Jingle Jangle Jingle really swings and I do mean SWINGS. It lives up to the album's subtitle of Kay Kyser and His Makes You Wanna Dance Music. This song makes you want to dance. It is also a song that can get stuck in your head for days.
Track two is "He Wears Silver Wings" which is just okay so I won't say much there.
Track three "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" is another good track. I love how it is such a product of the time and that time being The War. Then there is the whole mixing of religion and war and patriotism that is definitely of it's time. The tune itself is actually quite catchy and you'll find yourself singing along, no matter what your politics.
Track four "Bell Bottom Trousers" is another war song. There is a voice in this one, that sounds like Popeye the Sailor. I don't think it actually is Popeye, but I'm sure that it was supposed to be a reference to the famous cartoon character.
Track five is "Ole Buttermilk Sky" features Michael Douglas on vocals. This one is infectious. It has a great hook. I sang this for days after listening to it. This one also falls into that faux cowboy song genre. It doesn't quite have the full jump factor that "Jingle Jangle Jingle" has , but you can dance to it.
Track six is "Woody Woodpecker" sung by Gloria Wood. Gloria Wood I know from her work on some Disney records. For example she is on "Walt Disney's Christmas Concert" and she is on "A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland". I had this song on a mix CD when my kids were younger and we played it all the time. The funny thing is they haven't really seen much of Woody as far as cartoons.
Track seven "Who Wouldn't Love you" with Harry Babbitt and Trudy Erwin walks the fine line bordering on cheese. Of all the tracks this one sounds like it is more a product of the 50's to me because it is so happy and kind of cheesey. It is decent, but not a favorite.
Track eight is "On A Slow Boat To China" and it features Harry Babbitt again, but this time with Gloria Wood. I like this track. It's not the greatest, but it is four out of five stars on my ipod rating system. For a little more history on this Frank Loesser song, read this article on The Straight Dope website.
Track nine is "Managua, Nicaragua" is another song featuring Gloria Wood. It is also a product of the time where America had a fascination with Central and South America as an exotic location to visit. I can't imagine a song today painting a romantic view of Nicaragua.
Track ten "The Old Lamplighter" finishes off the record and I'll be honest, it is just so so, especially after so many good songs preceding it. It is a slow song, with no swing whatsoever. As a closing track perhaps it works. It sounds like a song for the end of the day. A "closing time" number if you will that gets you ready for bed.
So that's it. That's the run down and now you can give these songs a listen or track down a copy of the record for yourself. I don't think it is on CD anywhere so vinyl may be your only option there.
Sorry, that I've been missing for such a long while. Started on a new project at work and so January got really busy. The story behind today's post started a few weeks back when I played an old mix CD in the car with my family. The CD was 10 ro 11 years old and many of the tracks on it were from when I first started digitizing vinyl records. Back then I would digitize just a song off a record and put it on a mix CD because this was before I had Itunes or a ton of music digitally stored on hard drives. Well some of these songs were great and made got me thinking about the records they came from. Some of them I honestly couldn't remember where they came from. So a week or so later I started going through records on the record shelf. There was a Bing Crosby and Bob Hope song I was looking for as well as Kay Kyser's Woody Woodpecker song. Neither of those are on this record. However the Kay Kyser track was on a record that was part of this series, "Big Bands Forever!" I eventually found the Bing Crosby track and in the process found another 4 record collection of music from WWII era. I decided I'd digitize all these records. Now that I have them digitized, I figured I'd share them over the next few weeks.
This Harry James record is the first record on this Big Bands Forever Series. There are two volumes and each volume has two records. This is record one of the first volume.
I have a couple Harry James records, one of which I featured on the blog previously called Young Man With A Horn. I love that record and I really like this record as well. I big stand out on this record is track three "I've Heard That Song Before" which features vocals by Helen Forest. The other track I really like is track six "It's Been A Long, Long Time with Kitty Kallen pulling vocal duties. Something both these songs have in common is something I find with a lot of songs from this era, is that they have long instrumental openings before the vocals kick in. You don't find that much anymore in popular music. I actually like that a long, because the music has to be so good to pull you in that it doesn't rely on the lyric. Then when you are hooked the vocals come in and take it to the next level. There is a Benny Goodman track "Perfidia" on Swing into Spring that is structured like this as well and it is one of my all time favorite Big Band era songs.
The rest of the record is pretty good as well. The record has basically no information as far as the years of the songs or who the vocals are on the tracks. I've done my best to do some internet research to provide some of that information. I can't guarantee it, though. The rip isn't perfect by any means, but if you don't mind some crackles and pops give it a listen.
01 I Had The Craziest Dream (Featuring Helen Forrest) 02 Sleepy Lagoon 03 I've Heard That Song Before (Featuring Helen Forrest) 04 I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You (Featuring Dick Haymes) 05 One Dozen Roses (Featuring Jimmy Saunders) 06 It's Been A Long, Long Time (Featuring Kitty Kellen) 07 I Can't Begin To Tell You (Featuring Betty Grable) 08 Ciribiribin (They're So in Love) 09 All Of Nothing As All (Featuring Frank Sinatra) 10 You Made Me Love You