WARMER MIXTAPES #69 | by Hugh Owens of Summer Cats
1. Michelle Phillips | Aching Kind
I've never been a massive The Mamas & The Papas fan but I was desperate to hear this record because of the Moon Martin connection. He writes three of the songs on the album, including Aching Kind, and is a hero of mine solely because his album Shots From A Cold Nightmare is one the greatest albums of all time. Michelle sings this song beautifully, Jack Nitzche's production and arrangements are superb and the song itself is another stunner from Moon. Be warned, however, Victim Of Romance does contain some real stinkers.
2. The Drums | Let's Go Surfing
Holy crap! This song's catchy. Makes me wish I could surf...
3. Raspberries | On The Beach
Kids nowadays don't like the Raspberries. I don't think their sound sits well with most people's modern sensibilities of what makes good music. Is it because Eric Carmen's voice veers from romantic crooning to rockin' yelps without warning that rubs people the wrong way? Is it because Eric Carmen’s lyrics straddle the line between romance and statutory rape that offends people? I don’t have answers to these burning questions...All I know is that On The Beach is yet more evidence that Eric Carmen is a total hornbag who'd stop at nothing to get laid, like a 70s version of the guy who wrote The Game.
4. Sex Clark Five | 51-L
This isn't so much an endorsement for this song alone, rather what I’m telling you to do is go out and listen to Strum And Drum as a whole. 51-L is just one of many incredible songs on an album that sounds like a precursor to Bee Thousand and mainly concerns itself with girls and military strategy. What's not to love about that.
5. Catwalk | Past Afar
When Summer Cats toured the States our first show was at a Vietnamese/Hawaiian café in Oxnard/Ventura, CA. Before the show the band were killing some time in a record store and the guy from Catwalk gave me a CD of demos when he found out we we're playing with his YAY! label mates the Sea Lions. Anyways, cut long story short, I also bought this Catwalk 7" that night of the YAY! label head honcho Eric and is fricken fantastic. All three songs are classic indie tunes in the mould of early Sarah records (Past Afar being the pick). In fact, I put this 7" right up there with Another Sunny Day's You Should All Be Murdered. Seriously, it's that good.
6. Dwight Twilley Band | Looking For The Magic
Twilley is one of my heroes and back when he still had Band tacked to the end of his name he was shit-hot. Looking For The Magic by rights should a staple of classic rock stations. How it wasn't a hit is one of the biggest mysteries that has ever plagued mankind. As an aside, those of you who are long-distance parents should check out Twilley's book Questions From Dad: A Very Cool Way To Communicate With Kids for tips on how to keep the lines of communication open between you and your child.
7. Darren Sylvester | That's A Nice Haircut
Darren's a successful Melbourne based photographer (and Twilley fan) turned one-man-band. Most of his album sounds a bit like Always circa Metroland meets Roxy Music circa Avalon and is fairly serious in subject matter and tone. That's a Nice Haircut sticks out like a sore thumb on the record because it's an out-and-out dumb novelty song (think Denim) about chemotherapy executed with so much panache (and a straight face) that it ceases to be a novelty, or dumb, to the listener. It's also got a glam groove that The Dandy Warhols would kill their mothers for and will get stuck in your head every single day for the rest of your life. Go listen to it on his myspace.
8. Beathoven | Please Don't Go
I'm currently trying to get a documentary up about Beathoven who were a Tasmanian powerpop group from the 70s. They wore top hats and tales and had something akin to Beatlemania for about a year or so in Tassie and Melbourne. Their story is one of those hard-luck, tragi-comic tales that rock 'n' roll seems to be littered with. Please Don’t Go (a demo rejected by EMI Australia for being too Beatlesy!?) is just one of many examples of why Beathoven were one of the more cruelly shafted bands in the annals of Australian music.
9. Chris Stamey | The Summer Sun
A bonafide classic. A song that never fails to make me happy. Also, arguably, the last time Alex Chilton applied his considerable skills in the studio to make a song that was outright poppy without feeling the need to sabotage everything in sight. The version Stamey recorded a few years ago with Yo La Tengo is also great in an anthemic Wilco kinda way.
10. Pagliaro | Some Sing, Some Dance
I’ve been downloading this and that by French-Canadian rocker Pagliaro. So far I’ve only struck gold with Some Sing, Some Dance and Lovin You Ain't Easy (both hits in Canada I believe), the rest sounds too meat 'n' potatos pubrock for my liking. Some Sing, Some Dance has great string arrangements (and castanets!) and I love the way Pag goes from singing to a fake Country and Western spoken part for the chorus!