Friday, May 31, 2013

In the Hall of the Mountain King

Six minutes. At three hours and nine minutes I was six minutes short this year until, before noticing, I swapped out a two-minute pop song for some krautrock. German breadth escorted us to the cherished three-and-one-quarter-hour length we've all become accustomed to here. Once again, internet, I apologize… for nothing! Lots of things take longer to do than three hours but don't quite take three and a half hours. And what are you going to listen to while you're doing them, NPR? Back off!

I've had an expressed, deliberate taste in music for about twenty-two years. I was into stuff before then, sure, mostly Led Zeppelin and the Doors. (That's a pretty good name for a band. "Ladies and gentlemen, here to perform 'Twentieth Century Custard' and 'The Unknown (Roy) Harper,' please welcome Led Zeppelin & the Doors!") The Experience, the Stones and the Animals were on a slightly lower tier, then there was the popular stuff that would pierce through a few times like Living Colour, LL Cool J and other bands that start with L. It wasn't until later in high school and especially college that I was actively introduced to worthwhile stuff of its time, and when that method exhausted itself I became the seeker (the Who were on a tier just below Hendrix et al). This mostly turned up the sixties nuggets that make up a lot of black dots on these pages.

Passion runs deep so I also learned to hate stuff: Billy Joel, the Clash, "Santeria," too many to name. Such is life.

Anyway, I've written about this all before, it's in the archives somewhere. But I saw Mudhoney at the Paradise for the third or fourth time just a few weeks ago and man, was that the stuff. 1992 to 1996 all over again! (I really enjoyed 1995's My Brother the Cow and listened to it a lot for a solid year but fell off somewhere before 1998's Tomorrow Hit Today came out, to the point that I think I said "These guys are still around?" when a friend put it on in the car one time. What a fool I was. Then Lukin left and I, like everyone else, though that was the end… but what do you know, I'm driving home from Westfield State one day in 2002 and one of the area college stations—probably Smith's, which was pretty good—hits me with "Baby, Can You Dig the Light" from the new Since We've Become Translucent. Psychedelic! They were back with horns and so I too was back.) The guys looked the same, they sounded great and the Budweiser wasn't half bad. My three good friends from high school (Ivan, "Oskar" and "Pierre") came as well—we all have kids and are turning forty next year. Instead of taking the T or walking, we've become those old people who drive in from the suburbs and struggle to find parking. On May 10 none of this mattered.

The first two songs were off of the new Vanishing Point and were good… and then here comes Doc Brown. "The Libyans!" Song number three was "You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)" and that's all it took, we were young again. They were young again (see for yourself). Mudhoney is more than a memory, more than the worn-out tee shirt in my drawer, more than a pile of CDs I'm planning to sell. They were one of my favorite bands and they are one of my favorite bands. I hope G. has that kind of band one day—Christ, I just hope music doesn't suck when she's twenty.

Here's another year of rock and/or roll, defined as the Old Testament dictates (not really) in that it runs from May to April. Nothing surprising, 1968 is even back in charge with help from a couple of neighbors. Mudhoney also offers no surprises and probably don't care to—they still make me happy. These songs do too.



0. The Little Tikes Guitar Orchestra – In the Hall of the Mountain King
Track zero! No version touches this twenty-second snippet, though it exists (alongside "Oye Como Va" and "Wild Thing") only in a piece of blue plastic in my daughter's toy bin. The perfect unofficial introduction that you can discover by pressing REWIND before the beginning of…

1. The Zodiac – Aries, the Fire Fighter
"Quick, find another fire!" From Cosmic Sounds: Celestial Counterpoint With Words and Music (yes, it came out in 1967). "Aries" officially, ridiculously leads the way since it's the only "celestial counterpoint" that works for me. G. ("Virgo, the Perpetual Perfectionist") and I ("Gemini, the Cool Eye") (nice!) will just sit here unfulfilled as A., in all her Aries glory, faces the flames and scorches the Earth with incendiary diamonds. At least none of us is "Cancer, the Moon Child," laughing the lunar laugh. That's pretty fucked up.

2. Antibalas – Indictment
This is likely my favorite song of the year. I often play the Daptone Records "station" on Songza when hanging out with G. in her room, reading her countless Dr. Seuss books and telling her over and over that chairs are for sitting and not for standing or launching. "Indictment" comes around often, and I chuckle every time Major League Baseball, Seagram's gin and Beefeater gin get called as witnesses. Humor probably wasn't their aim but shit, just be happy I paid attention beyond the perfect, perfect interplay between the horns, the guitar, the organ, the drums and the vocal delivery. Talent all around.

3. Mudhoney – The Only Son of the Widow From Nain
"Soon afterward Jesus went to a town named Nain, accompanied by His disciples and a large crowd. And when He arrived at the gate of the town, a funeral procession was coming out. A young man had died, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, His heart was filled with pity for her, and He said to her, 'Do not weep.' Then He walked over and touched the coffin, while the pallbearers stood still. Jesus said to the dead man, 'Young man, I say to thee, arise!' And he who was dead sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Then they all were filled with awe and praised God. And they said, 'A great prophet has risen among us' and 'God has visited His people.' This news about Jesus went out through all the country and the surrounding territory." "Fuckin' Lazarus got all the fame." I died a million deaths at the Paradise. It was wonderful.

4. Sroeng Santi – Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng
"Riff… from… 'Iron Man.' We're stealing the ri-iff from 'Iron Man.'" Taken from a compilation of sixties/seventies Thai psych called Thai? Dai! The Heavier Side of the Luk Thung Underground. This implies a merely heavy side of the luk thung underground with which I am unfamiliar. That movement must have picked over Foghat and the Guess Who.

5. Chrome – March of the Chrome Police (A Cold Clammy Bombing)
The first Chrome song I ever heard, or at least the first I heard that made me pay attention. And now it's an award-winner! The weird second vocal track still creeps me out, reminding me of Buffalo Bill taunting the senator's daughter in The Silence of the Lambs (and setting up Six Finger Satellite's "Paralyzed by Normal Life"). Can you believe Buffalo Bill went on to become Leland Stottlemeyer in Monk, one of the best shows of the last ten years? Gotta hand it to the guy… "so hard."

6. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – This Is the One Thing We Did Not Want to Have Happen
This is the same group (well, Anton) who updated the Stones with Their Satanic Majesties Second Request among three solid albums released in 1996? Creativity wanes here as the rhythm is driven into the ground—lucky for you and me it's a quality riff, even as the banal chorus of "We were strangers before we met" plods on. Still better than all that Icelandic bullshit he went through a few years ago. Stay fresh, provoke and feed the habit, baby.

7. Cozy Powell – And Then There Was Skin
Uh-oh, I accidentally absorbed a few lyrics from the last song. Time for an instrumental break! At one point I had three instrumentals on here. Uncommon if appropriate in that I pay no attention to lyrics. I hope you're listening in hell, Keith Moon, because a song that features the drums as a lead instrument doesn't have to be all batshit cymbals.

8. The Reverend Gary Davis – I Won't Be Back No More (Live)
From the three-disc Newport Folk Festival: Best of the Blues 1959–1968 compilation. I bought it years ago at the Newbury Comics in Amherst (while slumming as a publishing rep, or perhaps after I'd quit) and listened to it maybe once. Then I ripped and sold it two or three years back and listened to it maybe once more, figuring I'd struggle to filter out much of disc two's "country blues" before dumping the rest onto Sonik Truth II. And yet with fresh ears the entire set sounds great. Don't be deceived by the subtitle: this basically cuts off at 1965, with three exceptions (Bukka White in 1966 and two Muddy Waters numbers in 1968) across fifty-one songs.

9. Pretty Things – Old Man Going
The title track Whoops! Seriously, you'd think that a daughter who's latched onto the phrase "I see yooou!" and smiles her cancer-curing smile every time she says it would render you powerless to exclude a song of the same name. Instead you move a little further along the SF Sorrow narrative and choose one about loneliness, regret and death. I don't know what to tell you, it's a more complete chapter that doesn't abruptly cut off at the end. So I'll tell you that.

10. Gary Clark Jr. – Numb
This was a year of mind-blowing late-night television appearances. Gary and his band were on The Late Show With David Letterman a few months ago and boy, what a performance. You can tell when Dave is really impressed, it's not the usual "Great guys, thanks for coming on, good job… Craig Ferguson is next!" Instead it's "Alright! [Band name], ladies and gentlemen! How about that, Paul? That was great! Thanks for coming on, that was something else! Thank you! [Band name]! Goodnight, everyone!" That was me. I was all "Wow, Gary Clark Jr.! Who the fuck is this guy? Something else! That's what it's all about! I'm going to bed!"

11. Giles, Giles & Fripp – I Talk to the Wind
From The Brondesbury Tapes, recorded in 1968 before Fripp and one of the Gileses went on to form King Crimson and record an inferior "official" version of "I Talk to the Wind" for In the Court of the Crimson King. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is so fucking good, though, that it compensates for any underachievement, anywhere, by anybody (except Billy Joel).

12. Black Flag – I'm the One
"I'm the one, the one you love! C'mon baby, show your love! Waaahhh, give it to me." This is from 1985's penultimate album Loose Nut. Wonderful word, penultimate. Penultimate. I love the recurring Kids in the Hall sketch "The Pit of Ultimate Darkness," particularly when it's discovered that a slightly darker pit exists elsewhere and Simon and Hecubus are forced to change the name to "The Pit of Penultimate Darkness." Evil!

13. Ofo the Black Company – Allah Wakbarr
A Starbucks patron appears. "Ooh! World music!" [Punch.] Look, Starbucks patron, just because something comes from Africa doesn't mean it's world music. This is a stone funk groove by a group of Nigerians that happens to feature the funny little organ so many African rock/funk bands of the seventies used. Was there an African Costco that sold these things in bulk? Anyway: world music. Is Björk world music? Autograph? Do Spanish customers shop for Black Flag records in the world music section? Enough.

14. Pearls Before Swine – Uncle John
I think this is my token anti-war song? "You want us to crucify the enemy for Jesus." Works for me! It reminds of Michael Yonkers, heavy stuff you feel like the band had to put to tape immediately—the entire One Nation Underground album, after all, was recorded in three days. Passionate low fidelity usually turns out nicely.

15. Spoon – The Fitted Shirt
Oh hi! G. is checking in so watch what you say. She usually helps me choose my outfit every day (mom's too) and she pushed hard for the solid baby blue on this morning. "Boo-mahn" ("Blue one"). How could I resist? We've given her flexibility in choosing her own socks lately but, more or less, we dress her in what we want (especially since it's no longer sock weather, certainly not today). So we shift a little power her way from time to time.

16. Them – Gloria
In a battle of embarrassing transitions—frontmen of fantastic rock bands of the sixties to life-draining solo flotsam after that—who wins between Van Morrison/Them and Rod Stewart/the Jeff Beck Group? The answer: not us. And probably not Van either. Did you see those little elfin kicks in The Last Waltz? Every man who was in that theater, who went to the cinema, who just caught it on VH1 Classic is less of a man now. I am less of a man now. And it was all because of the kicking!

17. The Pentangle – Helping Hand
"Gloria" is a hard song to transition out of so I let the grown-ups take care of it. Bert Jansch and Pentangle knock me about with that rich "plugged-in acoustic" sound that few others can really match. Richie Havens, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith come to mind. I like the groove "Helping Hand" picks up a minute in—their harmonies and playing are so well balanced. Excellent music.

18. Yo La Tengo – Ohm
Part two in a series of, well, two live television highlights. Late Night With Jimmy Fallon had Ira, Georgia, James and two additional drummers (one of whom was Fred Armisen) (?) on earlier this year, right before Fade was released, and "Ohm" set my hair on fire. Yo La Tengo is a band that needs to be seen—the albums are great, one of them is even extraordinary, but they need to be seen. Ira needs to be seen. Ira's guitar solos need to be seen. The studio version is good, good enough to feature here, but the Late Night performance is the keeper.

19. Jack White – Fly Farm Blues
Sometime in the Fall I saw the movie It Might Get Loud, featuring interviews with and interactions between Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White. They spoke not only about music and the role guitars play in their music but also the technology of guitars. It was pretty interesting and I thought Page and White were the ideal subjects to represent classic rock and contemporary rock, respectively. But the Edge as the middle ground? The guy who, on camera, makes it sound like he doesn't even need to be there for his "guitar" to play a song? Wikipedia isolates a quote to say "his use of echo and delay effects [allows him] to 'fill in notes that aren't there.'" My memory of the scene is him strumming his guitar once and we hear playback that sounds as if he strummed it a few times. And he brags about it! And his name is "The Edge"! White, meanwhile, constructs a guitar out of found debris in the film's opening sequence and makes for an excellent contrast I'm not sure the Edge would appreciate. (White later performs a solo "Fly Farm Blues," supposedly written on the spot.) I'd have preferred to see Page and White partner with someone like Greg Ginn instead—Black Flag is one of the more high-profile and admired bands of the punk/post-punk/grunge era and no other guitarist sounded like Ginn anywhere from Nervous Breakdown to I Can See You and beyond. I suspect Ginn would speak eloquently about his place in rock history even if he is despised by a gaggle of ex-bandmates.

20. Ice-T – Squeeze the Trigger
"Has it ever occurred to you that the president might be the one who wants you dead?" Every single day. On politics: since John "Where the Hell Was This Guy in 2004?" Kerry became secretary of state, Massachusetts needs to hold a special election in a few weeks to elect his full-time replacement. Hopefully we get it right after electing (not with my help) Elizabeth "After All That, Where the Hell Is This Woman?" Warren last year—I'm pulling for democrat Ed "Fuck Guns" Markey over republican Gabriel "Squeeze the Trigger" Gomez.

21. Grin – Moon Tears
What are "moon tears"? Perhaps they're what you cry when "it's harder to fart," as I'm convinced Nils sings at 1:48. "Moon tears." I like how most of the song is straight out of 1972, as it actually is, but the chorus adopts this strange overproduced eighties sound—I was waiting for solo-era Robert Plant to step to the mic. "Cryin' moon tears." I almost named Volume 5 after this, my whole life after this. "Moon tears, yeahhh!"

22. Major Lance – The Monkey Time
Or, as G. would call it, "Mun-hee Time." Major Lance keeps the monkey theme alive following last year's "Mickey's Monkey." This trend will continue until G. is old enough to read this and scream "Daaad, stop telling everyone how much I like mun-hees!" And she will never be old enough to read this. It's a little boo-mahn.

23. Elois – By My Side
It comes right out the gates "Pow!" and brings it down after only thirty seconds. Could have ended right there, what more was to be done? Ohhh, you're going to do the thing where you say the first word of the line, then repeat it and add the second and third words, then repeat those and finish it out. "You. You keep me. You keep me, girl, satisfied. Satisfied! Satisfied!" Ignite, crash, stop.

24. godheadSilo – Elephantitus of the Night
Elephantitis (el·ə·fən·ti·təs): An infectious tropical disease that is a form of filaiasis caused by parasitic worms which are transmitted by mosquitoes and which causes swelling in the genitals or thighs. Elephantitus (el·ə·fən·ti·təs): An unfortunate typo which causes swelling in the ears and occasional air-drumming.

25. Animals – Sky Pilot
Begin side two! Bonus protest… or is it? Mixed messages. This was once in regular rotation on the deceased Technicolor Web of Sound. One day at work while listening to the bridge too loudly without headphones, my cubicle neighbor asked the group of us "Does anyone else hear bagpipes?" "Um, yeah, that's me. I'm listening to the Animals." "Ohhh." This is actually credited to Eric Burdon & the Animals but I don't go for that shit, either keep the proper name or change it altogether. And definitely don't then change your name to Eric Burdon & the New Animals.

26. Royal Trux – Follow the Winner
Now this is a him/her vocal I can go for, unlike all these modern-day acts that do the cute back-and-forth duet thing. Royal Trux did it the right way with layering, just Neil's and Jennifer's voices competing for attention within the noise. Actually, no, they're not competing for anything—they're adding to the noise, so much so that even if they happen to sing the same lines it all becomes conflated. "Folflolwolowththewnininerner."

27. Milt Matthews Inc. – Can't See Myself Doing You Wrong
Milt & Co. might want to steer clear of Cream in a half hour or so. It's the ones you never see coming that hurt the most. Maybe one of your backup singers can comfort you, mend your heart. They sound pretty foxy. Or you could listen to the first three seconds of your own song and wonder how it's never been sampled.

28. Shannon Wright – Black Little Stray
The sophisticated (or at least dynamic) Six Finger Satellite/Oneida/Eddy Current Suppression Ring slot is occupied by Shannon Wright, about whom I know nothing. This was a free song somewhere (from 2004) and I thought for sure it would be edged out by Thin Lizzy or somebody, but then it just kept on keeping on. Sit still and enjoy this for six minutes.

29. Nina Simone – Either Way I Lose
I'm picking up a real Richard Berry vibe from the "bum-bum-bum-bum" guy. I know he did a lot of session work and this is a dead ringer for the narrator in "Riot in Cell Block #9" so it could actually be Mr. "Louie, Louie" himself. Either way we win because Nina could sing me a letter announcing a private Billy Joel concert in my honor and I'd cry "Shit, but that's some bad news… could I hear it again?"

30. New Bomb Turks – Sucker Punch
Spiritual descendants of the Elois? Exciting stuff this year. I saw New Bomb Turks at the Middle East and they looked like extras for some Revenge of the Nerds sequel, only they were fraternity extras and not nerd extras. All four of them! You had the preppie pretty boy, the jock, the rapist and the convicted rapist. I already knew and liked the band and it's a good thing because they wouldn't have stood a chance with me otherwise.

31. 13th Floor Elevators – I've Got Levitation
"This album has influenced me so much. Easter… uh, Everyday. Everywhere. I love it. I wouldn't be the musician I am today if it weren't for the… what's it called? The first song… the second song… um, the last song?… the first song on side two, because I only listen to it on vinyl, you know. OK, here comes my train. It's the Q. Brooklyn, baby."

32. Billy Childish/Holly Golightly – Demolition Girl
Demolition girl, that's my girl. We call it a G-bomb when we leave the room for a minute and return to find books, clothes and stuffed animals covering every surface. Her mom and I, though, do take pride in the fact that her favorite "toys" are undoubtedly books. We've done our best to pick out ones that are fun and positive and actually have meaning. Unfortunately for me (because I'm the only one in the family who doesn't like them), we're overrun with Sandra Boynton. With one or two exceptions I can't stomach hers in the least—if it takes longer than five minutes to write this crap then she must keep a lot of ether under the sink. So move over, David Baldacci's The Winner. Pajama Time! is now the worst book of all time.

33. Groundhogs – You Had a Lesson
The lesson continues as Tony McPhee and friends appear on three of my last four playlists, and probably only missed 2011 for fear (mine) of having too many repeats from the previous year. (I consider 2010's Volume 2 to be my first great playlist. Volume 1, with few exceptions—Black Angels, Elephants Memory, Yo La Tengo, Split and Mudhoney—feels a little forced. It was written by a boy who wanted to impress the no-one who read his blog. Even my "album covers" have improved.) 1972's Hogwash was to be the inevitable source this year since I had trouble deciding between several of its tracks—the mellotron here probably sealed it.

34. Shellac – Wingwalker
"Now I got an airframe, big perverted airfraaame!" Years ago I read an interview with the Jesus Lizard after they had parted ways with Steve Albini as their producer/engineer. The split must have been ugly because they ripped into Shellac as a band, essentially saying it was a carbon copy of his earlier Rapeman but with inferior drumming. First of all, let's have a little disclosure: the Jesus Lizard's David Yow and David William Sims played in Scratch Acid with Rapeman drummer Rey Washam. And Sims was in Rapeman! From what I can tell, as an uneducated fan of quality drumming (Mitch Mitchell, John French, Jaki Liebezeit, etc.), Washam couldn't pound his way out of Shellac drummer Todd Trainer's hamper. It's Keith Moon vs. Ringo Starr or Neil Peart vs. Phil Rudd: I don't care that you're using all these effects and/or measuring difficult time signatures and that your kit could fill my living room—if you're overplaying then it's going to sound like you're overplaying. Shellac is one thousand times the band that Rapeman would ever be.

35. Sonic Youth – Titanium Exposé
Everyone goes berserk over Daydream Nation. It's all "Daydream Nation!" "Oh yeah? Well, Daydream Nation to you!" "'Teen Age Riot!'" "'Eric's Trip!'" "'Trilogy!'" "Erm, 'Providence!'" "Daydream Fucking Nation!" But how about Goo, the major-label follow-up? I think it's just as good, it even has a throwaway track in "Scooter and Jinx." "Titanium Exposé" feels like an instrumental and would work pretty well as one, but Kim lays one of her cool what-does-this-even-mean choruses on us and, yes, the vocals succeed. Years later, Kim barks out her lines while suffering through fits of constipation during every single recording session.

36. Cream – We're Going Wrong
Last week on Classic Vinyl: "If you've got the coffee, we've got the cream… here's another long one… 'Angry Eyes' by Loggins & Messina." Talk about angry eyes, I was shooting fucking laser beams into that radio! Here I was thinking "'Toad!' They're gonna play 'Toad!'" And they hit me Loggins & Messina? I see your nonsense and raise you the Cream that I pour in my goddamn coffee. I love the riff that comes in at the end of "We're Going Wrong," really brings it home for me (it dominates the demo found on the Those Were the Days boxed set). At three and a half minutes it may not be the long one we were… well, longing for… last week. But it's Cream. You know it got fleshed out at the Fillmore.

37. Betty Davis – He Was a Big Freak
His woman… his mistress… his princess… his housecat… his geisha… his flower… his mother… his lover… his daydream… You think turquoise chains grow on trees? Trees that absorb carbon dioxide and produce pain, ecstasy and other Ohio Players album titles? Who prunes that tree? Who hauls the ladder? Who has the patience for turquoise chain blossoms to become ripe? I hope she had some kind of landscaping stipend.

38. Floh de Cologne – Wir Brauchen Keine Millionäre (Live)
This translates loosely as "We Need No Millionaires." Is it me or do even Germans sound like they don't speak German very well? Look at me, though, including two live songs after declaring them unfit for mixes a mere month before calling bullshit on that with Pussy Galore on Volume 3. Ich spreche nicht mit Überzeugung.

39. Bang – Future Shock
Wikipedia tells me Bang are considered "forerunners to the doom metal genre." So I like doom metal now? Someone clearly nudges the singer with twenty seconds left and says "Dude, we need a title!" The singer, he takes a huge hit off a Velveeta bong and mutters "Future shock" before moaning the smoke away.

40. Sunforest – Magician in the Mountain
Methinks Sunforest gone a-pentanglin'. Each year I seem to feature a song about magicians, mountains or magicians in mountains. Say hi to Eric Burdon & War for me, or Eric Burdon & the War to End All Wars or whatever they're calling themselves these days. Speaking of war and mysticism, the opening sentence of my eventual Great American Novel (I mean, let's get serious here, right?) will be "The sky was a pale blue and promised a war." It's a line from Sebastian Junger's collection Fire that I misread and corrupted, one that actually read "The sky was a pale blue and promised a warm, clear day." I don't know, mine's kind of better!

41. Guilty Simpson – My Time to Shine
By pure coincidence I had "My Time to Shine" and Damon's "Don't You Feel Me" on the short list, which is actually like eighty songs. Listening through the lot of them I got to "Shine" and thought "Didn't I already hear this?" Nope, no Guilty Simpson duplicates in there. Huh, time for coffee. In the kitchen, the Bomb Squad were brewing herbal tea. I patiently waited my turn and then one of them turned to the other and asked "Remember when sampling was an art?" Prince Paul, who was gazing out the window while his lunch was heating up in the microwave, glanced my way and said "I heard that."

42. Soledad Brothers – The Weight of the World
Let's welcome back Jack White, who engineered Soledad Brothers in 2000. (The Edge would have done so by working remotely and pressing a single button one time.) "The Weight of the World" might have made for a good closer to this set but what are you going to do, first-world problems and all. "This is where the heaviness sets in!" Um, did you guys miss godheadSilo?

43. Richie Havens – Run, Shaker Life
We lost a good one this year (this actual calendar year) in Richie Havens. I'm mesmerized every time I watch his opening sequence in the Woodstock film, a performance that might not have been half as good if either (a) Sweetwater hadn't been stuck in traffic or (b) Tim Hardin hadn't been a degenerate drunk. His resulting "Freedom/Motherless Child" is the obvious choice here, the one everyone wants to hear, you want to hear, I want to hear. There's more to him than that, though, and to prove it I offer an eastern-tinged "Run, Shaker Life." As a bonus, our friends Royal Trux from an hour earlier covered it on their sparkling 3-Song EP.

44. Rotary Connection – Life Could
Don't you love when defunct internet radio stations tease you for years with something in heavy rotation, something with a wonderfully fuzzy guitar track, but it's nowhere to be found… and then it finally gets a proper reissue and you can't click those mouse buttons quickly enough to download it? I love that shit: Aladdin, available as of last Summer. (The Bob Seger System's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," which was a near miss this year, falls in the same category. Like a rock!)

45. Black Angels – Telephone
An appendix to Gary Clark Jr. and Yo La Tengo, in that it was an amazing Letterman performance from 2010. On that night, the Black Angels put aside their I'm-in-a-band tendencies and belted out this retro gem. Paul and the CBS Orchestra (see, Mr. Burdon, they walked away entirely from the superior if subsequently inaccurate "World's Most Dangerous Band") were so in love with it they hammered out the chorus into the commercial break. There was a genuine enthusiasm to the whole affair that you don't see much on television anymore. It relates today because of G. and her infatuation with telephones—she claims her mom's phone as "mine," she claims my phone as "mine." She makes calls to her caregiver using remote controls and macaroni. This one time she "took a call" and said "Hello? What?" and I laughed so hard I almost pooped.

46. Bobby Womack & Peace – Across 110th Street
More Pimps, Players & Private Eyes action! Pushers? Junkies? Across 110th Street is a hell of a testah. I haven't spent a lot of time in New York but from what I've seen it's ugly all over. Bobby, check out Kansas City, I had a great weekend there once. This one jukebox was nothing but Kinks! That might be an exaggeration, I was really lit up the whole night.

47. Cupid Car Club – MP Skulkers
This sounds as though it was recorded in my basement. By me. Certainly not by the Edge. It's a Kill Rock Stars compilation highlight, and strung alongside the four songs on the Werewolves! single we end up with an undeniably strong rope bridge between the Nation on Ulysses and the Make-Up, a rope bridge so sturdy and well crafted that no machete in the world can cleave it, saving you, me and my low-quality recording equipment from plunging to an ugly Thuggee death.

48. Juicy Bananas – Bad Man
You like music? Think your girlfriend loves you? Bring us home, Sy Richardson. Let's give it up for the Repo Man soundtrack, home of Iggy Pop, the Circle Jerks and a third version of Black Flag's "TV Party." It was a hard CD to sell and I can't hear anything from it without thinking of Emilio Estevez puking off a bridge. Several things likely trigger that image in others.


In closing: another fifteen songs from the sixties ('67 and '68 leading the way with five apiece); twelve from the seventies (five from '71); three from the eighties (can't catch a break!); seven from the nineties; six from the aughts; and five from the teens. Floh de Cologne predictably comes away with the longest song while the Black Angels leave their girlfriends unsatisfied. I thank you, Mudhoney thanks you and G's future favorite band thanks you. God bless you, daughter, for maybe those last two will one day be the same.

More furious madness: Volume 1|Volume 2|Volume 3|Volume 4

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