Days, Be More Than All We Have
Welcome back to the working week. Here is a second "mix."
I must admit, I was a bit bewildered to read comments that expressed surprise that the previous mix was so heavy on the rock. I suppose it just reflects the disparity between perceptions and reality.
Here, then, is a less heavy mix. I am trying to take into consideration the delicate and sensitive ears of some MM readers. Actually, this mix is heavy as well, but in a different way. Intensity, after all, has very little to do with volume.
Here's a version of the list with cover art and purchase links for the CDs. The audio files are also the kind you can add to your custom playlist.
Townes Van Zandt: "Waitin' Around to Die"
Cody Chesnutt: "Upstarts in a Blowout"
Judee Sill: "Jesus Was a Cross Maker"
The Small Faces: "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"
The Undertones: "I Don't Know"
Freddie McGregor: "Bobby Babylon"
The Libertines: "The Good Old Days"
Pylon: "Read a Book"
Wire: "The 15th"
Jackson C. Frank: "Blues Run the Game"
An interesting tidbit: This mix was supposed to have the Grateful Dead on it, whose music I really love, but they refused unless we promised to do a piece on them on All Things Considered. In addition, we would need to run a feature on The Dead on the site. Here's a sentence I've never written: Someone needs to take a bong hit and chill out. Just a simple "no thanks" would have sufficed. Are The Dead really in need of publicity? Because I swear there's a dancing bear sticker on every third car I see in Portland. And now I've written a paragraph on them anyway, for free, not even in exchange for a song. Doesn't that count?!
Clarification. The Grateful Dead were not involved with the decision regarding the requested track. It was the band's label who would not give permission for the track to be used in its entirety. The label also suggested that it might be easier to get permission if we did a piece on the band on All Things Considered and on the NPR website
But back to the mix.
These songs were originally compiled on a rainy day a few weeks ago, with no promise of sun. So, they might sound better to your ears under gray skies. The mix could easily be called "The Underdogs." Many of these artists never gained recognition while they were around (or alive) or still don't get the widespread attention they deserve (Pylon, Van Zandt, Frank, Sill). Some of these tunes are culled from the band's less popular albums, namely the Television, Wire, and Undertones songs. I love "Days" as much as anything on Marquee Moon and, in my opinion, Wire's 154 is a better and more challenging overall album than its two groundbreaking predecessors. (Though the three albums together form one of the best trifectas in late 70s music.) Lastly, Small Faces are simply incredible and always make me happy and I'm still surprised that more people don't seek them out.
1:08 PM ET | 05-12-2008 | permalink