1. Unicorn - Bel Canto
2. Darker - Doves
3. Does This Hurt? - The Boo Radleys
4. She's So High - Blur
5. Formulae - JJ72
6. Shortwave - Monster Movie
7. If You Need Someone - The Field Mice
8. Beauty - Malory
9. Green Eyes - Vitesse
10. The Cat - The Essence
11. That Was Another Country - The Innocence Mission
12. Baby in Two - Pernice Brothers
13. New League of Nations - Monograph
14. Fall Down (Like the Rain) (7" Remix) - The Mighty Lemon Drops
15. House with 100 Rooms - The Chills
16. Scars - Moving Units
17. Simple - The Beta Band
18. Damian - Frost
19. San Juan - Daniel Lanois
Notes and other random things: Happy New Year's Eve! It seems like all my episodes are happy something these days. No doubt it's better than being sad, I suppose. The episode here is not the normal dance mix. It's another installment of the mixtape series I began several months back. These episodes are like the mixtapes I used to make for friends way back when people actually still used tapes. They're a nice change of pace from the mixing board and it gives me an opportunity to share other great 80s and 90s music, and maybe some newer or older tunes, that don't fit the dance format.
This particular selection is an actual mix compilation I put together on New Year's Eve 2004. I don't recall my frame of mind or mitigating circumstances surrounding this mix or really why I chose these particular songs other than they're all very good. Much of this stuff is guitar-based, but there are some electronic elements in here too.
Bel Canto's Unicorn is from their album called Shimmering, Warm and Bright. A high school buddy of mine bought the album for this song, but didn't care for the rest of it, so he gave it to me. I quickly developed an affinity for them and bought their other albums. This still stands as my favorite of their work, though Anneli Drecker and Nils Johansen wrote some other very melodic and introspective songs along the way.
In subsequent albums, after Everything's Alright Forever from which Does it Hurt? comes, The Boo Radleys moved away from the shoegaze sound that characterized their early work. It's a lot of fuzz and feedback, but tucked away in the white noise are some great melodies. Malory, on the other hand, sort of channeled and regurgitated one of my favorite shoegaze bands, Slowdive, on their Not Here, Not Now album. Even more interesting, and perhaps not coincidental, is that their record label is called Alison records. Alison is the title of the first song on Slowdive's Souvlaki album.
Speaking of Slowdive, Monster Movie is a side project of Christian Savill, who was the guitarist for the band.
The Doves and Blur represent some of the finer Britpop stuff to come out of the last decade. She's So High is the first track on Blur's debut album called Leisure. For those a bit young, this is the band in which Damon Albarn, whom you may recognize from Gorillaz, cut his teeth. Darker is the first bonus track on the Doves U.S. debut called Lost Souls from 2000. Doves were originally a dance outfit called Sub Sub in the early to mid-90s, and were signed to Rob Gretton's Rob Records label. Gretton was the manager of Joy Division and New Order and a prominent figure in the post-punk scene that blossomed in Manchester at the end of the 70s and on into the early 80s.
Vitesse are a Chicago-based band comprised of Hewson Chen and Josh Klein. While their vocals are very reminiscent of bands like the Magnetic Fields, their electronic experiments were much more in the early new wave vein conjuring up visions of OMD (whom they also cover on their previous album) and the like. On the song Green Eyes, a Husker Du cover track, Celeste Alexander does the lead vocal honors.
If you didn't know better, you'd swear The Cat is a long lost Cure track, but The Essence is the project of one Hans Diener. His vocal resemblance to Robert Smith is uncanny and not just on this track. While we're discussing vocal doppelgangers, at first listen one could easily mistake Innocence Misson lead singer Karen Peris' pixie-like emanations for those of The Sundays' lovely chanteuse Harriet Wheeler. That's definitely not a bad thing.
The Mighty Lemon Drops hail from the U.K. and were one of the darlings of Sire Records in the mid-80s and early 90s. They had a jangly pop guitar sound with a 60s sort of style about them, even covering Roky Erickson's 60s psychedelic outfit 13th Floor Elevators and their track Splash #One.
The Chills were led by Martin Phillips. Originating from New Zealand, they went through an absurd number of line-up changes during their heyday in the 80s and early 90s. Their earliest and perhaps most infamous success came with 1984's release of the song Pink Frost, a beautiful, yet haunting tune about a lover's death, though it is revealed in liner notes from the Heavenly Pop Hit album that the story is rooted in a dream and not reality as is often thought. The song here is the album version of House with 100 Rooms, though it does have a remix that was spliced together by Danny Hyde, who has done extensive remixing for industrial acts like Coil, Psychic TV, Pop Will Eat Itself and Nine Inch Nails.
Finally, there is Daniel Lanois, producer extraordinaire who has worked with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Brian Eno and of course U2 on their Unforgettable Fire, Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind albums. This lovely, bittersweet track is from one of his solo albums called Shine.
I'm kicking around some ideas on how to add a new wrinkle or two to my podast this coming year because I'm hoping to make CRC better than ever. Thanks to all my listeners as you are the reason I will continue do this. I've always believed that great music is best when it can be shared by many. I used to do that by mixtape, but podcasting reaches so many more people in such a shorter amount of time. I've definitely got some more great music to broadcast to everyone in the new year, so I hope you'll continue to support my efforts. And it goes without saying that if you like any of the artists you hear, please be sure to support them too!
If you go out tonight, please don't drink and drive. Have fun and be safe and here's wishing everyone a healthy and very happy 2011.