Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What You Should Have Heard #20

My Mix CDs

I’ve got a lot of music but limited space to hold it in, especially in my car. So I’ve gone the old tried-and-true way of making mix CDs to have access to as many bands as possible while driving. I’m going slightly old-school since I’m a bit backwards and have no iPod.

Most of the songs will be more upbeat, with probably only the occasional ballad or slower song included. I like to sing in the car, and the more upbeat songs are more fun to sing.

I’ll be going in alpha-numeric order with these, so if you’re wanting to argue with me about what Weezer songs should be included, you’re going to be waiting for a while.

My only limitations are that I use 80 min. discs, and I’m only going to use one disc per band/artist. I will make exceptions for only my most favorite bands with huge playlists (Foo Fighters and Self, off the top of my head), but I’d really like to boil everything down to just one disc.

Here’s the list guide:

Track # - Song Name - Album Name [Artist if album is by a different artist]

Ben Folds Mix CD

Disc 1

  1. Underground – Ben Folds Five [Ben Folds Five]
  2. Best Imitation of Myself – Ben Folds Five [Ben Folds Five]
  3. Bitches Ain’t Shit – Bitches Ain’t Shit
  4. Bad Idea – Naked Baby Photos [Ben Folds Five]
  5. Annie Waits – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  6. Zak and Sara – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  7. Still Fighting It – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  8. Gone – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  9. Losing Lisa – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  10. Not the Same – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  11. Rockin’ the Suburbs – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  12. Fired – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  13. Hiro’s Song – Rockin’ the Suburbs
  14. The Secret Life of Morgan Davis – Rockin’ the Suburbs EP
  15. Bitch Went Nutz – Stems and Seeds
  16. There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You – Sunny 16

Disc 2

  1. Landed – Songs for Silverman
  2. Gracie – Songs for Silverman
  3. Bitches Ain’t Shit – Songs for Silverman
  4. Adelaide – Super D
  5. Rent-A-Cop – Super D
  6. Army – The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
  7. Your Redneck Past – The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
  8. Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head) – Way to Normal
  9. Dr. Yang – Way to Normal
  10. You Don’t Know Me – Way to Normal
  11. Bitch Went Nuts – Way to Normal
  12. Effington – Way to Normal
  13. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces – Whatever and Ever Amen
  14. Song for the Dumped – Whatever and Ever Amen
  15. Kate – Whatever and Ever Amen
  16. Steven’s Last Night in Town – Whatever and Ever Amen
  17. Battle of Who Could Care Less – Whatever and Ever Amen

Well, this is a first for my mix CDs, and it’s not unexpected. I like Ben Folds. A LOT. So a lot of his songs made the first cut for the mix CD. Thirty-eight, in fact, and that clocks in at 2 hours and 17 minutes. There’s no way I can push that down to just 80 minutes or less, so I’m going with a double-disc.

The only cuts I made the second time around were removing the songs that got doubled between Stems and Seeds and Way to Normal. Same songs, different versions. In the case of songs like “Effington,” the songs were so similar that one could go. But in the case of “The Bitch Went Nuts,” I had to have both version. They’re just too different and both kind of awesome.

And I just realized I should have typed out the track list before going ahead and burning the CDs. Looks like both discs, while having different versions of “Bitch Went Nuts,” have the same version of “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” Eh, at least it’s a good song (and by good I mean a neat version of an older Dr. Dre…song? Rap? Those aren’t technically songs, are they? Anyways, I like this much in the same way I like “Boyz N The Hood” by Dynamite Hack).

I first came to know Ben Folds through Whatever and Ever Amen. “One Angry Dwarf” and “Battle of Who Could Care Less” were in pretty heavy rotation on Nashville’s alternative rock station (the now defunct Thunder 94), and I loved it. I’ve always liked a bit of piano in my rock; I’ve been a fan of Billy Joel since my mom bought Innocent Man on cassette when I was a kid. I tend to gravitate toward Ben and Billy, Harry Connick, Jr. (sure, he’s jazz/big band, but he’s had some pop success), Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple, and even Andrew W.K. Local musician Seth Timbs and his band Fluid Ounces (alas, no longer together) helped fuel my love affair with Murfreesboro record label Spongebath. Throw some good piano playing together with some great songwriting and a nice voice, and I’ll be a fan.

Anyways, WE&EA got me hooked. I connected with some of the songs, “One Angry Dwarf” to be sure, and whenever I hear the song Kate, I think of the person who has been my best friend for half my life. I don’t necessarily connect her to the Kate in the song, but it does make me think of her, and I smile.

It seems that after Folds dropped the Five and went solo, he really let loose in his song writing. A lot of the songs just seem more fun. It’s not a lyrical thing; I think he’s always been a good storyteller with his lyrics. Musically, though, the songs are just more fun to listen to.

The only other song I want to single out is “Gracie” from Songs for Silverman. If “Kate” makes me think of my friend, “Gracie” definitely makes me think of my daughter and her growing up. It’s touching and humorous and frank, and it says the things that I may want to say to my daughter when she’s older.

If I’m not mistaken, Mr. Folds has lived in the Nashville area for quite some time now, and he’s done quite a few shows around town. I, however, have not seen a single damn one of them. He’s on my shortlist of performers I want to see live, though, money and time permitting.

Here’s a live version of “You Don’t Know Me” with Regina Spektor from The Jimmy Kimmel Show. She’s so cute and has a great voice.

Okay, I’m throwin’ up three versions of the same live song to showcase something. Ben likes to get the audience involved when he performs “Not the Same.” I was blown away the first time I heard it. When searching YouTube, though, if an official live video was posted, the audience was drowned out. If a bootleg was posted, quality suffered. So here are three good versions, two that look pretty official (one with Guster and one with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra in Perth, Australia, and a bootleg that shows Ben teaching the audience before the song).

And here’s the video for “Rockin’ the Suburbs.” I likes it.


Kate said...

Aw, thanks. I think I would sort of love to be that Kate. I think she sounds pretty awesome. At least I've read the Bhagavad Gita.

Do see him live, whatever iteration. I saw him twice in Indy, once as Five and then Ben Folds and a Piano. Both were incredible but the second was in a much smaller venue so just that much more intense and fun.

Have you seen the Improv Everywhere gig with Ben Folds? It's on their website, www.improveverywhere.com.

Also I was gutted to see that Fl.Oz. was done. You can't even get In the New Old Fashioned Way on iTunes, which worries me because if mine ever goes kaput, I'm out of luck. I never even got to see them live.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

Oh, you thought YOU were that Kate? ;)

I have not seen the Improve Everywhere gig. It's bookmarked now, though, and I'm going to check it out tomorrow morning. I have seen the Star Wars Subway thing, though.

I've seen Fl. Oz. live probably 3 or 4 times, usually in conjunction with Self. I was even able to interview Seth Timbs briefly after a show in college for the school paper. Great guy. He's got a new gig, though, called Hot New Singles (http://www.myspace.com/hotnewsingles).