Mix Six: “Body Parts and Food”
I think it’s obvious that the title of this Mix Six is pretty gross. I mean, if I were in the restaurant business, having a title like “Body Parts and Food” would certainly be the death knell for my venture. But, since this is music we’re talking about, I think you can figure out where this is going by simply using your noodle (Ha! I food reference — and a stupid second grade one at that) and thinking about bands who have branded themselves with a moniker that certainly gets attention. So, here we go with a little musical tour of the morgue and the produce aisle — um, I mean, bands with evocative novel names.
“Gepetto (Remix),” Belly (Download)
I do believe this version of “Gepetto” was featured on the Mixtape either here at Popdose or at Jeff Giles’ Jefitoblog. This remix is a lot less raw in terms of the guitar — which means the vocals have a softer sound. Tanya Donelly has always had a soft voice, but when she was with Belly, she could really belt it when need be. Nowadays, it saddens my musical heart to hear her trapped in mommy mode with song after song about motherhood and kids. But back in the good old days when all she needed was a belly full of wine just to get to sleep, her songs of angst, marginalized protagonists, and never really finding love were superb. Now that she’s found love, kids, and domestic bliss, her songs have lost the edge that made her music so appealing to me back in the day.
Loved by many superstars in the music world, Elbow, to me, is an acquired taste. I must admit that I came late the Elbow party, and because I was late, I missed all the hype surrounding the band. But after taking a crash course in Elbow’s early albums, I think the songs from Cast of Thousands are the ones I like the most — with “Fallen Angel” getting the most spins.
When “Phantom Limb” came out a couple of years ago and was all over the radio, I had trouble warming up to the song. Not knowing much about the Shins, I took a chance and downloaded the album and found that songs like “Split Needles” were growing more and more popular on my personal playlist. And being a guy who likes to bang on things with sticks, I’m often drawn to interesting things a drummer is doing on a song. Joe Plummer (Yeah, that’s the drummer’s name and, yes, I bet he got his tits pulled quite a lot during the 2008 presidential campaign) has a kind of odd time feel going on here, and while it’s not the most novel groove, it adds that certain something that takes the song from good to great.
“The Distance,” CAKE (Download)
I know, this song was overplayed, but it hasn’t worn thin with me. And while I think CAKE’s music is best enjoyed in small doses, I do believe I could have this on my iPod for a good six weeks and not grow tired of it — well, provided I have a few hundred songs cushioning it.
“Jellybelly,” Smashing Pumpkins (Download)
Smashing Pumpkins get a lot of sneers from some music aficionados, but by the mid ’90s, the Pumpkins could really do no wrong with me. Case in point: “Jellybelly.” The sheer power of this song is undeniable, but if you listen what Jimmy Chamberlin is able to do on the drums while James Iha grinds out a pure wall of sound at the outset, it’s post-punk pleasure at its finest that transitions into a great groove. Alas, for the Pumpkins, the wheels came off after Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, but boy for a couple of albums, Smashing Pumpkins were simply the shit.
“Freak on a Leash,” Korn (Download)
I have a real aversion to so-called nu metal, but when “Freak on a Leach” came out, I thought Korn really nailed a nice balance between thrash and pop. Add to that Jonathan Davis’ C.H.U.D. vocals during the breakdown section (and the kick ass ride out), and you have a nu metal classic.