New mix: Happy time

The aftermath of a big flood feels like the right time to publish my first mix in about six months. Happy time is one part of a two part mix. This time, I might not ever get around to part two, because it’s the downside of this mix, and I’m enjoying the happy side too much.

Track list:

  1. Finest Worksong (Mutual Drum Horn Mix)R.E.M. (Eponymous)
  2. ReenaSonic Youth (Rather Ripped)
  3. Moby OctopadYo La Tengo (I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One)
  4. Scared StraightThe Long Winters (When I Pretend To Fall)
  5. Hot Pants RoadThe J.B.’s (Pass the Peas: The Best of the J.B.’s)
  6. I’ll Take You ThereThe Staple Singers (Best of the Staple Singers)
  7. HelicopterM. Ward (Transfiguration Of Vincent)
  8. BeautifulPaul Simon (Surprise)
  9. Cello SongNick Drake (Five Leaves Left)
  10. It’s Not the Only Way to Feel HappyField Music (Field Music)
  11. ThirteenBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City)
  12. HopefullyMy Morning Jacket (At Dawn)
  13. Fistful Of LoveAntony and the Johnsons (I Am A Bird Now)
  14. No Man in the WorldTindersticks (Can Our Love…)
  15. Happy TimeTim Buckley (Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology)
  16. People Got a Lotta NerveNeko Case (Middle Cyclone (Bonus Track Version))
  17. Sweet ThingVan Morrison (Astral Weeks)
  18. Number TwoPernice Brothers (Yours, Mine and Ours)

Commentary: Did R.E.M. record “Finest Worksong” with the horns in mind, or was it a cynical touch by some producer when it was time to release the single? It reads as a brilliant move, though, 22 years later. I’m of two minds about “Reena”–such a simple song for Sonic Youth–but the fact that I can’t get it out of my head two years on settles it for me. Ditto “Moby Octopad”, which is less a song than an extended riff, but no less brilliant for that.

“Scared Straight,” on the other hand, is a song, and a flipping brilliant one. And the horns alone are worth the price of admission. The horns also provide a great segue into “Hot Pants Road,” which makes a very nice segue into “I’ll Take You There.” A nice little singer songwriter set–“Helicopter,” Paul Simon’s “Beautiful,” “Cello Song”–follows, before we get into the psychosexual set of “Thirteen,” “It’s Not the Only Way To Feel Happy,” “Hopefully,” and “Fistful of Love” (and only Lou Reed could set up that song).

And then the last set. I won’t say anything about it, except that “Sweet Thing” may be the greatest single song ever. How was it that I missed out on Astral Weeks for all this time?

(Update: now on Art of the Mix.)

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