I’ve got to give lots of congrats to Tullycraft for their work this year. First of all there’s their supremely fantastic new record Every Scene Needs a Center. This is the silver bullet twee-pop record of the year… you know, if a hard heart was like a werewolf or something. Anyways, the record is fantastic. Second props comes in the form of Mixmas. Even though they turned theirs in early, I was still unable to track down some of these MP3s. If you’ve got ’em send them to matt @ youaintnopicasso.com and I’ll gladly upload them. Thanks, and a big thanks to Tullycraft!
“Songs About Songs” by Tullycraft
“Truck Driving Man” by Terry Fell and the Fellers
Written in under an hour and originally released as a b-side, “Truck Driving Man” has now become something of a country standard. It’s been covered countless times by the likes of Willie Nelson, Red Stegal, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Buck Owens. In fact, Terry signed a young Buck to a manager’s contract and utilized him as a lead guitarist on his sessions. The song itself is an ode to caffiene, truckin’ and ultimately itself as he sings, “Pour me another cup of coffee/ for it is the best in the land/ I’ll put a nickel in the jukebox/ and play the Truck Driving Man.” Blowin’ out of the gates with some great harmonica playing and a nice fiddle break later on, this simple hillbilly song makes for great driving music. Duh.
(Submitted by Jeff Fell, Tullycraft drummer)
MP3: FELT – Ballad of the Band
Lead by Lawrence, the UK group Felt remained an obscure group throughout their career despite releasing 10 albums and 10 singles over their 10 year history. Released in 1986 this mid career song follows the departure of founding guitarist Maurice Deebank. It also marked a change in record labels and captures a group at a crossroads facing an honest existential frustration I imagine many bands experience. The song lyrics at once celebrate the internal successes by name checking a few of their own songs “you know those songs?, like Crystal Ball, Dismantled King, you know I love them all” followed by the nagging doubts of carrying on such a marginally successful project “oh yeah, I still feel like giving in”. The new member Matrin Duffy (Primal Scream) replaced Deebanks’ guitar with wild rolling Hammond organ riffs and gives new hope to this track and new musical direction to a group writing unknown songs worth celebrating.
(Submitted by Chris Munford, Tullycraft guitar player)
M4A: The Pooh Sticks – That Was The Greatest Song
Some accused The Pooh Sticks of being a bit too confident when they titled their 1993 album “Million Seller.” The record didn’t sell a million copies or even produce a hit single, but The Pooh Sticks were so sure that they had a hit record on their hands that they boasted about it on that very record. They acknowledged the inevitable in the album’s opener: “If the tune strikes a chord / and people know every word / might as well say goodbye / when I tell her / gonna write a million-seller.” By the last track, if you weren’t already convinced that you’d just heard a rock-pop masterpiece, the band left no question with the album-ending “That Was the Greatest Song.” Had The Pooh Sticks just referenced one of their own songs proclaiming it to be one of the greatest ever recorded? If so, they were beyond brilliant.
(Submitted by Sean Tollefson, Tullycraft vocalist / bass player)
MP3: The Mountain Goats – Dance Music
My favorite in the ‘songs about songs’ category is the Mountain Goats’ painfully touching “Dance Music” where our protagonist explains how dance music provides escape through life’s tougher moments. Parents fight, a glass is hurled across the room, he leans down to turn up the volume on his little record player, and drowns out the fear and confusion. The song perfectly illustrates how you can be rescued by a song. This is a different version than the tune that came out on the 2005 album Sunset Tree. It’s simpler, and has more awkward passion. I have no idea where I got it, or how it was released.
(Submitted by Corianton Hale, Tullycraft lead guitar player)
MP3: The Figurines – Continuous Songs
The Figurines are from Denmark, where winters are long, cold and dark. Therefore, “I spend eight hours on continuous songs” makes perfect sense. I mean, what else is there to do in the middle of a Scandinavian winter? The rest of the song is a little fuzzy, but English is their second language, right? Really, what matters to me about the Figurines is not their lyrics. It’s their live show. Imagine: euro-boys in super tight jeans, a lead singer with big hair who does crazy lip configurations, beautiful harmonies, and a fondness for neckerchiefs. Vidunderlige!
(Submitted by Jenny Mears, Tullycraft vocalist)
Day 9: Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond
Day 8: Holy Fuck
Day 7: Jay Underwood of the Light Footwork
Day 6: Matt Kretzman of Tapes n Tapes
Day 5: Jason Nesmith of Casper and the Cookies
Day 5: Matthew Pelham of the Features
Day 4: Keith Lowen of De Novo Dahl
Day 3: Fishboy
Day 2: David Crane of BOAT
Day 1: Scott Carney of Wax Fang
Day 1: Ivana XL
Mixmases from ’05 and ’06 below…
Mixmas 06 (MP3s removed)
Day 12: Keith Murray of We Are Scientists
Day 11: Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear
Day 10: Allan Vest of The Starlight Mints
Day 9: The Light Footwork
Day 8: Casper and the Cookies
Day 7: Sure Juror
Day 6: Ryan Allen of Thunderbirds Are Now!
Day 5: Michael Nau of Page France
Day 4: Greg from Oh No! Oh My!
Day 3: Tony Miller of Ideal Free Distribution
Day 2: Ivana XL
Day 1: Daniel of Oh No! Oh My!
Mixmas 05 (MP3s removed)
Day 13: Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal
Day 12: Keith Murray of We Are Scientists
Day 11: Justin Rice of Bishop Allen
Day 10: Becca from The Light Footwork
Day 9: Jay from The Light Footwork
Day 8: Christian Owens from Bishop Allen
Day 7: The Rinse
Day 6: Chris of Gorilla vs Bear
Day 5: Dodge from My Old Kentucky Blog
Day 4: Ryan Allen of Thunderbirds Are Now!
Day 3: John Vanderslice
Day 2: Tapes ‘n Tapes
Day 1: Dean from Secret Unicorns Forum