If it’s December at You Ain’t No Picasso, then it’s time for Mixmas! Every year I like to turn YANP over to some of my favorite bands to showcase some of their favorite songs through a themed mix. They pick a theme, five songs that fit the theme and then share a little about why they picked each one. This year I’m also giving away a YANP shirt, so check below for the hint about tomorrow’s mix.
James Friley has been a good buddy and a fun musical entertainer for a while. We’ve worked together at WRFL and booked shows together; now he’s making a serious name for himself as Idiot Glee, his newest musical project. I liked his new stuff so much that I asked if he wouldn’t mind doing a Mixmas contribution. He obliged.
“Songs with specific introductory moments that bring me joy” by James Friley of Idiot Glee
These songs were shown to me by friends, professors, musicians, artists…etc. I can remember, usually very specifically, the moment in which it happened because my brain was exploding with joy. These moments made me explore each of the artists extensively. They’ve shaped my musical taste.
MP3: Brian Eno – Driving Me Backwards
My friend Case lived in a house on Kentucky Court here in Lexington for a while. It was tiny, smokey and rundown. I can remember him one day saying “Hey, come listen to this song. We should cover it.” from his computer in his bedroom. I’d never heard Brian Eno before. I’d never really heard anything like this before…I still haven’t. Have you? Listen to this! It’s so crazy sounding! I love it. I remember standing in the doorway, immediately into this idea of covering it. Singing those vocals would be so fun. And the piano part…weird as hell. Our band Sabertooth covered it at our only show, ever. It was in his attic.
MP3: The Zombies – Care of Cell 44
I was shown this song for the first time by my music theory professor. I can’t remember exactly what she was trying to teach us that day…I think something about figured bass or chord progressions. She played this song for us on her boombox. It was the first time I’d heard the Zombies and I was blown away. I wanted more immediately. I raised my hand to ask about the album and etc and she didn’t know…of course I later found out it was on Odyssey and Oracle. I went home and told my friends…turned out everyone already knew about the Zombies except for myself.
MP3: Roxy Music – In Every Dream Home a Heartache [Youtube link
Introduced to me by the wonderful artist R Clint Colburn. You know, the studio recording is ok…but this video clip of it is what Clint showed me. Watch this video. It’s absolutely AMAZING. Brian Eno looks like a freak. Bryan Ferry is crying. When everything kicks in, right after “but you blew my mind”…gives me chills every single time. This video is where it’s at. I’d like an audio only version of this, actually.
Yes – And You And I [Youtube link]
Growing up, my dad got me into bands like Yes, Genesis and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. That’s really all he listened to it seemed. Thank goodness because it’s all great. I spent my whole life learning classical music on the piano, but I can remember my dad buying me this big fat YES sheet music book and trying to get me to play some for him. This one was my favorite, and the song is fantastic. Jon Anderson’s voice is beautiful. I forgot about Yes for a while, but then I heard this song on a commercial for Mr Deeds and got back into them. Weird.
Tiny Fights – “What’s Mine”
Introduced to me once again by my buddy Case. The band Tiny Fights comes from Ashland, Kentucky…like myself, Case (Street Gnar), Soft Pain and a few others. I’ve been friends with the guys in Tiny Fights for a while, but it was really cool when I found out they’d started a band together back in the summer/fall of ’08. I’d been hearing bits and pieces and it sounded pretty sweet, but one day Case had me come check out a new track for Tiny Fights’ upcoming split cassette with his band, Jovontaes. Heads up – this song is in 5/4! Like straight up 1 2 3 4 5. No swingin, just rockin. It doesn’t sound awkward, it sounds perfect. I was pretty shocked…in awe. Just happy. Not just because of the timing, but because it’s pretty and groovy and makes me feel good. I want them to play it at every show I ever see again because live it’s even better. I don’t get tired of this one, ever. Unfortunately, I don’t have an mp3…so go to their myspace
Tomorrow’s hint: The next contributor is a group from DC/Lexington who are frequent customers at my place of business when they’re aren’t touring behind one of their three albums they’ve released in the last two years.