April 2009

Title: Rock & Roll Queen

Artist:The Subways

Album: Young For Eternity

Year Released: 2005

What It Is: Just a rockin’ little tune about a rockin’ girl. I think, in this case, it’s the bass player who was dating the guitarist / singer at the time. They broke up, but I think the band is still going on and rockin’.

Riffage / Hookage: The chorus is repetitive yet catchy, the melody is decent, and the song rocks in a rockin’ way.

Cowbell?: Not that I can hear, though he’s rockin’ the skins.

Words Of Wisdom: “You are the sun
You are the only one
You are so cool
You are so rock and roll”

Ok, it’s not Proust, but it’s rock and roll.

Mixology Report: Rock and roll it out! Great for driving and general all purpose rocking.

For The Good Of The Order: Like many couples in rock and roll, after some popularity the boyfriend / girlfriend combo split up. They’re still together as a band, but now the songs are a bit darker and less celebratory. But that’s rock and roll! Rock!

Rock & Roll Queen – The Subways


Title: Mistadobalina

Artist: Del The Funkee Homosapien

Album: I Wish My Brother George Were Here

Year Released: 1991

What It Is: Pre-gangsta West Coast rap that incorporates P-Funk samples and quotes (Gloryhallastoopid) and a funky beat. The beat, man, the beat. Oh, and the lyrics. Oh, and the samples. Well, Ok, everything is great!

Riffage / Hookage: Hip hop is not without hooks, and the “Mistadobalina…Mr. Bob Dobalina” refrain is definitely hooky!

Cowbell?: No, but they be scratchin’!

Words Of Wisdom: “you really make me sick with ya fraudulent behavior
you’re gonna make me flip and then an army couldn’t save ya
why don’t you behave ya little rugrat
take a little tip from the tabloid
because I know I’m not paranoid”

Mixology Report: Believe it or not (believe it) rap and hip-hop are still polarizing. But the hook and beat here is strong and fierce, so overcome those naysayers.

For The Good Of The Order: Who is Bob Dobalina? Well, it comes from the Monkees’ track “Zilch” which is just a bunch of stoned nonsense. What happened was that the Monkees heard an airport boarding call for “Mister Dobalina, Mister Bob Dobalina”. And well, the rest is history. Imagine what the real Bob Dobalina thought about the Monkees and Del appropriating his name? There are scads of Bob and Robert Dobalina’s on Linkedin, but how many are real? (There is one who is a “Program Master at Zilch”.

Here’s Del’s vid! Funkeee!! Gloryhallastoopid!

Title: When I Win The Lottery

Artist: Camper Van Beethoven

Album: Key Lime Pie

Year Released: 1989

What It Is: A late period CVB masterpiece, where the songs are still funny, but a bit more stretched out and thought through, although the wacky genre schizophrenia is gone. At any rate, it’s still darn good stuff.

Riffage / Hookage: A good acoustic guitar theme throughout and some very nice fiddle work from Morgan Fichter, who replaced Jonathan Segal on this record.

Cowbell?: Nah.

Words Of Wisdom: “And when I win the lottery

Gonna buy Post 306 American Legion

Paint it red with five gold stars”

When I first heard those lyrics, I had a cow. How subversive can you be? Wouldn’t it be a trip to see an American Legion or VFW post with the trappings of Communist China? I’d probably add a portrait of Mao on the side as well.

Mixology Report: Oh, yes. It can fit in most places. Just be sure you give this one to someone with a sense of humor about politics and Communists. But I think all of my mixes would have to be given to those with a sense of humor, period!

For The Good Of The Order: They had a tempestuous career in the 80’s, with band members leaving and coming into the band, and finally a side project (The Monks of Doom) split the band up entirely, leaving David Lowery to form Cracker. Now, they’re back and actually meld all of their personas and tour around as both CVB and Cracker, and many band members have their own band. It’s a living.

A static video, but here’s the song via You Tube!

Title: Lovergirl

Artist:Teena Marie

Album: Starchild

Year Released: 1984

What It Is: One of those perfect amalgamation songs with funk, soul and new wave mixing together. It’s one of those songs that FORCES you to move and groove. And yes, you know all the words.

Riffage / Hookage: There’s a BIG time hook here, and Ms. Marie makes sure that there’s sufficient axe as well, of course. But the hook, man, that’s something.

Cowbell?: Typical new wave-ish drum sounds of the 80’s with lots of electronic whatzits being ‘struck’.

Words Of Wisdom: Coffee, tea or me, baby, touche ole
My opening line might be a bit passe
But don’t think that I don’t know what I’m feeling for you
Cause I got a vibe on you the first time that I saw you, saw you

I got a vibe on her when I first saw her, saw her. Was it a vibe…or something else? I was 18 at the time. You decide!

Mixology Report:Why WOULDN’T you mix this?

For The Good Of The Order:It’s not everyone that has case law named for them. But there it is, the “Teena Marie” rule, as if you are under contract with a record company has to put out your material – they can’t simply lock you up.

Here’s Teena on Solid Gold. Wow, Solid Gold….that’s a memory in itself!

Title: Stairway To The Stars

Artist: Sweet

Album: Off The Record

Year Released: 1977

What It Is: Are you familiar with the rest of the Sweet catalog? Well, for the most part, it’s the same. Which means, it’s SWEET! (Hah, hah, little funny there. I said little…)

Riffage / Hookage: It’s got a great intro riff and a great hook, complete with airy harmonies (in a sub-Queen vibe). Well, it IS a Sweet song, and even though it wasn’t that popular (it didn’t chart on either side of the Atlantic, according to my research) it still is a classic bubblegum glam tune.

Cowbell?: I think so. There are snapping fingers, woodblock and I believe a cowbell sneaks in there. Of course, there’s the famous “Sweet triplet fill” that pops up on most of their songs.

Words Of Wisdom: “Girls in your condition

they ain’t in no position

to do the things you’re doing to me

you opened like a flower

you filled my head with power

you boys get avaricious

feeling pretty vicious

so don’t you paint your fingers for me

no no you’ll never get to heaven with me.

Now there may be meaning there, or it just may sound cool on the radio. I’m voting the latter.

Mixology Report: I would put it in places where a good up tempo and fun rock song would fit. It SOUNDS familiar enough that most will think they heard it on the radio (and it was on a few Sweet compliations since it was their final British 45 for RCA.)

For The Good Of The Order: Sweet’s discography was a mess in the 70’s, thanks two Capitol having most of the USA rights. They cherry-picked the RCA British albums, and released them sometimes 18-24 months later (such as “Desolation Boulevard” which saw a US release only after “Ballroom Blitz” was added). The UK version of this record excluded this song (you know, since it was a single…) but in the US this wasn’t the lead single. However, it would have been a perfect follow up to “Blitz” and “Fox On The Run”, I think.

No performance vid or anything, but at least you can HEAR it on You Tube. Yay for that!

Title: It’s Obvious

Artist: Au Pairs

Album: Playing With A Different Sex

Year Released: 1981

What It Is:Sharp, smart, angular post-punk very much in league with the Gang of Four. In fact, they are cut from the same cloth as that better known band, especially in that Lesley Woods, the front woman and main idea person behind the band, wrote very political and activist songs.

Riffage / Hookage: Nice, steady guitar shards from Woods and Paul Foad and a great bass part from Jane Munro (a cute as a button red-head who looks tiny but plays a powerful bass).

Cowbell?:No, but there are some percussion accents of a sort (things being whapped like claves, if my ears are to be trusted) and a great steady beat from Paul Hammond. He and Munro really lock in tight.

Words Of Wisdom: “You’re equal / but different.”

Woods was a lesbian feminist activist and could sound a bit docrtinaire in her lyrics.

Mixology Report: Yes, especially on a mix that has a lot of the newish bands like Franz Ferdinand, the Editors and Interpol since they all are a kin to this sound.

For The Good Of The Order: Woods is an attorney (and still outspoken) now in the UK. I think Munro may be a photographer (but that’s just a guess.)

Here’s a still shot video with the track playing underneath. It’s fantastic if I say so myself and is definitely worth checking out!

Title: Been It

Artist: The Cardigans

Album:First Band On The Moon

Year Released: 1996

What It Is: A catchy pop song that’s not as drippy sweet as “Love Fool”. In fact, it’s a bit naughty! Well, not overtly naughty. I mean, you gotta read between some lines. And then in black and white in others.

Riffage / Hookage: The guitar parts in the verses (under the vocals) subtly drives it. There’s a great hook (hey, it’s a great pop song) and there’s a sinewy guitar-like sound  in the choruses.

Cowbell?: Not here. Sorry Charlie.

Words Of Wisdom: “I’ve been you mother, I’ve been your father
who can ask me for more
I’ve been your sister, I’ve been your mistress
maybe I was your whore
who can ask me for more”

Um, yeah….if SHE’S saying that to ME…then, um….well…I’m confused, kinda. And lumpy…

Mixology Report: A good one, though maybe not for a mix where there are kids afoot.

For The Good Of The Order: Best known for “Lovefool”, the Cardigans have covered Black Sabbath and also had a video seriously edited by MTV for being a bit disturbing. And you thought they were a nice pop band. Ha!

Here’s a video of a bunch of Scandanavians looking furtive and all…

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