March 02, 2007
Friday random eleven

Why eleven? Because I miscounted. It's Friday, what do you want from my life? Here's ten eleven more songs from my experimental playlist:

1. "Graffiti Limbo" - Michelle Shocked. Another bargain bin find. Shocked was a Kerrville Folk Festival legend and was quite popular among the Rice crowd I hung out with circa 1990. I'm not sure why I never played this CD much - it's pretty good.

2. "The Moment" - Michael Clem. The bass player for fave band Eddie From Ohio (I got this at an EFO show; I have all their CDs so I branched out), Clem's solo project showcases his wry humor. One of many CDs in this playlist that benefit from being in shuffle mode - Clem's music is mostly low-key, so it gets a little dull after awhile.

3. "Bearing Straight" - Bering Strait. The only group whose CD I bought after seeing them featured on a "60 Minutes" segment. They're a country/western band from Russia, but if you didn't know where they came from, you wouldn't be able to tell if you heard them on the radio. This is a bouncy instrumental that changes musical styles a few times.

4. "Pallin' With Al" - Squirrel Nut Zippers. I have two SNZ CDs (actually three, but I'm not counting their Christmas CD for this purpose), "Hell" and "Perennial Favorites", from which this song emanates. I've nearly worn a groove in "Hell" (or would if CD lasers worked that way), but have largely ignored "Favorites". I recall being disappointed by it the last time I gave it a listen, and now I'm not sure why. I may have to play it straight through again to see if I still feel that way.

5. "Love The One You're With" - the Tufts Beelzebubs. Don't know what it is about this song - hated by some, yet apparently loved by a capella groups (local vocals the Lager Rhythms also do this one). As Janie Bob, formerly of The Bobs, once said, when you run a song through the a capella machine, you never know what you're going to get. I think the 'Bubs version of George Michael's "Faith" is their best example of this, but that didn't come up in this segment, so I'm blogging the one I'm with.

6. "I Got Mine" - Nevada Newman. Newman is the lead guitarist for the Asylum Street Spankers. He didn't sing at all for the first year or two that he was with the band, so it's a little weird to see him put out a solo CD. But he's got a decent enough voice, and a Spankeresque sense of humor, so it's all good.

7. "Million Reason" - Ezra Charles and The Works. Ezra Charles is one of the longest standing fixtures on the Houston live music scene - I think I first laid ears on his jazzy, horn-infused blues at a party on the Rice campus in 1988. Like Lou Ann Barton, he's better live, and benefits from being in a mix.

8. "When It All Comes Down" - Guy Forsyth. Another Spanker, a founding member in his case, and one of the best voices in blues music. Need I mention that I bought both of the Forsyth CDs that I own at Spankers shows?

9. "One Night" - The Presidents. Kids, believe it or not, many years ago in this town there was a commercial radio station that actually did something to support local artists. It was called Z-107, the original classic rock station in Houston, and its afternoon drive time DJ was the lovely and talented Donna McKenzie, who birthed and hosted a syndicated show called Made In Texas. This song comes from a CD called "Z-107.5 Made In Texas 1992", and it was my first exposure to such staples of the scene as Miss Molly and Trish & Darin. Ah, memories.

10. "Cocktail Weiners" - Rachel Davis. She opened for Eddie From Ohio awhile back. As with the Spankers, I can't attend an EFO show without buying something. I'm usually more annoyed by than enamored with opening acts, but she won me over with her great voice. The CD's on the mellow/acoustic side, but it fits in well with this particular mix.

11. "Stay" - Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys. She's Austin-based now, but Carolyn came from Houston, and I bought this CD after seeing her do a free performance at the late, lamented Cactus Music on Shepherd. Why I haven't played it more often is something I can't adequately explain.

I've really enjoyed re-acquainting myself with this stuff, but I've still got CDs to rip, and I think it's getting to be time to do another playlist. As always, feel free to mock my musical taste in the comments.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 02, 2007 to Music | TrackBack