Saturday, October 13, 2007

Monkeys Are Rockin' All over the World

Yay, it's time for another installment of Splotchy's Green Monkey Music Project!

This time around, it's the Geography Pop Quiz mix, featuring songs that name geographical places in the titles. The theme was decided by Chris, who recently became a Green Monkey Master. I'm proud to say that, since this is my third time participating in the GMMP, I am now a Green Monkey Master, too! This means that I will get to choose the theme of an upcoming mix and the number of participant slots available, after which I will get my groovy Monkey Master badge. It's a lot like the normal monkey badge, but the monkey is wearing a crown! Yes, I'm way too excited about this.

In all seriousness though, this is a fantastic service that Splotchy is providing. Even when the "masters" run the mix, he still does all the hard work of compiling all of the songs for our downloading enjoyment. He even offers the options of downloading the songs in large chunks, or picking and choosing from all mp3s separately. This is such a great way to discover new music, and I have found several gems in the past few mixes. Do yourselves all a favor and head over to Splotchy's for a downloading binge. But first, while you're here, read a little about my contributions to the mix.

John Hiatt, "Memphis in the Meantime" - From 1987's wonderful Bring the Family, this is a groovy little tale of a country boy needing to escape to Memphis for a bit of R&B funkiness. I love this song. It really captures that feeling of needing to break out of a rut - whether it be the rut of everyday life where you are or a musical rut.

Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria, "Florida" - Janovitz took a break from Buffalo Tom and his solo work to record Fireworks on TV! with new band, Crown Victoria, in 2004. It's a really solid pop-rock album, but "Florida" actually isn't one of my favorites from the record. It's an enjoyable enough song, but I just picked it for this mix because it was about a place and I figured that a lot of people hadn't heard it yet. If you like Buffalo Tom, you'll probably like it. I definitely recommend the album as a whole.

The Juliana Hatfield Three, "Feelin' Massachusetts" - A song from 1993's Become What You Are, on which poppy Juliana tried to keep up with all the Seattle bands who were eating up the charts. I bought it because I really loved the first single, "My Sister," and found that I liked about half of the other songs while remaining ambivalent about the rest. "Feelin' Massachusetts" was one that I liked right off the bat for its pretty melody. In my younger days, I also appreciated the "get me out of this shitty little town" sentiment. I've since found out that the grass is not necessarily greener in the big city. If you can find any grass at all.

Mason Jennings, "New York City" - My brother, J-Fred, put this on a mix CD for me not too long ago. I thought maybe Mason was the offspring of Waylon, but he's just some dude from Minneapolis. Still, he seems to bring some country and folk influences to mix with rock and pop. It's very much in the realm of Springsteen, which is not a bad place to be! But I'm really glad that the song is about New York City and not Jersey City.

Billy Joel, "Allentown" - This was about as close as I could get to Pittsburgh! I remember seeing Billy Joel live in the 'Burgh and the crowd went ape-shit when he sang this. It's like everyone just figured, "Hey it's in the same state! Wooooo!" I guess everyone in the Iron City can identify with the message behind it, which is basically: Where the hell are all the jobs? It really is an underrated song in other parts of the country.

Duran Duran, "Rio" - Okay, so it was really hard for me to not include either "Piccadilly" or "Maidstone" in this mix. Both are Squeeze songs. But I didn't want anyone to accuse me of being predictable. Luckily, I wasn't able to think of a single Pearl Jam song with a geographical title! With those two out, I looked to another of my "go-to" bands...the Fab Five! Rio may not technically be a place name, but since it's a nickname for Rio de Janiero, it still fits the bill. The name actually serves multiple purposes here - Rio is the song, the album, a city, a river and a woman! Oh, and it's a kick-ass classic.

The Bogmen, "Mexico" - Another of my favorite bands, and one that not many people are familiar go download the song! (Splotchy already gave it a thumbs-up, and he's the High Exalted Grand Green Monkey.) It's an unconventional love song with an insanely catchy beat and a fantastic ending trumpet solo. The guest trumpeter here is Mark Pender from Conan O'Brien's house band. The story goes that the band helped Pender get ready for recording by feeding him many beers. They also made sure to get him bottles instead of cans because a bottle seemed more like a trumpet mouthpiece, and they didn't want him to cut his lips on a can. Ah, the hard work that goes into a recording session.


Splotchy said...

Wow, some really wonderful, thoughtful comments about your selections!

Thanks a lot for turning me onto some new music.

And congrats on your masterocity!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are the Monkey Master, make no mistake about it. All hail!

This is a really nice list. Can you believe that I have never listened to the Juliana Hatfield Three (although naturally I have heard OF them), so was happy to hear this. I like!

And of course you know I love John Hiatt, but I previously only had the live version of this song so this is a great addition.

Oh and I really liked that Mason Jennings song too - not what I was expecting. Blame the name.

pistols at dawn said...

That Juliana album was pretty disappointing, although my punk rock self liked the "President Garfield" tune about Henry Rollins (his name back in his DC days when he was in SOA and attending the viciously intense private school Bullis was Henry Garfield).

X. Dell said...

I like this concept. You can do such things as girls names, men's names, flowers, cars, etc.

Zed said...

Never heard, saw, or entertained any evil thoughts about the Bogmen. I must find them and their music as soon as they let me out of this work dungeon (putting in 16- to 18-hour days)... Maybe later this week!

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

RE Allentown... Yeah, it was the other side of PA, but that tune resonated here profoundly.

I moved here to Pittsburgh in '97, well after the heyday of the steel mills. Back in '97 there was still a fairly strong echo of the old argument: Was it management's fault or the union's? Now, a decade later, many of the mill sites have successfully re-emerged as outdoor shopping malls. (Whether that's progress or not is perhaps another argument.)

mellowlee said...

I only know four of these artists, and all of the selections sound fantastic. I better get over to download this after work :O)

Artful Dodger said...

Lovin' the mix. ^_^

Beth said...

Our musical tastes intersect all the time. I'm beginning to think you're one helluva cool chick. Other than the fact that you're the wh*re who stole my Glenn, we could be friends.

Writeprocrastinator said...

After a hard night's work, that's just a little too much pink on the page ; )

Malcolm: said...

"Allentown" is one that doesn't get a lot of airplay anymore... at least where I live. Sadly, the song's theme applies to my hometown of Flint.

I have that Juliana Hatfield Three CD that you listed, as well as the follow-up (Only Everything). Come to think of it, I believe I still have the CD "God Bless the Blake Babies".

By the way, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my Guilty Pleasures post from last week. It had been awhile since I had heard from you. Your orig. and unique takes were missed. In case you haven't seen it, I did post a response to your comments. :-)

Splotchy said...

I'd like to go on record saying I love the new look.

BeckEye said...

Splotchy - Well, I am a wonderful, thoughtful person. And you are a God among men (and monkeys) for giving us all this free music!

Barbara - Juliana is like 50/50 for me. Her good songs are very catchy though.

Pistols - Ah, see I don't like that song. Nor do I care for Henry Rollins. He has quite an overinflated view of himself and his "musical contributions." Oh, and he has a big fat neck.

X.Dell - The possibilities are endless!

Zed - Yay! If you're interested in more of their stuff and have trouble finding it, just ask. I'd be happy to send you some mp3s.

BSUWG - It's funny how many people still think Pittsburgh is full of steel mills.

Mellowlee - Hope you enjoy!

Artful Dodger - Thank you. And thank Splotchy.

Beth - What's this "beginning to think" shit? And I know you just want to be friends with me so we can share Glenn. No way, sister!

WP - That's payback for all the white you leave in your comments.

Malcolm - Saw it. :) Hey, I loves me some Air Supply.

Splotchy - Why, thank you. I've heard too much pink can drive you crazy though. It's only temporary, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Dale said...

A couple of days ago, oh Monkey Mistress, I was walking past a downtown bar that blasts their music into the street and Rio was playing. I didn't even realize that I said the 'Hey Now!' part out loud with the song until the girl walking past me looked at me like I was retarded.

Lovely choices as usual.


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