Kev's Cassette Club #008: Mixtape Mania
more articles by KevRock666
Kev’s Cassette Club #008: Mixtape Mania
Media: Maxel XL II 90
Circa 1996 (?)
Ah, the mixed tape. A staple of my diet for many years, the Kraft Dinner of the musical world if you will (…and you will). How many times did we each put together just the right mixtape for that special someone? ‘I have great taste in music and humans. Come jump on the KH bus’, I thought I was saying. ‘You are a developmental retard’, I was actually saying. Even when I didn’t have to do the talking I still screwed it up with the ladies. Not even music could help me… but I digress.
Many of the hundreds of tapes that have piled up here at Casa Hilliardo are of the mixed variety and for a while I was wondering how I could write about one. Well, as luck would have it my good buddy Moe stopped by my place last week and gave me a little blast from the past. We used to trade mixtapes for a few years back in the late 90’s and this was one he had unearthed recently.
I have no idea what’s on it. I don’t know exactly when or why I put what/where. I do, however, know one thing - it has got to be amazing. Why, you ask? Because it’s titled ‘Tops Off! A Tribute To Moe Berg’.
[Ok I haven’t even started to listen yet but I’m gunna bet that Side 1 song 1 is ‘Tease Me, Please Me’ by The Scorpions.]
Wrong! The first thing you hear is actually the theme from the Six Million Dollar Man. With me voicing “Moe Berg” overtop of the announcer saying ‘Steve Austin’. Obviously I wasn’t screwing around here. Production values! And it just gets better. Right after that there is a medley of riffs all chopped together on a 4-track recorder! Whipping Post/Tony Orlando & Dawn/Boys In The Bright White Sportscar/Aqualung/an all moog version of ‘Sugar, Sugar’/Sweet Leaf and then ending with a snippet from the 70’s cartoon ‘Hong Kong Phooey’. I even amaze myself sometimes.
- Coyote: Sex Beat. Great band from Halifax in the mid 90’s doing a Gun Club tune.
- Flamin Groovies: Something Else. The Groovies doing the old Eddie Cochran classic. I’m beginning to ‘uncover’ a theme already…
- Some Chris Rock standup about Washington DC. Uh, cool but where the hell was it/I going here?
- Krokus: Midnight Maniac. Ok. This is more like it. Some crappy 80’s metal. That’s more my style of mixtape construction. I think they came to Halifax in the late 80’s and even then I had the good sense to think, ‘well it is a concert and after all we only get about 3 a year here but… but screw that - KROKUS SUCK’! Young Kevin did have good instincts - if only he had some guidance he wouldn’t have had that year long dry spell in the 90s.
- Burton Cummings: Stand Tall. Obviously.
- Stephen Stills: Rocky Mountain Way. I’m pretty sure I was still working on at least a 5% Joe-Con percentage in the 90’s.
- Monoxides: Arm Around Me. Canada’s greatest band. The rest are just pretenders. I am currently working on a coffee table book about PJ from the band. I am going to be rich.
- Jose Feliciano: Theme from Chico & The Man.
- Sammy Davis Jr.: I Gotta Be Me. Hells yeah he does.
- Thrush Hermit: At My Expense. Kick ass pop tune courtesy of Mr. Plaskett. Still stands up and the reunion show I saw last year was the best show I’ve seen in a long, long time. A great rock band playing great tunes. It ain’t that hard, folks. After the show having some of the dudes over at my place till 5 am drinking seemed like a good idea at the. My gal, fast asleep, did NOT agree.
- MC5: High School. Sis boom bah!
- More Chris Rock. Obviously I had just gotten a new Chris Rock CD…
- Bruce Dickinson - Dive! Dive! Dive! See Kev’s Cassette Club week #001.
- Janeane Garofalo: Parody of Fiona Apple’s Grammy acceptance speech. Wow, talk about dating something. This is a reference of an event in pop culture so specific that I had totally forgotten about it. And I was alive then! I think the inclusion of this Janeane clip was aimed at officially closing the book on my Janeane Garofalo crush. It all came down to that fateful night that I saw her at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. Obviously in town working on something and going out for a beer afterwards, little did she know that some rock dork was lurking. As soon as I saw her I started to flip out (not unlike the time I met Iron Maiden) and decided I had to bike home and get a CD of my band to give to her. I’m sure she was thrilled. I wonder exactly how many nano seconds it took for her to discard this waste? Screw her - she was short and she was smoking like a chimney (remember smoking in bars? Barf).
- Paul Stanley: Spoken intro to ‘Love Gun’. This would predate the all-spoken word Paul Stanley release ‘I Have To Get Something Off My Chest’ by many years. Once again - ahead of my time.
- Whitesnake: Still Of The Night. Well, these two DID cuts go well together…
- Stompin’ Tom: ‘Believe In Your Country’
- Partridge Family: I Woke Up In Love This Morning
- Bay City Rollers: Let’s Go’. Kick ass! Like every BCR (that’s what us hardcore fans call ‘em!) tune this is a wicked pop song. The verse is completely forgettable but the chorus is awesome. It even has a cool ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Part II’-esque breakdown. The Rollers were the first band that I bought an actual album with my allowance with (Dedication) and I still stand by that choice. Sure they were teeny boppers but damnit the 8 year old KH loved a good hook - Not unlike the current KH. The Rollers had a bunch of amazing pop songs and I kinda wish all of my bands sounded more like this.
We could probably do without the outfits though.
I also love the fact that I left the skip of my original vinyl 45 over and over and over on this mixtape. KEEPIN’ IT REAL, YO!
- Furnaceface: Clobbering Time. My combo the Grace Babies opened up a bunch of shows for these guys and it was amazing! I remember thinking, ‘Jesus, why aren’t these guys mega rockstars’? They were legendary in my mind. If only I ran the world. PS: KH Trivia - once shared a bed with Mr. Poopyhead of Furnaceface.
- Derringer: Let Me In. Modulates after the first verse. Ballsy. Once again after the solo. Uh oh. And a third time after that. Much like that shot of tequila after you get home from the bar, that last modulation was just playing with fire. No good will come from the third time you egg your high school principal’s house - you’re just gunna get busted.
- An unnamed selection from an all organ 60’s ice skating record.
- Haywire: Standing In Line. A sweet taste of Maritime rock circa ‘86!
- Tom Jones: Hey Jude (live). That’s baby makin’ music.
- Grace Babies (feat Moe Berg): Ladies In Waiting (by KISS). What Better way to pay tribute to a man than to give him a song with himself on lead vocals? There is no better way.
- Sonny Bono: I Just Sit There. Way to go out with a bang Kev! The opening track from what many consider the worst album of all time, Inner Views from Sonny Bono circa 1967. All 12:41 of it. Hippy dippy pseudo psychedelic drones. Crappy vocals. Flower power bullshit. I gotta say it takes some nerve to want to take credit for lyrics like ‘Ring around the rosey/Your daddy’s getting nosey/Mother’s cooking sturgeon/Your sister’s still a virgin’. I borrowed this album from a friend and I sure am glad I made a copy. The rhythm section is rumoured to be the famed LA ‘Wrecking Crew’ featuring legendary musicians Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye amongst others - these were the same studio cats that played on many of the hits coming out of LA in the 60’s by The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas etc. And here they are working on this bulldink? I guess Sonny must have had some serious blackmail material lying around. Luckily my 90 min tape ran out just as Sonny starts yelping ‘I read the news today, oh boy’ with (as allmusic describes it) “all of the finesse of a teenage high-school nark”. There’s a reason I hate hippies. Even Ray Manzarek, rocks greatest douche, must have been thinking, ‘dude, get that goddamn warbling sitar outta here or NONE of us is gunna get laid. Man’.
- Awesomeness then: 7/10. Not my best work - A bit of a dog’s breakfast here.
- Awesomeness now: 6/10. It never really made sense to include BOTH Whitesnake and Krokus.
- Crankability: 6/10. More of a headphones party really…
- Prog level: 1/10. If it wasn’t for those Derringer modulations I’d be a ‘0’.
- Ovary factor: 6/10. C’mon ladies - Tom Jones! I should have called this tape ‘Bottoms Off’…
1. http://www.vimeo.com/98059. Word for word.
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLNiYpAb23I Not sure where to begin with this one…
Forwardable link: www.KevsCassetteClub.tumblr.com