The Mixed Tape Project
By Matt Ashworth
Every now and then I make a mixed tape. Since 1997 I’ve been producing the Mattrock series – well-crafted anthologies of music greatness which I distribute to my friends and loved ones. The purpose of these tapes is two-fold. First, they serve as excellent time capsules for me, offering a snapshot of what I was listening to during any given time period. The tapes are also an excellent way for me to secretly force my own musical tastes on others, thereby validating my unnatural obsession with rock music, and assuring all my friends will have CD’s in their collections that I want to listen to. Mattrock CD’s are usually well
The Mixed Tape Project
By Matt Ashworth
Every now and then I make a mixed tape. Since 1997 I’ve been producing the Mattrock series – well-crafted anthologies of music greatness which I distribute to my friends and loved ones. The purpose of these tapes is two-fold. First, they serve as excellent time capsules for me, offering a snapshot of what I was listening to during any given time period. The tapes are also an excellent way for me to secretly force my own musical tastes on others, thereby validating my unnatural obsession with rock music, and assuring all my friends will have CD’s in their collections that I want to listen to. Mattrock CD’s are usually well received, since I know what the hell I’m talking about.
Anyway, since writing a column is really a lot of hard work, (and because I’m a lazy asshole,) I thought it might be interesting for you, the reader, and easier for me, the author, if I wrote about the Mattrock series. If nothing else, it gives me a forum for talking about lots of different artists in the course of one column.
Below you’ll find a song-by-song review of Mattrock 1,000, side one, made sometime in late 1997 or early 1998.
“Female Jesus” Jack Logan
Every article written about Jack Logan in the major music press says he’s a “drunken mechanic songwriter from rural Georgia who was discovered by R.E.M.” What most of those articles failed to mention is that he’s one of the BEST songwriters to emerge in the last decade. “Female Jesus” is so good it gives me the shivers.
Album: The 40-track-plus double disc Bulk.
“Push to Close” Hazel
This isn’t the song I meant to put on here. It was supposed to be “Comet,” but the track listings on the album sleeve are all screwed up. Hazel was an excellent Portland band that put out three albums in the early-to-mid nineties. Former Hazel front man Pete Krebs is receiving much critical acclaim for his new band Gossamer Wings. This particular song sort of sucks, but it sure makes the next song sound great.
Album: The crunchy and catchy Toreador of Love, recently re-released with a new cover. (I’ve got the old one. I’ve got the old one. Na na na na na na.)
“Search and Destroy” Iggy and the Stooges
So Iggy Pop was like this really cool punk dude who used to moon people on stage and flash his dick and stuff. He and his band the Stooges made two exceptional albums filled with dirty punk songs – Fun House and Raw Power. This gem is taken from the latter and should be played at optimal volume.
Album: Raw Power
“The Black Rider” Tom Waits
This odd song was taken from the album of the same name, written for a William S. Burroughs play. It’s sort of like a really evil carnival theme song.
Album: The Black Rider
“Local Girls” Graham Parker
“Don’t bother with them they don’t bother me.” Wise words from the Shooting out Sparks album, one of Britain’s finest exports ever.
Album: Shooting out Sparks
“Minnesoter” Dandy Warhols
This sounds a lot like Neil Young to me, which is surprising since most of the Dandie’s work sounds like British shoe-gazing swirlpop. Luckily, whatever style the band tries they do pretty darn well, even if it’s not anything especially new.
Album: The Dandy Warhols Come Down
“Outtasight (Outta Mind)” Wilco
This is the alternate version to the “Outtasight (Outta Mind)” single that was a moderate hit on commercial alternative radio. It’s stripped down with only the guys and a piano, and sounds eerily like the Sesame Street theme song.
Album: The epic double disc Being There
“Woman’s got me Drinkin'” Shane MacGowan and the Popes
You have to love Shane’s drunken, cigarette-scarred Irish drawl. And when he’s blaming his alcoholism on a woman, it sounds even better.
Album: Shane MacGowan and the Popes
“Heart of the City” Nick Lowe
For those of you who thought “Cruel to be Kind” was Nick Lowe’s only good song, . . think again.
Album: Basher, the Best of Nick Lowe
“It’s Good to be on the Road (Back Home Again)” Cornershop
Taken from the excellent 1997 album When I was Born for the Seventh Time, which mixes Beck-like pastiche-rock with good song writing, traditional Punjabi music, and hip-hop. So I guess this acoustic guitar ballad isn’t really representative of Cornershop songs, but it sure is good.
Album: When I Was Born for the 7th Time
“New Used Car and a Plate of BBQ” Jack Logan
“Said you’ve had it up to here, with my football games and beer, and my sorry friends that visit every night… And the way you spit my name out like a chew… Threw out every penny of our savings, for a new used car and a plate of BBQ.” Fuck I love Jack Logan
“Is She really going out with Him?” Joe Jackson
I made this tape long before this song was used in the film There’s Something About Mary, you jackals. Joe Jackson made some really great pop, and this is his most famous song.
Album: Look Sharp
“Don’t Touch my Bikini” The Halo Benders
The Halo Benders are the closest thing the Northwest has to a supergroup. Doug Martsch (Treepeople, Built to Spill) and Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic Sound System) combine two of the most unique voices in rock on this fun, silly song, complete with cartoon-like onomatopoeia.
Album: God Don’t Make no Junk
Next week: Louis Prima and the Proclaimers make out with the Jam and XTC, on side two of Mattrock 1,000.