cXnX Top 40 Raideeo10:41:00 AMConstrux Nunchux
After about 4 years, Ian has finally picked up and left Chicago but wanted to commemorate the time he spent there as a resident. So to pay respects to one of the many ways in which his time in Chicago enriched his enrichment, Ian presents a short list of his 40 indispensible songs picked up during his time in Chicago (though they may not be contemporary, obscure or local, they all are the direct result of connections made in the Broad City).
1- Have I The Right by The Honeycombs
Within the 1st 2 months of living in Chicago, I learned about 1960's producer Joe Meek. This song is probably in my Top 5 of all time. Every element comes together for me on this one. The crisp and inventive production techniques and embellishments, the growls in the vocals, the footstomps (recorded on Joe Meek's wooden apartment stairs). Just everything on this song. Everything.
2- Lee by Sporto Kantes
Courtesy of Mark Korosi. A fantastic French blend of Big Beat and Club Pop, almost trashy enough to be a chart hit, and a very funky bass line that keeps asses in check. Fuckin love to hear this on headphones.
3- Gotta Be Real by Freddie Clean
Freddie Clean is the best songwriter I have ever heard in my entire life. So fuck you if you don't agree. A Raw Guru alum.
4- Night by Bill Callahan
Best "sad" song I have heard in ages. Bill Callahan's lyrics are really touching in their economy, near tautology and well-timed repetition. "We stand under it, but we don't understand it." Who else can get away with this?
5- Can't Cook Down by Cavedweller
Awesome one man band from Texas that Pandora gave me. This was the first song I heard from what quickly became one of my all time favorite records "The Best Version Of Gloria Ever Heard". And Dirk Michener knows we know about him!!!
6- Dirty Girl by Eels
An old song from a band I've enjoyed for a long long time. Two versions of this. The first one is Live At Town Hall that I first heard and replayed over and over. Then the album version which I have probably listened to a lot more since. It made a private concubine of mine cry when hearing it since she knew she'd leave me soon, and made me cry many times after she did. Wait a minute, I cry all the time anyway.
6- Bad In Bed by Jayne County
Everything, everything, I want to be as a performer.
7- Buzzards and Dreadful Crows by Guided By Voices
Thanks Pandora. I though GBV was a jamband for the longest time because of the name, but it turns out Bob Pollard simply IS rock and roll. Of course the first song I heard by them was I Am A Scientist but this one is more like, "mine". Also, Echoes Myron and the whole fuckin Bee THousand album is just fantastic.
8- What A Waste from Wonderful Town
One of the last from Lenny Bernstein, and cowritten with 4 other people. This particular song is catchy and clever and has an untoppable chorus. "What a waste of money and time." Never ever take yourself too seriously as an artist.
9- Old West Buckaroo by Jon MAK
JM is the founder of http://rawgururecords.bandcamp.com which has allowed me personally to encounter a handful of the best performers I've heard in a dog's age. In addition to that, JM has some really incisive material of his own. Though he'd never admit it, this song is catchy as well as touchingly pathetic (lyrically, that is). A good, unsuspecting heartbreaker.
10 Go Rio by Peelander-Z
Easily my favorite band these days which Kris tried to introduce me to some 5 years ago and I didn't take notice. Last year they played at the Taste of Randolph (documented in a previous cXnX post) and I have seen them 3 times since.
11 Straight Outta The Jungle by The Jungle Brothers
Always dug A Tribe Called Quest, but never looked into The Jungle Brothers. When I did, though...
12 Leave That Baby Alone by Saturday's Children
Chicago area garage label Dunwich released this.
13 Wild Honey by The Beach Boys
Thanks Fred. Life changing.
14 Op. 47 by Robert Schumann (by Ax-Stern-Laredo-Ma)
Turns out he's Yasujiro Ozu's favorite composer.
15 I Get The Papers by Audio Two
Start The Madness!!
16 Honnoji by The Zazen Boys
Japanese but nothing like Peelander.
17 The Privateers by Andrew Bird
Only ever heard one song of his while in Pittsburgh, but being the Chi is more his stompin ground, he's a bigger deal around here/there. Luckily for me.
18 Funky For You by Nice N Smooth
Only ever heard one track with Greg Nice on it before (Yo Yo Yo) but didn't know his style was so idiosyncratic and yknow... silly. He almost has me convinced that Dizzy Gillespe was known for playing the sax!
19 Walk It Off by The Breeders
Kim Deal is god. We all know that. I was about two years out of date when I finally gave Mountain Battles a spin. My mistake.
20 Still Wasted by Liam Lynch
Courtesy of Josh V.
21 I'm So Tired by Jack Flash
A Raw Guru and sorta mentor of mine. This is pure pop gold. Great chords, great vocal delivery and great crunchy distortion on the guitar! And nice simple, interpretive lyrics.
22 Singer-Songwriter by Okkervil River
A huge hit or miss band that's a big fuck off deal with the hipsters, but I could not stop listening to this song for about a month. I played it for Carissa and she looked at me and said, What's so great about it? I still don't know.
23 Light by Skybox
Super fey pop wit a dance beat but i love it. Thanks Korosi.
24 You Must Be Out Of Your Mind by Magnetic Fields
25 Hi It's Been A Long Time by Donovan
Technically heard in Pittsburgh, but during my Chicago residency. Can't be blamed for not yet knowin this one due to Donovan's massive catalog. Thanks JM!
26 Valhalla by K-OS
One of the first new songs I heard when out in the Chi, and one of the best and most inventive genuinely genre crossing songs I've ever known. Beck can go eat a fuck.
27 Nonsense Just Do Your Best by Michal
Simple tune about a bank robbery gone wrong by the sexiest Raw Guru on hand.
28 Fat Pockets by Showbiz and AG
29 Edtions Of You by Roxy Music
Thank you, Carissa.
30 Rule #7 by Motorboat
Charmingly simple tune and funny lyrics from the most legit band I got to meet through Raw Guru Records. "Just because we like it, that don't necessarily mean that we care."
31 Look The Other Way by The Busy Signals
An actual Chicago band!
32 Gus The Theatre Cat from Cats
Who'd've thunk I didn't know every minute of every syllable of every note of this musical at 5 years old. Gus makes me very very sad.
33 Look Who It Is by Helen Shapiro
34 Bear In Chains by Gorgeous Bully
35 Synthetic World by Swamp Dogg
36 Microphone Fiend by Eric B. and Rakim
In E-F-F-E-C-T, a smooth operator operatin correctly (So many reasons that line is
37 No Funerals by The Invisible Insects
I wrote this one.
38 Op 16 by Beethoven by Ax/Stern/Laredo/Ma
My roommate had a CD.
39 Uncontrollable Urge by The Mummies
Faithful version of a lesser known Devo track by a late 80's punk act with an awesome gimmick.
40 Rocketship by Don Drummond
Great story behind this guy and the choice here is interchangeable because pretty much all his songs are golden. Courtesy of Mark K.