Mashups and Mixes Take Center Stage on New Collection
Written by John M. James
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
Back in the day when the vinyl LP ruled the world, one of the greatest thrills a record collector could stumble upon was the odd, privately pressed “bootleg” album – a secret, magical experience in which rabid fans met outlaw commerce, demanding that live concerts and other unsanctioned recordings be set free. Often hit-or-miss in terms of sound quality, one surefire way to pick a winner was to look for those LPs stamped with the image of a portly American Yorkshire hog and the words “Trade Mark of Quality.” Bootlegging the bootlegger, Cleopatra Records uses that iconic image and the “swinging pig” logo to grace the cover of its new “underground” three-CD set, This Is Remixed Hits: Mashups & Rare 12-Inch Remixes. Highlights include a Razed in Black remix of Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” that sounds like a Nine Inch Nails outtake, Funkstar De Luxe’s thumping reconstruction of Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady,” and a Sigue Sigue Sputnik remix of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” that sounds like a lost Zodiac Mindwarp session. The set features two more must-hear mashes: the Swing Cats’ “surf guitar” remix of Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly” that could make a great game-show theme, and KRS-ONE giving Stephen Pearcy of Ratt a real smackdown in his rock-versus-rap mashup of “Round & Round.”
Cover conniptions are due next week in Warner Brothers’ release of the sixth companion soundtrack CD to the Fox Television series The O.C., titled The O.C. Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks, with Rouge Wave, Tally Hall, Syd Matters, The M’s, and Mates of State – who turn in a version of the show’s theme, “California,” by Phantom Planet. A few hits get the cover treatment, with Lady Sovereign’s storm through the Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant” and John Paul White’s take on Electric Light Orchestra’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” but most contributors have picked personal favorites a bit more under the radar, selecting songs from Mazzy Star, Modest Mouse, Black Flag, The Killers, and Clinic.
A new limited-edition series of “split” seven-inch singles from American Laundromat Records debuts in December with a song salute on both sides. With only 500 hand-numbered copies pressed, you’d best raise your hand early for a copy, featuring The Caulfield Sisters nibbling on “Some Candy Talking” by Jesus & Mary Chain and France’s Julie Peel putting her hand to “Divine Hammer” by The Breeders. … Speaking of covers: Check out Willie Nelson’s lonesome take on a golden nugget from Cake, “Sad Songs & Waltzes,” on his new Songbird CD. Substituting The Cardinals’ pedal-steel guitar and harmonica for Cake’s horns, Nelson puts a campfire comfort to one of the wittiest “she done me wrong” songs ever.
Fans of the ultra-smooth Friends of Dean Martinez can mutter “snap” this coming Tuesday, as the band contributes almost half the soundtrack to the new docu-dram-edy Fast Food Nation. Other artists on the Park the Van Records CD include Spoon, Elvis Perkins, Secretary Bird, The Capitol Years, and La Sinfonia.
Looking ahead, one of the best albums of the past 12 months gets a well-deserved reissue on December 12, and this time, listeners won’t have to worry about where they play it. It may have sounded like a good idea at the time, but Sony Music’s stealth inclusion of malicious rootkit software inside the initial pressing of Neil Diamond’s 12 Songs CD bumped the album from rotation across the country, as plenty of folks were rightfully angered by the sneaky, insidious, Big Brother software. Free from such entanglements, the expanded reissue features a bonus disc of “12 Sketches,” a song-for-song re-creation of the album made up of demos and alternative takes. Two new songs make the date as well, including “Delirious Love” with guest Brian Wilson.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes the Barenaked Ladies on Thursday and Corinne Bailey Rae on Monday; Late Night with Conan O’Brien hosts My Morning Jacket this evening overnight, Sarah McLachlan on Friday overnight, and Joan Jett on Monday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson boasts Sparta this evening overnight and Joseph Arthur on Friday overnight; Jimmy Kimmel Live is serenaded by the amazing Jenny Lewis this evening overnight; Austin City Limits’ musical guest this weekend is Cat Power and the Raconteurs; and Saturday Night Live’s musical guest this weekend is Tenacious D.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, December 5:
… and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.
Apocalypto – original motion picture soundtrack (Hollywood) score by James Horner
Babyshambles – The Blinding (Capitol) five-track CD EP
Emma Bunton – Life in Mono (Universal) import-only, featuring her cover of Petula Clark’s “Downtown”
The Cure – Festival 2005 (Geffen) DVD documenting the band’s European tour
Dreamgirls – original motion picture soundtrack (Columbia) opening in theaters on Christmas
Eminem – Eminem Presents: The Re-Up (Shady/Interscope) “underground” mixtape compilation, introducing Shady Records’ new stable of artists including Bobby Creekwater, Stat Quo, and Ca$his
PJ Harvey – Peel Sessions 1991-2004 (Island/Fontana) special vinyl LP edition
Lee Hazelwood – Cake or Death (BPX1992 Records) deathbed release featuring a new take on “These Boots Were Made for Walking”
Matthew Ryan – From a Late Night High-Rise (00:02:59 Records) eerie, personal debut that flutters from the fragile to the obsessed
Metallica – The Videos: 1989-2004 (Warner Bros) DVD collecting every video the band has made, including the first time on DVD for “2 of One”
Gwen Stefani – Harajuka Lovers Live (Interscope) live DVD filmed in her hometown of Anahein, California, featuring a backstage documentary
Gwen Stefani – The Sweet Escape (Interscope) new CD with producers Linda Perry and Pharrell Williams, and guests Dave Stewart, Tony Kanal, Swizz Beats, and Tim Rice-Oxley
Stink Mitt – The Red Album (Cochon) Canadian retro-wave-funk trio that blips and pops like Yaz meets Cameo, recently touring with Peaches and the Eagles of Death Metal
Yes – Essentially Yes (Eagle Rock) five-DVD box set featuring a live concert from 2003
various artists – Asian Dreamland (Putumayo Kids) tranquil lullabies from the other side of the world, benefiting the Worldwide Orphans Foundation
various artists – Oh! You Pretty Things: The Songs of David Bowie (Castle) import-only tribute CD featuringLou Reed, Peter Noone, Ava Cherry, the Astronettes, and both Lulu’s and John Mellencamp’s take on “Man Who Sold the World”