Friday, January 13, 2012


Surprise! My buddies Jenny and Bendy are gracing Brooklyn with a spontaneous visit. Just in time for me to hand them early birthday mix CDs.

Arch Madness

  1. Prince & the Revolution, "Let's Go Crazy"
  2. Local H, "High-Fivin' MF"
  3. Titus Andronicus, "A More Perfect Union"
  4. Patti Smith, "Because the Night"
  5. Hüsker Dü, "Makes No Sense at All"
  6. King's X, "It's Love"
  7. Jane's Addiction, "Been Caught Stealing"
  8. The Who, "The Seeker"
  9. Fishbone, "Bonin' in the Boneyard"
  10. Paul Westerberg, "Waiting for Somebody"
  11. The Specials, "Ghost Town"
  12. Little Richard, "Jenny, Jenny"
  13. Suicidal Tendencies, "Institutionalized"
  14. Liz Phair, "Stratford-On Guy"
  15. The Verve, "Lucky Man"
  16. Neil Young, "Rockin' in the Free World"
  17. Wild Flag, "Romance"
  18. Iggy Pop & Debbie Harry, "Well Did You Evah!"
  19. The Rolling Stones, "Connection"
  20. Joni Mitchell, "All I Want"
Discussing music and literature with Jenny is a pleasure that everyone should have--imagine a contagiously charming, female Nick Hornby. Thus, Arch Madness stars some of my favorite artists to talk and write about. "Let's Go Crazy" sets the bar impossibly high, so I followed up by whetting our appreciation for '90s rock. Middle schools favorites from Jane's Addiction and Local H are balanced by neo-altrock heroes like Titus Andronicus and Wild Flag. Knowing Jenny, I also had to include Paul Westerberg and Keith Richards, represented by Paul's less appreciated track from Singles and one of Keith's finest singing moments in the greatest band of all time.

Jenny has the heart of an old school punk and ska fanatic. I tend to be picky about horn sections in my rock n' roll, but there's nothing I could do to resist the best of Fishbone or the Specials.

Couple of questions, for all three of you readers:
  1. Jenny is a librarian, so of course I had to include Patti Smith. All of her songs that aren't on Horses sound better on mix CDs, right?
  2. Has anyone else ever been a Hüsker Dü fan for at least ten years without ever hearing Flip Your Wig? What was I thinking?

Achtung, Bendy:

My Music and Still Your Fault
  1. Devin Townsend, "ZTO"
  2. Strapping Young Lad, "You Suck"
  3. Ol' Dirty Bastard & Macy Gray, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart"
  4. Weird Al Yankovic, "Dare to be Stupid"
  5. Butthole Surfers, "Lady Sniff"
  6. Body Count, "KKK Bitch"
  7. Cypress Hill, "Dr. Greenthumb"
  8. Dead Kennedys, "Viva Las Vegas"
  9. Rush, "Tom Sawyer"
  10. Wu-Tang Clan, "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'"
  11. Jerry Lee Lewis, "Meat Man"
  12. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, "Skunk"
  13. Prince, "Sexy MF"
  14. Kid Rock, "Bawitdaba"
  15. Mötley Crüe, "Kickstart My Heart"
  16. Body Count, "Evil Dick"
  17. AC/DC, "Big Balls"
  18. Whitesnake, "Here I Go Again"
  19. Lard, "They're Coming to Take Me Away"
  20. The Meters, "They All Ask'd for You"
Bendy once bestowed upon me a mix entitled It's Not My Music but it is My Fault. I still don't know if the music was really his or not (he may have been trying to cover his ass--he did hand me a disc that included the Glee rendition of "Total Eclipse of the Heart") but in any case most of his mix had me in stitches. Here's where I get my revenge--this time, my music and his fault.

As you can probably guess, Bendy is one of the funniest people I know. His birthday mix is a blast to make, and is usually comprised of songs I wouldn't put on anyone else's mixes. ODB and Macy Gray dementing "Don't Go Breaking My Heart?"* Al Jourgensen and Jello Biafra making the already interminable "They're Coming to Take Me Away" four times as long? The grossest Butthole Surfers song of all time? Whitesnake?

Most people would probably stop talking to me if I gave them this mix, but that's part of what makes Bendy special. As crazy as I am for Body Count and everything Devin Townsend touches, I couldn't put either of them on a mix for just anyone. It's almost like the Island of Misfit Toys for sick, abrasive and funny-as-hell music, with a few classics thrown in for flavor.

Looking over the tracklist, many of these artists are represented by their most shameful, least exemplary music. Between "Sexy MF," "Dr. Greenthumb," "Big Balls" and "They All Ask'd For You," I may as well have thrown in "My Ding-a-Ling" by Chuck Berry with them. All I can think of is Charles Bukowski's The Best Love Poem I Can Write at the Moment, wherein he asserts that if you can't love someone's bowels as much as you love the good parts, "that ain't complete love."

Anyway, many happy returns, Bendy and Jenny! Thank you for making time for your New York Fan Club.

*A treat from my sister.


Icy Daylight said...

"A contagiously charming, female Nick Hornby" <-- hands-down one of the all-time best compliments I have received, ever. I can't wait to listen to this mix in the car when we're shipping up to Boston tomorrow... Thank you!

Ben Apatoff said...

I am very honored that you read my blog. Travel safe keep me posted on everything!