Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well Red

For almost as long as I can remember, my friend Ellen has been teaching me new things. Recently she informed me, over beers, that David Lowery of Cracker is a redhead. This led to all sorts of conversation.

How does one make a redheads mix CD? Do authentic gingers get preference over impostors like David Bowie? Does the redhead need to be the bandleader? What if it's Ginger Baker? How many of Josh Homme's bands can I include?

This is all arbitrary of course, but it was fun to think about. Here's the result:

Well Red
  1. Gillian Welch, "My First Lover"
  2. Florence and the Machine, "Kiss with a Fist"
  3. Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows"
  4. Heart, "Crazy on You"
  5. Neko Case, "I Missed the Point"
  6. Julie Christmas, "If You Go Away"
  7. Cream, "I Feel Free"
  8. Megadeth, "Sweating Bullets"
  9. Mastodon, "Just Got Paid"
  10. David Bowie, "Sound and Vision"
  11. Bonnie Raitt, "I Feel the Same"
  12. Camper Van Beethoven, "Take the Skinheads Bowling"
  13. Juliana Hatfield Three, "My Sister"
  14. Tori Amos, "Crucify"
  15. Portishead, "Machine Gun"
  16. Phish, "Bouncing Around the Room"
  17. Willie Nelson, "City of New Orleans"
  18. Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins, "Rise Up with Fists!!!
  19. The Sex Pistols, "EMI"
  20. Guns N' Roses, "Paradise City"
One thing I like about theme mixes is that they prompt me to investigate new music. Gillian Welch was a gift from my buddy Ian, and a perfect tone-setter for a mix that ended up with a good dose of country. Ellen herself once gave me an excellent mix called Countryish, which is represented with the Bonnie Raitt and Neko Case tracks here.

Ellen is not a headbanger, although she's a good sport about my inability to compile 20 songs without a blast beat. Clearly I couldn't make a redhead mix that didn't include Dave Mustaine and Brent Hinds, so I tried to pick songs that she'd enjoy. I settled on Megadeth's theatrical "Sweating Bullets" and Mastodon's rollicking ZZ Top cover.

This mix actually ended up with more female singers (10) than almost any other that I've made. "Kiss with a Fist" mildly terrified me when I first heard it, but now I like it enough to stash it next to Queens of the Stone Age. I also found a new appreciation for Tori Amos (who usually gives me the creeps) and Portishead. On the other hand, Julie Christmas always takes my breath away, and the only problem with Jenny Lewis was picking just one project of hers to for Well Red.

With much respect to all these redheads, my all-time favorite was saved for last. Axl has probably appeared on nearly all of my mixes, and "Paradise City" has made it to at least half of them. I still can't start it unless I have the next seven minutes free.

What about David Lowery, who sparked the whole discourse? If you can find him here, I'll hook you up with a copy of Well Red.


Amber Alvarez said...

I wish I could comment on the cleverness of this post, but I am seeing red/blinded by rage at any potential knock at David Bowie.

Ben Apatoff said...

Bowie is one of my favorites! Even if he's not a real redhead, I couldn't imagine putting this mix together without him.

Ellen said...

I loooove my mix, Ben! And I think just knowing you makes me metal.