Saturday, April 01, 2006

Mixmania: Guilty Pleasure/Desert Island

It's Mixmania time again and this time, it was challenging for a couple of reasons. For one thing, there was the theme…or should I say themes? This time around, two discs were required as one was to be a disc of guilty pleasures and another one that you'd want to have on a desert island. Plus, I bought a new computer recently and I had to learn to use the new burning software that came with it. All told, it took me a while to finish these particular mixes. In fact, I ended up sending the discs to my match a few days late. Nonetheless, here are my song lists, with comments as always.

Guilty Pleasures: I've reviewed a variety of music on my blog and Blog Critics including hip-hop, rock, R & B, electronica, and even anime soundtracks. I have no qualms about reviewing such a wide variety of stuff…so what kind of songs would be guilty pleasures for me? Well, as you'll see, guilty pleasures for me are goofy, stupid, funny, and just plain strange.

1. "Steal My Sunshine" by Len: This is an example of the beat making me like a song. By all counts, this song is incredibly stupid. The singing isn't good and the lyrics are terrible. However, the sampled beat is very good. It's so good, that I enjoy listening to this song.

2. "Still Tippin' (Screwed & Chopped)" by Mike Jones feat. Slim Thug and Paul Wall: I'll never forget when I first saw the video for this song (it was the original version). I hated it. I sat there like "What the hell?" I watched as this song slowly became more and more popular. It went from Rap City to regular BET to MTV Jams and then, to MTV itself. I saw it every time I watched videos. Eventually, it kind of grew on me. However, it wasn't until I saw the Screwed & Chopped video on MTV Jams did I finally like the song. The version I put on my disc isn't the same one I saw in the video, but it's close enough.

3. "Schnitzelbank" from Animaniacs: I am a big fan of Animaniacs and this silly song was one of my favorites from the show. It's cute and incredibly silly as it gets crazier and crazier. The cartoon itself is a little funnier because you can see the man get angrier as the cartoon went on. However, this is still a lot of fun.

4. "I'm Lonely" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins: I first heard this song at the end of a B-movie with Rosie Perez. I liked "I Put A Spell On You" and this song hooked me. I love the beat to this song and it's easy to sing along with. This is really more of a guilty pleasure because I don't know anyone who isn't annoyed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins's screaming.

5. "Soramimi Keeki" by Oranges & Lemons from Azumanga Daioh: Azumanga Daioh is one of my all-time favorite anime series and the minute I heard this fluffy song open the show, I knew I liked it. I don't know Japanese but whenever I hear this song, I sing along. It's just so…damn…cute.

6. "Cha Cha Slide (Part 2)" by Casper: Okay, this isn't really a guilty pleasure per se. It's one of those songs that was really popular for a while but isn't anymore. In fact, I bet people would start doing the cha cha slide if this suddenly came on in a club…or maybe not.

7. "O Fortuna" by Carl Orff: There probably isn't a person who hasn't heard a portion of this somewhere. I enjoy this whole piece, not just the part everyone knows.

8. "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" by Laziest Men On Mars: Time to show my age (Internetwise, anyway). Remember, that brief time when this was all the rage? Remember the flash file with all the signs photoshopped to say that phrase? Do you remember that the whole thing was inspired by a horrible translation of dialogue from a Sega Genesis/Arcade game? Do you? Was I the only one who enjoyed the song for some reason? Am I the only one to admit that?

9. "Spam" from Monty Python's Flying Circus: I like Monty Python and this particular skit is just so damn funny in audio form. In fact, I heard this skit before I ever saw it.

10. "Forces" by Susumu Hirasawa from Berserk: Berserk is a very good anime, but the music felt like it was 10 years behind the times. While I could've easily put the Engrish-heavy opening and closing songs, I opted to put this song, which is really a guilty pleasure for me. It's the song that plays whenever the next episode preview was shown. Despite the fact that it sounds like something that should have been made in the mid 1980's, it's so good yet so bad at the same time.

11. "Laffy Taffy" by D4L: I think fans of real hip-hop tend to hate shallow songs like this out of principle. Nothing makes such a fan angrier than something like this becoming popular and taking away radio airtime from better artists. This is a song that annoyed the crap out of me when I first heard it. Now, it makes me laugh. I still think it's terrible but it's terrible in a fun way. I just turn off my brain (and it's critical center) and mindlessly attempt to do the dance.

12. "Hindi Sad Diamonds" from Moulin Rouge: I really enjoyed Moulin Rouge and this song was one of my favorites in the movie. The combination of Bollywood music and electronic rhythms sounded incredibly cool to me. I guess I consider this a guilty pleasure because Moulin Rouge is a movie that you either love or hate.

13. "Untitled" by Oval: Okay, this is a true guilty pleasure in that I'm almost ashamed to say that I like this. There was a point in college where I got into IDM or Intelligent Dance Music (The name is sort of an oxymoron because there is no way in hell anyone could dance to IDM). IDM sounds incredibly different from "normal" music. It's filled with odd sounds and doesn't conform to normal musical standards. This particular song by Oval basically sounds like a CD skipping and is filled with strange sounds. To most people, it's noise. To me, it sounds oddly enjoyable.

14. "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega: I bet this will be on a lot of peoples' lists. This is the ultimate guilty pleasure. No one will admit to liking this song but everyone knows it and may even listen to it every so often. Here's a funny fact…my aunt actually bought and enjoyed Lou Bega's album.

15. "Raspberry Heaven" by Oranges & Lemons from Azumanga Daioh: (See Song #5 above)

16. "Sippin' On Some Sizzurp" by Three 6 Mafia: Before they became Oscar winners, I actually liked some of Three 6 Mafia's songs. In fact, I like both of the songs that have been released from their current album. This was the first song of theirs that I remember enjoying.

17. "The Percolator" by Unknown (If you know, tell me!): This song takes me back. I'll never forget when this was popular. My cousin was the only one I knew who could do this dance. I don't really know why I put this song on this disc.

18. "Kentucky Fried Chicken Commercial Bloopers" by Colonel Sanders: I end this disc with a really hilarious guilty pleasure. I know that you're not supposed to laugh at old people acting old and senile but dammit, this thing cracks me up every single time I hear it. The part when he tries to say the words "Most folks" always has me in tears.

Desert Island: Picking the songs for this disc was hard. If I ever got stranded on a desert island, I would somehow find a way to have my CD books wash up on shore with me.

1. "Airbag" by Radiohead: Radiohead's OK Computer is one of my all-time favorite albums and frankly, changed the way I listened to music. I decided to pick the opening song of the album to remind me of its greatness. I pretty much have most of the album committed to memory anyway.

2. "Raspberry Beret" by Prince: I've always been a big fan of Prince and I definitely wanted one of his songs on my disc. I didn't have time to find a copy of "Purple Rain," the song I really wanted to use so instead, I used this readily available (and very good) song.

3. "Tank!" by Yoko Kanno from Cowboy Bebop: There is so much depth and variety in Yoko Kanno's work that narrowing it down to just one song is damn near impossible. However, I chose this song as a sentimental favorite. It was her work scoring Cowboy Bebop and Escaflowne that made me a fan in the first place.

4. "Gin And Juice" by Snoop Dogg: I guess this can best be described as the essential Snoop Dogg song. I know this song by heart and it's a song that I always listen to whenever I hear it. Unlike the equally classic "Nuthin' But A G Thang," I have never gotten tired of this song.

5. "The Next Movement" by The Roots: I wish I had a couple of CDs to do the whole Desert Island thing with. When deciding on a song by The Roots, I had to pick between four songs from Things Fall Apart (my favorite album of theirs). I settled on this one…somehow.

6. "Star Guitar" by The Chemical Brothers: Dig Your Own Hole was one of the first electronic music albums I ever bought. A song from that album might have been here if my copy wasn't broken. Here in its place is a song that is always a must listen whenever I hear it.

7. "ATLiens" by OutKast: Even though OutKast has released good album after good album, my favorite is still ATLiens. The title song is one of my favorites from the album.

8. "Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt" by DJ Shadow: I loved both of DJ Shadow's studio albums and this song was one of the first I heard from him. The infectious combination of powerful drums and a great piano riff make it just wonderful.

9. "Big Poppa" by The Notorious B.I.G.: I took a listen to Ready To Die recently and I had forgotten how many good songs were on that album. I could've picked any song on there (as well as 90% of the stuff on Life After Death) but in the end, I picked "Big Poppa" because more so than any other song, it's what I feel is synonymous with Biggie.

10. "Right Here, Right Now" by Fatboy Slim: Remember when I said that The Chemical Brothers' Dig Your Own Hole was one of the first electronic albums I had ever bought? Well, Fatboy Slim's You've Come A Long Way, Baby was one of the first as well (for the record, the very first one was Vegas by The Crystal Method). This song was probably my favorite song from that album to not get a video and it wasn't as played out as "The Rockefeller Skank" or "Praise You."

11. "Ice Cream" by Raekwon feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man & Cappadonna: The Wu had to be represented on this disc, so I decided to put a song from Raekwon's classic solo debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and one that features another Wu member with great solo work, Ghostface Killah.

12. "Dawn Chorus" by Boards Of Canada: I have never been more impressed with a song than I am with this one. It is my single favorite Boards of Canada song.

13. "Electric Relaxation" by A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders, the third album by A Tribe Called Quest, was the one that made me a fan. Even though I recognize that Peoples' Instinctive Travels… and The Low End Theory are classics, Midnight Marauders remains my favorite ATCQ album. This song is one of my favorites from that album.

14. "You Know My Steez" by Gang Starr: Do you know how much I like this song? I once performed it for a grade in a class about performance of poetry. Let's recap this. Me. Rapping. In front a class that was majority white and had never heard of Gang Starr. Yes, I like this song.

15. "Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Elliott: Miss E…So Addictive is Missy's best album and this song was one of the best on that album.

16. "N.Y. State Of Mind" by Nas: Illmatic is a classic. I know it's said often, but it's the truth. I don't why I ended up picking this song to use, but it's a great song by a great artist.

17. "Dear Mama" by 2Pac: I decided to end this disc with a song by the late, great 2Pac. Instead of picking one of the numerous songs he made about thug life, I picked what is probably the best hip-hop tribute to a mother.


  1. I signed up for the mixmania thing because you posted about it on the blogcritics group. I had fun, so thanks for telling us about it :)

  2. Even though I'm the one who matched everybody up this time, it was all done via the luck of the draw, and I feel like I won the Grand Prize!!! I LOVE the cd's, and thank you so very, very much.

    Now I understand why you commented about Steve Conte on my blog! Hey, it might be anime, but the musicianship absolutely rocks.

    Again, thank you. You sent me two really superior mixes.

  3. Running commentary:

    GP Disk:
    Len - Yay! I would've included it on mine, had I really thought about it. Yeah, I like the beat, too (especially that dorky cowbell)...

    Screamin' Jay - excellent choice. I almost got into a bar fight once because some jerk couldn't handle this when I plugged it into a juke box.

    Orff - my kids HATE when I play this (though I'm sure they'd dig all the cartoon/anime stuff you mixed!).

    DI Disk:
    Radiohead - it doesn't surprise me that we'd both include a cut from OK Computer on our DI disks.

    Prince - I considered this cut; btw, I have a live cut of him combining Purple Rain and Auld Lang Syne for a New Year's concert that is sublime that I'll send to you, if you like (let me know).

    Damn, I like all the hip-hop and I wish I knew the genre as well as you. We're almost to-a-T on the electronica.

    I'm about to post the next mixmania! and I'm counting on ya' again!!!