Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hungry Valley: A Road Mix

As has been noted earlier, PCJ celebrated a birthday recently and acquired some mix cds from me to commemorate the auspicious occasion. Because she likes mix lists with commentary as much as she likes mix cds, I offer her "Hungry Valley". While it is a mix that is bigger on theme or ability to induce laughter than it is on musical genius, it still has some songs that were just chosen simply because I like them, and they happened to mention food.

Like beverage, food is a big part of road tripping. While I do make the occasional trip with others, PCJ and her sister are probably my favorite road trip companions. Somehow our road personalities just click. An inevitable part of road travel is that moment, when you realize that you are starving and you notice (save for foraging for nuts and berries in the wilderness) that there is no food for 50 miles. Hungry Valley was created for just such moments.

Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran: The rationale behind making this the opening song seems obvious to me. It has the added bonus of hearkening back to the 80's, otherwise known as the days of PCJ's youth, so it holds a double whammy - food AND nostalgia!

Breakfast at Tiffany's - The Breakfast at Tiffany's Guy: Sorry, but I don't know his name and I'm too lazy to look it up. More than that, though, it amuses me to refer to him (or is it a band?) as "The Breakfast at Tiffany's Guy". I think it's professional, like something a real music critic would do. Anyway, I remember liking this song when it first came out. I'm kind of over it now, but it does mention breakfast, so it does fit the HV criteria. Plus, I really DO remember the film and I recall that DID kinda like it. Actually, I liked it a lot and Audrey Hepburn was adorable in just about everything she did.

The Red Rose and the Briar - John Wesley Harding: This is one of the first JWH songs that I liked. It is a ballad of the sort that few people seem to write anymore today. Anymore, when people use "ballad", they're just talking about a non-rocking song. JWH's song is a ballad in the poetic sense of the word. It tells a developed story. It's a nice song, and the bulk of it takes place in a diner, hence the suitability for this mix.

Lady Marmelade - The Skanky Hos: While this may not be their real name, it is their true collective name. This was mostly put on because it had "marmelade" in the title, and because, sometimes when people are delirious with hunger, they will French Chef along with Lil' Kim on the "On on on..." (<-this MUST be read with a French nasal or don't bother reading it) part and giggle uncontrollably. Please Pass the Milk - They Might Be Giants: Short, classic, a must - especially since the mix has been low on beverages thusfar.

C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips - OK Go: There are three reasons why this song was included: 1) Cinnamon is a spice, therefore it can be eaten; 2) It mentions candy kisses and buttery eyes; 3) I LIKE it! It's just a fun song.

Don't Touch My Tomatoes - Joséphine Baker: Much like Ella Fitzgerald's "Stone Cold Dead in the Market" (which I just realize would have also fit on this mix), this song just has one of those rhythms that I find impossible to resist. The lyrics carry some double entendre in them, however, when I chose this song I chose it in the spirit of "Touch my food and you'll draw back a nub!", which is clearly NOT the spirit in which Miss Baker sang it. Either way, it's still a fun song.

Potato - Cheryl Wheeler: Ok. I will be the first to admit that there is something potentially annoying about listening to the word potato sung ad nauseum to the tune of The Mexican Hat Dance, but that's only the chorus. There are also several verses, which are also sung to Mexican Hat Dance, but have kind of funny lyrics that offer deep insight to the life of a potato, and are potentially annoying.

Queen of the Savages - The Magnetic Fields: Another Stephen Merritt gem AND it talks about yams, cabbages, and cannibalism. Clearly it was written with my future mix in mind. It's like Stephen and I are on the same wave length. Eerie.

Forbidden Fruit - Nina Simone: A cheery, bouncy song about how humanity was expelled from The Garden. Like Ella, Nina had a gorgeous voice. It's much deeper and fuller in timbre than Ella's was, but equally lovely. This song is more silly than anything else, but I highly recommend checking out some of her other work if you haven't already, because it really is compelling.

Sugar Daddy - From the Hedwig and the Angry Inch Soundtrack: This is a great song, because it's from a movie I love and it talks about candy, which clearly fits my theme. It also has references to Erich Hoeneker and Helmut Kohl, which appeals to the Hun in me. Plus, it's a great song to sing along with, which is important on a road trip.

Sweets for my Sweet - The Drifters: I have to admit that this is not my absolute favorite Drifters song, but it makes up for it by having that almost Latin beat that I like. Beyond that, it fit well into the candy portion of my mix.

Malted Milk - Eric Clapton: This song appeals to me, because I love blues and Eric Clapton is brilliant. It also amuses me that the drowning of sorrows is not being facilitated by gin or whiskey, but malted milk. Since this IS a road mix and we don't want to promote an upsurge in DWI's, Malted Milk just seemed safe and sensible.

I Want You - Savage Garden: This song makes no sense whatsoever, but was included for one reason and one reason only - that 2 second span where the words "chika cherry cola" are revealed.

One Week - Barenaked Ladies: In a nut shell: I like the song and it had too many food references to pass up. Plus, how many songs mention Kurosawa?

The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decembrists: Words fail to express just how much I love this song. It is a glorious story of vengance and being swallowed by a whale. My two favorite part about this song are 1) the protagonist's ghostly, consumptively weak mother, who urges her son to "Find him, find him, tie him to a pole and break his fingers to splinters; Put him in a hole until he wakes up, naked, clawing at the ceiling of his grave..." and 2) The fact that the mariner is thrilled that he and his victim both managed to survive being swallowed by a whale, because it affords him the possiblity of killing him himself. It's just a great song.

Dinner Bell - They Might Be Giants: This song takes me back to my California days. I remember one particular road trip between California and Oregon where this song (actually the whole CD it came from) figured prominently in our road show.

Is That You Modean? - The B-52's: God, I love me some Fred Scheider. He is just so cheesy and campy. How can anyone not love an alien abduction song that begins "Waiting for bus number 99/Going to the store for hot dogs and wine!/When all of a sudden, I felt real cold/And wound up in the belly of a big old UFO"? It's almost as good as Hot Pants. As with TMBG, this song reminds me a lot of a particular trip to California. I have very specific memories of bare feet hanging out the car window and singing selections from this CD at the top of our lungs as we drove through the mountainy, dry border area.

That's Amore - Dean Martin: It mentions pizza pie and it's cheesy - really cheesy.

Black Coffee - Julie London: I think it must be the slinky feather-boa-wearing opening that drew me. I don't even LIKE coffee.

Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot: What mix cd about food would be complete without a song about fat assed women? Enough said.


Jen said...

Is that you, Modean? It is I, Modean! You know what cracks me up, beyond this whole mix (which rocks and cracks mightily!)? That somehow the Fred Schneiderness was leaking out into the cosmos and caused me to ask if it was you, Modean on the phone the DAY you gave me this mix. Hee! I also remember listening to this in the car with you, but my memory is distinctly at night (although I am sure we listened to it a LOT), because I remember waiting for the spaceship to land on the freeway and complete the surrealness of shouting about going to the store for Hotdogs and Wine! in the middle of other conversations.
Baby Got Back also mentions Red Beans and Rice, so it's not just the fat ass that makes it worthy of the mix! And I'm with you on The Breakfast at Tiffany's Song Guy. If he wants to be known as something else, perhaps he should watch some more movies. I recommend How To Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. Then we can put it on a money mix!

PS: this mix is a mighty road mix, and you are one of my favorite road-tripping companions as well. It is a veritable love-fest here in P'hurst!

Martina said...

My memory is that there was a lot of Fred Schneidery goodness streaming from the stereo those days. He's just so campy you can't help but love him.

I'm glad it turned out to be a good road mix. Until it's been highway tested, you never can truly know. That reminds me, I am trying to get my free CD's from BMG used up. I'm thinking I may need to acquire some Old 97's, because I really liked those couple of songs we listened to on the way to Eastern Oregon, but I want some general suggestions from you (actually from anyone who might read this, but mostly that's you) on things I don't have but may need. Maybe I should make a formal call for music post. It's possible than that maybe two or even three people might read it, if I get a crowd going. Tee hee. SYL