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Chill out album reviews, by Freddie B.
Picking the albums, 1990-2000
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The Show:

James Lileks    Poor Man's Speedball
DJ: James Lileks
Perfect For: Drinking coffee and liquor simultaneously
Date: April 12, 2001
Length: 1:18
Average Rating: [an error occurred while processing the directive]

LISTEN (MP3, 128K)

Description: Drastic mood changes and AM detritus.

The Poor Man's Speedball mix is perfect for twitchy nicotine fits, excess coffee consumption, late-night bouts of maudlin regret and gently inebriated sessions of head-nodding appreciation. Nothing accoustic. A few fragments from old radio dramas, spliced inexpertly into the music. Occasional by-God American Century Hitler-kicking swing leavened with New Wave 70s classics, ruined by heartless techno.

Set #1
1.   Johnny Dollar       Spoken intro from 40s radio show
2. Supergirl Shonen Knife. A caffinated opening tune. I liked them back before they could play their instruments.
3. Ali Click Brian Eno. "A Better Tomorrow mix." I've added Chow Yun Fat demanding that you apologize to his rice. I suggest you comply.
4. Run Lola Run Anita Hill's Chicken Heart mix
5. I Knew the Bride Nick Lowe & Rockpile, live at a 1977 Stiff records concert; Dav Edmunds on guitar
6. Nanana Royal Crescent Mob. I usually don't like this sort of goofy music, but I like this. I added Ned Flanders; he just fit.
7. P. Harvey Sage Advice.
8. Help Me Somebody Byrne & Eno. A pioneering work of sampling from the early early 80s, this features some shouting preacher taped off the radio. Back then we called it "found art."
9. Gene & Eddie, '49 Mercury Blues Brian Setzer. The man's an encyclopedia of American rock. The latter song contains some of the crunchiest guitar of 2000.
Set #2
10. Oh Honey! Gloria Wood. Really.
11. B.L.O.S.S.O.M Komeda. Do the Right Thing: purge.
12. Unemployed Spoken fragment from 40s radio show
13. Yesterday, When i was Mad Pet Shop Boys. One of 45,342 remixes; this is the noisiest
14. Girl of My Dreams Bram Tchaikovsky. One of those songs that just deserves to be heard every other year or so.
15. This Song Television. From the '93 reunion album. Takes me right back to 1977, except now we're all 40 years old.
Set #3
16. Suspicion of Love Chris Isaak. From his "surely he'll be a big pop star really soon" phase, also known as 1985-1993. Spoken words at the beginning taken from the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio show.
17. Rockin' into Your Heart Julie Cruise. Worth it for the sax. Warning: there's not much sax. The entire show nearly grinds to a dead halt somewhere in this song, but God help me. I love it.
18. I'm Slitting My Wrists Over You Patsy Cline. Or words to that effect.
19. To Step Aside PSB. Count on these fellows for operatic narcissistic anguish - and you'll get it! Bonus points for indiginous children and folk guitar.
20. Five Months Louis Prima slaps us awake.
Set #4
21. I'll Be Glad When You're Dead Two recordings, spliced together. The first is some English band, and is used here to prove that Brits couldn't swing in pre-Hitler era if you held an umbrella to their temple. The second is Jack Teagardenís version; listen for the bandmember arguing in the background.
22. Caledonia Woody Herman. Probably came out of some jam sessions, this is a loose and messy tune. Stay with it - around a minute and a half into the song, the entire band lets loose with one of those battle-of-the-band moments that parts your hair and smooths out all wrinkles if you're standing too closely. To get the full effect, imagine that you're about 24, on a dance floor with a new girlfriend, you're back from the war, you have a new car and it's June first: that about sums up the mood.
23. This Cat's on a Hot Tin Roof Okay, another by Mr. Setzer & Band. Sorry. It rocks.
24. The Beast Milt Bruckner. Swank 50s organ.
25. The Jetsons No, I'm not kidding. The first 40 seconds of this piece are, I maintain, the most amazing piece of music written in the 1960s. I don't know how you begin to write this, let alone get the band to play it. The stop-this-crazy-thing sequence is included, and you can tell it's all edited and spliced together from one sumbitchin' session - just listen to that horn player go absolutely nuts toward the end.
26. Orange Blossom Special Hillbilly Trance. I've never been much of a fan for show-boatin' speed-pickin' for its own sake, but this version by the Hellecasters is one of the reasons why, in 1994, I laid down my Strat for good. Salieri says: "Too Many Notes!" Youíll say "SWEET jaysus." Seven minutes of this. Pity the drummer.
27. Route 66 Nelson Riddle. You'll never be cool enough to have this as your theme song. Winston Smith's next door neighbor and several members of the Canadian Broadcast Company return you to your regular musical selections.
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