How can you resist a compilation that is entitled "As a matter of fact I am the F****** Queen! - Smitten Songs for Lisa", as prepared by Jamie Smitten?
Especially when it includes the likes of Nerf Herder and REM. Mind, there isn't much else that is familiar to me...
So here's my review:
1) 100 Yard Dash - Raphael Saadiq
A gentle bit of funky soul to get the party started.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - new to me. Jamie described it as "kind of like the warm up at the start of exercise class" - that's a neat and accurate summary.
2) The Good Life - Cracker
Awh, Jamie you just made me want to watch 'The Prom' all over again (and failing that to re-read the awesome recap review on Television Without Pity).
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - Yep, but not in full. Fabulous. I'll be playing this track a lot.
3) Sorry - Nerf Herder
Hee hee - this is a classic frat boy apology song. Very funny. Too many hilarious lines to count.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - Heard of the band obviously. I'll be giggling at this for some time to come.
4) Banditos - The Refreshments
There's a definite feel of US college rock to this compilation. No bad thing in itself, though I probably haven't pursued much of the material myself in the past. Some fine guitar riffing though! "Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people" - oh so true.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - nope, apologies.
5) Everything's Cool- Lit
Party on dudes! This makes me think of the Bill and Ted films! Very cheery.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - again, apologies.
6) Fighter Girl - Mason Jennings
I can't quite put my finger on who his voice reminds me of: it's not Sir Leonard of Cohen, it's not quite Jonathan Richman either. But it reminds me of someone. Any clues who I may be thinking of?! It's starting to drive me mad!
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - Apparently I had two tracks by this artist already: two covers of Bob Dylan as appearing on the I'm Not There soundtrack collection. That reminds me: that IS a rather fine collection of covers.
7) 27th Ave Shuffle - Foxboro Hot Tubs
Here comes my 19th nervous breakdown... This could be the last time... Oops, sorry, I'm sure that's some very well inspired Stones ripping...
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - Again, nope, neither song nor artiste have previously hit my radar.
8) Story of My Life - Social Distortion
I love a bit of la-la-la-ing. This is apparently Mike Ness on 'nasal introspection'. I'm hearing a bit of early Stone Roses via the Clash in influences. Doesn't beat the classic track by Pere Ubu of a similar title, but then little actually could.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - God this is embarrassing: again, sorry, all new to me!
9) Living Well is the Best Revenge - R.E.M.
The barn-storming opening track to latest album 'Accelerate' and I'm very happy to get this track to myself at last (it's a complex story).
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - Phew: I'm not as out of touch with popular music as I thought. I have actually heard of this band. Mind, given how long they have been going that probably doesn't reflect well on me!
10) Do ya - Matthew Sweet
A fuzzy guitar and some nice R.E.M. links for this artiste. I like the middle section especially. I think I could be playing this track a fair bit - it has a lively feel and some frenetic oomph on the vocals, guitars and percussion. Like the 'thank you, both of you' muttered at the end.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - a passing awareness of the R.E.M. connection from reading too much about that band over the years (hanging with the George probably encouraged this!)
11) The Stoop - Little Jackie
Hell yeah, Jamie says this brings on the 'finger-snapping' and sheesh does it ever. I feel my shoulders move to the rhythm to the beat.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - *blush* How did I miss this cracking track?
12) A Change is Gonna Come - Seal
A Blue State anthem? This is a classic track - and is pretty much impossible to spoil. I've most recently heard Billy Bragg doing this track - and though Sam Cooke pretty much provided the definitive version, this lush version doesn't detract from its power.
Heard of before? (Track/Band) - Not heard this version before, but in the current context, it's mighty fine to hear.
The middle songs probably won't prove very memorable sadly, but there's a good handful of welcome tracks here that I'll be playing again for sure and looking into more from the artistes. So thank you! And I LOVE the CD cover (makes me feel so ashamed that my CD cover skills went belly-up when my printer died...)
Here's to Shuffleathon 2009!