Brittle Innings, by Michael Bishop, is a novel about a young man who signs with a Class C minor league baseball team in Georgia during WWII. While there he learns about life, baseball, girls, and discovers some strange goings on, including a couple of monsters. So, here is a mix with songs about coming of age, baseball, girls, and strange goings on.
1) If you were making a soundtrack for your life so far, this song would have to be on it.
"Chemistry" -- Semisonic
My best friend got a chemistry set when I was in fifth grade, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Still think chemistry pretty cool, some forty odd years later.
2) A song from one of the CDs currently in your 1) car stereo 2) portable CD player 3) stereo (No MP3 or iPod players, just cause)
"Pete Rose Affinity" -- Summer Hymns
Baseball has been my passion even longer than chemistry. When I got the song list, the CD that was sitting in my truck's CD player was Hayden's "Air We Breathe 2003" mix CD that he'd sent me the week before. It's a great mix with a lot of songs that I like, but this is the one that stuck in my mind, since the mix arrived a couple of days after the release of Rose's book.
3) A song from the first album, cassette, or CD (whichever was first or the oldest that you still have access to) that you purchased for yourself.
"What Did You Learn In School Today" -- the Chad Mitchell Trio
This is a cover of a Tom Paxton song that appeared on the album Reflections. My mother actually bought the album, but my seventh grade self appropriated it for my very own, and I played it to death on our old record player. In the intervening years I bought vinyl and CD copies to replace the original. The Chad Mitchell Trio tended to be more topical (or "irreverent," as they used to say on the back of the album covers) than their better known rivals, the Kingston Trio, mixing classic folk songs with more edgy (for the time) material. Roger McGuinn was a sideman for the group on their early albums, and John Denver got his start with them later on.
4) A song without a word in its title.
"1 + 1 = 2" -- Lou Bega
The main reason I own this song is because of a Sprint commercial of a few years back that featured Sela Ward dancing to this song. Guh! Plus, I liked the arithmetical segue from the CMT song into this one.
5) A song from the year you were born (we'll take written, recorded, or released)
"Unforgettable" -- Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole sure could sing, you know. I was born in 1952, so I didn't really have a pile of acceptable (to me) songs to choose from. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "Jambalaya (on the Bayou)" were the only others I really considered using. I just thought this one fit the theme better.
6) A song with the name of someone in this music swap in it (doesn't have to be in the title)
"David Duchovny" -- Bree Sharp
David even makes the title. A great song about fandom. I once started writing a filk to it in honor of the Bitches, but only got as far as "William the Bloody, Why won't you love me?" The truth is out there.
7) A song in a language other than English.
"Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" -- the Beatles
"Come, give me your hand," takes on a whole new meaning when you consider evil hand issues. This is one of the two songs the Beatles released in German, the other being "Sie Liebt Dich."
8) A song with a city or state/province name (countries don't count).
"Done With Bonaparte" -- Mark Knopfler
This song mentions Moscow, Austerlitz, and Aquitaine. After the Kinks, Knopfler is probably my favorite artist, both with Dire Straits and as a solo performer. It's not often you come across a song about Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Not all monsters are nine feet tall. Also, Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein in 1816, the year after the Battle of Waterloo.
9) Say you're planning a multi-day road trip, this song could go on every mix you make for the trip.
"Gypsy Blood" - Mason Ruffner
It was Gypsy blood that got Angelus in trouble. Great road tune, with Dave Edmunds joining Ruffner on guitar.
10) A song by a local artist.
"Passionate Kiss" -- Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard is world famous in Rhode Island. He was a founding member of Roomful of Blues, later a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and has had a long solo career as well. The cut was even recorded locally.
11) A song with a color in the title (bonus points for pink, negative points for raspberry beret)
"Big Brown Shoes" -- the Blue Sparks from Hell
Ever notice how most monsters have really big feet? Color in the title and the band name. This is a cover of an Omar and the Howlers song by a local band from northwest New Jersey. I used to go see them with my brothers whenever I was down that way. They always put on a great show. This is also my entry in the stump Jon and David category.
12) It's 5am, your alarm is going off, this song would still make you smile.
"My Favorite Spring" -- Tom Paxton
Back to baseball with my favorite Paxton song.
13) Either a cover you thought was an original or an original you thought was a cover (identify in case we may not know which & if a cover, identify the original artist)
"Meet Me on the Corner" -- Henry Gross
Gross went from founding member of Sha Na Na to folk rocker in the mid-seventies, when he released a couple good albums and one big hit ("Shannon"). I first saw him when he opened for the Holland-era Beach Boys when I was in college. This is my favorite track of his, and until a couple of years ago I thought he'd written it, too. Then I came across an mp3 of the same song by the British folk group, Lindisfarne. Turns out they wrote it, not Henry. Still, I like his version better.
14) A song that is about a specific movie or book or at least mentions a specific movie or book. (identify which one if it is not mentioned by name)
"King Kong" - the Kinks
Another of Ray's rants about the folks who control the money controlling the world, written about the time he was realizing how bad his song writing deal was. It appears on The Kink Kronikles, which everyone should own a copy of.
"Cooksferry Queen" -- Richard Thompson
One night coming home from Victor's, I put this song on repeat, and listened to it over and over again all the way back from Worcester. I just love the images Thompson paints in it.
16) A song that has reached number one on a Billboard chart (state which chart and when).
"Mrs. Robinson" - Lemonheads
Number one on the Billboard charts for Simon and Garfunkel in June 1968. I went with the Lemonheads cover because I originally had another S&G song earlier in the mix. Dropped that one, but decided to stay with this version.
17) It's a little bit country/it's a little bit rock and roll - this song doesn't fit a category as far as you're concerned.
"Murder (Or a Heart Attack)" - Old 97's
A missing loved one leads to a nasty death. Old fashioned country rock & roll.
18) I hate the artist, but I love the song.
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" -- Green Day
This was the first thing I'd heard from Green Day, so I decided to listen to some of their other stuff. Boy, was I disappointed. I never did find another one of their songs that I would listen to more than once. Not my cup of tea at all.
19) Wha? If anyone can tell me what this song is about, give me a call. (no fair using Mansfield Park)
"I Eat Heavy Metal" -- John Lee Hooker (with Pete Townshend)
This is from Pete Townshend's album The Iron Man, the musical he wrote based on the Ted Hughes book. (The book was later made into the animated movie The Iron Giant). Hooker sings the title role, and this is a song about what the giant likes to have for lunch. I actually do know what the song is about, but only because I read the liner notes. I put it in this category because I often find it impossible to understand what Hooker is singing.
20) Guilty Pleasure or I am embarrassed that I like it song.
"Midnight Star" -- Weird Al Yankovic
I enjoy Weird Al in small doses. I think his "The Saga Begins" may be the greatest filk ever written, even if it did spoil me for the end of The Phantom Menace. This is one of his originals.
21) TV theme song
"Love Is All Around" -- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
"You've got spunk... I hate spunk."
22) An unrequited love song.
"Piazza, New York Catcher" -- Belle & Sebastian
This is my current favorite song. The only reason I have it is because they were playing it over the PA in Newbury Comics one night when I was in there. I'd never heard of Belle & Sebastian before. The album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress is all pop, and much fun.
23) A song you love just for the title.
("Chemistry" - Semisonic)
Hit the repeat button and go back to the top of the playlist. I got this song originally just for the title, and liked it enough that it's the first track on this mix.