The Ultimate Driving Mixtape*


I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with my mental state. I’m off in the head.

For the past month and a half, my girlfriend has been in the hospital and I’ve managed to visit her three or four times a week. This is a bit of an inconvenience as she’s about an hour drive away**.

So last week I took a vacation day… to drive two hours in the other direction and take an introduction to solar energy systems and design class in the southern part of the state. It wasn’t until I was cruising back on the highway that I realized this isn’t something most people do. In fact, most people would probably say I’m in desperate need of a psychiatrist.

And after I finish installing these solar panels and save on my electric bill I’ll make an appointment.

The insane part is that I actually enjoy the drive. Southern Ohio/Northern West Virginia is filled with beautiful scenery. It was a gorgeous day, and I got to enjoy it in my own way.

The best part is that my new*^ car has one of those newfangled ‘radio’ contraptions so I was able to listen to music the whole way. When I needed a break from the Creedence CD I brought along I was able to scan through the stations and usually land on something descent that made time pass a little quicker.

This got me thinking “what would be on the ultimate driving playlist?” And because one of my hobbies is blogging I had to turn it into something.

Granted, most of this is low hanging fruit, but give me a break; I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately.


Tom Cochran “Life is a Highway”

The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”

The Carpenters “Superstar”

 

Beastie Boys “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

AC/DC “Highway to Hell”

Elton John “Tiny Dancer”

 

 

Meat Loaf “Bat Out Of Hell”

Heart “Barracuda”

 

Jimi Hendrix “All Along The Watchtower”

Red Hot Chili Peppers “Soul 2 Squeeze”

Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

 

So I know all of your typing fingers are burning up right now to tell me which I missed. And that’s great! I purposely left enough space on this virtual disc for a little feedback. That’s what comments are for.

Have at ‘er!


 

* I’m sure someone has already done this post in a different way, but now it’s my turn!

**But she’s totally worth it.

*^Actually, it’s a year older than my previous vehicle, but the owner took much better care of it so it’s like a new car.

 

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Sucker Punch”


sucker punch(22 March 2011, WaterTower Music )

I won’t hold it against you if you’ve never heard of this movie. It did fly under the radar, but if you took the time to check it out you were in for a treat

Sucker Punch was directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and starred Emily Browning (Pompeii, Legend) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse). Essentially the movie is a live-action anime. There is a plot, but it’s not important. What really brought the film together were the glorious, special-effects driven battle scenes with giant samurai, steampunk Nazis and dragons. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than scantily clad women battling dragons.

Of course, none of those fight scenes would be worth a damn without the proper musical accompaniment. The Sucker Punch soundtrack is not John Williams or Hans Zimmer, but it ranks among the greatest film soundtracks of all time in my book.

It’s brilliance is in how it takes familiar songs and gives them a new spin. Instead of making a mix tape of b-sides from popular artists , producers Tyler Bates and Marius de Vries take old songs and have trip-hop acts cover them. This gives continuity to a seemingly random collection of tracks and makes them flow seamlessly from one to another.

Star Emily Browning sings three tracks. Opener “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is my least favorite version of that song, but considering the other two versions are so damn awesome that’s not really an insult. It’s still worth checking out. She also does a cover of the Smiths’ “Asleep” which isn’t bad, but I can live without it.

There’s only one Bjork song I recognize. “Army of Me” is a brilliant track and the Sucker Punch remix takes all the crazy screeches and Yoko Ono-isms and makes it truly stellar. The song works great on its own, but listening to this version it’s apparent it was used in a film. I’ve never heard of Emiliana Torrini, but I love her version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” It runs a little long, but when something sounds that good you make exceptions. The best part is the opening guitar riff played note for note on an organ.

Skunk Anansie turns in the best version of “Search and Destroy” I’ve ever heard. I expect it may be the best version of that song I ever will hear. This should be the definitive version that’s required listening for all aspiring punks. I’m sure it’s sacrilegious, but I’ve never cared much for the Stooges. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden have turned in lukewarm versions of the song but Skunk Anansie are the ones to tap into the primal nature and transform it to the monster I knew it could be.

(Make sure your socks are on tight as this has the potential to knock them off. You’ve been warned.)

Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino close the album with a cover of Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug.” I wasn’t familiar with this song at all before seeing the movie. I was surprised to discover that it’s a cover and wasn’t composed for the film because it fits so well.

Now that I look back at the track list I’m surprised that there are so many songs I don’t like. Alison Mosshart and Carla Azar turn in a performance of “Tomorrow Never Knows” that isn’t bad, but doesn’t do anything different than the original. There’s something called “I Want It All / We Will Rock You Mash-Up (Queen cover)” right in the middle that is truly terrible. I’m sure fans of hip-hop and Queen will enjoy it, but my love of Queen isn’t strong enough to override my distaste for hip-hop.

The last song Emily Browning sings on is a cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” with Yoav. This is the most disappointing track on the album. Somehow they manage to take an awesome song with great musicians performing and it still manages to fall flat. I guess they can’t all be zingers.

ws_sucker_punch_1920x1440Now that I really examine this album I’m surprised to discover that I really only enjoy about half of the songs. But it’s a testament to how fucking awesome those tracks are that I didn’t even realize I didn’t like the rest of the album until I sat down to write a review.

Even if you fast forward through the boring parts like you used to do with VHS porno tapes, Sucker Punch is a film worth watching. It’s a classic in the same vein as Queen of the Damned or Escape from LA. 

Devil Music Volume 1


White_Zombie_La_Sexorcisto_Devil_Music,_Vol._1I made the decision a while ago to focus on positive things and to not find bands (and other music related things) to poke fun at.

But then I ran across this great website, Satan’s Music, and felt compelled to write a post about it. This is great stuff. Click on the link and snoop around for your favorite band. I’ll wait until you get back

Really I shouldn’t make fun of the gentleman who wrote this because he really does know his shit about the occult, satanism, witchcraft, etc. I’m guessing he may be more knowledgeable than Aleister Crowley, Jimmy Page and Anton LaVey put together, but I just can’t help thinking that he’s a little misguided.

Sure, all the normal heavy hitters are here: Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, Justin Beiber. Those are the guys we know are into Satan. There’s never been any doubt about this. Just looking at the imagery or reading into their beliefs and interests shows that they were interested in Gothic imagery, the occult, Satanism or were, in fact, the devil himself.

justin-bieber-is-satan1But then there are a lot of artists on this list that I was surprised to see. Elton John is a favorite of mine and I never really thought of him as ‘devil’ music. To be honest I’ve always thought of him as being more toward the side of God. This site let me know that the reference to ‘The howling old owl in the woods’ from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was actually a reference to Satan. I wonder if Bernie Taupin knows this.

I’m not going to burn my copy of Yellow Brick Road after reading that, but it is interesting to know.

There are a few fallacies here. An article about industrial thrash band Ministry has them supporting the George HW Bush’s New World Order and the Illuminati when a cursory listen to their music reveals more satirical and antagonistic views of these organizations. And they could really use a fact checker. They have Johnny Cash singing several Glenn Danzig songs, but in fact he’s only sung one. I would be interested in helping out.

There are a few bands I was surprised to see: Eminem, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, DC Talk, Selena Gomez, The Eagles, The Dixie Chicks and U2. I did know Freddy Mercury was evil because, you know, AIDS.

I can’t believe this dude missed Robert Johnson. I mean, that dude was the first ‘rock’ musician to sell his soul to the devil and you could tell because he played like a motherfucker! I have a hard time believing that most modern artists could have sold their souls because very few can play or write tunes that great.

 

I don’t really know where I wanted to go with this post. I guess I just find it really frustrating to consider myself a Christian when people like the author of this site, Ken Hamm and Kim Davis make it seem like all Christians are hateful, ignorant, racists who think the world is flat and anyone who disagrees with them is evil. I hope I don’t have to tell you that this is not the case.

I believe in Jesus Christ and that he was the son of God. I believe in the Apostle’s Creed. I believe that the important parts of the bible are where Jesus tells us to be good to each other and love one another.

I don’t believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, and I’m not entirely sure why it matters so much. I don’t have a problem with gay marriage and I’m not sure why we focus so much on that when no one cares about divorce or eating pork or shrimp or any of the other archaic laws in Leviticus. I often find myself curious as to what people get out of writing sites like this or protesting gay weddings. Are they looking for a better spot in heaven? Aren’t all spots in heaven pretty awesome?

I do believe that the Swedish band Ghost is satanic as most of their songs are about Satan. I still like them though, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Listening to Ghost doesn’t make me a devil worshiper any more than watching a slasher movie makes me a serial killer. It’s all in good fun and I can’t help but feel that if God had a problem with it, he’d let me know.

I’ve really been wanting to do a ‘Politics & Religion’ blog for some time, but just can’t seem to get the ball rolling. I know this is a little bit of a scatterbrained post, but let me know what you think of it. Hopefully I can write about those topics more in the future, but do it in the context of rock and roll.