July 16, 2008

Summer Jamz ‘08 #15: Sach O

Sach O blogs for Ohword.com where his angry rants make the natives restless. He can currently be found somewhere in Thailand but will be returning to North-America in August to record a pop album. We’re not sure if he’s joking.

  1. The Beastie Boys – Mark on the Bus
  2. Marlena Shaw – California Soul
  3. The Stone Roses – Elephant Stone
  4. Gal Costa – Lost in Paradise
  5. Doris – Waiting at the Station
  6. Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (MacColl mix)
  7. Bucktown (Interlude)
  8. Juvenile – Ghetto Children
  9. Society of Soul ft. TLC – Changes
  10. Main Ingredient – Summer Breeze
  11. The Decemberists – Summersong
  12. Fleet Foxes – Blue Ridge Mountains
  13. The Pharcyde – She Said (Jay Dee Remix)
  14. Friday Foster (Interlude)
  15. The Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long
  16. Tricky – You Don’t
  17. De La Soul ft. Maceo Parker – I be Blowin’
  18. The Notorious B.I.G – Juicy
  19. Akhenaton ft. Fonky Family – Bad Boys de Marseilles
  20. The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon
  21. Of Montreal – An Eluardian Instance (Live)
  22. Sach – Who’s the Deejay? (Madlib vs. Cheech n Chong)

Summer doesn’t mean much in the tropics, at least for visiting white people. Sure it rains more (less tourists, cheaper rooms) but the shift from “hotter than a 92 Dre beat” to “almost unbearable” isn’t quite the same as going from frosty to scorching. Back home (Montreal, that French place with the indie bands) summer is the single most important part of life, the 3 to 4 month window where it’s warm enough to go outside and the town suddenly explodes with festivals, street parties and every other imaginable excuse to get out and enjoy life before the icy hand of winter creeps back in. Summer out there makes people do crazy things, I’ve quit jobs over good weather and more than one demented drug binge has been undertaken solely because “it’s nice out”. Summer also results in radio hits that skirt the line between good and awful so subtly that it’s years before you realize in horror that Incubus and Noreaga are permanently associated with cherished memories. But if there’s one thing I’ve missed about summer back home on this trip (6 months and counting in Asia), it’s the cycle. The slow build from the minute the leaves are out to the last bacchanalian blowout come early September. With all of this in mind, here’s a mix dedicated to my favorite summer moments.

1. “The fuck-going-to-work song” The Beastie Boys – Mark on the Bus

A proper mixtape needs a proper intro just like a good summer needs that moment of clarity when you suddenly realize that you only live once and that welfare checks can pay the rent this go around. Keyboard Money Mark may be singing about heading to work for the man, but it sounds like he’s 3 miles high and building a b-ball court for a guy called MCA.

2. “The Opening credit song” Marlena Shaw – California Soul

Someone once said that mixtapes are how we score the films of our lives. Actually, lots of people have said that, usually after listening to entirely too much Phish. But if ever I need to match the title sequence of some long lost black 60’s coming of age story to a song, it’ll be Marlena Shaw’s California Soul. DJ Premier knows what’s up.

3. “The crazy night out song” The Stone Roses – Elephant Stone

I’ve met more than my fair share of British people while traveling through Asia and more or less every single one above the age of 25 has an undying love for this band. I knew they were big out there but I had no idea that the entire United Kingdom lost its virginity to their music while we were stuck with Milli Vanilli. Anyways, summer’s all about partying and while I don’t approve of Nu Rave, M.I.A or most UK dance music in general, this is a surefire classic.

4. “The morning after song” Gal Costa – Lost in Paradise

Everyone remembers the hangover, but no one ever gives props to those perfect mornings where the right combination of time, liquor and junk food leaves your digestive system perfectly unscathed. Gal Costa’s “Lost in Paradise” captures that feeling effortlessly, from the hazy horns of the intro to the slowly building verses to the explosive finale. The perfect song for when you’re feeling good enough to get up but don’t really need to.

5. “The Road Trip Song” Doris – Waiting at the Station

I’m cheating a bit with this one since it’s definitely inspired by my summer/winter abroad this year rather than my time in Montreal, but anyone who’s taken a road trip without a proper car can relate. Train stations aren’t nearly as romantic as their depictions in novels or films, but they’re not half bad places to people watch either. The Swedish soul singer Doris’ take on waiting around for one’s ride out of town after a winter slaving for the man is liberation music at it’s finest.

6. “The Drug Song” – Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (MacColl Mix)

Simply put, Sean Ryder’s drug intake puts anyone short of Keith Richards to shame. While this means that his attempted comeback at Coachella last year was a predictable disaster, it also made for some interesting music during his band’s early 90’s peak. Riding a mechanical rhythm, Hallelujah’s sacrilegious melding of drugs, dance and religion would be the perfect song for an Candy flip fueled freak-out if only the rest of the party remembered it.

7. “The interlude” – Bucktown

Interludes are what separate mixtapes from…better mixtapes with interludes. Plus summer’s all about seeing flicks with the crew. Hopefully your viewing is half as bad ass as Bucktown.

8. “The Bounce Song” – Juvenile – Ghetto Children

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: “did this East Coast elitist motherfucker just put a Juvenile song on his tape?!” (Alternately, “that’s technically not a bounce song”). To this I answer, “yes I did” (and alternately, “I don’t care”). Like it or not, for the past 10 years every summer’s had its southern anthem and as far as I’m concerned, they were never better than Cash Money’s initial onslaught on the mainstream consciousness. I mean, just compare this album cut to Lollipop or anything by Yung Berg.

9. “The house-party slow jam” – Society of Soul ft. TLC – Changes

Try as I might, my house parties never managed to be quite as cool as Biggie’s “One More Chance” video. Maybe it’s because I don’t know any video hoes. Still, I always throw this on around 2AM in the blind hope that chicks will spontaneously make out with each other and that my pimp game will suddenly improve.

10. “The clean-up song” – The Main Ingredient – Summer Breeze

Cleaning up after house parties is a bitch. If you’re like me, you’re either coming down or entirely too hype for such a routine activity. But friends don’t let friends deal with random puke on their own. I promise that if you throw this bad boy on, the job won’t be half as bad and you’ll be done in time for sunrise and McDonalds breakfast.

11. “The white girl song” – The Decemberists – Summersong

Ok, so I win no points for originality here, but if you’ve ever dealt with quasi-arty white chicks, you know that’s the point. Making out with Colin Meloy warbling in the background after a date is probably up there with putting on a Peter Frampton or Foreigner record in the 70’s but if it gets me in, I got no shame. Although I draw the line at Maroon 5.

12. “The living-out-in-the-woods song” Fleet Foxes – Blue Ridge Mountains

Indie darlings they are and I’m not totally sold on the album but even I can’t deny just how dope “Blue Ridge Mountains” is. While I can’t front on how awesome Montreal gets in the summer, I always try to spend at least one week out in the mountains to really get away from it all. This will be the soundtrack for that expedition when I touch down back home.

13. “The laying-around-in-bed-with-her song” The Pharcyde – She Said (Jay Dee remix)

This one’s really all about the beat and chorus. Who cares if the Pharcyde are going on about rejection for the thousandth time? Dilla’s dropping an early gem and the hook is so smooth that your one night stand is onto round two before you know it.

14. “The Interlude redux” – Friday Foster

Keeping with the theme…

15. “The well known retro funk song” – Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long

Everyone from Redman to LL Cool J has bitten off a chunk of this Rick James produced classic and with good reason. Sure your parents probably recognize it and it might make an appearance at your cousin Jon Jon’s wedding but its one of the tightest, sexiest grooves of the 80’s and it’s not nearly as synthesized as your typical Prince jam. I stand by this one.

16. “The stoner song” – Tricky – You Don’t

Trip-Hop is supremely unpopular right now. I mean, even Portishead all but abandoned it for their newest album and they freaking invented the sound. It’s a shame, I’ll take heavy boom-bap drums, fat basslines and sexy vocals over 808’s, gurgling synths and annoying dance-floor call-and-response chants any day. Here’s a test: put this on when your pretentious music snob friends are around after everyone’s sufficiently high. Odds are, they’ll all ask what it is and recoil in horror when they realize that they actually *gasp* like an uncool record.

17. “The instrumental song” – De La Soul ft. Maceo Parker – I be Blowin’

Just in case you’re still high and don’t want to move after the last one. You know I take care of ya. Incidentally, with all the talk about Outkast and Lauryn Hill introducing genre bending pop elements to rap with their 98 releases, how come no one ever gives De La props for having the balls to let MACEO PARKER drop 5 minutes of funky jazz waaay back in 93? It’s a damn shame.

18. “The Feel-good classic rap song” – The Notorious B.I.G – Juicy

This Mp3 is actually ripped from my original “Ready to Die” cassette purchased in 95. No lie. Every summer tape needs at least one crazy known rap jam for everyone to sing along to. This is that jam. Interestingly enough, I notice that the “Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis” line gets people the most hyped these days. Videogame nostalgia stand up!

19. “The French rap song that Sach tries to push on us” – AKH ft. Fonky Family – Bad Boys de Marseilles.

Marseilles was to French Hip Hop as LA was to the States…if Wu-Tang was from L.A. and everyone was cynical and North-African. This track was a MONSTER summer hit out there spawning two remixes, a career for the Fonky Family and a full-time rap radio station. Now you’ve gotta listen to it because this is my mixtape dammit and I’m not curbing my eccentricities. Just pretend it’s what the cool kids are listening to.

20. “The summer’s over song” – The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon

And just like that, it’s over. It’s the end of August and you’ve wasted another season drinking, smoking, eating, partying and avoiding responsibilities. Ain’t it grand? But now you gotta face reality and the only one there to take your side is Mr. Ray Davies and his motley band of misfits.

21. “The nostalgic look back song” – Of Montreal – An Eluardian Instance (Live)

The nostalgic song…OF THE FUTURE! Seriously though, committed fan that I am, I had to throw something from Of Montreal’s upcoming “Skeletal Lamping” onto this mix even if the actual record hasn’t leaked yet. An uptempo pop track celebrating everything fun about summer time (with no mentions of transsexuals like most recent Kevin Barnes songs), this is the perfect way to look back at a season well spent.

22. “The Outro” – Sach (Madlib vs. Cheech N Chong) – Who’s the Deejay?


Just because it was lying around the iPod with those other two interludes.

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