Friday, May 20, 2005

Hembeck Mix One

Fred Hembeck’s contribution to Lefty’s Mixed Bag project. Fred’s mix is like finding an old pair of comfortable shoes underneath your bed and discovering that not only do they fit, but they’re still comfortable. I’ve heard about 85-90% of the music on this disc many, many times before, and I still really enjoyed it. No, it’s no eye-opening, for me at least, but so what, that just means you can jump in there and tap your toes to those familiar beats.

He opens with the Raspberries’ Go All the Way, and I have to say, I’m not fond of this tune, never have been, and it’s probably the only song on the disc I just out and out don’t enjoy, but I listened to it a few times, giving it its due.

At least he redeems himself on track two, hard to go wrong with Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders. It’s a good ol’ summertime tune, that’s just in time for summer! Speaking of summer tunes…he follows that with All Summer Long by the Beach Boys. Fred’s swinging for the fences with this tune (hey look, it’s an analogy I’m not supposed to use! Heh, I hope SOMEONE gets that joke.), two for three in his first three at bats, I loves me some Beach Boys.

I can take or leave It’s Raining Men (by, heh, The Weather Girls), depending on my mood. But, once you get into the song, especially in your car, you’re sure to find the people around you staring oddly at you. I love Bing Crosby, but Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande is not one of my favorites by him. It’s a good song and fits well within the disc, but if I heard it on the radio I’d likely change the station (what are the odds of that happening?), but I never pass it up when I’m playing the disc. It also brings weird glances from the people around you, especially when it’s pumping out of a top notch car stereo.

My Sharona is a classic. I always think of Reality Bites when I hear it. I love, love, L-O-V-E this song, all the way to the end. So, what does Fred follow that with? Another catchy-but-oh-so-wrong-song, Every Breath You Take by the Police, that’s what. It’s the perfect little song duo. Just don’t think about the lyrics too much!

After that is another song about the slightly-obsessed, One Fine Day by the Chiffons. Hearing it after Sting’s ode to stalking puts it in a completely different context. Brilliant mixing that is. What’s a Hembeck mix disc without a Beatles tune? Well, it’s not this disc, that’s for damn sure. The song is I’ve Just Seen a Face, and I never realized how short it is. Man, thanks for whetting my appetite for a Beatles tune and then giving me the shortest song ever!! After that I just wanted more Beatles. Instead I got Erasure singing A Little Respect. Not a favorite, but like It’s Raining Men, hard to resist once you get into it.

Then he goes and gives me the best crooner of all time, Dean friggin’ Martin, singing I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. A classic song by a classy, and classic, guy. It’s impossible to follow that act. And to prove my point I get a Sheena Easton track , no, I’m kidding. I like Morning Train, but it always makes me think of that old Burger King commercial, which makes me want a crossanwich.. Don’t worry Fred, you’re still 11 for 12, batting better than Ted Williams it seems.

Next up was the Reflections singing (Just Like) Romeo and Juliet. This is a like it or hate it tune, I like it. After that is a song I don’t really like by a band I don’t really like, Steely Dan’s Bodhisattva. I just never “got” Steely Dan. Next is No Time by the Guess Who. This is a staple of every classic rock station in the country, and if I listened to radio I’d probably hate the song. Fortunately I don’t.

I have to admit hating the Bow Wow Wow song at first (C30 C60 C90 Go!), but it leads in to Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing, which I love, listening to them as a whole makes for an excellent, and lengthy, time. So, see, I can change my mind. I didn’t get into the next track though (Unit 4 plus 2 Concrete and Clay), no matter how many spins I gave it. After that is (finally!) more Beatles, this time it’s The Word. Sweet.

The Sonique tune feels oddly out of place, but enjoyable nonetheless. Reminds me of my clubbing days, I used to hear it A LOT back then. Yes, I used to go clubbing. Speaking of clubbing, it’s a disco-era tune! On and On and On by ABBA. Again, like it or hate it, I like it.

The last two tracks are the Greg Kihn Band singing Renevouz and SpongeBob and Friends singing I Ripped My Pants. I didn’t much care for Rendevouz the first few times I heard it, but it’s growing on me, but I love SpongeBob. This song was a riot.

All in all, great disc with the occasional song I didn’t care for. Fred’s got a better track record there than about 90% of the new music I pick up. Can’t wait to see what Round 2 brings from he that is Hembeck.


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