Mix Tape Friday: Mighty Aphrodite
We’re debuting a new series for Mix Tape Friday: Mighty Aphrodite, or chicks-only musicians (I stole the name from a weekly show on my college radio station). The first in the Mighty Aphrodite series is The Renae Tape, for my best friend who’s in town right now. Her feet hit Georgia clay, my toe started tapping to Renae-and-Beth classics. I used to make Renae mix tapes all the time with that week's favorite bands and songs. Hope y’all enjoy this one.
- Mother's Finest: Baby Love
- Elastica: Connection
- The Breeders: Cannonball
- The Pixies: Gigantic
- Ultra Vivid Scene feat. Kim Deal: Special One
- Jane Siberry: Everything Reminds Me of My Dog
- Garbage: When I Grow Up
- The B-52's: Legal Tender
- Voice of the Beehive: Beat of Love
- Oh-OK: Such N Such
- Magnapop: Merry
- 10,000 Maniacs: Pit Viper
- Pylon: Crazy
- Gang of Four: Is It Love
- Neneh Cherry feat. Michael Stipe: Trout
- Tom Tom Club: Genius of Love
- Deee-Lite: Groove Is in the Heart
- Yaz: Nobody's Diary
- Jody Grind: Peter Gunn
- Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
- Rickie Lee Jones: Dat Dere
- Patti Smith: When Doves Cry
- Hem: So. Central Rain
- Joan Armatrading: Willow
- Cat Power: Wonderwall
- Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez: Aria from 'La Wally'
There’s a good story or great memory behind every song on the list, but we have time for just a few.
Renae’s R.E.M. is Oasis (you should read all her comments to my (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? post) + Renae’s husband introduced me to Cat Power = the perfect cover tune for this mix tape.
Rickie Lee Jones is one of Renae’s all-time faves, one of the few musicians she found on her own (she's introduced to most bands by her husband or me, the music bullies). I picked the track “Dat Dere” (from Pop Pop) because we all loved going to Cafe Erewhon to see Cy Timmons in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and he’s the first person I heard perform the song.
Renae discovered 10,000 Maniacs, back when they were new wave, not folkie, back they were semi-local, in 1983. Their first albums — Secrets of the I Ching and Human Conflict No. 5 — were great for dancing and spinning all night long … as long as you didn’t notice how bleak the lyrics could be. Give “Pit Viper” a spin. I danced and did Natalie spins all over the room every time I played it.
Patti Smith covering Prince? If you'd been blessed to see Renae's imitation of Prince dragging himself across the bathroom floor, you'd find a way to get "When Doves Cry" on the mix tape, too.
Info on the local bands included on this mix tape:
Pylon is probably my favorite 1980s Athens band, next to … well, you know. Vanessa Briscoe has one helluva voice, and they had the coolest songs. R.E.M. covered “Crazy” for the “Driver 8” B-side (I think on the “Wendel Gee” single, too); my boys did the song justice, but the original is, as always, the best.
Oh-OK, one of my faves during the Athens heyday, was founded by Linda Hopper and Lynda Stipe (yep, Michael’s sister). Linda Hopper went on to found Magnapop. Whenever I’m in the same place as Linda Hopper, she always says she recognizes me from back then, which always gives me a thrill. Be sure to listen to both tracks — and dance while you listen!
Back in the 1980s, The Jody Grind boasted the fabulous lead vocals of Kelly Hogan, who left Atlanta and went on her own a few moons ago. Ms. Hogan kicks aural ass with this version of “Peter Gunn Theme.”
If you went to high school in Georgia or our neighboring states in the 1970s, you danced your teenaged ass off to Mother’s Finest. They were the best Atlanta-based rock band during that time. It was rumored they lived together in a big house on the south side of town. Joyce Kennedy, who sings lead on “Baby Love,” went on to have a pretty good R&B career.
And, of course, The B-52’s, Cat Power’s Chan Marshall, and the adorable Michael Stipe started their music careers in Georgia.
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