04 November 2008

My Six Degrees of the GMMP: Boom Boom

I was thrilled with Splotchy recently announced the return of the Green Monkey Music Project. I love putting together mix tapes, but have been too busy the last six months to get back into the swing. When he offered those of us who’ve earned the highlight covered GMMP Master badge, I jumped at the chance to head up a mix. I wanted something challenging, something to make the fellow mixers think, a theme that would open up to different genres 1 and to just plain see how interesting the connections could be.

Lord, here I go again, sounding like a Kurt Loder wannabe.

And so I came up with Six Musical Degrees. Like the Kevin Bacon game, our GMMP musicologists had to connect six musicians, or songs, or covers. Splotchy has posted the track listing, and will soon have the files ready for download.

So let’s get to my six. I wanted to cross genres, to include some of my favorite covers and artists — and of course work in R.E.M. Let’s see where that got us:

John Lee Hooker: "Boom Boom"
I’ve always thought “Boom Boom” was one damn sexy song, and it’s one of my top five favorite blues classics. “I love to see you strut, up and down the floor / When you talking to me, that baby talk / I like it like that.” To quote Mr. Hooker, whoa, yeah!

Van Morrison feat. John Lee Hooker: "Gloria"
You can’t help but love the original “Gloria” by Them — but two covers are actually my favorite versions. This is one, from Van’s album Too Long in Exile (1993) — and, g*ddamn, is it sexy with Van and John Lee. My toes curl and I get a shiver up the back of my neck to the hairline whenever I listen.

Patti Smith: "Gloria"
And this is my other favorite version of “Gloria,” from Patti’s debut album, Horses. Love it when Patti snarls “Jesus died for somebody’s sins — but not mine.” I always play this song when I’m pissed off. It helps. Man, I remember when this album came out and I heard this song for the first time. I just stopped. Played it over and over and over before I could listen to the rest of the tracks. Sometimes I wish I were Patti Smith.

R.E.M. feat. Patti Smith: "E-bow the Letter"
Even if you’ve read just one or two Rolling Stone articles about R.E.M., you know that the much-beloved Michael Stipe always calls out Patti Smith as his biggest influence. So it was a big thrill for us fanatics when New Adventures in Hi-fi — a much-underappreciated album — came out and we heard Patti singing with Michael. R.E.M. doesn’t have many guest vocalists, so this was particularly powerful for us.

Hindu Love Gods: "Wang Dang Doodle"
What a thrill when two of your favorites come together. Throw in a drunken recording session, and you have music gold, my friends. My R.E.M. boys Peter, Mike, and Bill supported the beloved (and kissed) (and missed) Warren Zevon on his 1987 album Sentimental Hygiene. The foursome got a bit blitzed on beer, and started playing around with all sorts of songs. It’s not a stellar album, but it’s damn fun — and you gotta hear their cover of “Raspberry Beret.”

Warren Zevon: "Boom Boom Mancini"
Here’s a track from the aforementioned Sentimental Hygiene — bringing “Boom Boom” full circle. That’s Peter, Mike, and Bill backing Warren. Brilliant album; this is maybe the sixth-best cut on it.

Here are my six songs, mixed by Splotchy. Want the rest? Then head on over to Splotchy’s spot.

So. Enjoy. Debate. See what our other musicologists strung together. And visit their blogs, too.

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At 11/04/2008 10:21:00 AM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Sadly, I prefer Laura Branigan's "Gloria." That song is awesome.

At 11/04/2008 11:05:00 AM, Blogger BeckEye said...

I'm chortling (yes, chortling) at Pistols' comment.

Cool listing, Beth. Your inclusion of R.E.M. is only slightly less surprising than the inclusion of nearly everyone on my list.

At 11/04/2008 03:46:00 PM, Blogger Splotchy said...

Beth, the mix will be up tonight, I promise.

I was going to stop and not leave a comment, since I already sent you an email, but my Word Verification was "tedness" and that is a comment you can't turn down.

At 11/04/2008 08:18:00 PM, Blogger glassmeow said...

Boom Boom Mancini!

Hey! My word was 'propsh' I sound drunk & I'm still at work

At 11/04/2008 09:17:00 PM, Blogger Gifted Typist said...

Boom Boom Beth

At 11/05/2008 01:05:00 AM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

Nice train of thought there, Beth. And twas a grand idea for a music thingy.

I shall post the rationale for mine tomorrow.

At 11/05/2008 07:43:00 AM, Anonymous HollyC said...

Beth! Where is the celebratory election day blog???? What are you doing, working?

At 11/05/2008 03:49:00 PM, Blogger KK said...

I have listened to your six degrees at least twenty times today.

Good job.

Pistols at Dawn - I sure hope you have your tongue firmly in your cheek!

And just for continuity purposes my verification word is fledrin.

I have no idea what it means but I'll name my next dog that just for fun.

At 11/06/2008 02:03:00 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Yeahdawgs, all rightie!

John Lee Hooker is one of the coolest dudes I've ever known of, and he carried a lot of love for Detroit.

At 11/07/2008 11:29:00 PM, Blogger Sean Wraight said...


Thank you for periodically reminding me of the greatness that was the Hindu Love Gods.

Great stuff and your theme truly inspired!


P.S Word verification for continuity here - fusnestu.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

At 11/13/2008 01:55:00 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Well, if you're not busy enough already, I'm tagging you for a movie meme. Evil!

At 11/13/2008 07:50:00 PM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

i wish i had time to read and listen to music and write and watch tv and sleep

At 11/16/2008 02:36:00 PM, Blogger Will said...

John Lee Hooker never gets enough credit

At 11/17/2008 09:50:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I'm with pistols. As usual.

At 11/22/2008 05:45:00 PM, Blogger 3pieceonline said...

just found your blog. I love the John Lee Hooker growls, it does something to my insides. Also love your mix too.

At 11/25/2008 07:24:00 PM, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

If you, like me, generally despise Christmas music, there's a new "Altnernative" mix on iTunes that's worth checking out. And also: the soundtrack to Eagle vs. Shark.


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