Sunday, November 06, 2005

Yesterday afternoon, just for sport, I created a CD-R length 1970 mix from the songs both Nate Patrin and I included in our megamixes for that year (mine had 128 songs, his had 100). The mix is a good one, if hardly authoritative, which in a way makes it more accurate--mostly avoiding landmarks, you get a more representational lay of the land, or of how the land feels, in a day-to-day-basis kind of way. Tracklist: Ennio Morricone, “Citta Violenta (Titoli)”; Free, “All Right Now”; Neil Young, “When You Dance I Can Really Love”; Can, “Mother Sky”; John McLaughlin, “Dragon Song”; Eric Burdon & War, “Spill the Wine”; Wilson Pickett, “Get Me Back on Time, Engine no. 9 (Pt. 1 & 2)”; Vicki Anderson, “Super Good (Answer to Super Bad) (Pt. 1 & 2)”; the Meters, “Look-Ka Py Py”; Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band, “Express Yourself”; the Lost Generation, “The Sly, Slick and the Wicked”; the Spinners, “It’s a Shame”; Overton Berry Trio, “Hey Jude”; the Slickers, “Johnny Too Bad”; U-Roy & Duke Reid, “Wear You to the Ball”; Desmond Dekker, “You Can Get It If You Really Want”; Jimmy Cliff, “Vietnam”; the Beatles, “Let It Be.”

Obviously, I’m exaggerating somewhat about landmarks or lack thereof. There’s plenty of stuff there that’s pretty legendary or at least somewhat. But I think the stuff that’s less so humanizes the mix, makes it approachable, turns it from That Titanic Year 1970 to 1970, A Year in an appealing way. That’s what I’d like to see more lists of this sort do, be they the Blender 500 or the Rolling Stone 500 or Pazz & Jop 2005 or whatever--acknowledge that the relatively ordinary is necessary to balance out the deliberate masterworks, and that both can function in the same manner, that they enhance each other without taking anything away from either. (Still annoyed at a much older coworker’s proclamation on Friday that A.J. Liebling can’t possibly be a great writer because he didn’t write about great themes; still think it’s total fucking hogwash, even more so now that I’m not drunk.)