I started making this mix with two songs, "Jackie" by Scott Walker and "Strange Glue" by Catanonia. Both songs are strikingly similar, but come from two different perspectives, times, and places. Both Scott Walker and Catatonia's Cerys Matthews are classic belters, navigating through bombastic arrangements, singing about the game of love with the kind of wry, knowing sarcasm that comes from real live pain and heartache, cut with that incredibly empty feeling of being smarter and wiser than most folks, but at the same time having absolutely no clue what to do about it. One of them came from the 60s, the other from the 90s. One was a boy, the other a girl.
Neither one of them ever really figured it all out. Walker spent most of his prime making albums full of chaste standards and hosting a chat show, playing to the grandmamas decked out like Christmas trees, while Matthews flamed out spectacularly, spending her nights passing out pantsless in the back of limos under the watchful eye of the British paparazzi, smiling as the demons took her over. Walker comes out of his hole every 15 years or so, a regular Joe from Cincinnati making impenetrable albums that even the most smug hipsters have trouble listening to, while Matthews hosts a show on BBC radio for all the grandmamas. Neither one of them ever came close to capturing the magic of these two songs again though, two of my favorite ever. If they can't sleep for the secrets they keep, then that's the price they're willing to meet, I suppose.
Anyway, this mix contains a whole bunch of misplaced anger, big hooks, awkward puns, mid '90s production, Crucible references, sloppy gang choruses, earnestly-strummed acoustic guitars, imagined comparisons between Jude Law and Michael Caine, shamelessly misappropriated Motown drums and horns, and above all, the satisfaction one gets from waking up on Saturday morning with a smile that can't be moved from your mouth. It's only dreaming now, so don't make a sound.
Cute In A Stupid Ass Way: Fall 2010
1. Scott Walker - "Jackie"
2. Suede - "Killing Of A Flash Boy"
3. Gene - "Fighting Fit"
4. The Divine Comedy - "Becoming More Like Alfie"
5. Menswear - "Sleeping In"
6. Sebadoh - "Magnet's Coil"
7. Archers Of Loaf - "Web In Front"
8. Pavement - "Cut Your Hair"
9. Mary Lou Lord - "Salem '76"
10. The Juliana Hatfield Three - "Spin The Bottle"
11. PJ Harvey - "C'Mon Billy"
12. Catatonia - "Strange Glue"
13. Judee Sill - "The Kiss"