Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mixtape #5: Take Back the Streets

collage on card c.1985 ©StudioMONDO
I've lived in the city all my life with the except one brief stay in a sprawling apartment complex in Atlanta that was like a buffer zone between the the city and the suburbs. It was close enough to downtown to have good bus service and close enough to the suburbs to be close to a mall and be near dead silent at night. I loved living in the city, though. Cities are for social people who like to go out and make new friends because gathering places are many and, often, the options are within walking distance of each other. The suburbs tend to be for those with families who already have a core group of friends and neighbors to socialize with. As I've gotten older I've started think about a third mode of living: the country. 

Now that i have a car (which, for those that know me, is a fairly recent development) the country's lure of quiet solitude beckons me and i think i could be comfortable with intermittent/molasses slow Internet (i have Verizon DSL now so how much worse could it be?), lame TV reception (i have a digital box that barely works anymore but i don't watch much TV anyhow). My Mom lives in the country and is very content to have satellite TV but she also has her sewing hobby and lots of family and friends to visit. I wish i had more time to go and visit her except i don't know how many more times i can spend the night sleeping on, what may be, the same bed i had when i was 11.

Still, for right now, i love living in the city.

The Take Back the Streets mixtape:

Monday, December 26, 2011

New to Me Music: Twink "Itsy Bits & Bubbles"

I don't remember how I discovered Twink (aka Mike Langlie, a very nice guy f.y.i.) but I'm glad I did. Twink's music is composed for and played on toy pianos and other odd things ranging from kitchen utensils to music boxes to 8-bit video game samples. He often collaborates with other musicians to make music that can be hyper-cute (in a good way, mind you) to oddly spooky.  I have a copy of his limited edition version of "A Toy Box" which is incredibly entertaining. As I get more disposable income I will definitely add more Twink to my record collection.
The latest collection of Twinkiness is called "Itsy Bits & Bubbles" and, after you listen to the widget below, how can you not want to have it to brighten up your day on a regular basis?



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mixtape #4: If I Had a Rocket Launcher...

collage on card © GWR Waynes / StudioMONDO

Si j'avais une lance-roquette...

Side One:
  1. Ministry - Thieves
  2. - Just Like You
  3. - All Day
  4. - Stigmata
  5. 1000 Homo DJs - Apathy
  6. Front 242 - Agony (Until Death)
  7. - Angst
  8. Ministry - Twitch (Version 2)
  9. Cabaret Voltaire - No One Here
  10. Front 242 - Geography II
Side Two:
  1. Front 242 - Funkahdafi
  2. The The - Gravitate to Me
  3. Nine Inch Nails - Terrible Lie
  4. Big Pig - I Can't Break Away
  5. The Fall - Copped It
  6. The Weathermen - Poison
  7. Age of Chance - Kiss
  8. Neon Judgement  - Chinese Black
  9. Chris & Cosey - Exotika
  10. Borghesia - No Hope No Fear
  11.  Front 242 - Geography II

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mixtape #3: Cafe Flesh

Move Over, Bambi by Guy Mondo, collage on card

I used to be a regular patron of the local repertory and art house movie theaters here until they started going under due to competition from the multiplexes, cable TV and home video. People no longer had to wait for a favorite vintage or foreign film to occasionally be scheduled for small screens anymore. Many of those theaters fell victim to developers when the owners could no longer afford to stay in their buildings. Long gone are my favorite movie houses like RKO Keiths, The Town, The Ontario, the Circle Theater chain, The Georgetown, The Key and The Biograph. 
      A few of these theaters tried to draw in audiences with special midnight showings of cult films. The KeyThe Rocky Horror Picture Show for several years while ran late shows of The Georgetown had moderate success with Bob Guccione's attempt at high-brow porn, Caligula. The Biograph also ran cult movies and annually hosted the Spike and Mike animation festivals which spawned the likes of Ren & Stimpy and Beavis and Butthead.
     One of the movies to make the midnight rounds at The Biograph was Cafe Flesh, an unlikely combination of dialog that references 1940's gangster-movie slang, deadpan acting, minimalist chiaroscuro sets and lighting, Red Scare atomic paranoia all wrapped in a surprisingly accessible Avant-garde package. The big surprise here, though, is that this is a porn film! It was written by CSI: Las Vegas scriptwriter Jerry Stahl who's life of addiction was was the subject of the film Permanent Midnight. Cafe Flesh's plot (yes, it does have one!) involves a future where 99% of the population has been rendered incapable of having sex without becoming violently ill. To assuage their stifled libidos, the remaining 1% are required by law to perform sex acts for their benefit. One of the venues for these shows is Cafe Flesh where a smarmy MC taunts the audience while introducing the performances that border on the surreal. The soundtrack was written and performed by Mitchell Froom (ex-husband of singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega).
     As much as I like Froom's original score I figured I could give the film a different ambience with music from my collection. The result was a tape I played in my Walkman on my bus ride to work on a regular basis. Tracks in BLUE are bits of dialog from the movie.

The Tracks:
Welcome to Cafe Flesh
Hungry So Angry - Medium Medium
All That I Wanted - Belfegore
Gushers
Sensoria - Cabaret Voltaire
The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight - Dominatrix
Pleasure is a widow maker...
Contort Yourself - James White and The Contortions
Need is the destination
Hot Doggy - Colourbox
Ask the Angels - Patti Smith
The skull in the cage
Faith Healer - The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Max outs Angel
No apologies
The Uh-Oh Squad - Robert Ellis Orrall
She's in Parties - Bauhaus
Angel's debut
Angel Face - Shock
Lie Back, Let Me Do Everything - Rough Trade
Max is back on top (my turn to laugh)
Duel - Propaganda
Revenge - Ministry
Moms, Max and the Poem
Let Me Cry - Yello
Uh-oh, trouble in Paradise   
Big Time - Peter Gabriel
Imagination - Belouis Some
The legendary Johnny Rico
Talk to Me - I Am Siam
Will's Mood - Doug E. Fresh
Intro - Skafish
 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mixtape #2: Pop is a Weasel

"The Mirage" by Guy Mondo, collage on card
 A lot of the time I have a theme in mind when i record a mixtape. It's like having my own version of my favorite radio stations from my youth like WGTB-FM and WHFS-FM. Sometimes that theme gets sidetracked by my looking through my collection for songs, looking through my piles of clippings for the cover collage, cooking dinner, etc.
That's probably what happened with the first side of this tape. I think I had some kind of "good-bad-ugly" side of romance theme going before i lost track of what i was doing. Maybe I just lost interest in looking for more songs in my collection. Whatever happened I bounced around differing subjects until I was running out of space. I hate to have long stretches of silence at the end of a tape so, if there's not enough time left for a full-sized pop song, I like to fill that little space with odd, short song samples or bits of dialogue from movies and TV, hence, side one ends with "Sun Wukong (The Monkey King) - Scene 1" performed by The Chinese Academy of Peking Opera.
Side two finds me exploring a more left-of-the-dial indie-style playlist with the theme being danceable world pop. 

The Tracks:
A1 Main Source - Looking At the Front Door
A2 Ralph Tresvant - Sensitivity
A3 Howard Hewitt - If I Could Only Have That Day Back
A4 Talk Talk - Pictures of Bernadette
A5 D-Mob - That's the Way of the World
A6 Public Enemy - Burn Hollywood Burn
A7 Malcolm McLaren and the Bootzilla Orchestra - Deep in Vogue
A8 Janet Jackson - Escapade
A9 Black Box - Everybody
A10 Kane Gang - Don't Look Any Further
A11 The Chinese Academy of Peking Opera - Sun Wukong (The Monkey King)
B1 Black Uhuru - Brutal
B2 Bad Brains - I and I Survive
B3 Dr. John the Nighttripper - Walk on Gilded Splinters
B4 Ray Lema - Kamulang
B5 Desmond Dekker - Israelites
B6 Ofra Haza - Taw Shi
B7 Les Negresses Vertes - Danse des Negresses Vertes
B8 Mandingo Griot Society - I Haven't Seen My Lover
B9 Augustus Pablo - Pablo Meets Mr. Bassie
B10 The Specials - Message to Rudy
B11 Bad Brains - The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mixtape #1: Jesus Swept

"Jesus Swept" ©Guy Mondo, collage on card c.1987


About the title/cover:
Legend has it that, before he got famous, Jesus was a carpenter in his step-dad's shop. I guess, like any employee, he had to do a lot of different things around the shop so i'm pretty sure he had to sweep up all the time. I bet Joseph probably had to give his "Son-O-God" stepson a reality check every now and then, too, along the lines of "I don't care who your daddy is, you work or you don't eat! Now, get t'sweeping before I put my sandal up your ass!"

The Tracks:
A1 Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin - I'm in a Different World
A2 Soul II Soul - Keep on Moving
A3 The Call - Jealousy
A4 David Sylvian - Let the Happiness In
A5 Cherrelle - Everything I Miss At Home
A6 Black - You Don't Alway Do What's Best for You
A7 The Sugarcubes - Planet
A8 Stan Ridgeway - Mission in Life
A9 Shreikback - Faded Flowers
A10 Peter Gabriel - Of These, Hope (Reprise)
B1 Berlin - Sex (I'm a...)
B2 The Fixx - Saved by Zero
B3 Guadalcanal Diary - Where Angels Fear to Tread
B4 Skid Row - 18 & Life
B5 Concrete Blonde - It'll Chew You Up and Spit You Out
B6 Faith No More - Falling to Pieces
B7 Klark Kent - Don't Care
B8 Warren Zevon - Sentimental Hygene
B9 Public Image Ltd. - Like That
B10 Guesch Patti - Etienne
B11 The Police - Nothing Achieving
B12 Dick Orkin - Empire Carpet ad

Monday, December 27, 2010

here we go...!

I used to make a lot of little collages as covers to mixtapes I'd made for friends and for my own personal enjoyment. Every now and then a recipient got the wrong idea as to the "meaning" of the content of the tape. Sometimes I hoped for something that wasn't what I'd hoped for. So, now, I've started this blog of my playlists and, maybe, I'll tell some related stories, too.