Monthly Archives: June 2009

Morning Dew – John Wells (Sunshine Country Records, 1973)

johnwellsRecorded at Sunshine Records Enterprizes [sic], Arlington, Texas, this record is notable to me not necessarily for the content, but for the context. Texas may be known for county music, but Arlington, Texas is known for one thing– heavy metal.

Just 10 years after this hokey tune was recorded another band put this metro-plex city on the map, Pantera. Recorded just a few miles away, Metal Magic (1983) brought 4 kids from Arlington to national attention.

I will resist the urge to wax philospic on this dichotomy, but needless to say, this was a weird fucking town to grown up in, and continues to be strange and surreal place for me to visit.

Morning Dew – John Wells (download&stream)

Mineola Chruch Sale Mix Tapes (1992, Texas)

mineoalchurchtapesWell, it’s no secret at this point that my turntable is on the fritz. I need a new stylus. Which, in case you haven’t shopped for one in the last ten years, are not an item that can be purchased at Best Buy.

Have no fear! Like any good Girl Scout I am “Always Prepared” and I have a nice emergency stockpile of music to sustain critical blog functions until I get the records spinning again.

These tapes came from a roadside yard sale at a church in Mineola, Texas. I picked them up over Memorial Day weekend. This was a very weird yard sale. In addition to an average selection of dishes, baby clothes and paperback books there was a large table of leather clothing. Bras, vests, chaps, shorts and pants– all in black leather. They offered to make me a deal but luckilly I settled on these tapes instead. (This would be a much different blog if I had chosen the chaps instead…)

There is a million little details in these tapes that strike me. The handwriting. The songs. But especially the abbreviation she uses for The Scorpions – “The Scorps”. I can’t refer to them as anything else now.

In the book “Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture” Leah Singer calls the mix tape a “powerful way to reveal who you are.” I think thats sometimes true, but I don’t think that is the case here. These are fun and unpretentious, much like the hair metal they contain. Sometimes a mix tape is just a mix tape I guess, something to listen to during a hot Texas summer.

Heaven – Warrant

Heaven’s Trail – Tesla

Can’t Explain – “Scorps”

Makin A Mess – “Skids”

Kickstart My Heart – “Crue”

Devil’s Daughter – “Ozzy”

Rock You Like A Hurricane – “Scorps”

Rise To It – Kiss

Dr. Feelgood – “Crue”

Since You Gone – Cars

Mineola Church Sale Mix (download&stream)

Plain and Simple – T. Roy Thomas (TRT Productions, c.a 1995)

t. royThis tape came from the wilds of Southeast Missouri. A place where mullets are still free to roam the lands, blowing free the Ozark Mountain air. A place where hillbillies mingle freely with rednecks, and, owing to their proximity to Nashville, produce some of the most awesomely bad country music known to man. This tape is a rare treat. I hope you enjoy it.

Honky Tonk Zone

“Well I got blasted the other night / I should have never crossed that line

And it came to my surprise / as they towed me away

I was in the honkey tonk zone / I been dancing all night long

I discovered a mean two-step / Lord, I feel alive

I been wearing these cowboy boots / This is all I want to do

And I found another home / in the honkey tonk zone”

Recorded at Texana Sound Studio, Nashville, TN; Producer, Kurt Ryle; Co-Producer, T. Thomas (for TRT); Engineer, Ken Isham; Asst. Engineer, Jim Leggette.

From the liner notes: “I would like to thank Jerry Kennedy for teaching me patience. Also thanks to the Sidewinders that played on this session. (Great pickers). The Lord has blessed me very much to surround me with such talent and friends in my life. And I thank him daily.”

Honky Tonk Zone – T. Roy Thomas (download&stream)

Untitled Mix Tape 1 (Kansas, c.a. 1999)

untitledmix1This tape was found at the Social Service League thrift store. It was one of a handful I picked up on my last trip there. (This was also where I found Demi’s Tapes). This mix started out strong but it fizzled just as it was getting good. Someone was evidently taping over some adult new age music, the kind with synthesizers, drum machines and un-necessary crescendos. I like to think that who ever was using this tape to record R&B jams off Power 94.5 (Manhatten, Junction City, Fort Riley, KS) realized a little too late that she had her Mom’s Yanni tape in her boom box. Little did she know she was doing the world a small favor.

The only track on here that is not doing it for me is the Amy Grant track, and that’s the one that get cut off about a minute into it. It probably wasn’t meant to be on here anyway. With that in mind, this is a totally awesome mini-mix. Bonus Janet Jackson video follows, tell me you don’t want her stereo!

Tracklist:

I will be your comfort – Shai

Thats the way love is – Bobby Brown

That’s the way love goes  – Janet Jackson

Good for me – Amy Grant (cut off)

Demi’s Tapes (home recording, c.a. 1999)

demistapesDemi’s Tapes is a home recording by a room full of young girls. It sounds like it might be a slumber party or something. The entire recording is pretty long… I haven’t listened to the whole thing. A little tedious at times, but overall its a cute and disarmingly honest home recording.

The girls pass the microphone around, alternating between gross out humor (farting ,talking about “chunky burps”), weather reports, impromptu songs, trying on clothes and making fun of each other.

This is just a short clip. If you like it, then build me a robot that will record WAV files… or just let me know you want to hear more and I will record it myself.

“on my way to colorado” – Demi’s Tapes (stream & download)