GETTING MORE TALE #799: Mix CD 10 – “I’m So Bad Baby I Don’t Care” (2003)
Welcome back to an informal series of stories on the subject of musical rediscovery! It is a blast listening to mix CDs (or tapes) that you made ages ago. To get you caught up, you can check out the below if you so choose!
This is one I have been looking forward to, for a couple reasons. One, I love the cover artwork. I recently reconnected with an old friend from the UK named RooRaaah. He drew this rabbit, “Rab C. Rabbit”, and I always thought the crude sketch was hilarious. If I hadn’t used it on my 10th mix CD, I might have lost it forever.
The second reason is that I burned this CD in the aftermath of dating Elli, as told in Record Store Tales Part 15: Dating a Radio Station Girl. I was seeking all sorts of music, from heavy and angry to soft and soothing. There’s a healthy dose of nostalgia, as I knew I could always return there to fill the holes in my heart. There are even some rarities here, the kind of things you found by browsing Limewire.
As usual, I opened with a comedy bit: Trey Parker and Matt Stone yelling “Dude!” at each other, from the movie Baseketball. “I guess you’ve got a point there.” Then straight into the brand new Anthrax: “Safe Home”. We’ve Come For You All was fresh and this song captured part of how I felt. “My whole world has moved on.” It was a strong, albeit mainstream single for the thrash pioneers, and one that still holds up.
From there to full-on nostalgia: “Mr. Roboto”! Wow, she must have really done a number on my heart to make me go all the way back there, the first rock record I ever bought. At this point in my history, I lost my original LP copy and hadn’t yet got one on CD since it was so hard to find. Hence the Limewire download. A co-worker picked up the Styx CD for me in Toronto a year or two later. Then, first of three Motorhead tracks is a wakeup: “I’m So Bad Baby I Don’t Care”. I was definitely pissed off! But then it’s onto the Faces classic “Ooh La La”, a taste for which was acquired by repeated viewings of Rushmore.
Albums and artists tend to repeat on this CD. Even certain songs repeat! Jellyfish’s excellent “The Ghost at Number One” is the first of two appearances. I can taste the nostalgia, as I retreated to a simpler time, sitting in front of the TV watching music videos on Much. I always appreciated the Beatles-esque track, which I haven’t heard in years. Back to the 80s again, and the Gowan classic “A Criminal Mind”. Comfortable MuchMusic memories in the basement. A dark, plaintive song that spoke to me. “And you will never break me, till the day I die.”
Motorhead’s “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” reflects a fresh appreciation for punk rock in my post-Elli haze. You could thrash out to it and just rock the frustrations till they were gone. This song will lift you up no matter how deep the hole. A real weird rarity follows this, a Limewire discovery: Mike Patton & Dillinger Escape Plan covering Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You”. And they fucking kill it, too! Just a bootleg, but good enough for a mix CD.
Back to the movie Rushmore. One of the most impressive tracks in that movie is the Live At Leeds version of “A Quick One (While He’s Away)” by The Who. Once a co-worker told me exactly what that song was (from expanded edition of Live at Leeds), I grabbed it (before buying the CD later on) from Limewire. The track is an utter marvel, and I maintain the live version is the superior one. I couldn’t believe it was actually live! It’s as clean as a studio cut with perfect harmonies, but with explosive live energy. It’s my favourite Who song, hands down. It’s the kind of song that made me feel smug, like “Yes, I have fucking great taste in music.”
The first repeat band (and song) is “The Ghost at Number One”, this time live. Jellyfish’s immaculate live version is tight as a drum. Then, a magnificent double repeat: Styx, now with Lawrence Gowan on lead vocals, with “A Criminal Mind”! And not just “A Criminal Mind”, no; live in Kitchener Ontario, this one! It’s cool that James “JY” Young threw down that wicked guitar solo right across town. So this one is special to me no matter how you slice it. The centerpiece of the CD, perhaps.
Don’t read anything into “Crabsody” by AC/DC being on this CD. It’s not on any of the US albums, so I downloaded it when I searched for “rare AC/DC” on Limewire. (Strictly a novelty song, incidentally and not a lost AC/DC classic.) You can definitely read “nostalgia” into the next track. Back to 1981 (Jesus!) and “Believe It Or Not” by Joey Scarbury. And I clearly went for the most mangled transition I could manage, since the very next song is “Chinese Arithmetic” by a Patton-fronted Faith No More (second appearance for Mike). The track opens with Patton announcing, “The word of the day is…fuck.” Which he then repeats a few times, before seguing into “Vogue” (as they often did).
Finally it’s back to Gowan again, and “Strange Animal” (featuring Tony Levin on the Chapman Stick). The rhythm that Levin lays down is a beast! Even in shitty Limewire quality, this song moves. Motorhead make their final appearance on the war ballad “1916”, a song which I found real affecting at that time. I got the album as soon as possible.
Ending the CD (sort of) is CKY, whose only real claim to fame is an attachment to the Jackass guys via Bam Margera’s brother Jess. The details are lost to me now, but I would have heard this song either a) on a Margera DVD or b) on a mix CD played in store. It’s a good little ballad circa the millenium, and it suited my grey heart. It’s been years since I last played it, and I can hear what I liked in it. Thank God I’m not that sad sack o’ shit anymore, though.
The real final track is just a coda, a preview of the new Metallica song “Frantic” via a show called MTV Icon. Remember, when they paid tribute to Metallica and had Snoop up there doing his thang to “Sad But True”? Well Metallica closed the show with their own song, and then I guess the credits must have rolled or something, because this thing just fades out before James can even deliver one “Fran-tic-tic-tic-tic-tock!”
I put some effort into typing out an interesting looking tracklist on the back, and Rab C. Rabbit looks fab on the front. I even glued the two together to make the insert. Here’s the funny thing though. I guess I must have needed a case to put this CD in, so I swapped out one from a local band called Vacuity, and threw their CD in the trash. The vacuity.net sticker is still on the back. This is funny, because one of the guys from Vacuity worked at the Record Store, and, well, he really wanted me to like his band. When he and store parted ways, I parted with the CD! Dick move, I know, but he was kinda a dick.
I think this my mix deserves:
5/5 Rab C. Rabbits