Friday, November 23

Going Nowhere Is Like Giving Up.

Bang me.

Listen. It's the day after Thanksgiving. After an intense day of travel and cheesy potatoes, I got home at 11pm and didn't have enough time to give the final mix-tape review its due. Instead of half-assing it, I'm moving it to Monday, which seemed to be the fairest and least-douche thing to do. Besides, I thought today would be a good time to chime in about what to expect next week; honestly one of the biggest weeks in CDP history.

After wrapping up the mix-tape trade on Monday, I'll be gearing everything up for the long-awaited release of 65 Poor Life Decisions on Friday. I'll be answering any lingering questions about ordering and shipping, along with how you can order a personalized copy directly through me.

I'll also be hitting the press trail, doing interviews for CDP Network bloggers Spork Nation as well as Kevin Palmer at PointlessBanter. I have a few local things set up, as well as a couple more bloggers that would like a moment of my time before November 30. Also, if you're feeling especially awesome, I will have a banner created on the 30th that you can display on your page to promote the book.

Sometime next week, my initial shipment of books will arrive in the mail, which I will be using to mail order out to people who wish to order directly through me. I have a PO Box set up, and will be accepting money orders and well-concealed cash only. Very punk rock.

Of course, if you don't care about an autographed copy, free shipping and free merch, you can always order the book online, which will be super-easy through Lulu.com. I'll walk you through it and be super-gentle.

We're almost there, friends. We're almost there. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, November 22

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (Part 8 of 9).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party - Moe Greene.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I'm waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a week to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you'd expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My eighth reviewed mix belongs to a man that might actually hate Duke University more than I do, Moe Greene. Here we go.

1. Chinese People - Jerry Seinfeld

It made sense to me to have Moe start off his mix with a joke. Coming from the 'I'm Telling You For The Last Time' album, I always got a kick out of this bit about Eastern tradition. All things considered, the rest of Seinfeld's album is actually pretty decent.

2. The Mixed Tape - Jacks' Mannequin

Ahh, I get it. Instead of setting a particular mix-tape theme, he instead tosses in a self-referential song about the mix itself. Clever. This is a catchy, radio-friendly rock track that I found myself rocking out too a little too much; almost embarrassingly so. This would be something I would listen to alone in the car, then pop back in LCD Soundsystem when it's time to impress someone.

3. Midnight Show - The Killers

Every time I hear The Killers, I wonder why Hot Hot Heat isn't more popular. I mean, I have every album by both bands, I see hardly no difference in hooks, songwriting and lyricism, yet The Killers are significantly more mainstream. Maybe it's that fruity perm that the HHH lead singer sports.

That all being said, I've always liked this track. Typical Killers fare; sexy, driving, pulsing and even more sexy.

4. No, It Isn't - +44


When Blink 182 broke up, I was already tired of listening to them, so I never gave their many offshoot bands a chance. Mark always had the better voice, Tom was funnier, Travis was the most talented and Scott Raynor looked exactly like an old friend of mine.

The truth of the matter is that they can write a popular song; there's no denying that. Hell, I spent the bulk of my high school years learning to play all of their songs on the drums (mission accomplished, by the way). The elitist jerk in me would like this song more if it weren't created by a washed up pop-punk star, but it's really quite listenable.

5. Susanne - Weezer

Awesome, now we're getting somewhere. It always struck me that three of the best Weezer songs of all-time were for soundtracks (Susanne, Jamie, You Gave Your Love To Me Softly). I haven't heard this song in awhile, and it basically frustrates the hell out of me concerning the Weezer of the 21st Century. Remember Pinkerton? The Blue Album? The Angus soundtrack? Grrr.

6. Time Turned Fragile - Motion City Soundtrack

I picked up the Motion City Soundtrack debut disk a few years ago, and I dug it plenty. They're one of a few Alternative Press-style bands that don't annoy me to pieces (yet I continue to purchase the magazine for some reason). Swirling synth lines, quirky lyrics, blasting drums and chugging guitars, they're Warped Tour main stage material, which is awesome or terrible, depending on how you look at it.

7. Popular - Nada Surf

Oh no, you didn't just go old school! I like this mix of 90's and 00's alternative rock. It's like, "This was awesome, and this is what happened to everything afterwards." Nada Surf is still releasing amazing music; The Proximity Effect and Let Go are amazing albums, and really establish them as more than a one-hit-wonder of Alternative Nation.

Quick side note. I saw Nada Surf in concert about 6 years ago, and they played this song. It was divine.

I'm sure he'll like it.
Everyone will appreciate it.
You're so novel.
What a good idea.
You can keep your time to your self.
You don't need date insurance.
You can go out with whoever you want to.
Every boy!
Every boy in the whole world could be yours!
If you'll just listen to my plan...
The Teenage Guide...To Popularity!!!

8. Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups

Another mix, another cut of Lazy Eye. That's cool with me; I've really enjoyed hearing this song this year. Like I said before, the nostalgia is amazing, the girl in the video is obsession-worthy and it makes me feel 13 again. What more could you possibly want from a song released in 2007?

9. The Best Of Me - The Starting Line

I like The Starting Line, and I'll tell you why. First off, my band played a show with them many years ago, when they were just up-and-coming (we played with a lot of these bands, actually, which may explain my love/hate relationship with some of them). They were sweet kids, they resonated with the crowd well and wrote solid songs.

Secondly, they're full of ultimate WIN simply for having the balls to record 'Bedroom Talk.' The line "I'm gonna tear your ass up like we just got married" is one of my favorite lyrics in the history of pop-punk.

Again, a good old school/new school mix. Moe shares some of my music tastes in this regard. The appreciation for a good song, regardless of what washed-up scene it came from.

10. Sell Out - Reel Big Fish

See? What did I tell you? Third-wave ska? Sure! Sell Out is one of my favorite ska tunes of all-time, and I've seen RBF at least 7 times in the last 10 years. If anyone knows about my musical background, I'm mainly a ska-punk drummer, and I've played along to this song in my headphones many a time as a teenager. RBF hit their peak with Why Do They Rock So Hard?, but their live show is still worthy of your cash.

If anyone wants to talk about ska in the comments section, that would be just awesome. It's been forever since I had a good conversation about this constantly disrespected genre.

11. Hey Jealousy - Hit The Lights

Moe, your mix is starting to grow on me. This punked-out cover of the Gin Blossoms classic is slightly annoying, but not enough to take away from the amazingness of the original song. Hey Jealousy is a modern rock masterpiece, plain and simple, and I still haven't grown tired of it. I don't know what the general consensus is on the Gin Blossoms, but damn, how can you deny this track?

I feel all warm and fuzzy right now. I think that as the days have progressed, I've grown more and more soft reviewing these mixes. My apologies to the first few people that had to feel my unnecessary wrath. I love this song.

12. Under Pressure - My Chemical Romance (w/The Used)

I hate this song. I hated the original, so it only makes sense that I would hate it more when covered by less talented people with less clout and even more homosexual tendencies than David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, if that's even possible in this universe.

13. Hands Down - Dashboard Confessional

Quick story about Hands Down. The first time I heard this song, it was an acoustic track on the end of an old Dashboard EP. It was 2000, I think, and me and the Missus had just started going out. We had spent an amazing night out together, and as I was driving myself home, I listened to this track for the very first time. To my amazement, the night had gone almost exactly the same way as in the song. From that point forward, I pretty much knew that me and the Missus would be together for probably ever. For sentimental value alone, Hands Down is untouchable in my book, but the acoustic version only.

14. Dancing With Myself - Blink 182

Wow, another cover? More Blink 182 stuff? Damn, that's a pretty bold move; it pretty much violates the three main rules of a mix-tape. No covers, no multiple tracks from the same people, and no Blink 182 at any time.

However, because it is a cover of a Billy Idol song, I'll look past those instances...for now.

15. I Feel So - Box Car Racer

Wow...really? The first half of this album was going so well, Moe. What are you trying to do to me? Three Blink-esque tracks on one mix is seriously pushing the envelope, here.

16. 155 - +44

Oh man, you have got to be absolutely kidding me, here. Blink Track #4? I'll tell you, there are very few bands that deserve more than 2 tracks on any given mix, and the Blink 182 extended family is certainly not one of them. Listening to the song itself, I fully believe that Mark Hoppus completely owns Tom when it comes to singing, songwriting and musicianship, but still...four songs?

17. Everything's Magic - Angels & Airwaves

Okay, now you're just trying to hurt me. Much like the time I accidentally wore my Mom's blouse to school in the 4th grade, I find myself muttering "This is not really happening, is it?" almost every half-second. I feel like taking my pants off and running down the street to What's My Age Again, like I did NINE GODDAMN YEARS AGO.

Weezer! Nada Surf! Reel Big Fish! Remember how much fun that was? Remember?

18. Nothing Lasts Forever - The Living End

I saw The Living End open for The Get Up Kids and Green Day many years ago, and it was one of the better concerts I had ever seen at that point. These guys are very entertaining live, the bass player is absolutely insane, and hey, they're not Blink 182!

19. Everlong - Foo Fighters

Moe, you genius bastard. How can I possibly be mad at you now? You've decided to close the album with my favorite rock song ever, thus negating every criticism I've given your mix. I guess this kind of music is a very thin line between universally accepted and utter trash, which is why me and the Missus argue about it so much.

Everyone should listen to Everlong at least once, laying down in pitch darkness with the speakers blasting, thinking of nothing but the most intimate and unforgettable moment of your life. It's almost religious in feeling.

20. The Dufresnes - Mitch Hedberg

Well played, good sir. Well played. All is forgiven.

Time for stats!

Total Number Of Tracks - 20
Number Of Above Average Tracks - 9
Number Of Average Tracks - 5
Number Of Below Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Tracks That I Own -
Best Track - Everlong
Worst Track - Anything by Blink Airwaves 44
Total Score - 7.0/10

Tomorrow, I'll have the final mix on the chopping block. Stick around to see how it all goes down.

Wednesday, November 21

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (Part 7).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party - Mike Hoss.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I'm waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a week to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you'd expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My seventh reviewed mix belongs to Mike Hoss; a kind, intelligent family man from Nebraska, who's blog was so jam-packed with technological jargon that it gave me a nosebleed. Here we go.

1. Pretty Angry - Blues Traveler

I've always liked Blues Traveler. Before they got big, after John Popper lost nine thousand pounds, always. He can write a good song, sing his heart out and play the harmonica like absolutely nobody else out there. I don't know what the theme of Mike's mix is, but this is a good opening track, somber and slowly-moving. Clocking in at almost seven minutes, Mike has taken a 15 track mix and stretched it out to over an hour. Woah.

2. Agenda Suicide - The Faint

If you're from Nebraska, you have to put some Saddle Creek on your mix. Where I thought Mike would go with a Bright Eyes, Cursive or Broken Spindles, he goes straight for the throat with the buzzing opener to Dance Macabre. 'Agenda Suicide' is a great intro to The Faint; a band that should be mandatory listening for anyone who wears eyeliner.

3. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

The Man In Black rides again, with this timeless number from a timeless album. Musicians just don't play in prisons anymore; I wonder why? Forget it, I'm done talking about this track; it's too cool to be background music, I have to stop and give it all of my attention.

This seems to be a rather free-form mix-tape, which is fine with me. Multiple genres tend to unite together if the song selection is right, and so far, so good.

4. Red Dragon Tattoo - Fountains Of Wayne

Pre-Stacy's Mom, these guys were pretty rad. They took the best hooks and melodies from classic bands like Big Star and Teenage Fanclub and just ran with it. I also like the quirky, funny lyrics and sarcasm. If I were a halfway-decent songwriter, I'd probably be in a band that sounds exactly like this.

5. Mockingbird - Derek Webb

This is my introduction to Derek Webb, and I'm left fairly pleased. The churning acoustic guitar and uplifting lyrics take you into a huge chorus, followed by another buildup, more instrumentation and a spine-tingling payoff. Feel-good stuff, right there.

6. Sick Of Myself - Matthew Sweet

Whoo! I love this song. A super-underrated track from Matthew Sweet, this song is played in my car at least once a week to this day. It's mid-90's rock nostalgia never ceases to bring a smile to my face, and the lyrics are almost identical to a song I wrote back in High School. Look, it's .99 on iTunes, just do yourself a favor and pick it up; you will not be disappointed.

7. I'm Always The One Who Calls - Pedro The Lion

A guy from Nebraska that loves Pedro The Lion....you're not a fan of Let's Eat Paste by any chance, are you, Mike? I don't think it's possible for David Bazan to write a song that's not touching in some way, shape or form. His warm, longing voice and guitar work always manage to suck me in and keep me listening to the very end.

8. One Angry Dwarf & 200 Solemn Faces (live) - Ben Folds Five

I like the 'live' interview footage interspersed around this classic Ben Fold's Five track. This was the first BFF song I had ever heard, and I was instantly hooked from that point forward. Ben Folds has written an insane number of my most favorite songs of all-time (Brick, Best Imitation Of Myself, The Last Polka, Gone, etc.), so he's untouchable, as far as I'm concerned.

9. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

I'm glad I paid for this song the same amount that I paid for In Rainbows....nothing! No, I'm just kidding Radiohead; I just get sick of how awesome everyone tells me they are. What's more, I don't like that they think they are as awesome as everyone says they are. That being said, if this slow-burn track had ended a minute earlier, it would have been a classic. Instead, it's just indulgent, which makes sense when we're talking about Radiohead.

10. Hoochie Coochie Man - Muddy Waters

Heyyy....wait a minute....I think this blues song is about having sex! Okay, maybe it isn't, but the song just oozes with sweat and sleaze, to the point where women shouldn't even listen to it unless they're on the pill; it's that fertile.

11. The Obvious Child - Paul Simon

Another mix, another Paul Simon track. This sounds just like you'd think it would; tribal drums, funky guitar strumming and Mr. Simon doing what he does best. Nothing more to add here, I don't think. You either like him or you don't.

12. Joy - Lucinda Williams

Lucinda sounds seriously pissed off in this number, where she basically rips her former lover a new poop chute. The guitars and bass have a distinctly southern twang to them, and Ms. Williams gets more and more snarky by the second, until the gradually-fading payoff.

I like that Mike has a deep and varied style of musical enjoyment. While we don't match up in a few areas, I respect it, which is all you can really hope for when you try to get someone else into your tastes. The mix lacks a certain flow and overall mood, but the songs speak for themselves.

13. Out In The Street - Bruce Springsteen

I feel uncultured for not giving a crap about Bruce Springsteen. I mean, I like a few of his songs, but I just can't get all soggy for him like so many others do. To me, any band that so prominently features a saxophone loses major points in my book. That instrument needs to be collectively locked in a chest in the attic, never to be played again by anyone.

14. Desire - U2

As opposed to The Boss, I can fully get behind U2. I mean, Bono is kind of a self-important douche, and 'The Edge' is one of those names that is practically begging for you to punch them in the jaw, but they've written some timeless songs, changed lives and remained as cool as ever, even after Bono's unfortunate haircut for the bulk of the 80's. Good track; I had never heard it before.

15. The End - The Doors

The 12-minute finale to end all finales has arrived, and I sat through the entire thing. I wasn't drunk, I wasn't hopped up on the goofballs, and I wasn't wrapping my lips around a shotgun, either. I just sat back, closed my eyes and listened to a stupefyingly brilliant band doing absolutely everything right. It was worth it, and my patience was rewarded.

Great work, Mike. Time for stats!

Total Number Of Tracks - 15
Number Of Above Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Average Tracks - 5
Number Of Below Average Tracks - 4
Number Of Tracks That I Own - 5
Best Track - Sick Of Myself
Worst Track - Fake Plastic Trees
Total Score - 7.2/10

Tomorrow, I'll have another mix on the chopping block. Will it be yours?

Tuesday, November 20

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (Part 6).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I'm waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a week to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you'd expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My sixth reviewed mix belongs to a Madison native, and one of only 300 people who are fortunate enough to own my band's first album, Julia Rubin. Here we go.

1. Gimme Some Motivation - Delta Spirit

The theme of Julia's mix is 'feel-good.' These are tracks that will lift you up, brighten your day and make you happy. In that regard, the mix is kicked off right proper with this Strokes-esque rock number. The shuffling drums and distorted vocals remind me of a Gap commercial, where every one is smiling and sporting fresh, crisp pantaloons.

2. Callin' Out - Lyrics Born

I already like Julia's style. This woman clearly likes to move. In fact, I hope I can meet up with her at an upcoming Madison concert so we can bust a move together. This is pretty much an old-skool hip-hop number, with a smooth flow, heavy bass line and breakdancing-on-cardboard nostalgia. I'm digging it, and wouldn't you know it, I feel good.

3. The Seed - Cody Chesnutt

Woah. I gotta say, right off the bat, this this is one of the dirtier songs I've had the pleasure to review in the last two weeks. This smooth, bluesy ode to an extramarital affair sounds downright pretty if you're not listening to the lyrics. If you are listening to the lyrics, you'll know that someone's about to get pregnant.

Speaking of which, that's a saying I like to shout around the house from time to time. "Someone gon' git' pregnant!"

4. Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town - Talking Heads

Why didn't anyone else throw a Talking Heads track on their mix? Also, where in the hell are all the Replacements songs? A dozen mixes and no Replacements? Weird.

I like how David Byrne basically got away with doing whatever he wanted to do in his songs, as long as it got him from Point A to Point B. If a new wave song required a steel drum, he'd throw it in without thinking twice. How cool is that?

5. Don' Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson

This is an ultimate 'Feel-Good' track. In fact, I think that scientists have proven it impossible not to dance when this track hits the speakers. It also reminds you of just how amazing Michael Jackson was before things got all wonky.

Sorry, I'm half-dancing in my office chair right now. Screw you guys. I like this mix a lot.

6. Quality Control - Jurassic 5

I saw Jurassic 5 at the Van's Warped Tour, of all places, many years ago. Their flow is unmatched, their intelligence keeps you smiling and the beats are tight. This track is the sound of a handful of MC's in perfect unison. I can't wait to get this mix into my car on the way home for Thanksgiving. It'll be 150 straight miles of head-nodding and posturing.

7. Lazy Fo Acre - Mofro

This track brings the mix down a few notches and chills everything out. This song would have also been at home in Domsar's mix; a smooth, smoky, bleary-eyed jam.

8. First In Flight - Blackalicious

I should probably overlook this, but I noticed that the first half of Julia's mix is heavy on black guys, and the second half is loaded with white dudes. I don't know if this was done on purpose or not, but it's actually kind of neat.

This track, if I can sound like a real douchebag, bumps. More rapid-fire lyrical delivery, more tight beats and more melodies that force you to move around. The only downside was an abrupt ending that really caught me off guard. It almost sounded like a disk error.

9. Out Of Sight - James Brown

Man, do I love the Godfather. I like to listen to James Brown when I'm cleaning my house on Sunday mornings. It keeps me going, and I do this thing where I half-dance and half-clean for a few hours. You were probably a lot better off before you knew that.

Julia has succeeded in making me feel good. Hot damn! Step back! Catch myself!

10. Never Too Late - Michael Franti & Spearhead

You can't out-funk the master, so this track smartly brings the tempo down to a smoother level. I can't say I'm a big fan of acoustic guitar hip-hop, but I understand the typically laid-back mood and uplifting message. Also, this track overstays its welcome just by a little bit.

11. My Doorbell - The White Stripes

If Meg White could drum, I'd love the White Stripes. As a 12-year drummer, I just can't listen to Meg without getting disgusted that she hasn't improved any. Also, you'd think that her arms would be in far better shape.

Gimme some effort, Meg! You have the easiest job in rock music! You're providing the backbeat for one of the most eclectic modern guitarists of all-time! LET'S FREAKING GO, HERE!

Seventeen tracks, one hour long. Just the right length for a good theme album. I have to say that I'm very surprised by this mix. Not to say I didn't think Julia could rock a mix, I just didn't think I'd like it so damn much.

12. Get Myself Arrested - Gomez

This is a shuffling, faux-reggae tune that would probably sound a lot better if I were swaying a bottle of beer in the air with about 100 of my closest friends. It's not their fault that I'm actually sitting alone in my office, wearing an argyle sweater and playing Tetris.

13. Late In The Evening - Paul Simon

This song sounds like a jingle for an African-themed resort hotel. Sorry, I really cracked myself up with that one. Seriously, I really like Paul Simon. In fact, I was just listening to an old 33 of Kodachrome on my turntable. Seriously. Suck it, hipsters.

14. Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone? - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

Ted Leo is one of my favorite indie rockers. He's a vegan, he can write a good song in every possible genre, he can sing like crazy and he rocks a live show like nobody's business. Tyranny Of Distance is one of the best start-to-finish rock albums I've ever heard, and it's more than worth your time.

15. 16 Military Wives - The Decemberists

Awesome track. In my book, The Decemberists can do no wrong, and this is a perfect example. Timeless songwriting being used to describe a modern problem. I put 'We Both Go Down Together' and 'O, Valencia' on a couple of my mixes. Oh, and this music video needs to be viewed by you on YouTube immediately.

This mix has completely taken me by surprise. I should have expected nothing less from a girl that liked my band.

16. Get Fly - Atmosphere

POS > Atmosphere. I mean, I like this guy, but as far as the Doomtree/Rhymesayers collective is concerned, my main man from Minneapolis has the market cornered. I'm using this time to suggest to Julia that she purchase POS's Audition album. Simply incredible indie hip-hop.

17. Getting Better - Bob Schneider

...And we've reached the end of the 'feel-good' mix. Wouldn't you know it, I feel pretty damn good! Something tells me that this album's sentiment might be heightened with the presence of a certain THC-laced substance, but I'll just have to assume that Julia knew I'm law-abiding. There are far too many 'feeling high' references to be a fluke.

Time for stats.

Total Number Of Tracks - 17
Number Of Above Average Tracks - 8
Number Of Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Below Average Tracks - 3
Number Of Tracks That I Own - 5
Best Track - Out Of Sight (James Brown bows to nobody)
Worst Track - Never Too Late (ruins the flow a little bit)
Total Score - 8.2/10

Great job, Julia!

Tomorrow, I'll have another mix on the chopping block. Will it be yours?



(NOTE: Due to time constraints with the release of my book, I will only be reviewing 9 of the 12 mixes I received. Sherry, the Missus and TamaraZ have been bumped for the greater good, and the reviews will conclude on Friday.)

Monday, November 19

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (Part 5).

Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I'm waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a week or two to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you'd expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My fifth reviewed mix belongs to the hilarious, hard-drinking, gun-toting, ass-kicking, South Carolina-raised JT.

Due to specific instructions sent to me with the CD, it has been suggested that the mix works best when listened to drunk. Never one to ruin the specific and delicate mood created by JT, I have completely obliged, setting forth my own listening rules:

At the conclusion of each of the first 10 tracks (there are 20 overall), I will take a shot of Jameson Whiskey. That's 10 shots in under 35 minutes, leaving me to slip into unconsciousness for the remaining 35 (it's a pretty long mix).


This has been done for JT, the love of the mix-tape, my dedication to the CDP and the greater good in general. I also want to mention that this is a terrible idea and should not be tried by anyone, anywhere, ever. However, don't ever again think that you can't be drank under the table by a Madison hipster.

Here we go; pray for me.

1. Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers - ZZ Top

I cannot believe how similar every single ZZ Top song sounds. I won't deny their place in rock history, though; I've always liked the way they mixed the sound of their drum kit in production. ZZ Top is more or less Guitar Solo pornography; it doesn't matter how we get to the guitar solo, all that matters is that it's there and it's good.

Just by scanning the titles of these songs, you can tell that JT is laying the theme on pretty thick. One song down, and one smooth shot of Jameson for yours truly.

2. Beer Run - George Jones & Garth Brooks

Any time I hear George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," I more or less tear up like a baby. Also, I respect Garth Brooks more than just about any country musician. I mean, this guy has sold more records than the Beatles, and has been retired for a decade. This is a fun song, actually; it sounds like Garth and George are having a fun time.

My second shot in three minutes went down a little harder than the first. No worries, though.

3. Raise Hell, Drink Beer - Cory Morrow

I've never heard of Cory Morrow, but I'm really surprised he's not on the radio. Or maybe he is; I guess I'd have no idea. This is a up-tempo number about the only thing to do in a backwoods town on the weekends. Had I not left Larsen, Wisconsin for Madison, I'd probably be the biggest redneck on Earth by now.

I really should have eaten something before I signed on to give myself alcohol poisoning. My gut hurts after this third shot, and I'm starting to get light headed. It's going to be a long review.

4. Thrown Out Of The Bar - Hank Williams III

For those who don't know, Hank Williams Sr. is a God, Hank Williams Jr. is an alcoholic, and Hank Williams III is an alt-country madman. I can't say that I've ever been thrown out of a bar, but I did throw a dart at some jackass once; leaving before he kicked the crap out of me.

These songs are kind of short; I thought I'd have time to recover in between drinks. Uh-oh.

5. Longneck Bottle - Garth Brooks

You'd never think this about me, but I am the proud owner of the Garth Brooks boxed set. Not because I'm a country fan, but I'm a fan of history-changing popular music. Garth is the man, yo.

I'm starting to think that JT has created the Holy Grail of all Southern Tavern mixes. Considering that he has to listen to horrid jukebox picks every night, it makes sense that he would know what works and what doesn't.

Jesus, it's getting hot in here. I apologize for any spelling errors in the very near future. I'm going to hate Jameson my the time I'm done with this.

6. Drink One More Round For Me - Pat Green (f/Cory Morrow)

This song makes me feel like a lonely, suicidal drunk, sitting alone in my office, contemplating the desolate near-future. Oh man, that is what I'm doing! I need a sandqich, pronto.

Siiiiiiiiiiip.

7. Una Mas Cerveza - Tommy Alverson

Are you sure this isn't a Jimmy Buffet song? If not, he should at least sue for infringement on his signature, laid-back, breezy beach sound. He' s still alive, right?

Four more shots to go. Make tat three more. I feel like I ate a battery. What time is it?

8. Corpus Christi Bay - Robert Earl Keen

I want to take this time to apologize foe what's happening to this mix review. I hope JT understands my lack of vision. I also want to apologize to my mother, and anyone who reads this under the age of 21, or really anyone that has attempted to respect me as a person.

I HATE WHISKEY.

9. Beer - Cory Morrow

No freaking way! Cory Morrow covers a Reel Big Fish song! Awesome. For my money= this is pretty much my favorite beer-related song ever. I'm not even that big of a drinker (although it'll be hard to convince you of that right now), but every time I hear this song, I have to sing it at the top of my lings.,

This is my ninth show. Shot. Shot. Shot. shot. shot shot. shot. shoot

10. This One - American Gun

Guns are the only American-made product that doesn't break after a weej. Wekk. Week.

Goddamn. There, I'm done. Now I can fosuc, and get back down to business.

11. Hair Of The Dog - Shooter Jennings

When I was a kkid, I would liusten to Nazereth's 'Hair of the Dog' album, because I really liked 'Love Hurts.' Now that I'm older, nothing has changed. i just dont own the album any more.

Thank you for listening to that story. Please buy my book on November 300/

12. Some Rowdy Women - Shooter Jennings

A double shot of Shooter Hennings! Rad. I do't knoiw who this guy is, but I bet I could beat hin in a game of Pinball.

13. Sunday Morning Coming Down - Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash = The Man. The most punk rock country musician ever. RIP.

14. All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) - Hank Williams Jr.

My mom saw Hank in concert many yers ago, and she said that he gor drunk and passed out half way through his set. I don't know if that's a good thing, but at least she has a neat story to tell. I think musician is one of the few jobs where you can show up completely whacked out of your gourd and still get paid. Well, that and professional writer, I guess.

15. I'm Drinking Again - Corey Smith

He mentioned Whiskey in this song. I don't think I like whickey anymore, though. I need to go to the bathroom.

16. Whiskey River - Willie Nelson

No, not another whiskey song. I thought that Willie was more of an illicit substance kind of guy, anyways. Not me, I've always been law-abiding. I'm sick of coworkers thingking that I smoke pot. Sorry, dude, gt away from me.

17. Saint Of Alcohol - American Gun

I like this mix. Of course, I think I like just abnout everything right about now. If I were at a bar, I'd be hugging people and telling them how much I missed them, even if it were the firswt time we've ever met. I get really gabby and dancy when i drink. Sort of like when I'm sober, only slightly less coherent.

18. Wishing I Was 21 - Corey Smith

Getting drunk isn't all it's cracked up to be. You get sick, you make a fool out of yourself, you probably throw up, you don't remember much and you lose all of your money. I don't think I'm ever drinking again after this. Thanks JT, you've changed my life with your mix, but not in the way you probably intended

19. Threadbare Gypsy Soul - Pat Green (f/Willie Nelson)

You know what the difference is between a violin and a fiddle? NOTHING!

20. Tiger Rag - Clemson University Tiger Band

GO Clemson! I like that JT is so proud of his alma matter. That's freaking awesome.

Time for stats.

Total Number Of Tracks - 20
Number Of Above Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Average Tracks - 8
Number Of Below Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Tracks That I Own - 1.5
Best Track(s) - Sunday Morning Coming Down/Beer
Worst Track - Saint Of Alcohol
Total Score - 7.0/10

Tomorrow, I'll have another mix on the chopping block. Will it be yours?


(NOTE: This was done in satire only, and again, shouldn't really be attempted by anyone.)