Monday, March 20, 2006

Family Favorites

I've been exchanging emails with one of my old friends from high school, Bob. Bob owns a record store, record label and distribution house out of Tampa, Fla., and has taken on the task of documenting the history of the Florida punk scene. And we got to talking about a mix tape.

When we started hanging out, I was a sophomore and Bob a freshman in high school. I was, at the time, mostly into heavy metal and 60's rock (Pink Floyd, Hendrix, The Doors...by that time I might have even started getting into The Velvet Underground and Patti Smith). I had listened some punk (specifically, I had heard albums by the Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, Really Red, and the Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation), and liked it OK (I particularly loved the vicious guitar sound on Black Flag's Damaged LP), but I didn't really "get" it--it just sounded like metal being made by really shitty, ameteurish musicians. Then one day, Bob comes in with a tape he got from his sister's boyfriend (actually, as Bob explained in an email "The guy who gave me that tape was not even THAT into punk! Someone gave HIM the tape and then he gave it to me.") with the words "Family Favorites" written on it. It was a mix of hardcore punk, and some of it was even from those albums I had heard, but somehow this mix put it all into context, and it "clicked" with me. I understood what these guys were getting at. They weren't trying and failing to play metal, they were on to something different, more basic, more in keeping with the original spirit of rock n roll, and with a smart-ass adolescent attitude.

Bob and I were trying to reconstruct from memory what was on that tape. I'm pretty sure we remembered all the tracks, although I'm not certain about the order, especially since I made my own version when I copied the tape off of Bob, leaving off some of the songs that didn't impress me on first listen (I actually left The Minutemen track off!). I know the stuff at the beginning and end of each side, and I can place certain songs together because I know they came from certain compilation LPs (Rodney on the ROQ, Let Them Eat Jellybeans, Rat Music for Rat People) or can remember certain transitions, but some of it is just guess work. At any rate, here's my attempt to reconstruct The Tape That Changed My Life:


Side 1:
Iggy Pop - Girls
Dead Kennedys - Terminal Preppie
Minutemen - Search
Agent Orange - Mr. Moto
Circle Jerks - World Up My Ass
Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict
Exploited - Army Life Is Killin' Me
Sick Pleasure - Herpes Simplex 2
Iggy Pop - I'm Bored
DOA - America the Beautiful (intro)
DOA - You're Fucked Up, Ronnie
Circle Jerks - Live Fast, Die Young
Dead Kennedys - Forward to Death
Dead Kennedys - Let's Lynch the Landlord
Really Red - Teaching You The Fear
Circle Jerks - Murder the Disturbed
Circle Jerks - Letterbomb
The Freeze - Idiots at Happy Hour
The Freeze - Only Alcohol
Gun Club - Sex Beat
Gun Club - She's Like Heroin To Me
The Clash - Brand New Cadillac

Side 2:
Dead Kennedys - Too Drunk To Fuck
Dead Kennedys - We Got A Bigger Problem Now
Meat Men - Mr. Tapeworm (intro)
Meat Men - Toolin' For Anus
Meat Men - Dumping Ground
Flipper - Ha Ha Ha
Bad Brains - Pay to Cum
Feederz - Jesus Entering From The Rear
Subhumans - Slave to my Dick
Rat Cafeteria - Kill
Rat Cafeteria - Tax Revolt
Crass - Banned From the Roxy
Iggy Pop - 5'1"
Gonads - I Lost My Love to the UK Subs
Roach Motel - Shut Up
Roach Motel - Border Patrol
The Conservatives - I'm Nervous
Really Red - I Was A Teenage Fuck Up
Angry Samoans - Lights Out
Circle Jerks - Coup D'Etat
Circle Jerks - Golden Shower of Hits
Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia
DOA - Let's Fuck
MIA - I Hate Hippies
Dead Kennedys - Plastic Surgery Disasters outro

In retrospect, I can kinda see how this worked on me. It's heavy on adolescent humor, and there's several songs on there that sound stupid to me now, but that I thought were hilaroius at the time. There's also a heavy dose of pissed-off-at-something-but-not-sure-what, which I was definitely feeling: "I got the world up my ass," "I don't need this fuckin' world," "I'm bored," etc.

I should also mention that Roach Motel and Rat Cafeteria were local florida bands (well, I believe both were from Tampa, on the opposite coast, but local-ish). The Rat Cafeteria tracks came from the 7" compilation We Can't Help It If We're From Florida.

EDIT: I was wrong about that, Roach Motel were from Gainesville. I've added a few mp3's to the post. Some of them are from my collection, some Bob gave me, and some came from 7" Punk and Something I Learned Today.

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