The Serpico Mixes: The Themeless Disc

In a joint collaboration with my weekday roommate and Bronx ally Skip Serpico, I’ll be discussing a mix CD a week. He makes them, I listen to them and provide my in the moment commentary. You, hopefully, read said commentary and maybe open up your musical horizons. You can come here every week for the Serpico Mixes. And you should also visit Skip’s site, Fission Spaghetti, for his musings on food and Saturday Night Live (and more!)

I don't want anyone to freak out, but I think this guy is upside down.

I don't want anyone to freak out, but I think this guy is upside down.

Mix #2

Theme: Random/Themeless

See, this is a mutant from the Merry Marvel Universe named "Random." Get the tie-in? Get it? (image from

See, this is a mutant from the Merry Marvel Universe named "Random." Get the tie-in? Get it? (image from

Holy Holy Holy by Wye Oak- Pleasant enough but didn’t make much of an impression. I wanted to like it more.

Someday Soon by Doves- …nice? I like the track but I’m not really inspired to write more about it.

Romance by Wild Flag- Fun times. I have no idea what the phrase “Sound is the blood between me and you,” means, really, but I still like the turn of phrase. Very 80’s girl group in tone.

Staring at the Wall by JEFF The Brotherhood- This offering does nothing for me. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do like at the end when they pull the sound back and forth between sides and modulate it. That’s a cool effect at the least.

Devil in You by The Watson Twins- Big, rich. Like an alt-country cousin to Fiona Apple. Or cousins, I suppose, since they’re a duo.

Pale Bride by The Von Blondies- Remember how I told you I liked “This woman is going to be the ruin of me” songs. This is like that plus a dose of Tim Burton (circa the good period) morbidity.

On Directing by Tegan and Sara- How great is this duo? I love how they hit the “talking like a teen” part and the background lyrics get obviously higher pitched and more whiny. A touch repetitive though.

If Only by Queens of the Stone Age- A restrained Queens song. Not my favorite “version” of them but the guitar licks are quite impressive.

Deuce by The Cardigans- A new Cardigans song I’d never heard before.

Or, rather, remember anyway. It was on the X-Files soundtrack and I love me some X-Files so there’s no way this is the first time I encountered it.

Either way, a pleasant surprise.

Tidal Wave by Thee Oh Sees- A nice early rock vibe with the guitars and drums; the voice is a little too buried for my tastes though. I tend to favor lyrics that are a bit more front and center. And yet, R.E.M. is my favorite band…not everything about me makes sense, ok?

Silver Springs by Lykke Li- I enjoyed this one, but I kept waiting for it to break open. All the indicators were there that it was building to an explosion but then…fizzle.

The Gun Has No Trigger by Dirty Projectors- Sounds like a song in search of a James Bond movie and I mean that in a good way.

Cholla by the Joy Formidable- I saw them do this in concert a month ago, opening for the Black Keys. Prefer this album version by a fair amount. Their levels were a mess at the venue, I think.

The Walls Are Coming Down by Fanfarlo- Although it is a song of resignation, it feels oddly triumphant. I can picture a great film montage unfolding to it.

La Sirena by Feist- Another entry I liked that I kept waiting/wanting it to unleash. It does so musically here around 3:15 but vocally Feist never really does.

A Fond Farewell by Elliot Smith- So damn good. SO damn good. Midtempo done to perfection.

Clean by Pete Yorn- Is that ScarJo? Nice. I actually think I like this Yorn better than the one from the previous album. Maybe it’s because of the intersex duet? I don’t know. Musically, I think the other one is better, but I like this one more. Maybe because it is newer to me?

Take a Step by Milo Greene- Is “wash your love all over me” a double entendre? It seems like it would be.

Which woman sings that one verse?

Overall I like it. On the previous mix it would probably firmly mid to low on the favorite scale, but here it is a standout.

The Good, the Bad, and the Queen by The Good, the Bad, and the Queen- The jam-y end definitely lost me. Total checkout. Although, truth be told, I wasn’t that invested to begin with.