The Serpico Mixes: The Blue 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!)

 Wait, wait, wait, where's Eiffel 65?!

Wait, wait, wait, where's Eiffel 65?!

Mix #36

Theme: Blue

 I don't think this is the "blue" Skip has in mind. (image from

I don't think this is the "blue" Skip has in mind. (image from

Blaspheming Barry from LOCK, STOCK, & TWO SMOKING BARRELS- I can only assume this is a passive aggressive message aimed at me.

All Blue by Cheryl Knight- The kind of country infused song that makes you think, “Huh…maybe I do like country music after all.”

Blue by Ryan Adams- This feels like a cover of a song that was first sung by a female singer. I don’t know how to describe it beyond those terms while recognizing that’s kind of a senseless way to describe it. It just felt like—and maybe it is just the Patsy Kline thing here—a song that would’ve been sung by a woman of her generation of singers.

Blue by The Verve- If you liked U2’s Pop/Zooropia sound but wish it had less Bono, this is the song for you. Seriously, it plays like a b-side from those albums. I was expecting “Lemon” to immediately follow. I personally think that time is an underrated era of U2 music so I like the sound here, but be aware the world is full of many, many people who would vehemently dispute this recommendation.

Blue by The Thorns- I feel like I should have found this fun, but I just didn’t. Not bad by any means, but just did not work for me at all. Under three minutes and still feels protracted.

Blue Light by Bloc Party- The lack of emotion in Okereke’s voice dampens this song. He does not sound sad or angry, he just sounds…here. Musically though, I quite like it, with the rapidly increasing beat and the simple, light piano line.

Blue Skies by Albert Hammond, Jr.- Felt like a really great intro to a song that never moved into the heart of it. One gear when it needed a second kick in and really propel it.

Blue Skies Again by Jessica Lea Mayfield- A female vocalist, a la-la-la chorus, and a clap beat? Oh, I can settle nicely into this one.

Blue Girl by Q-Tip- Ooo, that lush seventies beat. Like relaxing in a throne of buttery leather. So warm, so nice. And then the piano? Good night! I’m fine with the lyrics and vocals but the music. Yes to this.

What the hell happens at the end though?

Blue Jean by David Bowie- There is so much happening in this song! It seems like Oingo Boingo doing a song with David Bowie. It’s damn near overwhelming.

But I also kind of love it.

Blue Cheese by The UMC’s- A perfect snapshot of early 90’s hip hop. Bright, spitter front and center with his vocals as the clear major draw. Nearly every couplet rhyming. Feels like beach music, in an odd way.

Baby Blue by Martina Topley Bird- Pleasant and inoffensive.

Baby Blue Sedan by Modest Mouse- Typically excellent Modest Mouse. Seemingly so simple and yet not. Lyrically rich and emotionally naked without being melodramatic.

Deep Blue by Arcade Fire- Genuinely weird in a way I love. Dark, moody, with just the right amount of music and vocal distortion.

Bisbee Blue by Calexico- Adult contemporary in every way that gets adult contemporary mocked. Do not like.

Computer Blue by Prince- That intro. So odd as to be almost creepy. I felt my arms goosebump up, for sure.

Unfortunately, the song is never weird enough to live up to that initial vibe and the pseudo inspirational instrument solo that overtakes the song at 2:15 is…ugh. Prince can do anything but that does not mean he always should. Not even that Prince scream can make it all alright.

Blue Moon (instrumental) by The Ventures- Blue Moon is not a song I usually like. Making it s a 50’s diner style instrumental song does little to change my opinion of it.

Blue Ridge Mountains by Fleet Foxes- The first time I heard this song, in the first minute, I got a bit annoyed. “What the hell are you playing at, Foxes?!” I might have thought to myself. And now I still hate that first minute. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Thankfully, it gets better than that. But the fact is I often skip this one because of how little I like its opening.

Blue Water by Doves- A solid rock song that recalls the band’s early tunes.

Mr. Blue Sky by ELO- I’m not a big ELO guy, but if you don’t like this song, you are simply a terrible person. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It is a touch long though, isn’t it? A noodles around a little more than I like. Still…so elevating!

Cool Blue Reason by Cake- Ruthless. Cake nicely using its simplicity to release a song that is surgical in how it builds dread and pricks you more and more as the song proceeds. So subversively dark.

Pink and Blue by Andre 3000- Is this really the first Andre song I’ve covered for this project? Wow…weird.

Less a song and more a stream of consciousness feedback loop set over improbably more complicated and strange musical choices. It’s interesting, for sure, but its relistenability is like a negative two.