[Guest-Mix] – ‘Good Morning,’ Mixed by The Harvey Girls (2009)
I’m pleased to present ‘Good Morning,’ Musicophilia’s third guest mix (with several more soon to come). I recently had the pleasure of befriending a very talented musician, writer, and unrepentant music geek, Hiram Lucke. Hiram and his wife Melissa Rodenbeek create beautiful, wide-ranging music under the name The Harvey Girls. The numerous loves they share (for each other, for making music, and for hearing music) are deeply imbued in what they do. I asked Hiram if he’d be interested in guest-mixing at Musicophilia after he asked to interview me for Circle Into Square and we hit it off, and after immersing myself in The Harvey Girls’ music, I suggested the loose idea of “an influences mix”. Hiram came through in spades: he made not one but three excellent mixes–one for each phase of the day, perhaps for each phase of life–and while the “influences” in terms of music are apparent here, Hiram aimed also to express the bigger intertwining experience of music-as-sound with music-as-life-itself. Hiram’s written a lovely story-telling essay about the ways in which music permeates, informs, and reflects a musical and a literal marriage, excerpted below (and which is included in full with the download). The mixes stand perfectly well on their own, with a nice blend of the sorts of music Musicophilia has already shared with a number of surprises and other faves (you’ll be amazed at how much sense TLC’s “Waterfalls” makes by the time you get there). But to enjoy the “influences” aspect a little more, I’d like to share a few The Harvey Girls tracks, too.
To my ears, The Harvey Girls inhabit a similar sort of sprawling, genre-free world to His Name Is Alive, Beck, Family Fodder, Cornelius, Godley & Creme, Manitoba/Caribou, Flaming Lips, or The Homosexuals clan, with a hint of the enviable coupled sweetness of Yo La Tengo or The Innocence Mission (with a marriage-safe touch of the witty Quasi or Richard & Linda Thompson). Playful catchiness, record-geek sound savvy, and emotional sincerity all meld equally as the duo skip and stroll and surf through pure sunshine pop harmony, girl-group la la las, D.A.I.S.Y.-age hip-hop, sweet country balladry, synth pop and intimations of dub and musique concrete. These examples tend toward the poppy end of their spectrum, but the darker and stranger and more contemplative moments of their albums always feel just as right. They also happen to be after the mix-maker’s heart, as the albums are sequenced as journeys, so if you like what you hear I definitely recommend listening to the full albums, a number of which are available for pay-as-you-can donation.
“Hey Little Sprout!” (‘Nutate,’ 2007)
“Good Morning, Bubblegum” (‘Blabber ‘N Smoke,’ 2004)
“Girls Sing” (‘Wild Farewell,’ 2005)
“Resh Day Lo” (‘Nutate,’ 2007)
Now, back to ‘Good Morning,’ which is definitely part of a healthy breakfast: amongst others, there’s post-punk a la Liquid Liquid and Pere Ubu, funk love from Sly & The Family Stone and Al Green, and glamor courtesy of T. Rex to TLC. There’s summer sounds from Tinariwen, De La Soul, Gilberto Gil, Paul McCartney; and things go deep with M83, King Tubby, and Bjork. ‘Good Morning‘ is the first of three mixes, to be followed over the next few weeks with ‘Afternöön Röckblöck,’ which will finally bring a bit of the Metal to Musicophilia; and the lovely ‘Night Time = Right Time‘. Here’s a bit of context from Hiram, but be sure to read the whole essay included with the download (after the “more” link as usual):
There’s a few things you can gather from these songs. We like rhythm and we like solitary sounding singer/songwriters. We have an inexplicable love of British pop from the 60s to the 80s. We love noise and sweet sounding pop in equal measure. We freaking adore the girl group sound. And, finally, we’ve got a thing for strings. Strings are proof of a higher power inasmuch as music is our religion. And there’s a lot more stuff we’ve left out: no delta blues, no religious choirs, no Fela Kuti, no John Fahey, no Bollywood soundtracks, no Archies, not enough dub, not enough country, no Alton Ellis, no jazz, no kids records, no classical… you get the idea. . .
I spent my early childhood in the late 70s and early 80s, so my brain doesn’t really see what’s wrong with androgyny, polyester (as long as I don’t have to wear it), or overly-dramatic and completely overblown pop songs. I love Black Sabbath as much as I love ABBA. I can listen to a lot of proggy goodness in the way of Guru Guru and then turn on the sixth Beatle Jeff Lynne and his bubblegumilicious candy-prog band ELO. But it hasn’t always been that way.
Various Artists – ‘Good Morning’
(Mixed by The Harvey Girls, Mix 1 of 3, July 2009)
01 [00:00] Liquid Liquid – “Optimo” (‘Optimo’ EP, 1983)
02 [02:39] Tinariwen – “Oualahila Ar Tesninam” (‘Ammasakoul,’ 2004)
03 [06:17] Pere Ubu – “On The Surface” (‘Dub Housing,’ 1978)
04 [08:50] Sly & The Family Stone – “Underdog” (‘A Whole New Thing,’ 1967)
05 [12:43] Gilberto Gil – “O Canto da Ema” (‘Expresso 2222,’ 1972)
06 [19:07] Moonshake – “Seance” (‘Big Good Angel,’ 1993)
07 [23:15] De La Soul – “The Magic Number” (’3 Feet High and Rising,’ 1989)
08 [26:27] Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 – “Socket” (‘Strangers From the Universe,’ 1994)
09 [30:44] Rob Swift – “Rob Gets Busy” (‘Return of the DJ, Vol. 1,’ 1996)
10 [34:52] Harry Mudie & King Tubby – “Strings Dub in Rema” (‘Meets King Tubby in Dub Conference, Vol. 1,’ 1976)
11 [37:38] Al Green – “I’m So Glad You’re Mine” (‘I’m Still In Love With You,’ 1972)
12 [40:24] TLC – “Waterfalls” (‘CrazySexyCool,’ 1994)
13 [44:57] Paul McCartney – “Coming Up” (‘McCartney II,’ 1980)
14 [48:49] M83 – “Run Into Flowers” (‘Dead Cities, Red Seas, Lost Ghosts,’ 2004)
15 [52:57] Bjork – “Come to Me” (‘Debut,’ 1993)
16 [57:42] T. Rex – “Cosmic Dancer” (‘Electric Warrior,’ 1971)
[Total Time: 62:11]