Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkeys Listen

At long last, another playlist. Sorry it's "slightly" later-than-hoped-for; [stage whisper] training the new interns has been a nightmare. [/stage whisper].

As surely as you understand the ahem spring training issues we all endure, you know how it is when you first meet someone, and conversation soon naturally turns to monkeys and monkey-related topics. About two years ago, this happened with a bloke I met who, it turned out, was trying to collect as many monkey songs as possible, a worthy goal indeed.

While I wasn't by any means a monkey-song completist, I do love monkeys, and had collected a respectable amount of monkey songs. He and I later exchanged and compared lists of monkey songs. That's how I got the idea for this playlist, so I post it with approximately a barrelful of thanks to him. Plus, he told me about one of the songs posted here, Ookla The Mok's "Hockey Monkey" (also available at their website) so more thanks for that tip.

I'm still not a monkey-song completist, though compiling the tunes seems clever for all sorts of reasons. For one, it's a fun way to discover new artists. I reluctantly concede that this might be equally true when collecting non-monkey-related songs. Yesterday I found instrumental band Forever Einstein's "I'm Trying To Contain An Outbreak Here And You're Driving The Monkey To The Airport", from their 2005 album Racket Science, which is so full of awesome titles that the full track list merits posting though it's a tangent here:

Forever Einstein - Racket Science:

1. How Come The Wrong People Are Always In Charge?
2. You're Living In A World Of Make-Believe With Flowers And Bells And Leprechauns And Magic Frogs With Funny Little Hats
3. It's A Good Thing I Don't Have Super Brain Powers Or You'd Be In A Thousand Little Pieces Right Now
4. They're Portable, They're Annoying And They Cost Three Dollars A Case
5. I'm Trying To Contain An Outbreak Here And You're Driving The Monkey To The Airport
6. It's Almost Impossible To Concentrate In This Cafe With All These Leggy Belgian Girls Walking Around In Miniskirts
7. God Has A Plan For Me, And It Involves Puppets
8. I Wish I Had Me Some Of Them Miracle Smart Pills
9. I Got My Picture Taken, I Got Forty Dollars And I Get To Keep The Underwear
10. There's Some Milk In The Fridge That's About To Go Bad...And There It Goes
11. Every Word Out Of Your Mouth Is Like A Turd Falling In My Drink
12. He Looks Interesting-And By Interesting I Mean Weird

I might have found this album in the unlikely event that I was making a puppet playlist or one about airports or milk. How great are those titles? How many of the quotes can you place?

The audio sample of "Monkey" at Amazon is too short to get a great handle on it, but it sounds (possibly) mellow and Baja-flavored. The sample of "God Has A Plan For Me, And It Involves Puppets" at the band's website is much longer. God might be a fan of puppet shows at the ocean, judging by the song's clear surf-rock influences. "God" seems great, and a lot of fun. "God" might be good at parties.

Oodles of lists of playlists and playlist ideas are at varying stages of progress. More will be posted, sooner or later (probably interspersed with other kinds of posts.) This one was itching to be posted next; I'll just be happy to have the monkey off my back.

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkeys Listen - The Songs:

1. Artificial Joy Club - Cheeky Monkey (on Melt)
2. Cocteau Twins - The High-Monkey Monk (on The Box Set)
3. Fred Astaire & George Murphy - Don't Monkey With Broadway (on A Time To Remember: 1940)
4. Hawke - The Monkey's Wedding (on Love Won Another)
5. Jonathan Coulton - Code Monkey - one of his "Thing A Week" songs. See JonathanCoulton.com for more info, monkey merch., and/or music.
6. Lene Lovich - Monkey Talk (on Flex... Plus)
7. Ookla The Mok - Hockey Monkey - on Smell No Evil
8. The Hollies - Mickey's Monkey (on A's B's & EP's)
9. Jad Fair & Yo La Tengo - Minnesota Man Claims Monkey Bowled Perfect Game (on Strange But True)
10. New York Dolls - Dance Like A Monkey (on Strange But True)

The songs have been posted via a new-to-me file host. Still using the last one; I wanted to add another source of free storage space that lets people direct-download.

Right-click to direct-download any of the songs and/or listen to 'em:

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Blogger Pete P. said...

I made a Jesus playlist for Easter. I'm not religious at all but I think songs that mention the word "Jesus" are usually quite cool, it's a nice-sounding word.

It had songs like I Have Forgiven Jesus by Morrissey, Dishes by Pulp, One Lazy Morning by Brett Anderson, etc. etc. The best Jesus song ever is Jesus Christ by Gay Dad. "Jesus Christ / Save my life", it's very simple and nice.

Also, Elbow's new album has a song called An Audience With The Pope, which includes not only "Jesus" but "God" and "Pope" as well, the sort-of-holy-trinity, I guess.

2:22 PM  
Blogger trill42 said...

That sounds like a nifty playlist. You've mentioned some great songs - can't say I remember the one by Gay Dad, though (and that's the best one!)

Hmm... "Personal Jesus" is obvious, but at least it's very-good-and-obvious. And Depeche's Martin Gore has a really nice cover of the old blues song "In My Time of Dying" on his album Counterfeit 2 ("Jesus gonna make up my dying bed"). "Jesus Loves You (But Not As Much As I Do)" by Eve's Plum is much more lighthearted. It's maybe a bit shrill in places (YMMV) but pretty good...

6:19 PM  
Blogger Pete P. said...

Yeah, oh... Personal Jesus! Can you believe I forgot that one?! Sheesh...

By the way, my favourite monkey song is definitely Me And My Monkey by Robbie Williams. Robbie takes his monkey to Las Vegas to gamble, see a Sheena Easton concert and to "order some okey doke", whatever that is. ;-) The best line in it is by a hotel bell boy character: "If your monkey's got that kind of money, sir / Then we got a monkeyyyyy beeeed!"

1:25 AM  
Blogger trill42 said...

Oops, sorry for calling "Personal Jesus" obvious... I forgot really obvious songs when I wrote to the monkey-song guy.

We might have some idea that we need to look past the "obvious", that what we want can't be that easy to find! (Same reason I sometimes look a dozen places for my keys before looking on my desk or in my purse; 85-90% of the time they're in one of those places.)

And maybe the effort of looking for somewhat lesser-known songs diminishes our ability to recall the better-known songs on our desk. OK, the theory isn't perfectly crystalized. We can't see "A Forest" for "Because Trees Can Fly"? (never heard the latter, I went looking for a "trees" song I haven't heard. It isn't out in the US but might be famous elsewhere.)

Alternate or additional theory: Computers find a title-word song search difficult. We know many more songs than are tucked away in our computer, and our song hunt is more complex. So there.

I forgot: "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" by the Beatles (and covered a few times...) and "Welcome to the Monkey House" by the Dandy Warhols, title track off an album I like a lot.

2:38 PM  
Blogger trill42 said...

Some of my favorite monkey songs are...

Minus the Bear - "Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!" (flaw: only the title is monkey-related.)

Elvis Costello - "Monkey To Man" (flaw: the video is embarrassingly bad.)

Vic Chesnutt - "Like A Monkey In A Zoo" (Not a flaw but it's very sad/touching. Chesnutt covers it with a more downbeat tempo, keeping the sadness of the lyrics, and losing the peppy flourishes Daniel Johnston uses in the original to emphasize how much he relates to a performing monkey. Both songs are good, but I'm partial to Chesnutt's arrangement.
I like the idea of the flourishs though...)

Also like The Dickies' "You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)" (flaw: gorillas are not monkeys.)

3:38 PM  

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