Posted by: cousinbrandon | September 16, 2009

The “Music for My Ex” Mixes: Flying Music at 120 mph, Vol. 1 & 2

Flying Music at 120 mph is clearly a fast/slow compilation.  That is, Vol. 1 is clearly the more upbeat of the two, while Vol. 2 might lead to your mouth around an exhaust pipe.  Actually, though, in considering the tracklist on Vol. 2, the songs really aren’t so depressing outside of “When the Curious Girl Realizes She Is Under Glass,” “Metal Heart,” and “Halfway to a Threeway.” 

I want to recount a funny/ironic story about one of the songs in particular on Vol. 1:  “Love Squats” from Wicked Farleys’ 2000 record Make It It.  Back in September of 2001, I started my first year of Grad School at Emerson College in Boston, MA, a fine liberal arts school located on the Common.  My first course at Emerson was some type of philosophical lit course taught by one of the smartest men/poets I’ve ever met, Jonathan Aaron.  I’ve heard many people throw around the term “Walking Encyclopedia” in describing someone.  Never has it been more apropos to describe an individual than it was Aaron.

So, my very first class at Emerson commenced at 9 am on Monday, September 10, 2001. 

Needless to say, classes were cancelled the next day.

Three days into my Emerson career the world had changed.  One day I was on campus experiencing my first semester of grad school, the next day I was cooped up in my apartment with my two roommates, three other housemates from the floor above, and a rather large group of strangers, all of us crammed around a single TV as we watched the Towers fall and the world burn, or so it seemed.

So what, then, does any of this have to do with Wicked Farleys?  Well, when classes resumed on September 12th, I returned to Aaron’s class and, rather than discussing the assigned reading for the day, we instead talked about what happened, where we were, where we were from, if we knew anyone in New York City, in the Towers…  In other words, I think we had the same conversation everyone was having that day.

Out of this conversation I found myself somewhat taken with one of my classmates, Michael Brodeur, who seemed to speak not only with a certain eloquence, but just sounded somehow more informed or enlightened than some of the other folks in the class.  We got to talking at some point, and as is typically the case with me, the subject of music came up.  I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to mention Wicked Farleys, but upon doing so he responded with a look I can only call stunned.

“Um, that’s my band,” he said.

It was sort of like that scene in When Harry Met Sally, when Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are at dinner with Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, and Fisher quotes a line from Kirby’s article back to him.

I, of course, was dumbfounded and somewhat star-struck.  Sure, it was the Wicked Farleys and not, say, The Pixies, but that didn’t matter one bit.  Here was a member of a band whose record I was really digging, and he was in my lit class?!  What’s more, he was the band’s vocalist, somehow affording him additional cred. 

Michael would go on to form the band Certainly, Sir and edit Both Magazine. In fact, Certainly, Sir’s “Hawaii” from their record Mugic also appeared on one of my mixes, though I’m forgetting which one offhand.  Still, a highly enjoyable track and a fine record. 

All in all, this story has nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that I’ve always enjoyed those “small world” tales.  In this case, it turned out that Michael was not only a real talent, but a good guy, something I always worry about when meeting anyone I respect.  (Of course, it figures I can’t give the guy his due as I couldn’t locate “Love Squats” for your listening pleasure.  Oh, well.  Guess you’ll have to track down the record yourself, you lazy bastards!)

UPDATE: My buddy, Mick, who’s “deep in the heart of Texas” managed to unearth “Love Squats” for me, so big ups to you, sir!  You can find it in the mix below, along with the rest of my slop.

One other note of interest, coming not only out of Emerson College but a class with none other than both Jonathan Aaron and Michael Brodeur.  The following semester I had yet another lit class with the two of them.  As it turned out, another student in that class had a musical connection, as she was engaged to a member of North Carolina’s The Kingsbury Manx.  Weird, no?

Flying Music at 120 mph cover.


Flying Music at 120 mph inside art.

Flying Music at 120 mph (Vol. 1):

1. The Delta ’72 – “Ten Lbs.”         
2. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Bernie”               
3. Beck – “Pressure Zone
4. Stereolab – “Spark Plug
5. Modest Mouse – “I Came as a Rat
6. Boss Hog – “Jaguar”
7. Fugazi – “Back to Base
8. Wicked Farleys – “Love Squats
9. The Dismemberment Plan – “You Are Invited
10. Grandaddy – “A.M. 180
11. Bright Eyes – “Sunrise, Sunset
12. Beulah – “Disco:  The Secretaries Blues
13. Guided By Voices – “Redmen and Their Wives
14. Matt Pond PA – “It’s Over

Flying Music at 120 mph (Vol. 2):

1. The Kingsbury Manx – “Blue Eurasians” 
2. Mercury Rev – “Goddess on a Highway”          
3. Modest Mouse – “3rd Planet
4. Yo La Tengo – “You Can Have It All
5. Archer Prewitt – “Final Season
6. Matt Pond PA – “Flying Through the Scenery
7. Bright Eyes – “When the Curious Girl Realizes She Is Under Glass
8. Stereolab – “The Groop Play Chord X
9. Cat Power – “Metal Heart
10. Jim O’Rourke – “Halfway to a Threeway”
11. Radar Bros. – “Open Ocean Sailing”
12. Michael Penn – “Bucket Brigade

I think that pretty much does it for now.  Until next time, have at it, you vultures!



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