So, like two years back, I got hired to DJ a charity event.
I had never done a charity event, but I was relieved to discover that my services would be paid for at well over my going rate for a gig. It was for a school and they were having a dinner and an auction to raise money…which was something I support so it was all good.
I talked with the lady who was in charge about what kind of music she wanted, and the only response I got was “Eclectic…you know…like KCRW.” (for the non Angeleno readers…KCRW is the big independent station in town that has NPR on for most of the day and plays some really awesome tunes at night.) I listen to KCRW, so I figured I had it pegged.
Since I wasn’t there to get people to dance I was free to explore what I usually call “mingling music.” This is good music that people can enjoy and talk over at the same time. Drew and I had done a nice mixtape of downtempo beats that I felt would be perfect, so a week before the gig I sent it to the lady in charge to see what she thought.
She was not pleased.
“What is this?!?! This won’t work! I told you I wanted KCRW type music!!!”
“Everything on there has been on KCRW” I told her.
“But I wanted rock…indie rock!”
“Well, all you told me was KCRW…they do play a lot of different music.”
“But I need indie rock!!! I designed the whole evening around it!!! This is going to ruin the event!!!”
At this point I figured she was being a little more melodramatic than was necessary. If people were there for dinner and cocktails I don’t think they were going to freak out if The Faint wasn’t playing. I told her not to worry, and that I would come up with something that would please a crowd of hip middle aged parents.
I went with soft rock.
Why? Because I believe soft rock is the new heavy metal. And you know what?
I killed it.
People went ape shit for it…and most of my set was built around the soundtracks to “The Virgin Suicides” and “FM.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never seen “FM”…and as far as I know it’s not even on DVD. From what I can gather, the story involves a group of groovy DJs who hijack the radio station in protest over the new management’s rules.
But none of that matters.
What matters is that this collection is a hell of a line up…a virtual who’s who of seventies rock: Steely Dan, Boz Skaggs, Bob Seger, Steve Miller, Tom Petty, Foreigner, Boston, Billy Joel and James Taylor just to name a few. But the song selection keeps it on the softer side like Tom Petty’s ‘Breakdown’ or Steely Dan’s title track ‘FM,’ which I don’t believe was released anywhere else.
Another real standout is a live Linda Ronstadt show where she covers the Stones ‘Tumbling Dice’ to perfection. (below) I don’t think this is available on any of her albums either.
Some of the tracks like Steve Miller’s ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ are radio edits…shorter than the originals. But they did throw in the full length version of Joe Walsh’s ‘Life’s Been Good to Me.’
Until 2000, this wasn’t even available on CD, and to be honest you could probably put the soundtrack together yourself with access to any classic rock station or just off the individual albums. But that’s not the point.
The point is it stands on it’s own. And if you want to save the time and effort, just pick this up for your next road trip