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Various Artists

Music from Coffee and Cigarettes (Milan)

This record reminds me of one of those mix tapes you discover you made one drunken night. You know what I'm talking about: It starts out as a fairly cohesive batch of tunes -- there's Richard Berry's original R&B version of "Louie Louie," a slow-burning P-Funk instrumental, the underappreciated classic rock tune "Crimson and Clover" and the Stooges' "Down on the Street."

Then the drink takes hold, and the tape gets weird.

You throw in some old-school ska, and hell, what better to follow that than some vibe-heavy cool jazz from Milt Jackson's Modern Jazz Quartet? You tipple some more and play horrendous air vibes, flailing your arms like a scarecrow in a hurricane. That makes you want to chill, real hard, right now. So you slap on a Hawaiian steel-guitar instrumental. You get teary-eyed remembering your trip to Maui when you were 19, and the girl you left behind. So you slap on another melancholy tune -- this one a string quartet by Henry Purcell. More drunken tears ooze as you think of ancient churches in England.

Enough already! You want to party some more -- time for some more vintage ska! And then some king-hell weirdness in the form of a Tom Waits trash-can symphony! You put a pot on your head and bang it with a wooden spoon.

And that makes you want the funk again, so you dial up some more George Clinton and slap it on there. By now, it's 4 a.m., and you're drinking cooking sherry straight out of the bottle, which is the best thing to be doing while you're listening to Iggy Pop's incredible remake of "Louie Louie." You sing along with Iggy: "Life after Bush / and Gorbachev / the Wall is down / but something is lost / turn on the news / it looks like a movie! / It makes me wanna sing Louie Louie!"And you finish up the whole thing with some German opera by Mahler -- "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen," which translates to "I Have Lost Track of the World." And you most certainly have.

 
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