13 for 2013 Mixtape #3: Menagerie á trois

5 Mar

So, the third mixtape challenge of this year was along the theme of animals.

Hipster animals tumblr gemma critchley mixtape blog #13for2013 gemstgem

Credit to Hipster Animals for the pic, I stumbled across their Tumblr when making my mix and now love everything on there.

The reason I chose this theme was that my chap Andrew and I used to spend hours playing The Animal Band Game. The premise of it is really simple, I’d choose a band with an animal’s name in, and then he’d have to come up with another. This saw us through many, many long drives and would often result in breaks of hours or days in between turns as we began to run out of acts, but then we’d be struck with the lightning bolt of remembering one and have to rush to tell the other person as quick as we could.

Hours of fun…

Anyway, that’s how I knew this challenge would yield some interesting results, because there are hundreds of acts, bands and artists with animals in their band name, let alone songs with animals in them or about animals.

After giving it some thought and realising I’d be unlikely to top the idea that Alan had for his mixtape, which worked through the 12 animals of the chinese zodiac, I have decided to dedicate my playlist to EDUCATION through the medium of the animal kingdom. And by education, I mean questionable facts found on wikipedia that may well, if quoted in future, get you disqualified from the pub quiz. Listen to the my animal mixtape playlist here.



1. I wanna be your dog – The Stooges

This song is on loads of films, but one film in particular springs to mind: Dogtown and Z-Boys. After uni I spent some time bumming around Venice Beach in California one day we went into Horizons West skate shop, which used to be the Zephyr surf shop owned by Jeff Ho. We went in so I could look for a present for my little bro, a keen skater. We ended up chatting to the chaps who worked there and subsequently spent the balmy Santa Monica evening drinking cheap californian wine on the little terrace at the side of the shop and messing around falling off skateboards. Also, the film has the word ‘Dog’ in the title, so it’s okay.


2. Animal Nitrate – Suede

Wikipedia defines animals as:

“A major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa.”

The word “animal” comes from the Latin word animalis, meaning ‘having breath’. The song Animal Nitrate by Suede is a reference to the drug Amyl Nitrate, which is, presumably, inhaled. And one would have to be an animal to inhale said drug, so this song makes it onto the mix. Plus it’s a straight up indie banger.


3. Fido, your leash is too long – The Magnetic Fields

I can’t be sure, but I don’t think Stephin Merritt is singing about late 80s pop culture character of minor note and 80s pop (drink, not music) Fido Dido.  Fido Dido came to being after some woman drew him on a napkin in a restaurant (I know, how did she come up with that masterpiece with such rudimentary materials?).

I think Merritt is actually singing about a dog. Unless the dog is a metaphor for his boyfriend. Or someone else’s girlfriend. Who knows, he might be. Fido Dido could be a girl. Is your mind blown, yet? Are you still reading this drivel?

Fido Dido 7up mixtape animals magnetic fields gemstgem gemma critchley blog


4. Chicken payback – The Bees

Included not only because of its awesome dance:

But also because it features chickens, piggies, monkeys, camels and donkeys. And because it’s talking about ‘paying back’, this is clearly your maths (or revenge) lesson for today.


5. A group of…

Why is a raven like a writing desk? I don’t know, but what I do know is that a group of ravens, the birds off of goths and Alice in Wonderland riddles, are known as either an unkindness of ravens or a murder of ravens, according to our mates at Wikipedia. I am including this fact in here because I find it quite interesting, and also because it caused me to stumble across a song called ‘Murder She Wrote’ by Chaka Demus and Pliers.

murder she wrote animal mixtape challenge #13for2013 gemstgem gemma critchley playlist spotify

Anyway, it would seem that Murder not only applies to ravens, but also to crows and magpies too. So, what to choose? Counting Crows? Sheryl Crow? No, I’ve chosen Magpie, by The Mountain Goats, thus killing two BIRDS with one (animal-based) stone.


6. I was born a unicorn – The Unicorns

Whilst I’m off on a tangent, have a song by the Unicorns, called ‘I was born a unicorn’. Before anyone argues that unicorns aren’t real, take a look at this piece of FACT that states that they were once real, but alas are no more, like Cadbury’s Spira or, indeed, said band The Unicorns.

Cadbury spira extinct chocolate bars gemma critchley gemstgem animal mixtape playlist blog


7. Funny little Frog – Belle and Sebastian

In which they sing about having an actual, proper relationship with a poster. I don’t know anything about psychology but I’m pretty sure that Freud et al would have a thing or two to say about that.


8. Bear Hug – The 2 Bears

I’m not sure what they called this lesson at your school, but at Swinton Comprehensive School we had Personal & Social Education once a week, where the teacher would try to tell us about important things like having a wash, not taking drugs and refraining from becoming pregnant. I feel this song would fall under the curriculum of P.S.E. due to bear hug being a form of physical interaction that could be classed as ‘heavy petting’ down the swimming baths, so it would have been imperative that we recognised what this was so we could avoid doing this, bombing, running or having fun in or around the pool and thus not get chucked out.


9. When Doves Cry – Prince

I always thought this video was set in a church, but it turns out it’s not, so it doesn’t really fit in with my R.E. lesson. It starts off in a bathroom with stained glass windows though, if that counts.

prince when doves cry video mixtape gemma critchley gemstgem blog #13for2013


10. Cutsman – Horse the Band

This is the only song I’ve chosen that has an animal’s name in the band rather than the song title, but I couldn’t leave it out. Not only is it an awesome song, it also samples 80s film The Wizard and talks about The Nintendo Powerglove and Cut Man from Megaman.

cut man megaman cutsman horse the band nintendo  the powerglove nintendo core horse the band cutsman the powerglove it's so bad mixtape gemstgem gemma critchley blogger


11. Said the Spider to the Fly – The Paper Chase

For argument’s sake, let’s pretend that this song is about Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (and that the ‘montrous vermin’ in the book was either a spider or a fly), because I’m running out of lessons to cover. And also, this is a great song from a band that doesn’t seem to get a lot of love, but I adore them so wanted to share this with people, which is what mixtapes are all about, aren’t they?

metamorphosis book cover franz kafka design illustration animal mixtape


12. House of Wolves – My Chemical Romance

Because, why not. Wolves, rock opera, what’s not to like? You now have an hour to do with as you please, make sure you’re learning something from it…

There were loads and loads of bands I didn’t include which I could have; Frightened Rabbit, Foals, Wild Beasts, Bright Eyes (Rabbits!), etc. but I’m trying to mix up my mixtapes of late and include some stuff I wouldn’t normally put in.

Hope you enjoyed it, I went a bit off piste with the blog there, but I enjoyed it!

So there you have it. Feel free to make your own animal-themed playlist and share it with us via Twitter using the #13for2013 hashtag.


One Response to “13 for 2013 Mixtape #3: Menagerie á trois”


  1. #13for2013 mixtape challenge #4: HOLIDAY! | Biography of a Beatific Beatnik - April 4, 2013

    […] last month we had an amazing response to our Animal-themed mixtape challenge, with people going conceptual with the Chinese zodiac, people monkeying around and a whole host of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: