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Skool’s Out: The Todd Leibowitz Mix List

Todd Leibowitz was just a kid when I first met him -a baby faced assistant with a ready smile, that must be ten years ago and now Todd has a wife and son but still with that perpetually baby faced smile and still with that ready smile. And still with a perpetually youthful taste in music.

At the heart of his list is a litany of teen boy’s favorite hard rock bands: GnR, Metallica, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Extreme, Ozzy. Except for Extreme a pretty good buncha bands though a little stuck in time. Over and above is a mish mosh of faves and obscurities plus Chickenfoot and a band I’ve never heard of Ugly Kid Joe.

I wish Todd had added a few more from his hair metal days. No Motley Cru, not even any Bon Jovi… I also wish he had added more women and that makes Chris, Todd and myself who have proven ourselves malecentric.

Hole Hearted – Extreme
Get Stone – Hinder
These split in two. Extreme has a real good drummer who holds the beat pretty well and the mountains of acoustic guitar are not what you might expect on this tinge of blues and expert -I mean, session expert, song . Hinder drags the rhythm down to a full stop and the by the numbers acoustic bombast is typical of these guys -they sound like Collective Soul only worse.

Drain – Nirvana – One baby to another says I’m glad I met you. If you wanna know why Cobain was the greatest songwriter of his generation listen to “Drain You” directly after “Get Stoned” -similar genre but it’s like a shot of oxygen, so strange and so alive.

I Could Have Loved You – Red Hot Chili Peppers – I loved the “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” album but not so much this song and here is a big difference between Todd and I (and a weakness I have), he is a blues fan and I am not.

Mama Kin – GnR — a brisk little rocker written by Aerosmith and appearing on “G’N’R Lies” -their second album was all live and all new and all lean, hard rock. Axl Rose had the best voice in the business at the time.

Kodachrome – Paul Simon – Since Todd has had such a hard time getting his ears outta High School it is apt he would include this biggie from “There Goes Rhymin‘ Simon.”

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Metallica – Back in 84 this stuff was the toughest of rock, you know, earth changing metal that singlehandedly gave metal legitimacy after a lifetime being viewed as Shopping Mall rebellion for middle class white boys on their way to college and a career in accounting. There was a real threat to Metallica (best group name as well) and you could hear it in the cassettes they gave away at their concerts. For Metallica at this time the years of rehearsing and touring were paying off and “Masters Of Puppets” was on the horizon but you can’t have one without the other. The leap between the two albums is obvious but the model is made on songs like this. They are currently playing the song in concert by the way

Old Habits Die Hard – Mick Jagger
Your Loving Flame – Paul McCartney
Former Beatle, current Stone. “Flame” is where McCartney loses me completely, he has been doing this stuff for a life time and when he misses all that’s left is predictable middle 8’s. “Old Habits” is a terrific song and therefore something of a rarity because, to put it bluntly, the reason the Stones are still together is because Jagger’s solo act has failed though it has been alright in my books. This song was written with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and the care Jagger puts into the vocals is often missing from his latter day Stones material.

Crazy Babies – Ozzy Osbourne
Kiss Me Deadly _ Lita Ford – I once had a turkey sandwich with the former Runaway. She’s a real nice girl and this pop metal chewable off “Lita” was a hit. Lita also has a duet with Ozzy on “Lita” but this aint it -this is the usual Prince Of Darkness cartoony. Didja know people took Black Sabbath’s Satanism seriously at one point? Ozzy is the Marilyn Manson of metal.

Trapped In A Box – Gwen Stefani – Yeah, well, Todd can say what he likes but with no Sublime on this list I bet Gwen is entirely his wives influence!!

And that’s it. I like Todd a lot and I like him because he is a charming, easy going guy and his list is a charming easy going list with a bit too much metal. Thanks Todd.

Of all my pals I like Bari Wartell’s taste in music probably most. Bari is a rarity for me, usually when I don’t know the music somebody is listening to it means I don’t like it but not so with Bari. I consistently learn about different music from her (“Asian Dub Foundation” for instance) and I am trying to nail down a mix list from her. So I IM’d her and Bari said: “”ay ya sure. ive been listening to these mixes by travis barker and this dj. with these really intense beats” and she promised a list if I keep on pushing her! In the meanwhile send me your lists of favorites and I’ll review em for you.

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