Monday, July 20, 2009

Mitch Easter - Rare Tracks

I've been listening to my treasured Let's Active records of late and marveling at how good those three albums were. Mitch Easter channeled influences such as Big Star and Television into a unique psychedelic stew, all flavored by the Athens Georgia, North Carolina sound from the early 1980s. All three Let's Active efforts are great and well worth picking up.

I really liked Mitch's comeback effort "Dynamico" from a couple of years ago and I saw him touring with Don Dixon and wife Shalani. Very nice show. I was all set for new high output period. However so far, only the one record. Mitch has produced far more music than he has put out under his own name.

To stretch his catalog a bit, I put together a compilation of Mitch songs from tribute records, a couple of songs that he authored and sang from Shalani records and a few songs that Mitch sang lead on from the Sneakers projects with Chris Stamey. There also a couple of Let's Active B-sides and some brief appearances by Mitch and Don Dixon on TV.

I've got to admit that this compilation will be enjoyed most by really serious fans (though everyone SHOULD hear Mitch's version of the Monkees classic Vallerie - at least once).

Let me know if you have anything I'm missing here.


dean said...

Thanks for the comp. The track listed as "Law of Averages" is not. There is a link to download this song at Some other rare tracks would include the original vinyl mixes of the Sneakers tunes. "Decline and Fall" has a hilariously out of time cowbell. Mitch also did "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" on "Right To Chews".

rsquared said...

this is really cool. thanks!

Anonymous said...

looking forward to hearing this! I emailed Mitch last year to see if he could send me the 2 cool tracks that were on the UK comp "Shake To Date" from like 1981 or so that had him plus other stuff from Alan Betrock's cool Shake label from NYC........THOSE i'd love to hear!!


fantom said...

Anon - one of the two 'Shake' tracks is there....

Haper, thanks for pulling all that together. As thanks, I've put up a set of Let's Active demos (inc one that would surface with Shalini) and some live tracks

Meantime, couple questions on yours - seems like that's not the album version of 'Conviction Overturned'? And know anything more about the provinence of those versions of 'Shakin' Street' and 'Blue Line'?

fantom said...

sorry, make that simpler link:

fantom said...

Anon/Jim: between the link from Dean and these 'Rare Tracks', you're covered on 'Shake to Date'.

Haper: either answers or thanks would wouldn't go awry.

Haper said...

dean, fantom and Jim. A belated thanks to everyone for the posts, links and shares. I absolutely appreciate it very much. It's a big reason I keep putting this stuff up. Sorry I had to free up time to comment.

I've been doing a bit of research on the questions you asked and listening to the compilation that fantom posted.


I asked my source for Blue Line and Shakin Street and finally got the answer. Those snippets came from the 1980's IRS TV show called "The Cutting Edge".

Also fantom, thanks again for your compilation. I loved it all. You are probably aware that some of those tracks were remixed and are available on recent CD reissues of the Let's Active CDs. Tracks I'm talking about are:

Grey Line
Horizon (Original Version with Faye Hunter)
Invisible Hills (what a GREAT track) and another version of Sweepstakes Winner. Much improved sonically but missing some initial intro sounds.

On jim' qustion about the Mitch Easter tracks' on "Shake to Date", I agree that dean's link to the track at takes care of "Law of Averages", but I couldn't find the other Mitch Easter track from that album called "Prying Eyes". Am I missing something or do we have this track under another name?

Again, thanks for the thread everyone.

fantom said...

Haper... Thanks and answers, a twofer I'm happy to enjoy.

'Prying Eyes' is included in your batch as 'Law of Averages'....

Yes, had seen something about the demos getting incorporated on the reissues... Gotta like that original version of 'Horizon 'though.

I had decided, on re-reading your post more carefully, that the two tracks I was asking about much have been from a recent Easter/Dixon gig... So if not those, then...?

'Sweepstakes Winner' - did I have that under another name?

And one outstanding (sorry) q - your version of 'Conviction Overturned'?

Anonymous said...

always nice to know there are kooks like me out there that are so into stuff like this! Thanks much for the info and the tracks from "Shake to Date"...had the vinyl years ago and probably sold it for rent money once upon a time-i can only remember a few others from that disc like the dB's and Cosmopolitans, but maybe someone has a rip kicking around their hard drive of the whole lp!! Makes me think i should email Mitch again-i wonder if there is anything he has from the same era...thx again!! jim

bobbym529 said...

A great compilation! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

For archive purposes, any chance of printing where each of the songs originated from - I know some, but others I don't have a clue. Fantom's mediafire link for the Let's Active demos doesn't appear to be working. Lastly, here's some Mitch stuff I've got not on Rare Tracks

From Mountain Stage (late 90's?)
Chalk Outline
Jane (Dead End)

From Pop Till You Drop Comp (1999)
Sudden Crown Drop (diff.from Dynamico)

From Not The Singers But The Songs: A Tribute To Alex Chilton
Kizza Me

I don't have the capability to upload these to the net-if you wanna email me I'll get em to ya somehow.

Carl said...

If anyone would like a full live version of Shakin' Street here is one I made myself when I saw Let's active in 1985.

Robinbrevard said...

Darn! Most of the cool-sounding posts in this section are now deleted.

Any chance of a re-up for us latecomers? (especially interested in fantom's Let's Active rarities comp)

Thanks for the original post + comments.

Anonymous said...

me too i am desperate to hear fantom's Let's Active rarities comp