The best thing you’ve ever let your ears listen to, does not even come close to describing what MixMasterMandy has in store for your buds, drums, and hammers. Born in the heat, raised in various cities in the state of awesome, Mix’s secret fortress is now in Nashville, TN. Straight from the colon of country music’s capital city comes Rock-Pop-Hippity-Hopper, MixMasterMandy. Unlike the unpleasant process of reverse peristalsis, Mix’s music goes down easyâ€¦and you won’t find any corn in it.
Imagine if you will: Queen, Ben Folds, Bill Clinton’s saxophone genius, Beck, Patty Griffin, and when Jesse and the Rippers sang at DJ’s prom- thrown together in a vita-mix blender and set to frappe for 30 seconds. Pour this into a Masters of the Universe commemorative cup, stick in a flexi straw, and enjoy a tasty treat.
On her new album, The Understudy, there is a culmination of her prior musical pursuits, a reflection of all that is Mandy. This album features what Mandy calls “folk hop”, a fusion of organic sounds like acoustic guitars with an 808 behind it. Producer, Roger Alan Nichols(Paramore) and Mix teamed up once again and brought along a couple of special guests, starting with Reeves Gabrels of Tin Machine, Tommy Cooper (the one man horn section), the piano used in the recording of Paul Davis’ “I Go Crazy,” and a guitar used in a Seal concert once. Not to mention, mastering by Richard Dodd. (“Kung Fu Fighting,” ahhh yeah).
The point, if there is one, is this: Mandy is different. Right away, it is noticeable that her vocals are unique. She has incredible vocal span and control, and Mandy likes to use all of it. That doesn’t always fit with what other people have going on. Mandy has the writing to back it up. Her lyrics tend to play with a lot of off-beat ideas , and are not packaged for commercial use, or for the commercial market. She has a song on her album about a clown and a nun getting together and another one about Jonestown. Enough said. To top it all off, the musicality of her songs play with genres, but does not settle. Just listen to the Theremin solo on Warm. It’s like you’re in outer space, but not.
So, while Mandy might remind you of something you’ve heard, it’s probably not that close when you think about it. Not that it’s bad to be familiar, but Mandy has some unique flavor. ..32 flavors and then some.
I liked your tape.
-Dorothy McCauley (Mandy’s grandmother-in-law)
Hey M3â€”great CDâ€”top of my playlist for the new year (pushes D. Byrne and Brian Eno down a notch). Great way to start 09. Excellent vocals and production and, best of all, killer writing. Congratulations. Time well-spentâ€”music worth makingâ€”rocking good value for your entertainment dollar. Your music makes the world a better place for our specie. Hope thereâ€™s more to come. Youâ€™re an inspiration to working people everywhere.
– Coke Sams
I am virtually speechless. I am stunned, amazed and overwhelmed. I do not remember the last time I listened to an entire CD, not skipping one noteâ€¦TWICE IN A ROW!! It has everything I love musically: A great, strong-voiced, big character female voice (Amy Lee comes to mind); hard-edged rawk; creative pushes and intriguing rhythmic figures, unbelievably sophisticated arrangements (Dude! Multiple time signatures, loops, British horns, a trombone AND vocal arrangements that would make Leon Russell dance??); guitar, bass & drum performances like I donâ€™t remember hearing; a mix & edits that Richard Dodd may never duplicate; clever, catchy & pithy lyrics (Yes, Virginia; it can be done!) over melodies that are 100% original; all of which hangs together and totally images an Artist (the CD art notwithstanding). Just when I didnâ€™t think it was possible to more proud of you, along comes a CD that totally swamps my boat! You (and Mandy) RAWK!!!
– John Dotson- Steve Earle’s former manager
The six-song debut by MixMasterMandy is one of the most innovative sounding pop/rock discs Iâ€™ve heard from this town in years. Give that lady a DisCovery Award.
â€”If youâ€™ve been wondering what rocking Roger Nichols has been up to lately, wonder no more. MixMasterMandyâ€™s Secular Selections EP is his production collage for an enticing singer-songwriter who fuses her pop warbling with loopy repeated riffs that reference hip-hop and cool electric guitar work that definitely draws on rock â€˜nâ€™ roll. Highly innovative and fantastically listenable.
-Robert K. Oermann (Music Row Magazine)
I just have to say that if something huge doesn’t happen to you like NOW…. I will personally whip all of the music industry personel’s *donkey*(edited from the King James word actually used).
Your whole show was killer…You played, sang, performed and entertained your butt off!
–Johnny Rabb (World’s fastest drummer 2000)
That’s some hyphy *poo*(edit) man…it’s been quite a while since I’ve actually listened to every single song that an artist had up on their page. This is really interesting. First of all there can never be enough songs about Mr. T. Let’s be honest about that. But you’ve got to check out MixMasterMandy… There’s a whole different range of styles, and there is some really Beck-ish stuff, some Weezer-y stuff, but her vocals are really, really amazing.
–Adam Curry (MTV VeeJay circa 1987-1994, on his podcast, Daily Source Code)
O.K., I’ve just listened to Secular Selections for the third time — it’s
awesome — certainly the best short album I’ve listened to in a long time.
A few of my favorite things:
The Theremin solo in Warm
The intro to Mr. T and also the song’s Queen-esque vibe – really killer.
-David Rivers (Mr. Dangerous)
1. Who are your songwriting influences?
Rupert Holmes-“Escape”(The Pina Colada Song),
Raffi- “Baby Beluga”, and anybody who writes songs about dancing on ceilings, or love.
2. Do you play any instruments?
3. What song of yours are you most proud of / has the most meaning to you?
I’m most proud of my most recent work I co-wrote about traveling through time with yourself. Because who better to travel through time with than your future self?
4. What advice do you have for people just beginning to write songs?
Don’t just ask your mom if your good. She will lie to you or she’s lying to herself about how good you are. Get outsider’s opinions and use organizations such as artistweekly.com, nashvillesongwriters.com, ascap.com, bmi.com, sesac.com….the list goes on and on.
5. What type of career would you like to have in music?
I would love to have the kind of career where I can barely pay my bills every month and people steal my music off of the Internet.
6. What method or process do you go through when creating a song?
I just try to swipe quotes from Cameron Crowe movies and see if they make good hooks.
7. What do you consider to the be the three greatest songs written, and why?
1. There is a song at the end of Rambo III that totally rocks, but I don’t remember the name of it. It talks about how there’s a man and he fights for what is right and stuff. It totally makes the credits pop out at you and gives so much more meaning to gaffer, best boy, and craft service.
2. “Free Love Freeway”-David Brent. I don’t think I need to explain…Let me just quote: “Free love on the free love freeway, hot love on the hot love highway.” Need I say more?
3. “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”- because it really gives our nation such an exciting glimpse into where the future of country music is going.