Thursday, March 1, 2018

Alternative Country in the Aughties - Volumes One and Two

       In an early Seinfeld episode, Kramer and Newman debate whether or not Tuesday and Wednesday have a "feel".  I'm not sure where I stand on that issue, but I was thinking about the idea of feel when putting together this compilation of alternative country music from the 2000s (i.e. the Aughties).  Specifically, I don't really discern a distinctive sound in the alternative country from that decade in the way that I do when listening to alternative country from the 1990s.  My 51 year old ears may be failing me so I've re-upped my 1990s alternative country compilations to let folks compare.  I did not include any acts that appeared on the 90s compilations, but I did include some of the bigger acts from both eras that I left off on the 90s compilations.   Volume One and Two are both one download (and I'll post Volumes Three and  Four in a month).

Download both Volumes

Volume One

Andy Neko Case
Wave Alejandro Escovedo
Fine Lines Bosque Brown
Murder Ballad In G Minor The Rosewood Thieves
Graveyard Grayson Capps
Stop and Think It Over Sarah Borges & Broken Singles
On a Monday The Detroit Cobras
Gimme Back My Dog Slobberbone
Closest (Look Out) Matt Pond PA
I've Got A Tender Heart Eleni Mandell
Why Go? Thad Cockrell
The Way That He Sings My Morning Jacket
Fair to Midland Dwight Yoakam
Blue Shadows Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Where Is My Love? Lucinda Williams
The Bluest Eyes In Texas A Camp

Volume Two

Melt Your Heart Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins
Six Year Drought James McMurtry
Hoping Wishers Never Lose, Richard Buckner
Fleur de Lis Slow Dazzle
The Pirate s Gospel Alela Diane
Railroad Bill Dave Alvin
Tell My Mother I Miss Her So Ryan Bingham
Sputnik 57 The Minus 5
Throwin' Away My Money Wayne Hancock
Slow Swinging Western Tunes Sunny Sweeney
Adelaide Old 97's
Your Adorable Beast Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals' Starvation League
Close Behind Calexico
I'm Wondering The Mavericks
Sap Freakwater
Sing Me to Sleep Allison Moorer

Thursday, January 25, 2018

They Crawled from the South: A Collection of R.E.M. Obscurities

    I was looking at Billboard's top rock albums for the last couple of years and was struck by the massive decline in popularity of rock music.  I know 70s and 80s acts like Bruce and U2 can still sell out football stadiums, but looking at those lists made me wonder if anybody over 30 listens to any contemporary rock music.  It also makes me smile when I recall the people in the 80's who said that hip-hop would never last.     

      To be clear, I'm not indulging in nostalgia for the golden era of rock or lamenting "trends in contemporary music".  But it did get me thinking about R.E.M - the all-stars of college rock (what indie rock was called in the 80's for those who weren't around then) which ultimately led, of course, to the compilation below.  It may be a little too heavy on 60s covers for some, but, as Grandpa Simpson would say, that was "style at the time" for 80s college rock acts.


First We Take Manhattan 
Wall Of Death
Only in America
Skin Tight
Draggin' The Line
Arms of Love 
(All I've Got to Do is) Dream
Jesus Christ
Love Is All Around
#9 Dream
Tighten Up
I Walked With A Zombie
Academy Fight Song
Ghostriders in the Sky

Thursday, December 28, 2017

On The Right Side of 2017

      To borrow a phrase from the writer James Wolcott, it's Christmas Nocturne - that pleasantly odd week between Christmas and New Years where a significant number of people aren't working and presumably have lots of time to listen to best of the year compilations.  As usual, I tried to exclude any artist who had been on any of the best of compilations from the previous two years, but I couldn't resist including Father John's Misty Pure Comedy as the closing cut.  I've also re-upped all my previous best of compilations (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).  Hope everyone has a great 2018!

Disc One

Pleasure Feist
Dancing Down the Hall Frankie Rose
Goodnight Rhonda Lee Nicole Atkins
Rolling Along The Mavericks
Lonely Girl Chelsea Williams
Long Lonely Road Valerie June
Taste Rhye
Humility Kamasi Washington
Evolution Kelly Lee Owens
Systole Grizzly Bear
Into My Arms Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
Just a Drink Away Charley Crockett
Only Trouble Is Ron Sexsmith
In Between The Feelies
Sinking Down Son Volt
God Bless the Infidels The Sadies
Downhearted Molly Burch
If You Need To, Keep Time On Me Fleet Foxes
Sparks Fly Waxahatchee
Who's Lovin' You Kelis
Disc Two
You Never Loved Me Aimee Mann
Long Time Coming Coco Hames
Last of My Kind Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Kanimba Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet
Big Fish Vince Staples
Star Roving Slowdive
Shake and Pop Los Straitjackets
I Don't Wanna Die in This Town Old 97's
I Pray When I'm Drunk Robyn Hitchcock
The Singer (For Jason Molina) Mark Eitzel
Til the Goin' Gets Gone Lindi Ortega
Mexican Dust Mosquitos
Road Head Japanese Breakfast
Beautiful Lera Lynn
Morning Dove Julie Byrne
The Silverback The Heliocentrics
The World Is Falling Down Jim James
Plastic Moses Sumney
Wrangled Angaleena Presley
Pure Comedy Father John Misty

Sunday, November 26, 2017

On the Right Side of Christmas 2017

  It's been pretty warm here in the northeastern United States, but Christmas is just a month away which means it's time for another Christmas music compilation.   I've also re-upped all the previous Christmas compilations.


Christmas Time Is Here NRBQ
Blue Christmas She & Him
Christmas Evermore Cold Specks
Winter Wonderland Chet Baker
Counting the Days (til Christmas) Marah
We Three Kings Blondie
Christmas Night The Cave Singers
Who Said There Ain't No Santa Claus Ron Holden And The Thunderbirds
A Change At Christmas The Flaming Lips
Merry Christmas Baby The Poets
Ole Santa Dinah Washington
Silent Night Teddy Thompson & Kathryn Williams
Let Me Hang Your Stockings In Your Christmas Tree Roosevelt Sykes
Santa Claus Boogie Hasil Adkins
Merry Christmas Boogaloo Johnny Albino
Hot Christmas Squirrel Nut Zippers
I Wish It Was Christmas Today Julian Casablancas
Christmas Train Bobby Bare
Silver Bells Clarence White
I Believe In Father Christmas Greg Lake
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Death Cab for Cutie
(Merry Christmas) We Must Be Having One Tammy Wynette
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear The Roches
Auld Lang Syne John Fahey

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Man, That Cat is Gone: A John Hiatt Retrospective

       I was listening to John Hiatt's great late 80s/early 90s trio of albums (Bring the Family, Slow Turning, and Stolen Moments) a few months back and was impressed by how well they had aged.  I've also been listening a lot to the rest of his catalog so I finally put together a John Hiatt compilation.  (Btw, it's one download for both discs.)


Disc One
Take Time To Know Her
I Just Don't Know What To Say
Cold River
Something Wild
How Bad's the Coffee
Johnny 99
Hold On for Your Love
Everybody Went Low
Disc Two
Riding With the King
Lift Up Every Stone
Woman Sawed In Half
The Ballad of Curtis Loew
Don't Bug Me When I'm Working
Hurt My Baby
Face Of God
Rock Back Billy 
Sometime Other Than Now
Learning How To Love You

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Saluting 70's Singer Songwriters Volume 4

   Fall is upon us, even though you wouldn't know it from the weather here in New York.  Nonetheless, I've always thought 70s singer-songwriter comps are the perfect companion for Fall late mornings and afternoons.   So tonight, I give you Volume 4 in the Saluting Singer Songwriters series.  I've also re-upped the previous volumes  as well as the Sucking in the 70s compilations.  Have at 'em!


I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You Tom Waits
Shiver Me Timbers Tom Waits
Ride Me Down Easy Billy Joe Shaver
I Been To Georgia On A Fast Train Billy Joe Shaver
If You're Ever In Oklahoma J.J. Cale
Call Me The Breeze J.J. Cale
Please Don't Bury Me John Prine
Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone John Prine
Farewell To Paradise Emitt Rhodes
She's Such A Beauty Emitt Rhodes
Sol e Chuva Alceu Valenca
Cabelos Longos Alceu Valenca
Starman David Bowie
Kooks David Bowie
Have A Heart Charlie Rich
Peace On You Charlie Rich
Call Me Aretha Franklin
Day Dreaming Aretha Franklin

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Your Heart Was a Legend: A Compilation of Artist Tribute Songs

   I've been putting together this compilation of artists paying homage to other artists - both dead and alive - for some time now and I can't remember the inspiration for doing so.  I'm pretty sure it was something specific, but the memory isn't what it used to be.  Anyway, I should also point out that there are a couple of songs which reference more than one artist (The Bluegrass Widow and Nightshift) and the last song is definitely a cheat - it's an homage to Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown.  Also, the Aimee Mann song is a tribute to Jeff Buckley - the rest of the tributes are pretty obvious.  


Chelsea Hotel #2 Leonard Cohen
Blind Willie McTell Bob Dylan
I Saw Nick Drake Robyn Hitchcock
Song for Judee case/lang/veirs
That Bangle Girl Robbie Fulks
Boozoo, That's Who? NRBQ
Sir Duke Stevie Wonder
Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile) Van Morrison
I Think Hank Woulda Done It This Way The Blue Chieftains
Alex Chilton The Replacements
The Bluegrass Widow Robert Earl Keen
Carter Fred Eaglesmith
I Dreamed I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night Billy Bragg
Dory Previn Camera Obscura
Boy From Tupelo Emmylou Harris
Aretha, sing one for me George Jackson
A Tribute To A King William Bell
Just Like Anyone Aimee Mann
The Late Great Johnny Ace Paul Simon
Nightshift Commodores
Pops We Love You Marvin Gaye (w/Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Elvis Costello obscurities and covers

 About a year ago, I found on (a website whose name I can't remember) a cache of Elvis Costello rarities I didn't have so, at the risk of overkill, I made yet another Elvis Costello obscurities/rarities/whatever you want to call 'em compilation.  And as long as one is going to be obsessed with Elvis, why not also put together a compilation of Elvis covers? (If you don't have the first three volumes of Elvis rarities, you can find them here.)

50,000 Obsessive Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong - Disc 4

All You Need Is Love
You're No Good
Fill In The Blanks
The Town Where Time Stood Still
My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You
King Of Confidence
We Don't Even Try Anymore
If I Could Put Them All Together (I'd Have You) 
Lost On the River #12
Pretty In Pink
All These Things
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
It Had To Be You
You're Gonna Make Lonesome When You Go
They'll Never Take Her Love From Me
The Butcher's Boy
Weeper's Dream
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

Their Aim is True: Elvis Costello Covers

The Comedians Roy Orbison
Shabby Doll Calexico
Green Shirt  Matt Pond PA
Oliver's Army Blur
The Big Light Johnny Cash
No Action The Muffs
Human Hands Sondre Lerche
Alison Everything But The Girl
Almost Blue Chet Baker
The Judgement Solomon Burke
The Poisoned Rose Nick Lowe
Punishing Kiss Annie Ross & Low Note Quintet
Just a Memory Marti Jones
Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)  The Bangles
Uncomplicated Los Lobos
I Wonder How She Knows Charles Brown
Sleep of the Just Mendoza Line
Baby Plays Around A Girl Called Eddy

Thursday, June 29, 2017

More Wondrous Willie Ways

    I know 4th of July (and, of course, Willie's annual 4th of July show in Austin) isn't til Tuesday, but I'm pretty sure this weekend is still considered the 4th of July weekend.  And what's better weekend evening music than Volume 3 of my Willie Nelson compilation?


Darkness On The Face Of The Earth
That's Me Without You
Look What Thoughts Will Do
Shame On You
Who Put All My Ex's In Texas
Bonaparte's Retreat
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Till the End of the World
Ocean Of Diamonds
Everybody's Talkin'
Lonely Little Mansion
The Words Don't Fit The Picture
Philadelphia Lawyer
Lady Be Good
The Way You See Me
I Drank All Of Our Precious Love Away
Farther Along

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Wondrous Ways of Willie Nelson

   It's the first weekend of the summer and what better way to spend a summer than listening to Willie Nelson?!  Not that you don't listen to Willie in all seasons, but there's just something about his music that makes it a perfect fit for late summer afternoons or very late summer nights.  And though I suspect he's going to live another 10-20 years (or more), it's always good to pay tribute to a true legend they are alive.   Therefore, I've prepared a three volume set of Willie's finest (I'll put the third volume up next month.)  As is my usual habit, I've tried to stay away from most of the big hits.  I did, however, include one from his dandy recent release, God's Problem Child.  Enjoy!

   Late Update: I've also reupped the Willie Nelson covers compilations I put together several years back.

Volume One and Volume Two

Volume One
Just One Love
Outskirts Of Town
My Life's Been A Pleasure
If I Were A Carpenter
Home In San Antone
Won't You Ride in My Little Red Wagon
Honeysuckle Rose
Little House on the Hill
Me And The Drummer
Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
Always Seem To Get Things Wrong
I Feel Sorry for Him
Georgia on My Mind
If I Were The Man You Wanted
I Walk Alone
Sad Songs And Waltzes
Volume Two
Great Divide
Love Me Like a Song
Tougher Than Leather
Something to Brag About
Good Hearted Woman
Make Way for a Better Man
Why Are You Picking On Me
A Moment Isn't Very Long
This Cold War With You
Pride Wins Again
Reasons To Quit
December Day
Half a Man
Help Me Make It Through the Night
Family Bible

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cocktail Mix - Volumes 1-4

   I forget the exact reason why I looked it up, but I realized a few weeks ago that the movie Swingers came out more than 20 years ago.  In addition to launching the careers of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, it also helped launch the, however short-lived, early 60s nostalgia craze (okay, I wouldn't exactly call it a craze, but you get my point.).  I fully realize it's a bit absurd to indulge in nostalgia for nostalgia (there must be a cultural studies term for that), but four Cocktail Mix cds below were put out by Rhino a year before Swingers came out.  They're also long out of print and quite dandy - especially Volume II.

Cocktail Mix - Volume I

Will You Still Be Mine? Dean Elliot And His Swinging Big Big Band!!
Fever The Three Suns
I Get A Kick Out Of You Felix Slatkin
Star Fire Bob Thompson
Hansel And Pretzel Henri Rene & His Orchestra
Mood Tattooed Les Baxter's Drums
Danny's Inferno The Three Suns
The Penguin Dave Harris & The Powerhouse Five
China Boy (Go Sleep) Lenny Dee
War Dance For Wooden Indians Russ Case & His Orchestra
Hell's Bells David Carroll
Early-Bird Whirly-Bird Bob Thompson
Accidental Slip On An Oriental Rug Robert Maxwell, His Harp & His Orchestra
Rock Gently Alvino Rey
Che Si Dice Ferrante & Teicher
Inch Worm (From The Garden Of Eden Ballet) Jack Costanzo
Blue Rumba Rolley Polley
Powerhouse Bobby Hammack Quartet
Cocktail Mix - Volume II

Thirteen Men
Miss Ann-Margret
Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro) Cal Tjader
The Girl From Ipanema Walter Wanderley
Call Me Nancy Wilson
Sorry 'Bout That-Part I Harold Johnson Sextet
Comin' Home Baby Mel Torme
Baby Elephant Walk Rene Touzet
Soul Bossa Nova Quincy Jones
Bossa Nova Hand Dance (Deixa Isso Pra La) Connie Francis
Frenesi - Twist Les Elgart And His Orchestra
Why Wait Perez Prado
House Of Bamboo Earl Grant
Cantaloupe Island Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers
Hot Barbecue Brother Jack McDuff
Mas Que Nada Sergio Mendes &; Brasil '66
Washington Square Dick Hyman &; His Orchestra
Take Five Trudy Pitts
I'm Not Talking Mose Allison

Cocktail Mix - Volume III
The Lady Is A Tramp Della Reese
Not Me Robert Mitchum
Tequila Stan Kenton & His Orchestra
Heart Peggy Lee
One Mint Julep Sarah Vaughan
Be-Bop The Beguine Sammy Davis Jr.
Come On-A My House Rosemary Clooney
Come By Sunday Diana Dors
Something For Cat Henry Mancini
Forty Second Street Mel Torme
A Fine Romance Ella Fitzgerald
That Old Black Magic Louis Prima & Keely Smith
Fascinating Rhythm Don Ralke And His Orchestra
Ain't That A Kick In The Head Dean Martin
Guys And Dolls Bobby Darin
Are You Havin' Any Fun Count Basie & Tony Bennett
La Dolce Vita Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra
Mademoiselle Kitt Eartha Kitt
Cocktail Mix - Volume IV

A Man and a Woman (Un Homme et une Femme)
Francis Lai
Stripping Really Isn't Sexy, Is It? Burt Bacharach
Bring Down the Birds Herbie Hancock
Happy Feet Quincy Jones
Come Live With Me Johnny Williams (Vocal By Toni Scotti)
Susan Henry Mancini
Way Out Calypso George Duning
At the Namkok George Duning
Barney Does It All Lalo Schifrin
Lolita Ya Ya Nelson Riddle
Ad Ogni Costo (At Any Cost) Ennio Morricone
The Boston Wrangler Michel Legrand
Send Me Nicky George Duning
Misfits Theme Alex North
The Knack (Main Theme) John Barry

Saturday, April 1, 2017

She Don't Care About Time: The Byrds, The Three O'Clock, and Army/Navy

   The weather in the Northeast has been kinda crappy the last week or so, but it's finally April, and some nice springtime weather has to be on the way, so I thought everyone could use some guitar rock/pop. And since it's been a while since I did an LA-centric mix, I thought I'd go with three Los Angeles based bands from three different eras: The Byrds (1960's), The Three O'Clock (1980s), and Army/Navy (2010's). (Befour Three O'Clock and The Salvation Army were early band names for The Three O'Clock, btw.)  I've also re-upped the Los Angeles 60's music scenes comps.


Jetfighter The Three O'Clock
So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star The Byrds
Pacific Army Navy
Prouve Army Navy
Sorry The Three O'Clock
Dolphin's Smile The Byrds
Summer Morning Army Navy
She Turns To Flowers Salvation Army
I See You The Byrds
She Don't Care About Time The Byrds
The Girl With The Guitar (Says Oh Yeah) The Three O'Clock
I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better Byrds
Ignite Army Navy
The Seventeen Forever Befour Three O'Clock
The Long Goodbye Army Navy

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thoroughly Hitched: A Robyn Hitchcock Collection

      Ever since I got his 1984 release I Often Dream of Trains a couple of years back (I'm not sure why I waited so long), I've been on a Robyn Hitchcock binge.  Given how prolific (he has a new album out in April and is currently touring the northeast U.S) he's been, it's taken me a while to do justice to his catalog.   I hope the collection does justice to a legend who's remained remarkably vital for 36 years.  It's also his birthday tomorrow (March 3)!

Disc One

Raymond Chandler Evening
Old Man Weather
Keep Finding Me
Eight Miles High
Viva! Sea-Tac
So You Think You're in Love
Hurry for the Sky
Mamie Dunn, Employee of the Month / Good Times Rock & Roll
Evil Guy
Cynthia Mask
Globe of Frogs
Brenda's Iron Sledge
Sam's Gone Away
Have a Heart Betty (Mark 1) [Bonus Track]
Madonna of the Wasps

Disc Two

I Often Dream Of Trains
No Way Out of Time
Daisy Bomb
Underwater Moonlight
Strawberries Dress
Sickie Boy
Vegetable Friend
Dark Globe
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Comme Toujours
Ivy Alone
(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Gram Parsons and Phosphorescent

  I've been meaning to make this mix of Gram Parsons and Phosphorescent for a long time - they're both charismatic native Southerners who, after dabbling in folk and indie rock, respectively, hit their musical heights when playing country/alternative country/cosmic American/whatever you want to call it.  And though neither was blessed with a great voice, they both really know how to deliver a song. Oh, and if you're wondering why there's a Byrds song on here, it's because the Byrds initially made the album Sweetheart of the Rodeo with Gram on lead vocals on several of the tracks. But there were some legal issues with Gram so they re-recorded some of the songs with Roger McGuinn on vocals.  And if you want more of either, I suggest starting with Phosphorescent's Willie Nelson tribute To Willie and with Gram's GP/Grievous Angel       

A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise Phosphorescent
Do You Know How It Feels The Flying Burrito Brothers
I Want You Phosphorescent
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music) The Flying Burrito Brothers
Blue Eyes The International Submarine Band
Terror in the Canyons (The Wounded Master) Phosphorescent
The New Soft Shoe Gram Parsons
Tomorrow Is A Long Time Phosphorescent
Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels
Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye Phosphorescent
You Can Make Me Feel Bad Phosphorescent
To Love Somebody The Flying Burrito Brothers
It's Not Supposed To Be That Way Phosphorescent
You Don't Miss Your Water The Byrds
Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough) Phosphorescent
In My Hour Of Darkness Gram Parsons

Thursday, December 29, 2016

On the Right Side of 2016

   I'd rather not focus on the non-musical events of 2016 for this post since, strictly judging the year based on the musical releases, 2016 was a pretty good year.  With the exceptions of the dearly departed Leonard Cohen and Sharon Jones, I only included acts who hadn't appeared on my best of 2014 and 2015 compilations.  This was kinda tough as I had to leave out Angel Olsen's My Woman, but one must abide by some rules.  In the spirit of honoring those who died during the year, I've also re-upped the Bowie tributes, the Leonard Cohen-Patsy Cline-Cat Power compilations, and the Sharon Jones-Detroit Cobras compilation.

   Update: So only 24 hours after posting this, I found out that Bap Kennedy died in early November.  I'll just say he was an underappreciated singer-songwriter from Dublin and let my post on him from five years ago provide a little more depth about him.  RIP Bap.

Disc One

You Want It Darker Leonard Cohen
Thousand Mile Night Jonah Tolchin
The Soul Of A Man Tom Waits
Fast Fuse Blues Paul Burch
Two Kids Laura Gibson
Snowflake Carl Broemel
Days Spent Floating (In The Halfbetween) Okkervil River
Dusty Trails (Demo) Lucius
Faint Mystery Trixie Whitley
Red Moon Whitney
Royalty Capes De La Soul
Trouble in Here The Frightnrs
Put Me Thru  Anderson .Paak
Chicken Picken Circuit Des Yeux
O Mistress Mine (Clown's Song From Twelfth Night) Paul Kelly
Stanley Park Aoife O'Donovan
Desperate and Depressed Margo Price
Fickle Sun (iii) I'm Set Free Brian Eno

Disc Two

22 Bon Iver
Dyin' Bed Maker Kacy & Clayton
Light in the House The Cave Singers
Temptation M. Ward
Okoroba Family Atlantica
Firmeza (feat. Rodrigo Campos) Elza Soares
I'm Still Here Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Roadside Memorial Allah-Las
My Darling, Blue Skies John Doe
Georgia Stars case/lang/veirs
Lullaby Dori Freeman
Number One with a Bullet Freakwater
Let Me Get There Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions
Squash Squash Blood Orange
Clementine Jam Orchestra Baobab
Good to Be Back Home Charles Bradley
One Way to Pray Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop
Tea, Milk & Honey Oh Pep!