Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Secret Life of Neko Case

I still remember getting Neko Case's very first album "The Virginian" back in 1997 and being completely wowed. She hasn't disappointed since (though if I REALLY wanted to nitpick, I'd say her last album isn't quite as strong as its predecessors) and her live shows are always great. Plus, she finds time to sing (and sometimes tour) with The New Pornographers and has also appeared on numerous collections and other people's albums. So in that spirit, I give you The Secret Life of Neko - 32 songs you won't find on her formal releases. I didn't include stuff where's she only singing background, though there's a couple of tracks where she only takes 1-2 verses. Special thanks in this pursuit go to the ultra comprehensive discography at
Lastly, I should mention that information on the original album the songs came can be found in the comments section for each mp3.

If I'm Gonna Sink, I Might As Well Go to the Bottom
The Laws Have Changed
Jason Fleming
Rolling Stone
Long Black Veil
East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)
Stay A Little Longer
These Are The Fables
Star Bodies
Mean Mean Man
Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
She's Leaving Town
Still Around
Getting It Made
Yon Ferrets Return

The Secret Life of Neko - Side B

Buckets of Rain
Your Control
All For Swinging You Around
How Does That Grab You, Darlin'?
The World Is Waiting For A Sunrise
River Of No Return
My '63
Howling at Midnight
Rated X
Taught to Look Away
Behind The House
The Bones Of An Idol
Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Songs for the Front Porch

Before there was alternative country.... well, there was a lot of good "alternative country" that just wasn't called alternative country. :) Three of my favorite alt-country albums back in the early 1990s were Robert Earl Keen's No Kinda Dancer (originally came out in 1984, but then reissued in 1989), Junior Brown's "12 Shades of Brown", and Walter Hyatt's "King Tears". I don't know why I put those three together on a mixtape back in 1990, but I think they still sound good together. While No Kinda Dancer isn't Keen's best (his singing got a lot better for No Kinda Dancer), there's still a bunch of strong songs and I think 12 Shades of Brown and King Tears are, respectively, Brown and Hyatt's best work. In particular, King Tears is one of the truly underappreciated gems of the 1990s.

My Baby Don't Dance To Nothin' But Earnest Tubb Junior Brown
Swervin' In My Lane Robert Earl Keen
Ruby Walter Hyatt
Willie Robert Earl Keen
Moan All Night Long Junior Brown
Outside Looking Out Walter Hyatt
Que Reste-T-Il de Nos Amours? Walter Hyatt
Broke Down South Of Dallas Junior Brown
Freeborn Man Junior Brown
Situé Walter Hyatt
No Kinda Dancer Robert Earl Keen
Coconut Island Junior Brown
Aloha Walter Hyatt
Song For Kathy Robert Earl Keen

Tell Me Baby Walter Hyatt
The Front Porch Song Robert Earl Keen
This Time, Lucille Walter Hyatt
What's Left Just Won't Go Right Junior Brown
Too Many Nights In A Roadhouse Junior Brown
Young Lovers Waltz Robert Earl Keen
Blind Love Blues Walter Hyatt
A Way To Survive Junior Brown
In November Walter Hyatt
Rolling By Robert Earl Keen
Death Of Tail Fitzsimmons Robert Earl Keen
Baby Let The Bad Times Be Junior Brown
King Tears Walter Hyatt
Hillbilly Hula Gal Junior Brown

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sucking in the 70s

I don't really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures - life's too short for those kind of worries. On the other hand......well, I'll just use the defense that the music you listened to as a10-15 year old is the stuff you'll like the rest of your life. In that spirit, I give you my 70s mixtape. Indulge!!!

Mama Told Me (Not To Come) Three Dog Night
Kung Fu Fighting Carl Douglas
Stuck In The Middle With You Stealers Wheel
Before The Next Teardrop Falls Freddy Fender
Fooled Around And Fell In Love Elvin Bishop
Come And Get Your Love Redbone
Jackie Blue The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Lonely Boy Andrew Gold
At Seventeen Janis Ian
Haitian Divorce Steely Dan
Driver's Seat Sniff 'n' Tears
Here Comes The Sun Richie Havens
Angie The Rolling Stones
I Can Help Billy Swan
Alone Again (Naturally) Gilbert O'Sullivan
Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again The Fortunes
Magnet And Steel Walter Egan
You Sexy Thing Hot Chocolate
Seasons In The Sun Terry Jacks
I'm Not In Love 10cc

Friday, May 8, 2009

Introducing the Golden Smog

For those of you too young to remember, there was a band called Asia in the early 1980s made up of musicians from YES, ELP, King Crimson (and one of the guys from the Buggles). Their first album had a bunch of hits. Well, I think they were top 20 hits - I just know I heard them a lot on rock radio at the time. I also recall that deejays frequently referred to them as a supergroup which must have impressed me in some way because I still remember the term. Anyway, I was reflecting on the term a couple of weeks back and decided to waste some more precious time by looking at the entry for it on Wikipedia. Of course they had an overly comprehensive list of supergroups. Except they left out those lovably scruffy Midwestern boys of Golden Smog. So here's a compilation to make up for the oversight. (In case folks don't know - the name Golden Smog was taken from one of my all time favorite Flintstones episodes. Hence, the picture on the right.)

Walk Where He Walked
Son (We've Kept the Room Just For You)
Another Fine Day
Making Waves
Pecan Pie
You Make It Easy
Until You Came Along
Lost Love
Can't Even Tie Your Own Shoes
Listen Joe
Backstreet Girl
Redheaded Stepchild
All The Same To Me
Think About Yourself
Without A Struggle
Easy to Be Hard
Jennifer Save Me

Friday, May 1, 2009

California Dreaming

Actually, even though it's kind of rainy and cloudy in the n'east, I can't say I'm really California dreaming these days. But I'll always have an enduring fondness for the the great California pop music of The Bangles and The Mamas and Papas, especially in the spring and summer - must be the harmonies. So here's a couple of mixtapes for those hazy late afternoons in the summer. (Oh, I should warn folks - some of the songs are from vinyl rips. So there's a few crackles and pops - just like the old days.)

Hero Takes A Fall The Bangles
I Can't Wait The Mamas and the Papas
Straight Shooter The Mamas & The Papas
Mary Street The Bangles
Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) The Mamas and the Papas
James The Bangles
September Gurls The Bangles
Words of Love The Mamas and the Papas
In Your Room The Bangles
Go Where You Wanna Go The Mamas & The Papas
Live The Bangles
Angels Don't Fall in Love The Bangles
I Saw Her Again The Mamas and the Papas
How Is The Air Up There? The Bangles
Even If I Could The Mamas and the Papas
Got A Feelin' The Mamas & The Papas
Where Were You When I Needed You The Bangles
Creeque Alley The Mamas and the Papas

Dedicated to the One I Love The Mamas and the Papas
Return Post The Bangles
Somebody Groovy The Mamas & The Papas
For the Love of Ivy The Mamas and the Papas
More Than Meets The Eye The Bangles
Dream a Little Dream of Me The Mamas and the Papas
The Real World The Bangles
Call on Me The Bangles
Trip, Stumble, and Fall The Mamas and the Papas
He's Got A Secret The Bangles
My Heart Stood Still The Mamas and the Papas
California Dreamin' The Mamas & The Papas
Dover Beach The Bangles
Want You The Bangles
I Call Your Name The Mamas & The Papas
If She Knew What She Wants The Bangles
Do You Wanna Dance The Mamas & The Papas
Going Down To Liverpool The Bangles