Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the Right Side of 2010

I haven't come up with any new year's resolutions yet, but I am proud of myself for putting together my best of 2010 compilation before year's end. :) (And like last year, all the mp3s are tagged with the name of the album they come from.) Happy 2011 to everyone!

The Game Gets Old Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Iwo Ko La Dami Tunji Oyelana and The Benders
When The Sun Don't Shine Best Coast
Everyone But You The Young Veins
Barstool Night Driving in Small Towns
Radio Gal Paul Burch
El Dorado Jim Lauderdale
Bring It On The Gaslight Anthem
The Lady And The Rose Los Lobos
Cirandar Seu Jorge and Almaz
Chicas Kamikaze Matorralman
Bang Bang Bang Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
Come Alive [War Of The Roses] Janelle Monae
Unbroken, Unshaven The Budos Band
Zebra Beach House
Small Craft On A Milk Sea Brian Eno
The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart) Ryan Bingham
The Reason Why My Heart's in Misery Lay Low
See You Tonight Volebeats
Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly) Phosphorescent

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Talk of the Townes - Disc Two

As promised, here's a second batch of Townes Van Zandt cover tunes.

If I Needed You Christina Kulukundis
Delta Momma Blues Steve Earle
Heavenly Houseboat Blues Christian Kjellvander
Flyin' Shoes Lyle Lovett
Pancho and Lefty Gillian Welch
Sanitarium Blues Garry Heffern & The Walkabouts
Cowboy Junkies Lament Cowboy Junkies
Tecumseh Valley Nanci Griffith
Loretta John Prine
White Freight Liner Blues J.D. Crowe
Buckskin Stallion Blues Mudhoney/Jimmy Dale Gilmore
To Live Is to Fly Thomas Denver Jonsson
Why She's Acting This Way Phosphorescent
Catfish Song Richard Buckner

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Talk of the Townes

Since I did a Tom Waits tribute last year (here and here), I figured I'd spotlight another great songwriter this year. This time, it's the Texas troubador, Townes Van Zandt. Now, Townes songs may not lend themselves to quite the stylistic variations that Waits' do, but they're still some pretty dandy songs. I should point out that there are some pretty good Townes compilations already out there (There's a Hole in Heaven Where Some Sin Gets Through, Introducing the Townes Van Zandt via The Great Unknown, Poet, as well a nice homemade mixtape at the website, all of which I took a couple of tracks from.) So it's hardly an original idea, but I hope folks still like it. I'll post Disc Two next week.

Snake Song Emmylou Harris
Our Mother the Mountain Great Lake Swimmers
For the Sake of the Song Azure Ray
Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold Robert Earl Keen
Rex's Blues Carrie Rodriguez
I'll Be Here In The Morning Jerry Jeff Walker
Que Te Vaya Bien, Miss Carrusel Nacho Vegas
Snowing on Raton Rosalie Sorrels
No Place To Fall Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Rake Rhonda Harris
Colorado Girl Devendra Banhart
Snake Mountain Blues Hero Horns
Waiting Around To Die The Be Good Tanyas
My Proud Mountains John T. Van Zandt

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Billie Holiday and Elis Regina - Diva a Deux

While I don't necessarily worship at the altar of Billie Holiday and Elis Regina, I do like 'em both quite a bit. And I was inspired to put 'em together by Arthur Phillips novel The Song is You where there are fairly lengthy disquisitions on both of them (and a particular version of Billie Holiday's I Cover the Waterfront is of great importance to the novel's protagonist). Of course, then, I had to start the mix with I Cover the Waterfront.

I Cover The Waterfront Billie Holiday
Nova Estação Elis Regina
Aviso aos Navegantes Elis Regina
Too Marvelous For Words Billie Holiday
Vida de Bailarina Elis Regina
You Go To My Head Billie Holiday
Me, Myself And I Billie Holiday
Triste Elis Regina
Speak Low Billie Holiday
Aquarela do Brasil Elis Regina
I Wished On The Moon Billie Holiday
Atrás Da Porta Elis Regina
Pois E Elis Regina
Tenderly Billie Holiday
Tatuagem (Tattoo) Elis Regina
You've Changed Billie Holiday
Alô, Alô, Marciano, Marciano Elis Regina
They Can't Take That Away From Me Billie Holiday
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Billie Holiday
�guas De Marco Elis Regina

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lonesome Bob - Things Fall Apart

Looking back, it's a little hard to believe there was such a thing as an alt-country bandwagon in the mid to late 90s. And it's even harder to believe that certain artists and bands were criticized for jumping on said bandwagon. :) Now, to be sure, there was some alt-country dross back in those salad days, as there is with any genre. But I do hope that folks appreciate that there was a lot of good stuff. Prominent among the really "good stuff" is Lonesome Bob's 1997 debut album, Things Fall Apart. (His second album, Things Change, is almost as good.) Unconscionably, it's now out of print, so I thought I'd post it tonight.

Love Is Not Blind
Do You Think About Me?
Point Of No Return
Waltzing On The Titanic
Different Shades Of Gray
What Went Wrong
My Mother's Husband
Heaven's Gate
Too Much Time
Someone Watching Over Me
The Plans We Made
Call My Name
Sleepless Nites

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On the Right Side of Christmas 2010

Well, I decided to make it an annual thing, so here's another Christmas music comp. (You can also still download last year's comp, btw.)

A Christmas Duel Cyndi Lauper & The Hives
Jingle Bells Johnny Paycheck
Christmas (The Buzz Of Delight) Matthew Sweet
Up On A Housetop The Jackson 5
Mele Kalikimaka Arthur Lyman
The Christmas Song Alex Chilton
Silent Night Temptations
In the Bleak Midwinter The Pipettes
Christmas in Hollis Run DMC
The Little Wiped-out Drummer Boy The Spongetones
Frosty The Snowman The Ronettes
Cold, Cold Winter The Pixies Three
Purple Snowflakes Marvin Gaye
Calling on Mary Aimee Mann
Merry Christmas From A Bar Mike Ireland And Holler
Christmas Must be Tonight The Band
Everything Is Cool John Prine
Please Come Home For Christmas Little Johnny Taylor
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot A Girl Called Eddy
Las Mananitas Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass
Jingle Bell Jamboree Keb' Mo'
Xmas Shelby Lynne
What Are You Doing New Years Eve Nancy Wilson
Hello Mr. New Year The Coolbreezers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aretha and Dusty

There's a scene in Woody Allen's Manhattan where he discusses the things that make life worth living. Now the scene may be a tad overwrought, but I have to confess to sometimes thinking along the same lines. Specifically, I would definitely put a lot of Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield songs on my list. Now, I'll confess, the idea to put the two together in a mixtape didn't occur to me until I saw a post on the great blog comparing their versions of I Can't Wait to See My Baby's Face (Yes, I also used the same pix from the post.) As with my previous Dusty mixtapes, I tried to limit my use of tracks from the albums Dusty in Memphis and A Brand New Me (since they're so perfect on their own), but I weakened and started the mix with Breakfast in Bed.

Breakfast in Bed Dusty Springfield
Groovin' Aretha Franklin
Try Matty's Aretha Franklin
Your Hurtin' Kind of Love Dusty Springfield
Crazy He Calls Me Aretha Franklin
Every Ounce of Strength Dusty Springfield
I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face Aretha Franklin
All the King's Horses Dusty Springfield
O-o-h Child Dusty Springfield
Ramblin' Aretha Franklin
Bring It On Home To Me Aretha Franklin
Sunny Dusty Springfield
Can You Love Again (Hey Now Hey) Aretha Franklin
Easy Evil Dusty Springfield
Master Of Eyes Aretha Franklin
Mamas Little Girl Dusty Springfield
Love Letters Aretha Franklin
Sweetest Smile And The Funkiest Style Aretha Franklin
I've Got A Good Thing Dusty Springfield
To Love Somebody Dusty Springfield
That's The Way I Feel About Cha Aretha Franklin

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heat Takes a Walk: The Stan Ridgway Collection

I've always liked those albums that begin with an instrumental track that leads into the rest of the album - in addition to Fun Boy Three's Waiting, Lyle Lovett's Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, another favorite from the 80s is Stan Ridgway's Mosquitos. While it's been a long time since Stan's band Wall of Voodoo hit it big, he's still putting out good solo album, most recently Neon Mirage, as well as projects with Pietra Wexstun and Drywall. My faves are still Wall of Voodoo's Call of the West and Mosquitos, as well as his greatest hits collection, Songs That Made This Country Great (which seems to only be available as a download through emusic). So here's some of Stan's classic noir stylings.

Heat Takes A Walk
Lonely Town
The Overlords
Mexican Radio
Afghan Forklift
Good, Bad and Ugly
Triangle Head
Don't Box Me In
Monsters of the Id
High On a Mountain
Mouthful of Sand/Roadblock
Turn A Blind Eye

Mission Bell
Back Towards Diamond Bar
Bing Can't Walk
Talkin' Wall of Voodoo Blues
This Town Called Fate
Luther Played Guitar
Mr. Moon Man
Lost Weekend
Watch Your Step/Jack Talked (Like a Man on Fire)
Cannon Song
Twisted Classic Hollywood Ending
The Last Honest Man

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Long Way Home

Last year, I put together a comp of stuff with a late 60s/70s country vibe that I thought was a good driving mixtape. In a similar vein, here's a collection of road songs or, a tad more accurately, songs about travelling.

Windfall Son Volt
555 X 2 Bo Ramsey
Nowhere Road Steve Earle & The Dukes
East Bound and Down Dave Dudley
Graceland Paul Simon
El Paso The Gourds
East Of Houston, West Of Baton Rouge Chris Gaffney
Ramblin' Fever Billy Joe Shaver
To Her Door Paul Kelly & the Messengers
40, 80 or 10 Tanya Savory
Come a Long Way Michelle Shocked
I've Been Everywhere Hank Snow
To The Homeland Malcolm Holcombe
Interstate Bill Kirchen
Long Time Gone Jann Browne
Good to Be on the Road Back Home Cornershop
Shangri-La M. Ward
A Long Way Home Dwight Yoakam
Roadworn And Weary Supersuckers
Can't Hardly Wait The Replacements

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear Heartbroken in Glasgow

It's hard to imagine that any Gen Xer who loved Lloyd Cole and the Commotions back in the 80s wouldn't also love Camera Obscura - even if they hadn't recorded their endearing homage Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken (which was the highlight, at least for me, of their live show this past summer). Long live lush indie pop!!

Come Back Margaret Camera Obscura
Sweetness Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Shine Like A New Pin Camera Obscura
Jennifer She Said Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
These Days Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
Pen And Notebook Camera Obscura
Cut Me Down Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Tougher Than The Rest Camera Obscura
Everybody's Complaining Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Keep It Clean Camera Obscura
Teenager Camera Obscura
Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

Rich Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
My Maudlin Career Camera Obscura
French Navy Camera Obscura
Sean Penn Blues Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
Let's Get Out of This Country Camera Obscura
Jesus Said Lloyd Cole & the Commotions
The Last Song Camera Obscura
Rattlesnakes Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Perfect Skin Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Marathon Not A Sprint Camera Obscura
Mystery Train (Live) Lloyd Cole
Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken Camera Obscura

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Inimitable and Incandescent Iris DeMent

I don't really know how to describe Iris DeMent's voice, and I can't quite explain why her singing "sticks to my ribs" like it does, but damn, when she sings, her voice just insinuates its way into you. If you need any proof, here's an 18 song collection - there's one track from each of her formal releases (Infamous Angel, My Life, Way I Should Be, and Lifeline) plus live tracks, soundtrack and tribute contributions, duets, etc.

(We're Not) The Jet Set
There's A Whole Lot Of Heaven
Big City
I'm Still In Love With You
I Don't Want To Get Adjusted
I Miss A Lot Of Trains
The Way I Should
Hobo Bill's Last Ride
God May Forgive You
Banks of Marble
Wildwood Flower
Trust Each Other
Whispering Pines
You've Done Nothing Wrong
The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home
Mexican Home
Acres of Corn
Mama's Opry

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Atlantic Sisters of Soul

In some ways it's understandable that Aretha Franklin overshadowed other female soul singers in the late 1960s and early 1970s. On the other hand,.... damn, there were a lot of great female soul singers from that time period who didn't get the recognition they should have. In that spirit, here's Atlantic Sisters of Soul, a really good out of print compilation from the fine folks at Rhino. (And if you find yourself wanting more female soul, the Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Sisters comp Rhino put out in 2006 is also pretty good, though a tad inconsistent.)

Dear Lover Mary Wells
I Don't Know Baby Washington
A Woman Will Do Wrong Dee Dee Sharp
Why (Am I Treated So Bad) The Sweet Inspirations
(Until Then) I'll Suffer Barbara Lynn
Sister Pitiful Judy Clay
Shake A Hand Toby Lark
Mojo Hannah Tammi Lynn
Wish Someone Would Care Mary Lou
Can I Be Your Main Thing Margie Alexander
Wonderful, Marvelous Jackie Moore With The Dixie Flyers
What A Man Laura Lee
Can I Hold You To It Lorraine Johnson
She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking) Dee Dee Warwick
Who Are You Gonna Love Rozetta Johnson
Unsatisfied Woman Jean Battle
Set Me Free Esther Phillips With The Dixie Flyers
Full Time Woman Irma Thomas
Your Turn To Cry Bettye LaVette
Don't Try To Take The Fifth The Pointer Sisters
Victim Of A Foolish Heart Bettye Swann
I Do Believe That I'm Losing You Ones'y Mack
Sweet Surrender Margie Joseph

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chrissy and Emmy - Not Your Average It Girls

For those of you above the age of 40, it's probably not that hard to remember when Chrissie Hynde and Emmylou Harris were the "it girls" of rock and country, respectively. So here's a little tribute to them (including my all-time favorite Emmylou song - her version of Butch Hancock's Bluebird).

Brass in Pocket Pretenders
Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend Emmylou Harris
I Still Miss Someone Emmylou Harris
I Go To Sleep The Pretenders
Rough and Rocky Emmylou Harris
Kid Pretenders
Back On The Chain Gang The Pretenders
Making Believe Emmylou Harris
When Will I See You? The Pretenders
Red Dirt Girl Emmylou Harris
Birds Of Paradise The Pretenders
Satan's Jewel Crown Emmylou Harris
When He Calls Emmylou Harris
She The Pretenders & Emmylou Harris
Thanks to You Emmylou Harris
The Losing The Pretenders
If You Were a Bluebird Emmylou Harris

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Favorite Crowded House

Is it just me or are overcast fall afternoons practically made for listening to Crowded House's exquisite pop? Whatever your feelings on the subject, here's a Crowded House mixtape, including a couple from their new release Intriguer.

World Where You Live
Sister Madly
Sacred Cow
Private Universe
Kare Kare
Four Seasons In One Day
Love This Life
Walked Her Way Down
Weather With You
She Goes On
Don't Dream It's Over
You Are The One To Make Me Cry
Fingers of Love
Either Side Of The World
Saturday Sun
I Walk Away
Better Be Home Soon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Different Kind of Southern Rock

In case you've forgotten, there was a period in the 70s when southern rock (sometimes labeled southern boogie) was quite the rage - at least on fm rock radio. Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band (and a couple of others I'm forgetting) were staples of the playlists on all the New York City rock stations I listened to as a teen. Fast forward 7-8 years and a different kind of southern rock emerged - the great jangle pop revolution of the mid 80s spearheaded, of course, by R.E.M. Now, I would bet there's still a lot of folks who still listen to those 80s R.E.M. albums, but just in case folks have forgotten Let's Active, Pylon, Guadalcanal Diary, Love Tractor, etc., here's a couple of southern rock compilations.

Hyena R.E.M.
Easy Does Let's Active
Colorblind the Windbreakers
Satan Love Tractor
Watusi Rodeo Guadalcanal Diary
Stop It Pylon
Oddfellows Local 151 R.E.M.
Laredo Radio The Swimming Pool Q's
Wheel of Pleasure Love Tractor
Plus 7 Fetchin' Bones
Make Up With Me Let's Active
Ten Layers Down Let's Active
Just Fine The Windbreakers
Trail of Tears Guadalcanal Diary
Driver 8 R.E.M.
Crazy Pylon

Download Disc Two

Every Word Means No Let's Active
Blue Tomorrow The Swimming Pool Q's
7 Chinese Brothers R.E.M.
So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) R.E.M.
Catch the Wind Drivin' N' Cryin'
Gilbert Takes the Wheel Guadalcanal Diary
Run The Windbreakers
Changeless The Windbreakers
Torn Apart The Spongetones
Crystal World Love Tractor
Danger Pylon
Auctioneer (Another Engine) R.E.M.
Volume Pylon
Venice Love Tractor
Reflecting Pool Let's Active
Why Do the Heathen Rage? Guadalcanal Diary

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Soy Un Perdedor: Beck's Bestest

Was it really 16 years ago that we all shed our grungy clothing and sang along to Beck's slacker ode "Loser"? While we all ponder the 90s and the passage of time, here's a sampling of Beck's finest.

Que Onda Guero
Bonfire Blondes
Think I'm In Love
Fresh Hex
The Golden Age
Black Angel's Death Song
Your Cheatin' Heart
Nobody's Fault But My Own
Last Night I Traded My Souls Innermost For Some Pickled Fish
Peaches & Cream
Tender Beasts Of The Spangled Night
Bad Blood

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More 70s Blaxploitation Music

Around this time last year, I put together a mixtape of music from 70s blaxploitation films. Now, I must confess to cheating a little bit on Volume 2 - several of the songs are from the early 70s, but not from any particular film (and the cut from The Budos Band came out only a month ago.) I'll try to be a better boy next week. :)


Easin' In Edwin Starr
The World We Live In McKinley Jackson
Shaft In Africa Johnny Pate
Truck Turner (Main Title) Isaac Hayes
Ain't no Such Thing As Superman Gil Scott-Heron
Cleveland Now Booker T. Jones
Rite of the Ancients The Budos Band
Different Strokes Syl Johnson
Aragon Roy Ayers
Tippi Toes The Meters
People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul James Brown
Brothers on the Slide Cymande
Harlem Bass Tony Barthele
Woman of the Ghetto Marlena Shaw
Nappy Head (Theme from "Ghetto Man") War
Expansions Lonnie Liston Smith
Theme From Cleopatra Jones Joe Simon

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Variations on the Folkie: Bragg, Prine, and Sexsmith

Folk music often gets maligned in certain quarters for a variety of perceived flaws. Heck, even I have often made jokes about folk music (and musicians). :) So, in defense of folk music and all its variations, I offer you a mixtape of Billy Bragg (folk-punk, well sorta), John Prine (folk-country), and Ron Sexsmith (folk-pop/rock).

Update: Something messed up the last third of the cd when I initially burned it, so I got rid of the whole thing and replaced it. So if you downloaded it the first couple of days it was up, you should probably just delete it and download it again.

Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian [Live] John Prine
Tell Me Again Ron Sexsmith
Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key Billy Bragg & Wilco
Love Has No Pride Billy Bragg
Ring Them Bells Ron Sexsmith
Souvenirs John Prine
The Only One Billy Bragg
If You Don't Want My Love John Prine
Almost Always Ron Sexsmith
Summer Blowin' Town Ron Sexsmith
The Warmest Room Billy Bragg
All The Best John Prine
Strawberry Blonde Ron Sexsmith
Glory Of True Love John Prine
A Good Time John Prine
The Milkman Of Human Kindness Billy Bragg
Gold In Them Hills Ron Sexsmith
Beautiful World [Live] John Prine
When the Ship Comes In Billy Bragg
Dolphins Billy Bragg
Seem To Recall Ron Sexsmith

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charley Pride - In Person at Panther Hall

Ah, live albums. There's a bunch of great ones (Townes Van Zandt Live at the Old Quarter and Robert Earl Keen's Live Album (the first one) immediately come to mind) and a lot of stinky ones. Charley Pride's "In Person" is definitely in the first category. Nice choice of covers and his own hits, some funny banter, and the amazing Lloyd Green on steel guitar. Just a really great country album!

Intro By Bo Powell
The Last Thing On My Mind
Just Between You And Me
I Know One
Lovesick Blues
The Image Of Me
Shutters And Boards
Six Days On The Road
Streets Of Baltimore
Got Leavin' On Her Mind
Crystal Chandeliers
Cotton Fields

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More Girl Group Music

As promised last week, here's another compilation of girl group music. Btw, my only rule was that it had to be at least two women singers - after all you can't really have girl's talk without, well....two girls. :)

Baby That`s Me The Cake
He Did It The Ronettes
Girl Of 100 Lists The Go-Go's
Stop Pretending The Pandoras
My One And Only, Jimmy Boy The Girlfriends
Chapel of Love The Chicks
Iko Iko The Dixie Cups
There's No Right Way to Do Me Wrong The Miller Sisters
Growing Upside Down The Ditty Bops
I'm Blue The Ikettes
Nothing But a Heartache The Flirtations
I`ll Keep Holding On The Marvelettes
Leave My Kitten Alone The Detroit Cobras
High School Yum Yum The Donnas
Such A Joke Vivian Girls
This is a Foxy World Tom Tom Club
Then He Kissed Me The Crystals
Whatta Man Salt-N-Pepa
The Party Betty & The Werewolves
Silent Treatment The Bangles
It Happens Every Day Persianettes
Since You've Been Gone The Dreamers
So Young The Veronicas
Da-Di-Da-Da The Satin Bells
Maybe The Three Degrees

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Just Want to Hear Girl's Talk - Volume 1

I can't claim that I've got anything particularly interesting or insightful to say about girl groups. Therefore, I'll just let the music speak for itself. I will, however, say that several of the tracks come from Rhino's (fill in superlative) 60s girl group box set, One Kiss Can Lead to Another. (The sampler on emusic is also pretty dandy.) I'll post Volume 2 next week.

He Was Really Sayin' Somethin' Bananarama
Chains The Cookies
Needle In A Haystack The Velvelettes
Bhang, Bhang, I'm a Burnout Dum Dum Girls
You're No Rock N' Roll Fun Sleater-Kinney
Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) The Chiffons
You Won't Forget Me Jean & the Statesides
Crying In The Rain The Sweet Inspirations
Teardrop Sea Tonettes [1-2-3-4-5-6-7]
Count The Days Patti Labelle and The Bluebelles
Satellite Luscious Jackson
Your Time Is My Time Tralala
He Doesn't Love Me The Breakways
Tell Me What You Want The Pipettes
He's Not That Kind Of Guy The Tangeers
Cherry Bomb The Runaways
Swallow My Pride Thee Headcoatees
Those Memories of You Dolly Parton/Emmylou Harris/Linda Ronstadt
Double Knots The Living Sisters
Sweet Sweet Love Durettes
Come See About Me The Supremes
And My Heart Sang Tra La La Brenda & The Tabulations
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Bouzoukee Version) Petty Booka
All Grown Up Gore Gore Girls
The Train From Kansas City The Shangri-Las

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Richard Buckner and Elliott Smith - The Bards of Gen X

For reasons I won't go into here, I've always been suspicious of the term "voice of a generation". On the other hand, I've always kind of thought of Richard Buckner and Elliott Smith as well, ..... the voice of Gen X - or better yet, the voice of a small, but not insignificant subset of Gen X. (The social scientist in me always comes out.) Whatever you want to call them, they are two of my favorite artists and I think their stuff still holds up remarkably well. So here's two mixtapes (combined into one download) featuring album cuts, obscurities, live tracks, etc.

Disc One

Pull Richard Buckner
Tomorrow Tomorrow Elliott Smith
Pretty (Ugly Before) Elliott Smith
Lucky Buzz Richard Buckner
Angel In The Snow Elliott Smith
Sister Richard Buckner
When Love Is Gone Richard Buckner
kiwi maddog 20/20 Elliott Smith
Her Richard Buckner
Stickman Elliott Smith
Place Pigalle Elliott Smith
Hard Ground Richard Buckner
Wouldn't Mama Be Proud? Elliott Smith

Disc Two

Because Elliott Smith
Gauzy Dress in the Sun Richard Buckner
Oscar Hummel Richard Buckner
Needle In The Hay Elliott Smith
Do You Want To Go Somewhere? Richard Buckner
New Disaster Elliott Smith
Rose Parade Elliott Smith
Dusty from the Talk, Richard Buckner
A Living Will Elliott Smith
Mile Richard Buckner
Poor Old Tom Richard Buckner
A Passing Feeling Elliott Smith
Boys, The Night Will Bury You Richard Buckner

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The True Ways of Tim Easton

At the Sadies show I went to last week, I was talking with someone about their lack of commercial success. I reasoned then that if they had been around 30-40 years ago, they probably would have had a hit single at some point. I still think that's partly true, but I also think that it's pretty much impossible for any band (i.e. most of what's called alternative country) to straddle the rock and country genres today whereas that wasn't the case in the 70s.* Case in point is tonight's featured artist - Mr. Tim Easton. He's put out five great solo albums (Okay, Ammunition isn't that great, but Porcupine is a real nice return to form), but I think the fact that his songs are "kinda" twangy has unfortunately limited his commercial success. On that note, if you're new to Tim Easton and like what you hear, I'd start with either Special 20 or Break Your Mother's Heart. (All of his stuff is also available on e-music, with the exception of his Haynes Boys album).

* Yes, there's Wilco, but only their first two albums can really be called alternative country.

Just Like Home
Burgundy Red
Get Some Lonesome
Amor Azul
Before The Revolution
I Wish You Well
Bitters Past
All the Pretty Girls Leave Town
Troublesome Kind
I Would Have Married You
True Ways

Friday, July 23, 2010

Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha

Just in case you need more early 60s music after last week's post, here's another homage to that period. Of course, not all of the songs are from that era, but all (or just about all) have that vibe. In particular, there's a lot of Latin flavored stuff given the significant Latin influence on popular music during the 50s and early 60s. Fix yourself a caipirinha and enjoy.

Thirteen Men Miss Ann-Margret
Mood Tattooed Les Baxter's Drums
Caravan The John Buzon Trio
Come Di 8 & ½ Souvenirs
Miami Beach Rhumba Xavier Cugat And His Orchestra
Pizziricco The Mavericks
Here Comes That Man Again Kirsty MacColl
Latin Golightly Henry Mancini & His Orchestra
El Nino Prodigio Orquestra Melodias Del 40
Cool Lou Busch & His Orchestra
If You're Goin' To The City Mose Allison
Twisted Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
Complicacion Tito Puente & His Orchestra
Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha Sam Cooke
Fascinating Rhythm Don Ralke & His Orchestra
Just You, Just Me Katharine Whalen
Big Foot Baby Carl Sonny Leyland
Pretty As A Moonbeam Irving Fields Trio
Deus Brasiliero Marcos Valle
Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro) Cal Tjader
I'm Hip Blossom Dearie
Blue Rumba Rolley Polley
Moanin' Ray Charles
Bright Lights And Blonde Haired Women Ray Price
Ain't That A Kick In The Head Dean Martin

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dreaming With Jimmy and Roy

Like a lot of other folks, I’m really looking forward to the 4th season of Mad Men starting next Sunday. In addition to the writing, acting, clothing, etc., I like the fact that it’s set in the early 60s (though I imagine the 4th season will begin at some point in 1964). One of the things I find interesting about the time period is that you saw relatively little nostalgia for the era up until the mid/late 90s (the pretty brief Rat Pack/Swingers infatuation). See, my pop culture theory is that nostalgia for a time period is that it usually takes about 20 years – since the people who were 15-16 at the time are now 35-36 and capable of writing about it.

Now, I don’t really have any good explanations for why the early 60s defies this theory. Perhaps part of it may be attributed to the old canard that rock music died during this period (until the Beatles and Stones brought it back to life). Just to be clear, I cancelled my subscription to that canard a long time ago as I like a lot of the popular music from that time period. In particular, I’ve always liked the operatic quality a lot of that music had, exemplified by Roy Orbison and, on the jazz side, Jimmy Scott. It’s that operatic quality they both share, as well as the fact that they have so many so songs about dreams that I thought they’d go together well in a mixtape. (P.S. I cheated a little and used some of their material that wasn’t recorded in the early 1960s. Remember, I don’t have to be as historically accurate as Mad Men.)

In Dreams Roy Orbison
Street Of Dreams Jimmy Scott
My Prayer Roy Orbison
Stay With Me Jimmy Scott
Things That Are Love Jimmy Scott
The Actress Roy Orbison
Imagination Jimmy Scott
Shahdaroba Roy Orbison
The Crowd Roy Orbison
If I Should Lose You Jimmy Scott
Sweet Dreams Roy Orbison
I Have Dreamed Jimmy Scott
I Had A Love Once Jimmy Scott
Leah Roy Orbison
Dream Jimmy Scott

Disc Two

If You Are But A Dream Jimmy Scott
Lonely Wine Roy Orbison
Distant Dreams Roy Orbison
I Wish I Knew Jimmy Scott
Love Hurts Roy Orbison
There Is No Greater Love Jimmy Scott
Why Try to Change Me Now Jimmy Scott
The Great Pretender Roy Orbison
Don't Take Your Love From Me Jimmy Scott
Blue Angel Roy Orbison
What Good Would It Be Jimmy Scott
She Wears My Ring Roy Orbison
Beautiful Dreamer Roy Orbison
Unchained Melody Jimmy Scott
Dream Roy Orbison

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Still Tripping on The Sadies - Volume 2

Since I'm hoping to go see The Sadies in a couple of weeks (and because they've just put out a great new cd Darker Circles), I thought it was time put together another Sadies mixtape (the first one is here). This one includes tracks from a couple of cds (Jon Langford's Mayors of the Moon and John Doe's Country Club) where The Sadies are basically the backing band.

Ten More Songs
One Million Songs
Snow Squadron
Tiger Tiger
Rat Creek
Strange Birds
I Tried Not To
Anna Leigh
The Bug Jar
The Starlight
Yours To Discover
Why Be So Curious (Part 3)
Whispering Circles
The Horseshoe
Stinking Creek
Glass Of Wine
Solitaire Song
Stop The World And Let Me Off
Lay Down Your Arms

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another Wave of Old School Reggae

As I noted last year when I put together an old school reggae mixtape, reggae seems to have acquired a bad reputation at some point in the 90s. I'm not sure exactly why, but perhaps it was people angry with their roommates playing Bob Marley's Legend (the huge selling greatest hits collection that inexplicably featured some pretty wretched versions of his songs). At any rate, I hope this doesn't deter anyone from enjoying this mixtape (or any other non-Legend Bob Marley) :)

Coming in Hot Peter Tosh
Peace Love and Understanding The Gaylads
Things & Time Wailing Soul
Leggo Beast Steel Pulse
Keep On Moving UB40
True True True Ken Parker
I Fell In Love The Conquerors
Show Me That You Love Me Sugar Minott
On and On Aswad
Police & Thieves Junior Murvin
Come on Home Joe Higgs
Me And You Carlton And The Shoes
Chatty Chatty People Ranking
Natty Kung Fu Dillinger
Sooner or Later Jimmy Cliff
Samala Toure Kunda
Love the One You're With Phillis Dillon
Coming In From The Cold Bob Marley & The Wailers

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Good Ride with Lyle and Robert Earl

Back when I had an alternate country radio show in the 90s, I'd often do a Texas themed show around July 4. Since I put together an all Texas alt-country 90s mixtape back in November, I thought I'd focus this week on everyone's favorite Aggies - Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. It's a little light on the obscure tracks, but heavy on the Texas themed songs.

Cowboy Man Lyle Lovett
Amarillo Highway Robert Earl Keen
Nothing But A Good Ride Lyle Lovett
Hall Of Fame Robert Earl Keen
Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas Robert Earl Keen
That's Right (You're Not From Texas) Lyle Lovett
Corpus Christi Bay Robert Earl Keen
L.A. County Lyle Lovett
The Coming Home Of The Son And Brother Robert Earl Keen
Which Way Does That Old Pony Run Lyle Lovett
Sonora's Death Row Robert Earl Keen
Rollin' By Lyle Lovett
Just The Morning Lyle Lovett
Gringo Honeymoon Robert Earl Keen
Sold American Lyle Lovett
Levelland Robert Earl Keen
Up In Indiana [Acoustic] Lyle Lovett &His Large Band
The Front Porch Song Robert Earl Keen

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Up on the Lowedown (Again)

Last year, I put together two Nick Lowe mixtapes. And since you can never go wrong with Mr. Lowe, here's Volumes 3 and 4. Now you may wonder why I've only included 2-3 tracks from his Brentford Trilogy (The Impossible Bird, Dig My Mood, The Convincer). My reasoning is that those albums are so perfect (even the sequencing of the songs is magnificent), they should be heard as such. And besides, it might have meant getting rid of Shake That Rat. :)

You Got The Look I Like
Without Love
Skin Deep
Shake That Rat
Cool Reaction
Little Hitler
So Heavy
(Hope To God) I'm Right
Lovers Jamboree
(Hey Big Mouth) Stand up and Say That
Ba Doom
Gai-Gin Man
Saint Beneath The Paint
Feel Again

What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding? (Acoustic)
Now And Always
Couldn't Love You (Any More Than I Do)
Mama Said
When I Write The Book
I Can Be The One You Love
Basing Street
A Better Man
I Trained Her To Love Me
Dream Girl
Indoor Fireworks
What Lack of Love Has Done
Different Kind Of Blue
There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated At the Conference Table)
Endless Grey Ribbon

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet Soul Music - Voices from the Shadows

If you have any interest in soul music, I highly recommend Peter Guralnick's book Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom. When it came out, Warner Brothers also put out a really great companion cd, Sweet Soul Music: Voices from the Shadow. It's been out of print for some time now, so I thought I'd post it tonight. Enjoy!

True Love Travels On A Gravel Road Percy Sledge
Nickel And A Nail O.V. Wright
My Song Aretha Franklin
Crying In The Streets George Perkins & The Silver Stars
Separation Line Laura Lee
Some Kind Of Wonderful Soul Brothers Six
Rainbow Road Arthur Alexander
She's About A Mover Otis Clay
Heart Full Of Love The Invincibles
Hold On (To What We've Got) James Carr
Losing Boy Eddie Giles
I Paid For The Party The Enchanters
I Stayed Away Too Long Solomon Burke
Greatest Love Judy Clay
It's In The Wind Don Covay

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tabu Ley Rochereau and Franco

One of the things I've always loved about The Simpsons is the way that the show's storyline is never apparent until about 6-7 minutes in. It's also one of the things I really like about the songs of the legendary Congolese musicians Tabu Ley Rochereau and, especially, Franco. Of course, I like Franco's amazing guitar playing and Tabu Ley's voice even more. From what little I've read, there seems to have been a rivalry between the two, but they did do an album together (Omana Wapi). Continuing on in that spirit, I give you a Tabu Ley/Franco mixtape. (And if you're new to Tabu Ley and Franco, I'd highly recommend the 2 cd comps of each put out by Stern's Music.)

Keyla Tabu Ley Rochereau
Bolingo ya bougie Franco
Ibeba Tabu Ley Rochereau
Ekoti Ya Neube Franco
Na Bosani Yo Te Franco
Londende Tabu Ley Rochereau
Lisanga Ya Ba Nganga Franco And Rochereau
Bazonzele Mama Ana Franco
DJeke Tabu Ley Rochereau
AZDA Franco
Mireille Mwana Tabu Ley Rochereau
Nalembi Nalembi Tabu Ley Rochereau
Sandoka Franco

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Rosanne By Any Other Name

Yes, I know the name of the comp is pretty lame, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the great Rosanne Cash (whose memoir comes out in August).

Seven Year Ache
The Summer I Read Collette
Miss The Mississippi And You
I Count the Tears
I Don't Have To Crawl
Fair And Tender Ladies
The Winding Stream
I Still Miss Someone
I Don't Want to Spoil the Party
Pink Bedroom
One Step Over The Line
Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'em Down
Our Little Angel
Seventh Avenue
What We Really Want
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
The World Unseen
Somewhere in the Stars

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Besotted With Brazil Classics

While waiting in line to go see Caetano Veloso last month, I spotted David Byrne. I was really tempted to go up and ask him why there is no Brazil Classics 6 on Luaka Bop (his label) - there’s Volume 1 (Beleza Tropical), Volume 2 (O Samba), Volume 3 (Forro, Etc.), Volume 4 (The Best of Tom Ze – Massive Hits), Volume 5 (Tom Ze – The Hips of Tradition) , and Volume 7 (What’s Happening in Pernambuco). Because I’m a wee bit obsessive, I was curious. Plus, I think it would have been funny to see him look at me like I’m bonkers. But discretion (or cowardice) prevented me from acting on this impulse. Since I still wanted to make a Brazil Classics compilation, I just decided to include some tracks from Beleza Tropical 2 Novo! Mais! Melhor! – think of it as an honorary Brazil Classics cd, especially since it is on the Luaka Bop label.

A Felicidade Tom Ze
Balanca Pema Marisa Monte
O Fole Roncou Luiz Gonzaga
Carimbo Nacio Zumbi
San Vicente Milton Nascimento
Sarau Para Ramades Paulinho da Viola
Our Monthly Bread Tom Ze
Multiply into One Tom Ze
O Leaozinho Caetano Veloso
Ela Nao Gosta De Mim Agepe
Se Vacilar O Jacare Abraca Wado E Realismo Fantastico
Chiclete Com Banana Jackson Do Pandeiro
Bog La Bog Carlinhos Brown
Acho Carlos Careqa
Querubim Dominguinhos
Vale Do Juca Siba
Doi Tom Ze
Batuco No Chao Martinho Da Silva
Quilombo, O El Dorado Negro Gilberto Gil

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Succumbing to Cat and Nina

I'll confess I was trying to think of a cute name for the mixtape - you know, one that incorporated Cat Power and Nina Simone's brilliant eccentricities and Southern backgrounds. But I suppose that's something best let to someone with a better knowledge of Southern literature (and brilliant eccentricities :).

(Update: The initial mixtape had two (albeit different) versions of Werewolf, so I redid the comp and replaced the first one with Willie. And yes, my lazy ass editor apologizes for this mix-up. :)

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Cat Power
Central Park Blues Nina Simone
Willie Cat Power
Nobody's Fault But Mine Nina Simone
You Don't Know What Love Is Nina Simone
Dark End Of The Street Cat Power
Solitude Nina Simone
Don't Explain Cat Power
Aretha, Sing One For Me Cat Power
Tell Me More Nina Simone
Free Cat Power
Be My Husband Nina Simone
House of the Rising Sun Nina Simone
Wild Is The Wind Cat Power
Feeling Good Nina Simone
The Werewolf Cat Power
Come On In My Kitchen Cat Power
Who Knows Where The Time Goes Nina Simone