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