Monday, December 30, 2013

On the Right Side of 2013

     Perhaps it's a character flaw of mine, but I rarely reflect at the end of the year on whether or not it's been a good year.  (I used to have New Years resolutions, but I gave that up as well a long time ago.)  And it's a bit tragicomic that the fact that it was a good year for music (which is why the compilation is two discs this year) got me thinking about whether or not it was also a good year in, you know, other ways.

    Anyway, with respect to the music, I do want to point out that 1) I don't include any artist/band who appeared on my best of 2011 or 2012 compilation and 2) these are not necessarily cuts from my favorite albums, but rather 30 songs I liked from this year.  That said, I would like to mention one of my favorite releases from this year, Daniel Romano's Come Cry With Me.  The only reason there's no cut from the album on the compilation is because I went with Romano's duet with Weather Station.  Oh, and 3) I just realized that I forgot to tag the mp3s with the album they appear on.  But that does not excuse folks from not seeking out an artist whose song you like. :)

        Lastly, here's to a great 2014 - musically and otherwise.

Disc One

Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction) Phosphorescent
Tomorrow Is Forever The Weather Station (w/Daniel Romano)
Twined & Twisted Valerie June
You Know I Won't Sam Phillips
Lickety Split Tim Easton
30 and Up Aceyalone
Gimme A Knife Wavves
Who Have I Become? Best Coast
Back In Your Arms Again The Mavericks
The Gypsy The James Hunter Six
Snake Chapman's Tune Robbie Fulks
Vegas Polica
Relatively Easy Jason Isbell
Lived and Died Alone Lindi Ortega
On A Balcony Okkervil River

Disc Two

Lightning Bolt Jake Bugg
Master of My Craft Parquet Courts
Troublemaker Camera Obscura
Mind Games Leagues
European Me Johnny Marr
City Swan Neko Case
Coming Through Willis Earl Beal (w/Cat Power)
Cheater's Game Kelly Willis And Bruce Robison
Bakersfield Son Volt
Ride Wayne Hancock
Uncle Ace Blood Orange
Tempest Lucius
Lay Myself Down Mazzy Star
Sorrow Tears + Blood Kronos Quartet, Kyp Malone, Tunde Adebimpe + Stuart Bogie
Oh, Mama Aoife O'Donovan

Monday, December 23, 2013

Going Back to the Crescent City

    The HBO series Treme concludes its four season run next week.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I've grown really fond of the show - especially the music and the depiction of the New Orleans music scene on the show.  I thought it only fitting, therefore, to put together a couple of mixtapes culled from the out of print Crescent City Soul boxset which covers the time period 1947-1974.  The one exception is the last song on disc 2, Indian Red by the Baby Dodds Trio, a favorite from one of the 2nd season episodes.

Disc One

New Orleans Twist Blazer Boy
Come On Earl King
Let the Four Winds Blow Roy Brown
I'm Slippin' In Spiders
I'll Be the Bee Ruth & Al
Over You Aaron Neville
It Keeps Rainin' Fats Domino
Who Drank My Beer While I Was In the Rear Dave Bartholomew
Sittin' and Wonderin' Jesse Allen
Toy Bell Bees
I Know Barbara George
She Put the Hurt on Me Prince La La
It Will Stand Showmen
Shame, Shame, Shame Smiley Lewis
Help Yourself Diamond Joe
3 x 7 = 21 Jewel King
Lipstick Traces Benny Spellman
Ruler of My Heart Irma Thomas

Mardi Gras in New Orleans Professor Longhair
Shake Shake Baby Archibald
Grumblin' Fussin' Nag Nag Del Royals
Looped Tommy Ridgley
I'll  Gonna Be A Wheel Someday Bobby Mitchell
One Night Shirley Lewis
A Certain Girl Ernie K-Doe
I Want Somebody Tommy Taylor
I Just Want You Bobby Charles
Valley of Tears Calvin Lee
It Won't Be Me Lee Diamond
Tiddle Winks Allen & Allen
Jumpin' Tonight Joe Turner
Ain't Got No Home Clarence "Frogman" Henry
Workin' In the Coal Mine Lee Dorsey
 Cissy Strut The Meters
Whip It On Me Jessie Hill
My Indian Red Baby Dodds Trio

Friday, November 29, 2013

On the Right Side of Christmas 2013

       The Christmas lights are now up on the main drag in my neighborhood (or maybe I just didn't notice it til now) so it seems apropos to post my annual Christmas music mixtape tonight (you can still download the previous ones here.)  


White Christmas Elizabeth Elmore
Winter Wonderland Ray Charles
Dig That Crazy Santa Claus Oscar McLollie with his Honey Jumpers
Santa Won't Be Blue For Christmas Jimmy Charles
Christmas Time's A-Coming Bill Monroe
Twinkle JD McPherson
It's Christmas, go on and say hello Roman Candle
Tonight It's Christmas Time Hey Ocean!
Santa's Got a Bag of Soul Soul Saints Orchestra
Five Pound Box Of Money Pearl Bailey
You're All I Want For Christmas Brook Benton
The Christmas Song Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Sam Phillips
Merry Christmas Darlin' James Hand
I'll Make Everyday Christmas (For My Woman) Joe Tex
River Cee-Lo Green
Listen To The Bells Ring Lisa Mychols
Another Lonely Christmas Prince
Good Morning Blues Ella Fitzgerald
Hooves On The Roof Nick Lowe
Silent Night The Swan Silvertones
Christmas Morning Lyle Lovett
Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming Feist
Auld Lang Syne Andrew Bird

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I've Got a Thing About Trains

      It's that time of year when I put together a road song compilation of some sort.  Two years, it was a truck driving song comp so this year I decided to go for a train song (is there such a thing?) theme. There's a couple of songs that aren't necessarily about traveling by train, but I just couldn't bear to leave them off.


I Like Trains Fred Eaglesmith
Train, Train Dolly Parton
Two Trains The Hollisters
Night Train To Memphis Bobby Hebb
Train Song Feist + Ben Gibbard
Jimmie The Kid Jimmie Rodgers
The Last Steam Engine Train John Fahey
Yonder Comes a Freight Train Laura Cantrell
The Memphis Train Rufus Thomas
Chattanooga Choo Choo Ray Charles
Mystery Train Elvis Presley
Big Black Train Flatt & Scruggs
Bringin' In The Georgia Mail Jim & Jesse
Hillbilly Train Sonny George & The Tennessee Sons
Long Black Train Allison Moorer
Railroads Holly Williams
White Train The dB's
I've Got Things About Trains Johnny Cash
Train Home Chris Smither
Train to Birmingham John Hiatt

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sometimes You Can Hear Them Weeping: A Chris Isaak Collection

       Other than to pat myself on the back for being one of the few people to buy his debut album Silvertone back in 1985 (and to note what a great live act he was back in the late 1980s), I don't really have too much to say about Chris Isaak tonight. However, I will take this moment to rave about his former guitarist James Calvin Wilsey, whose guitar playing was such a big part of those early Chris Isaak's albums.  He kind of disappeared for a while, but he put out a truly dandy instrumental album Dorado in 2008 (The track San Bernadino from disc two is from the album) and I think he now plays some local gigs out in California.

     Oh, and I'd like to thank whichever blog put together the Chris Isaak "Lost Songs, Lost Loves" compilation way back when. It doesn't seem to exist anywhere on the internet anymore, but it had some very rare Isaak tracks that I don't think I would have been able to get my grubby little mitts on.

Disc One

Blue Moon
Life Will Go On
Eyes Of Texas
Except The New Girl
Devil in Disguise
Jack the Ripper - Rumble - Tequila
So Lovely Is The Night
Blue Spanish Sky
Everyone Gets Down
How's the World Treating You
The Little White Cloud That Cried

Disc Two

Suspicion Of Love
Heart Full Of Soul
The Lonely Ones
You Don't Cry Like I Do
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Besame Mucho
It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You
Dark Moon
San Bernardino
Baby Please Don't Go
Somebody's Crying
Think Of Tomorrow

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Etta and Nina: The High Priestesses of Soul

   I was listening to my Nina Simone- Cat Power mix a while back while washing dishes and I thought I really need to do something else with Nina Simone. But instead of doing a part two, I thought I'd pair her with her contemporary Etta James this time.  I realize there's nothing original about this and even the name of the compilation is taken from one of Nina Simone's album.  Moreover, I have nothing original to say about either artist.  But just because it was relatively easy to put this one together doesn't mean it's not worth listening to, right?    

Why? (The King Of Love Is Dead) Nina Simone
All I Could Do Is Cry Etta James
Nobody Loves You (Like Me) Etta James
My Baby Just Cares For Me Nina Simone
I Just Want To Make Love To You Etta James
Blues For Mama Nina Simone
Dust My Broom Etta James
Gimme a Pigfoot Nina Simone
Gin House Blues Nina Simone
Seven Day Fool Etta James
Tanywey Nina Simone
I'd Rather Go Blind Etta James
The Sky Is Crying Etta James
Turn Me On Nina Simone
I Wish Someone Would Care Etta James
Backlash Blues Nina Simone
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free Nina Simone
Almost Persuaded Etta James

Sunday, July 28, 2013

L.A. is the Place for Me

  I was going to wait until later in the week to post this, but as I was putting the final touches on the cover art (yeah, it was just adding the title to an existing picture), I thought it's an excellent day to crank up some 60s rock, so I should just post it now.  To be more specific, it's L.A. mid to late 60s bands (or bands that were produced in L.A.) - a lot of garage rock, but also some "sunshine pop" and just a wee bit of country rock.  I owe a big debt of gratitude to the website Through a Vast Crystal Sphere and the mammoth rock and pop box sets on that site.  I tried not to over-rely on the selections there, as there's also several cuts from the Rhino 4 disc set Where the Action Is: LA Nuggets 1965-1968, plus various and sundry other sources. (Disclaimer: I think all the bands are from LA or LA based, but I didn't check that hard.)

       In addition to the aforementioned box sets, my general infatuation with Los Angeles in the late 1960s, I'd also cite a Sadies concert from several years ago where they did a killer cover of Love's "A House is not a Motel" as the spark for my obsession with LA rock from this period.  And if any of The Sadies (or their friends) are reading this blog, I'd highly recommend an entire album of 60s psychedelic rock covers or heck, just a tribute album to Love. 

Side A

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night The Electric Prunes
Put the Clock Back on the Wall The E-Types
Swim Penny Arkade
To Claudia on Thursday The Millennium
Louise Keith Allison
Underground Lady Kim Fowley
It's A Hard Life The Seeds
Gone And Passes By Chocolate Watch Band
That's the Way the World Has Got to Be Chris Lucey
Buy for Me the Rain The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
If You Want This Love The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Little Girl, Little Boy Odyssey
You're Gonna Miss Me 13th Floor Elevators
Love Special Delivery Fire Escape
Oh My Baby The Kicks
A Clown's No Good Merry Go Round
Follow Me Lyme & Cybelle
Falling Sugar The Palace Guard

Side B

A House Is Not A Motel Love
Guaranteed Love Limey & The Yanks
Lies The Knickerbockers
I Don't Walk There No More Research 1-6-12
Where Were You When I Needed You? Grass Roots
Wasn't Born to Follow The Byrds
November Night Peter Fonda
Underground Fire Ventures
Sleepy Hollow The Last Word
Zig Zag Wanderer Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
Riot On Sunset Strip The Standells
What I Want You To Say Barracudas
Superman The Clique
Night Time The Strangeloves
Hey Joe The Leaves
Snowblind Judy Henske & Jerry Yester
Moonlight Drive The Doors
Words Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

Thursday, July 4, 2013

An Afternoon with the Gilbertos

    Well, it's hot and humid here on the east coast (and only going to get worse), so it seemed like a good time for some Brazilian music.  I know that Bebel Gilberto is not Astrud's daughter (she and Joao broke up not long after she recorded The Girl from Ipanema), but I still think the three of them sound quite dandy together.


Um Segundo (Album Version) Bebel Gilberto
O Grande Amor Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto
Dreamer Astrud Gilberto
A Felicidade Astrud Gilberto
Trevo de 4 Folhas  Joao Gilberto
Batucada Bebel Gilberto & Vini­cius Cantuaria
Berimbau Astrud Gilberto
Falsa Baiana Joao Gilberto
It Might As Well Be Spring Astrud Gilberto
Nossa Senhora Bebel Gilberto
Wave Joao Gilberto
Desde Que O Samba E Samba Joao Gilberto
Fly Me To The Moon Astrud Gilberto
Lonely Bebel Gilberto
Who Needs Forever? Thievery Corporation (Astrud Gilberto)
Chega de Saudade Joao Gilberto
Oba, Oba Astrud Gilberto
Tim Tim Por Tim Tim João Gilberto
All Around Bebel Gilberto
I Wish You Love (Que Reste-T-Il De Nos Amours) Joao Gilberto
Non-Stop to Brazil Astrud Gilberto

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Election and Traveller soundtracks

    I admit I've got a pretty bad track record of predicting which artists are going to make it.  In retrospect, I understand why some of the artists I thought would hit big didn't do so.  The one, however, that still  puzzles me is Mandy Barnett. Given her voice, the enduring popularity of Patsy Cline (whom Barnett sounds a lot like), her magnificent 1999 sophomore album I've Got a Right to Cry, and Sire's, her record label at the time, commitment to her.  She's only released a few albums since then, though I think she still plays Patsy Cline sometimes in Alway, the play about Patsy Cline's life.  She does, however, as I just discovered, have a track on the new Eddy Arnold tribute album - You Don't Know Me that just came out on Tuesday (so I haven't heard it yet.)  Back in the late 1990s, she also appeared on two soundtracks - Election and Traveller.  The soundtracks are a little hit or miss, but Mandy's contributions are definite highlights.   Since they're out of print, I thought I would post them tonight.  

Election soundtrack

Get Set Taxiride
Jennifer Juniper Donovan
Rising Sign Hurricane #1
If You'll Be The Teacher Mandy Barnett
Three Times A Lady The Commodores
This Road I'm Travelling Mojave 3
Born To Be With You Damnations TX
Drown In Small Cowgirl Boots Jolene
Find A Way To Win Tim Carroll
Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now Patience & Prudence
Right In The Back Of Your Mind Spacehog
La Piscine Couverte April March
Only God Knows Martin's Dam
Weird Sebadoh
El Tostado Joey Altruda and the Cocktail Crew
Election [selections from the original score] Rolfe Kent

Traveller Soundtrack

Young Love Kevin Sharp
Dark Moon Mandy Barnett
Don't Rob Another Man's Castle Royal Wade Kimes
Sweeter Than The Flowers The Cox Family
Te-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu Lou Ann Barton
Love And Happiness Al Green
I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes The Cox Family
Gonna Find Me A Bluebird Royal Wade Kimes
Searching (For Someone Like You) Mandy Barnett
I Love You A Thousand Ways Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Sweet Nothin's Tina & The B-Side Movement
Blues Stay Away From Me Thrasher & Shiver
Please Help Me I'm Falling (In Love With You) Lila McCann
Rockin' Robin Bryan White
Seven Lonely Days K.D. Lang And The Reclines With Take 6
If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Dream Lover Mandy Barnett
King Of The Road Randy Travis

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sucking in the '70s - Volume 5

   I confess to an unnatural (and perhaps unhealthy) fascination with the 1970s.  It could be that as a Gen Xer who's lived through the general rightward turn of the last 30 years, I just can't get my head around all the crazy shit people were up to when I was just an innocent tyke.  I tend to look up on the period with not quite equal parts bewilderment, jealousy, affection, a wee bit of judgmental dismay, and a whole lot of profound wonder at some of the self-serving musings of the day - especially all the pop songs that rationalized egoistic behaviors in the name of finding oneself.  Case in point - The Commodores Easy and lines like "I wanna be free to do the things I know are right" after the protagonist has told his girlfriend he's leaving her.  Still, I really do like the song - something about the vaguely countryish melody just gets to me.  Which is a long-winded way for me to introduce the fifth volume of my Sucking in the 70s compilations (volumes 1-4 are still available for download, btw).


Color Him Father The Winstons
(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You? Ronnie Dyson
Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard Paul Simon
Chico And The Man (Main Theme) Jose Feliciano
I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash
Easy The Commodores
Daniel Elton John
Country Road James Taylor
Take It Easy The Eagles
(Don't Fear) The Reaper Blue Oyster Cult
A Love That's Real The Intruders
Love on a Two-Way Street The Moments
Midnight Rider The Allman Brothers Band
Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues Danny O'Keefe
Break Up to Make Up The Stylistics
Bell Bottom Blues Derek & The Dominos
Help Me Make It Through The Night Sammi Smith
Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got) The Four Tops
O-o-h Child The Five Stairsteps
Because The Night Patti Smith Group

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Essential Replacements Collection

   I watched the documentary about The Replacements, "Color Me Obsessed" (you can see it on youtube, fyi) several months ago.  Unlike most music documentaries, there's, uh..., no music in the film.  Nor are there any interviews with the band.  Instead, it's just 2 hours of folks (mostly fans, but also people who knew 'em way back when, musicians who were influenced by them, etc.) reminiscing about The Replacements (also known as The Mats to their legions of Gen X fans) and talking about their music.   The film could have used some tighter editing, but I think the conceit still works (it works even better in All Over But the Shouting, the book that would seem to have inspired the
documentary).  Seeing it also inspired me to put together a couple of Replacements mixtapes using my usual formula - obscurities, a cut from each formal release, and lots of live tracks - especially the covers the Replacements were so known for.  I don't think I necessarily captured the ineffable essence of the band (notwithstanding the title), but I tried.   Oh, and if you're just now discovering The Replacements and want more - go buy Let It Be, Tim, and Pleased to Meet Me (and then Hootenanny, Stink, etc.....).
p.s. By the by, I've re-upped most of the links on the site over the last couple of months.

pps.  I neglected to mention when I first posted this that The Replacements (Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson) recently put out a 5 song ep "Songs for Slim".  All the proceeds go to help pay Slim Dunlap's (the guitarist who replaced Bob Stinson) medical bills.  So go out and get it if you haven't - it's pretty damn good!!! (Busted Up from Side A is from Songs for Slim just in case you were wondering.)

Side A

Hey, Good Lookin'
Busted Up
Ought To Get Love
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man  
Kissing in Action
Cool Water
Nightclub Jitters
Route 66
No More the Moon Shines on Loreena
Chasing the Night
Gary's Got A Boner
More Cigarettes
California Sun
Little GTO
Bundle Up
Cruella DeVille
Date to Church
Back To Back
If Only You Were Lonely

Side B

Hold My Life
Perfectly Lethal
Jungle Rock
'Round and 'Round
20th Century
Heartbeat, It's a Love Beat
Stuck in the Middle
My Little Problem
Ain't No Crime
Left Here In The Dark
Till We're Nude
empty is your heart
Another Girl, Another Planet
I Wanna Destroy You
Street Girl
Pool & Dive
Time Is Killing Us
We Know the Night
Within Your Reach

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In the Land of the 3 Named Singer Songwriter

          As early March weather in the Northeast tends to be reliably crappy, I always wish I was heading to SXSW in Austin.  Great music, great food, and usually great weather.   So as a little wistful homage, I give you  tonight's compilation of 3 named Texas singer songwriters.  Now, I usually don't go for cute themes, but, well, there are a lot of durn good 3 named singer songwriters in Texas (all of the ones below have some sort of connection to Texas even if they don't all live there now).  So if you find it annoying, just change the name of the comp  (and the artwork) after you download it.


Yesterday Tomorrow Was Today Billy Joe Shaver
Leavin' Texas Jerry Jeff Walker
Last Train to Amsterdam Ray Wylie Hubbard
Think It Over One Time Robert Earl Keen
What Do You Do When You're Lonesome Justin Townes Earle
Another True Love Dickie Lee Erwin
Contrabandistas Bobby Earl Smith
You Broke the Rules Susanna Van Tassel
Scratch upon Her Windowpane Jo Carol Pierce
Be Here To Love Me Townes Van Zandt
Running With You Sarah Elizabeth Campbell
Don't Be A Stranger To Your Heart Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Sympathy For A Train Willis Alan Ramsey
Lucky Moon Jon Dee Graham

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Take the (Johnny) Cash

   This is usually the time of year when I feature some alternative country woman artist such as Neko Case, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, or Gillian Welch (they've all been re-upped, by the way).  In order to fend off any potential charges of sexism, I've decided to feature a lil' ol' male country artist named Johnny Cash. :)  Basically, I stayed away (at least I think I did) from any cuts that appear on either his 3 cd greatest hits collection or the Love, God, Murder discs.   I could probably have made another 2-3 volumes, but if you decide that you need a lot more Cash, there's always the recent 63 cd box set with every Columbia album he ever released and 2 cds of rarities.

Download Volume One

If I Give My Soul
One Too Many Mornings
Ridin' On The Cotton Belt
Any Old Wind That Blows
Oh What A Good Thing We Had
Wo Ist Zu Hause, Mama
Honky-Tonk Girl
Banks Of The Ohio
Billy & Rex & Oral & Bob
Cold Shoulder
Hidden Shame
Wrinkled, Crincled, Wadded Doll
The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore
Troublesome Waters
The Letter Edged In Black
Girl From The North Country
Just the Other Side Of Nowhere
Tell Him I'm Gone
My Old Kentucky Home
Old Chunk Of Coal

Download Volume Two

I Washed My Face In The Morning
Fools Hall Of Fame
To Beat The Devil
The Fable of Willie Brown
Crystal Chandeliers And Burgundy
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Life's Railway To Heaven
Six White Horses
Go On Blues
So Doggone Lonesome
That's Enough
Wildwood In The Pines
Don't Think Twice It's Alright
Don't Step On Mother's Roses
There You Go
I Don't Know Where I'm Bound
Bottom Of The Mountain
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm Living in the 80's - Disc Five

    Yes, it's that time of year again - time for another 80s (mostly) postpunk mixtape.  I tried to avoid the most obvious tracks, but I confess to not being as much of a maven about this stuff (there's a bunch of bands - like The Jesus and Mary Chain - that just weren't on my radar or I didn't quite get during my misbegotten late teen/early 20s years).   And there were some obvious cuts I just couldn't resist - I'm looking at you The Waterboys' This is the Sea.  (Also, I just noticed that the links for Discs 1-4 aren't working, so I'll try to re-up them.)

       I should also mention that my posting on the blog is going to be reduced from now on - life change stuff, less free time, and all.  Plus, I'm starting to run out of ideas for mixtapes. :)


A Walk Across The RooftopsThe Blue Nile
Colours Fly AwayThe Teardrop Explodes
Pushing Up The DaisiesColourfield
Cattle and CaneThe Go-Betweens
Watching you Without MeKate Bush
Leave Me AloneNew Order                     
For Belgian FriendsThe Durutti Column
Colours Fly And Catherine WheelSimple Minds
It's So HardJesus And Mary Chain
Bikini RedThe Screaming Blue Messiahs
The Last Of The Famous International PlayboysMorrissey
The Back Of LoveEcho & The Bunnymen
Killing An ArabThe Cure
Here Come CowboysThe Psychedelic Furs
Kingdom Of LoveThe Soft Boys
Love at First SightThe Gist
This Is The SeaThe Waterboys