Saturday, December 29, 2018

On the Right Side of 2018

         Another year almost in the books.  It's kind of been a blur and I don't have that much to say, owing, at least partly to a head cold I just got.  My rules are the same as they've been - no artist/bands who has been on a best of compilation the previous two years unless it's the artist's last album, like the great Charles Bradley.   So even though I really liked Lera Lynn's new album, I had to refrain from including a cut from it.  The only change in the format is that this year's compilation is now three volumes - just too much good stuff to leave off.  Hope everyone has a great 2019!

p.s. In case you're wondering, the raccoon in the picture climbed a 25 story skyscraper in Minneapolis.

Download all three discs

Disc One
Born Under Punches Angelique Kidjo
Old Town Say Sue Me
Tokyo Bay Nick Lowe
Sandra Monica Rayland Baxter
Alabama Tracyanne & Danny
Never Easy Alela Diane
If I Had a Rose Kelly Willis
Nite and Day Meshell Ndegeocello
Palindrome Azure Ray
All Night Mandy Barnett
Turn Young Fathers
Distant Stations Andrew Bird
San Luis Gregory Alan Isakov
Little Bird Jessie Baylin
A Lamb, A Dove H.C. McEntire
Why Keep on Breaking My Heart Cornelia Murr
Disc Two
To June This Morning Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly
Good Lover Donovan Woods
Deer Creek Canyon Sera Cahoone
Ruby's Stool Loretta Lynn
Bleeding Finger Blues Gwenifer Raymond
Pacific Grove Matt Costa
Talking Straight Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Heaven Is Closed Willie Nelson
Beyond Leon Bridges
Slip Away Charles Bradley
Wishbone Sarah Gillespie
Gum Gum Hailu Mergia
Body Language Kali Uchis
Pictures of You Sonny Smith
Wildflowers Soccer Mommy
If It's in Your Heart The War and Treaty
Disc Three
This Is America Childish Gambino
Mumudey Mumudey Ebo Taylor
Under the Wheels Calexico
Climb on the Cross Shakey Graves
Tooth Ache RF Shannon
One More Dollar Rosali
Flower of the Universe Sade
Black Waves / Silver Moon Phosphorescent
World on Sticks Sam Phillips
Downey to Lubbock Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Mule Skinner Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Before You Called Me Baby Caitlyn Smith
Everybody Hurts The Gibson Brothers
Open My Eyes The Sha La Das
Souvenir Campdogzz
Stay Cat Power

Saturday, November 24, 2018

On the Right Side of Christmas 2018

   I've already started to hear Christmas music when I've been out and about the last couple of days which means  I'm a little late this year posting my annual Christmas compilation.  So wait no longer, here's another 24 tracks of Christmas songs (well, it's actually 23 Christmas songs and one Hanukkah song this year).  I've also re-upped all the previous Christmas compilations.  Enjoy!


Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Cat Power
Carol Of The Bells The Last Bison
Light Of The Stable Emmylou Harris
Smokey Mountain Christmas Jeannie Kendall
All I Want For Christmas Timbuk 3
Teenage Christmas Eux Autres
Joy to the World The Fab Four
Remember (Christmas) Harry Nilsson
Silent Night Richard Hawley
Dear Mrs. Claus The Barr Brothers
Greensleeves John Coltrane
Merry Xmas I Love You Sonny & The Sunsets
Hanukkah The Living Sisters
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Amy Winehouse
Ding Dong Bell The Ethiopians
Slipping Into Christmas Leon Russell
Who Like Christmas Anyway Luis And The Wildfires
We Three Kings of Orient Are The Boxmasters
Sleigh Ride Miss Mary Ann & The Ragtime
Mele Kalikimaka Asylum Street Spankers
Feliz Navidad Sea of Bees
Santa Claus Sonny Boy Williamson
The Last Month Of The Year The Fairfield Four & The Nashville Bluegrass Band
Auld Lang Syne The Smithereens

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Draped in Velvet: A Collection of Velvet Underground Covers

     It was often said in the 1980s that the Velvet Underground sold very few albums, but everyone who bought one formed their own band.  Consequently, for a band with a relatively limited output, there are a lot of great covers.  Here's seventeen of them to enjoy on lazy Fall Sunday mornings.


I Found A Reason Cat Power
Femme Fatale Big Star
Pale Blue Eyes Marisa Monte
All Tomorrow's Parties Bryan Ferry
Sweet Jane Cowboy Junkies
Sunday Morning James
European Son Beck
Foggy Notion Echo And The Bunnymen
Who Loves The Sun Hollis Brown
There She Goes Again R.E.M.
Waiting For My Man David Bowie
Here She Comes Now Nirvana
What Goes On The Feelies
The Black Angel's Death Song Mitch Easter
I'm Set Free Terry Bickers,Bradleigh Smith
Candy Says  Antony
I'll Be Your Mirror Richard Barone

Friday, September 28, 2018

Saluting 70's Singer Songwriters Volume 5

I don't think I'll ever lose my fondness for all, well most, things  70's (though I do try to regularly put down my rose-colored glasses so I don't over engorge on nostalgia.)  Therefore, it's yet another 70's singer-songwriter compilation.  I've also re-upped the previous four volumes and the Sucking in the 70's compilations. 


Here, My Dear Marvin Gaye
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) Marvin Gaye
Oriente Gilberto Gil
Patuscada De Gandhi Gilberto Gil
Peace Like A River Paul Simon
Kodachrome Paul Simon
Where's the Money? Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
I Scare Myself Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
The Nights Lee Hazelwood
Big Red Balloon Nancy Sinatra And Lee Hazlewood
Coal Miner's Daughter Loretta Lynn
I Know How Loretta Lynn
Goodbye Old Missoula Willis Alan Ramsey
Painted Lady Willis Alan Ramsey
Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man) Merle Haggard
Tulare Dust Merle Haggard
Avalanche Leonard Cohen
A Singer Must Die Leonard Cohen

Friday, August 31, 2018

Superfunkycalifragisexy: A Prince Trilogy

      I've always put Prince pretty high up on the pantheon of artists, but listening to the breadth of his work - the funk, the psychedelic soul-rock, the 70s soul covers, the stunning version of the gospel spiritual Mary Don't You Weep from the soon to be released ‘Piano & A Microphone 1983’ - I've really come to appreciate more fully his musical genius.  In putting this three disc set together, I included a bunch of cuts from his out of print 1990s albums - especially Emancipation.   

Download all three discs

Disc One

My Name Is Prince
Sex In The Summer
Pop Life
Come #2
Love and Sex
Thieves In The Temple
She's Always In My Hair
Love Sign 
Life 'o' The Party
Rockhard In A Funky Place
Play In The Sunshine

Disc Two

Eye No
The Human Body
When You Were Mine
The Future
Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?
Get Yo Groove On
What's My Name
One Of Us
Mary Don't You Weep

Disc Three

A Case Of You
Shy #2
She Spoke 2 Me
Girl O' My Dreams
Rebirth Of The Flesh
Hide The Bone
La, La, La Means I Love You
Sometimes It Snows In April

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Where There's a (Hal) Willner

      I'm sitting here trying to write just a little something about Hal Willner and my mind is, well, not blank, but more like congested.  It's just really hard (at least for me) to do proper justice to the musical force that is Hal Willner.  I'll just say he's a producer who's been involved with innumerable interesting projects with an incredible number of performers and I'll let a New York Times feature on him from last year do the rest.  As for the compilation below, I took a cut from each of the fifteen musical projects he produced including a track from the out of print soundtrack to Short Cuts.  All of the stuff he's worked on has its charms - if I had to recommend one, though, I'd go with Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys.   


The Traitor Martha Wainwright
As Long As I Live Shannon McNally
Sango Montamaria Hal Willner
The Great Hall Henry Threadgill
Leaving Of Liverpool Shane MacGowan
Lowlands Low Bryan Ferry & Antony
Ulalume Jeff Buckley
Monk's Mood Sharon Freeman
Sugar Baby Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Juliet Of The Spirits Bill Frisell
Heigh Ho Tom Waits
Jump Monk Don Alias/Michael Blair/Art Baron/Bill Frisell/Gary Lucas/Greg Cohen
Warning To Young Couples  William S. Burroughs
Evil California (These Blues) Annie Ross & The Low Note Quintet With Iggy Pop &Anthony Coleman
Lonely House from Street Scene Betty Carter

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Texas Legends Series - Volume Two: The Gourds, Doug Sahm, and Spoon

     Six years ago, I posted a compilation featuring three great Texas artists: James Hand, Justin Trevino, and Don Walser.   It's been a long time, but I finally have another volume in the series, this time with a more disparate collection of great Texas artists: The Gourds, Doug Sahm, and Spoon.  In addition to the aforementioned comp, I've also re-upped a bunch of other Texas-centric stuff: The Damnations' Where it Lands, the 3 named singer-songwriter compilation, and the Robert Earl Keen - Lyle Lovett compilation.


Mendocino Doug Sahm
(The New Way Of) Grievin' & Smokin' The Gourds
Do You Spoon
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb Spoon
You're Gonna Miss Me Doug Sahm & Sons
Gin And Juice The Gourds
First Caress Spoon
Stab The Gourds
I Wanna' Be Mama Again Doug Sahm
It's Gonna Be Easy Doug Sahm
I Summon You Spoon
Cold Bed The Gourds
Love Don't Treat Me Fair The Sir Douglas Quintet
Vittorio E. Spoon
Bugs The Gourds
I Don't Want Doug Sahm
Everything Hits at Once Spoon
Makes Me Roll The Gourds

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Salad Days of the Late 80s and Early 90s

      The title of tonight's compilation may be a bit misleading as there seems to be very little generalized nostalgia for the late 1980s or early 1990s, but it was, nevertheless, an interesting time musically speaking.  It was also a time when cds were quite expensive so I'd occasionally purchase cheap label samplers.  I was listening to several of them a little while back and thought they'd make a dandy compilation (along with a few other songs from that time period that are personal faves).  


Eye Know De La Soul
A Deusa Dos Orixas Clara Nunes
Babydoll Laurie Anderson
Tweakin' George S. Clinton
Freedom Of Speech Ice-T
Zobi La Mouche Les Negresses Vertes
Got To Give It Up Love Tractor
Dirty Old Town David Byrne
Yellow Moon The Neville Brothers
In The Ghetto Eric B. & Rakim
Country Skin Oingo Boingo
Easy Matthew Sweet
Here and Gone Joe Henry
Didn't Know Dumptruck
Play My Song Redd Kross
Romeo Had Juliette Lou Reed
Beyond This World Jungle Brothers
Jimmy In The Valley Lady Levi
She's Not Just Another Woman (Monique) Biz Markie

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Arthur Alexander and Jimmy Scott

    I was marveling at how well Arthur Alexander's 1993 comeback album Lonely Like Just Like Me holds up (as I hadn't listened to it in quite some time) and was surprised when I looked it up on Amazon to find out that it was out of print.  I also immediately thought of Jimmy Scott another great comeback story from the early 90s and discovered that one of his great albums - Lost and Found - was out of print.   Recorded in the late 60s and early 70s, Lost and Found was Jimmy's first attempt at a comeback but the lawyers for Savoy his record label in the 50s blocked it from being released at the time so it didn't see the light of day until 1993.  Anyway, both are truly wonderful albums - definitely in my top 100 of all time.  Enjoy (I've also re-upped my Jimmy Scott - Roy Orbison compilations, btw.)

Lonely Just Like Me

If It's Really Got To Be This Way
Go Home Girl
Sally Sue Brown
Mr. John
Lonely Just Like Me
Every Day I Have To Cry
In The Middle Of It All
Genie In The Jug
Johnny Heartbreak
All The Time
There Is A Road
I Believe In Miracles

Lost and Found

I Have Dreamed
Stay With Me
The Folks Who Live On The Hill
For Once In My Life
Dedicated To You
Day By Day
Unchained Melody
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
I Wish I Knew

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Alternative Country in the Aughties - Volumes Three and Four

      As promised, here's Volumes Three and Four of the 2000's alternative country compilation (once again together as one file.)  Enjoy.

Download both volumes

Volume Three

The Man of the People Tres Chicas
Heartbreaks Ben Mallott
Nowhere, Manitoba Lee Mellor
Black Hearted Ways Tim Easton
Catch Yer Own Train The Silver Seas
He's Alright Kurt Vile
Last Year's Leaves Blanche
Plainest Thing Tift Merritt
Listen Joe Golden Smog
I Miss Being Broken, Lowdown And Alone Andy Friedman
Honky Tonk Livin' Starline Rhythm Boys
Bongo Ride Jon Rauhouse
Vamos Nenas Cordero
Long Time Deer Tick
Why Would Anybody Live Here? The Sadies
When the Night Comes Dan Auerbach
Volume Four
Revelator Gillian Welch
If I Could Only Fly Merle Haggard
Faraway (From the North County) John Doe
The Song of A Hundred Toads The Handsome Family
The Chorus in the Underground Great Lake Swimmers
When The Well Runs Dry Drive-By Truckers
Barricades & Brickwalls Kasey Chambers
In My Own Mind Lyle Lovett
Chinese Translation M. Ward
Nobody Wants To Go To The Moon Anymore Kelly Willis
Telephone Shelby Lynne
Indian Queens Nick Lowe
The End Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Lonely Still Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter
He Reached Down Iris Dement
Heartaches of a Fool Phosphorescent

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