New mix: will you buy me a shaky heart

As I grow … well, older isn’t right, and neither is more mature, so let’s just go with “as I grow,” I find that what I listen to is less about lyrics and singing along and more about just listening. So, of the 19 tracks on this mix, six have no words at all, and a few more are mostly nonsense.

No real notes here, except to note that Jonny Greenwood’s Bodysong, from 2003, is an unlikely sleeper album. There are bits that remind me of Ravel, and Berg, and glitchy techno, and sometimes they come in the same song.

Also: why did it take me so long to listen to Bruce Cockburn? He would have been right up my alley in 1988 or 1989.

Also also: I’m in the crowd for that 2004 Sonic Youth performance at the Showbox. This one.

  1. Burning Of AuchidoonMaddy Prior (Silly Sisters)
  2. Tree (Today is an Important Occasion)David Byrne (The Knee Plays)
  3. Ready to StartArcade Fire (Ready to Start – Single)
  4. Lovers In a Dangerous TimeBruce Cockburn (Stealing Fire (Deluxe Edition))
  5. Wiggle-WaggleHerbie Hancock (Warner Archives)
  6. Everything In Its Right PlaceRadiohead (Kid A)
  7. 24 Hour CharlestonJonny Greenwood (Bodysong (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture))
  8. ConcordeModern Jazz Quartet (Concorde)
  9. Track 4Sigur Rós (( ))
  10. ChemtrailsBeck (Modern Guilt)
  11. SorrowThe National (High Violet)
  12. I Should Watch TV (M. Stine remix)David Byrne & St. Vincent (Brass Tactics EP)
  13. Pattern RecognitionSonic Youth (Live at the Showbox in Seattle (2004))
  14. Milky WayWeather Report (Weather Report)
  15. Alone And ForsakenNeko Case (Live from Austin, Texas)
  16. Hi-Speed SoulNada Surf (Let Go)
  17. After AllChristian Scott (Yesterday You Said Tomorrow)
  18. Bode Radio/Glass Light/Broken HeartsJonny Greenwood (Bodysong (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture))
  19. I Wanna Dance With SomebodyDavid Byrne (David Byrne: Live from Austin, TX)

The Colonoscopy Playlist

I can tell that I’ve reached that certain special age based on what my interactions are with the medical profession. And this week I had one of those really “special” ones: a visit from the camera snake.

As I was getting ready for the procedure, I realized that there were a lot of songs that were inadvertently funny in the context of a colonoscopy, and that there didn’t seem to be a lot of people putting them together in playlists. So I figured I’d do it so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome.) I posted a request for help on Facebook and got a lot of suggestions from my friends, so this was a real labor of love…from the bottom to the top.

  1. Baby Got GoingLiz Phair
  2. I Like to Move ItReel 2 Reel
  3. RelaxFrankie Goes to Hollywood
  4. ShoutTears for Fears
  5. Take It EasyThe Eagles
  6. When the Levee BreaksMemphis Minnie
  7. Medley: Highway to Hell -> Shook Me All Night LongAC/DC
  8. Highway to HellAC/DC
  9. It Looks Like I’m Up Sh*t Creek AgainTom Waits
  10. Medley: “All Stripped Down” / “The Earth Died Screaming” / “The Ocean Doesn’t Want Me” / “New Coat of Paint” / “Chocolate Jesus” / “Take It With Me” ” / “Tango Till They’re Sore” / “Don’t Go Into That Barn” / “The One That Got Away” / “How’s It Gonna End” / “Make It Rain” Tom Waits
  11. All Things Must PassGeorge Harrison
  12. Chocolate RainTay Zonday
  13. Everything Must GoManic Street Preachers
  14. The Waiting is the Hardest PartTom Petty
  15. Pants on the GroundLarry Pratt
  16. From the Bottom to the TopFrank Sinatra
  17. Way Down in the HoleTom Waits
  18. I’m Looking Through YouThe Beatles
  19. Wide Open SpacesDixie Chicks
  20. I Can See Clearly NowJohnny Nash
  21. Back Door ManHowlin’ Wolf
  22. In Too DeepGenesis
  23. Da ButtEU
  24. Mega ColonFischerspooner
  25. I’m Beginning to See the LightBobby Darin
  26. Shine a LightRolling Stones
  27. The EndThe Doors
  28. Black Hole SunSoundgarden
  29. Ring of FireJohnny Cash
  30. Moon RiverHenry Mancini
  31. Boogie in the ButtEddie Murphy
  32. Baby Got BackSir Mix-A-Lot
  33. Show Me the WayPeter Frampton
  34. StinkfistTool
  35. John MayerInside Wants Out
  36. Up in the DarkThe New Pornographers
  37. Searching With My Good Eye ClosedSoundgarden
  38. Shot in the DarkOzzy Obourne
  39. Way Down NowWorld Party
  40. Already in a DaydreamFreddy Jones Band
  41. Bad Moon RisingCreedence Clearwater Revival
  42. ScatmanScatman John
  43. Into the Great Wide Open Tom Petty
  44. Tighten Up Archie Bell and the Drells
  45. Supermassive Black Hole Muse
  46. Broken Hearts Are For AssholesFrank Zappa
  47. Black TongueGene Simmons
  48. Medley: ‘Fire in the Hole’->’Do It Again’ Steely Dan
  49. Shake Your BootyKC and the Sunshine Band
  50. Dig for Fire Pixies
  51. Medley: ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ -> ‘Moanin” -> ‘Walkin” -> ‘I’ll Never Be The Same’Frank Sinatra / Art Blakey / Miles Davis / Art Tatum
  52. Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)Citizen King
  53. Rolling in the DeepAdele
  54. My Face Your AssLambchop
  55. Pretty on the InsideHole
  56. The EndThe Beatles

New mix: my love invented all of you

This has been building for a bit. I had more work to do on it, then I thought it was done. Then I heard the last two songs side by side and realized they were the perfect coda. So it’s a little longer than CD length. Oh well…

  1. The Empty PageSonic Youth (Murray Street)
  2. Rock And RollLed Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin Remasters)
  3. Don’t CareKlark Kent (Klark Kent)
  4. What Difference Does It Make?The Smiths (Hatful Of Hollow)
  5. Manta RayPixies (Complete ‘B’ Sides [UK])
  6. Carry Me OhioSun Kil Moon (Ghosts Of The Great Highway)
  7. Vengeance Is SleepingNeko Case (Middle Cyclone (Bonus Track Version))
  8. Back Of A CarBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City)
  9. Just Like HeavenThe Cure (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
  10. Space (I Believe In)Pixies (Trompe Le Monde)
  11. Lick the Palm of the Burning HandshakeZola Jesus (Conatus)
  12. Gravity’s AngelLaurie Anderson (Mister Heartbreak)
  13. Water BabiesMiles Davis (The Columbia Years 1955-1985)
  14. Working For The ManPJ Harvey (To Bring You My Love)
  15. Lil Wallet PictureRichard Buckner (Richard Buckner)
  16. In the Devil’s TerritorySufjan Stevens (Seven Swans)
  17. I Don’t RecallLavender Diamond (Incorruptible Heart)
  18. Dawned On MeWilco (The Whole Love)
  19. Morpha TooBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City)
  20. Kiss Me On The BusThe Replacements (Tim [Expanded Edition])
  21. DauðalognSigur Rós (Valtari)
  22. End of the LineSleigh Bells (Reign of Terror)

New mix: An attic space overgrown

I wasn’t expecting to do another mix so soon after the last one (the business), but this one was kicking around for a while. As always, I was throwing songs I liked to listen to into a temporary playlist called “next,” but couldn’t figure out how to link them all together. Then one day I heard a recording of Kenyan girls singing (like so much these days, it surfaced out of my library on shuffle), and I said “Hmm.” I threw a handful of short world music songs into the mix (from an album of Tuvan throat singing, an Internet-curated collection of African music, and a historic field recording of the Bera pygmies from the 1950s), shuffled them about until I got the right order, and before long I had something that seemed set to shuffle into the ear in the same way that the songs had wormed their way into my mind. An attic space overgrown (also on Art of the Mix) was the result.

The mix:

  1. Chemirocha [Kipsigis] w/Chemutoi Ketienya & GirlsKenyan Songs and Strings (Kenyan Songs and Strings)
  2. StrangeR.E.M. (Document)
  3. RollingSoul Coughing (El Oso)
  4. VesselZola Jesus (Conatus)
  5. Bodhisattva VowBeastie Boys (Ill Communication)
  6. Right OnThe Roots (How I Got Over)
  7. Yraazhy Kys (The Singing Girl)Shu-De (Voices From The Distant Steppe)
  8. The EraserChristian Scott (Yesterday You Said Tomorrow)
  9. Harrowdown HillThom Yorke (The Eraser)
  10. Jean-Baptiste à la fenêtreSonic Youth (Simon Werner a Disparu)
  11. Tshetlha Di KaeSchool Girls In Kayne (Tswana and Sotho Voices)
  12. Half Way To CrazyThe Jesus & Mary Chain (Automatic)
  13. Infinity GuitarsSleigh Bells (Treats)
  14. StaircaseRadiohead (The Daily Mail & Staircase)
  15. One Big HolidayMy Morning Jacket (It Still Moves)
  16. Skipping SongBera Pygmies (Music Of The Rainforest Pygmies)
  17. AntennaSonic Youth (The Eternal)
  18. HikikomoriZola Jesus (Conatus)
  19. Silver RiderRobert Plant (Band of Joy)
  20. You See EverythingLow (C’mon)
  21. MoorestownSun Kil Moon (April)

Track notes:

  • I finally heard the original version of “Strange” (on Wire’s Pink Flag) last year, and while I love it, it made me appreciate the R.E.M. version I heard in high school–bravura, loud, beery, and outré.
  • It’s a pity that Mike Doughty has disavowed the Soul Coughing discography, because tunes like “Rolling” were made for delicious cognitive dissonance–the luxury and assonance of the words and the thick beats…
  • Zola Jesus was a discovery for me about this time last year. “Vessel” is the strangest arrangement of the album, with Nika Roza Danilova’s voice hocketing into the echoing void at the opening over a sort of middle-period Dead Can Dance accompaniment. And that’s just the opening.
  • I miss Adam Yauch.
  • “Right On”: Who knew that Joanna Newsom made such a good chorus for hip-hop?
  • Christian Scott’s “The Eraser,” its strikingly original jazz arrangement of Thom Yorke’s original, has been in heavy repeat since I heard the album last year. The whole album is worth checking out.
  • “Harrowdown Hill” gives you an opportunity to hear Yorke’s original glitchy percussion against the jazz acoustic original. Not as starkly tense as some of Radiohead’s earlier (or later) works, it feels a little more personal but still despairing.
  • Sonic Youth’s final(?) recording, a soundtrack, carries enormous tension throughout it even if you don’t understand the cinematic context of the songs, which, um, I don’t. Still absorbing.
  • I dug out “Automatic” the other day–still a great album all these years later.
  • I found Sleigh Bells thanks to Molly Young‘s plug for the band (she plays the gum-chewing cheerleader in the video for this song). I like the second album better as an album but “Infinity Guitars” is still an astonishing kick to the head.
  • Someday Radiohead will make a full album that “Staircase” fits into and I’ll be a happy man.
  • My Morning Jacket’s It Still Moves was the last of the early albums and the one I love best, I think. This one reminds me of growing up in the South.
  • Robert Plant’s cover of “Silver Rider,” from the underappreciated Low album The Great Destroyer, is both hypnotic and wholly respectful of the original.
  • Low’s most recent album is the one I’ve liked best since The Great Destroyer. “You See Everything” is a great spotlight for Mimi Sparhawk’s voice.
  • Finally we get to “Moorestown.” After the psychedelic wonderland of Ghosts of the Great Highway, it took a long time for Sun Kil Moon’s acoustic albums to grow on me. But this one had been waiting to find me, and today I realized it was the closer.

Finally, a note on mixes: Seems to me that I put them together to digest the music I’m listening to and to claim it before it claims me.

New mix: the business

Did you ever notice how many songs there are about the music business itself? I think the popular music industry is possibly even more self-referential than the newspaper industry (though not nearly as self-referential as the Internet…). I started hearing the connection a few years ago and began collecting examples in a playlist, and I finally have enough to share with you in this mix (see also Art of the Mix).

Of special note is the hip-hop section (coming just after Joe Pernice’s wry anti-anthem decrying touring, “We Love the Stage”), featuring “Check the Rhime,” origin of “Music industry rule #4080/record company people are shady,” followed by Steinski’s record industry slag off mix of “Hit the Disco,” wrapping up with J-Live’s epochal “Them That’s Not,” which features the most astonishing bit of tempo bending that I’m aware of.


  1. Radio SongR.E.M. (Out Of Time)
  2. Legend of Paul ReverePaul Revere & The Raiders (Paul Revere & The Raiders: Greatest Hits)
  3. Suits Are Picking Up The BillSquirrel Nut Zippers (Perennial Favorites)
  4. A SermonThe Police (Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings)
  5. Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A DealThey Might Be Giants (Miscellaneous T: B Side / Remix Compilation)
  6. Radio, RadioElvis Costello (The Very Best of Elvis Costello And The Attractions)
  7. Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?The Ramones (Mania)
  8. I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the RadioMonty Python (Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album)
  9. Hello RadioThey Might Be Giants (Miscellaneous T: B Side / Remix Compilation)
  10. Spirit of RadioRush (Permanent Waves)
  11. Formed A BandArt Brut (Bang Bang Rock & Roll)
  12. Rock NotesMonty Python (Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album)
  13. So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll StarThe Byrds (The Byrds: Greatest Hits (Remastered))
  14. Playing Your SongHole (Celebrity Skin)
  15. Left Of The DialThe Replacements (Tim [Expanded Edition])
  16. We Love the StagePernice Brothers (Goodbye, Killer)
  17. Check The RhimeA Tribe Called Quest (The Low End Theory)
  18. Hit The Disco (Mc Enuff Mix)Steinski (What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective)
  19. Them That’s NotJ-Live (The Best Part)
  20. Pay to PlayNirvana (DGC Rarities, Vol. 1)
  21. The Late GreatsWilco (A Ghost Is Born)

New mix: My heart’s beating is all the proof you need.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a new mix. This one, My heart’s beating is all the proof you need (Art of the Mix), has been interesting–a little more upbeat than some of my past efforts, a few songs that have been kicking around my library for many years. I think the subtheme of this mix is in the second song: “It’s getting better all the time (can’t get no worse!).”

So there’s some party time stuff, both benign and wild; some funny tracks (I dare you to listen to “Bloody” with a straight face);  and some contemplative stuff. There’s not a lot of deep digging (outside of the Tom Waits/John Lurie track and maybe “Amen Brother,” which features what must be the most sampled drum break in the prehistory of hiphop), just some really fun listening. Just right for early spring.

  1. River of Men – Tom Waits/John Lurie (Fishing With John – Original Music From The Series By John L)
  2. Getting BetterThe Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
  3. Just Like HeavenThe Cure (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
  4. Mondo ’77Looper (The Geometrid)
  5. Amen’ BrotherThe Winstons (Color Him Father (Original Masters))
  6. In The StreetBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City)
  7. Happy KidNada Surf (Let Go)
  8. Don’t You Just Know ItHuey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns (Don’t You Just Know It [EP])
  9. Pictures Of YouThe Cure (Disintegration)
  10. Near Wild HeavenR.E.M. (Out Of Time)
  11. Friends Stoning FriendsMclusky (Alan Is A Cowboy Killer)
  12. The Ox (Original Mono Version)The Who (The Who Sings My Generation)
  13. Head OnPixies (Trompe Le Monde)
  14. No Hiding PlaceElvis Costello (Momofuku)
  15. BloodyGolinski Brothers (The John Peel Singles Box)
  16. Do You Wanna Hit It?The Donnas (The Donnas Turn 21)
  17. Yard Of Blonde GirlsJeff Buckley (Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk)
  18. CodexRadiohead (The King of Limbs)
  19. Steam EngineMy Morning Jacket (It Still Moves)
  20. Calling My Children HomeEmmylou Harris (Spyboy)
  21. Things behind the SunNick Drake (Pink Moon)

New mix: Hurricane Irene

Well, here we are again, in the middle of a storm. So far, knock wood, it’s been a lot of rain and very little wind, but this will be the day that Massachusetts really gets it. So I threw together some music to weather the hurricane by.

  1. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna FallBob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan)
  2. Rain In the SummertimeThe Alarm (Eye of the Hurricane (Remastered))
  3. Goodnight IreneTom Waits (Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards)
  4. Florida HurricaneSt. Louis Jimmy (Chess Blues 1947-1952)
  5. Goodnight IreneJohnny Cash (Sun Recordings)
  6. I Can’t Stand The RainAnn Peebles (The John Peel Singles Box)
  7. The Rain SongLed Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin Remasters)
  8. RainThe Beatles (Past Masters, Vol. 2)
  9. Have You Ever Seen The Rain?Creedence Clearwater Revival (Pendulum)
  10. Devil Sent The RainCharlie Patton (Founder of the Delta Blues)
  11. In The RainThe Dramatics (The Stax Story: Finger-Snappin’ Good [Disc 3])
  12. When It Rains, It Really PoursElvis Presley (The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Complete 50s Masters)
  13. Rain (Falling From The Skies)Frank Sinatra (The Complete Capitol Singles Collection)
  14. Comes a HurricaneShannon Worrell (The Honey Guide)
  15. IreneLead Belly (Where Did You Sleep Last Night?)
  16. Ballet For A Rainy Day (2001 Digital Remaster)XTC (Skylarking)
  17. Blowin’ In The WindBob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan)
  18. Wild Is The WindCat Power (The Covers Record)
  19. The WindPJ Harvey (Is This Desire?)
  20. Sauget WindUncle Tupelo (Still Feel Gone)
  21. Rain Please Go AwayAlison Krauss (Lonely Runs Both Ways)
  22. Dry the RainThe Beta Band (The Three EP’s)
  23. It Can’t Rain All the TimeJane Siberry (City (collaborations))
  24. Goodnight IreneRobert Cage (Can See What You’re Doing)

New mix: a piece of hope holding us together

End of summer is happy mix time. Now that I’m putting out only two mixes a year, it seems like one is downbeat and the other is happy. Lots of fun tunes in here, including a rare Shannon Worrell track that I had to pull off a 17 year old cassette tape.

  1. Moonlight In GloryMoving Star Hall Singers (Sea Island Folk Festival)
  2. SunflowerLow (Things We Lost In The Fire)
  3. Postcards from ItalyBeirut (Gulag Orkestar)
  4. The Ballad of Ronald Jeremy HyattJustin Rosolino (The Leaves Are Right to Tremble – EP)
  5. Boy With a CoinIron & Wine (The Shepherd’s Dog)
  6. LighthouseShannon Worrell (Shannon Worrell (EP))
  7. LowdownMy Morning Jacket (At Dawn)
  8. You Can Have It AllYo La Tengo (And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out)
  9. HexNeko Case (The Tigers Have Spoken)
  10. HomeEdward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (Up From Below (Deluxe Edition))
  11. Love And AngerKate Bush (The Sensual World )
  12. In LiverpoolSuzanne Vega (99.9 F°)
  13. Neither Heaven nor SpaceNada Surf (Let Go)
  14. My Back PagesBob Dylan (Another Side Of Bob Dylan)
  15. Begat BegatJane Siberry (Maria)
  16. Inside of LoveNada Surf (Let Go)
  17. Give Up the GhostRadiohead (The King of Limbs)
  18. Polegnala e TodoraBulgarian State Television Female Choir (Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares)

New mix: every day is getting straighter

This mix has been percolating a while. I didn’t know how to move beyond Jeff Buckley’s absolutely epic reading of his lament for his dead father, but it turns out that anger works remarkably well when played against grief and loss. And that’s how the rest of the mix went.

I make no apologies for the elegiac (some would say self indulgent) triple punch of the Death Cab, Cure, and Jane’s songs stacking up all together. Somewhere there is a sixteen year old who’s just broken up with his girlfriend who only wishes he could put that much misery together in one place on the mix that he’s going to send her.

Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s a cappella version of “To the Pines, to the Pines” is both more matter of fact and more chilling than the version by Leadbelly (and the bloodcurdling Nirvana cover it inspired).

  1. Dream BrotherJeff Buckley (Mystery White Boy (Live))
  2. Careening with ConvictionMission Of Burma (The Obliterati)
  3. Written In ReverseSpoon (Transference)
  4. Company in My BackWilco (A Ghost Is Born)
  5. What Is Your Secret?Nada Surf (The Weight is a Gift)
  6. RevelatorGillian Welch (Time (The Revelator))
  7. The Queen Is Dead (Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty)The Smiths (The Queen Is Dead)
  8. Pump It UpElvis Costello (The Very Best of Elvis Costello And The Attractions)
  9. Radio CureWilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
  10. ProgressMission of Burma (Vs. )
  11. TransatlanticismDeath Cab for Cutie (Transatlanticism)
  12. DisintegrationThe Cure (Disintegration)
  13. Then She Did…Jane’s Addiction (Ritual De Lo Habitual)
  14. To The Pines, To The PinesBascom Lamar Lunsford (Ballads, Banjo Tunes, And Sacred Songs Of Western North Carolina)
  15. Einstein’s DayMission of Burma (Vs. )

New mixes: your scary 80s 7 and 8

We call this “unclogging the pipes.” I have probably 20 mixes in various partial states of repair, and it’s high time I start publishing them so that I can make room for the real stuff.

So here are two—maybe, dare I hope, my last two—80s mixes. As always, the first one is the stuff I’m ashamed (and secretly happy) to remember, while the second one is stuff I would have been proud to listen to had I known about it while I was growing up.

Your Scary 80s 7

  1. Be near MeABC (How to Be a Zillionaire)
  2. Always Something There to Remind MeNaked Eyes (The Best of Naked Eyes)
  3. She Blinded Me With ScienceThomas Dolby (The Golden Age of Wireless)
  4. Your LoveThe Outfield (Play Deep)
  5. Spies Like UsPaul McCartney (Press to Play)
  6. Your Wildest DreamsThe Moody Blues (Anthology: the Moody Blues)
  7. Rain In the SummertimeThe Alarm (Eye of the Hurricane (Remastered))
  8. AfricaToto (Toto IV)
  9. No One Is To BlameHoward Jones (Dream Into Action)
  10. The Captain of Her HeartDouble (The Captain of Her Heart)
  11. Life In a Northern TownThe Dream Academy (Rhino Hi-Five: The Dream Academy – EP)
  12. Tonight, Tonight, TonightGenesis (Genesis: The Hits – Turn It On Again)
  13. Sanctify YourselfSimple Minds (Once Upon a Time)
  14. Higher Love (Full)Steve Winwood (Back in the High Life)
  15. I Wanna Be a CowboyBoys Don’t Cry (Boys Don’t Cry)
  16. Pump Up the Volume (USA 12)Colourbox (Best of Colourbox: 1982-1987)
  17. The ReflexDuran Duran (Duran Duran: Greatest)

Your Scary 80s 8

  1. Gardening At NightR.E.M. (Dead Letter Office)
  2. Alive and KickingSimple Minds (Once Upon a Time)
  3. You Be Illin’Run-DMC (Raising Hell)
  4. Do You Really Want 2 Hurt MeCulture Club (Culture Club (Box Set))
  5. West End GirlsPet Shop Boys (Please)
  6. Moments in LoveArt of Noise ((Who’s Afraid Of) The Art Of Noise?)
  7. Let the Day BeginMichael Been AKA The Call (The Best of the Call)
  8. The Perfect KissNew Order (Low-Life)
  9. Fire WomanThe Cult (Sonic Temple)
  10. One Thing Leads to AnotherThe Fixx (20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Fixx (Remastered))
  11. Banned in D.C.Bad Brains (Bad Brains)
  12. Rise AboveBlack Flag (Damaged)
  13. Small Man, Big MouthMinor Threat (First Two 7″s)
  14. Kinky Sex Makes the World Go ‘RoundDead Kennedys (Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death)
  15. I Want You BackHoodoo Gurus (Stoneage Romeo)
  16. RedMission Of Burma (Signals, Calls, And Marches)
  17. You Are My FriendThe Rain Parade (Emergency Third Rail Power Trip: Explosions In The Glass Palace)
  18. JetfighterThree O’Clock (Sixteen Tambourines/Baroque Hoedown)
  19. I Love Rock N’ RollJoan Jett and the Blackhearts (I Love Rock N’ Roll)
  20. Beat BoxArt of Noise (Into Battle with the Art of Noise)

New mix: Happy time

The aftermath of a big flood feels like the right time to publish my first mix in about six months. Happy time is one part of a two part mix. This time, I might not ever get around to part two, because it’s the downside of this mix, and I’m enjoying the happy side too much.

Track list:

  1. Finest Worksong (Mutual Drum Horn Mix)R.E.M. (Eponymous)
  2. ReenaSonic Youth (Rather Ripped)
  3. Moby OctopadYo La Tengo (I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One)
  4. Scared StraightThe Long Winters (When I Pretend To Fall)
  5. Hot Pants RoadThe J.B.’s (Pass the Peas: The Best of the J.B.’s)
  6. I’ll Take You ThereThe Staple Singers (Best of the Staple Singers)
  7. HelicopterM. Ward (Transfiguration Of Vincent)
  8. BeautifulPaul Simon (Surprise)
  9. Cello SongNick Drake (Five Leaves Left)
  10. It’s Not the Only Way to Feel HappyField Music (Field Music)
  11. ThirteenBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City)
  12. HopefullyMy Morning Jacket (At Dawn)
  13. Fistful Of LoveAntony and the Johnsons (I Am A Bird Now)
  14. No Man in the WorldTindersticks (Can Our Love…)
  15. Happy TimeTim Buckley (Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology)
  16. People Got a Lotta NerveNeko Case (Middle Cyclone (Bonus Track Version))
  17. Sweet ThingVan Morrison (Astral Weeks)
  18. Number TwoPernice Brothers (Yours, Mine and Ours)

Commentary: Did R.E.M. record “Finest Worksong” with the horns in mind, or was it a cynical touch by some producer when it was time to release the single? It reads as a brilliant move, though, 22 years later. I’m of two minds about “Reena”–such a simple song for Sonic Youth–but the fact that I can’t get it out of my head two years on settles it for me. Ditto “Moby Octopad”, which is less a song than an extended riff, but no less brilliant for that.

“Scared Straight,” on the other hand, is a song, and a flipping brilliant one. And the horns alone are worth the price of admission. The horns also provide a great segue into “Hot Pants Road,” which makes a very nice segue into “I’ll Take You There.” A nice little singer songwriter set–“Helicopter,” Paul Simon’s “Beautiful,” “Cello Song”–follows, before we get into the psychosexual set of “Thirteen,” “It’s Not the Only Way To Feel Happy,” “Hopefully,” and “Fistful of Love” (and only Lou Reed could set up that song).

And then the last set. I won’t say anything about it, except that “Sweet Thing” may be the greatest single song ever. How was it that I missed out on Astral Weeks for all this time?

(Update: now on Art of the Mix.)

New mix: september grrls

My latest mix, “september grrls,” did not start out to be (almost) all women artists, but it ended up that way. After strong releases this year from Shannon Worrell, PJ Harvey, Neko Case, and others, plus Kim Gordon’s contributions to the latest Sonic Youth… well, I couldn’t resist. Add to that a few songs that have been kicking around my library forever, waiting for a home, and you’ve got yourself a mix.

  1. This Is What You DoGemma Hayes (Hollow of Morning)
  2. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)Kate Bush (Hounds of Love)
  3. Black Hearted LovePJ Harvey & John Parish (A Woman a Man Walked By)
  4. IamundernodisguiseSchool of Seven Bells (Alpinisms)
  5. Song To BobbyCat Power (Jukebox)
  6. JerichoGreta Gaines (Greta Gaines)
  7. Lake Charles BoogieNellie Lutcher (Oxford American 2003 Southern Music CD No. 6)
  8. If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)The Staple Singers (The Stax Story: Finger-Snappin’ Good [Disc 3])
  9. When the Other Foot Drops, UncleSharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (100 Days, 100 Nights)
  10. Diamond HeartMarissa Nadler (Songs III: Bird On the Water)
  11. If I Can Make You CryShannon Worrell (The Honey Guide)
  12. For Today I Am A BoyAntony and the Johnsons (I Am A Bird Now)
  13. Massage the HistorySonic Youth (The Eternal)
  14. Crater LakeLiz Phair (Whip-Smart)
  15. I’m an AnimalNeko Case (Middle Cyclone (Bonus Track Version))
  16. Who Is It (Carry My Joy On the Left, Carry My Pain On the Right)Björk (Medulla)
  17. The Way I Am (Recorded Live on WERS)Ingrid Michaelson (Be OK)
  18. Sweet Like YouShannon Worrell (The Honey Guide)
  19. At Constant SpeedGemma Hayes (Hollow of Morning)
  20. September GurlsBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City)

New mix: Don’t be in love with the autograph

Again, posting the tracklist here because Art of the Mix is gone. I will send this one out, just as soon as I get around to sending the last ones out (yes, I’m aware that I’m about three months behind on that). Here’s, depending on the numbering system, 4.23 or JHNCD0035:

  1. The Arcade Fire, “Neighborhood 1: Tunnels” (Funeral)
  2. My Morning Jacket, “The Way That He Sings” (At Dawn)
  3. Big Star, “She’s a Mover” (Radio City)
  4. J-Live remixed by Steinski, “Them That’s Not (Cash Mix)” (What Does It All Mean?)
  5. Thao, “Bag of Hammers” (We Brave Bee Stings and All)
  6. Van Morrison, “Domino” (His Band and Street Choir)
  7. Sufjan Stevens, “Chicago” (Illinoise)
  8. The Reindeer Section, “Cartwheels” (Son of Evil Reindeer)
  9. The Long Winters, “Blanket Hog” (When I Pretend to Fall)
  10. Cat Power, “Free” (You Are Free)
  11. Vampire Weekend, “One” (Vampire Weekend)
  12. James Brown, “Bring It Up (Hipster’s Avenue)” (Star Time)
  13. Spain, “Dreaming of Love” (The Blue Moods of Spain)
  14. Freakwater, “Out Of This World” (Old Paint)
  15. Sonic Youth, “Rain on Tin” (Murray Street)
  16. Eva Cassidy, “Songbird” (Eva By Heart)
  17. Beck, “Diamond Bollocks” (Mutations

New mix: Funky President

  1. James Brown, “Funky President (People It’s Bad)”
  2. William S. Burroughs, “When Did I Stop Wanting to Be President”
  3. The Cure, “Primary (Morgan Studio Outtake 9/80)”
  4. Max Roach, “Freedom Now”
  5. Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come”
  6. Virginia Glee Club, “I shall not die without a hope” (Testament of Freedom)
  7. Jay-Z and Danger Mouse, “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
  8. Youssou N’Dour, “Hope”
  9. Branford Marsalis, “Freedom Suite: Interlude”
  10. The Flaming Lips, “Suddenly Everything Has Changed”
  11. Arcadia, “Election Day”
  12. Extra Golden, “Obama (Live, KEXP)”
  13. Funkadelic, “One Nation Under a Groove”
  14. Bob Dylan, “Things Have Changed”
  15. Parliament, “Chocolate City”
  16. Lou Reed, “Voices of Freedom”
  17. Miles Davis, “Freedom Jazz Dance”

New mix: Power’s out in the heart of man

As so often happens as I’m putting mixes together, I’ve collected enough tracks for about three mixes since I published “picture of you where it began” back in May (“Blasphemous Rumors” was a one-off theme mix that didn’t dip into this pool). So I ended up splitting out this first set of tracks as the first go-round via a stochastic process of picking the first and last songs and removing every other song from the list. After a little re-ordering, it shaped up into the dark bullet below.

As previously announced, my mixes will no longer be appearing on Art of the Mix, but I’m not sure what the right way is to have them show up in the blog. In this case, the iTunes mix widget was just about right because all the tracks from the mix were available in the store (except for the Elvis Costello cut, which was the original version from Brutal Youth–and now I’m curious about the alternate version in the store). But going forward I’ll probably use some other method to publish the lists. Anyone got a favorite?