New mix: don’t put no headstone on my grave

I struggled with this mix for quite a while, and probably have two other mixes of rejected tracks even though the final version clocks in at 2 CDs’ length. The hard bit is always mood. Summer is easy mixin’ weather; winter, especially this winter, was hard.

And a lot of this mix struggled with the challenge of a world turned upside down. So there are a few more instrumental tracks, a few more down tracks. But it starts in a place of fragile hope, with Lou Reed’s incredibly timely song of transsexual identity which is equal measures crisis and birth of the new, and ends in a place of defiance. And maybe that’s what we have left to ourselves right now.

  1. Candy Says (Closet Mix)The Velvet Underground (Peel Slowly and See)
  2. SilverEcho & The Bunnymen (Songs To Learn & Sing)
  3. Boys Keep SwingingDavid Bowie (Lodger)
  4. Damaged GoodsGang Of Four (Entertainment!)
  5. DevotionMission of Burma (Signals, Calls and Marches (Remastered))
  6. World Cup DrummingMclusky (My Pain and Sadness Is More Sad and Painful Than Yours)
  7. ElectioneeringRadiohead (OK Computer)
  8. The Great Curve (live)Talking Heads (Jaap Eden Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 11, 1980)
  9. Wish FulfillmentSonic Youth (Dirty)
  10. As I Went Out One MorningBob Dylan (John Wesley Harding)
  11. Time, As a SymptomJoanna Newsom (Divers)
  12. Morning LakeWeather Report (Weather Report)
  13. Sense Of DoubtDavid Bowie (Heroes)
  14. What Will You Say (feat. Alim Qasimov)Jeff Buckley featuring Alim Qasimov (Live at L’Olympia)
  15. This RoomThe Notwist (Neon Golden)
  16. Politician ManBetty Davis (The Columbia Years 1968-1969)
  17. For What It’s WorthTalk Talk (The Very Best Of)
  18. Above ChiangmaiBrian Eno (Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror)
  19. Magpie to the MorningNeko Case (Middle Cyclone (Bonus Track Version))
  20. State TrooperBruce Springsteen (Nebraska)
  21. DaphniaYo La Tengo (I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass)
  22. The Sky Is BrokenMoby (Play)
  23. Here Come the Warm Jets (2004 – Remaster)Brian Eno (Here Come The Warm Jets)
  24. Give Me Cornbread When I’m HungryJohn Fahey (The Dance Of Death & Other Plantation Favorites)
  25. After AwhileSwan Silvertones (Love Lifted Me / My Rock)
  26. The Last Broken Heart (Prop 8)Christian Scott (Yesterday You Said Tomorrow)
  27. Mystic BrewVijay Iyer Trio (Historicity)
  28. Why Was I Born?Kenny Burrell And John Coltrane (Kenny Burrell With John Coltrane)
  29. Meeting in the AisleRadiohead (Airbag/How Am I Driving?)
  30. The Last RayThis Mortal Coil (It’ll End in Tears)
  31. Cedars of LebanonU2 (No Line On the Horizon (Deluxe Edition))
  32. We FloatPJ Harvey (Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea)
  33. No Headstone On My GraveEsther Phillips (Oxford American 2003 Southern Music CD No. 6)

New mix: i’ve come all this way to hold your hand

This has been germinating for a while, and I had to drive to North Carolina and back to finish it. This was the mix of no rules, as you can tell by the length.

  1. Baby, I’m In the Mood for YouBob Dylan (The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964) A demo of Dylan’s raunchiest, most rural love song? Sure, why not.
  2. Bring it On Down to My HouseWarner Williams with Jay Summerour (Classic African American Songsters from Smithsonian Folkways) A raunchy blues song? Sure, why not.
  3. Jake Leg RagNarmour & Smith (Lead Kindly Light) A fiddle tune? Sure, why not.
  4. Where Shall I Go?Sister Marie Knight (When the Moon Goes Down in the Valley of Time: African-American Gospel, 1939-51) A gospel tune that lifts off into the stratosphere? Sure, why not.
  5. Little Island Walking (Peel Session)Jim O’Rourke (Peel Session) Jim O’Rourke doing a straight-on John Fahey pastiche? Sure, why not.
  6. We Would Be BuildingDaniel Bachman (Orange Co. Serenade) Primitive guitar cover of a Methodist hymn? Sure, why not.
  7. On The Banks Of The OwichitaJohn Fahey (The Dance Of Death & Other Plantation Favorites) A primitive guitar evocation of the slow river? Sure, why not.
  8. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be FreeNina Simone (Nina Revisited… A Tribute to Nina Simone) A landmark Nina Simone tune? Sure, why not.
  9. Peace And LoveGary Bartz And NTU Troop (I’ve Known Rivers And Other Bodies). “We got a hand for the Bronx”? Sure, why not.
  10. The Raven SpeaksGary Burton & Keith Jarrett (Gary Burton & Keith Jarrett) A funk number with Keith Jarrett on the Fender and Burton on vibes? Sure, why not.
  11. Brown-Baggin’24-Carat Black (Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth) Straight ahead funk from a very strange concept album? Sure, why not.
  12. DisrobeMedeski, Martin & Wood (The End of Violence) A groove I’ve been sitting on for a very long time? Sure, why not.
  13. Doing It to Death, Pt. 1 (Single)The J.B.’s & Fred Wesley (Pass the Peas: The Best of the J.B.’s). “In order to get down, I got to get in D”? Sure, why not.
  14. You Can’t Blame MeJohnson, Hawkins, Tatum, & Durr (Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label) The world’s weirdest soul hook? Sure, why not.
  15. Everybody Loves the SunshineRoy Ayers Ubiquity (The Best of Roy Ayers (The Best of Roy Ayers: Love Fantasy)) A blissed out fusion number? Sure, why not.
  16. Blue LinesMassive Attack (Blue Lines) A genre-creating Tricky rap? Sure, why not.
  17. The Sad PunkPixies (Trompe Le Monde) Changing gears abruptly? Sure, why not.
  18. Marrow (Live)David Byrne & St. Vincent (Brass Tactics EP) St. Vincent backed by a freaking great horn section? Sure, why not.
  19. What We Loved Was Not EnoughThee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (F*ck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything) Heartrending Canadians? Sure, why not.
  20. RokedShye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood & The Rajasthan Express (Junun) Israeli composer, Indian musicians, Radiohead guitarist? Sure, why not.
  21. %%%%%%%%%% $$$$$$$$$ >>>>>>>> >> >> >> @@@@@@@The User (Symphony #2 For Dot Matrix Printers) Dot matrix printer music? Sure, why not.
  22. Do the DogThe Specials (The Specials) Do the dog, not the donkey? Sure, why not.
  23. You SatelliteWilco (Star Wars) Wilco does late period Sonic Youth? Sure, why not.
  24. Nothing Clings Like IvyElvis Costello & The Imposters (The Delivery Man) Plaintive country rock from a London kid? Sure, why not.
  25. Just One ThingMy Morning Jacket (It Still Moves) Unabashed Southern rock? Sure, why not.
  26. Are You Okay?Dum Dum Girls (Too True) Can’t be flip about this track. The bridge kills me: “I’m reckless at night/I’m sorry for days.”
  27. Shake It OffRyan Adams (1989) A dark rewrite of an infectious Taylor Swift original? Sure, why not.
  28. One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)Wilco (The Whole Love) Eleven minutes of a murder mystery wrapped up in an NPR-friendly arrangement? Sure, why not.
  29. Moonshine Blues [live 1962 10 at Gaslight Café, New York City]Bob Dylan (The Gaslight Tapes [live 1962 10 at Gaslight Café, New York City]) A stark folk original and probably the most harrowing version ever recorded? Sure, why not.
  30. BladesteelDaniel Lanois (Here Is What Is) Four minutes of slide guitar with New Orleans drums by Lanois? Sure why not.
  31. AmyRyan Adams (Heartbreaker) A track that opens with Adams’ most annoying verse melody, but transitions into his most heartbreaking chorus melody? Sure why not.
  32. Stanwell PerpetualDavid Grubbs (The Spectrum Between) Three minutes of unresolved tension building with the horn section from Camoufleur? Sure, why not.
  33. The Things I SayJoanna Newsom (Divers) A straight folk track that resolves to an ascending backtracked vocal cliffhanger conclusion? Sure, why not.
  34. UntitledR.E.M. (Green) Michael Stipe’s paean to his parents? Sure, why not.
  35. Sun Is ShiningThe Fireman (Electric Arguments) Electronica by Paul McCartney and Youth? Sure, why not.

New mix: My timing that flawed

Midsummer, so time for another mix. At some point I’ll break this meta-thing I have where the mix starts out party and ends up somber, but this will not be the mix to break the pattern.

A few track notes in line below.

  1. Blind Man Can See ItJames Brown (In the Jungle Groove). This is a classic James Brown groove with nothing much else going on, but it’s on here for the first 30 second snippet of Brown talking with the drummer. Dag-a-dag-a-dag-a…
  2. Jungle GroveBuckshot LeFonque (Music Evolution). I had written off Buckshot LeFonque as a kind of lazy exercise after the first album. I finally got around to checking out the second (and last) platter Branford’s gang waxed, and I’m glad I did. This track features some seriously hot playing as the group plays some live jungle.
  3. Blue Line SwingerYo La Tengo (Prisoners Of Love). Yeah, I know, there are probably a bunch of live cuts of this that are better, but this is the one I first learned to love.
  4. Lotus FlowerRadiohead (The King of Limbs). Get your Thom Yorke dance on.
  5. Song Of The StarsDead Can Dance (Spirit Chaser). Get your mid-90s cultural appropriation dance on.
  6. The Great CurveTalking Heads (Remain In Light). I think this is the only track on this album that hadn’t previously made it onto a mix tape.
  7. OptimisticRadiohead (Kid A). To think that I once considered this the happy song on this album.
  8. IdiotequeVirginia Sil’hooettes (Best of BOCA: The First 20 Years). I know, I know. But honestly I was blown away by what these Hoos could do in the studio.
  9. Ascension DayTalk Talk (Laughing Stock). I’m still not sure what this song is about, but I do know that I haven’t been able to stop playing this album since I finally picked it up a few years ago.
  10. Total TrashSonic Youth (Daydream Nation). Is it bad that reading Kim’s autobiography made me want to listen to Sonic Youth songs that weren’t sung by Kim?
  11. You Get What You DeserveBig Star (#1 Record – Radio City). Ditto the comment on track 6.
  12. Nicotine & GravyBeck (Midnite Vultures). Okay, here we go. I enjoyed this album ironically when it came out, now I just enjoy it. “I’ll feed you fruit that don’t exist/I’ll leave graffiti where you’ve never been kissed/I’ll do your laundry, massage your soul/Then turn you over to the highway patrol.”
  13. BeykatYoussou N’Dour (Joko From Village To Town). I could listen to Youssou sing anything, even a track that would be at home on a Europop radio station.
  14. Rose ParadeElliott Smith (Either/Or). Haven’t been able to let go of this one.
  15. Prïtourïtze PlaninataBulgarian State Television Female Choir (Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares). Another album I came to late, and can’t stop listening to.
  16. Love Will Tear Us ApartJune Tabor & Oysterband (Ragged Kingdom). Surprising how well this works.
  17. Nothing But HeartLow (C’mon). Fighting through.
  18. Cherry Chapstick (Acoustic Version)Yo La Tengo (Today Is the Day! – EP). Have loved this tune for a long time in its original form. The acoustic is wistful and summer afternoonish.
  19. Into DustMazzy Star (So Tonight That I Might See). Another track that echoes around my head when it’s quiet. 
  20. Fading AwayThe Church (Gold Afternoon Fix). This may not have been the album that The Church wanted to make—stories of their fights with the producer and their despair at LA and their label are plenty—but it’s still an album that I know almost every track on.
  21. Bye Bye Beauté (Coralie Clement) – Nada Surf (if I had a hi-fi). Not the first time I’ve bought an album based on a cover. I originally wasn’t taken by too many songs on this cover album but this one kept at me, thank goodness.
  22. A Mother’s Last Word To Her Daughter Washington Phillips (The Half Ain’t Never Been Told, Vol. 1). Very little dulcimer work in the gospel music I’ve heard. This is a fascinating track to sign off this mix as we go and see the King.