First Mixtape Monday of 2010

The Only One Loving You- Lee Fields

Slow burner with that straight from the 70’s soul sound.  Not even Al Green could have sung this better and that vintage sound mmmm, how was it this song only came out in 2009?

Handle With Care- Traveling Wilburys

Super-group in the truest sense, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne.  All these men had a career by themselves, here they aren’t focused on the money, just on music and having fun and it shows and trading off vocals is a nice touch; Lynne, Petty, and Dylan form a tight backing harmony and both Orbison and Harrison have nice leads.  Nice guitar and harmonica touches too.

Wind Phoenix (Proper Name)- Cymbals Eat Guitars

Great new song by one of the finest new bands of 2009.  The swirling arrangement, tight organic harmonies and compelling narrative make this song work.

Sky Blue Sky- Wilco

I had long forgotten about the timelessness of this song until I heard it reworked in a simple accordion and acoustic guitar arrangement.  There is always beauty in simplicity.

Save Me From What I Want- St. Vincent

Another musician that came up big in 2009, think Fiest and Carly Simon with Of Montreal like touches, surreal and beautiful.

Sexy Sadie- The Beatles

Sadie is an underrated masterpiece by John Lennon.  Completely frustrated with how things with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had turned out, Lennon put his sardonic wit to the task , taking an innocent 50’s progression and turning upside down, this music had been Lennon’s influence and were always ripe with stories of falling in/ finding your love. This time he had the love and now he wants it gone. The uplift of the bridge only to bring things back to where they were before symbolizes Lennon’s message perfectly, they thought they had found enlightenment and realized they were taken advantage of.  This dry production and 50’s rock and roll style arrangement would be a hallmark of Lennon’s solo career.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun- The Beatles

Because everything about this song is masterfully done, the arrangement, the illustrative lyricism, the biting delivery and again a revamp of 50’s rock progressions.  No one could describe the dark side of psychedelics and isolation like Lennon could.

Beware of Darkness- George Harrison

By the time The Beatles were at their end Harrison had so many songs written that Lennon and McCartney didn’t care to listen to or put time into fleshing it out.  Their loss because All Things Must Pass was a triple album masterpiece.  What Harrison had over the other two in terms of songwriting was the depth and intense mood, his touch for lyrics is also underrated, often encompassing a deeper subject matter than Lennon or McCartney ever attempted, and he never came off fake.  Beware of Darkness is one of the albums best, the lyricism is beautiful poetry, the arrangement is vastly benefited by the Wall of Sound production and the guitar solo on this one is good too.

The Pageant of The Bizarre- Zero 7

Like a carnival at night, only with singing, wonderfully done.

Black Rain, Black Rain- A.A. Bondy

There is a quality so undefinable, so comforting and soothing in a man backed with only his words and his acoustic guitar, and in all those former terms, this is one of the best.

Green Grass (Tom Waits cover)- Pascal Fricke

It’s 3 am on a Paris street, an intimate performance, and heck its written by Tom Waits, just listen to it already.

Thunder Road- Bruce Springsteen

This isn’t just simply a song or music, this is a movie, this has it all. The dream of escape and youth wrapped up in energy and excitement.

Darkness on the Edge of Town- Bruce Springsteen

With Born to Run lying in the dust behind him, his dreams of youth behind him, Bruce was beginning to see things a little darker.  This song touches on it perfectly, theres darkness at the edges and its beginning to leak in, but the arrangement pulls it off beautifully, understated, with glimmers of hope, because hope is never fully gone.

First Night- The Hold Steady

It’s almost like the first left turn out of the edge of the town Bruce spoke of lay this song, beautiful dark and simple.

Karen- The National

Power in simplicity, and it helps when you have a voice like that.

Like It Or Not (Version 2)- Architecture in Helsinki

It’s a party in a song and everybody is invited.

Long Distance Operator (Outtake)- The Band

It’s like The Band is in your living room having a jam, you can’t help but feel wonderful listening to it.

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