In all the hustle and bustle of last weeks midterms I didn’t get around to it but never fear, Heeerees your new Mixtape Monday!
This week features some stone cold and semi forgotten classics from the likes of; The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, and The Beatles. Served up with a side dish of relative unknowns; Jason Collett, Powderfinger, Ha Ha Tonka, Sara Jaffe, and Cults with some solid indie acts to top it off; Spoon, Dr. Dog, and Elliot Smith. Dig In. As always you can listen to the full track free below the description, and if you like it, just right click on the link above and download it. If you like what you hear, support the bands
Parts George Harrison slide guitar mastery and parts Wilco mood and instrumentation, Sorry Lori nonetheless satisfies on its own legs, with its perfect melodic build and interesting arrangement. While the first two comparisons may hit you first, they’re only the cherries of the song sundae.
It’s hard to find a Beatles song as much maligned as Old Brown Shoe. This is not to say this is a song similar to the misguided Wild Honey Pie in The Beatles, rather its much more suitable to the ears and much stronger a song. It was released as a B side single and never given an album until the 1967-1970 (or the Blue Album) compilation. However within its 3:18 minutes lies one of the greatest bass lines in rock’s, let alone the Beatles catalogue with great guitar work and its a a driving force of a song, raw and rootsy, something The Beatles sorely lacked aside from the Let it Be album, an album with many songs less well crafted than this one.
Since You’ve Been Gone- Powderfinger
While choosing their name, interestingly enough, from a Neil Young song, comparisons to the former end there. Powderfinger is however a band much like The Black Crowes, albeit even more rocking and with better crafted lyrics. Some truly great rock guitar work on this one.
Close Every Valve to Your Bleeding Heart- Ha Ha Tonka
Don’t worry, the song name does not denote the style of the band, so yes breathe a sigh of relief, this band isn’t emo. This band however has lyrical smarts, or enough to drop Dostoevsky as if an everyday term. This Missouri foursome is like a more world-weary and yet younger Bruce Springsteen, with some great acoustic to electric build-up.
Breaking Up Somebody’s Home- Albert King
I have a soft spot for the good old Stax sound, often punctuated with punchy horns and reined in with a warm organ. While Albert King doesn’t have the same recognition as B.B. (more on him later) this can’t count against him, and this blues song is stronger than most, with a great bubbly bass line.
Loving Cup- The Rolling Stones
Off of The Rolling Stones masterpiece Exile on Main Street this song has warm all over it. The piano line provided by Nicky Hopkins is at once gospel and Guaraldi (think Linus and Lucy). The arrangement builds perfectly, with the drums coming in with a fill at the chorus and some interesting little guitar parts here and there, by the end it’s almost like you’re listening to The Band with Mick Jagger at the helm.
City Livin- G. Love and Special Sauce
This song is a masterpiece of recording production, and is arrestingly and quite fittingly a tribute to the 70’s soulful sound; punchy horns, short chucking jazzy guitar chords, a bubbly bassline and some bright piano work. Say what you will about the man’s style and lyrics (which fit well on this song) but he knows his way around getting the sound he wants.
Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More- The Allman Brothers Band
Think Allman Brothers sound and you immediately associate the like terms jam-band and twin guitar leads. The twin guitar lead was heralded for good reason certainly, but a much underrated aspect to the Allman Brothers Band was Gregg Allman’s songwriting ability and piano playing, both highlighted here, a song dominated by warm piano chords, not to mention some great backing slide guitar, after all Duane Allman had started off as a session guitarist backing many a recording with his guitar, more on that later.
I was immediately struck by the similarity in chord structure between this and Lay Down Sally though both take very different twists. Jonathon Fisk is a rocker to great effect worthy of early Elvis Costello and the Attractions form, while Lay Down Sally is the kind of soft rock light that Eric Clapton got stuck on mid-career. This is a great song, the other only more well-known.
Key to the Highway- B.B. King and Eric Clapton
Off of the great Riding with the King record, this laid back take on Key to the Highway, a song that Eric Clapton had played in many a form, is perfectly organic and finely recorded, a fine example of those times where you can just feel the magic between the musicians involved.
A previously unreleased over 8 minute version of perhaps Jimi’s finest no frills blues song. If you need a reason to listen to this man with his ability to play guitar, then you’re on the wrong site.
Love Is a Dirty Word- Jason Collett
An off kilter and ear catchy rhythm, this song is as much pure ear candy and a song rooted in great melody as much as it is undefinable but above all its pure enjoyment. Think along the lines of Beck at his finest and most creative.
Dr. Dog has been reliving the 60’s of hooks and melody and arrangement for some time now, and this little piece of stylized blue-eyed soul is among the best of the decade, for not being in the decade. At once both similar to the wild sounds of The Beatles (circa I Am the Walrus and Baby You’re a Rich Man) and Traffic this song despite its decade confusion, is nonetheless worthy of its own praise.
If you’ve ever been the type who wondered, well what would MGMT sound like if they teamed up with Karen O. or Arcade Fire, well this ones for you, a perfect use of xylophone and organ interplay if there ever was one.
Aside from being among the best reads of a Beatles song, one that could actually stand on its own if not for the sheer fame of the original version, this song also features a very young Duane Allman providing some nice lead guitar, and you just know Paul McCartney wished he had this kind of soul in his vocals.
Don’t Keep Me Wonderin- The Allman Brothers Band
From Live at the Filmore East this song features a great gritty vocal by Gregg Allman and some great harmonica and slide guitar interplay as well as a barn busting slide solo, the only bad thing is its brevity, which in the light of the Allman Brothers is quite ironic indeed.
With their new album Stuck On Nothing out, I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about this band, sure they’re good building on a NYC style swagger of Mick Jagger circa 1978, I can’t help feeling that I’ve heard a band thats had similar 70’s rock swagger attached to them in this day and age.
One Week of Danger- The Virgins
Oh right, I have. Still, both of these bands are good.
This song builds layers and layers around it as it goes, and Sara Jaffe forgoes the reverb, featuring a warbly and more stark vocal. The violins add a nice touch to the whole affair, and this song is one that just will keep swirling around in your head.
Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks cover)- Elliot Smith
A cover of the Kinks done by indie darling Elliot Smith?! This song screams hipster, but don’t lash out just yet, Smith manages to deliver his own unique take on the tune and the sheer raw acoustic take of it only adds to its charm.