Smell that, smells like freedom, that’s right I’m finally free from the yoke of college (for the summer at least) so thanks y’all for the patience on this mixtape but the finals were calling and I couldn’t have them leave a message. I’m excited for this one to drop ladies and gentleman, high hitting, in the pocket funky grooves and outstanding performances, new and old and definitely fresh.
1. The E Street Shuffle- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Before his reputation preceded him, Bruce and his band was an excellent capable of handling many a jam, Bruce Springsteen’s guitar playing honed to be specifically the fastest one out there, people would reminisce saying jamming with Bruce was like jamming with Einstein, and sure with that great intro and that lively danceable street sound, you can’t help but be blown away by the funky rhythm and lyrical imagery, all cased in a warm recording, and that frenetic breakdown at the end shows that those claims about being the fastest player out there don’t fall on deaf ears.
2. Dicey Street Blues- Barton Fink
Frankly, I don’t even know how this track appeared on my iTunes but I’m glad it did, simply one of the best bass groves I’ve heard in a while and great dirty funky back-beat with clever studio improvisation.
3. Anyone’s Ghost- The National
I usually love to hate The National because they’ve gotten so big, but this song I can’t even bring myself to hate, I just hate that The National are so damn good.
4. Tightrope (feat. Big Boi)- Janelle Monae
Don’t be fooled by the rapper featured on the track, this is an all out funky jam, and on this song alone Janelle stands to be the next James Brown, albeit in female form. Her vocal acrobatics are only matched by her live presence and i implore you to check out her live performance from Letterman here . A great track.
5. Pump It Up- Elvis Costello
Back in the day, Elvis Costello didn’t just write great pop songs, he had a frenetic new wave punk way of doing it, full of energy and danceable grooves and Pump it Up is one of his finest.
6. Now We’re Gone- Kings Go Forth
I’ve featured these guys on here before, but the drums, man check out those drums!
7. Oliver’s Army- Elvis Costello
Containing subtle hints of Bruce Springsteen’s The River, Oliver’s Army is one of those happy go lucky songs where the lyrics tell a different story.
8. 109- Toro Y Moi
For those of you who’ve heard the lo-fi summer style that is Best Coast, Toro Y Moi one ups the ante providing an instant summer classic melody fueled by reverbed bright guitar and sun faded vocals.
9. So Long Marianne (Leonard Cohen)- Beck’s Record Club
Beck does a great job reworking the arrangement of this song, Leonard Cohen has never sounded so urgent and funky at the same time.
10. Leave Everywhere- Toro Y Moi
Another great summer style song from the Best Coast styled Toro Y Moi.
11. He’s A Rebel (The Crystals)- The Morning Benders
Chris Chu proves he knows this music when he pulls out this old girl group classic to cover and his voice is ideal for an acoustic lo-fi backdrop. Great cover.
12. Pressure Drop (Toots & The Maytals)- Robert Palmer
Few white guys can pull off reggae covers, no matter in what state of mind they are, Robert Palmer is one of the few exceptions.
13. Enough is Enough- Jamie Lidell
Same thing goes for white guys pulling off full blown soul, but Jamie Lidell manages to hold the line between Jackson 5 melody and Stevie Wonder delivery in this upbeat funky number.
14. I’m Not The One- The Black Keys
There’s a certain sound that is hard to express in any other terms than being The Black Key’s themselves. They’ve perfected the slow funky blues groove and passionate affecting vocal melodies.
15. Two Sisters In Love- The Dig
I love the off setting melody in this one, perfectly matching the title, sisterly love is twisted, and so is this tale, think of a more imaginative The Strokes.
16. Shake-Ya- Hacienda
A slow summer day at the beach, the guitar chords are the sun and the rhythm is the waves, and the vocals are the good mood all around.
17. My Milkshake (Soul version)- Hugh Willett
I included a little demo of my own, so shoot me, but demo or not, I think this version beats the original.
18. Everything Hits At Once- Spoon
A Spoon full of melody makes the mixtape go down great.
19. The Home- Portugal. The Man
Great piece of rock songwriting here; great harmony vocals, guitar melody, and in the pocket backing.
20. Sweet Talking Woman- E.L.O.
This song would be nothing more than a guilty pleasure if the melody and chorus wasn’t so damn good.