Southland Summer- A Mixtape

southlandsummer

Growing up, summer was synonymous with music in my house.  The soundtrack was a mixture of the down home roots of Prairie Home Companion, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, and the southern gumbo of Little Feat. I’ve probably heard the refrain of “Oh Atlanta” more times than I will ever set foot in the state of Georgia for a lifetime, and that’s a title that both Alison Krauss and Little Feat share.

So i guess it’s to be expected that I’ve always been partial to happy music, summer music that brings me back to childhood, and songs that seem to tug just a little tighter in the midst of summer.  Now, with the dog days of summer upon us, I thought I’d put together a  mixtape. Part southern barbecue, part sitting on the back porch watching the sunset, and incredibly warm. Track list, Spotify playlist* and link after the jump.

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Summertime

It’s been a while but Art of The Mixtape is back in action with a mixtape for these good old summer days whether its lying on a beach, grilling dinner, or just relaxing in your own home, these grooves should put you in the perfect mood for the summer months.  This mixtape features classics from artists like George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon, Little Feat, Bob Marley, and Miles Davis, as well as some artists you may not have heard of. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the tunes.

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Campfire Songs

Hello folks, welcome back to a brand new year of Art of the Mixtape.  To help kick it off I bring you a nice bucolic little mixture of some great songs.

1. Greatest Show On Earth- The Felice Brothers

On their eponymous debut, The Felice Brothers very much earned their label of following in the tradition of Bob Dylan and The Band.  Perhaps what is most impressive is their narrative ability, delivering slices of Americana in a world weary mood.  However, “Greatest Show On Earth” stands out with its jaunty New Orleans infused melody.  Come for the story, stay for the music.

Greatest Show On Earth- The Felice Brothers

2. Fables-  The Dodos

The Dodos burst onto the San Francisco music scene with a unique drumming centric sound, but don’t let that scare you, they’re very much a rootsy rock band with a percussive twist.  Many of their other songs showcase a more daring aesthetic but “Fables” is a very endearing acoustic standout with a nice vocal to boot.

Fables- The Dodos

3. Jackhammer- The Spinto Band

This song has a bag full of production tricks around every corner, and it’s done very well. I love songs that continue to surprise their listener.

Jackhammer (Slim Version)- The Spinto Band

4.  Oslo Campfire- Port O’Brien

You’ll be hooked from the very beginning of this number by the unfortunately little known Port O’Brien, very much a cousin to The Shins output circa “New Slang”, the guitar/vocal/drum hook is amazing.

Oslo Campfire- Port O’Brien

5. Snake- Frightened Rabbit

A nice little lilting acoustic number.

Snake- Frightened Rabbit

6. Stepping Stones- G. Love and Special Sauce

A delightful little modern blues number with a very catchy chorus

Stepping Stones- G. Love and Special Sauce

7. Ruminant Band- Fruit Bats

Hearing this song, you’d be very surprised to learn that it was not recorded in the 70’s, but in a good way.

The Ruminant Band- Fruit Bats

 

8. I’ll Be Back- The Beatles

One of the oft-overlooked numbers from a tremendous album,  A Hard Day’s Night

I’ll Be Back- The Beatles

 

9. The Cave- Mumford & Sons

A very energetic number from an up-and-coming folksy band out of England.

The Cave- Mumford & Sons

 

10. Hiroshima- Blake Mills

Blake Mills came out with a very under-promoted debut and his number “Hiroshima” is delightful ear candy that grows from the likes of worthy predecessors such like the homegrown material of Paul McCartney’s McCartney and Ram, absolutely beautiful melody, before a slide guitar solo comes out of nowhere sounding like Duane Allman coming from the dead.

Hiroshima- Blake Mills

11. Mightiest of Guns- A.A. Bondy

One of those perfect songs.

Mightiest Of Guns- A.A. Bondy

 

12. Steel On Steel- J. Tillman

A very charming and upbeat number, with a great horn melody and diverse instrumentation.

Steel On Steel- J. Tillman

 

13. I Summon You- Spoon

Spoon has been hard pressed to beat the overall feeling of this song and for good reason, it’s a straight up classic.

I Summon You- Spoon

 

14. All Day Day Light- The Morning Benders

Great production, arrangement, vocal, on “All Day Day Light” The Morning Benders do everything right.

All Day Day Light- The Morning Benders

 

15. Timshel- Mumford & Sons

Detractors would say that they took this directly out of the book of previous acts like Fleet Foxes, they would be right, but they do it so well that its hardly an insult, their harmonies are gorgeous.

Timshel- Mumford & Sons

16. Let The Distance Keep Us Together- Spoon/ Bright Eyes

Spoon can create a great melody out of anything, but when they write great lyrics to go with it, there’s hardly a modern band that can compete with them.

Let the Distance Keep Us Together- Spoon/Bright Eyes

17. Change of Time- Josh Ritter

Perhaps no man is better qualified to write a finger-picked acoustic piece of Americana than one who went to Oberlin and graduated with a self made major in “American History through Narrative Folk Music”

Change of Time- Josh Ritter

18. Frankie’s Gun- The Felice Brothers

If you had any doubts about the following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan and The Band label, well here’s your proof.

Frankie’s Gun!- The Felice Brothers

19. Ain’t No Tellin’- Mississippi John Hurt

This beautiful little ending number is reaching your ears all the way back from 1928.

Ain’t No Tellin’- Mississippi John Hurt

A Hog-Wild, Labor Day Barbecue Mixtape

The end of summer always comes way too quickly for my liking but luckily for everyone summer puts its last gasp into Labor Day weekend, a weekend reserved for high school kids to deal with the after shock of being back at school and one last summer barbecue for family and friends together.  To celebrate I’ve put together a sweet soulful compilation of some of the best soul the fifties, sixties and seventies had to offer. Punchy, bright, supple and warm, these numbers will put a little kick into your afternoon and bring you into the night. Remember, all the tracks listed here are free (just right-click on the link and save target/link as), but please, if you like them, support the artists. The mix after the jump

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