School’s almost out and the weather keeps getting nicer, the sun brighter, what better way then to celebrate with a summertime mix. This time around, Mixtape Monday truly is a mixtape, the playlist is meant to be listened to in track order and I hope you enjoy. Here’s looking forward to Summer ’10.
While the previous post Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga has more of a city at night atmosphere to it, G. Love’s The Hustle and Lemonade are pure and sweet summer efforts. The vibe going in and out,bright rock to organic, and funky to campfire acoustic like waves dancing to and fro with the shore. While his pal Jack Johnson is better known for his appreciation of the laid back style, G. Love is no slouch and while his varying styles have kept his albums interesting over the years he lacked cohesion until he joined forces with Brushfire Records, Johnson’s label. G. Love (or Garrett Dutton) has since expressed that he wasn’t a fan of the mainstream record labels, saying there was too much push for lead singles rather than time to focus on albums, at Brushfire he would have ample time to produce what he wanted with complete creative leeway. The Hustle would be his first effort for the label, dropping in 2004 with radio friendly Booty Call and Back of the Bus, the former an entertaining narrative, the latter a nonsensical song with a chorus that just wouldn’t keep out of your head. Lemonade would follow two years later, filled with guest appearances that only augment the album, rather than harm its integrity, both are perfect for summer, and a little warm weather music is just what we need right now.
Astronaut is one hell of a ride, an updated blue romp, you’d be hard pressed to find any song by Led Zeppelin or the Who that matches the sheer intensity of the drumming on this one. G. Love and his boys had something to prove and their energy on this one is fantastic.
G. Love is back to his upbeat funky romp style on this one, and let me give you a hint, he’s not talking about sitting on a boat with a fishing rod. Nice guitar and organ work on this one as well as a very catchy hook (no pun intended).
G. Love has a habit of ending all of his albums with just him alone with his acoustic guitar, and often its the most endearing on the album, its just a perfect late afternoon song, when the sun’s going down and the sky is beginning to get dark.
A nice easy groove of a song that again features great instrumentation and production, the addition of a viola is a nice touch along with the guitars organ bass and drums. Love the Ray Charles styled organ solo 3/4 the way through.
This song features Blackalicious as guest rappers and it’s a great match of musical styles, almost Gorillaz-esque in how it plays out with a more organic focus, with organ, clavinet, and harmonica helping with the arrangement.
This song features G. Love with his longtime friend Jasper, a rapper who judging by this record should be well known. The organic sample is absolutely on fire, with a bouncing bass line and circular guitar licks and a nice back beat.
You can almost feel the heat of a long hot summers day listening to this song. Great production and guest appearances by Ben Harper and Marc Broussard. A nice slow burner that wouldn’t be out of place in Beck’s catalogue. Great harmonies throughout too.
Featuring pretty much the same words as The Hustle on the album previous, whats great is the instrumental arrangement and overall production. The circular guitar line, the solid drumming funky back beat, the swelling buildup of the music and the nicely placed backing harmonies.
My favorite song on the album and one of my favorite songs ever, starting with a mellow upright bass intro, the song opens up into an acoustic duet between Tristan Prettyman and G. Love whose voices match perfectly as well as their different vocal styles. A great production mix of hand drumming and standard drumming with nice string additions and warmly recorded acoustic and electric guitars. Just a song you can put on repeat for days.
The original was a disco meets new wave stylized single, this cover breathes new life into the melody and arrangement with mandolins banjos upright bass and a sublime guitar solo. I’d never thought I’d hear a man cover Blondie so well.
I found this band by way of covers its lead singer (Eef Barzelay) had done. Yet this original shows they are capable of more than just cover band fare, like a less grating R.E.M. with some vintage Rolling Stones guitar thrown in, this song builds and builds, your enjoyment growing along with it.
Most of you might recognize this song as being in the Fender myTouch commercial, and its a sweet song. Clapton made a career of sunny eyed blues numbers like this, the hook is undeniable and the lyrics are heartfelt.
Both are masters of the laid back acoustic vibe, so its no surprise how the arrangement plays out, whats special is their harmony, tight and organic, you can tell these guys really respect each other and they play off each other really well.
The Kooks had so much energy on their debut that it was no surprise success caught on quickly, but the Kooks aren’t a flash in the pan, their melodies are tight their dynamics are perfect and they single-handedly carry guitar rock on their backs with the riffs in this song.
Culled from the Curtis/Live album, MM S &W is a lesson in band dynamics with the drummer so deep in the pocket of the groove he makes Mitch Mitchell seem like an amateur, the harmonies are wonderfully placed with the guitar and this whole track just moves. The beauty of Mayfield isn’t that his melodys go to crazy places, its the movement and inspiration within them, and on those terms theres no one better.
Why this song? Well Martin Luther King Jr. using it as inspiration for his civil rights goals is a sure good reason, and Curtis Mayfield greatly inspired Jimi Hendrix’s playing style on guitar, if you even needed another one.