Talkin’ Turkey: A Mixtape

Just in time for everybody to tuck in to the most lazy and food filled day of the year. As always the tracks are all free downloads, but support these wonderful artists if you can.

Man Who Lives Forever (Rollo & Grady Session)- Lord Huron

Lord Huron has been a band that is constantly defying my expectations, they’re due out for a well deserved full length album this coming year and if Man Who Lives Forever is any indication of where their sound is going, look for them to be all over the indie airwaves next year.

Man Who Lives Forever- Lord Huron

Song to Sing When I’m Lonely- John Frusciante

Possibly the greatest talent to emerge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante has shown that he’s no one trick pony and a masterful songwriter in his own right, Song To Sing When I’m Lonely is one of my favorites, starting with a melody right out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Song To Sing When I’m Lonely- John Frusciante

Fletcher- Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper have the new Americana sound locked down on their most recent full length, American Goldwing. Think of it as Wilco with a little more drawl and optimism.  Not many bands these days can write a narrative as compelling as this Portland group.

Fletcher- Blitzen Trapper

Coeur D’Alene- The Head and The Heart

Critics of The Head and the Heart stated that their debut album was filled with derivative sounds of Americana, on “Coeur D’Alene”  all they can note is a perfectly crafted pop song.

Coeur D’Alene- The Head and The Heart

I Stopped Missing You Today- Stone Darlings

Stone Darling is an all-girl group that single-handedly defies the label.

I Stopped Missing You Today- Stone Darling

More Than Muscle- Luke Temple

Quite possibly my favorite song of 2011 with its off-kilter rhythms and technicolor arrangements, Temple lures you in with the first few notes and by the time his charming lilt comes into the fore there’s no letting go.

More than Muscle- Luke Temple

Handwriting- White Denim

White Denim is one of those bands that can make prodigious skill seem par for the course for their songwriting, “Handwriting” being an intriguing guitar run through that makes you wonder how they’re playing what they’re playing and can still mold it into a conventional song form.  The pedal steel puts a nice touch.

Handwriting- White Denim

Freeze Out- Snorri Helgason

If not the best thing to come out of Iceland, by far he is the most underrated. Sure his name might never be commonplace in pop music but he is as well deserving as any singer-songwriter out there right now.

Freeze Out- Snorri Helgason

The Only Way- Gotye

Gotye shows the creative intensity that we used to expect out of Beck, but this Australian troubadour proves his equal and more through his clever approach at arrangements and his chameleon vocals.

The Only Way- Gotye

Livin’ In The Jungle- Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears seem intent on bringing R&B back to what it once was, the hard propulsive blues that brought the Black Keys into prominence with Brothers only with more of a funky kick and a wicked horn section.

Livin’ in the Jungle – Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

I’ll Walk Away- James Hunter

James Hunter wowed Van Morrison with his debut Believe What I Say even getting the man himself to duet on a couple tracks with him, if Sam Cooke had managed to live to old age this croon might be what we were in for.

I`ll Walk Away- James Hunter

Million Dollar Bill- Dawes

When it hits me that she’s gone/  I think i’ll run for president/ Get my face put on the million dollar bill/ So when these rich men that she wants/ Show her ways they can’t take care of her/ I’ll have found a way to be there with her still

Within the opening of “Million Dollar Bill” Taylor Goldsmith managed to portray the sadness, jealousy, and ultimately love that’s still present when your lover has left you. Proof why he’s one of the greatest songwriters of his generation.

Million Dollar Bill- Dawes

I Found You- Alabama Shakes

Otis Redding reincarnated in girl form, no other description should be necessary.

I Found You- Alabama Shakes

Soulless- Fake Problems

Who said people couldn’t write upbeat rock songs anymore.

Soulless- Fake Problems

Big Man- Boy & Bear

It wouldn’t be the farthest stretch to compare this band with Mumford & Sons, but that would greatly undermine the talent present in this group, the lyrics and vocals alone on this song should guarantee them recognition for album of the year (and yes, the rest of the album is fine too).

Big Man- Boy & Bear
From The Start- Tiger Waves

For the acoustic guitars and the rolling drum fills that propel this song along and the endearing harmonies that go along with it. Who couldn’t like a band called Tiger Waves? And you call yourselves American.

From The Start- Tiger Waves

The Understanding- Jones Street Station

No matter how many incarnations there was and will always be of tight harmonies and acoustic fingerpicking, it will always sound good, and Jones Street Station isn’t about to change that. But they certainly liven the arrangement up to great success.

The Understanding- Jones Street Station

Mighty- Lord Huron

The yearning for discovery and the search for happiness and the unknown all bottled up into one song, but it’s more than a song, it’s a whole world.

Mighty- Lord Huron

Mixtape Monday 2010 vol. 2

Lives of Crime- Fruit Bats

Remember how Garden State made the little known band The Shins smash hit indie darlings, how exciting it was to be hearing, discovering this new band along with Zach Braff’s character when he put on those huge headphones.  Well the Fruit Bats just might be next with one of there songs (When U Love Somebody) featured on the soundtrack of Youth in Revolt the new Michael Cera vehicle, which is bound to attract the indie masses because it’s Michael Cera.  Fruit Bats are from the same mold as The Shins, refreshingly inventive and retrospective at the same time.

New Kind of Love- Plants and Animals

Few bands have the skill to make a song 6 + minutes entirely listenable.  Plants  and Animals are one of the few, this song comes off like a mellowed Arcade Fire meeting with an ethereal Nick Drake, the arrangement is vast but at the same time endearing and homespun, and an absolute blast with headphones.

The Bed’s Too Big Without You- The Police

The Police weren’t entirely unknown at the time, Roxanne and Can’t Stand Losing You and So Lonely had guaranteed that on their previous debut effort.  Regatta de Blanc showcased their new signature sound and pushed them into stardom and this song is an oft forgotten highlight of the album.

Witness Blues- A.A. Bondy

Bob Dylan affected his audience so well due to his direct approach and wonderful narrative lyrics, A.A. Bondy may just be the closest comparison to the Dylan mystique and he well deserves it.

La Mar – The Beautiful Girls

Achingly introspective and beautifully understated, this song reaches into your emotions and doesn’t let go.  The lo-fi production and simple acoustic arrangement only make this song better.

Anne- John Frusciante

Sans the Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante is a wholly new animal.  Featuring a Cat Stevens-esque croon, Anne starts out stark with beautiful acoustic accompaniment before expanding into a full blown creative arrangement.  A wonderful talent.

Joe’s Waltz- The Dodos

Many bands have their own sound, but the Dodos go even further, there is no other band that features their musical DNA, inventive in their arrangements and deceptively simple, they make a waltz sound like an entirely new style.

The Danger Zone- Susan Tedeschi

Susan Tedeschi isn’t the only country and blues styled guitar slinging singer but she’s one of the best, with a voice that belongs in a category alongside Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, and Aretha Franklin.

Willow Tree- G. Love and Special Sauce

I dream for the day that Beck and G. Love collaborate for they both have their own genius touch on blending musical styles, for now this is the closest I’ll get. Creative, laid back groove and tight soulful harmony.

Caught by the River- The Doves

The song you wished Coldplay and Oasis had written so you wouldn’t feel so guilty for saying you liked them, vast and beautifully arranged.

Help Yourself- Sad Brad Smith

Featured in Up in Air, this song harkens back to the best of CSNY and Simon and Garfunkel with beautiful harmonies and acoustic guitars going back and forth and yet with an arrangement that’s completely original, just one of those songs where beautiful seems to be the only word that fits perfectly. I don’t care if Up in Air wins any awards for its film merits, but it should for this song.

Please Be Patient With Me- Wilco

As great of a full band Wilco is, they have a magical quality when they tone it down to just guitars and vocals.

For No One- The Beatles

Eleanor Rigby gets a lot of credit for it, but mark my words; in terms of arrangement, production, lyrics and delivery, For No One is simply one of the best songs in the entire Beatles catalogue and is Paul McCartney’s lonely masterpiece and its over far too soon.

Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll)- George Harrison

Simply put, the best all around song on All Things Must Pass the arrangement is full of mystical and haunting beauty and proves once and for all George’s ability as a songwriter.

Futures- Zero 7

Wonderfully unique in its arrangement and production with a beautiful voice to boot.  One of those melodies that will just keep rolling around in your head, a brooding kind of song.

American Hearts- A.A. Bondy

The most beautifully written piece of Americana this decade, Dylan himself would be green with envy.

Take Me Out of the City- Dawes

Not many bands can tone down their arrangement and let their harmonies dominate to create a song of utter beauty.  Dawes is one of them and it would be hard to find a band who does it better.