Mixtape Monday Presents: Barn Burning Night in Brooklyn

After a little hiatus Mixtape Monday is back! Enjoy the rootsy, organic, and acoustically heavy mix featuring some great bands both old and new and some you’ve probably never heard of.  Everything’s free (if you want to download a song, just right click and save target/link as) but please do try to support the artists responsible for the tremendous music.  The full mix after the jump.

Continue reading Mixtape Monday Presents: Barn Burning Night in Brooklyn

Mixtape Monday!: European Oils, Pretty Wings, and Stranger Things

Pretty Wings- Maxwell

Maxwell dominates the song with a Marvin Gaye like croon and the backing is excellent, soft but not too soft (a problem that most neo soul suffers from) and well crafted and placed vocal harmonies.  Some nice Curtis Mayfield styled horn work on this one too.

European Oils- Destroyer

In prior days, I wouldn’t have listened to the song on the assumption from the name alone that it was some average metal band but whether it was out of ironic intention or not this band sells itself short by its name.  Take Marc Bolan’s singing (from T-Rex…Bang a Gong) with a little of David Bowie and song structure and back it with absolutely beautiful (Pink Floydesque) instrumentation and you might have an idea what these guys are like.  Best use of a pitch bender i’ve ever heard.

Impressions of the Past- Megafaun

In this day and age instrumental, or in this case mostly instrumental songs are few and far between in rock bands, whether its because everyone’s focused on producing a hit single or they don’t have the instrumental ability its hard to say, however this song is nothing short of masterful. Pastoral and vast and never predictable.

What Light- Wilco

Wilco is a grower of a band, the more songs you hear by them, the more you like them.  This one? think of Bob Dylan dipped in country.

O Children- Nick Cave

When those backing gospel singers come in, this track goes from good to spectacular.

Stranger Things- Local Natives

Remember this name because they’re gonna be big in 2010 because as a emerging band they have all the pieces in place.

Black- Okkervil River

A band that should be recognized more than the fan base it has, cohesive arrangements and a good dynamic lead singer, they’re a band you can put on at anytime.

Neon Filler- Howie Gelb

A beautiful slow beginning and a voice that is unmistakable, spoken like a poem.

Ramble On Rose- The Grateful Dead

The Dead as much as they have their rabid following, also have their numerous detractors saying they often weren’t cohesive as a live band, noodling on drug fueled jams that didn’t always work, however all parts are in fine form here, taken from the Europe ’72 Double LP and Jerry Garcia contributes a fine succinct guitar solo along with it.

Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken- Camera Obscura

Is anyone really ready to be heartbroken? The music will certainly make you think so.

Chicago At Night- Spoon

Spoon already has that night atmosphere to them, their arrangements always hiding their surprises in the shadows and Britt Daniel just has enough grit in his voice to make things more interesting.

Two Tickets To Paradise (Eddie Money Cover)- Eef Barzelay

Once in a great while there comes a cover that breathes a new life into the song, an interpretation that makes you think about the song in ways you hadn’t before, this is one of those.

We Talk Like Machines- Savior Adore

A driving beat to perk your interest and an interesting harmony dynamic to keep you going.

They Never Got You- Spoon

They really know how to nail down that something’s lurking feeling don’t they.

What I Mean To You- Justin Townes Earle

Country is so often overdone in lyrical themes, drinking and heartbreak, but this organic production brings a new interest to this listener, the lyrics are understated, not overwrought and its one of those melodies that will keep with you for weeks.

When I Said Goodbye- Mayer Hawthorne

Outstanding harmonies with a classic soul vibe, not bad for a white guy from Detroit, in fact its nothing short of fantastic.

Aeroplanes and Nicotine Canaries

Gone, Gone, Gone- Colin Farell

Yes, before you ask, that is Colin Farell the actor, and how did he come out better than most country acts around today? Well he’s got a great voice, you’re gonna be asking yourself is this really an irish dude the whole time? That and he’s got T. Bone Burnett who is a great producer (of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou fame) helping provide the instrumental authenticity, sure its a song from his new movie Crazy Heart but just because its part of a movie soundtrack doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

Uh-Huh- Wu-Tang Clan/The Beatles

A couple years back, The Beatles were my Bible, and any deviations or covers of their songs I could never come to terms with, they never captured the same magic as the originals.  But then mashups came on to the scene, The Grey Album was one of the first and one of the best, and shot DJ Dangermouse into being the superstar producer he is today.  What I like about this particular track is it takes the instrumental from a Beatles song that I thought always had a great instrumental backing but lacked in lyrics, the crazy (You Know My Name) Look Up the Number.  This mashup fixes the lyrical inadequacy with its rapping, and you never thought a Beatles sample could sound so fitting.

Where My Fortune Lies- Auld Lang Syne

Just a beautifully delivered, organic song with a little The Band meets The Avett Brothers flair.  The banjo is a nice touch with the hammertack piano.

Locksmith- The Gorgeous Colours

With a band name like that you have to be able to back it up with your music and they do, with a colorful guitar sound and wonderfully gorgeous and intimate vocal performance.

You Carry the Deed- Deradoorian

Some people have that special talent where no matter what surrounds them, their voice immediately brings you in.  With a softly played acoustic backing, her voice just flows out from her heart and tugs at yours.

Little Lovin’- Lissie

Another example of that special talent, Lissie is a newcomer to the music scene but has a voice beyond her years.

Lewis Takes Off His Shirt- Owen Pallett

Of of his new LP Heartland Owen Pallett is a musician in his own world, sure people might compare him to fellow violinist Andrew Bird due to their choice of instrument and vocal range, but Pallett is no one trick pony, having arranged for acts such as the Arcade Fire as well as his own material.  In short this song is otherworldly, with hooks coming in and out in ways that delight the ears.  I promise you will never hear a more inspiring song with the lyrics “I’m never gonna give it to you”.

Blue Skies- Noah and the Whale

The cathartic build up of a song that The National is famous for is played out to perfection on this song by Noah and the Whale.  Off of their new LP The First Days of Spring, a breakup album, Blue Skies has a sweeping majesty and humbleness that only the song itself can describe.

Airplanes- Local Natives

Like Modest Mouse at their finest, with better singing.

Wicked Blood- Sea Wolf

Sea Wolf, despite the unusual name manages to evoke the familiar while being entirely original, a wonderful song off of a wonderful album.

Home Sweet Home- Sad Brad Smith

Put a Sad Brad Smith song on and you’ll be hard pressed to believe that he’s only released one album, his debut, his arrangements show wisdom beyond his years and his song-craft is impeccable, just check out his song off of the Up in Air soundtrack, if you need more evidence.

The Right Place- Monsters of Folk

As The Beatles so well proved, the sum is often greater than its individual parts, all the members in Monsters of Folk have their own great respective careers, but together they have a timeless cohesive element that only bands like CSNY could match.

Nicotine Canaries- Cotton Jones

A song thats as interesting and intriguing as its name.

Getting Better- The Beatles

I don’t care what anyone says, no one will be able to ever replicate this song, the ringing guitars, the famously impeccable Beatle harmonies, the perfect mixing in of Eastern Influences and an indomitable hook.  This song is for all those times you start to wonder if they were overrated to prove just how great they were.

Hot Cookin’- G. Love and Special Sauce

I’m already sick of this cold New England winter, I want it to be summer already.  At least with this song I’m halfway, its like a beach party campfire for your ears, it just sounds, well, warm and its a catchy song to boot.

Got Nuffin’- Spoon

Driving at night throwing cares out your window.  Theres something off, lurking in the shadows but you don’t know how to explain it, you got nuffin.

Let’s Stay Together- Al Green

This song is a classic, one that solidified Al Green as a powerful presence in soul and was the soundtrack to a lot of baby making, Just to further prove Green’s genius, after hearing the instrumental he wrote the lyrics in 15 minutes, I dare you to do better.

The Mystery Zone- Spoon

Just more proof of how catchy and inventive Spoon can be.

Tides- Megafaun

A perfect closing track.