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.
Dancin’ With Dabrowski: Prepping for Lollapalooza
Art of the Mixtape welcomes back the guest feature Dancin’ With Dabrowski where John has taken the time to put together a playlist of the acts to watch at the festival this year, his playlist after the jump.
Continue reading Dancin’ With Dabrowski: Prepping for Lollapalooza
Mixtape Monday: Naive Rainbows and Silver Souls
Heart of Glass (Blondie)- Brady Harris
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.
I’ve Got A Rock and Roll Heart- Eric Clapton
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.
This song starts like a behemoth, the harmonies and organ and guitar providing an airy landscape, one of those songs meant for headphones, where you can be in your own world.
Regina Holding Hands- White Denim
The guitars draw you in, the vocals keep you, and the arrangement keeps it interesting for multiple listens. Don’t sleep on this one.
It’s a cover of a Ritchie Valens song, but this reading is so beautiful that it goes far beyond the label, the arrangement conveys heartbreak and the lyrics break your heart.
Theeere Back! I just can’t get enough of this band, with their endlessly endearing vocals, creative and ever changing arrangements and strong hooks.
Rainbow- G. Love (With Jack Johnson)
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.
Grace is Gone- Dave Matthews Band
I’m not one to give DMB credit where they’re not due but this song is great. The melody is classic, its sung beautifully, soft and understated with lyrics to match.
Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands- Phoenix
Phoenix covering one of the greatest songs Bob Dylan ever laid to tape, a late night brood of a song, they stay faithful to the original but its nice to hear someone else take it on.
Swagger, this band has it, from the arrangement to the singing down to the lyrics. Think of an updated version of Some Girls era Rolling Stones, except straight from the heart of NYC.
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.
Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey)- Curtis Mayfield
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 one in particular? In terms of its dreamy psychedelics and melodic fluidity, this song was the Holy Grail Pink Floyd chased their entire careers.
Weighing in at a little over a minute, its one of the catchiest songs The Beatles ever wrote.
Keep On Pushing- The Impressions
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.
Before Kanye West released Touch The Sky, there was the original song, the horns bright, the rhythm breakneck and the melody unstoppable. Pure inspiration at its finest.
Mixtape Monday: In Ears
In Ear Park- Department of Eagles
The intro to this song is a beautiful weave of guitars and pianos going in and out like waves crashing into the shores that leads into an ethereal vocal and beautiful backing instrumentation, a lament on loss, the beauty of this song just speaks volumes
So Far Around the Bend- The National
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Boxer nor did I see the big attraction to the National until this song came out. The lyrics are perfectly understated and performed, with a creative arrangement and a sentiment that everyone can identify with, it doesn’t hurt that the melody is so damn catchy as well
Veckatimest, the latest album by Grizzly Bear is full of songs that range from the sweet to the bizarre, Fine for Now starts off with a strangely beautiful vocal arrangement before turning into an otherworldly meld of guitar and drums and vocals, truly a song worth multiple listens
M. Ward has a knack for great studio production and melody, and this has a great chorus, and no theres no chinese in a single second of the recording, just a great overall song
Lost Coastlines- Okkervil River
I love the vocalist in this band, his range is affecting and his lyrics are well written, and i can hear glimmers of Paul Simons Graceland and the Jam’s Town Called Malice woven in
Like Blink 182, fun upbeat and catchy, but better because you don’t get tired of the nasal voice and the chord progression is classic
Race You- Elizabeth and the Catapults
Little known bands often provide the most happiness to the listener when they make great catchy songs, because you feel like you’re the one discovering them, it’s a little feistish and happy and just puts you in a good mood
Love this song, a little weezerish but with less pop culture reliant lyrics
Take A Walk Around the Table- White Rabbits
This song is so delightfully weird that you can’t help but listen to it over and over again
Of all the great Spoon songs there are to choose from, this is one of, if not their finest songs ever put to record
Beautiful acoustic guitar, beautiful singing, beautiful lyrics, need i even say more
Great progression and arrangement, both of which Beck has an undeniable knack for and this is one of his finer songs
Songs for the Fireflies- Josh Ritter
This is one of those songs that feels as if the performer is right in front of you not in some far off studio and the buildup is wonderful
The Honeymoon Song- The Beatles
It’s hard to find a Beatles song that the whole world hasn’t heard millions of times. This one comes from Live at the BBC and the arrangment lets Paul McCartneys voice take front and center, and how sweet and young he sounds, the only bad thing is the song ends so soon
Love every part about this song, the bass, the guitar, the singing, the build up, it works perfectly
Everything Hits At Once- Spoon
Another early Spoon song, undeniably their own, from the arrangment to the melody and the buildup as well the great guitar and piano hooks
this son builds from intimate guitar and vocals to a great energetic arrangement. Terrific vocal performance throughout
Because this song is undeniable in its classic status, love the progression and the lyrics
A Day in the Life- The Beatles
Arguably the greatest song Lennon and McCartney put together from the arrangement to the lyrics to the orchestra build up and McCartneys part. Also the interplay between the musicians is great, McCartney’s piano and Lennon’s guitar and Ringo’s drums couldn’t have fit any better
You Got the Silver- The Rolling Stones
this song goes a long way in saying that Keith Richards was as underrated a singer and songwriter as Harrison was in The Beatles.