This time around on the Mixtape Monday we got more of those summery feeling songs from the likes of some classics (Talking Heads, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Sam Cooke, Bonnie Raitt, The Beatles) to some modern standbys (Jack Johnson, The Shins, Ben Harper) as well as some good up and comers, (Dirty Projectors, Dr. Dog, Willy Mason, Lady Antebellum, Futurebirds, The Swell Season, Johnathan Rice, Cass McCombs) all free, all for you and if you like the artists, buy their stuff. The mixtape after the jump.
This is part two of last weeks Mixtape Monday: More Nutrients Than A Can Of Soup. This part includes a great remix of a Frank Sinatra song, assisted by Jurassic 5, as well as more numbers by the Allman Brothers Band, Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett, Lou Rawls, and O.V. Wright, as well as some great numbers by Sublime, Tom Waits, The Rolling Stones, The Gaslight Anthem, Sam Cooke, and Bob Marley. The mix after the jump.
As I’ve been awfully bad at updating this old blog of mine for the past couple weeks I’ve decided to start a new kind of weekly post, a mixtape not dedicated to showcasing new artists all the time, but getting back to the roots of what a mixtape meant, which is to hold a theme through a variety of different artists and songs. This inaugural mixtape theme is Escape.
The feeling of escape in music is one of the strongest themes in rock and roll, we find ourselves transfixed by the places it can bring us to, the painful emotions it can mute, the happy emotions it can bring out in sad times. This mix doesn’t count on containing unknown songs by artists you’ll hopefully like, rather I composed it to enhance the feeling, to get lost in the world of music and somehow through it all the songs meshed together perfectly, as if the order was supposed to be this way.
One of the most perfect escaping anthems ever put on paper, Bruce Springsteen was writing more than just a song when Born to Run came to be. He had been the unknown maverick, a little known musician compared to the likes of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison in his poetry and story telling but had yet to find his sound. But from the snare intro till the end, this song provides the escape he needed to make it big, and the escape of the American Dream that’s in all of us
From the beginning the guitar transfixes you, her voice takes you away
Sometimes escape isn’t always about going somewhere but about remembering the good times, and September is just that a remembrance of good times you had
Because dreams don’t always come true, but sometimes its just making the effort that makes it all worthwhile
For the literal escape from our lives (if you’re a criminal)
For the escape that love can provide, even when its done by a bond that brings people closer
No matter how many years have passed by, this song will always bring you back to the innocence of your childhood and how you can take comfort in your imagination
For even if you do something bad once in a while, live a little, just live in the moment and have fun
Sometimes you just want to take that wrong turn out of your driveway forget it all and never come back, it’s the essence of youth, the young and the restless
For escaping the barriers of your own perception
Sometimes the quickest way is not the most satisfying, theres always the road untaken waiting for you, when the time comes
Because sometimes it isn’t what you’d think, Life especially
For the inner rebel in all of us
Some songs in their stories become almost surreal in how real they feel, how you identify with the characters and the beauty within
The story isn’t just in the words, but in the music that surrounds it as well
When an artist covers another, it gets deeper because it shows where they escape to, outside of their own music, and what really influences them
Another escape, a mental journey expressed as physical
Because no matter how great the escape, everything is fleeting
Because the change you want, the escape you long for, is sometimes just up to fate
Because the message is so powerful, and the voice just carries over everything, it’s no longer an escape, it’s an escape realized
Its time for a new mix, unfortunately I’ve been far too busy to remember to constantly update my site but i hope this makes up for it
Spoon to me is a band that perfectly captures the sound of the Beatles circa Revolver and the White Album. Britt Daniels doesn’t exactly have a beautiful voice but its perfect for rock. Black Like Me is a song off of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and it builds perfectly from the opening duet of guitar and a faded compressed piano to when the full band drops in, its a song that fully describes the starkness of the situation and how things go on whether you want to or not.
Don’t be fooled by the Prince like title or the strange synthesized opening, this song opens into a beautifully harmonized love song by an under-appreciated band. The guitar line is very Simon-Garfunkel, rhythmic and natural with hand claps and foot taps to boot. Then the synthesized line comes back in and it all makes sense. Just like how when you love somebody you might not understand it at first, but when you recognize it and it keeps coming back it only fits more and more
I’d like to say that this would be U2 if they were just a little more experimental, but I hate U2. Dynamics rule supreme in this song with crazy guitars sweeping in and out of the picture fading to let the vocals stand out. Tim Fletcher is very tuneful and the band flits in between soothing and energetic. Very catchy and beautiful song
Swagger. Its what you’d expect to accompany the Rolling Stones, The Faces, Jim Morrison of The Doors, not a band named Okkervil River. But Will Sheff delivers, with a great guitar riff that accompanies him and a band that knows exactly when to put the oomph in.
A change of pace, but this is Billy Joel at his sarcastic new wave best. Very catchy and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was influenced by John Lennon writing this.
Badfinger never had the album that proved themselves to be a classic band but their singles were among the best the 70’s came out with in the classic rock genre. Great hook, good harmonies and it doesn’t feel overdone, a perfect single.
Don’t get me wrong I was one of those people who had a disdain for the Wings purely because it wasn’t The Beatles and they certainly had their share of cheesy songs. But this song won me over because the melody is beautiful and who knew Paul McCartney could write a late night soulful song. His delivery perfectly matches what he’s saying, a gruff pained edge that is very moving and its very pleasing to hear him sing without being velvety smooth like most of his 70’s output. I’d love to hear a woman cover this though like a Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi, its tailor-made for their soulful vocals.
If I didn’t know this was the Fruit Bats, I’d have said it was the best Beach Boys song I’d never heard, the similarities are that striking, and yet this would be among even the best of the Beach Boys output.
There was a band once upon a time in France, they ended splitting up into two groups, one became Daft Punk, the electronic duo, and the other became this band Phoenix who manage to take the electronic influences and mix them perfectly with rock influences, they’re big now, but alot of their previous albums, like the one this song is from, Alphabetical, are hidden gems that shouldn’t be slept on.
Simply put, one of the best soul songs of all time, if not the best, and also among the first. This song has two of the greatest singers on it, Sam Cooke (with Lou Rawls backing him) and even with the strings it comes out more heartfelt than sappy. This song just reinforces the fact that Sam Cooke died way to young for the good of music, his influence is felt, but imagine the possibilities had he lived.
Best Wilco song they never made, unfortunately this band never made another album which is a shame because they make very enjoyable music and the melody on this is very tuneful, with a great old time piano in the background mixed perfectly with an acoustic guitar and a good back beat.
A fun song, if theres a song that expresses innocence and childhood happiness better than this I haven’t heard it. Dreamy harmonies abound with a jazz flute thrown in and the best use of a disco beat I’ve heard outside of disco. The Avalanches are a mashup band from Austrialia and this song sounds natural, which is a great compliment.
One of the better build up intros I’ve heard to a song in a long time. M. Ward happens to possess a Bob Dylan, albeit more tuneful voice and this is one of his most accessible songs in his entire catalogue. Great drumming and a great sense of a full sound.
Spoon manages to be experimental in their arrangements but still sound like a great forgotten song and this is one of Britt Daniels best. Off of Gimme Fiction.
Forget My Sweet Lord, Isn’t It A Pity, What Is Life. I’d Have You Anytime is the best George Harrison song on the double album classic All Things Must Pass. Harrison has a way with song structure thats undeniably identifiable as his and incredibly satisfying progressions. The lead guitar tone is also among the sweetest most soulful I’ve heard, but the jury is out on whether its Clapton or Harrison doing it, and as an added bonus, the lyrics were co-composed by one Robert Zimmerman, more commonly referred to as Bob Dylan.
Nirvana meets Coldplay in a good way. And certainly tremendously better than the Neil Young song by the same name.
I’ll be damned if this doesnt stick in your head after one listen. A wonderfully crafted melody and a perfect vocal performance by Thomas Mars.
Kings of Convenience is a band out of Norway making some of the most beautiful and well recorded music today. Think Simon and Garfunkel meet Nick Drake only more jazzy, their arrangements are sublime, especially the guitar and piano interplay.