A new feature here on Art of the Mixtape is Small Stack Tuesdays, an ode to those good old 45’s and 78’s from back in the day. The inaugural edition features a great duet from two unlikely sources as well some great other bands recent releases. Stay tuned and enjoy the music.
Listen in this order
A voice of pain that soothes, a song that is one of the sweetest odes to a lover, written by Keith Richards no less.
An upbeat song about destroying a guitar/relationship, pulled off in Cake’s typical catchy style.
The song, the harmonies, the lyrics, are so uplifting and inspiring, this was Curtis Mayfield’s gift and its over far too soon.
The original was perfect, and yet Spoon still breathes new life into it, the bass plays the melody now, the guitar and piano the rhythm, and Britt Daniel brings along his cynical touch to the lyrics.
Jesus, don’t cry
You can rely on me, honey
You can combine anything you want
I’ll be around
You were right about the stars
Each one is a setting sun
Tall buildings shake
Voices escape singing sad sad songs
tuned to chords
Strung down your cheeks
Bitter melodies turning your orbit around
The lyrics say it better than I ever could
The lyrics cry longing, the instruments dance and the band grooves pay attention to that little guitar lick (you’ll see what I mean) Sharon Jones’s performance, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her the female James Brown, and sax solo is worth the download alone.
Ah, The Beatles in their youth, a whole different polished animals, the guitars and drums burst with energy, the harmonies are tight and John Lennon proves himself as one of rocks greatest vocalists.
Take Sharon Jones earlier song, dip into a Southern Gospel groove and this is what will come out, Susan Tedeschi’s vocals blur the color line on this one and the guitar work is flawless.
From the soft pitter patter of the snare drum to the golden acoustic guitar and the warm vocal harmonies this song just breathes beauty at its most effortless.
That squeak at the beginning is the opening of a door into a club where both the voice and piano shine and dance, and all anybody else can do is watch.
she’s swinging from my heartstrings
singing that she’s climbing up.
she drinks bourbon from her daddy’s favorite coffee cup.
and she’s flying down the highway
crying that she won’t confess.
she’ll walk to charlotte like a princess
in her mama’s wedding dress.
and i watch her break away
more and more every day.
thats just the opening verse, some people have a way with words, and heck he’s gotta thing for melody and arranging too.
J. Geils was the ultimate bar band, they had fun, they didn’t get bogged down by ambition, they rocked a dirty gritty sound anchored by Peter Wolf’s gruff vocals, you can tell they’re just having fun here, and the slide solo in the middle is absolutely euphoric.
The dynamics are fantastic on this, with a Police styled arrangement but more nitty gritty earth bound vocals.
If for just one reason, get the song for its beat, because shit it is heavy. Another? Beck is a hell of a producer and arranger, this one plays out like an updated Bill Withers song, funky, soulful and full of power.
Everything about this song is wonderful, youthful yet reminiscent.
Its hard to figure this guy was an actor before a musician, add the fact he plays all the instruments as well, the natural feel of the song goes even more to prove his talent, great songwriting.
A song off of Dark Was the Night, by Arcade Fire, like you need any other reason to download it.
I wish this band existed on iTunes because this song actually makes me want to buy more of their stuff, and buy isn’t a word i like to throw around alot.
From the organ to the guitars to the vocals and lyrics, The Hold Steady just grip you from the get-go.