1. SYAATL Five: Songs You Are About To Lurve.

    image

    [There have been a backlog of Mixtapes fashioned by Matty & Myself over the past few months. This one, from January, is the fifth chapter in our “Songs You Are About To Love” series: "SYAATL V: Songs You Are About To Lurve."  Fun-ish Fact: some selections were made from MY HOSPITAL BED.]

    MO: From the time I heard the first notes of the Alabama Shakes' Boys and Girls album, I knew that it was going to be one of my favorites. In the year and change since then, it has proven to be all that and much more. Really, not since my stumbling into Television's Marquee Moon can I remember a record by an artist that had been previously unknown to me having such a long run atop my personal chart. 
    The grit. The riffs. All of it, really. But, oh the vocals. The vocals are what put this one over the top. Pristine. Soaring.  Chameleonic. At various points throughout, I found myself saying, “That sounds like Martha Reeves… That sounds like Mick Jagger…” The list went on: Janis Joplin, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan. All barking through this one set of pipes. There’s just so much there…
    So whatever, I always knew that one of these tracks would be featured prominently on our next Songs You’re About to Love mix. My problem was that I just didn’t know which one. I felt like Sophie except with 12 kids instead of two (and fine, with much lower stakes, I guess). There was this nagging other piece to my conundrum too — you see, I actually knew what the perfect song would be… that first one that got its hooks in me. The one from Silver Linings Playbook. That’s the one that kicked down the AlabamaShakes door for me. It would be perfect, but alas — it’s unavailable on Spotify. 

    So there I was, spending these last few months occasionally adding songs to my SYAA2L mix, always earmarking a slot for theShakes. Every time though, feeling those pangs of regret — it won’t be the song.

    As you know, I texted you yesterday to light a fire under this mix and you agreed that it was time. I could have sent you that text anytime in the last few months, but I didn’t not until now. That’s what makes this next part so great. You see, what you don’t know is that I sat down this morning to set about selecting our first song and I, out of habit really, checked in on the Alabama Shakes page to see if my subconscious had made any headway on this difficult decision. That’s when I saw it…

    That soundtrack song, the one that had been previously unavailable, the one that had started it all — now here as a single. 
    Well I needn’t tell you that I knew immediately where we’d be kicking this thing off. 
    Listening to it now, I can’t really put my finger on what aspect of this tune grabbed a hold of my soul with that first listen. Still though, even after hearing it hundreds of times, there’s still something in there now that grabs my shit and won’t let go. 

    So, without further hub-bub, let’s get this thing going. 

    Welcome to SYAA2L Five: Songs You’re About to Lurve — this is Alabama Shakes with Always Alright.

    …and Rod Stewart.

    Read More

  2. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out: A Holiday Mix.

    image

    [Greetings, True Believers!  What follows is entry #4,682,119 in the ever-going Pen-Pal Mixtape Series between Matty and myself.  This time, it’s an especial holiday edition — so grab yer mistletoe and egg nog before settling down to listen.  Just click this link to listen on Spotify.  For some other holiday muzak, check out past mixes: Holidazeand Holidaze 2; or just peruse the rest of our Mixtape Selections.  Ho Ho Ho. — Kluv]

    Matthew,

    I love Christmas music. The holidays are great, the soft glow of the lights make me happy, and I’ll gladly take cold air and blankets and sweaters and softly falling snow outside my window. But without the music, it’s all just… dressing. 

    Is it the tunes themselves? Sure. But also the fact that we get to hear different artists’ take on the same familiar songs, each adding their own herbs and spices to the mix. I even dig the newer, original creations — which may not carry the same nostalgia as the standards — but still lend an important hand to the season (and, if done right, could some day become standards of their own!).  

    They’re the great equalizer. And there’s something about that fact which makes my heart grow three sizes.

    So, let’s mix up some holiday cheer — be they traditions old or new — and get into the spirit of things. You’re not going to find a man with more spirit than this fella, especially in this mellow-yet-soulful track. (My mind is still blown whenever I realize he never made it past the age of 26…) 

    I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, Otis Redding.

    Read More

  3. "On The Nose: A Quick Mix Of Beloved Standards"

    image

    [Matty & I have been making mixtapes together for ages, most of which are listened to solely by us.  Here is yet another mix in that beloved (again, by the two of us) series, "On The Nose: A Quick Mix Of Beloved Standards."  As usual, you can listen to the mix on Spotify.]

    Kevin,

    I was realizing something today and that something is this: I have been conditioned by Spotify to listen to music differently than I ever have. Instead of hooking into music I like and riding it hard until I’m spent, I am now constantly trying to discover the next thing to like. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, mind you – just different.

    To be clear, I feel like I haven’t listened to Simon and Garfunkel in a real long time and it feels a little weird.

    So – how’s about a quick mix? I’m in the mood for a palate cleanse. Let’s forget the deep cuts for a minute here. Let’s stop trying to impress each other with our range, or depth, or our ability to pick a winner.

    I have a ton of Songs That You’re About to Love, and I think we should get to sharing those soon. I’m just in the mood to listen to some standards.

    If nothing else, this is a quick one we can pound out to get our mix-making juices flowing again.

    Thoughts?

    -Matty

    ——-

    Matty,

    Yes, yes, and yes.  A Speed mix, if you will.  Let’s do it.  Now.

    - Kevin

    ——-

    Kevin,

    Well fine then!

    My first pick comes from some artists that I knew would be on this mix. These guys are right in the wheelhouse for this one: their early catalog feels like a soundtrack to my youth, but I’ve given them only precious little attention for years. For all the ease it took to settle on this band, the song proved tricky for me to nail down. This mix seems to me to be like a rekindling old flames long forgotten, so a track from The Unforgettable Fire seemed like a natural choice… In the end though, this was the one that spoke to me.  It feels like waking up, which I like – and also, there’s nothing more on the nose than The Joshua Tree.

    So here it is, for Seth, I give you one of my old favorites: Red Hill Mining Town, by U2.

    Read More

  4. Lot of folks asked/emailed/tweeted me about what the song was that played during the sexy times at the end of episode 202. Well, this be it.

    (Source: Spotify)

  5. LONG COLD WINTER: A MIX.

    image

    [Welcome to the latest mixtape from the minds of Matty & Myself — an ode, a call, to spring.  Listen.  Close your eyes.  Enjoy "LONG COLD WINTER".]

    MO

    Well Kevin, as discussed, I feel like total garbage. 

    I am tired. I am irritable. I am unproductive. I am — to be precise — downright unhappy. Negative trains of thought that would normally sidetrack me for but a moment are waylaying me for days at a time.  It’s this damn Winter. And the darkness. It’s happened to me before around this time of year, but never like this. I honestly can’t remember what it’s like to step outside into the sunshine. I see pictures of myself from Summers past, wearing shorts and a t-shirt and my mind reels. Who is that person? Why isn’t he freezing to death? Is he okay? And why does he wear those darkly tinted glasses? 

    This is more than just Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

    This is Depressive Emotional Sadness Predating the Onset of Nature’s Dawn - Equinoctial Negativity Transference(DESPONDENT).

    The nightlight I’d left on inside the birdhouse in my soul has been flickering for weeks and I fear that, without some help, it may go out altogether.

    I don’t want to hear sad songs, Kevin. I want a pep in my step. I want to hear hand-claps and creaky porch swings. I want iced tea and lemonade. There’s actually a part of me that misses the gawdawful Red Sox right now. (I told you, this is serious.)

    And so, a proposal: In anticipation of March 21st — I say you and I get down to some for-serious mix making. An Ode to Spring. 

    This first one might not be super-peppy and it’s not at all jolly. You won’t hear any of the aforementioned hand claps and the tone of it is most certainly dark. There’s something about it though that feels like it belongs at the beginning of this mix. Maybe it’s that I’m trying to give a final nod to that long cold winter. Or maybe it’s because it stirs in me that feeling of running through a brick wall. That’s probably it. This song feels to me like running steadily towards (and then through) a cold brick wall. 

    It’s Headlong Into the Abyss by We Are Augustines.

    Read More

  6. These Songs Will Also Be Loved. (SYAA2L PART IV)

    image

    [Matty & Myself are pleased to present you with yet another Pen Pal Mix, this one being the fourth edition of our “Songs You Are About To Love” series. Enjoy. — Kluv]

    MO -

    This thing that we’re doing here Kevin — this making of mixtapes. I feel that we owe it to ourselves to step back a moment and contextualize exactly what this is.

    In a nutshell, we are experiencing the evolution of a creative outlet that had been inconceivable to any generation before ours. The thought of selecting songs from multiple records and assembling a record of your own, while not any great achievement of technology or art, is certainly unique to the last 30 years. We are taking the mixtape from its birth, to its infancy and so on and so forth, forever. I’m sure that you are as thankful as I that our children don’t have to grow up in a world without mixtapes. Wikipedia links to an article where essayist Geoffrey O’Brien is quoted as calling the mixtape the, “…most widely practiced American art form.” 

    Read that again.

    I remember how I felt the first time I made myself a mixtape. The power of it. The control. I remember how I felt the first time someone else made me a mixtape. It was a message. A letter. A poem. It personalized songs in a way that I’d never felt before. 

    I remember how I felt the first time I made a mixtape for someone. The song selection. The progression. The weight carried by position — kick off, side one finale, etc. The cover art. All of it. Your song, and your song, and your song, and your song — now made mine by context. Within this group, I’m connecting to your music in a way not intended or expected.

    I remember bucking against the introduction of burned CDs. I felt that not having to select 60/90/120 minutes was a cop out. I bristled at the idea of how any schnook could make sure that all the songs they wanted could fit inside of a CD, but it takes an artist — a craftsman — to juggle the playlist in such a way that side one ends only moments before that tape turns from black to clear and your boombox flips to the other side. Fast-forwarding to the end was not a task I’d ever wish on my listener. 

    And then the digital age. All bets are off and all bets are on. The .mp3 was the Industrial Revolution for mixtape. That step through the looking glass. 

    You and I may have even carved our own little niche with the Pen Pal Mix.  We decided, as I’m quite sure others had before us — I have no delusions of our being pioneers on this front — to use the creation of mixtape as something that kept us in touch. That’s a step I think… We’re not just the listening to a mixtape — we socialize through the creating of mixes. 

    Whatever, I just thought it worth saying that I still — even twenty five years and multiple mediums removed from that first mix I made myself — I’m still having a ball with the mixtape. I’m looking forward to see what happens to them next. So far, they’ve managed to hold my attention for their entire existence. 

    "Mixtape." Right click, Add to dictionary. Stop correcting me Microsoft. "Mixtape" is a word, it’s not going anywhere.  Get with the program Mr. Gates.

    So here we find ourselves again — embarking on another installment of Songs You’re About to Love. Another Pen Pal Mix.

    I hope this gets to you.

    "I Hope This Gets to You" The Daylights

    Read More

  7. My pal Dr. Jeff (aka @guanofaucet on Spotify) has crafted a 2-hour, 40-track mix that’s been getting me through a number of afternoons at work lately.  If you’re looking for a some music to put some pep in your step (or to go with some hooch in your mug) — be sure to give "Day-Drinking" a spin.  

    Bottoms up.

    (Source: Spotify)

  8. Jansuwarry: A Mix.

    Sound the horns: my monthly music mixtape hiatus has come to an end.  After cranking them out for twelve straight turns of the calendar, I took the latter portion of 2012 off.  But Daddy’s back — and heeding the urge to mix mix mix away.  So, without further ado, I bring you another season of ye olde Monthly Mixtapes — starting with Jansuwarry:

    1. "When The Lillies Die" - IO Echo
    2. "The Diaz Brothers" - The Mountain Goats
    3. "Watch the Corners" - Dinosaur Jr.
    4. "Tell Me A Tale" - Michael Kiwanuka
    5. "Fitzpleasure" - alt-J
    6. "Ice Age" - Dr. John
    7. "In The Yard" - The Bowerbirds
    8. "Leave Your Body Behind You" - Richard Hawley
    9. "Manic Depression" - Hendrix
    10. "Fast Cars" - The Buzzcocks
    11. "Angels" - The xx
    12. "Only Son Of A Ladies Man" - Father John Misty
    13. "I Got Nothing" - Dum Dum Girls
    14. "Get Lost" - The Babies
    15. "A Real Hero" - College & Electric Youth
    16. "Lazuli" - Beach House
    17. "Under Your Spell" - Desire
    18. "State Hospital" - Frightened Rabbit
    19. "Glad Girls" - Guided By Voices
    20. "She Lit A Fire" - Lord Huron