Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix: cool and mellow pop

My brother is a musician in Texas. He travels all over the South a lot, but doesn’t get back up north as often as he’d like. I also haven’t been down to Texas to visit him in many years. We talk on the phone a lot, but haven’t seen each other in a long time. What can I say? We suck.

Let's face it, I'm tired.

Well, he was in town this week playing a gig and I had dinner and some drinks with him Wednesday night. Then I had a beer during his show last night and then a couple more with him after the show. Not too much because I had an hour drive after the show. But enough.

It was very good to see the man, but after 2 nights out drinking with my brother I’m moving a little slow. No metal today. Today, I’m in the mood for something a little more relaxing. Many of these songs feature acoustic instruments, though there is plenty of electric stuff too. It’s not sleepy music, but it is on the mellower side.

  1. The Bull and the Goat – Annuals
    So it’s a lower-energy and acoustic mix. You still have to kick it off with something at least a little up-tempo. All of the instrumental parts are well-written to work with the vocal melody. I particularly like the work by the rhythm section (which includes the bass).
  2. Preacher’s Sister’s Boy – Blitzen Trapper
    While I wasn’t knocked out by their live show, I love their new EP, “Black River Killer,” and this is a great track from that release.
  3. Me You and Everybody – Gomez
    I would listen to Ben Ottewell sing the ingredients list on a bag of Doritos. I love his voice and this is a typically great, evocative song from the band.
  4. Resurrect Me – Jon Foreman
    This isn’t mellow; it’s an acoustic rocker of a pop song. I think I hear a little sitar ringing between the hand claps.
  5. Wind It Up – moe.
    Listen to one of my all-time favorite moe. songs, though all of the best parts are missing from this sample. It’s an 8-minute epic that builds from a quiet keyboards and clean guitar through several movements until it is a towering love song that declares in triumphant harmony, “Be on my side. I’ll be on your side.”
  6. Crosseyed Beautiful Youngunz – Love As Laughter
    Gentle guitar and some vibes set the mood as vocalist Sam Jayne takes his time dropping the notes of this pretty melody.
  7. Fieldtrip USA – Moonbabies
    Moonbabies are a Swedish pop duo. On this track, keyboards accent the plucked acoustic guitar as Ola Frick and Carina Johansson sing harmony in the pretty verses and the energetic chorus.
  8. Check the Meaning – Richard Ashcroft
    When Ashcroft (formerly of The Verve) misses, I am left completely flat. When he hits, however, the result is brilliant and well-arranged tracks like this one.
  9. Hang On – Guster
    I’m not sure which Guster is better at writing, pop melodies or emotional lyrics. Either way, here is a fine example of their great songsmithing.
  10. Stuck – Norah Jones
    I like the new direction Jones has taken on her latest release. Less sleepy lounge music, more electric pop. I think I even almost hear a couple electric power chords in the chorus.
  11. Weather to Fly – Elbow
    They assemble a relaxing groove of ambling percussion behind descending chords, mellow horns, and smoky vocals.
  12. Man in a Shed – Nick Drake
    Some of Drake’s songs haven’t aged well. They’re either too melancholy or just too much a product of the times. This one, however, is one of many that really hold up. The happy piano work sounds almost like something Vince Guaraldi (Peanuts music) could have written.
  13. The Search – Dolorean
    This has a mellow southern rock / Appalachian country feel to it, like some stuff you might have gotten from The Eagles. I like it as a closer.

Oh, and this is completely off-topic, but I’m a Clevelander and I want to respond briefly to the LeBron James defection. Hey, Cavs fans. Yes, we’re disappointed. And yes, LeBron looks like a douchebag for arranging a one-hour special to announce he’s putting his house on the market. But let’s show a little backbone, OK? This town has seen worse and we’ll see better.

I hope you enjoy the mix with a Dortmunder or an Eliot Ness from Cleveland’s excellent Great Lakes Brewery. Or if you’re like me and have had too much beer lately, how about a tall glass of ice water?

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July 9, 2010 - Posted by | Alt Country, Folk, Indie, Jam Bands, Mix CD, Popular, Rock

2 Comments »

  1. I love Norah / Stuck! She also did this great duet with Ray Charles on an all-star compilation CD that benefits tsunami victims in Indonesia. The CD was recently put out by an awesome humanitarian organization called Aid Still Required. Definitely worth getting! http://www.aidstillrequired.org/music/

    Comment by Penny | July 10, 2010 | Reply

    • That’s a worthy cause. I’ll have to check out the track. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

      Comment by MissedMusic | July 10, 2010 | Reply


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