Missed Music

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

The Friday mix: The last travel of the summer

Labor Day marks the end of summer for a lot of people, though not for you purists who pay attention to the “calendar.” That would mark the end of the summer vacation travel season as well, so it is fitting that this looks like the last travel-themed mix I have in my collection. In case you were wondering, I didn’t already pick my favorite stuff and this is the leftovers. I pulled them at random each week from my pool of songs that would fit the theme so there is still some fantastic music in the mix this week.

One more? Alright, if you insist.

  1. Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory – …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
    To be honest, I don’t know to what place they are referring, but if they need a directory, I’m assuming it’s a place. This song was originally released by Guided by Voices, but the orignal is nowhere near as beautiful as this version.
  2. Haiti – The Arcade Fire
    The Arcade Fire doesn’t break a lot of new ground, but they are a strong pop band. I can’t quite put my finger on who they remind me of. There are elements of U2, certainly, though not in the vocals. If you can place it, let me know.
  3. Funky Nassau, Pt. 1 – The Beginning of the End
    Fantastic vintage funk/ska. I guess it really IS better in the Bahamas.
  4. California Stars– Billy Bragg & Wilco
    I am a huge Wilco fan. This is from the “Mermaid Avenue” project, in which they took lyrics by Woody Guthrie and set them to original music. This is one of the best tracks to come out of those sessions.
  5. Wyoming – Brand New Sin
    Not southern rock, but grungy southern metal. It’s actually a really good sound. They have seen some lineup changes, but they are still at it.
  6. Dracula from Houston – Butthole Surfers
    I wouldn’t expect such a sunny, happy song from Gibby Haynes, but this is a really accessible track with kind of funny lyrics.
  7. Tokyo Storm Warning – Elvis Costello
    “Blood & Chocolate” is the first Elvis Costello album I ever really got into so of course I love it. This great track was #3 on the album.
  8. Last Tango in Paris – Gotan Project
    I have this one on my Chillout mix. Like most of the songs on that mix, it’s relaxing, doesn’t go through a lot of changes, and I like it.
  9. St. Louis Blues – Herbie Hancock (featuring Stevie Wonder)
    So Herbie is on keys and Stevie plays harmonica and sings. It’s as good as you think. Better, in fact. Stevie won one of his legion of Grammys for his vocal performance on this song.
  10. Hollywood – Los Lonely Boys
    My brother, who lives near Austin, where Los Lonely Boys’ came up, sent me a disc of theirs before they hit the national scene. I could already tell they were brothers just by the way they harmonize. Even their vibrato is synchronized. They have spent many, many years singing together. This is a sweet song.
  11. Speedway at Nazareth – Mark Knopfler
    This is a fictional tale about racing, though it has the feel of one of Knopfler’s historical pieces (I know it is fictional because the album was released in 2000, one year before the first season mentioned in this song). It sports a folk feel with violins and gentle harmony vocals until the songs really starts to move, with Knopflers inimitable pocket soloing. Great song.
  12. When in Rome – Nickel Creek
    This is the first track and the single from Nickel Creek’s 2005 release, “Why Should the Fire Die?” Chris Thile (mandolin, vocals) said by this time the band was comfortable playing to their strengths and they do this kind of song very well indeed.
  13. Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave
    Acoustic guitar and handclaps set up this fat, appealing pop hook.
  14. Jacksonville – Sufjan Stevens
    I almost posted Decatur by Stevens, but I like this track just a little bit more. This is such a mellow and interesting track.
  15. Warsaw, Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up – Them Crooked Vultures
    I wrote up this entire album not long ago. It’s all killer, no filler and this is a fine example of the great, dark rock that populates the whole disc.
  16. Summertime in England – Van Morrison
    Van Morrison is simply my very favorite. This is from his 1990 release, “Common One,” long after the peak of his popularity, but he has lost nothing as a singer, songwriter, or bandleader. This is a live version, but they do a fantastic job with it.
  17. Impossible Germany – Wilco
    You get two songs by Wilco this week because one was with Billy Bragg and because Wilco is just cool as hell. Impossible Germany, unlikely Japan. I have read these lyrics over and over but I still don’t understand them. I get more meaning from the way the song makes me feel, I think.

Enjoy this mix with a mojito. You won’t be able to pick fresh mint out of your herb garden for much longer. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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September 3, 2010 - Posted by | Chillout, Classic Rock, Folk, Hard Rock, Jazz, Mix CD, Popular, Rock

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