Daniel Romano’s Pandemic Year (A music mix, sorta)

June 18, 2022 at 9:50 am (cool band alert, Music Mixes, rock and roll, Uncategorized)

In the first week of March of 2020 like lots of us, the oncoming pandemic got the better of Daniel Romano and his band The Outfit. The group’s seemingly endless tour was on the east coast of the US when I’m assuming a combination of Covid-cancelled gigs and worries over getting back across the border into their native Canada had them pull up stakes and head back home to Welland, Ontario.

During a mandatory self-quarantine on return, Romano — who apparently needs to be making music the way sharks need to swim — plotted out what an extended time being unable to play live shows might mean for him. And I guess he decided to return to some album demos he’d come up with over previous years. (Note, not song demos — full albums he’d written out and maybe recorded quick demos for.)

And so by mid-March, Visions Of The Higher Dream, an album credited to Romano solo — with some assistance from friends — landed. As the pandemic wore on through the year, from March through November Romano released an absurd 10 albums (I think that’s the number we’ve all settled on now for that). Those include three records with (or as) the Outfit. (Of which, it should be said, is about the tightest, sharpest rock and roll band on the planet right now, and if you get a chance to see them on their current endless tour you should. Thank me later.)

He also put out a couple of collaborations: a 22-minute prog rock song with Danny Carey of Tool, and a sort of post-hardcore power-pop ep called Super Pollen. Interspersed through all of that were four records — all solo, with Romano playing most of the instruments in his home studio — that seem sort of thematically linked to one another. In addition to Vision Of The Higher Dream, there’s Dandelion, White Flag, and in March of 2021, Kissing The Foe. That’s four solo albums in about a calendar year.

And when I first realized how many of these solo records Romano dropped in a year, without having sat to listen to them I figured “Oh, he just put out his demos.” Which…no. Imagine my surprise when these turned out to be fully-realized, fully-arranged tracks, none of which sound incomplete. Quite the opposite, in fact; these are songs that sound complete and lush and meticulously crafted.

But what links them together in my mind at least is the kind of music on them. Those four records seem to be tapping into this circa 1970-1973 era of Neil Young, early McCartney solo, Danny Kirwan era Fleetwood Mac and absolutely Badfinger. With horns. And string sections.

And for whatever reason, only a small number of the records released by Romano and the Outfit and other friends during this absurdly productive lockdown period are available through your traditional streamers. And NONE of these four thematically linked solo albums are. They’re only available from You’ve Changed Records (the label that Romano and Constantines singer/guitarist Steven Lambke founded) on Bandcamp. And the next time we get to a Bandcamp Friday you should definitely grab as many Daniel Romano albums as you can from them: https://danielromano.bandcamp.com/music

In the meantime, it was feeling to me like in these four solo albums I’d discovered some sort of hidden goldmine. I don’t think these records are meant to be secret. I don’t think they’re meant to be tough to track down. But damn. It feels like a whole lot of folks that listen to the a lot of the same music I listen to should be listening to these albums. On repeat. Constantly.

So I created a 1-hour sampler platter from those records. 16 tracks. It honestly feels like you could make three similar playlists from just these albums and they’d all be good, because as individual albums they’re all so great. And if you expand things to include The Outfit records, and other stuff Romano and the band recorded together you could put together more than a half-dozen playlists of similar quality music without having to try too hard.

And so without further ado, here’s my little Daniel Romano One Year solo playlist/mix. As I do with these things, it’s one extended MP3, with the sound volume normalized, tracks in a specific running order, and everything crossfaded with purpose to make for a fire-and-forget 57 minutes covering 16 songs. Since (I’m hoping) you’re going to hear songs here and immediately need to know what they’re called, here’s the track list:

  1. “Where May I Take My Rest”
  2. “I Cannot Be More Lonely”
  3. “maybe today will be curious”
  4. “if you don’t or if you do”
  5. “I’m Only Love”
  6. “Singers In Season”
  7. “Into A Rainbow”
  8. “Mysterious Storm”
  9. “Don’t Turn Around Janet”
  10. “Appaipoure”
  11. “Nobody Sees A Lowered Face”
  12. “New Milk”
  13. “Blue Heron”
  14. “Walking Around Holding Hands”
  15. “Hot Change”
  16. “Lilac About Thy Crown”

Click this to stream/download/listen:
Daniel Romano’s Solo Pandemic Year

(Recommended very strongly for aficionados of circa-1971 post Beatle solo work by Sir Paul and George Harrison, as well as fans of Neil Young of that era, Ian Matthews, Danny Kirwan, Badfinger, The Rolling Stones, Flying Burrito Brothers, etc.)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Headfirst Into Christmas (Holiday Music Mix, 2020)

December 15, 2020 at 10:17 am (Music Mixes)

On the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving this year, I was out taking a long walk through the neighborhood, enjoying the unseasonably warm 60-degree temperatures (and trying not to think too much about the implications of that happening more and more in Novembers of late.) A couple of houses in my neighborhood already had full Christmas lights and yard displays up and running. While most houses on our street will have some sort of decorations up at some point, this was notable for the way it sort of stuck out. Really? Christmas lights? This early?

And the more I thought about it, the more I thought “Yeah. Hell yeah. This early. I’m all in.”

2020 has been one hell of a year, kind of literally. By the time this post goes live, it’s likely 300,000 Americans will have died from the pandemic. 300,000 people many of whom maybe celebrated Christmas a year ago and thought in terms of “Next Christmas” who never got here because of a brutal disease. And that doesn’t count the millions hospitalized, the families affected, or the trauma of healthcare workers who’ve been had to work through exhaustion for months. It also doesn’t include folks who saw their businesses or careers collapse due to the knock on effects of Covid. And then you add to that the current political climate in this country, and there’s an almost palpable sense of fear, anger, grief, and just general anxiety floating in the air.

So yeah. It’s been a brutal year. And yet, there are folks putting up Christmas lights all over. And making music. And figuring out ways to celebrate even so. You could forgive folks for reining it in this year, and I know that many are. We’re going to celebrate the holidays differently in 2020, through Zoom calls and virtual hugs and with facemasks making up the a big part of the gay apparel we don, and a vague antiseptic whiff of hand sanitizer hanging in the air instead of mistletoe.

But lots of us are going to figure out a way to celebrate the season regardless, whether it’s Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or just the solstice and the winter. And coming in at the tail end of this awful year, any celebration of the holidays almost feels like an act of defiance. Putting up lights, decorating the house, heck, just listening to some Christmas tunes or maybe watching Charlie Brown for the gajillionth time…we’re celebrating, dang it. And if that means putting up the lights too early, and maybe going a little too exuberant on the Christmas tunes in this holiday music mix to extend a big middle finger to the awfulness of the year past…then so be it. Headfirst into Christmas in 2020!

As always, this is a single long MP3 of about 20 or so holiday-themed tunes. You can right-click and “save as”, or it should just stream from here if that’s your thing.

Headfirst Into Christmas (Holiday Music Mix 2020)

Track list:
1. Oh…that girl.
2. “Every Single Christmas” Nicole Atkins
3. “Go Power at Christmas Time” James Brown
4. “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” Sam Phillips
5. “Winter Blows” The Waterboys
6. “Headfirst Into Christmas” The Hannah Barberas
7. “Mission Bells” Glossary
8. “Claus vs Claus” JD McPherson
9. “The Blizzard” Camera Obscura
10.”Winter is Blue” Vashti Bunyan
11.”Ringing Bells on Christmas Day” Lisa Mychols
12.”Everyday is Christmas (When I’m Lovin’ You) Charles Bradley
13.”Valley Winter Song” Fountains of Wayne
14.”Merry Merry” The Bird and the Bee
15.”Hark the Herald” The Fall (this is not a typo, btw.)
16.”All I Want for Christmas is You” The Dollyrots
17.”Christmastime Heist” Mikal Cronin
18.”Christmas Love” The Rotary Connection
19.”Shouldn’t Be Alone For Christmas” The School
20.”Winter” The Rolling Stones
21.”The Light Before We Land” The Delgados

Permalink 1 Comment

Feliz Navidad, Baby! (Holiday music mix, 2018!)

December 19, 2018 at 6:00 am (Music Mixes)


Although this Christmas feels more soggy than snowy this year, it’s absolutely that time  again, and so we’re back with a little bit of holiday musical cheer for you. I have been making these goofy music collections for 20 years now, and in all honesty this year’s mix might be my very, very favorite of all. And I don’t say that lightly either! See, when I’m putting these things together, I sometimes listen to the tracks dozens of times in a short span of time. Even with some good songs, the listener fatigue that sets in is very real.

But this year I just keep hitting repeat and starting over again. And though I’d love to take some piece of credit, I can’t. This mix is good because the artists made great songs and made putting it together a dream. I mean, let’s check some of these songs….

Early on in the mix, we’re hitting you with a snippet of an incredibly rare thing. Back around 1989 or so, Scott Miller of Game Theory recorded this goofy, sprawling thing called “A Child’s Christmas Saving The Whales” and sent the tape out to people on the band’s mailing list. It’s mostly spoken word narrative, and most of the jokes are pretty dated…but then in the middle of this thing the guy reveals some stunning musical geniusness by tossing off this 90-second song that I can’t imagine he didn’t mostly make up on the spot and then recorded to a cheap tapedeck in his bedroom. And the danged thing is just glorious even so.

And then there’s some JD McPherson. He put out a Christmas record this year called “Socks” which is the best album of all original Christmas – themed music since…ever. Really. It’s that good. This track is just a taste, but you should be spinning that record throughout the Christmas season.

Continuing, I know next to nothing about who Fascinations Grand Chorus is, other than I think they do a kind of indie dreampop thing. But their song is just a wallop of gorgeous, Spectorian production. And then there’s The Duke Spirit song. It starts off sounding like it’s a pretty OK song, and then you get to the chorus and there’s a key change and it’s goosebumps time and the track transcends into greatness.

There’s some familiar names all over this — you get a chance to put some Kacey Musgraves on your mix, you should do that, especially with Willie Nelson — including that Dean Martin track. He’s singing one of my favorite holiday-ish songs, and I can’t believe I’ve never used his original. Well, until now, anyway.  And you all know Kimberley Rew, even if you don’t realize you know him. Kim has all the hipster bona fides as Robyn Hitchcock’s songwriting foil in the legendary Soft Boys in the early 1980s, but when that band broke up, Kimberley went and started a new band called the Waves, wrote a certain song about strolling around on Sunshine, and I would imagine sits around collecting royalties for it.  Here he riffs on a goofy but typically memorable seasonal tune.

There’s other stuff here that should be less familiar. Whyte Horses are new, and their ebullient Christmas song would be juuuuust a little better if the verse melody wasn’t a note-for-note copy of The Replacements’ paean to bleak loneliness, “Swingin’ Party”.  And then there’s the Gabrielle Aplin & Hannah Grace song. I gather Ms. Aplin is famous-ish in some quarters for singing covers on Youtube. Which is a thing that people do now.  And so I was expecting “December” to bounce off me pretty hard. But holy crap, what a revelation that song is. It’s an original that suggests she or Hannah Grace or both of them need to be writing a lot more originals. And the arrangement is simply spectacular.  It’s rare that a song I’m expecting to hate leaves me with tears in my eyes by the first chorus, but there you go.

OK, I’ve yammered enough about the songs here. Only one or two repeats from previous years are on this mix as well, and I hope it brings to you and yours as much joy as its brought me to make. Merry Christmas, or Happy whatever holiday you choose to celebrate, even if it’s just some time off work or school!

As per usual, this is all one big MP3 file, with everything sequenced and mixed just so. You can stream it or save it to your own computer/device as you like.

Here’s the tracklist (Click the title to listen or “save as”):

Felix Navidad, Baby!
(Holiday Music Mix, 2018)

1. “Jingle Bells/Welcome” – Esquivel
2. “Santa Teach Me To Dance” – Debbie & The Darnells
3. “A Child’s Christmas Saving the Whales (excerpt)” – Game Theory
4. “Every Single Christmas” – JD McPherson
5. “Merry Merry Christmas” – Fascinations Grand Chorus
6. “Melt By The Morning” – The Duke Spirit
7. “Willie Nice Christmas” – Kacey Musgraves w/ Willie Nelson
8. “Love the Holidays” – Old 97s
9. “Lonely Man of Winter” – Sufjan Stevens
10.”Christmas Is” – Lou Rawls
11.”I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” – Dean Martin
12.”Whatever You Want (For Christmas)” – Dressy Bessy
13.”Thank God It’s Not Christmas” – Sparks
14.”Dear Mr. Claus” – Paul Revere & The Raiders
15.”All I Want is You For Christmas” – Kimberley Rew
16.”World Of Love” – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
17.”Gee Whiz, it’s Christmas” – Carla Thomas
18.”December” – Gabrielle Aplin & Hannah Grace
19.”Next Year Will Be Mine” – Whyte Horses
20.”Winter Wonderland” – Darlene Love
21.”Eight Dates A Week” – The Holiday Scene
22.”Beatnik’s Wish” – Patsy Raye & The Beatniks
23.”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – The Beths
24.”Fairytale Of New York” – The Pogues w/ Kirsty Maccoll

Permalink Comments Off on Feliz Navidad, Baby! (Holiday music mix, 2018!)

Winterlude in a Snowed-in Mood (Christmas music mix, 2016)

December 20, 2016 at 11:14 am (Music Mixes, Uncategorized)


If it’s holiday week, it  must (finally) be time for a Christmas and winter-themed music mix, right? Sorry for being a bit late again, but I can explain! As crappy a year as 2016 has been in a meta sort of way, personally it’s been pretty dadgum solid. Work has been fun and extremely busy of late, which helps scooch things back a bit when getting into that Christmas spirit. (Things were also notably hampered when I knocked an empty coffee cup off my desk and onto a storage drive that had about 2 terabytes of music I’m still trying to recover all of. That was a good time.)

I couldn’t help but note that this year’s mix had a sort of bleak feel to it the first couple of runs I made at it maybe understandably. Still, who has time for that? It’s the holidays. It’s a time for family, friends, and celebration, even if it feels a little bit like we’re all collectively Slim Pickens riding that missile into the ground in Dr. Strangelove. No matter. We’ll whoop and holler a bit all the way down if that’s the hand that’s been dealt.

This year’s mix is almost all new stuff, not as in “New this year,” but rather “New stuff for this mix.” I really wanted to get a Sharon Jones song in for obvious reasons early on. I’ve known since about March that Trapper Schoepp’s tale of being stranded in a blizzard in western Nebraska was going to be on this mix. Love those songs to death.

Two wonderful recent finds were discovering a secret, hidden Leisure Society version of the late Greg Lake’s “I Believe In Father Christmas”. I’ve credited it to The Leisure Society, although Nick Heming says it’s just him and bandmate Helen Whitaker, but it sure sounds like the whole band.

The other cool song I’m really loving is the one from Sloan. They recorded a couple of holiday themed songs this year, and while both are good, “December 25” is just transcendent. Jay Ferguson has always been Sloan’s secret weapon, a guy who maybe only gets a couple of songs per record, but they’re always ace. With “December 25” he’s outdone himself here.

Let’s see, what else? Oh, the best part of the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix was seeing Grant Lee Phillips reprise his role as town troubadour, and we’ve got the song he plays in the “Winter” episode, the gorgeous “Winterglow” here. I’ve also brought in a few old favorites. Seemed like this mix really wanted some Vince Guaraldi, for instance, so it got that. It also wanted Vashti Bunyan and Broadcast too. Finally, Jason Ringenberg’s aching “Merry Christmas My Darling” seemed far too appropriate not to bring back…and we needed the twang.

As ever, this mix is one long mp3, with volume normalized and sequenced and whatnot. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it, and…I’ll let “Father Christmas” sum up the rest:

“I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear”

Winterlude in a Snowed-in Mood
(Popnarcotic Christmas Music Mix, 2016)

1. Christmas Letter
2. “Just Another Christmas Song” Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
3. “Ogallala” Trapper Schoepp
4. “Snow Globe” Charlie’s Hand Movements
5. “Willing and Able” Helene Smith
6. “I Believe In Father Christmas” The Leisure Society
7. “Child’s Christmas in Wales” John Cale
8. “Christmas Eve” Night Flowers
9. “Work Christmas Party” Faye & The Scrooges
10.”December 25″ Sloan
11.”Funky Funky Christmas” Electric Jungle
12.”Hey Santa!” Brian Setzer Orchestra
13.”Mistletoe and Holly” Frank Sinatra
14.”Coldest Night of the Year” Vashti Bunyan
15.”Soul Santa” Funk Machine
16.”Christmas and Everyday” Best Coast
17.”Skating” Vince Guaraldi Trio
18.”Winterglow” Grant Lee Phillips
19.”Merry Christmas My Darling” Jason Ringenberg
20.”Sleigh Ride” Squirrel Nut Zippers
21.”Winter Now” Broadcast
22.”You Bring The Snow” The Crookes
23.”Driving Under Stars” Marika Hackman
24.”Fairytale of New York” The Pogues

Permalink 2 Comments

No Sad Songs (2015 Holiday Music Mix!)

December 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm (Music Mixes)

Despite the fact that it feels like mid-May here on the east coast, I can’t help but be in the grip of Christmas spirit. I mean, if new Star Wars movies can’t make you feel like a little kid heading into the holidays, being able to shoot some hoop on an outdoor court two weeks before December 25 sure will do the trick.

This year’s mix finds me in fine fettle, as they say, and I hope it does for you and yours as well. When I was putting it together over the last few weeks, I spent a good deal of time listening to some older mixes and was struck by being able to tell that I’d made them during some rather gloomy times, personal and not-so-personal. And with that in mind, the title of one of the first songs I knew I’d put into this compilation–“No Sad Songs” by The Lilac Time–kept popping into my head, and it ended up being the title and thesis for this year’s collection.

Not that there aren’t a few sad tunes that snuck through. You get a chance to put a song by Joe Pernice and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub into your mix, you just do it, regardless, and that’s how that New Mendicants tune made the cut. It does mean a late switch on what is hopefully an annual tradition from Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Those two legends record together as The Both, and I was all set to go with their morose 2014 holiday song when they hit out with a 2015 tune that is anything but sad in “You’re a Gift.”

Another thing I enjoy doing this each year is discovering songs I never knew about. I’d always wanted to find a spot for Harry Nilsson’s rendition of “Snow”, a song that Randy Newman wrote. For whatever reason, I’ve never found the right spot for it. Then I found out that Nilsson wasn’t the first to cover it; a few years before he did it, Claudine Longet had a hit with it and her version is just amazing. You younguns should probably just enjoy the magical sound that song here and not actually look up more info on Ms. Longet because…eeesh. (Though her escapades did result in one of the funniest early SNL found footage sketches ever.)

There’s also a real familiar tune that gets an amazing remake thanks to Mark Kozelek, sometimes known as either “that guy in Red House Painters” or “that guy in Sun Kil Moon” or “that guy in Almost Famous”. Mark can be a bit prickly, but he put out a wonderful Christmas record last year that totally works. (On another song on his record there’s a  great exchange in mid tune that has him being told that of all the Mark Kozeleks at Christmas, he’s the most Mark Kozelek-iest, and if you don’t think I didn’t seriously consider that as a title for this year’s mix, you don’t know me well enough.)

Other highlights for me include a couple of nice jazzy takes from an old master (Sir Duke) and a newer one (if you’d have told 1990 me that John Zorn would have something to do with a really great and winsome remake of a beloved Christmas tune, I’d have been utterly bewildered by that.) I got to use a song by The Bats, which is awesome. Oh, and if our title cut artist sounds familiar to you, The Lilac Time is the band fronted by Stephen Duffy, who was once the original lead singer of Duran Duran. Yes, that Duran Duran. Finally, I can’t imagine that Christmas was a big holiday growing up for Cornershop’s Tjinder Singh, but damned if he doesn’t just nail it with “Every Year So Different.”

At any rate, as per usual, this is all one big file and stuff, a big ol’ sloppy musical holiday present from me to all of y’all. Click the big title below to download it from Dropbox. If you have a Dropbox account and are already signed in, you can also just stream it if that’s your thing.

No Sad Songs


Track list:

1.  Lisa Mychols, “Lost Winter’s Dream”
2.  The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo) “You’re A Gift”
3.  JD McPherson “Twinkle (Little Christmas Star)”
4.  Cornershop ft. Trwbador “Every Year So Different”
5.  Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings “Funky Little Drummer Boy”
6.  The Dum Dum Girls “On Christmas”
7.  Deidre and the Dark “Ghost of Christmas Past
8.  Billie Holliday “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Yesking Remix)”
9.  Duke Ellington “Sugar Rum Cherry”
10. New Mendicants “A Very Sorry Christmas”
11. The Love Me Nots “Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me”
12. Glasvegas “Please Come Back Home”
13. Claudine Longet “Snow”
14. Mark Kozelek “The Christmas Song”
15. Neil Halstead “The Man In The Santa Suit”
16. John Zorn “Christmas Time Is Here”
17. The Boy Least Likely To “A Happy Christmas Baby”
18. The Bats “December Ice”
19. The Orange Peels “Grey Holiday”
20. The Leisure Society “2000 Miles”
21. The Lilac Time “No Sad Songs”
22. Ah Shane, ya never let me down lad.


Permalink 4 Comments

Peace On Earth (The 2014 Popnarcotic Christmas Music Mix)

December 22, 2014 at 9:46 am (Music Mixes, Uncategorized)

Every year when I do a holiday-themed music mix, I always give it a working title, just for my own mental reference: “Wassail” or “Xmas Cool” or something like that. This year I quickly gave this collection of tunes the working title “Peace On Earth”. Obviously, that’s from the wonderful MattPondPA cover of George Harrison’s immortal “Give Me Love” that kicks off this year’s mix. I’d always eventually meant to change it to something snappier. Funnier. Something goofy.  But then over the past few weeks the news has just been bleak. People keep getting killed for incomprehensible reasons, and even more incomprehensibly, idiotic shouters want to blame every person besides the killers for events that happened.  Much like the moronic inanity of the “War On Christmas”, it’s pseudo-rage meant to push buttons. Media outlets of every stripe and political leaning figured out years ago that ginned up outrage equals ratings and page clicks and money.

And so “Peace On Earth” ended up being a title I kept. It felt sadly appropriate, obviously. I don’t worry about it being “too topical” or too rooted in 2014, either. If we know history well enough, we know that sadly “Peace On Earth” will always be a quixotic wish with applicable currency for any year.

But….not just every year will have this lineup of holiday tunes. It’s not all wistful solemnity! There’s that chiming “Getting Better All The Time” guitar nick that the wonderful Pugwash use on “Tinsel And Marzipan” for instance, that sets my heart a-flutter every time. There’s Dutch indie rockers Clean Pete and Niek from the band Afterpartees doing a take on Kirsty McColl and Shane MacGowan that seems a little too rip-offy…and then the chorus dips into that minor fifth outta nowhere and I swoon. Maybe most improbably, I discovered this year that two bands do songs called “My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder Than All The Dead Christmas Trees In The World”.  Turns out its a quote from Charles Bukowski, so that probably explains it. There’s a Joy Formidable B-side with that title, but it sounds icy and distant. A Scottish band called Broken Records also do a completely different song with that title, and theirs sounds like an amazing, drunken raveup. Guess which one I used? I hate that I’ve not even mentioned an awesome Francopop tune from Canada’s Chic Gamine or The Raveonettes or Los Campesinos. Shoot, there’s even some K-Pop, a genre which I figured there’d be no way I’d ever put on a mix, but when you hear a song like “An Eighties Christmas Song”, you just gotta. I mean, c’mon. We got yr cool Yule right here, mac.

This year there’s also more Lisa Mychols (who, you know, get used to seeing in these mixes for a good long while, and if her Christmas album recorded with the Wondermints ever comes back in print, you should but immediately–right now it’ll run you about $100 used) who’ll pluck your heartstrings with “Pure And Simple”. There’s London indieboys Tellison making a good case for telling a few lies over the holidays. There’s some classics too for chilling and grooving.

And of course, there’s me putting this out there to wish you the happiest, most joyful, and hopefully peaceful of holidays and new years. I know that “Peace on earth” is a cliche and a humbug and thoroughly impossible thing, but I don’t think I’m going to stop wishing for it, just the same. Merry Christmas!

 Peace On Earth (Christmas Music, 2014!)


1. “Humbug”
2. “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” MattPondPA
3. “You’re Just Like Christmas” The Crookes
4. “Tinsel and Marzipan” Pugwash
5. “Favorite Things” The Supremes
6. “Noel (Au Coin de Portage et Main)” Chic Gamine
7. “Let It Snow” Frank Sinatra
8. “Make It To Christmas” Clean Pete featuring Niek
9. “Snow Song” I Was A King
10.”Don’t Tell The Truth This Christmas” Tellison
11.”Winter Wonderland” Ray Charles
12.”Winter Now” Broadcast
13.”An Eighties Christmas Song” Tramgirl Karaoke Club
14.”Pure and Simple” Lisa Mychols
15.”My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder Than All The Dead Christmas Trees In The World” Broken Records
16.”When Christmas Comes” Los Campesinos!
17.”Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo” Billy May
18.”The Christmas Song” The Raveonettes
19.”Christmas Stars” Dwight Twilley
20.”Taking Down The Tree” Low
21.”I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” Wizzard
22.Fairytales, New York, and the Boys of the NYPD Choir

(click the header or picture and the music should happen.)



Permalink 8 Comments

A True Detective Musical Interlude…

March 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm (Music Mixes)

Like lots of folks, I’m quite smitten with the HBO show True Detective. As a fan of Ellroy, Pelecanos, and Ligotti (the latter I’ve just started reading in the past year, and hoo-boy), I’ve found myself right at home in its swampy, noir charms. As a die-hard Angel Heart fanboy, I can’t help but see True Detective as a 21st Century update of that setting and theme.

I’ve also really dug the music in the show. HBO sometimes just wins me over based on a theme song–like using the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “Straight Up And Straight Down” for Boardwalk Empire–and they couldn’t have picked better music than the haunting Handsome Family tune that opens every True Detective episode this season. I still maintain that T-Bone Burnett’s signature production sheen spackles on some of the dullest sonic layering and compression you’ll ever hear (I liken it to someone taking sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges which is usually a terrible thing to do with rock and blues and soul; if he’d produced the White Stripes, “Fell In Love With A Girl” would’ve been played through a capo’d guitar turned down to 4, with Jack White’s vocals auto-tuned). Despite that beef I have with him, there’s no disputing the dude has good taste in the music he picks.

Something I forgot about until recently is that I sort of made my own True Detective soundtrack over four years ago. I uploaded it here, too! For Halloween in 2009 I made two music mixes. I did one for a small get-together that involved watching a couple of bayou/backwoods horror films and also drinks and cards. It was a pretty downcast mix, and I think I was going for haunted and rustic and creepy as a feel. I called it Rosedale At Midnight, the title of the mix referring to the crossroads in Mississippi where Robert Johnson is alleged to have sold his soul.


When I put that mix together, I was reading and influenced by George Pelecanos’ most existential novel, The Night Gardener (about retired homicide detectives haunted by unsolved serial killings…sound familiar?) I remembered it over the weekend and gave it a couple of listens today and as a mix it holds up, and as a nice “Gimme more of that True Detective-sounding music” it really works.

So, in case you missed it back when, I hope you’ll indulge me exhuming it this week, as we await a visit to Lost Carcosa.

Rosedale At Midnight

1. Intro….
2. Cary Hudson, “Haunted House Blues”
3. Syd Barrett, “Late Night”
4. Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians, “Raymond Chandler Evening”
5. Califone, “Funeral Singers”
6. House Of Freaks “Lonesome Graveyard”
7. The Velvet Underground “Ocean”
8. Neko Case “Ghost Writer”
9. Hank Williams Sr. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”
10. Blitzen Tripper, “Black River Killer”
11. The Clientele, “Graven Wood”
12. Outrageous Cherry, “Out There In The Dark”
13. The Cobbs, “Deathcapades”
14. Matt Murphy D/B/A Guy Terrifico, “Friend Of The Devil”
15. Gene Austin, “Girl Of My Dreams”
16. Sparklehorse, “Spirit Ditch”
17. The Rolling Stones, “Midnight Rambler”
18. Mark Lanegan, “The Winding Sheet”
19. Cat Power, “Werewolf”
20. The Rain Parade, “A Broken Horse”
21. jennyanykind, “Ghostly White”

(Right click the title, or this sentence, to save or stream.)

Permalink Comments Off on A True Detective Musical Interlude…

Next page »