[My friends over at Fathomasked me to write/curate another small something for them. A medley of songs & liner notes for those of us not taking an Indio, CA spring break for this year’s Coachella music festival. The original article (playlist included) is down below and right here. Happy Coachella!].
For all you music fans out there getting high on festival fumes: Fathom’s resident mixtaper Beth Silverman strings together a dozen Coachella anthems for your listening pleasure.
Heading to the desert? Consider this mixtape as a means to pump you up.
Lameting the fact that you didn’t get your act together in time for the fest? Then enjoy the consolation Coachella sampler below. It’s no substitute for the real thing, but there’s still a whole summer of festivals to look forward to.
Track Listing: Listen to Coachella 2013 on Spotify and iTunes and get down.
1. “Time to Run,” by Lord Huron Overflowing with strong beats and heartfelt words. Gentle nudge to choose your own adventure with no regrets.
2. “Lightening Bolt,” by Jake Bugg Eighteen-year-olds have no business being this good. Damn straight.
3. “Concrete Schoolyard,” by Jurassic 5 Long live the Lyrical Wizards of Hip Hop. This Coachella appearance better mean step one of a comeback. I’ve been missing Chalia 2na’s voice for a good long while.
4. “Shiraz,” by Action Bronson Sharp-witted lyrics from a Queens Chef turned Rapper. Smart career move.
5. “Latch (feat Sam Smith),” by Disclosure Alternative slow dance jam. Side of irresistible beats. On permanent repeat for me.
6. “Keep It Goin Louder,” by Major Lazer Instant dance party. I can’t hear you.
7. “Too Close,” by Alex Clare Poptastically indulgent in all the best ways.
8. “Wandering Star” by Polica Haunting vocals. You’ll fall hard at first listen.
9. “Glass of the Microscope,” by Yeasayer Pyschadelic pop laced with mighty melancholy lyrics. My favorite track from Fragant World.
10. “Every Man Needs A Companion,” by Father John Misty Sweet and kinda gloomy all at once. The Joseph Campbell reference is the best part. Watch this for bonus points.
11. “Crucify Your Mind,” by Rodriguez A singer unknowingly lends a poetic voice to apartheid resistance in the ’70s and ’80s. His story and this song are stunning. If you haven’t watched Searching for Sugarman, do so immediately.
12. “Wakin On a Pretty Day,” by Kurt Vile Perfect track for a roadtrip mix. Even if you’re not headed towards Indio, CA, roll your windows down for this one.
Here it goes. The final 2012 wrap up post for Major Dudes. Since I spread this series out so long… I’ll keep my introduction short. The songs below are the soundtrack I kept on steady rotation throughout the year. And the songs I turned to for the company of an old soul (Lee Fields), a lover’s lament (Rhye), or a good old fashioned anthem to dance to (Electric Light Orchestra). The mix is best enjoyed in the order below.
2. “Surrender” by Electric Light Orchestra - Sometimes you just need to. It’s that simple.
(Photo courtesy of Hulton Archive, Getty Images).
3. “Lost,”by Frank Ocean - Ocean’s debut album is packed with so many good tracks that I nearly missed this one. I love the beat, subtle baritone vocals, and the last 30 seconds where he just says lost over and over again.
4. “Wish You Were Here,” by Lee Fields and the Expressions- Hands down one of the most spellbinding, holy amazing live shows I’ve ever seen. To quote my friend Lani, “Every once in a while, someone like Lee Fields comes around and makes you feel a lifetime of beauty and pain.” Can’t say it better than that.
(Lee Fields killing it at the Bowery Ballroom, February 2013. Photo courtesy of Major Dudes)
5. “Oooh,” by De La Soul - Rediscovered this gem in 2012. Bonus points for how amazing the video is. To up your street cred, watch The Wiz immediately.
(Photo Courtesy of MTV.com)
6. “Ramona,” by Night Beds - Lead singer Winston Yellin wrote this song in Johny Cash’s old cabin and I wonder if that has something to do with how good Country Sleep turned out. I was dragged to their late set at the Mercury Lounge a few months back; I left with shivers and a favorite new band.
7. “Crucify Your Mind,” by Rodriguez - A singer unknowingly lends a poetic voice to apartheid resistance in the ’70s and ’80s. The story is wild. And this song is stunning. Watch Searching for Sugarmanimmediately.
8. “Swing On Low” by Willis Earl Beal - Dare I compare Beal to Lead Belly…I won’t but his music is so raw and beautiful. No doubt that voice is channeling an old musical soul or two…
(From top: The beloved Sunny’s bar in Red hook, Red Hook Criterium #3/Kidd Yellin Gallery)
Editor’s Note: I met Dave 6 years ago at one of my favorite places in the world — Sunny’s in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I was there to swig a Peroni and watch bluegrass with my good pal, Diana. Dave was there for almost the same reasons. A few hours, beers and bluegrass standards later— we all made immediate plans to hang out the following weekend…we made good on those plans. After many Sunny’s excursions, mix exchanges, homemade Shenandoah Mountain running races (I lost), and collaborations (on Dave’s epic fixed gear criterium bike race — the Red Hook Criterium), Dave has become a real good friend and a trusted music source.
Like Teresa’s previous year end wrap up post, Dave’s top ten is not heavy with songs that came out in 2012, but rather what was on his steady rotation this past year. which I love, because good music has no expiration date. Enjoy!
HEAR Dave’s top ten tracks here(Spotify) and here (Itunes):
Editor’s Note: You know that friend — the one that’s an encyclopedia of amazing (and all over the place) musical knowledge, introducing you to your favorite songs you just didn’t know yet… well, that is Teresa. The first time we rapped about music we discovered a mutual appreciation for everything from gospel (Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers) to DC-rooted punk (Fugazi) to a healthy dose of mid 90s hip-hop (De La Soul). And she’s never once made fun of my love of Dolly Parton (if that’s note a musical litmus test then, I’m not sure what is). Her far reaching ear and good taste is precisely why I asked for her contribution to this series. I also love that her top 10 weren’t necessarily produced in 2012. There are gems a plenty to be found both in the tracks and accompanying notes below. Enjoy.
(Don’t be surprised if some of the songs below make you want to bust out and dance like these kids…)
This was harder than i thought. because these songs are my friends. They are attached to the themes that emerged this past year. They are the soundtrack to my memories. They are symbols of people I love and some that I wish i didn’t. But here it is. Top ten of twenty-twelve. HEAR Teresa’s top ten tracks here(Spotify) and here (Itunes).
1. Alice Gerrard & Hazel Dickens - “Won’t You Come And Sing For Me.” Its all about the harmony and fellowship. I listen to this song on repeat and it chokes me every time.
2. Tom Waits. “Long Way Home.” Because sometimes home just isn’t enough.
3. John Maus. “… And the Rain.” In a cabin in cold Minnesota there is a musical genius. His name is John Maus. And he understands the beauty of a synthesizer.
4. Dr. Lonnie Smith. “And the World Weeps.” At first it appears to be another Dr. Smith classic. But five minutes in the song shatters. It becomes epic.
(Photo courtesy of Major Dudes. The Lonnie Smith Trio. Jazz Standard 2013)
5. Dolly Parton. “The Seeker.” The most perfect love song about the most perfect love.
(Editor’s Note: This is one of my favorite Dolly songs. Dolly On…)
6. Bat for Lashes. “All Your Gold.” Listening to Laura sing is like looking through a prism in the sunlight. Explosive.
7. Brett Dennen. “Comeback Kid (that’s my dog).” Don’t listen just dance.
8. Oumou Sangare. “Seya.” Lift your voice in joy and sing-a-long. You can’t help it can you? Me either.
Pardon the interruption… (#3 of 5 of the 2012 wrap up is on its way)
I went to see the Lonnie Smith Trio with my good pals Fred and Dana last Friday night. A man in a turban, a Hammond B-3 organ and some fine company. It was a good night. And a treat for Fred and Dana, who having never seen the trio play live, trusted me blindly.
(Photos courtesy of Dana Lucas. From Top Left - The Lonnie Smith Trio. Signage. Dana’s signature drink for the night. Golden beats. and how you might feel after a Lonnie Smith show [click on the snapshot for full effect]…)
Next up is Michael Hartman. By way of brief introduction, Mike was my highschool prom date. Back in the day, he won me over with impeccable mix tape craftmanship (I have one surviving mix that is forever on rotation in my 1999 Jeep Cherokee, which plays cassette tapes only). Mike is actually responsible for this series since it was because of his gentle nudging that I decided to poll a few friends (and think of my own) for their top tracks of 2012. HEAR Mikes’s top ten tracks here (Spotify) andhere(Itunes).
To round out all things musical for 2012, I’ve called on 4 pals with impossibly good taste to share their top ten songs of the past year. Teaser: Frank Ocean has quite the fan club. As the final post of this 5-part series, I’ll even narrow down my top picks and try not to poach from everyone else’s lists. Here it goes… Enjoy.
First up is Paul Adams of Bang the Drum. I met Paul because he’s married to Laura. And I love Laura. So I knew he had to be some mighty fine people. This became very clear during a shindig I threw last summer when Paul noticed someone messed with the carefully sequenced party playlist by skipping over two tracks — Glen Campbell’s Witchita Linemanand the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset, and cried party foul along with me.
PAUL’S TOP TEN (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) FOR 2012:
Michael Kiwanuka - May This Be Love (Spotify exclusive track) - A special live treat where the music from his debut record was brought to life in ways the album perhaps didn’t suggest. This Hendrix cover by Michael is beautiful and considered. There aren’t many artists that could pull this off. I actually prefer Michael’s version and like the fact that he picked a little known track to cover and make all his own. (Editor’s note: Paul ran the spotify sessions where this track, among other gems, was recorded this past Fall).
Blur - Under The Westway - If there was any doubt that Damon Albarn is one of England’s finest songwriters and Blur one of England’s finest bands, this track, released to coincide with their headlining the Olympics Closing Ceremony in Hyde Park is classic blur. All the parts are there. The only downside is the band claimed this is it for new material from them. A shame when it’s all clearly working so well…
Poliça - Wandering Star
Second single from their superb debut “Give You The Ghost”. Two drums, bass, keys and haunting vocals. It’s hard not to fall in love with this band, and if you see them live, that’s it, you’re theirs.
Calvin Harris ft. Example - We’ll Be Coming Back
When it comes to pop music the year really did belong to Calvin Harris. The biggest songwriter of the year enjoyed hits with Ellie Goulding, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Florence Welch and this one with Example (amongst others). This isn’t necessarily the best track on his album “18 Months”, but I love Example too so decided on this one nails it with a ‘two birds with one stone’ approach.
Rudimental - Not Giving In
The bluesy vocals over piano that start the tune give you no idea where the track is going to go and when it kicks in with some proper UK urban flavor, the pay-off is well worthwhile. I particularly enjoy DJing this track.
Katy B - Got Paid (mix tape, free from her website)
Katy B is my absolute guilty pleasure. And she rocks live.
Jake Bugg - Simple As This
It’s really tough to pick a track from his self-titled debut record as the standout highlght. The only thing I don’t like about his record is the fact that 18 year olds have no business being this good. (I picked this track just coz it’s about as different to Katy B as you can get, so if you’re making a playlist this will fuck with people. Ha.)
Kendrick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank)
The state of Hip-Hop in 2012. Simple as that really.
Frank Ocean - Sweet Life
So many good tracks on this record it’s really hard to pick just one. Can we just opt for the album as a whole in place of one track? No? OK, well I picked this one because I love the tune but really love the lyric “My TV ain’t HD that’s too real”.
Haim - Don’t Save Me
Just glorious. A perfect first single proper, not counting their indie debut EP “Forever”. from the LA band. If Haim aren’t this biggest new band of 2013 I’ll eat my hat. Well, maybe not, but I will be very surprised.
HEAR Paul’s top ten tracks here (Spotify) minus the Jake Bugg and Katy B tracks, which you can sample here and here until they’re available on Spotify. You can also check em out here (well 7 of them until iTunes gets it together).
Last night I took my dear friend Dana to see Gregory Porter play at a tiny spot in Gowanus, Brooklyn; It was something else. The man did a high kick and pirouette, and got the tiny crowd to clap in sync, shimmy their hips and sing along.
His recordings don’t come close to capturing what this fella brings to the stage (I’ve seen him 4 times in the last year). A powerhouse of soul and r&b with striking vocals and unguarded delivery, and man can he wear a balaclava.
One of my favorite live acts. Hands down.
(Photos: Gregory Porter & Yosuke Sato killing it; Hometown gig and a sold out show to boot; Mr. Porter’s Dizzy’s gig earlier in November; post- show recap with the birthday girl)
I’m not sure if it was because the show was at home for him in Brooklyn or there was something just different about the crowd he caught on to (we danced alongside a 60+ year old woman with better dance moves than either of us), but this show had real magic. Mr. Porter was vulnerable up there — telling stories galore and letting the 100 or so of us in on his stories of love, loss, and all the inbetweens.
Pretty good way to celebrate Dana’s birthday. We both left with shivers.
A few minor notes on Gregory Porter:
He’s my neighbor with a home base in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Dons a balaclava like no one else.
Former linebacker at San Diego State University.
Be Good, a gentle lullaby, was born out of heartbreak, partially penned while Porter was biking home in Brooklyn after being dumped.
Signed with the Harlem-based label Motema Music in 2009. (they’re awesome by the way. I wrote to them to see whether Mr. Porter’s album was available as vinyl and I got the nicest note back).
If you have the chance to catch him live, I highly recommend you do… Until we meet again Gregory Porter.