My Mixtape Mondays – September 15, 2014
First Name: Brad
Occupation: Father/Husband/Hobbyist musician. I hold a job but it’s boring to talk about.
Mixtape Name: Broken iPod
1) Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
Clichéd as it is to use this as an opener, it’s the perfect track with which to do so. Much has rightfully been written about the snare that kicks off the song. So much happens here that it’s impossible to absorb it all in only one listen. It could be tracks one through twelve. It won’t be, though.
2) To the Lighthouse by Patrick Wolf
My favorite song from the most genre-bending artist I’ve heard. If you can place this song into a single genre, you’re trying too hard to categorize things. Violins, heavy electronic beats, textured vocal harmonies, 90’s hip-hop noise stabs, and bass that will break your car speakers.
3) Brandenburg Concerto No 1 in F Major, First Movement by The Bath Festival Chamber Orchestra, Cond. Yehudi Menhuin
The Brandenburg Concertos are the soundtrack of weekend morning in the fall in our household. These are my favorite recordings thereof. I chose the first movement of the first concerto because it’s what signals that they’re starting. Love, love, love.
4) Straight to Hell by The Clash
It’s hard to pick only one song by The Clash to include on any list. I went with this because it feels like a song that’s building towards something more angry after the peace brought by Bach. It proves that The Clash (and punk musicians as a whole) were more than capable of writing something beautiful and melodic, something they’re not often credited with doing.
5) Garbageman by The Cramps
A song I keep meaning to record a cover of, I’d be playing this one right now if they let me keep guitars at work. (Why don’t they let me keep guitars at work?) The guitar lines in this song don’t change and there’s not really a melody. It’s the absolute peak of post-punk while being incredibly punk in execution.
6) 23 by Jimmy Eat World
I hesitated in putting this anywhere but the closing spot. A different song won out so it closed side A. I love that this song is made complex through very simple lines. It’s emotionally effective in delivery and has a guitar solo that I’d kill to play while backlit in front of a crowd of people at night.
7) Universal Mind by Liquid Tension Experiment
Complex, fun, interesting. When you form a musical group out of people who are each arguably the most talented in the world at their respective instruments, you’re going to get incredible results.
8) Nobody Home by Pink Floyd
You’ve got to slow things down and get sad once and again. I tend to do this more often than most people like to. There’s a lot to be argued in this statement but I think that this song contains the best piano part that Rick Wright ever contributed to a Pink Floyd track. The “new” Floyd album may just prove me wrong but I’ve got a lot of doubts about that.
9) Iowa by Dar Williams
I couldn’t decide which version (studio version from ‘Mortal City’ or live version from ‘Out There Live’) to use. The studio version won out thanks to Larry Campbell’s tasteful almost-bluegrass-but-not-quite dobro slides. One word has never been stretched out so long or so beautifully.
10) Jelly Belly by Smashing Pumpkins
The last two songs brought things to a slower pace. This is a good way to pick things back up again. Really, any song from Billy Corgan’s incredible catalog could take any spot on this list. The man’s a goliath. Jimmy Chamberlin’s drumming on this track is among his best, which is really saying something about the greatest living drummer. Boom. Said it.
11) On Being Frank by Ben Folds Five
I don’t understand why Ben Folds isn’t at all like any of his contemporaries. He doesn’t slow down and his ability to write great songs hasn’t diminished at all. It’s hard to think of any other rock or pop artists who have hit 40 and still write material as good or better than the music they wrote in their 20’s.
12) Hit the Lights by Metallica
I love closing compilations with songs that opened their respective albums. I also love going out with a little thrash. It’s hard to hear it out of context now but this must have been mind-blowing-ly pummeling in 1983.
Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Brad’s new album, which recently dropped for free on his Soundcloud page. Check it out here!