Category Archives: MIX TAPE

Eli August And The Abandoned Buildings Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Singer/songwriter Eli August is known for his darker brand of Americana. When backed by the Abandoned Buildings, August is a force to be reckoned with. The music they play is both catchy and driving, as well as an introspection of life and memories. Now August and his band have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Dolly Parton “Jolene”
August: This track is one of my favorites, because it handles the familiar subject of “the cheating man” in a very different way, and from a different angle. Dolly is reaching out to the mistress and begging her not to steal her man away. There is no anger, only pleading and desperation. She packs a lot of story and a catchy chorus all in less than three minutes. Video

Bend Sinister “Time Breaks Down”
Robare Pruyn: I’m a sucker for old-school electric-piano tones, a little bit of Brian May-ish guitar and surf-rock vocal harmonies. This track is frenetic and high energy and combines a lot of disparate elements to create a tune that takes you places you don’t expect. I love that in a song. Video

Beatles “Something”
Molly Hebert-Wilson: I’ve always loved George Harrison’s transitions throughout his songs, particularly in this one, where he opens up the last chord of the verse to give a more emotionally demanding chorus. Video

Led Zeppelin “Gallows Pole”
Alex Bell: Zeppelin’s version of this one makes mandolin and banjo sound so much cooler than they actually are. Video

The Goat Rodeo Sessions “Here And Heaven”
Matt DeBlass: This is one of my current favorites. The quality of musicianship is, of course, amazing, but the sound is unlike anything else out there, and the song’s hushed intensity sucks me right in every time I hear it. Video

Renaissance “I Think Of You”
Melissa Perry: I can’t remember who first showed me Renaissance, but I know it was not my father, as he was surprised when he caught me listening to them in my teens. They opened my eyes as to what a band could sound like. This song is more stripped down than a lot of their other tunes as well as shorter, but I always loved the genuine and intimate quality of it. Video

John Miller & Ruthie Dornfeld “Dolor y Gusto”
Noam Berg: A lovely tune, effortless playing by two masters who have absolutely nothing to prove. You can hear how much fun they’re having in their performance. Audio

Radiohead “Hearing Damage”
Rebekah Griffin Greene: This is my favorite song ever. The words spoke to me about unconditional grace at a time a few years ago when I really needed it. Video

Ryuichi Sakamoto “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”
Michael Wolf: Through all my studying of classical music, this contemporary composer remains my absolute favorite, and this is my favorite piece of his. Very much in tune with minimalism, it manages to take a simple melody and, rather than developing it through alterations or closely related keys, restates it in slightly different settings. Video

Gift To The Greedy “Grease”
Brennan Kuhns: This band was one of the most exciting live bands I’ve ever seen; I went to countless shows of theirs in the ’90s and on. This is about as random a three minutes of music can be, but still connects to itself. Audio

Buddy Holly “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”
John Wheldon: This is a great example of musical evolution. Buddy Holly started in country before going into rock ‘n’ roll, but this song (the last he recorded before his death) shows he was beginning to experiment with different instrumentation. It’s so good, and it showcases how tragic his death was. We will never get to know where he would have gone next. Video

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David Poe Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Singer/songwriter David Poe makes it a point to bring more to the table than just a smooth voice and catchy melodies. He recently released God & The Girl via the Charming Martyr label, and it’s a landmark record for his career. Now, Poe has made MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Gavin Bryars Featuring Tom Waits “Jesus’ Blood Has Never Failed Me Yet”
Gavin Bryars takes a field recording of a homeless man singing 13 bars of hymn, loops it, and for the next 20 minutes surrounds it with an ever-growing orchestra, then choir, until finally Tom Waits chimes in. Later this piece served as score for choreographer William Forsythe’s magnificent dance Quintett, which is how I first heard it. Doubt I’ll ever hear anything quite like it again. Video

Chocolate Genius “My Mom”
Chocolate Genius, Inc. is the brainchild of visionary/provocateur Marc Anthony Thompson, whose songs, scores and singing have appeared in lots of films (including a cover of the Beatles’ “Julia” in I Am Sam), won him an Obie (for A Huey P. Newton Story) and spiced up proceedings with Bruce Springsteen and Me’Shell Ndegeocello. “My Mom” is wrenching, sweet and brave, and is probably the best song ever written about Alzheimer’s. Check out how John Medeski’s Hammond subtly defines this story’s turn from reminiscence to present, and how the lyric uses details to show not tell. They don’t call him a genius for nothin’. Video

T Bone Burnett “Kill Zone”
T Bone Burnett is an American hero who has come to the rescue of the culture so many times that to imagine contemporary music without his contributions would be akin to some sci-fi dystopia in which Dylan’s career went no further than that of Llewyn Davis. Part of the reason the records T Bone produces for others are so compelling is that he’s a great songwriter himself, and this tune, co-written with Roy Orbison and Bob Neuwirth for Sam Shepard’s play Tooth Of Crime, is one of his many masterful marriages of lyric and melody. Video

Oh Land “Love You Better”
Oh Land is Nanna Øland Fabricius, a Danish singer/songwriter/dancer whose recombination of song, film, motion, art and spectacle is sure to delight us for years to come. She and I wrote this one day and recorded it the next in one take. Then Nanna methodically added layers of harmony to create the “angel’s muted choir.” Love this recording, but I can’t wait to hear Mavis Staples sing this song. Or Beyoncé. Video

Chris Whitley “Dirt Floor”
Chris Whitley was a visionary songwriter, player and poet whose work nods at tradition while looking into the future, and into the abyss. Restless and virtuosic, he redefined so-called roots music, introduced it to EDM and, when he chose to, rocked as ferociously as any band of the era. But to me Whitley was never more visceral than when he performed solo, as he does on his record Dirt Floor and in this video from a show we played at CBGB in the summer of ’98. He died in 2005. Video
Chris’s daughter Trixie toured with him when she was a young girl; now, she’s creating her own musical world. Trixie Whitley is one to watch. Trixie Whitley and Daniel Lanois on NPR All Songs Considered: Video

Ana Moura “Thank You”
From Portugal comes fado music, a 100-year-old genre of songs traditionally about fate, the sea, poverty and loss. Most fado songs are marked by a sense of longing—in Portuguese, saudade. So I dig it. Ana Moura is her country’s preeminent fado singer, and I was thrilled when she sang this song of mine on her record Desfado, produced with love by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Melody Gardot, Tracy Chapman.) Excellent guitarist/violinist Freddy Koella guests on this track. Video

Brendan Hines “Miss New York”
Brendan Hines is both actor and songwriter, for which he apologizes profusely but needn’t because he is so great at both. Somehow simultaneously rollicking and poignant, this list song (from his first record and the soundtrack to the film Happythankyoumoreplease) will strike a chord with any New Yorker decamped to Los Angeles. Full disclosure: I co-produced Brendan’s most recent effort Small Mistakes, and also I follow him on Twitter. Video

Otis Redding “Respect”
Everyone knows Aretha Franklin’s version, a feminist anthem that has never been topped. But check out how the song’s writer Otis Redding rips it up in this live version from the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. When Otis sings about getting his “propers,” it’s a completely different vibe from Aretha’s version, and the frenetic ending here is like a hardcore punk drummer taking it to church. Video

All Spots To Black “Baby”
The songs of guitarist/pianist/singer Philip Krohnengold hang-glide in the appealing chasm between craggy despair and defiant vulnerability; his band All Spots To Black falls somewhere between the moody roar of Mark Kozelek’s Red House Painters and Tonight’s The Night-era Neil Young. Brainy, but mellow, but loud. This live-in-studio video, directed by Ronnie Smith, features singer/songwriter Holly Conlan and drummer/producer/composer Al Sgro. Video

Joseph Arthur, Kraig Jarret Johnson & Gary Louris “September Baby”
Here’s three of my favorite guys. Between his excellent records, art and poetry, Joseph Arthur may now be the hardest working man in show business; with the Jayhawks, Golden Smog and writing songs for others, Gary Louris has made some of my favorite music in the last 20 years and is one of the great rock singers; Kraig Jarret Johnson has played with both of them, as well as with Run Westy Run, Iffy, O Geez, Angela McCluskey and his own project the Program. Ed Ackerson and I produced a record for Kraig that were some of the most fun and creative recording sessions ever. It comes out in 2015. Video

Curtis Stigers “Everyone Loves Lovers”
No contemporary jazz singer can tell a story the way Curtis Stigers can and, like Miles, he curates his repertoire with great aplomb (when he’s not writing the songs himself.) “Rock ‘n’ roll and jazz share so many of the same artistic bloodlines that it’s remarkable the two don’t fuse more often into the kind of inspired marriage of visceral clout and intellectual savvy conjured by the singer, songwriter and saxophonist Curtis Stigers,” says the New York Times, and it’s true—unlike a lot of jazz cats, Curtis gets how contemporary songwriters (e.g., Elvis Costello and Steve Earle) are writing the standards of today and how their work can live right alongside classic tunes, as they do on his superb record Let’s Go Out Tonight. I wrote this one for Curtis after he and his band (which features trumpet player John “Scrapper” Sneider) blew me away at the Blue Note in New York. Video

Kristen Toedtman “Precious Lord”
She’s an accomplished singer who performs regularly with enormous orchestras and choirs, sings backup on countless records (notably, on performance artist Amy Raasch’s upcoming project Girls Get Cold) and moonlights as music director of the St. Michael & All Angels church in Los Angeles, but most nights you’ll find Kristen Toedtman knocking one back at the piano and singing songs with decidedly more secular themes. Like Aretha, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, her performances are buoyed by a spiritual, gospel-infused passion even when she’s singing about whiskey and sex. Video

Grey Reverend “Little Eli”
I first heard Grey Reverend when DJ Jeremy Sole played this song late one night on his excellent radio show and immediately pulled my car over, bought it online and tweeted @greyreverend how I would be honored to write one with him. Seems strange now that this sweet little guitar instrumental was my introduction to his work, as Grey Reverend’s vibey voice and lyrics are what I have come to love about his most recent release, A Hero’s LieVideo

Thomas Dybdahl “I Never Knew That What I Didn’t Know Could Kill Me”
Norwegian singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl’s falsetto is otherworldly, his writing is pure and organic and his most recent effort, What’s Left Is Forever, is his finest yet. He and I wrote this song with Larry Klein, who produced this recording. Tchad Blake mixed it. The band is stellar: bassist David Piltch, drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarist Dean Parks and keyboardist Jamie Muhoberac. This deep string arrangement is by Vince Mendoza. Video

Gustafer Yellowgold “Pterodactyl Tuxedo”
Songwriter/cartoonist Morgan Taylor’s children’s project Gustafer Yellowgold is a growing universe of charming oddballs designed to teach early readers life lessons about friendship, acceptance and nonconformity via a “moving, musical book” format. Parents and hipsters seem to enjoy it too—he’s opened for Wilco and the Polyphonic Spree. Best of all, Gustafer never talks down to kids, just speaks to their inherent humanity and emotional intelligence, and that is a beautiful thing. Also, he jumps on cake. Video

Pilobolus “Transformation” (From Shadowland)
Shadowland is the first-ever full-length shadow dance piece by Pilobolus, the American dance company you may have seen performing on Oprah, Conan, 60 Minutes, the Oscars and a command performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Shadowland, for which I wrote a score that is one-half pop song, one-half orchestral and electronic music, has a narrative conceived by Steven Banks (Spongebob Squarepants) about a young girl who goes into a dreamworld populated by heroes and villains, half-animals, man-eating flowers and an undulating landscape, where she is transformed into a dog. Hard to explain, but visually stunning and a total innovation in dance theater. Video

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Abbie Barrett Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Abbie Barrett is the core of her band Abbie Barrett & The Last Date, who have an album due for release this month. The music they play has a tough rock edge but also stays very pop oriented. Barrett’s voice and lyrics make the songs emotionally gripping, while the instrumentation make the music fun. Now, Barrett has made a mix tape for MAGNET. Check it out below.

CSNY “Country Girl/Whiskey Boot Hill/Down Down Down”
I’ve always been a fan of Neil Young. His music served as the soundtrack to my high-school years, and I think the way he writes song has influenced me the most—albeit somewhat subconsciously. He changes time signatures, he’s daring, and he doesn’t seem to give a fuck about what anyone else thinks of him! This song includes Crosby, Stills and Nash. It’s not my favorite Neil Young song—who can really choose?—but it tells an epic, sweeping story without ever leaving the confines of some bar (at least as pertains to the lyrics). In fact, it’s a three-part suite. (I read somewhere that Neil collects three separate royalties for the song. Not sure if that’s true, but I like the idea of him sticking it to the man.) Video

Syreeta Wright “Cause We’ve Ended Now As Lovers”
Jack Hamilton, our keys player, introduced me to this song, and it really defines what “captivating” means. The song moves so slowly, and both the music and Syreeta’s voice are so controlled, and yet it just crushes you with emotion. Syreeta sings about her ending marriage to Stevie Wonder—and yet he’s the songwriter and producer of this song. It’s a collaboration that’s so strange, sad and also wonderful. Video

Sly & The Family Stone “Que Sera”
Sly covering Doris Day. I will never not sing along to this song at full volume. Video

Radiohead, “Idioteque” (Live Version From I Might Be Wrong)
I heard this song playing in a Tower Records (remember those?), and I bought it on the spot. I hadn’t really listened to Radiohead at that point, but this song just grabbed me and took me down a Radiohead rabbit hole. Thom Yorke sings the shit out of every song, but here he gets particularly angsty and yarbly (is that a word?). It reminds me a little bit of Roger Waters, whom I also love for his yell-y (another new word) singing quality. Video

Feist “Secret Heart” (Ron Sexsmith Cover)
I became enamored with this particular performance of the song. I’m a huge fan of Feist. In general, she writes amazing hooks and melodies, without compromising her smart lyrics and down-to-earth production. With that said, she didn’t write this song (and I digress). But I love songs that go from quiet and sparse to rockin’. I’m really a sucker for it. It’s an old trick, and I embrace it every time. Video

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Wannabe Jalva Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Wannabe Jalva, from Porto Alegre, Brazil, recently announced the release of their new EP Collecture, coming out October 15. Their energetic sound paired with dreamy pop passages and smooth vocals may remind you of Cage the Elephant or The Black Keys, but with more originality. Wannabe Jalva have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Kurt Vile “Wakin On A Pretty Day”
To begin our mix tape, here’s a very mellow and beautiful tune. Stop whatever you’re doing, open a bottle of beer, sit back and relax. Video

White Denim “Pretty Green”
One of the best “new” rock ‘n’ roll bands, which released with one of the best albums last year. They have such a great taste in chasing tone in the studio. They make a very nice balance between a more old-school recorded sound, full of fuzzy guitars and doubled vocals, with a modern twist that I really love. Video

The Doors “Peace Frog”
A classic is always a classic. When I was a kid, I used to prefer the Doors to the Beatles, and I remember the very first time I heard this intro, Krieger’s funky guitar and Jim’s beautiful lyrics were (and still) amazing. Video

Beck “Peaches And Cream”
One of the things I like the most about Beck is his possibility of being such a different artist from album to album. This song is from one of my favorite records of the 90s, Midnite Vultures. It’s hard to pick only one track from this guy. A true artist. Video

William Onyeabor “Fantastic Man”
This compilation that David Byrne put together from William Onyeabor is one of the coolest pieces of music that appeared in recent years. The first time I heard the whole album, I thought the songs were a little bit too long and repetitive, but after a while I realized that this was the best of it, and African music in general knows it all. It is perfect to forget about everything around you and only dance. Video

Gilberto Gil “Back In Bahia”
Gil is the father, nothing further. Video

Curumin “Compacto”
Curumin is one of the best artists in Brazil nowadays, but I really think his work is underrated by the Brazilian audience. If “Compacto” could reach the ears of the massive public in our country, it would be a major hit. Video

Tony Allen “Every Season”
Tony is the greatest drummer in the world, I keep on wondering how much groove he can make seated with those drumsticks in his hands. “Every Season” also has the voice of Damon Albarn doing a beautiful melody line. One of the best songs I’ve heard recently. Video

Sabotage “Mun-rá”
This Brazilian rapper had a very brief career due to a tragic and early death while he was leaving home to a concert. His work has been very influential to the rappers that came after him. Video

N.A.S.A “Money”
N.A.S.A. (that means North America/South America) is a project by the Brazilian DJ Zegon and the North-American Squeak E Clean. They have only one full-length recorded material, and “Money” is one of the best tracks in it. It has the always amazing vocals sang by David Byrne, and the whole album has a lot of nice collaborations from guys like Chuck D, Kanye West, John Frusciante, Tom Waits and Karen O. Video

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Joshua Worden Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

JoshuaWorden

Joshua Worden is an indie/alternative singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Ga. He’s a schooled jazz guitarist (although he later switched his major to English literature) who uses his education to create some of the most soothing and relaxing music you’ll ever hear. In September, he’s set to release his latest work of art, Into Fog. He also made MAGNET a mix tape, which you should check out below.

Elbow “New York Morning”
You’ve probably heard this song, but you should listen to it again. The chorus just builds and builds and builds, and it feels so goddamn good. It just makes me want to shout, “Raaaaa.” Guy Garvey has some serious pipes. Video

Robert Glasper “Dillalude #2″
Robert Glasper has been doing some really great things for jazz lately. This particular cut is special. They’re playing some of my favorite J Dilla beats as a live band and smashing the shit out of them. The pocket is so deep that even grandma would bob her head if she were still around and heard it. Listen to the whole thing when you have time. It’s nine minutes long, but they get to some great spots. Video

Plaid “Oh”
For me, hearing Plaid is instant nostalgia. This is from their brand-new album, but thankfully it is still unmistakably Plaid. I see late nights, yellow street lights, driving too fast, windows open, faded. Good feels. Video

Bombay Bicycle Club “Home By Now”
There’s something about this song that gets me every time. I can’t desensitize myself to it. Spine shivers and a blank stare. The chorus melody/harmony is impeccable. Video

Kendrick Lamar “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst”
Kendrick is my favorite dude out right now. For me, in hip hop there’s a very clear line between music that’s timeless and music made for short-term consumption. Honestly, I like both, but the former is infinitely more rare. I’d put Outkast, Wu-Tang, Nas and a few others in that category. And Kendrick has joined their ranks. Music that comes from a deep well and addresses real shit but doesn’t take itself too seriously. A fine line. Video

Wye Oak “Logic Of Color”
There’s a lot to like here. Technically, I love the dynamics in the mix: the panned drums, subdued pre-chorus, the tasteful synths. Musically, it’s just a great song. Her voice has the perfect level of husk. Video

Blctxt “Blue Collar Anthem”
Anthony (blctxt) was one the first good friends I made when I moved to Atlanta, and he is ATL through and through. Great artist, always on the grind. Great photographer as well. He captures these amazing candid moments on the MARTA every morning and posts them on his Instagram. Video

Sea Cycles “Tomahawk”
These guys, besides being some of my best friends, embody completely unbridled creativity. I’ve always looked up to them for their seemingly bottomless wellspring of awesome artistic ideas. They’ve got a new album coming out soon, and it’s going to be amazing. Video

Hundred Waters “Sonnet”
This is a band of some seriously talented individuals. I caught them live before I really knew who they were, here in Atlanta a year or two ago (at 529, a small and perfectly shitty venue). They’re playing sold-out shows in front of thousands now, but when I saw them, it was me and maybe five other people watching. And they slayed it. The way the girls harmonize and get that weird flute-ish vibrato interaction going on is unique and very cool. Clever songs, odd time signatures, great musicianship. Video

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Neil Holyoak Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Neil Holyoak is a folksy country artist who’s from Los Angeles, but based in Montreal. His debut album, All These Mountains Look The Same, was released back in 2003, and he’s issued three fantastic LP since. He’s set to release his fifth album, entitled Rags Across The Sun, next month. Oh, and he also just made MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

The Smiths “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
Before I heard this, I’d never thought that it was even an option to sing about real life, unwanted pregnancies, abandoned babies, the nature of adulthood and responsibility. Video

Boubacar Traoré “Mariama”
My friend Katherine showed me this song a few years ago, and it sparked my interest in modern African blues. This live version carries an incredible intensity. Video

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou “Homesickness”
This tune captures the feeling of wandering endlessly, longing for a place in the world. The melody spins in impossible circles, never landing and never really taking off. Years ago, my brother and good friend were living in an art gallery in Montreal, and we listened to this album a lot. Video

Majical Cloudz “This Is Magic”
I saw Majical Cloudz in concert in Montreal a couple years ago. I was really impressed with Devon Welsh’s vocal delivery and the minimal electronics. My sister left this song on a mix tape in my car, and I love it. Video

Nas “N.Y. State Of Mind”
Classic ’90s rap. Nasir Jones is a true poet. At 20 years old, he was rapping, “I never sleep, ’cause sleep is the cousin of death.” It’s an extremely powerful song, and apparently he wrote the whole verse on the spot in the studio. Video

The Weakerthans “Everything Must Go!”
I first heard The Weakerthans on cassette while traveling through Europe. The batteries on the tape player were dying, making John K. Samson’s voice deep and resonant. When I heard them on CD, I was surprised by his high tenor. This song has been my friend when I’ve felt alone in a big city. Video

The Pupils “It’s Good To Have Met You”
My friend Dave Bryant gave me a copy of this recording ages ago while I was recording at The Pines. Daniel Higgs sings of life as an endless circle. “I could never forget you, before I even met you/It’s good to know I’ll know you ’til the end.” This is a very special song to me, and I can’t listen to it often. I need to hear it when I lose someone close to me, either to death or distance. Video

Judee Sill “There’s a Rugged Road”
This is a beautiful and sad song. You can hear a note of pain in Judee’s voice, but she sounds as though she’s reached a state of acceptance. She sounds almost happy to be staring into oblivion with clear, brave, open eyes. Video

Elliott Smith “Waltz #2″
I used to listen to this when I was 16, driving around L.A. late at night. I didn’t have anywhere to go; I’d just put Elliott on the stereo and drive until there were no more streetlights to follow. Video

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Autumn In June Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Autumn In June is an indie-electronica artist from Los Angeles, whose beats and melodies can make even a dead man dance. Influenced by the violence witnessed throughout his childhood growing up in south L.A., he managed to take his experiences and create an artform out of them. His self-titled sophomore album is due September 16, but before you check that out, check this out. Autumn In June has made MAGNET a mix tape, which we proudly share with you below.

Electric Light Orchestra “Yours Truly, 2095″
I have always thought that Jeff Lynne has an incredibly cool voice! In this song, he combines some dope lyrics with a perfect fusion of original sounds. In short, I love this song because it is innovative and creatively amazing! It’s crazy to listen to the lyrics of this song and imagine him creating this all the way back in 1981. Video

2pac “To Live And Die In LA”
2pac is by far my favorite artist of all time. He was an incredibly smart dude and produced lyrics that a lot of people could really relate to.The video was shot in my neighborhood, and I feel like he really captured that part of L.A. well in this song. Video

The Church “Under The Milky Way”
I have a really big interest in Australian bands and the music that they produce. The Church are one of my favorites, and “Under The Milky Way” is a classic. This song is so smooth and makes me feel extremely chilled out every time I hear it. Enjoy! Video

Omega “Gyöngyhajú Lány”
Genius work by this Hungarian rock band. I love the whole feeling of this song; it’s got this warm vibe to it that makes everything seem super dreamy. Video

Dr. Dre “Xxplosive (Instrumental)”
“Xxplosive” was a huge song when I was younger. I would hear it everywhere I went in L.A. I love the instrumental because it’s simple and super funky. I must have listened to it a million times, but I don’t think I will ever get tired of hearing it. Video

Platinum Blonde “Not In Love”
I love the concept of this song and the fact that it focuses on feelings that aren’t often addressed in most popular music. The way that the guitar is played on the chorus brings so much energy to the song, and the lyrics make it so hard not to sing along at the top of your voice. As an artist, I am obsessed with creating original melodies. I spend hours in my studio doing it. This song has such a dope melody and gets me hyped on making new music every time I hear it. Video

Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”
This is probably my favorite Michael Jackson song of all time. It highlights exactly what made him so great. His passion, originality and showmanship are second to none. The energy in the video is so intense, it makes me wish I was there. A true legend! Video

El Perro Del Mar “Change Of Heart”
What’s not to love about El Perro Del Mar? Sarah Assbring is so laid back that you can’t help but forget all of your problems when you listen to her music. There’s nothing better than laying in the sun with a few beers and just totally absorbing this tune; it’s my ultimate chillout song. Video

The Libertines “Time For Heroes”
My close friend and manager Matt Ripley put me on to this band. He’s a big Libertines fan and loves this song. Personally, I love the way in which the Libertines wrote in a truly poetic way. Video

Supertramp “The Logical Song”
I love this song because the lyrics are so inspirational. Roger Hodgson is a great writer, and I love the uniqueness of his voice. I like to watch the live version of this song because you can see the passion and love that his fans have for him when the song starts. It has undoubtedly been an inspiration to so many people out there. Video

Flight Facilities “Clair De Lune”
I pretty much like everything that Flight Facilities creates, but this is my personal favorite because my friend Christine Hoberg is on it. She has an incredible voice and really does her thing on this one! The video is really cool, too. Video

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Split Screens Make MAGNET A Mix Tape

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San Francisco’s Split Screens is a band started by frontman Jesse Cafiero that aims to “capture a reality from different perspectives.” Their song “The Sinner” is a psychedelic-indie style track from a limited-edition seven-inch release back in March. “Stand Alone” features a variety of different unique instruments, including horns, autoharp and heavy synths. Download both tracks below, and check out the awesome mix tape that Cafiero made for MAGNET as well.

“The Sinner” (download):

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“Stand Alone” (download):

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Jimi Hendrix “Manic Depression
It’s pretty hard to pick just one Hendrix song, but this one just has such an unmistakable groove. Mitch Mitchell’s drumming on this is totally insane. Video

Delicate Steve Don’t Get Stuck (Proud Elephants)
Delicate Steve is one of my favorite artists making music these days. This is one of my favorite melodies of his. I’ve definitely played along with this one on my lap steel many many times! Video

Radiohead Pyramid Song
I love how the drums come in on this one; such a dreamy tune. Plus the lyrics are amazing! Video

Alpha Blondy Come Back Jesus
This is what I call a summer reggae jam. One of my favorite bass lines ever. Video

David Axelrod Songs Of Innocence
Get transported to late-1960s L.A. with this one. Great music for driving! Video

Santo & Johnny Summertime
Just an amazing-sounding record and phenomenal pedal steel playing. Listen to that vinyl crackle! Video

The Beatles Within You Without You
Just pure magic, I always loved George the best! Video

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Buddy Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Buddy

Buddy is an L.A.-based musician from Portland, Ore., who shares his name with the moniker of his band, Buddy. The outfit has been writing and recording music since 2002, and through the years it has evolved from the early years as an acoustic rock band to today’s incarnation of the group, which is more in proximity to a indie pop/rock sound. The band is set to release Last Call For The Quiet Life in August. Check out the mix tape Buddy (the musician, not the band) made for MAGNET below.

King Curtis & The Kingpins “Memphis Soul Stew”
Do you ever wish you could take a musical cooking class? Well, then, I have great news: King Curtis offers an excellent instruction course. I always put this song on when I’m doing little tasks like cleaning my place. King Curtis gives me that extra pep to ensure it gets the royal treatment. Video

The Replacements “Swingin’ Party”
I was 12 the first time I heard this song, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was refreshingly free of polish, unlike most songs I had heard. I felt like I was eavesdropping on someone’s aching confession and I could hear all the cracks in the singer’s voice, but he didn’t seem to mind. I’ve always been drawn to more lyric-based songs and wordplay, and this was my first love: “If being afraid is a crime, we’ll hang side-by-side, at the swingin’ party.” Video

The Faces “Ooh La La”
You know those rare songs you love the first time you hear them, but you somehow never tire of them and love even more as time passes? This is one of those songs for me. I had always assumed Rod Stewart sung this song, but it was recently pointed out to me that it was actually sung by Ron Wood. According to the song’s Wikipedia page, Rod refused to sing it as he felt it was “beneath his standards.” I’m assuming those standards called in sick to work the day he recorded “Sometimes When We Touch.” Snap! Video

Cat Power “I Found A Reason”
This is probably my favorite cover song ever. I’ve always loved the original Velvet Underground version, but this version just entirely remakes it and takes it to a completely new place. A sadder, more plaintive, hauntingly beautiful place. Video

Olivia Newton John “A Little More Love”
I saw that. You totally rolled your eyes. Oh sure, Olivia’s songs were often cloaked in her time period’s trends, but she had a surprising number of nuggets hiding beneath the layer of cheesy production. This is my favorite. I like the chorus lyrics, and I love how her voice seems to effortlessly slide and hit the crazy high notes toward the end. I recently found out this was written by my friend’s father. I freaked out. Video

Elliott Smith “Stupidity Tries”
Trying to pick a favorite Elliott Smith song is an impossible task for me, so I won’t even try. I chose this one because I love songs that successfully juxtapose heavy lyrics but with an “up” melody, or vice versa. This one isn’t exactly “up,” but musically it’s not a downer. And the lyrics in this song kill me. “The enemy is within/Don’t confuse me with him” is one of my favorite lines ever. Video

Frank Sinatra “All The Way”
Growing up, my parents didn’t really play a ton of music in the house, but they both loved to play Frank. I don’t recall many days when I didn’t hear my father singing or whistling a Sinatra song, and eventually my dad won me over and made me a fan. This is one my favorites. And his. Video

Blake Mills “History Of My Life”
If I made a top-10 of my favorite records of the last few years, Blake Mills’ Break Mirrors would certainly be on it. I originally was drawn to the production, which is so simple and warm sounding, like it was all done in an afternoon in his living room with a few friends. Then the songs started to grow on me like a fungus, but a lovely one that I’d rather not be removed. This is my favorite du jour. Video

A Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation”
Smoove, sexy rhymes, with both playful and poignant lyrics is what the Tribe does best. I love this one. It will sneak up and remind you that you have a bootay that occasionally needs shakin’. Get to it! Video

Melanie “Citiest People”
A friend of mine turned me on to this song a couple of years ago, and since then I have gone down a bit of a Melanie rabbit hole. She has a lot of great songs (her biggest hit being the gem “Brand New Key”), but this sparse, lonely song is just beautiful. The next time you’re enjoying a quiet evening alone, I suggest you pour a glass of wine, invite this Melanie song over, and turn her up to 11. : ) Video

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Spider Bags Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Spider Bags was formed in 2005 by a group of close friends. After relocating to Chapel Hill, N.C., and going through a few different lineup changes, the band solidified as a three-piece in 2011 during the recording of third album Shake My Head. Now, Spider Bags have made MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Elvis Presley “Flaming Star”
Hard to do a mix tape without a specific person or occasion in mind, so I figured I’d start with Elvis. “Flaming Star”! Great goddamn song from the movie of the same name. Elvis sings the shit out of this one, and the band is great. This is 1960, and Elvis has not yet totally sold his soul to the Colonel; he was still ambitious and dedicated and new the kind of music he wanted to make. Bunch of Hollywood session guys backing him up; they were all jazz players back then, and you can hear it in the way the guitar and drums swing. I love it. Plus the movie is good, too, directed by Don Siegal, and Elvis’ character is named Pacer Burton. There will only ever be one Elvis Presley. Video

Shin Joong Hyun “Moon Watching”
Whenever I think of the early examples of polished rock ‘n’ roll coming out of Hollywood in the late ’50s and early ’60s, I also think of this song because it’s the exact opposite thing. Mr. Shin himself! Recorded in 1958 at an Army base in South Korea with a bunch of American-soldier musicians, less polished than the Hollywood guys but you can hear the similarities, and holy shit, Shin’s guitar playing. He’s 20 years old and already playing this crazy psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll guitar. In 1958. In a room full of American soldiers. Pretty wild to think about, too: The same Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James records that inspired Keith Richards also inspired this. Video

The Doors “L.A. Woman”
The same jazz style rhythm but played in 1971 by a bunch of L.A. punks (including Jerry Scheff on electric bass who would later play in Elvis’ TCB band). I know you hate the Doors. I did, too, for a long time, but I happened to accidentally stumble across their Live At The Hollywood Bowl movie a couple years back, and the veil was lifted. The Doors rule. Watch the movie with an open mind and tell me you hate the Doors. I dare ya. Video

Neil Young “L.A.”
I can’t listen to one of these L.A. songs without wanting to listen to the other. From Time Fades Away, recorded live during the 90-day tour following the release of Harvest. Neil Young is drunk on tequila and playing a Flying V. I love it. My buddy Andrew worked at Shangri-La Records in Memphis for a long time, and he said one day this dude came in and asked to see a copy of Time Fades Away. The guy said that a friend had told him he was on the cover. Andrew showed him the record and the dude said, “Yep that’s me,” and then walked out of the store. Andrew said that the he did look a bit like the guy holding up the peace sign on the front. Maybe this sort of things happens in record stores all the time. Who knows? Video

Waylon Jennings “Waymore’s Blues”
Neil Young’s singing sometimes reminds me of Waylon. From Dreaming My Dreams, Waylon’s breakthrough record. He made it with wild man and Memphis native “Cowboy” Jack Clement, who was a producer and engineer for Sun Records during the Million Dollar Quartet heyday. Lots of great songs on this record, but this one blew my mind the first time I heard it. Waylon Jennings is one tough dude, and his voice is amazing. It goes right to the center of my brain. “I got my name painted on my shirt/I ain’t no ordinary dude/I don’t have to work.” Awesome. Video

Sensations Fix “Faux Batard”
Song number six; time to get weird! Someone once put this song on a mix tape for me. The best kind of weird beauty. Franco Falsini lived in Virginia for a time in the late ’60s and brought the Moog back to Italy with him. He sings in English, but you get the impression that he barely understands what he’s saying. File it under garagesynthkrautprogrockAudio

The Walker Brothers “The Electrician”
First time I heard this song was on a mix tape as well, way back in the day. Blew my mind all over my shirt. It’s about as perfect as a song can get. I was listening to this song recently while driving around with my two-year-old daughter, and when the strings kicked in I heard her say in her little voice from the car seat behind me, “It’s beautiful, dadda. Can you make it louder?” Video

Tommy James “Midnight Train”
Tommy James is my hero. From his self-titled solo record. Great singer and songwriter, engineer and producer. The man did it all. The way he used echo and tape delay is a constant source of inspiration for me. The guitar playing on this song and the album in general is so psychedelic and cool. The story is that he had to make this record in Nashville because the mob put a hit out on him in NYC. God bless you, Tommy James. Video

Creedence Clearwater Revival “Midnight Special”
Two songs about L.A. and two about midnight trains; maybe we do have a theme going. This song is just about everything I love about rock ‘n’ roll; a seemingly simple song played well with all the contagious emotion of four people high on the feeling of reckless abandon that you can only get from playing electric rock ‘n’ roll music as loud and as loose as you want. Plus, it’s the song that plays after the opening scene of that weird-ass Twilight Zone movie from the ’80s. Video

Bread “Look What You’ve Done”
I asked my wife how I should end this virtual mix tape, and this is the song she immediately came up with. It’s perfect. When I was a kid, mix tapes were either for the beginning of a relationship when you want to tell somebody what you’re all about, or the end of a relationship when you want to let someone know what they’re missing out on. This song would definitely fit into the latter category. I actually put John Cale’s “You Know More Than I Know” on a mix tape for a girl who broke my heart when I was 18. Yeah, heavy times. We love Bread in my house. Their records are in constant rotation. From Elvis to Bread in 10 songs, not a bad trip. Thanks for coming along. Video

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