Option-click (on Mac) or Alt-click (on Windows) on the album covers to download the songs, or download the whole mix at the bottom.
The Decemberists – Bridges and Balloons
This first track comes off a disc that The Believer Magazine put together last year. The theme was covers of indie music by other indie musicians. This is a lovely cover by The Decemberists of Joanna Newsom’s Bridge and Balloons.
Nick Drake – To the Garden
Most people probably haven’t heard about Nick Drake. He put out some great albums in the early 70’s and then sadly committed suicide in 1976. Some of his material is now being re-released for the first time in many years.
The Shins – A Comet Appears
These are the Garden State guys. Their new album, while very nice, is not nearly as memorable as their previous work. A Comet Appears is far and above my favorite track on the album – it’s quite haunting. Supposedly there’s a politicl message in there somewhere. If you can figure it out, let me know.
Nickel Creek – Somebody More Like You
These guys make some of the most beautiful music out there. I’ve always had a soft spot for angry lover songs (You Oughta Know, anyone?), and this is my current favorite. “I hope you meet someone your height, so you can see eye to eye, with someone as small as you.” Awesome.
Thom Yorke – Analyse
I discovered Radiohead accidentally when I was 14. I was in a record store in an outdoor mall in Boulder, CO and I was probably trying to impress someone and I picked up OK Computer. I hated it for the first few listens, but it grew on me and soon I couldn’t get the drone out of my head. That’s what is so effective about their music, the momentum – the way the songs drive forward – while not necessarily going anywhere in particular. This track from lead singer Thom Yorke’s 2006 solo album has that drive in droves.
Spring Awakening – The Word of your Body
I spent part of my youth very involved in Musical Theater and I’m still a sucker for a great musical. Spring Awakening has all the essential elements: great music. teenage angst, and lots of sex and controversy.
Lupe Fiasco – American Terrorist (w/Matthew Santos)
I know it’s not exactly the majority opinion, but I think Lupe Fiasco is the most exciting thing to happen to Hip-Hop in a while. This is a great, very political track off his debut album, Food and Liquor.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – O Holy Night
Yeah, it was preachy and yeah, it’s now gone, but I loved this show. Aaron Sorkin knows exactly what strings to pull and in this Christmas episode he pulled them all. Wandering musicians from New Orleans playing onstage at Studio 60 with images of the city that no longer exists behind them…heartbreaking.
Snow Patrol – Make This Go On Forever
Great band. Very mainstream, but with a decidedly not so mainstream sound. This song carries a wonderful sense of being on the verge. And the Arcade Fire unison-y thing that is really hot in indie circles these days is handled expertly by Snow Patrol.
Mix #01 – First Things First