Tag Archives: playlists

Monday Mixtape: Digging Out of the Post-Valentine’s Day Blues

josh feldman: arts writer, photographer, dreamy dreamboat

By Josh Feldman

Seeing as February is wrapping up this week I started feeling nostalgic about this year’s V-day. Hopefully by now you’ve binged out on all the food and drowned your sorrows away. To help all y’all who are still down in the dumps I have made a little mixtape for your broken souls and shattered hearts. Enjoy! And remember: if you eat a whole box of candy’s yourself while listening to this I’ll give you some of my extra Weight Watcher Points.

Josh is a writer/photographer based in the nation’s capital. He is an arts professional both day and night, but you may also see him with a camera in hand as a professional event photographer (he just happens to be the handsome young devil in the photo above as well). In his spare time he enjoys collecting records, making semi-vegan food, and playing guitar in his band project, THE UNNOTICED TRUTH. Feel free to follow him via twitter or instagram @jazzyfeldzle.

Monday Mixtape: Front Row Seats Everytime

What I love about live recordings is how intimate they are. Here you get the wonderful opportunity to experience a band or artist’s music in a live setting that can be reproduced anytime you want. It’s like being in front row center every evening without the expensive cover fees, and if it’s a live recording of a high-profile act like the Stones or the Boss you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

The best live albums, like the best live shows, are the ones that extend a band’s talent in the way they experiment with the delivery of their repertoire and in the way they interact with their audience on both a visual and sonic level. There’s a reason lots of spectacularly popular pop artists seldom put out a live album: heavy on the visual spectacle, light on sonic depth.

These, therefore, are decidedly not of that vein of performance. They’re as good on the ears as no doubt they are in person.

1. John Mayer – Gravity
Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles – Columbia, 2008

If this one sounds familiar, then yes, you got me. I used it on a list from last week. Okay, so no points for originality on my part, but this song deserves to be on a list such as this. The proof is most undeniably in those guitar solos in the way they build and swell with each passing moment, made brighter and carried higher by a fantastic arrangement of backing brass and vocals. Please. Put this one on and forget all else for awhile. Your moment of zen awaits.

2. Theresa Andersson – Oh Mary
Live at Le Petit (DVD) – Basin Street Records, 2010

For every rule there’s always an outlier, in this case it’s a clip that makes the case for the “seeing is believing” crowd. Whatever the case, Andersson’s bluesy cover of the traditional folk song is awesome. Multi-instrumentalist, lover of loops, and fancy footwork to boot. Continue reading Monday Mixtape: Front Row Seats Everytime

Media Notes: The Search for the Perfect Sound

What is the perfect sound? It can be said to be many things, but in the end it’s purely subjective. I’m not sure myself how I would identify what the perfect sound is, but there are definitely the times when I know I’m hearing something special– something genuine. Let’s call it a Great Sound.

Those moments when you hear something that moves you deeply or stops you in your tracks. Those moments when something deep within you stirs, not just the daily jitters or every so often impulsive pangs of fancy but something deeper, meatier, almost tangible moments of holistic emotional release.

It doesn’t need to have words– it doesn’t have to be a song at all– and it doesn’t matter if it’s new or old. It just has to mean something. Moments of Great Sound can help us to understand what the perfect sound is and what it means to us.

Here’re a few Great Sounds that have been accompanying me lately.

1. Josh Ritter – Change of Time

2. Laura Viers – Secret Someones

3. Marcus Mumford & Oscar Isaac – Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)

4. Seth Avett – Stand By Me

5. John Mayer – Gravity

What about you- what are some Great Sounds that have been making the heavy rotation lists in your head lately? I’d love to know.

Monday Mixtape – Top 5 Side 1, Track 1s

To quote Rob Gordon, “I’m feeling kind of basic today.” Not to mention tired. It’s been a fantastic weekend full of wine, women, and song (but mostly song), late nights, early mornings– because it’s in my genes and because i’m a bit of a sadist– and the week’s looking good ‘n long ‘n busy with no signs of letting up. And that’s all right by me.

I’m also honestly intrigued and curious about the concept of a mix derived from only such material. Say what you will about the need for going deep and understanding an album as the sum of all of its parts– side one, track ones set the tone for what’s to come, giving them the power to make or break whatever album experience you were hoping to have. Whether you’ve been lured to the record by the wildly successful single you’ve heard on the radio all week and are hoping to hear more of the same, or, as is more often the case these days, you stumbled upon the artist through related artist categories on your streaming music player of choice– that first song will determine whether you’re in it for the long haul or jumping ship by side one, track one, minute two.

And heaven help you if you believe that having that shiny new single on there as the pivotal track one is enough to carry you through an otherwise bland and colorless record. There’re definitely some examples of where it works, and likely a few of the following tracks will be among those examples, but generally speaking, if you’re leading off with your barnburner of a single, you better believe with all your soul and down payment on your yacht in Maui that the rest of your album is sold gold. Nay, diamond platinum.

With this in mind, I humbly submit my Top 5 Side 1, Track 1s.

1. Mike Doughty – Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well
Haughty Melodic – ATO, 2005

Starting off with a fantastic example of a side one, track one that, although being the first single from Doughty’s 2005 album, not to mention his first solo major label release (ATO), serves as a nice warm up for the rest of the record. In fact, as strong a song as it is, greater depth and all-around wonderfully hearty sonic goodness is still to come in the tracks that follow. Continue reading Monday Mixtape – Top 5 Side 1, Track 1s

Monday Mixtape – Baseball on the Brain

For the record, I’m a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan. Though we haven’t had the misfortune that other teams have of not having been to the World Series in a century (Chicago Cubs), half century (Cleveland Indians), nor the inability to bring home the title since our team’s founding (Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, and a handful of others close behind)– we’ve had our troubles.

Now we find ourselves in September with a white-hot American League wildcard race on our hands, and although the Orioles are balancing on the brink of elimination from October’s  contests, I still believe there is a World Series trophy in store for Baltimore this fall which would, incidentally, be a fitting tribute to the 30th anniversary of their triumphant 1983 victory.

I believe in Orioles Magic.

Continue reading Monday Mixtape – Baseball on the Brain