1. Big Blood - "She-Wander(er)"
Big Blood hails from Portland, Maine, and is the newer project of some people who used to be in a great band, called Cerberus Shoal.
2. The Make Up - "I Am Pentagram"
I always thought these guys were on some fashion-mod vibe, until my girlfriend made me actually LISTEN to them and then my preconceptions went out the door. This song makes geometry sexy.
3. Morphine - "I'm Free Now"
Classic: no other word for a record that sounds even better than when I first heard it way back in, whoa, 1993.
4. Philip Glass - "Open the Kingdom" - Listen here
The lyrics for this track were penned by David Byrne in "New Music's" late 80s hey-day. Perhaps a bit over the top for this mix, but I love its grandiosity.
5. Curtis Mayfield - "Move On Up" - Listen here
I love big arrangements, with strings and horns and a five-piece percussion section—and Curtis Mayfield is the king of taking that recipe and making you shake your ass with it. At once thoughtful and funky, Mayfield is required listening, period.
6. The Isley Brothers - "Respectable" - Listen here
The background vocals on this track are so gruff! Did you know the Isley Brothers are the only artists to have number one singles in every decade since the 50s???
7. Babaloo - "Samba Formosa"
I don't know shit about this band. I'm not even sure how this got on my high-pod. I guess the record is called Punk Mambo, and they are not actually from a Latin-American country?
8. Vashti Bunyan - "Diamond Day" - Listen here
I always try to rock this at DJ gigs, but apparently it's too chill for that... This woman is more popular now then when she made this, her most recognizable recording, in 1970.
9. Van Morrison - "Wild Night" - Listen here
John Cougar Mellencamp can go to hell, but Me'Shell Ndegeocello is pretty cool.
10. The Woods - "Night Creature" - Listen here
From their first album (as far as I know), At Rear House. This record really resonates with me. My band can't agree on any music that's not at least ten years old, but this record immediately wet into heavy rotation in our tour van right when I picked it up in 2007.
11. Tune-Yards - "Lions" - Listen here
Home-recorded goodness. I can hear just the right amount of the artists this woman grew up listening to (Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel, I'd venture), in the ingenuity of these tracks that come off somewhere between bedroom low-fi and giant studio productions.
12. Wilson Pickett - "Jealous Love"
Forget about it. If I have to tell you who Wilson Pickett is you should burn your record collection.
13. Murder By Death - "A Masters in Reverse Psychology" - Listen here
Murder By Death and my band are best friends forever and I request this song when I see them.
14. Lau Nau - "Plakkikanteletar" - Listen here
Songs for singing your weirdo baby to sleep.