October 3, 2012

These Twin City kisses :: A Minneapolis Mixtape

Maybe everybody else who wasn’t raised in far coast oblivion already knows this but: HEY YOU GUYS. MINNEAPOLIS HAS A LOT OF REALLY GREAT MUSIC. Tomorrow afternoon when I board a plane to Minneapolis, I’ll be streaming the sounds of the Twin Cities in through my earbuds, and enjoying myself immensely. Minneapolis is a city that I’ve tremendously liked on the handful of occasions that work has taken me to its shores in the last few years. In addition to a vibrant arts scene, I’ve always stayed in places right along the Mississippi River, borrowing bikes from the citywide program and exploring across the Stone Arch Bridge, seeing shows at notable venues like First Avenue.

On a run the other afternoon I started thinking about Minneapolis music after listening to The Hold Steady, and then that spiraled out of control and, well, here we are. There are other folks who are more informed on the music of the Twin Cities than I am, and this is not supposed to be any sort of definitive mix of Minneapolis bands, and I have indeed left off some major players, but this is the way I will be soundtracking my visit. All of these bands and musicians have some connection with the Twin Cities, either living and making music there now, formed the band there, wrote music there, or just love it enough to sing about it.

I’ve done this same thing with New York and San Francisco on a city level, and Utah and the wide-wide ocean on a grander scale, and there is a deeply geeky pleasure in this. I should note that I am indebted to a reader named Jim in the Twin Cities, whose five-page long list and commentary about the Twin Cities scene that I dug out of my gmail helped guide me to a few of these artists.

Let’s move to Minneapolis.

Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady
My first time in Minneapolis last year, I had just discovered this terrific map my friend Kyle made of Twin Cities locations referenced in Hold Steady songs, and I got frissons of delight every time I did something like walking over the Washington Bridge and talking to the river. Any mix I make about Minneapolis starts with this band.

Mpls – Grandpaboy
Paul Westerberg is second on my list (and on this mix, and in my heart) of great musical things to come out of Minneapolis, whether with The Replacements, or solo under his own name, or as Grandpaboy. This song is just a jubilant celebration of the city, with all the geographical references laced throughout from the first lines. M-P-L-S.

Your Favorite Thing – Sugar
I can’t tell through googling (BECAUSE YOU TRY TO GOOGLE “SUGAR”) if Bob Mould (of the tres-famous and tres-influential Minneapolis band Hüsker Dü) and his ’90s band Sugar ever counted as “A Minneapolis Band” but Bob Mould sure is as a human, so this band counts in my book. I first heard this song late, I think in reading Love Is A Mix Tape and making the corresponding playlist. Since then I’ve worn it out.

Singing In My Sleep – Semisonic
Ahhh, Semisonic. For the record, I have never liked the song “Closing Time.” And I have ALWAYS liked this song, about making a mixtape and “falling in love too fast with you or the songs you chose,” since the very first time I heard it (on a mixtape someone made for me!). It makes me feel like I am seventeen forever. I love that Semisonic is from Minneapolis so that I can find more reasons to play it.

Settling It Off – Peter Wolf Crier
Switching gears to a currently-creating Minneapolis musician, Peter Wolf Crier is putting out taut songs like these on the Jagjaguwar label, and when I saw him this spring opening for Damien Jurado, I was completely blown away by all the dense layers here. It feels like a struggle, like one of those dreams that you fight to untangle yourself from all night long, but keeps looping and pressing into your head with images of birds and old family home movies and the gravitational pull of the shoreline.

Shooting Star (Bad Company) – Golden Smog
Golden Smog is sort of an uber-group of Twin Cities musical royalty, made up of members of other bands on this same mix – Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, The Replacements. Here they are having some fun covering the 1975 Bad Company song which they’d contribute to the Clerks soundtrack.

Columns – Portage
I featured Portage on my “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Autumn 2011 mix, and am pretty thrilled to find that not only are they continuing to make elegant music in the Twin Cities, they are playing a house show Thursday night right after my flight lands. I’ll let you know how it is.

Badaboom – Tapes ‘n Tapes
This band’s clattery, danceable sound put Minneapolis back in the indie spotlight in the last few years, and their songs sound fresh to these ears. The band was formed at Carleton College, which goes to show that your mother was right when she insisted on a solid liberal arts education for you.

Misery – Soul Asylum
A few years back, a friend of mine made me a mix and we listened to it together blind, with no song intros or tracklist, the first time through. I was surprised after I heard the opening countoff how the whole song came flooding back for those opening notes. Say what you will about how well this band has held up, but I still think this song feels good (Frustraaaaated! Incorporated!)

Organ Donor – Jeremy Messersmith
A fresh-faced, bespectacled kid with a rabid musical following, lots of you guys have written to me over the last couple of years encouraging me to check out Messersmith’s beguiling pop, and more recently, to have him in for a house show, which he pairs with potlucks and participates in widely. I should probably listen to you.

Positively 4th Street – Bob Dylan
You could argue with me that this song is about the 4th Street in NYC’s Greenwich Village, but Dylan also lived above a drugstore on 4th Street in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis (I’ve been there!), so let’s just say it is a metaphor for both, and it celebrates the fact that Minneapolis is where Robert Zimmerman became Bob Dylan.

Haywire – Jayhawks
I just love this song SO DAMN MUCH. Thanks to something my friend J. Tom Hnatow once wrote, this song always reminds me of sunsets and old regrets and nascent joy. Another redolent, country-inflected song I never would have pegged as coming from Minneapolis.

The Turf Club – Ben Kyle
I’m going to the Turf Club Friday night, to see The Features (not from MPLS), and was thrilled to find a soundtrack for my jaunt on the terrific new album from Ben Kyle. Frontman of Romantica, Ben is a Minneapolis musician by way of Belfast, and I first heard his music when his lilt blended with Ryan Adams in a live recording of his song “The Dark.” So much melancholy goodness on this song; I can see the city lights reflecting off the river.

Drinking Again – Haley Bonar
Gahhh I love the indulgent, slowly-intoxicating sadness of this song, with those round red-wine chords throughout just vibrating with what it feels like to get drunk alone (“and it don’t help that much / but I don’t care”). Haley Bonar is one of my favorite women making music in the Twin Cities.

Drown – Son Volt
The third in the Twin-Cities trifecta of alt-country awesomeness (along with Jayhawks and Golden Smog), this blistering song could be played regularly throughout Minneapolis’ drawn-out winters to bring a little heat.

When Water Comes To Life – Cloud Cult
This band has been making complex and lovely music out of Minneapolis for over ten years. Their ephemeral string-laced anthems lend themselves extremely well to their live show where they have painters on-stage and they combine two distinct artistic disciplines into one color-streaked supernova. I saw it once, and it was just so very cool.

When It Sinks In – Farewell Milwaukee
Sheesh, listen to the harmonies on this one. I saw a video of them doing this acoustic on Jones Street in NYC’s West Village (freeewheelin!) and fell for it effortlessly. Please note: the Milwaukee thing is just a front.

Be Bad For Me – Paul Westerberg
Another favorite little Westerberg track, because you can never have too much of him.

Starfish and Coffee – Prince
Any Minneapolis mix, especially one that talks about visiting First Avenue in the intro, is contractually obligated to include a Prince song. I feel like everyone that comes to town or plays at First Ave is thinking of him when they do: as one of my friends in The Head and the Heart tweeted last week when they were in town, “Really hope Prince shows up to solo over Rivers and Roads.”

Don’t Call Them Twinkies – The Baseball Project (feat. Craig Finn)
J’adore baseball, and Craig Finn (of the Hold Steady), and this song which references a million things about the Twin Cities, and which I first heard on a car stereo while in Minneapolis for the first time. It’s just all around perfect (although, hey: sorry about those Twins this year).



OMG! Edits are messy but I HAVE TO DO THIS BECAUSE I FORGOT MASON JENNINGS. And I love Mason Jennings so much, and this is a travesty. And then two other additions: a friend sent me this charming addition by That Dog about the city, and I totally meant to include Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps and forgot. So you can figure out where all three of these songs go on the mix. They’re not in the zip file above:

Sorry Signs On Cash Machines – Mason Jennings
Minneapolis – That Dog
Eagle’s Nest – Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps

July 29, 2012

take this train across these fifty states: That Utah Music

I’m writing this from a quiet campground near the Utah/Colorado border, by a wide silvery river. Tomorrow I end a month of travelling all over eight Western states, and tonight I find myself sitting here with all sorts of rambling thoughts bumping around in my head, like stones in a tumbler. The road has such a strong and lovely allure; there are all these vistas I’ve never stood and looked over, so many rutted highways I am just starting to make an effort to take. Going home is going to be tough.

Utah was my final state to spend some time in before I re-entered Colorado tonight at sunset; last night, several of Salt Lake City’s finest musicians got together for a summer evening BBQ to welcome me to the Beehive State. Since many of them are on the mix, I was reminded of a terrific little compilation CD that my good friend Dainon made me last year to celebrate all the music happening in his home state. After I floated in the Great Salt Lake today (and blasted a little Band of Horses in honor), I listened to Dainon’s Utah mix on my five-hour drive across the state, between those red mountains.

I want you to download a bunch of music from Utah? You don’t even know Utah.

Well, yes. But let’s be adventurous. Two thoughts struck me as I listened: first, Utah is a completely gorgeous state that I haven’t given much thought to. Second, Utah has this fantastically vibrant and diverse musical scene that I haven’t given much thought to. These twenty songs are the perfect score for any roadtrip, but especially one through this state where it was made. If you wish that you could also go on a roadtrip through the desert this summer, but maybe can’t, this tasty and substantive collection can whisk you away.

Utah music as Dainon presents it here to me is strongly-rooted in folk with a distinctly Western feel, and reflects a genuine community of folks who overlap on each others’ projects in the best ways. Several of these musicians I have written about before or included on other mixes (like Paul Jacobsen & The Madison Arm, Band of Annuals, Jay Henderson, Joshua James), but so many of these songs were new to me.

Dainon wrote in the liner notes for me: “While I am not sure the state has an easily recognizable or definable sound, what its musicians create, they create well. There’s a sense of community, of belonging, of wanting to be and do and perform more and better and with new ideas. These are men and women who have created some fantastic songs. Listen hard and you can see images, too: mountains and desert and snowflakes. I think you’ll like this.”

He was very right. I do.

Apocalypse Wow (Take 3) – Paul Jacobsen & The Madison Arm
Dreamcatcher – The Mighty Sequoyah
Freak Out – The Future of The Ghost
Oak Tree – Desert Noises
Thread Paper Girl – The Happies
Coal War – Joshua James
Excuse – Ruru
Boring – The Poorwills
Element of Surprise – Bronco
I Never Did My Best – Ryan Tanner
Don’t Let Me Die – Band of Annuals
14 Years – Parlor Hawk
Calling Your Name – Sarah Sample (with Paul Jacobsen)
Magic Numbers – The Devil Whale
The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes – Jay William Henderson
Dirt – Sadye Price
If We Should Fall – Cub Country
Suture & Sing – P.L.A.T.E.
Where Does The Time Go – Dustin Christiansen
I Saw The Light – The Lower Lights


The lyric in the title of this post comes from the aching roadweary song from Parlor Hawk. I completely fell in love with the song from Ryan Tanner and listened to that about ten times in a row, and it’s also worth noting on this mix that Jon, Tyler and Charity from The Head and The Heart are the backup singers on that Devil Whale track. I added the final two tracks based on delightful music discovered at the BBQ last night (Dustin Christiansen, and the new Lower Lights Vol. 2 album).

But I think the most affecting moment on this mix for me might have come with the Sarah Sample song, as the sun sank behind huge black storm clouds on a stretch of highway that didn’t even show any names on the map. Sarah sings, pure and piercing:

no one’s to blame for being lonely
no one’s to blame for getting lost
I’m so far from anything holy
I’ll just send my prayer up
and hope that it gets caught

January 28, 2011

“Left My Heart In San Francisco” mix

Five years ago I moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area for the snowy, crisp mountains of Colorado. I absolutely love my adopted home, our vibrant music scene, and the fresh air here, but no foolin’ I do often long for my hometown hills.

Over the holidays I went to San Francisco for a week to stay at the Noe Valley apartment of friends who were out of town and graciously let me “housesit.” It was a part of town I had never stayed in before. When I first let myself into their empty place on Christmas evening, and walked out to their deck, I took in a sharp breath and smiled.

The first picture below is the desktop image I’ve had on my computer for the last two years, to remind me of my homeland:


…then these two are photos I took on Christmas from the deck where I was staying:

Christmas-NY 2010 076

Christmas-NY 2010 049

Same hill, same view as the one I’d been looking at daily for the last two years. It’s smile-inducing moments of kismet like that which reassure me no matter how far I roam from Pacific coast, it will keep finding me.

It finds me lately in the music that celebrates the Bay Area; I started this mix to accompany my recent trip, finishing it up after that view happened on into my life. These are songs with references to all the favorite, special parts of California that helped catalyze bits of me – loosely centered around San Francisco, San Jose, and places you can (and I did) drive to in an afternoon with some friends and a picnic basket.

Thirty songs for home.


San Francisco Bay Blues (Lost Tapes Vol 14) – John Lennon
Starting this mix just like my New York one, with John just screwing around on his guitar and somehow still sounding pretty perfect.

16th And Valencia Roxy Music – Devendra Banhart
Right on the edge of the Mission District, by the hundred-year-old artsy Roxie Theater, Devendra is taking us out to find our lovers tonight. Oh, and they’re gonna be riding six white horses and wearing pressed blue jeans, he suggests. But hey, this is SF. Go with it.

Piazza, New York Catcher – Belle & Sebastian
Not at all about NYC, but the story of a love affair set throughout the city of San Francisco, hanging about the stadium where the Giants and Mets will play, the Tenderloin, borrowed bedrooms virginal and spare. Meet you at the statue in an hour.

California On My Mind – Wild Light
Something a reader recommended for this mix, this is absolutely one of my favorite new songs, even if the core songwriting lyric is a repeated refrain of “fuck today, fuck San Francisco, fuck California” with a “…fuck Oakland” thrown in later for good measure. The rousing harmonica and the charmingly awkward vocals are enough to win me, and I’m sure we’ve done enough jerky things to deserve a little rancor.

San Jose – Joe Purdy
I never knew this song when I lived in San Jose (my address was always a San Jose one except for when I was in college, when it moved over a few zip codes) but it sounds like a warm, Ray LaMontagne-style blues & organ song that I’ve just always known.

Roots Radical – Rancid
Took the 60 bus out of downtown Campbell, Ben Zanotto he was on there, he was waiting for me.” Campbell’s border is about a mile from the edge of my high school, and Rancid had origins at the neighboring high school. I totally took the 60 bus to Great America amusement park, and I also wonder if Ben Zanotto’s dad was the same guy who started the neat Zanotto’s grocery markets in town, like a prototype Trader Joe’s.

(Wake Me Up) In San Francisco – The Welcome Matt
I fittingly first heard this on a sampler from the epic KFOG radio station, and it always makes me smile, especially if I can listen to it as the song suggests, while driving in over the Bay Bridge, or landing in SFO on a big jet plane. This song namechecks so many great places, as it talks about how going home never gets old.

San Francisco – Brett Dennen
Brett is from the Central California town of Oakdale, between Escalon and Jamestown on 108, a route I have driven often enough to see why he pictures himself buying a navy peacoat and moving to SF. This is such a charming love letter to the city, we’ll allow him to be on this mix even though he is an Oakland A’s fan: “Over in the Mission it’s always a sunny day / there’s a real good baseball town but my team is across the Bay.”

Hail Mary – Pomplamoose
Not only is this husband-wife duo from Corte Madera (north of SF), but this catchy pop tune sings of driving down to San Jose at ninety miles per hour, has clattery, stick-in-your-head percussion, and their band name is modeled after the French word for grapefruit. What’s not to like?

Santa Clara – The National
Santa Clara is where I went to college and then worked for five years, and where my grandma still lives in the same house on Brannan Place that she’s been in for 50 years — so I was pretty excited to find this National b-side. It is gorgeous by any standards, even aside from how it hits the home parts of my heart.

Snow In San Anselmo – Van Morrison
Van gets a bit meandering here on this seven+ minute tune, but it feels appropriate for the kind of cold night he describes in this small town in Marin County, across the Golden Gate from SF. “The classic music station plays soft and low . . . and the pancake house is always open 24 hours a day / my waitress said it was coming down, said it hadn’t happened in over thirty years.” I remember snow maybe once in all my years in the Bay Area, and this song is mighty evocative.

San Geronimo – Red House Painters
Then just along the boulevard from San Anselmo is the town of San Geronimo, where Kozelak sings of “somewhere up fifteen miles sifting through crackling vinyl / lost memories of my youth are coming into view… weekend in San Geronimo, love how the starlit skies show.” Red House Painters were from San Francisco, so they get double point placement on this mix for that. They know the landscape well, and I could have picked any number of their tunes but this one is special.

California, Pt. 2 – Mason Jennings
Possibly my favorite of all Mason Jennings songs, about packing a box of books and a guitar into the back of a pickup and moving to CA — not Los Angeles (“I’m staying far away from there”) but moving “north of San Francisco into the cleaner air / I’m gonna get a little land with the money I’ve saved, buy a little house that I can work on / where the next nearest neighbor lives miles away, I’ll never have to mow the lawn. Right on.” Sounds absolutely perfect to me.

El Caminos In The West – Grandaddy
Jason Lytle is from Modesto, California, and so even though I realize this song may well be about the stylin’ car the El Camino, I prefer to imagine it as singing about the El Camino Real, the King’s Highway that stretches the length of the state and used to bind together all the mission churches in the state’s earliest days.

Palo Alto – Radiohead
With bleeps and bloops fitting the technological mecca this “city of the future” has become (from Hewlett Packard to Facebook) Radiohead sings an ode to Palo Alto with a pervasive feeling of alienation. But I mean, seriously, Radiohead wrote a song about them. They can’t complain.

Oakland on a Rainy Day – Jake Troth
This Bay Area songwriter writes great, humble, satisfying songs and this is no exception. There’s nearly nothing I love more than Oakland (or San Francisco, or San Jose, or Santa Cruz) on a rainy day. When I was in SF over the holidays, it poured on Tuesday night and I just opened the windows and sat in the dark and listened and smelled that rain smell. We don’t get that in Colorado much.

27th Ave Shuffle – Foxboro Hot Tubs
A 2008 side project of seminal Berkeley band Green Day, this song rocks us down 27th Avenue (which bisects Golden Gate Park and runs on up through the Richmond) and I think references jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge which of course is something we do not recommend. But this song, yes.

Rendezvous Potrero Hill – Architecture in Helsinki
Let’s pause for a little autumnal instrumental interlude dedicated to this San Francisco neighborhood, home to both Anchor Steam Brewery and the Mythbusters folks, so you know it has to be good.

Grace Cathedral Hill – The Decemberists
A new year’s day spent in this, one of SF’s most gorgeous cathedrals, lighting little white candles and then heading north to the Hyde Street Pier — “And the world may be long for you, but it’ll never belong to you / but on a motorbike when all the city lights blind your eyes tonight, are you feeling better now?” Yup.

Highway 101 – Social Distortion
One of our most maddening or beautiful highways, depending on which stretch of it you find yourself on, and what time to day. I picked this song over Albert Hammond Jr’s “Back To The 101″ because everyone knows that only Southern Californians add the “the.”

Moon Over Marin – Dead Kennedys
One of San Francisco’s most famous punk bands sing about pollution in the North Bay, decades before the Cosco Busan spill. The band was formed after guitarist East Bay Ray saw a punk/ska show at San Francisco’s legendary Mabuhay Gardens, met Jello Biafra and the rest of the band, and yelled their way into our city’s history.

Got To Have It – Soul President
From the Numero Group’s marvelous Eccentric Soul re-release series, this steel drum-peppered track was originally put out on a tiny San Francisco imprint Uptight Records in the ’60s. There’s all kind of painfully funky shoutouts here to the Haight Ashbury, laced liberally with “unh!”s. Being this cool hurts.

The Chapter of Your Life Entitled San Francisco – The Lucksmiths
This Australian band laments a friend who has moved off to our temperate Bay Area climes, and won’t even write postcards home during the long summer, so taken is she with the charms of the city by the Bay. It happens.

Santa Cruz (You’re Not That Far) – The Thrills
One thing I probably miss the most here in the landlocked square I now call home is the inability to pack up the car with a few essentials and drive south over Highway 17 to Santa Cruz, the beachtown that was once so close and so appreciated. The Thrills are from nowhere near California (Dublin, actually) but the first two songs on their 2002 album So Much For The City talk about California coastal towns so convincingly, you’d think they were from here too.

Big Dipper – Cracker
David Lowery’s earlier band Camper Van Beethoven was centered in Santa Cruz, and this melancholy song compares life to entering the long tunnel and the curve leading into the iconic Big Dipper, the wooden rollercoaster at the Beach Boardwalk (from the top you can “see Monterey, or think about San Jose”). I know it well. Lowery also sings of sitting on the Cafe Zinho steps, an ’80s landmark which was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and watching all the world go by.

San Andreas Fault – Natalie Merchant
Speaking of destruction caused by the ’89 quake, this fault is the meeting of the plates that caused it. I was ten and I was begrudgingly cleaning my room so that I could join the rest of my family in watching the World Series Game 3 that was starting, Giants vs A’s in a cross-the-Bay pairing. This video of the baseball coverage that night makes me smile to see old Candlestick full, but remembering how sunny that day was makes my stomach hurt.

San Francisco Blues – Stephen Fretwell
I’ve loved Fretwell since I first heard the devastatingly perfect “Emily,” and even moreso when he put this song on his 2007 album Man On The Roof. Originally from Manchester, England, he joins a long line of Brits who have fallen in love with the city.

California Brown and Blue – Denison Witmer
Everything about this song cuts me, we’ll just leave it at that. “Weightless in the arms of the Golden Gate… I leave before we find out what it means.”

Sausalito - Conor Oberst
Conor pens a rollicking number with deceptively wrenching lyrics set in the gorgeous seaside town of Sausalito, which I remember a specific gorgeous March day spent walking around in after taking the ferry up from SF. “Hair blowing in the hot wind, time hanging from a clothespin…” He thinks we should move to a houseboat and let the ocean rock us back and forth to sleep. Yes.

(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (ripped from vinyl) – Otis Redding
Perhaps one of the most famous songs written in and about our Bay (other than, you know, Journey), Otis penned this one night on a houseboat docked in that same Sausalito, while he was in town to play San Francisco’s famous Fillmore. Everything about that sentence, I love.


I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry or smile widely (sometimes at the same time) while making this mix.

[help on this mix from several friends from the Bay Area, including pal/SF resident/musician Matt Nathanson, Ken Shipley of Numero Group and my high school, Rand Foster of Long Beach’s epic Fingerprints Record Store and neighboring rival high school,and fellow SF blogger Adrian who also rocked some of the best suggestions on the Stomp/Clap Mix. Y’all do your city proud.]

July 27, 2009

I am all at sea


My day job involves advising college students about opportunities to study in rad places, and all this week I get to give one of our programs a test run by sailing on a 134-foot ship and, literally, learning the ropes.

I’ll be sailing out in two hours, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and spending a few days on the Pacific as an active member of a working crew, seeing what students experience on their semesters on board. We dock in Monterey at the end of it all. In addition to being a classroom and lab (I keep thinking of Voyage of the Mimi), it’s also a working ship, so there will be 24-hour watch rotations. Maybe I can get the middle-of-the-night one. I could use some 2am silence on a glassy sea.

Of course, I made a mix and have been listening to it all week in preparation. It’s eerie how fitting each song is becoming for me this week, and how each one is a perfect soundtrack to my unique life right now. Enjoy in my absence…

I’m all at sea
where no one can bother me
…Just me and my thoughts
sitting far away

I sleep by myself
I drink on my own
I don’t speak to nobody
I gave away my phone

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
please just leave me right here on my own
later on you could spend some time with me
if you want to, all at sea

Now I need you more than ever
Do I need you more than ever now?
So come and spend some time with me
and we will spend it all at sea

All At Sea (Live at KFOG radio, SF) – Jamie Cullum
Stuck On A Boat – Port O’Brien
Girl Sailor – The Shins
The Ocean Lifts Her Dress – The Swimmers
Eager to Sail – Wine and Revolution
Lost Coastlines – Okkervil River
Sea Lion Woman – Feist
The Ragged Sea – Alexi Murdoch
The Ocean In Between – Matthew Sweet
Drowning Men (acoustic version) – Fanfarlo
Driftwood – Mark McAdam
Salt And The Sea – Gregory Alan Isakov
Momentary Drowning – Young Coyotes
Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
Swim Until You Can’t See Land (live) – Frightened Rabbit
The Sea & The Rhythm – Iron & Wine
Deckchairs and Cigarettes – The Thrills
The Waves – Princeton
Creeping Coastline of Lights – Mark Lanegan
The Ship Song (at Glastonbury) – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Sail on Sailor – The Beach Boys
Winter Waves – Chris Isaak


I took this picture a few hours ago when I walked down to the dock to find the boat.


I hope I get to say things like “hoist the mainstay.”

UPDATE: I totally did.

October 25, 2007

Hell, I still love you New York


This morning I hopped a plane to New York City for a long weekend visiting three of my best friends from the year I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. I am ridiculously excited.

After all those months of spending immense amounts of time together with these gals, seeing mind-boggling beauty and tentatively pushing our edges through hesitant Italian speaking, train rides all over Europe, lots of carbs and gelato and Michelangelo, and questionable Italian dance moves in sweaty clubs, we all went back to our respective lives across the country and the world. The four of us saw each other three years ago in Cleveland (and we rocked that town) but ever since then it’s been this b.s. “someday we have to get together!” nonsense. In fitting with my new efforts to seize the day while it’s here and fresh and beckoning, I sent out an email in August saying we had to make plans now, and amazingly — things started to really happen.

In my excitement, I’ve been working on this mix off and on for a month of songs written in, about, or for New York. It’s synced to my iPod for the travels today, and all ready to become your new favorite playlist for New York nights — or just thinking about all the fun you could have there.

(individual links are dead but the zip file still works below)
New York City (home recording) – John Lennon
New York, New York – Ryan Adams
I’m Waiting For The Man – Velvet Underground
NYC (There’s No Need to Stop) – The Charlatans
Angel of Harlem – U2
No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
My Apartment – Ben Kweller
Brooklyn Stars – Matt Pond PA
NY Nights – Jesse Malin
The Only Living Boy In New York – Simon & Garfunkel
53rd and 3rd – The Ramones
Dirty Blvd – Lou Reed
Chelsea Hotel #2 – Leonard Cohen
New York – Richard Ashcroft
She’s The New York City Skyline – The Damnwells
Harlem Shuffle – The Rolling Stones
New York – Stephen Fretwell
New York Baby – Leona Naess
Queensboro Bridge – David Mead
New York – Sex Pistols
New Amsterdam – Travis
Olympia WA – Rancid
New York City – Mason Jennings
Broadway – Old ’97s
New York – U2
The Boy Looked At Johnny – The Libertines
Central Park N West – Ian Hunter
Motorcycle Drive By – Third Eye Blind
New York City Serenade (Springsteen) – Pete Yorn
NYC Improvisation 5/5/06 – Pearl Jam


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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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