My 18-year-old cousin Rebecca is going off to college this year and my gift to her was in the form of my infinite musical knowledge. Not really knowing what music she likes or dislikes, here's the mix I made for her that will (hopefully) prove valuable during freshman year...
Cat Power "I Don't Blame You"
Pure perfection. Some say this song is about Kurt Cobain? When Chan Marshall hit the mark so precisely, it hurts that much more when she misses completely as on The Greatest.
The Orange Wedge "From the Womb to the Tomb"
Unknown bridge-spanners from garage punk to psych rock from the wilds of Western Michigan and somewhat affiliated with the legendary Fenton label.
The Shins "Young Pilgrims"
In first grade we had a Thanksgiving time Pilgrim party where we made tri-corner hats out of black construction paper and ornamental buckles fashioned out of square pieces of yellow construction paper (with a square cut out of the center) taped to our shoes. We marched down the main school hallway as all the other classrooms took time out to watch us and admire. That is what this song reminds me of.
Eddie Floyd "I'll Never Find Another Girl Like You"
I called an audible...barely even know this song but it seemed like a bit of Detroit oldies can never hurt the mix. Dig his version of "Raise Your Hands" as well.
The Walkmen "Look Out the Window"
From their over-looked split EP with Calla. Such a memorable guitar part that Paul Maroon tweaks out of nowhere. Very Necessary.
The Rondelles "TV Zombie"
Unbeatable bass line, hand-claps and nonsensical teenaged lyrics. Priceless.
Brought to my attention via Mick Collins and "The Night Train" on WDET radio. Can't remember the last time before this I bought a song after hearing it on the radio? Queens of the Stone Age "Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" maybe?
The Fiery Furnaces "Rub-Alcohol Blues"
Originally by Dock Boggs, the Furns keep the lyrics but add their own waltzing piano to update this tear-jerking wonder.
The Yardbirds "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"
Because it rocks and paved the way for "I'm Sick of You" by Ig and the Stoogs and "Touch Me I'm Sick" by the Mudhoneys.
Beat Happening "Indian Summer"
Is Calvin's voice just putting us on? Or is he really serious? I don't know and that's why I adore this band.
Cybotron "Alleys of Your Mind"
The first Detroit techno record and currently the most-played song on my iTunes. Makes me love Adult. even more than I did before.
Dan Sartain "When You See Me Coming"
This dude is tearing up stages all across Canada opening for the White Stripes. And this is his best song to never appear on a full-length record. Complete with uncleared Ol' Dirty Bastard sample.
Quasi "Hot Shit"
Another song that is perpetually in my head. Perfection plain and simple. Going so long into the start of an album without any lyrics is a ballsy move, but Quasi does so with ease and killing you with its sincerity and clarity.
Nick Drake "Pink Moon"
There's no reason any 18-year-old girl should not think this guy is amazing.
The Hentchmen "Gawker Delay"
See the 3700 words of pure bullshit I wrote about this album a few posts ago.
Six Organs of Admittance "Close to the Sky"
Jingle-jangle drone guitar angle. Chasny cooks this one live with his wicked band.
The Pretty Things "You Don't Believe Me"
The lyrics to this one get me every time. And the chimey guitar is heavenly. Another great 1st song on the album wonder.
From the "Get Up" CD single. Wonky Brownstein guitar wackery stops and goes without ever losing momentum. Why buried here?
The 220.127.116.11's "I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield"
Such ingenuity could only be birthed in Japan. The musicians in that country are smarter than Einstein and Bill Murray put together. Oft-imitated, the fakers are never remotely comparable.
Kelley Stoltz "Put My Troubles to Sleep"
"There ain't no rhyme, there ain't no reason, why you are free and I am freezin" starts the masterpiece from Stoltz's upcoming Lp for Sub Pop. Complete with numbing "Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba" vocals that rouse you up like "Hey Jude" at Live Aid or some shit, this one will destroy you in the most beautiful way. Stoltz jams always end mixes tight.