“Cause there’s a this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow and I play it on repeat…”

-Arctic Monkeys, Do I Wanna Know

I used to love making mixed tapes. I would make them for myself and for my friends. The ultimate was when a guy would make one for me, that was the way to my teenage heart. The last mix tape I made was actually a mix-CD for a friend who’d just had her heart broken. I always believed (and still do) that music heals. It helps you purge your demons when you’re angry, it helps you sort out your pain when you are going through a break up. It feeds that crazy energy you feel when you’re falling for someone. So, for you, I have put together a mix tape. There’s something for everyone. Love songs, Lust songs, Songs about heartbreak and songs for songs for the anger and bitterness for love gone bad. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it helps you get through this holiday of chocolate hearts and roses and cheesy cards.

Love Songs:

Sideways -Citizen Cope  “These feelings won’t go away, they’ve been knocking me sideways…”   Lovesong -Adele  “Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am free again”   Moondance -Van Morrison  “Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?”   Ain’t Nothing Like You -Blakroc  “Pure heart, you’re super cool, you’re live and elemental”   More Than Anything In This World  -Lenny Kravitz  “I  search the whole world, I want you to be my baby, baby…”  Little Wing -Jimi Hendrix  “When I’m sad she comes to me, with a thousand smile she gives to me free”   Like A Star -Corrine Bailey Rae  “You’ve got this look I can’t describe, you make me feel I’m alive”   Where Are You Going -Dave Matthews Band  “I do know where you go, that’s where I wanna be”   Afterglow -INXS  “Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow”   I Will Possess Your Heart -Death Cab for Cutie  “It’s like a book elegantly bound, but in a language you can’t read just yet”   A Girl Like You -The Smithereens  “I am yours and you are mine the way it should be”   Sirens – Pearl Jam “I pull you close, so much to lose, knowing that nothing lasts forever”   Running On Faith – Eric Clapton “Then we’d go running on faith, all of our dreams would come true, and our world would be right, when love comes over me and you..”

Lust Songs

Hush -Deep Purple “She’s got lovin’ like quicksand, only took one touch of my hand”        I Want Some More -Dan Auerbach “I’m just a kid in your walking candy store”       Mistify -INXS “Some silken moment, goes on forever”    Lessons In Love -Neon Trees “All day all night, I got the lights in my eyes, and I’m fallen’ for you”   Crush Crush Crush -Paramore “Rock and roll baby, don’t you know that we’re all alone now, give me something to sing about”    Straight On -Heart “I’ve got to play my hand, what the winner don’t know, the gambler understands”    Gypsy Eyes -Jimi Hendrix “Well I realize that I’ve been hypnotized, I love your gypsy eyes”    Blunderbuss -Jack White “Doin’ what two people need is never on the menu”   Love Is Strong -The Rolling Stones “Love is strong and you’re so sweet, and someday baby we’ve got to meet”   Come Together -Sons of the Sea “I’d wait around with you for worse or better, but our halcyon days are few, it’s now or never”   Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is -Jet “She’s a loaded gun in my shaken’ hands, Am I in hell or the promised land”   Girl Is On My Mind -The Black Keys “Hold me close to you, not one thing that I would not do, if you would hold me close to you”    Do I Wanna Know -Arctic Monkeys  “Simmer down and pucker up, I’m sorry to interrupt, it’s just I’m constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you”    RU Mine? -Arctic Monkeys “I guess what I’m trying to say is I need the deep end, I keep imagining meeting, wished away entire lifetimes, unfair we’re not somewhere misbehavin’ for days”    I Want You (She’s So Heavy) -The Beatles  “I want you, I want you so bad, it’s driving me mad”    Your Touch -The Black Keys “And I’ll be good, like I should, waiting and such, misery I need your touch”

Songs for the Heartbroken

I Don’t Know Why -Stevie Wonder “I don’t know why I love you, but I love you baby”  All I Ever Wanted -Lenny Kravitz “Are we even? When I know I want you and baby you want me”    Old Love -Eric Clapton “It’s making me so angry, to know that the flame still burns, Why can’t I get over, know now that I’ll never learn”    Too Late -No Doubt “And in time it will end, and there really isn’t hope for the two of us, but right now I give in”    Baby Came Home -The Neighbourhood  “She left me alone and without, skin I could study about”    Why I’m Here -Oleander “I can’t love you anymore, I’m scared of the sound of it, and woman I just wanted more”    Gone -In Sync  “Been sittin’ here, can’t get you off my mind, I’ve tried my best to be a man and be strong”     Ex Factor -Lauryn Hill “It could all be so simple, but you’d rather make it hard, loving you is like a battle and we both end up with scars”    Too Afraid To Love You -The Black Keys “It’s heaven on earth in her embrace, a gentle touch and a smiling face. I’m just one wishing that I was a pair, with someone, oh somewhere”    Bell Bottom Blues -Derek and the Dominos “I don’t wanna lose this feelin’, and if I could choose a place to die it would be in your arms”

Songs For Love Gone Bad

Top Yourself -The Raconteurs “How you gonna do it alone when I don’t pick up my phone, I’ll give a dog a bone, but I’m not gonna stick around to help you”    Grounds for Divorce -Elbow “Doubt comes in on sticks but then he kicks like a horse”    Hell and Back -Airborne Toxic Event “I held on as long as I could possibly, my blind faith pushing me to my knees…”     Moneygrabber -Fitz and the Tantrums “Don’t come back anytime, I’ve already had your kind, this is your payback, Moneygrabber”    Hang Me Up To Dry -Cold War Kids “Now hang me up to dry, you’ve wrung me out too, too, too many times”  Hypocritical Kiss -Jack White “My temper got the best of me, and when I say that I mean I know that every single thing that I said was true”    Bittersweet Me -REM “I move across, candy floss, I move like a tank, I move across the room with a heart full of gloom, I’m stronger than you think”    The Best of You -Foo Fighters “I needed somewhere to hang my head without your noose, you gave me something I didn’t have, but had no use”    Don’t Gotta Work It Out -Fitz and the Tantrums “Baby, you’re gonna need the doctor’s care, to get you over me girl, look what you’ve done”  Hemorrhage -Fuel “Oh hold me now I feel contagious, Am I the only place that you’ve left to go?”    Out of the Black -Royal Blood “And I promised you, like you promised me, but those vows we made, we boxed them in for free”

“I was a movin’ man in my younger days, But I’ve grown out of my ramblin’ ways.

I left that road so far behind, now I know, oh babe, I got mine”

-The Black Keys, I Got Mine

About 4 years ago my husband and I had tickets to go see Kings of Leon with some friends. I was looking forward to the show, thinking it would be a fun summertime outdoor concert. We settled into our seats with our overpriced draft beer and started chatting with our friends as we waited for the show to start. I was talking to my friend when the opening band started playing. I rudely stopped mid-sentence and turned towards the stage. I watched, mouth open, as two guys ripped through a gristly blues rock number. A drummer and a guitar player worked about 15 square feet of stage, surrounded by equipment covered in tarps for the headlining band. As they moved into the next song I started nudging my husband, trying to get his attention. He was engrossed in conversation with his friend and ignoring my pokes and elbows. Finally, by about the third song I punched him in the shoulder. He needed to hear this. Two guys, bare bones, no effects, no stage show, barely room to move, and a sound so rich and full and loud… I was blown away.

I had heard of The Black Keys.  I had read about them in Rolling Stone [read me], but I hadn’t really taken the time to listen to their music. I have never been more grateful to go to a show I was apathetic about. They finished their all too short set and I felt like I wanted to jump out of my skin. I was so excited about what I’d just heard, I was ready to leave before Kings of Leon even came on stage. That night when we got home I downloaded their entire catalogue.

To truly appreciate the genius that is Dan and Pat, you must see them live. We have seen them six times since then. One time was at a two day music festival with dozens of bands. I watched the people around us as the band took the stage. I watched them chatting during the first song or two of the set. I watched their faces as they began to realize what they were witnessing. I watched them nudge their friends, their heads starting to bob to the rhythm. By the closing song, even the people in line for the Porta Jons were bouncing up and down and rocking.

They close every show with “I Got Mine.” This is the best live performance I’ve ever seen. I can’t fully describe what happens to the room/arena/festival when they play this song, but two guys are up on a stage controlling a crowd. No fluff, no antics, no production. Just bad ass music. The way it should be. Watch this performance and get a taste for yourself…

photo- press, NME magazine
photo- press, NME magazine

“My eyes start to bleeding, from the southern smoke.  And ain’t nobody leaving, cause the shards will split your throat…”

-Black Lips, Boys In The Wood

This one’s a slow burner.  It brings to mind a swampy hot summer night swilling some brown liquid with some bad influence-types.  A slow southern drawl. A bluesy swaying drum beat.  A sloppy, slightly off-key chorus.  A slick, smooth horn riff peeking behind the drunken sing along.  The result is pretty bad-ass.

Atlanta rock/ “flower punk” band Black Lips is releasing their new album, “Underneath the Rainbow” on March 18.  They teamed up with fellow garage rock veteran Pat Carney (drummer, The Black Keys) who produced several tracks on the album.  Fifteen years on the scene, world tours that include a recent tour of the Middle East (along with accompanying documentary), crazy on-stage antics, fleeing India for fear of arrest….  sounds like these guys are the breath of fresh air the world of rock could really use right now.

p.s.-this song is begging to be part of the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack….

“All the years of paradise, paradigms, paralyze us.  You’re crazy.  All the cards you’ve organized, shuffled twice in front of my eyes, Everyone has needs, wants, a cold gun.  Lights low, go on baby go.  It’s a bad time, I’m on a tightrope.”

-Young The Giant, It’s About Time

This is the first single off Young The Giant’s new album that just came out on January 21.  I’m not completely sure what this song’s about…  a revolt, a rebellion?  A metaphor for a relationship?   Maybe all three.  But whatever the meaning, I love the lyrics quoted above.  Who can’t relate to that at some point (well, minus the gun).  This song is a little more rock than their previous stuff, which is probably why I was drawn to it.  It really shines when it breaks down at the chorus and then ramps up again…  Enjoy!

“Fallen for a guy, Fell down from the sky.  Halo round his head, Feathers in a bed, In our bed, in our bed…  It’s sacrilege, sacrilege, sacrilege you say”

-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Sacrilege”

The best part of a song is the build up.  This song is one long build up.  Karen O’s voice is piercing and the music builds from a steady pulse, adding layers, building in intensity until it reaches a religious type of fervor via a gospel chorus.  This song kicks ass. As always, listen to it loud:

“Girl take a seat, rest your weary bones.  Your secret’s safe in my hands.  Tell me about the years and let me buy an hour.  Maybe help me to understand.  Ain’t nobody calling, ain’t nobody home.  What a lovely day to be lonely….”

-Broken Bells, Holding On For Life

Something old, something new….  that’s what you’re getting with this one.  I started listening to Broken Bells last summer.  They are the duo of James Mercer (The Shins) and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse).  They released their first self titled album in 2010.  And two whole years later I stumbled on to one of their songs and I was sucked in by the melody, the earthy yet psychedelic music.  It was it’s own genre and I immediately added most of their catalogue to my shuffle.

This first song is from their debut album.  I love Mercer’s voice in general, but I think this song shows it’s depth, it’s higher range and just a hint of a lilt that is intoxicating.  And a hand-clapping chorus gives the otherwise dark song an upbeat vibe.  And I love it.

The second song is off their new album, After The Disco, due out in January.  This song has an other-wordly feel but Mercer’s vocals keep it grounded.  I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album…

“Searching for life, gasping for air… Heartbroken, in disrepair”

-Dan Auerbach, Keep It Hid

So, this one’s far from new.  This is a song off of Dan Auerbach’s  (singer, guitar player from The Black Keys) 2009 solo album, Keep It Hid.  While I love his soulful bluesy voice, this song’s all about the guitar.  It’s warm, it’s fuzzy and it makes you want to listen to it while sitting in the warm sun drinking a cold beer – or maybe that’s just me….  Also, possibly one of the best uses of reverb in recent memory…. Enjoy!