Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mix #12- small songs

There's a certain kind of song that really moves me- for lack of a better term, I like to call them "small songs"- not necessarily short or quiet, just... spare, simple, and usually pretty damn effective. They're often the unassuming standouts on an album- for instance, Afterhours closes out the Velvet Underground's third self-titled LP, providing the perfect counterpoint to the 9-minute vocal experiment Murder Mystery that precedes it. Or take Harlan, from Freakwater's '98 album Springtime- every other song on that one is overflowing with instruments and vocal harmonies. Whenever that song comes on, I immediately find myself taking a deep breath.
On a more personal note, the Michael Hurley song Open Up is now permanently associated in my mind with driving through the woods of western Pennsylvania with my friend Beth Pulse, who was transporting me, my cat & all my possessions from Minneapolis to my current residence in Philly. She took an immediate liking to that song, so we listened to it over & over again as she tried to learn the words, singing along, taking in the spring foliage. Good times- thanks Beth.

Download here.

1. The Majestic Arrows- If I Had A Little Love (Rehearsal)
2. The Velvet Underground- Afterhours
3. The Kinks- All Night Stand
4. Sibylle Baier- Tonight
5. Will Oldham- In My Mind
6. Freakwater- Harlan
7. Geeshie Wiley- Last Kind Words Blues
8. Michael Hurley- Open Up
9. Daniel Johnston (with Yo La Tengo)- Speeding Motorcyle
10. Shep and Me- A man, his van and his dog
11. Beck- I Get Lonesome
12. Asian Mae- Downtown
13. Cat Power- Psychic Hearts
14. Thurston Moore- Honest James
15. Roky Erickson- Birds'd Crash


  1. I like this mix! Thanks for sharing so much good music!
    Kidney (I think we shared a table once on the L.E.S. but I'm not positive).

  2. thanks kidney- glad you like the mix. i can't recall ever tabling in the lower east side unless you mean a table at a cafe or restaurant? perhaps you're confusing me w/ one of my justseeds colleagues who live in nyc...