Monday, June 12, 2006

If Mine Eyes Be Damned...

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised at the post office to receive a package containing a surprise mix CD from Lefty Brown. I knew it was coming, because he had been hinting about it in his blog, but had no idea what was on the CD, other than a few tantalizing tidbits.

It’s a great thing to get a disc out of the blue like this. It’s an even greater thing when it was created specifically for you. But, the greatest thing of all is when the disc has your own name in the title!

Songs Eddie Mitchell Should Own*

*And If Not Damn His Eyes!

Before I go any further, I just have to give a big “Thank You” to Chris for thinking of me and putting this together. It was an incredibly nice gesture, and I really do appreciate it. It’s brought me many hours of listening enjoyment so far, and will doubtless continue to do so.

Lefty told me in an email that he thought this was one of his best mixes. He’s definitely right about that. He’s also right about something else; this is music I should own. The only song I’m a little iffy on is Dar Williams’ cover of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. (I’m just not sure anyone can cover Pink Floyd and do it justice.) But, it’s from a CD I should own, so I can overlook it.

Every other cut is phenomenal! As Gordon would say, this is an instantly listenable mix. The flow is great and the songs fit together so well, you’d think they were cut especially for this CD.

I don’t normally do song by song reviews, but I think I will this time, given the title of the disc and all. (Plus, Chris said he was really curious to know how many of the songs I actually do own.)

Empty Shell (Cat Power): She has a phenomenal voice and is a favorite of mine. This is a good song and sound to open with. I do not yet have the CD this comes from (The Greatest) but it’s on my List of CD’s Released This Year to Get (

I’ll Come Around (The A-Sides): This group was totally new to me, until the last Mixed Bag exchange, when both Chris and his wife Kelly used their songs. This is now the third time I’ve been confronted with the A-Sides, and I’m convinced I need this CD. Great pop sound these guys have.

Comfortably Numb (Dar Williams): See above for comments. I do love Williams though. This CD (My Better Self) is one that got by me last year.

O Mary Don’t You Weep (Bruce Springsteen): The Boss does a great job with this traditional tune, rocking it out, but being true to the roots of the song all at once. I love that kind of stuff! Don’t have this one, yet, but it’s almost at the top of the LCRTYTG.

Jesus Was a Crossmaker (The Hollies): Great song. Loved it on Thom’s mix and I love it here. It’s from the Elizabethtown soundtrack, which I still gotta get, since E-town is down near where I’m from in Kentucky.

L’Accord Parfait (Autour de Lucie): It’s catchy, retro, jangly, strummy, poppy and very very French! And I totally love it! Will definitely be getting more from them!

Hold On, Hold On (Neko Case): God, I just love what she can do to a song, and the sounds she creates here give me chills. Don’t have Fox Confessor Brings the Flood yet, but it’s on the LCRTYTG.

Chicago (Sufjan Stevens): This is another one I missed last year. I must have been unconscious or something. I know I bought a lot of music last year, but it looked like I missed a lot too. Great song!

Air Pollution (Page France): Never heard of ‘em before. Definitely going to be getting more. Reminds me of some of the sing-songier stuff from Air or Polyphonic Spree. These are good comparisons in my book.

The Littlest Birds (Be Good Tanyas): At last, something I actually own! Love what these ladies can mix up with traditional sounds. Case in point: the jazzy stroll in this number. It’s catchy and I find myself humming it a lot now.

Finlandia (Indigo Girls): Can not ever go wrong with the Indigos in my book, and this solemn accapella hymn is just lovely. And it’s another one I do have.

Rebecca Go Home (Lost Dogs): Totally unknown to me, but not any more. Great, great alt-country sound to this one. Lots of weepy guitar.

Wide River to Cross (Buddy Miller): Got this one! Got this one! Buddy is the man! One of my favorite CD’s from a couple years ago. And is that Emmylou Harris on harmony? I do believe it is! Good call, Lefty!

Deep Blue Sea (North Mississippi All Stars): Another great modern take on traditional sounds. Don’t know why I never had anything from these guys before. Must fix that. Love the percussion!

Daylight (Drive By Truckers): Love the Truckers. It’s amazing how much this sounds like a U2 song, though. I think that may be because Patterson Hood is not doing the vocals. I don’t have their new one yet, so I ain’t got this one either, but will get it.

Master of Disaster (John Hiatt): John Hiatt can absolutely do no wrong in my eyes. Kick ass songwriter. Kick ass song. Got this one. Off one of last year’s best CD’s.

Handbags and Gladrags (Rod Stewart): He might seem like an odd fit here, but it works well. It helps that this is an older song and not some of his American Song Book crap. I don’t have enough good Rod Stewart in my music collection.

Girl in the War (Josh Ritter): I can say I have this one, because Lefty says he got it from a Paste Magazine Sampler, which I do have. If it had come from the actual Josh Ritter CD, I’d have to say I don’t. Gotta love Paste! Great song—sharp pointed commentary and I like that kind of stuff. “Talking to God is like Laurel asking Hardy for a gun.” Ha!

Travelin’ Thru (Dolly Parton): Dolly’s another one who does no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. Well, maybe she’s done a little (letting Whitney Houston cover I Will Always Love You comes easily to mind), but she more than makes up for it with everything else. This song from the Transamerica soundtrack (which I do not have) is one of her best, and a real upbeat hopeful note to close on.

Well, by the final count, I’ve only got five out of nineteen songs! Pretty bad. I guess my eyes are damned. But my ears are very very happy!

Thanks again, Chris.

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