July is certainly a trip. It’s a pronouncement of lingering summer. It marks the start of changes and getaways. It was like a prequel to a round trip vacation and the month has return to even more new explosions. You can insert some of your favorite party jams as well if you feel the need.

Lykke Li performing the song “Little Bit” in a minimalist setting. She possesses a rhythmic quality that compliments the pitch perfect voice. This is a unexpected find that is bound to become more popular as time goes on.

“All You Do Is Talk” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They are not black. I haven’t seen any motorcycles. I have no clue if this club is actually full of rebels. What I can tell you is that this song is mighty fine. Shown here is a quality version live. Grab Baby 81 if this sounds like sound you’d like more of. This is one of a few great songs from the album.


God Bless This Mess [m4a file (AAC). No video available.]

I’m going obscure on this one. Shotstar is one of those bands that weren’t much to shake chicken legs at, but they managed to create one song that stuck with me. They are a no-hit wonder. They no longer exist or have a following, but they were local so I can remember them. And I went to high school with a family member of one of the players. I saw them perform once, but I know they played often in the beginning of the decade. The song I’m showing you is what I consider the high point of the band. “God Bless This Mess” has a well-done production with some nice dynamics that make the melody pop. The rest of the album is nothing compared to this song. If this was released as a single, there would be more to imagine of how good they could have been.

Chris Conley keeps it simple and unintentionally short with “In My Waking Life.” If you want to hear a duo version, drive over to the version youtube. I think the subtly challenging guitar riff and vocals are what make this song. I’m a dream, and I thought the movie Waking Life was interesting, so this song fits right at home.

Massive energy is coming from Thin Lizzy with “Cowboy Song.” The performance here reminds me of the Ramones and how they ended up turning their three minute songs into minute-and-a-half songs by the time they raced past the original recorded versions in their live sets.

Thelonious Monk

“Misterioso” (or “Mysterioso”) [Last.fm stream]

This song doesn’t get near as much exposure as many of his other songs. It never found its way alongside bebop standards I guess. It was written at least by 1948. The album of the same name came out 10 years later. Also try out the audio-only video from Youtube with a different recording; and acapella cover by Bobby McFeron.

My intended song doesn’t have a video, but the equally moving wave of sound “Tally Ho” is what you will see in the above video. It’s performed by The Clean who also came out with a track called “Stars” which is a free download on Epitonic. “Stars” lacks the new wave keyboard overdose of “Tally Ho,” and it keeps a halo bendy/yo la tiene/sonically youthful aura. Go listen.

Preston School of Industry has “Caught in the Rain,” not to be confused with Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Cat in the Rain.” A cheerful sound.

It never ceases to baffle me how nobody except friends that I tell know anything about Paul Westerberg. Sure, he is popular enough that a handful of people who lived in the 80s can recall the name or at least the Replacements. Maybe it’s because he does have some throwaway songs here and there. But every album of his has more than a single astonishing song, if one or two aren’t masterpieces. Chosen for the mixtape is “Skyway.” I cannot tell a lie about how an acoustic guitar and a Minnesota voice can sound so voluminous.

The Replacements

Cool Water [Videoless again]

Originating as an old country tune by Bob Nolan, this is my favorite rendition of this song that I’ve heard. Bob Dylan has a lo-fidelity version made during the Basement Tapes sessions. More recording have sprung from Bing Crosby and a handful of country artists. I have a hard time believing this is Paul on vocals or even if this is the real ‘Mats in 1987. It does nothing to harm the song though.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Over and Over Again (Lost & Found)”
Get over the corny name. Get over the unsteady vocal skills. Get under the sun and bathe in hand claps and exclamations. Their newer album Some Loud Thunder isn’t earth shattering, but the self-titled that came before it is shatters some of the earth.