A Tiny Mix

Sometimes this is exhausting.

Every morning, up before the sun. That star slumbers late into the ante meridiem and yet I’m awake with my music. Every morning.


Lately there was a feeling that the words were just too hard. In the fall, life here in the country changes and everything seems to take longer. The birds move slower before they nearly disappear and the bees disperse. Parts of my heart, those not absolutely essential to the necessary action of pumping blood through my veins, depart with the warmth. Those bits that exist solely to spur on my happiness through musical notes seem to flee. I do not blame them but I am acutely aware of their migration when the seasons change. Searching for music and then feeling it as hard as I seem to do in the summer months becomes a drain on my system and to conserve energy for my seeming winter hibernation, those actions get tossed by the wayside so that all my bodily energy can be directed at the simple act of just remembering to breath and getting through it. Winter hits me hard. When to that is added a schedule that blossoms in these next coming months and overblown personal tragedies, the act of just listening to music becomes tedious. This is the path I take every year — it is foot worn and no grass grows where I tramp every fall. The flowers along the edges dry up and go dormant. And with them sometimes, most of the time, goes my heart. Feeling is harder when it’s cold.

Until one day, miraculously and with flimsy explanation, it’s not anymore. Today is that day. There is no doubt that what is written here about music is autobiographical in word and deed, most certainly more so than other music blogs. And as it’s gotten colder here, as I’ve moved inward and into a place in which I’m evaluating myself and why it is I do some of the things I do, I’ve dived into old songs that once were bypassed because they seemed to lack a ledge onto which I could attach personal meaning. Like all things, music and love and life are dance steps and as Max Holmquist of Great American Desert will tell you below, you can forget those, even when they’re as simple as left and right, right and left…

As it’s core, music renews and while I know that deep in my soul I often forget of the bond it can create between two separate essentia. It is the most beautiful of connections and it is one that saves, apparently. I might get bogged down with promo emails and that might be all I shall see; I might miss the human toil in all those words. After months of early mornings, I become blinded to what it is that music can do. I might forget that across state lines it can build friendships because you can trust that someone who feels just as expanded when Clem Snide’s “Your Favorite Music” sets in will get you. It’s a safe bet they will get me, at least.


Music is a lesson. It’s a course in shutting up and learning that not everything needs to be articulated. When words are your favorite and you were born with a long-winded slant, a lyric sheet consisting of just 50 words yet articulating exactly what your heart feels is nearly as grand a lesson as humankind learning the Earth was not flat. It is Columbus discovering America by accident. Even more relevant, it is the unknown man who was clearly guided by a God, when he realized skipping reconstitution made brandy instead of weak ass wine. I listen to music and I take it in but after months and months of doing just that for the sake of doing it, I’d forgotten how to really listen to it, it seems. I’ve remembered now, spurred on by conversations about it and days upon days of these same few songs in my ears.


Cameron Crowe still makes himself mixtapes every month, full of the songs that he’s been living by for those past 4 weeks. It is his personal journal, he says, full of words that are not his but that he had made his over the course of 30 or so days. My personal journal, lacking my own words for the month of August and September because I was absent from this blog, are the following songs. They are all old to me new and not something I had to search for and yet over the past two weeks they have built up my heart and swelled it. They were there all along and I ignored them. I was not listening.

Oddly enough, not a single one of them was something I discovered on my own unless you count the You Won’t jam that I had forgotten existed but clearly needed to be reminded of. These five jams came from friends, all of them living hundreds of miles from me. I’ve never met any of the people who gifted me these songs face to face but if they love these songs as I do, especially when they’re really listening to them, I imagine we are kindred spirits then.

Here’s to the music and the occasional hiatus. Here’s to learning how to hear and feel again. Oh, how I had missed it without even knowing…


She’s selling herself, one piece of her soul at a time…

Great American Desert :: Man Pt. I [mp3]



If I was a cute little kid, I would show you the painting I did for you…

You Won’t :: Who Knew [mp3]

BUY Skeptic Goodbye :: SITE


Hello my old heart, it’s been so long since I’ve given you away…

The Oh Hello’s :: Hello My Old Heart [mp3]



If you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate…

The Head and The Heart :: Rivers and Roads [mp3]

BUY The Head and The Heart :: SITE


Was my greatest thrill, when you just stood still, and let me hold your hand ’til I had my fill.

Bahamas :: Lost In The Light [mp3]

BUY Barchords :: SITE

Let this serve as a (very small) mix for use in introducing my sister to some acts that she’ll be seeing with me in two weeks. Communion is sending 4 bands on a tour, From Austin (SxSW, blargh) to Boston, and as my dear sibling enjoys the fuck out of some Rateliff, it occurred to me that for her Birth Anniversary approaching next month, I should take her to see him. We are so very different but occasionally there is an overlap in what I love and what she can bring herself to love and to not honor that by seeing this show with her would be a bonafide dick move on my part.

We shall stare at the St Louis Arch out of our hotel window and we shall scream along with Rateliff on a Saturday night. She will fall in love with Ben Howard and she will become a fan of The Staves. We will both meet Bear’s Den for the first time. We will do all this in the state of our respective births. It will be fucking awesome.


Nathaniel Rateliff :: I Am

BUY In Memory Of Loss :: SITE


Ben Howard :: Old Pine [mp3]

BUY Every Kingdom :: SITE


The Staves :: Facing West



Bear’s Den :: Pompeii



BUY TICKETS :: Communion From Austin to Boston Tour

As mentioned, not dead up in here.  (Apologies to those who ARE dead up in here, that last sentence was insensitive of me.)  It’s just, life.  You know?  ‘Tis good around here but busy?  Is that the word?  Yes, that’s it.  I feel like I’ve lost weeks when in reality it was A fucking week but hell, ya’ll.  I was born with this insane brain that allows for only a few things on its plate and last week I threw a wedding reception at it, on that involved a radio style playlist but it worked out well considering the amount of booze that was thrown at us for zero dollars.  Still yet, different town, an overnight stay, a long drive.  It worked a number inside my cranium and functioning past packing a suitcase was beyond me.

So to make up for lost time, A (Not So) Tiny Mix.  You kids accept badass mixes as proper apologies, right?


Blackbird Blackbird :: Halo [MP3]

I cannot be the only person that feels like Blackbird Blackbird is perfect coffee time jams, seriously.  Shit wakes me better than a stout cup of caffeinated deliciousness.  The whole of the new collection from the Electronic Glo-Fi master is worth a listen.

GET the Halo LP :: WEBSITE


Phil Cook & His Feat :: Ballad of a Hungry Mother [MP3]

Stumbling upon the one-man-band solo project of Phil Cook (of Megafaun) months ago was a great day over here.  In truth and my opinion (which are one and the same), instrumental tunes are only worth a listen if done properly and that so rarely happens that I, whether right or wrong, would typically ignore this type of shit.  However, Mr. Cook has it down.  So much so that instead of self-releasing the second mix of songs himself, Trekky Records is doing it for him in May.  I highly recommend both this jam AND the self-titled debut.

GET Phil Cook & His Feat :: Trekky Records


Jennie Abrahamson :: Hard To Come By [MP3]

While I genuinely believe chicks are a totally badass sub-sect of humans, I don’t actually listen to too much chick jams.  Patty Griffin, Stevie Nicks, Florence and the Machine.  Off the top of my head, that’s what I got.  But I must admit, I dig this pop stomper (recommended by New Music Co.).



New Animal :: Out And Up Against The Wall [MP3]

As mentioned, this past weekend was spent at a wedding reception.  Said shindig was held in a town in which I used to reside.  A town that I loved and yet one that tore me apart.  This celebration was held in the downtown area where I used to work and drink and make horrible life decisions and so walking down those roads, slightly inebriated and a completely different person from the last time I stepped on Walnut Street, I sort of lost my shit.  The next morning, mentally exhausted on the ride home, ‘Fires In The Backyard’ soundtracked the drive.  I love New Animal.



The Young Folk :: Way Down South [MP3]

The quiet rising of this tune gets me.  “Be sure you don’t hurt the ones you love.”  That right there is fucking excellent life advice, kids.



Fleet Foxes :: Battery Kinzie [MP3]

Yes, I TOO am blogging this shit.  But dude, it’s like modern day Paul Simon if he smoked less weed, drank more beer, and grew a beard.

PRE-ORDER Helplessness Blues :: WEBSITE


Dry The River :: New Ceremony [MP3]

Ya’ll know I love me some fucking Dry The River.  The electric guitar in the background deceives — this shit sounds like the saddest song written in Civil War days.  Jam out with your muzzle loader out!  Shit man, I guarantee these dudes KILL IT live.



Action! :: Sandpiper [MP3]

Sounds like human owls.  Enough said.

BUY Friend Weakend


The Lonely Wild :: Right Side of the Road [MP3]

Let’s close this bitch out with some raging spaghetti western jams, eh?  Let’s whistle, trade-off between the dudes and the ladies crooning, let’s slowly climax this shit with some gaining drum beats.

BUY Dead End

Dudes, let me tell you about some shit fixin’ to go down.  I’ve no idea what LEGAL and tasty substances will be involved, if any, but I’m spending the weekend with a collection of my most favorite people in the world and fuck if I’m not stoked.  As such, tiny mix time, youse.

This array of people come from incredibly different and yet equally important times in my life.  Subject A(shley) was gifted to be in grade school.  She taught me my first cuss words, gave me my first drink of booze, and showed me my first naked man, in all his glossy magazine glory.  Now she’s (almost) a fucking doctor.  I’m fairly certain there’s a correlation there but I’ve burned too many brain cells over the years to pick it out of the haze.  She is my best gal friend.  Bitch KNOWS me.  Also, bitch doesn’t mind that I call her bitch.  IT’S ABOUT LOVE.

Subject B(randon) is this dude from my middle/high school days.  One of the funniest boys ever put on the planet and it’s likely that one day God himself will look down and say, “WHOA!  Too many people laughing in that 50 mile radius!  Is that…Brandon?  Brandon?!  Oooohhh, went a little overboard with the hilarity in that kid, obvs.”.  And yes, God says obvs.  Obvs.  Coincidentally, though Subject A and B are from two completely different points in my past, they have now merged and will one day marry and birth tiny Yeti children who will save the world with laughter and science skillz.

Subject C(rabtree) is…uh.  My dude.  MY DUDE.  He is a lovely, lovely specimen of man who takes out my trash, salts my driveway, feeds me fried chicken so tasty I actually save the greasy skin for dessert, and generally walks about making me giddy and shit.  It’s gross.  He is from my latter high school years, a man I have loved quite likely since our first meeting.  In case you’re wondering about said meeting, we were in a pool…and I’m pretty sure his junk was hanging out of his boxers.  Clearly, this was meant to be as all first meetings like ours denote.

Ramble.  Anyway, THESE PEOPLE.  This group, coupled with my family (who, by the way, is better than yours), have literally saved my life a thousand times.  They have pushed me and set me straight and propped me up when I could not do so for myself.  They are my core, ya’ll.

We shall hang this weekend, this gaggle of friends and I.  Some will meet for the first time, though I know them all.  We will laugh until someone loses a voice or an eye — and this is likely, what with our penchant for samurai swords in filled bathtubs, water splashing about as we giggle, fully clothed, at the thought of grown-ups doing what we’re doing.  This weekend will likely end with a hangover.  It will likely end with a mess that everyone will offer to help clean while I refuse.  It will end with dishes piled up and weird concoctions (eggs?) made late into the hours of the night when we’ve convinced ourselves we’re starving to death.

This weekend.  SO INTO IT.  To wit, a few jams.  Not necessarily a playlist for the hang, not necessarily songs that have anything to do with anything.  Just songs.  Recently hearted at Hypem.  Songs for you.  For me.  FOR EVERYONE!


Frightened Rabbit :: FootShooter [MP3]

Best listened to at maximum volume.  Drums.  Frightened Rabbit, FTW!

BUY The Winter of Mixed Drinks :: via Eric N Magill‘s Hypem Hearts


Alex Winston :: Sister Wife [MP3]

Folks, this here is about as close to pop music as I get.  And you know what?  Between this jam and Big Love, it’s possible that I’m now down with polygamy.

MYSPACE :: via Pigeons and Planes


Dry The River :: History Book [MP3]

I feel like this reminds me somewhat of Dave Matthews with a splash of Horse Feathers and a pinch of Juniper Tar sounds.  And then, on the plate at 12 o’ clock (restaurant humor!) is a very small side of Justin Vernon, just for some added flavor.  Dip your chicken in it.

DOWNLOAD more from Dry The River :: WEBSITE :: via Pop Cop


The Love Language :: Heart To Tell [MP3]

How the fuck do I sometimes end up so behind?  Why in the hell don’t I investigate the Merge Records catalog daily?  HOW MUCH COULD I POSSIBLY HEART THE LOVE LANGUAGE?  Why do I feel it’s necessary to use so many caps and so few exclamation points?

BUY Libraries :: via Muzzle of Bees


The Middle East :: Blood [MP3]

Dudes scored a gig opening for The fucking National.  I bet they think this year is the shit.  I highly recommend giving this a minute of your time and listening real hard with open ears to the lyrics — as someone who attempts to write I can tell you that the words here are gorgeous as fuck.  Lookit…

Older father, weary soul, you’ll drive
back to the home you made on the mountain side.
With that only terrible thing,
those papers for divorce,
and a lonely ring,
a lonely ring,
sit on your porch,
and pluck your strings.


BUY The Middle East :: via It All Started With Carbon Monoxide


Big Hurry :: Northern [MP3]

Fellow music nerd Jim (he of Draw Us Lines) has been blithering all week about Big Hurry.  Turns out, his blithering is worth your time.  Big Hurry’s got a new EP available to the masses the 28th of this very month.

DOWNLOAD more Big Hurry :: via Draw Us Lines


Enjoy the weekend, kids.  Imbibe safely, call your mom for a ride if necessary.

Emotions, specifically those related to love and other gross feelings, are not my strong suit.  I do not excel at words in those instances and I do not win at letting those around me know they’re importance in my life.

As a subsitute, I do this with music.  And if we think about it, the differences between love and music, as emotions and things even, are so fine that they are almost invisible.  It’s true that most definitions of love and it’s associated feelings revolve around people and tangible things, things you can touch and feel and move to the other side of the table if you wish, but really, they are one and the same in my life.

Amazingly, this has not been the hindrance most people would assume that it would be.  I have lovely friends who understand that my sarcasm denotes my hopes that they will always be here and that I will do the same for them.  Inside a relationship, this “works” as well.  It’s something I strive to be better at, to be more appropriate with, but it’s certainly not something I ever would have listed off as a personality flaw, this inability of mine to be loving.

If we’re going to get specific, love is defined as “a strong positive emotion of regard and affection; any object of warm affection or devotion”.  Music is not defined as the same but the two nouns fit nicely together and in their purest form, seem synonymous to me.  And the only difference I can see here between these two beautiful things is that I’ve never picked up the ability to shit on good music the way I have on good love.  The kicker here is that music will not do the bad to you that love can.

It’s supposed to be pure, this thing called love, and it’s not supposed to break your heart.  It is expected to stand by your side and it is expected to stick around when things are tough and tired and just hard.  It is defined as something that will hold you up when you want to fall, something that will give you meaning when you see none, an emotion that is so strong it cannot really be defined.  But all that has always seemed like such bullshit to me.

It’s the most pessimistic of views, perhaps.  But I’ve always had a substitute that was more than sufficient.  Jams.  Tunes.  Vibes and feelings brought to my heart in neat little packages by writers and singers and those who are willing to lay it out there.  I don’t need love, I’m not the one writing this shit.  I don’t need a life partner for Megafaun works just fine in filling that void, if you can call it that.  I don’t need to go out to dinner, I don’t need to buy dresses and cute heels and eyeshadow, because Cotton Jones will care for me even if I don’t.  It’s amazing to me that something so simple and easily accessible is such a wonderfully perfect surrogate for something as deep and occasionally distant from all of us.  The absorbing and poignant feeling I have for records and melodies dominates my life.  I am beyond happy with this arrangement.

Scratch that.  I was, I suppose.  It’s not that music has now taken a backseat but brace yourself, for what I am about to clue you in on is potentially barf-inducing.  GET READY FOR IT.

I’m in love.

Now let’s all collectively gather ’round a toilet and bond over our disgust with my current state of emotions.  Meet me at a bathroom in St. Louis?

This is new ground, something I am not accustomed to.  Something my brain and heart are adapting to well, yes, but this territory is unexplored and though I feel it should require a map, it has not.  I get love, I do.  I DROVE 2000 MILES FOR GAYNGS, BITCHES.  Do not tell me I don’t get love.  And because this is new, I suppose that my body has taken to comparing this unordinary love to music.  I am coping with it by likening it to a new Bon Iver record — it might take a while getting used to but stick around AND THAT SHIT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

This love is unexplainable.  Perhaps it’s that I have known this man a large majority of my life.  Perhaps it’s that for that long time he has sat on a pedastal that is but 2 feet below the one my father resides on.  He is a piece of my past, someone who was there before my life fell apart and before I was able to put it all back together, piece by fucked up piece.  He was the friend by a bonfire in the sticks when I was 17, he was the man who I let drive my classic 3-speed-on-the-tree pickup truck, he was my first taste of love.  Perhaps it is that he is simply wonderful — just and fair, sweet and kind, the best kind of people.  And what I’m feeling now will undoubtedly influence me and my writing so I feel it only fair to mention.

To prove that I have not abandoned my love of tunage and replaced it with hand-holding and viewings of The Notebook, a (not so) tiny mix.  Songs that I’ve been listening to and feeling real fucking hard lately.  While I am starting to doubt that maybe love is always something that simply comes and goes as it pleases, leaving distress and broken hearts in it’s wake, I am still keenly aware that if this shall ever end, if the happiness and feeling of comfortability and just sheer love dissappears, there will still be music.  These songs will still be here.  Always.  Coping mechanisms, they are.


Active Child :: When Your Love Is Safe [MP3]

Pat Grossi (Sir Active Child, ahem) says of this song: “The chorus reflects ironically and sadly on how when I have a great love and its locked up safe, for whatever reason, I’ll run away, give it away, literally drive away to another state.  Quite cowardly now that I think about it.”.  Kindred spirits we are, brother.  



Merle Haggard :: Today I Started Loving You Again [MP3]

One of the things about loving a country fella, is that one must learn to appreciate the nuances of men like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.  I have no choice in this matter if I’m to kitchen dance properly.  This is how I know I’m in love: I actually WANT to attempt to kitchen dance properly to music I don’t quite understand.  Baby steps, ya’ll.

BUY Hag: The Best of Merle Haggard


Megafaun :: Worried Mind (Live) [MP3]

Everything about this song says love.  ‘Worried Mind’ and I have been dating since early 2010, actually.  I will wound my relationships with my own neurotic mind but this time I will lay that urge down.  ‘Worried Mind’ exemplifies what my love looks like.

BUY Gather, Form, and Fly :: WEBSITE


Panda Bear :: You Can Count On Me [MP3]

No, seriously.  You can count on me.

BUY You Can Count On Me


Townes Van Zandt :: Be Here To Love Me [MP3]

Why hello, mixture of hippy and country!  You look just like my love!

BUY Be Here To Love Me


Port St Willow :: Even [MP3]

It’s not so much the words of this jam that get me (though “you built this cage, quit pacing around” hits real fucking close to home) but the feeling.  I sense love in there.

BUY Even // Wasteland :: BANDCAMP


Romany Rye :: Dear Holly (Daytrotter Session) [MP3]

Required love letter inclusion.



GAYNGS :: By Your Side (Sade cover :: Daytrotter Session) [MP3]

I’ve always viewed love as cheesy.  I’ve always viewed Sade as cheesy.  Clearly I was wrong on both counts.



The Acorn :: Misplaced [MP3]

I fell in love with The Acorn/’Misplaced’ long before I fell in love and shit howdy, if this isn’t a lesson in how the meaning of a song can change for you along with your emotions.



Akron/Family :: Set ‘Em Free Pt. I [MP3]

Perhaps the reason that love is so odd to me is that I view it so differently in the first place.  It’s not about holding tight, it’s not about suffocation and the blending of lives so that two literally appear as one.  It’s not about possession or the taming of another.  It’s about being free and allowing the one you love to be the same.  It’s about being wild, together.  In other news, I set a singular New Year’s resolution this year: to live by this song.  For realz.

BUY Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free :: WEBSITE


Bon Iver :: Bruised Orange (John Prine cover) [STREAM]

And my head shouted down to my heart, better look out below.

BUY Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows :: BANDCAMP


Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr :: Nothing But Love (from Daytrotter Session) [MP3]

I imagine the day that I attempt to introduce Country Man to a band called Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr will be fucking epic.

BUY Horse Power EP :: WEBSITE


Deer Tick :: Twenty Miles [MP3]

A Folk Hive repeat.  While driving through the country recently this song suddenly mattered more and I knew.  It is likely that I have never sang lyrics as hard as I sing If you’re running away I’m looking for you and if you lost your way I’m seeing you through.

BUY The Black Dirt Sessions :: WEBSITE


Wynn Walent :: If You Fall I Fall Too [STREAM]

It was this song and the prior that really brought this new love home for me.  It’s meaning really has little to do with romantic love but it just goes to show that everyone finds their own in songs, regardless of the writer’s intentions.  If he falls, I fall.  He fell, I fell. I have seen you look down, I’ve carried that feeling.  I know it’s not light.  The things that befell you have nothing to tell you of the good things that may come to you. I hit play and I have no choice but to turn it up and compare it to my life.  There is such intense meaning in there.  I have no doubt that forever, I will consider this one of the jams that clinched this love for me.

BUY Eating An Ocean :: BANDCAMP

I’m feeling a very strong and perhaps inappropriate urge to fire up this tiny little feature today (we’ve done A Tiny Mix highlighting Hypem favorites before — check it  here) and to title it “Hypem Hard-On”.  But I’m curious, can I use that word?  It’s vulgarity does not stress me but as I do not bear that particular body part, can I claim an actual hard-on for these jams?  Like, is that okay?  Fuck it.  I’m gonna spend the next half hour making a graphic featuring a gramophone and the word “hard-on”.  Noble cause.

I just realized it’s early as shit — should I call it “Hypem Morning Wood” instead?  Side question: Have I taken this entirely too far?

Boners.  Jams.  Good morning.


Forest Fire :: Fortune Teller [MP3]

If someone said to me, “Dear Sam, explain your personality to us through like, jams and shit.  And GO!”, I’d probably start off that mix with a little Forest Fire.  If you hear this jam and hate it, I’ll hate you.  You just go right ahead and melt those faces, Forest Fire.  Go on, do it.

BUY Survival :: via Mad Mackerel


Trampled by Turtles :: Wait So Long [MP3]

This is reason 312 why hard-on is an appropriate word here — I can feel that banjo in my gut.  Trampled by Turtles can be too fucking intense for some…but I’m not some.  Let’s be friends, you guys, and let’s drink moonshine by a fire while blasting these tunes through my woods.  Tomorrow.  We’re doing that tomorrow…

BUY Palomino :: via HearYa


We Are The Willows :: A Funeral Dressed As A Birthday [MP3]

There are some bands that we can be perfectly content with just listening to and then there are others that we want to have over for dinner.  I love We Are The Willows.  I want to feed them spaghetti.  I’ll invite everyone on the Amble Down label.  We’ll sip lemonade and I’ll spike the punch bowl when no one’s lookin’.  Meridene, you bring the chips and you Daredevil Christopher Wright boys, have your momma’s bake cookies…

BUY A Collection of Sounds and Something Like The Plague :: via Perfect Porridge


Page France :: Say Wolf In The Summertime [MP3]

I’ve run out of Cotton Jones to listen to.  Ergo, I’m listening to Page France.  Further, isn’t it amazing to listen to this band’s catalog and then think about where they are now?  To think about how they’ve grown and matured and become even more fucking rad, even though upon listening to Page France you didn’t think about it because they were already badass enough?

BUY Page France’s last disc, Hello, Dear Wind :: via The Torture Garden


Breakfast Mountain :: Ice Cream Mountain [MP3]

I know nothing of Breakfast Mountain and in fact, they are so rad that I’m keen to keep it that way.  I can only assume that the band is comprised of a gaggle of fucking hippies, also known as the best sub-sect of people ever made.  That is all.

LISTEN at Into The Woods :: via FMLY


Screen Door Porch :: Wrong The Right [MP3]

Aside from having one interesting name that perfectly evokes feelings of summertime bliss and familial singing on back country porches, Screen Door Porch will induce some serious head sway.

BUY Screen Door Porch :: via Side One: Track One

Disclaimer: I hate hearts.  They’re gay.

[The above graphic made me puke in my mouth a little…]

That said, every once in a while, while bored, hungover, or upon finding myself with a few spare seconds on my hands, I enjoy perusing the recent tracks over at this website called Hypem.  You heard of it?  Sorry, sarcasm!  Of course you have, you hipster/Kanye fan/remix lover.

Here’s a tiny mix of some recently discovered and then subsequently hearted tracks from Hypem.  To be nice and kind and fair, let’s give some credit to the lovely blogs that originally located these jams and did the legwork for me.


Solander :: Berlin [MP3]

BUY Since We Are Pigeons :: via No Fear Of Pop


Troubel :: Just Let Him Be [MP3]

GET The Mountains.  The Broken :: via Vocal Nerd Rodeo


Clinic :: Milk & Honey [MP3]

BUY Bubblegum :: via Rollo & Grady


Frontier Ruckus :: Nerves of the Nightmind [MP3]

BUY Deadmalls and Nightfalls :: via Ear Milk

By the way ya’ll, Frontier Ruckus is literally the definition of ‘the shit’.  Get your hands on whatever they put out, go see them live.  Be cool, hear good music.  It’ll make you happier.


Jeffertitti’s Nile :: Mountain Jam [MP3]

BUY Eye Tunes EP :: via FMLY

In high school there were journals — there are organized on my dresser, gathering dust, giving testament to the person that I was in my yesteryear, full of heartbreak and love for The Beatles.  In my “I Quit College And Now I Work At A Bar” years, I kept journals too.  They are hidden, for they are fucked and scouring through those pages might send me into an ignorant spiral.  Whoa, shit just got deep there…

Anyway, mix.  I have omitted Ryan Adams, Iron & Wine, and things like Chris deBurgh, Chris Isaak, and Michael Bolton.  Though that has it’s place, it’s certainly not here on a forward-thinking music lover’s blog.  I’d like to keep any street cred I have, thanks so much.

Without further ado, A (Not So) Tiny Mix of Things That Made Me Smile A Bit When I Discovered Them On An Old, Nearly Dead Laptop From 2005.


Taken By Trees :: Open Field [MP3]

When I was younger, in the days of grade school field trips, I was the geek that loved going to the symphony.  To wit, Taken By Trees.

BUY Open Field :: MYSPACE


Thunderclap Newman :: Something In The Air [MP3]

What’s rad is that I don’t just have a singular MP3 from Thunderclap Newman.  I have a WHOLE album.

BUY Hollywood Dream :: WEBSITE


Wilco :: Jesus, ETC. (w. Andrew Bird) [MP3]

My love of Wilco at the time stemmed more from this jam with Andrew Bird then it did from anything Wilco was doing.  Then I saw them live.  GAME OVER.

BUY Yankee Hotel Foxtrot :: WEBSITE


Rufus Wainwright :: Oh, What A World [MP3]

Listening to Wainwright makes me feel like a gloriously fabulous gay man, living in an old hotel in NYC, decorated by Sofia Coppola.  If I were that man, I would read the New Yorker.



Ralph Stanley & Dwight Yoakam :: Miner’s Prayer [MP3]

Apologies for the massive amount of Yoakam ’round here lately.  But dude, seriously.  Fiddles and banjos and Yoakam’s voice is like my childhood and pure melted gold, all in one.

BUY Miner’s Prayer


Neko Case :: Star Witness [MP3]

This is one of the few songs that traveled with me from that laptop to this.  It is also part of the reason I have a penchant for occasionally turning my hair bright red.

BUY Fox Confessor Brings The Flood :: WEBSITE


Joe Purdy :: San Jose [MP3]

My collection of Joe Purdy rivals my LaMontagne and Adams collection.  I still cannot believe that the world is not listening to more Purdy.  Remedy that, people.  The man self-releases everything he does (and he does a lot) and it’s ALL good and delicious.

BUY Take My Blanket and Go :: WEBSITE


Jenny Owen Youngs :: Fuck Was I [MP3]

Went through a breakup.  Hated my ex.  Jenny Owen Youngs saved me with this jam.  Apparently, I’m not the only one who, in retrospect, realizes what an idiot I can be.

BUY Batten the Hatches :: MYSPACE


Gogol Bordello :: Through the Roof ‘n Underground [MP3]

Gypsies.  Wristcutters.  TOM WAITS.

BUY Multi Kontra Culti Vs. Irony :: MYSPACE


Cat Power :: Good Woman [MP3]

This is the heaviest fucking song in this mix.  It will whip your ass.

BUY You Are Free :: MYSPACE


Brightblack Morning Light :: Everybody Daylight [MP3]

Acid.  LSD.  Peyote?

BUY Brightblack Morning Light :: MYSPACE


Bob Schneider :: Fuck It (Demo) [MP3]

Banjo + Fuck = LOVE.

BUY something from Schneider :: MYSPACE


The Archibalds :: Sinking Ships [MP3]

How in the hell did The Archibalds not get big?  I remember loving this band and it was worth it to wait 2 hours and through approximately 17 computer crashes to remember The Archibalds.

BUY O Camellia :: WEBSITE


Friends, be thankful I spared you 32 live versions of ‘Come Pick Me Up’.  And pray that the writer’s block that has wrenched itself around my brain dies an evil, horrible death.  When it does, we will all bury it together in the backyard.  I’ll build a fire and there will be s’mores.  You’ll all get CDRs of custom mixes if you bring good beer to the party…

My Wednesday was divided into four, very distinct parts: the earliest part consisted of coffee, cigarettes, and cooking brussel sprouts (fried in bacon grease, yo) and fresh asparagus.  Part A was decent enough — I’m not a cook but I made due.  Spaghetti-Os at the work Thanksgiving feast I myself had organized would have been rude as fuck.  Part B consisted of said dinner at work.  I spend my days making money to feed others who cannot feed themselves and so, to me, it feels like we should all have a day where we sit together as a work family to laugh and feed each other instead.  It was lovely.  I love lovely.

Part C came after the dinner.  I was at work, still.  There were hours more of the day left and I realized I was due at a staff meeting.  I hate meetings, dude.  They can be awkward and I hate awkward more than meetings.  There’s potential for it and that alone skeeves out my damn brain.  I had to drive to this meeting and the weather here is losing it’s damn mind, which also triggers a severe flight or fight response on my part.  Part C was the definition of ‘BALLS!’.

And then.  Then there was Part D.  Part D consisted of me standing in a circle, arms linked with people ranging in age from 16 to 82.  This last part was spent witnessing the inner workings of our program to hand out Christmas gifts to over 750 children.  This last part centered around 22 overworked people giving their best and their all this season to help our community’s most needy.  Really puts your shit in perspective, man.

After the meeting, in the rainy dark, I walked to my car alone and I felt really fucking good.  Like, “fuck yeah, life!”.  How stupid we all can be sometimes, you know?  Good shit happened to me today (dude who writes Muzzle of Bees said I knew my shit (!), I got to blow off an hour of paid work time to be with friends I genuinely care for, and I’m friggin’ alive so there’s that) and I let a damn meeting blow it out of the water.

On the way home, driving miles along a crowded interstate, weaving through the cars full of families making their way here from distant states to sit at tables with loved ones and gorge on ugly birds, I picked a random disc from the pile covered in sugary soda juice in my car’s console.  My ride was dimly lit and I could not make out my writing on the upside of that mix but I inserted it anyway.  And there it was.  It was all fine.  It had all gotten better.  I had moved on.  Music was the icing on top of the cake that represents my day and it just went and un-fucked it all.

Some jams from that mix, if you please.


Willie Nelson :: Time of The Preacher [MP3]

When I was little, there was more Willie in our house than anything.  Willie is our man.  We will travel for Willie, we will gather in familial groups larger than the one we had at Thanksgiving (we did last year) for Willie, we are a devoted Willie fan base within ourselves.  Also note, Willie is the only man I will accept covering The Allman Bros.  Look it up.

[BUY Red-Headed Stranger]


The Rosebuds :: Nice Fox [MP3]

Jam came on, I (re-)remembered how much I love the damn Rosebuds and then I started wondering whether or not Jude could draw a nice little fox.  He’s working on it right now under my feet as I type.  Also, tune’ll change your broad view of the shittiness of your day in a heartbeat: at least you’re not a dead fox.  For real.

[BUY Life Like]


Breathe Owl Breathe :: Sabertooth Tiger [MP3]

Seriously assholes, this song saves the day.  EVERY.  FUCKING.  TIME.  Mastadons, glaciers, river, and most importantly, moms.   In short, it’s really hard to be a pissed off grown up when you’re listening to music that makes kid’s dance.

[BUY Ghost Glacier EP]


Sharon Van Etten :: Consolation Prize [MP3]

The moral story is: SVE is badass.  Every time I listen to Van Etten I get newly pissed that some dude, a total fuck no doubt, ever felt like it was okay to make her feel like she wasn’t good enough.  The consolation prize there is that he surely now feels like the biggest dolt this side of indie chick rock.

[BUY Epic]


Dwight Yoakam :: Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose [MP3]

You cannot touch my love for Dwight.  My first concert was Dwight when I was in my early teens: a tornado ventured into the outdoor venue, my little brother cried and lost his cowboy hat, our chairs blew away, and we begged my mother to let us leave as we watched a funnel cloud make it’s way towards us in the distance.  She refused.  Because of her refusal, we got great seats when everyone else left fearing for their lives.  You cannot touch my love for Dwight.  Don’t even try, hipster.

[BUY If There Was A Way]


Saintseneca :: Wonderlust [MP3]

Wade on?  Yes, I think I will.

[BUY the Self-Titled 7″]


The Black Keys :: Howlin’ For You [MP3]

The Black Keys could literally un-fuck any day.  I do not like overtly sexual jams (on the other hand, overt sex I’m down with) and that’s not what this is but dude.  DUDE.  I think Stephen Hawking himself would agree that there is something in the musical combination of Dan Auerbach’s vox/guitar and Patrick Carney’s drumming skillz that make (good, smart) people wanna make babies with other (good, smart) people.

[BUY Brothers]


Bon Iver :: Wisconsin [MP3]

This is how you know I’m odd: I make mixes that include The Black Keys followed by Justin Vernon.

[BUY For Emma, Forever Ago]


The War On Drugs :: Baby Missiles [MP3]

The War On Drugs are my incredibly modern Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.  ‘Baby Missiles’ is to my 2010 what ‘Taking the Farm’ was to my 2008.

[BUY Future Weather]


Feathe :: Messy Rooms [MP3]

Folk.  Chicks.  Eau Claire.  Fuck yeah.

[BUY Flora EP]


Wintersleep :: Weighty Ghost [MP3]

I have not seen your ghost, dudes, but I see those goddamn clouds…

[BUY New Inheritors]


The Giving Tree Band :: Circles [MP3]

Aw shit, if a dude’s woman NOT being alone when he gets home doesn’t make YOU feel better about your life then you’re just an ass.  As a sidenote, you’ve got to wait for this song to take off.  It will, a minute in.  JUST WAIT.

[BUY The Joke, The Threat, and The Obvious]


Elephant Revival :: Go On [MP3]

Sometimes the simplest of words and phrases make you feel like someone knows, like someone out there gets it.  Sometimes the words that you make you feel as such are “go on, it’s alright.  We all feel something similar sometimes.”

[BUY Break In The Clouds]


We all feel something similar sometimes.  On that note, until next time, kids.  Happy mixin’.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t want to be a ballerina.  Fuck ballerinas, man.  I don’t mean to shit on anyone’s ballerina dreams but it just wasn’t my thing.  Words, to me, are prettier than a lady in a tutu.  I didn’t like pink, I didn’t dream about my wedding.

When I was a young, but older girl I was not like the other young, but older gals.  Back then it was a sore spot, something I sought to hide and cover up with hairspray and boy talk and jeans that were long enough to reach down to the ankles situated on my long, lanky legs.  I fit in fine enough, but I didn’t feel like I did.  I knew that I didn’t.

When I graduated (with something like 38 people, a good 97% of them 12 year students) and set my sights on getting out of this tiny Midwest black hole, I pondered my future.  I cried when my parents let it be known they couldn’t afford to send me to UVa — they were oblivious to the fact that Dave Matthews resided there and that, at the time, I was enamored with Charlottesville music scene.    I can’t believe I just admitted that Dave Matthews shit.  It’s fine, I’m about to regain my street cred.  Watch.

If God him-/herself had descended upon me in a field and said, “Fair geek who does not feel at home here in this county, I shall do thou a solid”, and followed that with ” Who would you like to be?”, I’d have responded with “God, make me Cameron Crowe.  Also, sweet beard, dude.”

That’s no shit.  My love for Cameron Crowe, his taste in music and women (dude married chick from Heart for fuck’s sake), and his life, was downright strange.  Other girls loved Justin Timberlake…and this was pre-“Bringin’ Sexy Back” and as such, I can find no excuse for this infatuation on their collective parts.  Other girls could not tell you what an ellipses was or who wrote Still Life With Woodpecker.  Cameron was my guy.


[This guy.  Dude on the right gave me the dude on the left, arguably the hottest fictional 70s rock-n-roller ever put in film.  Thanks, buddy.]

I went away to college in a town that I’ve grown to hate and after six months, I was over it.  I had spent all my life accidentally assuming that I would spend a large portion of my life in schooling of some sort, and after half a year I had grown so tired of math and classes that were not English-related and girls in those goddamn booty shorts with faux diamonds on the ass, that I quit.  It was incredibly liberating and at the same time, it fucked my psyche.

Through all that was music.  And writing.  And thus, Cameron.  I don’t care if you think Almost Famous is trite, that flick is still in my top five.  “The guitar sound is incendiary.  INCENDIARY.”  I was the kid who wanted to meet one of my favorite bands and say that, those exact words!  You know what else?  Penny Lane has the best groupie name ever, she has her shit together (despite that one time she ate a bunch of Dirty Biscuits in a possible suicide attempt), and she has great taste in tunes.  If Stillwater were a real band, I would listen to that shit.  I’d have their record(s) on vinyl.

All this to say, Cameron Crowe.  Mr. Crowe does this thing (or at least he used to anyway) where he makes a mix tape for every month.  He used to make cassettes and if he’s doing that now, he’s making discs…or 8track playlists, I don’t know.  He then labels these mixes.  For instance, he’d have “August 1974”.  I bet the Ozark Mountain Daredevils hold a spot on that playlist, dudes.

So I make mixes.  I make them and I label them and I store them in an old-school earth cellar constructed in 1912 by my great-great-grandparents (I made that last part up but that would be awesome, right?).  Personal, easily portable little journals that most of the time, do a better job at explaining my life at any given time better than my own words could.  Plus, fewer run-on sentences and excessive comma usage in a music mix.

Here is a mix.  It’s called “November 2010, Bitchez” and will be labeled as such in my collection.  Dig.


The Black Twig Pickers :: Don’t Drink Nothin’ But Corn [MP3]

Recently, I sat down and had a country chat with an old friend.  Said old friend once gave me some Moonshine that his own dad made.  It was illegal and awesome.

[BUY Ironto Special]


Deer TickThese Old Shoes [MP3]

I’m adding “learn how to play upright bass” to my life list.

[BUY War Elephant]


Braids :: Lemonade [MP3]

Did she just ask me if I’d “fucked all those dragons yet”? Sweeeeeeeeeet.



Why, hello there COOLRUNNINGS!  Looks like you put my personal philosophy statement in a song!  I too live by the words, “If you really wanna know what I’m thinking, shut your running mouth and just fuckin’ listen”!

[DOWNLOAD more at Dracula Horse]


Johnny Flynn (w. Laura Marling) :: The Water [MP3]

Songs about the river are always a win.  A big, massive, fat win.  And this sort of plays into that time of my life when I was really into Celtic music.  Like, really into it.

[BUY been listening]


Lost In The Trees Walk Around the Lake [MP3]

Singing saw.  That is all.

[BUY All Alone In An Empty House]


Nathaniel Rateliff :: Boil & Fight [MP3]

One would think that a song in which one hears a fucking xylophone would contain very little substance to latch on to.  But one would be wrong.

[BUY In Memory of Loss]


The War On Drugs :: Taking the Farm [MP3]

Old school.  Still the shit.

[BUY Future Weather.  Then BUY Wagonwheel Blues.  You NEED them both.]


Steve Winwood :: Back in the High Life [MP3]

This is not a joke.  Don’t judge, assholes, lest I judge you for that Edwin McCain album you have hiding in the back of your closet.


The Rosebuds :: Shake Our Tree [MP3]

Ivan Howard @’ed me on Twitter (which, by the way, is like Facebook’s retarded cousin.  How the fuck am I supposed to fit ANYTHING in 140 characters?!).  Also, I just love The Rosebuds.  As a sidenote, Jude still gets sad every time the fox dies in “Nice Fox”.

[BUY Life Like]


Spokane :: The Absentee [MP3]

Go see The Builder.


Solid Gold :: Danger Zone [MP3]

As Stephen Colbert once noted of this song “Why would anyone ever zone for danger, let alone build a highway to it?”.  He’s right.  But still, the men from Solid Gold could literally come to my house, piss on my zinnias, kick my dog in the balls (if I had a dog, that is), and insult the paint color in my bathroom…and I’d still love them.  This cover is better than the original, by far, and the original was pretty fucking sweet, ya’ll.

[BUY Synchronize]


Department of Eagles :: While We’re Young [MP3]

I’m almost positive DoE is telling me that if I’m gonna do that thing, I should do it now.  While I’m young.  What they’re saying should be taken to heart.  Also, that first sentence I just wrote there is a testament to what I said earlier about a song doing better than what I write when documenting my life.

[BUY In Ear Park]


Mt. Desolation :: State of Our Affairs [MP3]

Keane/Mumford & Sons/Noah and the Whale/The Staves association.  I’m trying really hard to like this band.  Shit, that implies this band sucks.  They do not.  Apologies.

[BUY Bitter Pill]


David Vandervelde :: Learn How To Hang [MP3]

Let me tell you guys something: Vandervelde’s voice in the opening stanzas of this tune sound like those of the dude that sings the Wubbzy song.  Jude pointed that out and he’s right.  BUT THEN Vandervelde says the word “shit”, and thus, it’s all good.  And then his voice gets awesome as fuck so then it’s all really good.  In other news, I should learn how to hang.

[BUY Summer Time Hits]


Dawes :: When My Time Comes [MP3]

The chorus of this jam and the breakdown leading up to it are heaven.  Plus, it’s a great song to end a playlist with.  Ask Rob Gordon, he’ll tell you.

[LISTEN to more from Dawes]