Retreat

16 / September 2011 / Andy Grogan

  1. Dear BoyPaul McCartney
  2. Hot Fun in the SummertimeSly & The Family Stone
  3. You Keep Me Hangin' OnThe Supremes
  4. Estate Sale SignThe Mountain Goats
  5. No ReasonMarianne Faithfull
  6. End of the SeasonThe Kinks
  7. If You Want Me To StaySly & The Family Stone
  8. Sound and VisionDavid Bowie
  9. MisunderstandingGenesis
  10. Blue TipThe Cars
  11. Kentucky RainElvis Presley
  12. EffigyUrge Overkill
  13. Walk a Thin LineFleetwood Mac
  14. Silicon ValleyO/A
  15. So Beautiful or So WhatPaul Simon
  16. My MistakesEleanor Friedberger
  17. HoneyErykah Badu
  18. End of the LineRoxy Music
  19. Summer BreezeThe Isley Brothers
  20. Moment of SurrenderU2

Back-to-school time; winter's on its way; and I am in full-on retreat mode.

This started out as a mix intended to provoke: Mastodon, Foo Fighters, Husker Du...  But I thought back to that image of John gripping the steering wheel on Route 9.  I just couldn't do that to him again.  Besides, Saunders and Kristin will just remain silent regardless of what I put on here, and there was no way I'd be responsible for waking Joe's baby.

So, I aimed for something lighter.  High-quality comfort food.

The amount of new music making its way into my life was becoming overwhelming.  I've been feeling like I can't keep up anymore.  Between the blogs, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Burnmix, Pandora, and whatever is blaring from the car that drives by my house every night at 9 pm, I've started feeling like enough is enough.  It dawned on me that I was listening to a lot of music, but I'd stopped listening deeply. 

So, for this mix, I've returned to a few classics.  Many of these are songs that I've listened to for years.  Some--like the Roxy Music track--have been in my regular rotation for 25 years.  There are some new things on here, but even those touch on a sound that's deeply rooted in what I like.  There are some that I'm sure you've heard before, but maybe a new context will help you dive deeper into their sounds.

So, dig in and enjoy.

(Oh, and the songs are ordered in a specific, but very simple way.  Figure it out and win a prize.)

  1. Paul McCartney / Dear Boy

    The mix is a little weird, but I like it.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942), born in Liverpool, UK, is the most successful songwriter in the history of popular music. McCartney is a multiple Grammy Award- and Academy Award-winning English singer-songwriter, poet, composer, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, record producer, film producer, painter, and animal rights and peace activist. He gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Read more on Last.fm more...

  2. Sly & The Family Stone / Hot Fun in the Summertime

    Ah Sly. A riff good enough to steal more than once. I love the way he uses the horns throughout: if you're inclined, listen all the way through just to notice the phrasing and the ways he uses one simple change to affect the chorus.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential band from Vallejo, California, United States. Active from 1966 until 1975, the band was pivotal in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia. Headed by singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and containing several of his family members and friends, the band was the first major American rock band to have an integrated lineup in both race and gender. Brothers Read more on Last.fm more...

  3. The Supremes / You Keep Me Hangin' On

    A song filled with moments of glory: the staccatto guitar; the keyboard; Diana's "why don't you be a man about it..."; the drums. As a Southerner with Detroit in-laws, I'd love to say I prefer Stax over Motown, but I probably don't. And there ain't nothing I can do about it. I highly recommend the documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown." It's about the backing band, and it will change how you listen to Motown songs. (Note: the version posted here is not the version on the mix. The version on the mix is the one to hear. I'll try to replace this one later.)

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Supremes were a very successful Motown all-female singing group active from 1959 until 1977, performing at various times doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway showtunes, psychedelia, and disco. One of Motown's signature acts, The Supremes were the most successful African-American musical act of the 1960s, recording twelve #1 hits between 1964 and 1969, many of them written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland-Dozier-Holland. Read more on Last.fm more...

  4. The Mountain Goats / Estate Sale Sign

    If the Violent Femmes were more melodic and a little more angry about politics.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Mountain Goats is the musical project of singer-songwriter, novelist, pianist and guitarist John Darnielle. He has the distinction of being named by the The New Yorker magazine as 'America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist'; in its June 2006 issue, Paste magazine dubbed Darnielle one of the '100 Best Living Songwriters'. Darnielle’s lyrics are erudite and compassionate and filled with imagery that reference classical literature, religion, mythology, culture, art, and history. Read more on Last.fm more...

  5. Marianne Faithfull / No Reason

    Love the croak, but her version of Neko's "Hold On" is a trial.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Marianne Faithfull (born 29 December 1946 in London) is an English singer-songwriter and actress whose career spans more than four decades. Her early work in pop and rock music in the 1960s was overshadowed by her struggle with drug abuse in the 1970s. After a long commercial absence, she returned late in 1979 with the highly acclaimed album, Broken English. Faithfull's subsequent solo work, often critically-acclaimed, has at times been rather overshadowed by her personal history. Read more on Last.fm more...

  6. The Kinks / End of the Season

    Well, it is, isn't it?

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Kinks (1963–1996; 2018-present) are an English pop-rock group that came out of the British R&B scene of the early 1960s. Formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray Davies and Dave Davies in 1964 and categorised in the United States as a "British Invasion" band, the Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock groups of the era. In 1990, their first year of eligibility, the original four members were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Read more on Last.fm more...

  7. Sly & The Family Stone / If You Want Me To Stay

    An overlooked gem from Sly, just before the slyde.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential band from Vallejo, California, United States. Active from 1966 until 1975, the band was pivotal in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia. Headed by singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and containing several of his family members and friends, the band was the first major American rock band to have an integrated lineup in both race and gender. Brothers Read more on Last.fm more...

  8. David Bowie / Sound and Vision

    From Bowie's greatest Side A. I believe this is burned from an old vinyl copy. It's not your ipod skipping.

    More Info from Last.FM

    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft having a significant impact on popular music. Read more on Last.fm more...

  9. Genesis / Misunderstanding

    I've always loved this song, and the fact that they lifted Sly's "Summertime" riff, played it in the same key, and then SANG OVER IT---well, that's just gutsy. A great song about bewilderment with a great Motown-esque fade-out. Songs like this are why I can never understand the anti-Phil movement.

    More Info from Last.FM

    At least two artists have used the name "Genesis": 1. A British progessive rock band 2. A 60s psychedelic band from Los Angeles, California For the Colombian band, please see Génesis. 1. Genesis formed in 1967 in Godalming, Surrey (United Kingdom) and was one of the most popular progressive rock bands in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. During the 1970s, Peter Gabriel was the lead singer until his departure, when drummer Phil Collins stepped up to the mic and replaced him. Read more on Last.fm more...

  10. The Cars / Blue Tip

    I'm glad they're back, if only to remind us how great Ric Ocasek's pop songs are.

    More Info from Last.FM

    There is more than one artist with this name: 1) The Cars are a popular American new wave/power pop band that formed in 1976, after going through several different incarnations. The band was founded in Boston, Massachusetts and were signed to Elektra Records in 1977. The band originally consisted of David Robinson (drummer), Benjamin Orr (singer/bassist), Ric Ocasek (singer/rhythm guitarist), Elliot Easton (lead guitarist), Greg Hawkes (keyboardist). Read more on Last.fm more...

  11. Elvis Presley / Kentucky Rain

    Don't resist the King. That little pause and then "searchin' for you..." kills me everytime.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Elvis Aaron Presley[a] (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13 years old. His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Read more on Last.fm more...

  12. Urge Overkill / Effigy

    They're back. They're older. They still rock.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Urge Overkill are an alternative rock band from Chicago that attracted underground attention in the late 80s and early 90s. While their ironic reshaping of 70's arena and glam rock left them marginalized during the height of grunge, they managed to appear on the charts with their cover of the Neil Diamond classic "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, which hit #50 on the US Charts, and #11 on the Modern Rock charts. Their single "Sister Havana" also received some airplay. Read more on Last.fm more...

  13. Fleetwood Mac / Walk a Thin Line

    One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums. It's nice to listen out-of-context. The way the backing vocals change from "ooo-waaa" to "mmmmm" might be my favorite part.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Fleetwood Mac is a British and American blues band formed in 1967. From the band's inception through the end of 1974, no incarnation of Fleetwood Mac lasted longer than two years, but all featured core members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Their two most successful periods have been during the late 60s British blues boom, when they were led by guitarist/singer-songwriter Peter Green, and from 1975 to 1987, when they went a pop-oriented direction with musicians Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks. Read more on Last.fm more...

  14. O/A / Silicon Valley

    Self-serving, perhaps, but this is my band. We played music together in highschool, and earlier this year (after a 21 year hiatus), we just started again. This is the second song we wrote. If you're familiar with Connor Christian & Southern Gothic, our drummer is their drummer. The rest of us work on golf courses and buildings.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Read more on Last.fm more...

  15. Paul Simon / So Beautiful or So What

    I try hard to dislike Paul Simon. Occasionally, I lose that battle.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He first gained world-wide recognition as the writing talent behind the popular American folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel formed with fellow musician Art Garfunkel. When Simon & Garfunkel split in 1970, Simon quickly began his solo career with the release of the self-titled album, Paul Simon. This was followed by There Goes Rhymin' Simon and Still Crazy After All These Years Read more on Last.fm more...

  16. Eleanor Friedberger / My Mistakes

    I love the production on this. Simple, direct, but really odd at the same time.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Eleanor Friedberger (born September 2, 1976 in Oak Park, Illinois) is an American musician most well-known for being one half of the indie rock duo The Fiery Furnaces, along with her older brother Matthew Friedberger. In the band she contributes the majority of the vocals both on record and during their live performances. Friedberger grew up singing with her grandmother, Olga Sarantos, and family in a Greek Orthodox Church. On July 12, 2011, Merge Records released Friedberger's first solo album, Last Summer. Read more on Last.fm more...

  17. Erykah Badu / Honey

    An encore performance because I was afraid that other song didn't do the trick for y'all.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Erykah Badu (born Erica Abi Wright on February 26, 1971 in Dallas, Texas) is an American R'n'B/neo-soul artist whose work crosses over into jazz. She is best known for her singles You Got Me her collaboration with The Roots, as well as her own songs Tyrone, Love of My Life, On & On, Bag Lady, The Healer, Honey and Soldier. Her lyrics are highly personal urban philosophy which throw emotional challenges in the face of the listener. She weaves unusual musical influences together creating a rich texture of sound. Read more on Last.fm more...

  18. Roxy Music / End of the Line

    Brilliance from one of my all-time favorite records. If you don't like this song, I might consider resigning from Burnmix.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Roxy Music is a British art rock group which formed in 1971 in London, England. Led throughout by Bryan Ferry (vocals, keyboards), the band attained popular and critical success in Europe and Australia during the 1970s and early 1980s, beginning with their 1972 eponymous debut album. Over its time, the band has been highly influential as leading proponents of the more genre-bending, musically-sophisticated elements of glam rock, as well as providing a model for many new wave acts and experimental electronic groups of the early 1980s. Read more on Last.fm more...

  19. The Isley Brothers / Summer Breeze

    They tear it up.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Isley Brothers is a highly influential, successful and long-running American music group consisting of different line-ups of six brothers, and a brother-in-law, Chris Jasper. The founding members were O'Kelly Isley, Jr. (1937 - 1986), Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley and Vernon Isley (1942–1955). They are the only act to have at least one Hot 100 hit in each of six consecutive decades: the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The Isleys (as they are commonly called) were inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Read more on Last.fm more...

  20. U2 / Moment of Surrender

    Bono is on the verge of entering his late-period Joan Crawford phase. Vocally, he's almost completely over-the-top (even for Bono), but there's something about it. And again, Eno is the secret weapon: that chorus is all his.

    More Info from Last.FM

    U2 are an Irish alternative rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic sound built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's effects-based guitar textures. Read more on Last.fm more...

Past Mixes