Mixtape 13 – April, 2015

Good heavens, I haven’t written up a summary of my April Mixtape yet! And, as I’ve been thinking about songs for the May mix, now is a really good time to put a bow on April.

The Mixtape is usually formed by songs that, in my view, sound good placed next together. They form a kind of sonic ebb and flow that, hopefully, is enjoyable for the listener start to finish. It’s a journey, if you will.

I took things a little further for April, at least in my own mind. The April Mixtape tells a kind of story. I’m not going to force the whole thing on you. In short, I had this idea of a guy going through a breakup he never saw coming. He is dealing with this loss while also going through Easter weekend rituals with friends and family, He is exploring the complexities of a faith he has never quite owned for himself, while also walking through the memories of his ex and the hurt and pain of a broken relationship. While experiencing a breakthrough with his faith, the pain from his broken relationship remains, especially following a failed attempt at reconciliation. It’s a complicated journey of understanding the complexities of humanity balanced against the hope of salvation. So, have fun with that.

But seriously, the mix still works with or without my elaborate concept. I won’t bother explaining how I see each of the songs fitting into this journey, because that feels just completely self-indulgent (even more-so than this already existing blog). But I encourage you to enjoy the April Mixtape, and make it mean for yourself whatever you’d like!

Here’s the Spotify list. Brief song comments are listed below.

1. “Never My Love” by Audra Mae and The Forrest Rangers – This is a beautiful cover of The Association’s hit song, taken from the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack. The original is one of my favorite songs, and this just might be better.

2. “Good Friday” by Josh Garrells – Beautiful and haunting meditation on the significance of Jesus’ crucifixion.

3. “More Than A Feeling” by Boston – Almost 40 years later, it still holds up and is emotionally gripping. It’s one of the few nearly perfect songs that exists.

4. “Rory and The Hurricanes” by Ringo Starr – Sir Richard Starkey is back with a new album! While not ground breaking by any means (do we really want Ringo to be ground breaking?), this track is easy and fun.

5. “I Don’t Need No Doctor” by The Sonics – The Sonics, mostly dormant since their mid-60’s heyday, have returned with an album of raging garage rock as good as anything being released on the Rock & Roll landscape in 2015.

6. “Sucker For Love” by Pauline – I don’t know much about this singer and her 2009 album that produced this song, but I love her style on this infectious and largely unknown pop gem.

7. “Superman’s Song” by Crash Test Dummies – Brad Roberts’ vocals. That is the first thing anyone thinks of who remembers this Canadian band and their brief run of success in the 90’s. But get past the novelty and you begin to unfold some interesting and occasionally thought-provoking songs. This one was always a favorite.

8. “Spring” by The Innocence Mission – I made this mix in early April. Spring was still new. This felt appropriate. It’s beautiful. And lyrically, it played right into the faux story that this mix was telling.

9. “I Don’t Wanna” by The Call – I loved The Call. And this is far and away my favorite song by them. For 28 years this song has burst its way into my consciousness, again and again, meaning different things to me and relating to different people at different times. It manages to sound very simple lyrically, yet is emotionally complex and difficult to pin down. I still don’t know what the point of reference is for this song (Man singing to lover? Man singing to friend? God singing to Man? Man singing to God? Man singing to family member?) and I don’t care. It is great and powerful every time I hear it. In a just world, this would have been a massive hit.

10. “Even the Wind and The Waves Obey Him” by Salt of the Sound – Lovely and meditative.

11. “Let It Happen” by Tame Impala – New song from Tame Impala. Great groove, very infectious. Gets better with each listen.

12. “Change is Everything” by Son Lux – Another new song, this one is pure inspiration. “This moment, change is everything” gets repeated a lot, reinforcing the permanence of change while also celebrating the growth and transition that change can bring.

13. “Colors” by Genevieve – This is so great! Thanks to my wife for turning me on to this new pop anthem. Be who you are and show who you are. And dance a lot.

14. “Nature of the Beast” by Trent Dabbs – Lovely folk tune from this singer-songwriter who has apparently been making albums for several years now.

15. “The Right Time” by Brian Wilson – Brian Wilson has just released what could have been another great, modern Beach Boys album (thanks a lot , Mike Love). As it is, this is a wonderful solo record that incorporates a lot of well-placed guest vocals. Al Jardine and David Marks show up on this tune, practically making it a Beach Boys tune with our without Mike Love’s approval.

16. “Back in the Crowd” by Tom Waits – One of my favorite songs from a couple of years ago. Tom Waits is always interesting. But at his best, as with this song, he is devastatingly sad and beautiful.

17. “Death With Dignity” by Sufjan Stevens – Speaking of devastating sad and beautiful…wow. The new Sufjan Stevens album is sweetly melancholy and excellent. Give it a close and thoughtful listen.

18. “I’m Good” by The Mowgli’s – Feel good pop anthem from this gang of group-sing shouters.

19. “Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” by Johnny Cash – An gospel anthem for Easter, presented with legendary excellence by Johnny and June Carter Cash.

20. “We Are Alive” by Bruce Springsteen – And speaking of Johnny Cash…Springsteen’s ode to the heroic souls who have come and gone before us pays direct musical homage to Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on May 16, 2015.

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