pieces of a man – walk out on the water
prince – joy in repetition (live)
gary clark jr, leon bridges & jon batiste – ohio
ramin djawadi – heart shaped box
lianne la havas – say a little prayer (live)
the dave brubeck quartet – calcutta blues
caetano veloso – get out of town
naxatras – waves
wire – heartbeat
viken arman – belong
old school freight train – myxomatosis
stevie ray vaughan – lenny (live)



Another mix for my peeps at The Burn. Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies – but the boat is a bicycle – the river is a perfectly flat, open desert – the trees are large, weird sculptures – and that thang that just kicked in has manifested an azure sky of deepest summer.

Walk Out On The Water – I must admit I found it odd that a band from Manchester had chosen to name themselves after my all-time-favorite Gil Scott Heron song, Pieces of a Man, but then I listened to them and decided they were cool, so I was cool with it. They are a six-piece soul ensemble that use instruments and some sampling to create their own version of Manchester Soul. They released their debut album this past July and you can peep it HERE. I layered in the Alan Watts musings as a way to get into the heads of my Burning Man family, who listen to these Headphone mixes while riding bikes in the Nevada desert.

Joy In Repetition – This incredible, ear-drum-melting, live version from Prince is from his “One Nite Alone… The Aftershow: It Ain’t Over” LP, that consisted of live, after-party recordings from his 2002 Spring tour. It was originally released only to New Power Generation fan club members, as part of a 3 CD box set. Though I was lucky enough to attend a few of his amazing New York after parties, unfortunately I was not at The World on April 10 2002 when this was recorded. The rest of the album is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan. It includes a guest appearance by Music Soulchild, who does a loose medley of “Just Friends” and Sly’s “If You Want Me To Stay”. George Clinton also joins for version of “We Do This”, a song by his granddaughter Shonda Clinton, who goes by the stage name Sativa Diva LOL.

Ohio – Spoitify commissioned Gary Clark Jr, Leon Bridges & Jon Batiste to record this absolutely beautiful cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1970 protest anthem for a playlist that accompanied Ken Burns’ wonderful Viet Nam documentary (A must see, IMO). Young wrote it just a few days after the shootings at Kent State. The band recored it live and the label rushed to get it out to radio stations immediately. Despite being banned by lots of pro-Nixon stations, it became a defining song for an entire generation. When I was touring Northern Ohio very briefly with my punk band in 1985, we made a pilgrimage to the Kent State campus to see the sculpture that still remains standing with one of the original bullet holes. Maybe this new version could lead to a few more pilgrimages like that.

Heart Shaped Box – Composer Ramin Djawadi was born in Gernany to Irani and German parents. He was recruited out of Berklee College of Music by Hans Zimmer, which got his film & TV scoring career off to a roaring start. His score for Game of Thrones was nominated for a grammy, but it’s the series of dark, brooding covers he did for HBO’s Westworld that really got my attention. Here, he takes Nirvana’s classic and imbues it with even more mournful soul. I edited the piano and orchestral versions together, just because I liked them both so damn much I couldn’t choose one or the other.

Say a Little Prayer (Live) – Every year I go camping with some friends in the Delaware Water Gap on a beautiful stretch of river between Pennsylvania and New York. Two guys among us bring a really solid camping boombox and take turns sharing various playlists with the group. I keep my endless catalogue of DJ mixes on the down-low, so that I can hopefully hear new music from two people with extremely great and varied taste. They never fail to surprise me. This year, my favorite trainspot was this live version of the Aretha classic by Lianne la Havas. It was recorded at Belgium’s Rock Werchter festival, and you can even watch a video of it HERE. Just try not to love this girl. I dare you.

Calcutta Blues – A moody, meandering bit of left field experimentation from Dave Brubeck, who recorded this in 1958 for his “Jazz Impressions of Eurasia” LP, after doing a state-sponsored, 80-night tour that included Turkey, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In his own words: “These sketches of Eurasia have been developed from random musical phrases I jotted down in my notebook as we chugged across the fields of Europe, or skimmed across the deserts of Asia, or walked in the alleyways of an ancient bazaar. … I tried to create an impression of a particular locale by using some of the elements of their folk music within the jazz idiom.” I can dig it.

Get Out of TownCole Porter wrote this song in 1938 for his musical “Leave It To Me”, which made light of Stalin and the (still kind of new) rise of Nazis in Germany and was not very well received. The definitive version may be Ella Fitzgerald’s, from her 1956 4-song EP “Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book – Volume 2”, but I quite like this melancholy Bossa Nova version recorded by Caetano Veloso for his self-titled LP on Nonesuch Records in 1986. Coming to prominence as a central figure in the Tropicalismo movement of the 1960s, Caetano has a long history of political activism through music in Brazil. He and Gilberto Gil were even exiled to Germany for it in 1969, returning in the early 70s. He continues to be a thorn in the side of the current fascist powers that be, releasing this protest song with Daniela Mercury in February of this year.

Waves – Attending the 2018 Desert Daze musical festival in Joshua Tree re-awakened my appreciation of psychedelic rock bands, of which that festival had dozens. Natraxas is from Greece and this track is from their first album released in 2015. They now have 6 records under their belt so there’s plenty more where this came from if this floats your boat.

Heartbeat – I feel incredibly fortunate to have been around so many great musical influences as a kid. One of those people was Karl Meyer, who founded the aforementioned punk band in which I sang, Sluggo. I spent a couple years in the back seat of his car, being shuffled to rehearsals and gigs and cheap meals at Izzy Kadetz’ deli on 4th & Race in downtown Cincinnati. Rather than deluge us with more of the same hardcore thrash we all listened to daily, he would insist on playing cassette tapes of Sam & Dave and The Stooges and Wire, among others. If you don’t know them, Wire were a hugely influential band from the first wave of UK punk. They were often refreshingly minimalist, and willing to experiment beyond 3-chord anthems into art rock/psych rock territories. This is one such excursion, from their 1978 “Chairs Missing” LP.

Belong – I just discovered this guy Viken Armen – an Armenian from Paris who co-founded the Minimal Trip Collective in 2009. Among his eclectic influences he counts Erik Satie, Trent Reznor, Dilla, Herbie Hancock, Ricardo Villalobos, and Trentemoller. His tracks feel kind of like a journey, and seemed to be a perfect fit for a weird mix like this.

Myxomatosis – There are a million Radiohead covers out there, but few seem to do anything really new with the material. This version of a song from 2003’s “Hail To The Thief”, from Charlottesville, Virginia-based bluegrass band Old School Freight Train, is a definite exception.

Lenny (Live) – I count myself lucky to have seen Stevie Ray Vaughn at least once before he passed. It was an outdoor concert at a college Spring Break in upstate New York in the late 80s, and it was wonderful. This sublime rendition of Lenny (so named for his wife, Lenora) was recorded a bit further north, at The El Mocambo in Toronto, on the Texas Flood tour in 1984.

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