The Black Months II

About 10 years ago in 2010, I published a mix along the theme of this excerpt from A.S. Byatt’s novel Possession:

Today the storytelling beings. Everywhere in Brittany the storytelling begins at Toussaint, in the Black Month. It goes on through December, the Very Black Month, as far as the Christmas story.

The original Black Months mix consisted only of 60s/70s psych, rock, and folk; The Black Months II is much more eclectic but nonetheless consists of my usual melange of jazz, medieval, dark wave, tech house, Italo disco, library, new age, medieval, experimental, and of course psych and folk. To complete your autumn music experience, listen to my other mixes including Dancing In the Dark, Silk ‘n’ Sweater, and — should you want to continue the mood to the December holidays — The Dead of Christmas and There Will Be No Miracles Here. I bid you good darkness.

[DOWNLOAD]

  1. The Banshee – Henry Cowell [1925]
  2. Tamara – Adam Wysocki [1933]
  3. Naked When You Come – The Lollipops [1966]
  4. Behind The Moon – No Entry [1969]
  5. No Parking – Gold [1970]
  6. Untie Me – The Tams [1962]
  7. You’re Dead – Norma Tanega [1966]
  8. Astral Cowboy – Curt Boettcher [1969]
  9. Sad Are The Days – HIGH RISK [1974]
  10. Goodnight Jack – Saint Etienne [1998]
  11. So – Hareton Salvanini [1973]
  12. Flow my teares – John Dowland [1596]
  13. Hello Goodbye – Modern Art [1983]
  14. Starknight – Bob Salton [1982]
  15. Strange Day for Dancing – Moral Support [1984]
  16. Azure – Blaukoma [2018]
  17. Plateau – Motohiko Hamase [1986]
  18. She weepeth full sore – William Lawes [1648]

Main artwork: Mel Odom, cropped and modified by me
Tracklist artwork: C.H. Page and Son architectural rendering of the Wooten mausoleum at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas

Virgo Aesthetic Mix

A sunny late summer musical harvest. Pure, polished, immersed in nature. Welcome to Virgo season.

  1. Painting – Jeff Resnick [1978]
  2. Love and Dream – Ariel Kalma [1970s]
  3. Ar Verjelenn – Les Soeurs Goadec [Breton Traditional]
  4. Sewnetuwa – Hailu Mergia [1985]
  5. Tropiq – i:cube [1999]
  6. Office Lady – Toshiki Kadomatsu [1982]
  7. Systems Breaking Down – Anna [1982]
  8. Sports Men – Haroumi Hosono [1982]
  9. Just be faithful (to me) – Manuel Darquart [2018]
  10. Colder Than Ice – Grant Miller [1985]
  11. 3 Rules – Tiga [2016]
  12. Private Life – Grace Jones [1985]
  13. Sa Fosca – Joan Biblioni [1989]
  14. Feel – Tabo’s Project [1986]
  15. Tropical Exposition – Hiroyuki Namba [1982]
  16. O viridissima virga – Hildegard von Bingen [12th century]

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Silk ‘n’ Sweater Mix

A softly knit mix for Fall.

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  1. Shadows From Nowhere – Blue Gas [1983]
  2. Childhood Portrait – M. Grechuta [1982]
  3. Waitin’ – Zenit [1986]
  4. In A Landscape – John Cage [1947]
  5. Crow – Yasuaki Shimizu [1981]
  6. Romance – Hiroshi Suzuki [1975]
  7. So Low – Carol [1981]
  8. Laura – Brian Bennett [1973]
  9. What You Are – Pete Brandt’s Method [1980]
  10. For Where Have You Been – Honeybus [1972]
  11. Bubble Gun – Hefner [2000]
  12. Cool & Get Up – Quartz [1979]
  13. Grey Skies – Turquoise Days [1984]
  14. Find It In Your Eyes – The System [1983]
  15. Audio Trip – Dreamatic [1991]
  16. Illusions – Optik [1991]
  17. Autumn – Richenel [1982]

Highs in the 80s Mix

Usually I like my mixes to create a specific ambiance or take the listener on a guided sonic journey, but this is just a random mix of 80s boogie, post punk, pop, minimal, Italo, and more. Some recent favorites, longtime guilty pleasures, and forgotten tracks I rediscovered while putting together a background soundtrack for Pump Project’s closing party a couple of weeks ago. Here’s to shade trees, cold drinks, and the crushing anxiety of existence in a degenerate world.

Previous summer mixes: 2017, 201620142013, 2011, 2011.

[DOWNLOAD]

  1. Skyfire – Ehri Ohono [1981]
  2. Roof Garden – Al Jarreau [1981]
  3. You Got Me Hot – Aquai [1985]
  4. Slow Motion Kisses – Furniture [1989]
  5. Into Your Eyes – Chris Taylor [1984]
  6. Wait Forever – In Tension [?]
  7. Show Me – Starpoint [1982]
  8. She’s Got the Beat – The Judy’s [1981]
  9. One on One – Hall & Oates [1982]
  10. Beauty & The Beat – Ivy [1983]
  11. Transformation – Nona Hendryx [1983]
  12. Walkin Down The Subway – Exxess [1984]
  13. Elegance of an Only Dream – Felt [1985]
  14. Too Late for Goodbyes – Julian Lennon [1984]
  15. Down on the Street – Shakatak [1984]
  16. Smile on My Face – Tres [1985]
  17. Jeena Bhi Kya Hai Jeena – Bappi Lahiri [1985]
  18. NEO-PLANT – Koharu Kisaragi & Ryuichi Sakamoto [1986]
  19. Stolen Love – Advertising [1978]
  20. Underwater Girl – The Tweeds [1978]
  21. Stepping In the Light – Another View [1980]
  22. Ma Boom Fey (Zanzibar Mix) – Cultural Vibe [1986]
  23. S&M (Sexy Music – Rated X) – De De [1983]
  24. Infectious Smile – The Delmontes [1980]
  25. Sending All My Love Out – Emerson [1988]
  26. Din Daa Daa – George Kranz [1983]

Summer 2017 Mix

Just a quick mix I put together over the weekend. Unfortunately I lost all the music downloaded since 2014 when I transferred to a new laptop earlier this month. Didn’t realize it till after I’d already wiped the old one. Argh!!

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  1. Soul Sauce – Cal Tjader [1964]
  2. Ur Life One Night – Unknown Mortal Orchestra [2015]
  3. Friend Zone – Thundercat [2017]
  4. Feelin Love (Psychemagik Remix) – Paula Cole [2010]
  5. Summerdays – Weekend [1982]
  6. Goodnight Jack – Saint Etienne [1998]
  7. Riddles of the Spinx – Vinyl Williams [2016]
  8. Turn Me On – Dinner [2016]
  9. Malibu Fun – Midnight Magic [2016]
  10. Feel Up (Extended Version) – Grace Jones [1981]
  11. Love Island – Fatboy Slim [1998]
  12. Carmine – Fit Siegel [2015]

 

2016 Mix

2016

2016 can best be summed up in the words of a gay Black man.

I’ve debated on whether or not to publish a favorite song list for the year. In regards to elections here and all over the world, I knew that keeping the status quo in power meant keeping things easy/hidden for another 20 years (which I was willing to play along with), but it at least would’ve bought us some time. Instead, the difficult realities I’ve foreseen intuitively for years will have to be faced much sooner than we’re prepared to deal with them. It feels like America is a runaway train about to fall off a cliff and we are powerless to stop it.

So let’s get on with it… [DOWNLOAD]

  1. My Love Is – Little Wille John [1961]
    Via Left of the Dial on KUTX.
  2. Sally Free and Easy – Marianne Faithfull [1966]
    Trees and Pentangle (two of my fave English folk bands) have done covers of this song, I’m including this one because it’s the best thing I’ve found to fill a musical gap for me. I spent a ton of time this summer researching a soundtrack to go with my Redneck Goth project because my visual art concepts are heavily musically influenced. I have a soundtrack in my head whenever I’m producing something, and I looked all over for good music to connect with my project – what I feel are the roots of country and goth – and that’s folk music. Depressing stories dealing with love and loss. The two diverged somewhere along the way about 40 years ago, and the artists that combined both either took themselves too seriously or were too campy. You either sound like a bad country radio hit or lame/gritty background music from a premium TV drama. The aesthetic of my zine just doesn’t exist and yet I can hear it in my head – take pop country songs and reinterpret them as shoegaze, and vice versa, or something like Air’s City Reading. This is about the closest I can get for now.
  3. Choke, Thirst, Die – Coven [1969]
    This one goes out to the GOP.
  4. Fire and Rain – The Isley Brothers [1971]
    I’ve always had an appreciation for James Taylor’s songwriting, but not much so for his vocals and production. The Isley Brothers put forth a different effect on their covers of white songwriters on their album Givin’ It Back. I feel like I finally “get” this song for the first time in my life.
  5. Sortilegio – Silvano D’Auria [1974]
    My love affair with library and soundtrack music continues. No particular reason for choosing this one except to mention that I found it on Instagram via @twoheadeddogmusic. @texasvinyl is another one of my favorite feeds.
  6. 6.4 = Make Out – Gary Wilson [1977]
    I forget how I found Gary Wilson’s music, but the first things that came to mind were: 1) Is he still alive? and 2) He should come to Austin! #2 has happened already – Wilson played SXSW in 2011.
  7. If We Took the Time – Ted Coleman Band [1980]
    I didn’t get a ton of new music this year from sources other than my usual radio shows, programs, and podcasts – when I wasn’t listening to house music at the gym, which comprised the vast majority of my music consumption. Simon Harrison of Basic Soul provided several jams as usual, including this one. I’m making this one my motto for 2017.
  8. (Just) Tell Me Pretty Lies – Lee Ritenour [1981]
    More Basic Soul goodness.
  9. (We don’t need this) Fascist Groove Thang – Heaven 17 [1981]
    Graphic design guru Michael Bierut tweeted this song earlier this week. Couldn’t be more appropriate.
  10. Paris – Taxi-Girl [1984]
    French post-punk.
  11. Faces – Clio [1985]
    “Faces” and its B-side “Feel the Fear” have become some of my favorite Italo tracks ever.
  12. Nexus On the Beach – Roberto Musci & Giovanni Venosta [1987]
    In case you didn’t know it, all the cool kidz have been listening to vintage New Age music for the last couple of years. I first got into this genre last year and recently came back for more. Prediction: more shamanistic vibes to come in 2017, for we’re really going to have to center ourselves to deal with what’s coming.
  13. Ahead the Ship Sleeps – FaltyDL [2014]
    Via Groove Salad.
  14. Sea Bering – Bill Converse [2016]
    I had a chance to catch a couple of Bill Converse sets around town this year and it was a lot of fun.
  15. Cerulean – Chambray [2016]
    I discovered Jimmy Edgar and the ULTRAMAJIC label a couple of years ago on Instagram and have been a big fan of the label’s reinterpretation of 90s electro/rave/house music.

Finally, lest we forget, 2016 was the year that also gave us S I M P S O N W A V E.

Women in Psych Mix

WomenPsych

Female singers, songwriters and instrumentalists from the late 60s and early 70s.

[DOWNLOAD]

  1. World of Dreams – The Cake
  2. Sally Go Round The Roses – Grace Markay
  3. Hide & Seek – Feminine Complex
  4. What A Way To Die – Pleasure Seekers
  5. Twilight Dreamer – Earth & Fire
  6. Little Sadie – Trees
  7. Beauty – Mad Curry
  8. Tuesday – Birtha
  9. Hard Chargin’ Woman – Zephyr
  10. Lottery – Rochelle Rosenthal and the Kickball Queen
  11. No Warmth In My Life – Room
  12. People on the Highway – The Pentangle
  13. Number 33 – Jan & Lorraine
  14. God Bless The Chile – Fifty Foot Hose
  15. Evening’s Child – Savage Rose
  16. Port and Lemon Lady – Goliath
  17. Hazy Paradise – Earth & Fire
  18. I Am And So Are You – Affinity
  19. Eli’s Coming – Affinity

Re-linked Wydeflowers Mix

wyldeflowers

A vernal, verdant psych mix for spring.

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  1. Kites Are Fun – The Free Design
  2. Tomorrow – Strawberry Alarm Clock
  3. Oh, What A Lovely Day – Steff Sulke
  4. Last Night The Flowers Bloomed – Dave Travis Extreme
  5. In A Garden – Young Californians
  6. Love Story – Jethro Tull
  7. Easy Street – Eddie Howell
  8. The Ark – Chad & Jeremy
  9. Nature Boy – Gandalf
  10. We Gathered In Spring – Midlake
  11. Leaf And Stream – Wishbone Ash
  12. Bluebell Dance – Forest
  13. That’s The Way – Led Zeppelin

Texas wildflowers in the graphic: bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, dandelions, Indian firewheels, evening primrose, winecups.