Holiday mix for 2009

I absolutely LOVE Christmas music. Each year, I vow I won't start listening to it until Thanksgiving and each year I fail.... usually by June. There were a few really great new songs out this year, so I thought I'd make a mix (it doesn't take much, honestly).

Fun - Believe in Me
Brooke Waggoner - Christmas Moon
William Fitzsimmons - Covered in Snow
Slow Club - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Rosie Thomas - Why Can't It Be Christmastime All Year
A Fine Frenzy - Red Ribbon Foxes
Pete Yorn - Do They Know It's Christmas
Catherine Feeny - Christmas Song
Sondre Lerche - Christmas Time Is Here
Laura Marling - Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)

(Download as a ZIP here)

And some other fun Christmas links for you:

That's all I've got... Now I shall start compiling my 'best of 2009' lists!

Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

Songs in Commercials, Thirteenth Installment

Chrysler took out the line about heroin from the Dawn Landes song... I wonder why!

Phoenix - 1901 (used in Cadillac commercial)
Annie Little - Fly Me Away (used in the Amazon Kindle commercial)
Dawn Landes - Straight Lines (used in Chrysler Town & Country commercial)
Basia Bulat - Before I Knew (used in Subaru Outback commercial)
Langhorne Slim - Worries (used in Travelers Insurance commercial)

My next batch will be classical themed... Submit your suggestions! My inspiration is the amazing new American Express commercial that uses Bach's Cello Suite.

Happy birthday to the best dog ever.

I never was a dog person. It took my husband five years to convince me we needed one, and even then I wasn't fully sold on the commitment. But now, on the second birthday of our dog Carnaby, I sit here making a MIX for MY DOG. Yeah. I have become the obsessive dog person. My friends talk about their kids, and I just share stories about my dog. He's my baby. Anyway, here are some songs (well, the first one isn't really a song...) about dogs. I would like to think these are the best songs you'll find about your four-legged friend. Enjoy!

Cousin Eddie - "Mississippi Leg Hound" (from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)
Bobby Bare, Jr. - Your Adorable Beast
The Beatles - Martha My Dear
The Format - Dog Problems
Nellie McKay - The Dog Song
Swan Dive - Half Breed Stan
Cat Stevens - I Love My Dog
Patty Griffin - Heavenly Day
John Hiatt - My Dog & Me
Blue Mother Tupelo - Gustard Bellue

17 Songs about 17!

The Boy Least Likely To - I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to your Star
I was young and I was stupid; I had just turned seventeen

Field Music - 17
When I was seventeen, I could stumble

The Eames Era - All of Seventeen
All of seventeen, we were falling apart at the seams

Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen
I went forth with an age old desire to please on the edge of seventeen

Blitzen Trapper - Furr
When I was only seventeen, I could hear the angels whispering

Ladytron - Seventeen
They only want you when you're seventeen; when you're 21, you're no fun

Tara Maclean - At Seventeen (Janis Ian cover)
I learned the truth at seventeen, that love was meant for beauty queens

Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl
Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me

The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There
Well, she was just seventeen, you know what I mean

The Wreckers - Strawberry Wine (Deana Carter cover)
Strawberry wine, seventeen.. the hot July moon saw everything

Sexton Blake - Young Turks (Rod Stewart cover)
Patti packed her bags, left a note for her momma, she was just seventeen

Ingrid Michaelson - The Hat
We were seventeen again together (And it's alright)

The Sound of Music soundtrack - Sixteen Going on Seventeen
I am sixteen going seventeen, I know that I'm naive

Kings of Leon - 17
Oh, she's only seventeen... wine and whine and wound up over everything

The Felice Brothers - Wonderful Life
You say you were only seventeen when you fell in love with that dirty Reverend Green

Gillian Welch - No One Knows My Name
And my mother was just a girl of seventeen; It's a wonder that I'm in this world at all

The Mountain Goats - This Year
I played video games in a drunken haze; I was seventeen years young

I heart covers.

Ten cover songs I've been loving lately:

Noah & the Whale - You Can Call Me Al (Paul Simon cover)
Zee Avi - First of the Gang to Die (Morrissey cover)
Ellie Goulding - The Wolves (Bon Iver cover)
William Fitzsimmons - King of Wishful Thinking (Go West cover)
Dawn Landes - I Won't Back Down (Tom Petty Cover)
Daniel Merriweather - You Don't Know What Love Is (White Stripes cover)
Nouvelle Vague - Our Lips are Sealed (The Go-Go's cover)
Amy Millan - I Will Follow You into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie cover)
Crooked Still - Orphan Girl (Gillian Welch cover)
Yim Yames - My Sweet Lord (George Harrison cover)

The Ultimate Bike Mix

I recently purchased a vintage Schwinn road bike which of course leads to my collecting of any and all bike songs. Let me know which ones I am missing!

Dinah Shore - Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built For Two)
Hauschka - Blue Bicycle
Charlene Soraia - Bike
Psapp - Tricycle
Memory Tapes - Bicycle
Queen - Bicycle Race
Robinella - Brand New Key
Shonen Knife - Cycling is Fun
Dukes of the Stratosphere (XTC) - Bike Ride to the Moon
Madness - Riding on my Bike
Fats Domino - Rockin' Bicycle
Darren Hanlon - The Kickstand Song
This is the Kit - With Her Wheels Again
Caroline - Bicycle
Firefox AK - Everytime I Ride My Bike
Amy Correia - The Bike
Oh No, Oh My! - The Bike, Sir
The Plasticines - (Zazie Fait De La) Bicyclette
Katie Melua - Nine Million Bicycles
The Bicycles - BBBicycles
Rosie Thomas - Bicycle Tricycle

Songs in Commercials, Twelfth edition

The eleventh installment was eaten by the internets. Sorry.

Donovan - Colours (used in Lenscrafters commercial)
Aberfeldy - Summer's Gone (used in the new Radio Shack, er, "The Shack," commercial)
Hockey - Too Fake (used in JC Penney commercial)
Matt Costa - Mr. Pitiful (used in Apple iPhone commercial)
Matt & Kim - Daylight (used in Bacardi commercial)

A Mad Men Mix

In honor of the season premiere tonight, I've made a little mix! Enjoy!

Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Blossom Dearie - I Won't Dance
Fats Domino - I Want to Walk You Home
Brenda Lee - I Want to be Wanted
Nina Simone - Feeling Good
Benny Goodman - It's Only a Paper Moon
Eartha Kitt - C'Est Si Bon (It's So Good)
Johnny Mathis - Wonderful, Wonderful
Sarah Vaughan - Broken Hearted Melody
Bobby Vinton - Mr. Lonely

Top Ten Springsteen Covers.

After seeing Bruce Springsteen at Bonnaroo, I felt compelled to make a mix of "boss" covers (sorry, had to). When will someone cover "Brilliant Disguise"?

Josh Ritter - The River (live)
The Avett Brothers - Glory Days (live)
Jose Gonzalez & Junip - Ghost of Tom Joad
The Format - For You
Catherine Feeny - I'm On Fire
Camera Obscura - Tougher Than the Rest (live)
The Band - Atlantic City
Patty Griffin - Stolen Car
Hem - Valentine's Day
Tegan & Sara - Dancing in the Dark

If you are itching for more Bruce covers, visit Hangin' On E Street.

Songs in Commercials, Petra Haden edition

This one deserves its own post. After searching for a few weeks, it looks like we finally have a full-length version of the Petra Haden's cover of "Let Your Love Flow" from the Prius commercials (original by the Bellamy Brothers, who haven't had this much hoopla since they looked like this). And better yet, Toyota is offering it as a free download on their myspace site. The commercial itself is worth posting. From a press release issued by Toyota's ad agency:

They employ a cinematic technique to depict the harmony between man, nature and machine. A utopian landscape is made entirely out of people - the sun, clouds and even blades of grass are depicted by people moving in unison.

How cool is that? I should be feeling like such a sucker for the marketing man right now but this commercial is so good that I don't feel bad for liking it.

Petra Haden - Let Your Love Flow

Bonus! Here's the original, too.

The Bellamy Brothers - Let Your Love Flow

A mix of 10 cover songs for the start of summer.

The Avett Brothers - Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Laura Marling - The Wrote and the Writ (Johnny Flynn cover)
Dragonette - Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top cover)
Jay Jay Pistolet - Paper Planes (M.I.A. cover)
Sara Watkins - Pony (Tom Waits cover)
Metric - Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob Dylan cover)
Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles - Being With You (Smokey Robinson cover)
Lay Low - The Reason Why My Heart's In Misery (Lefty Frizzell cover)
Ben Sollee - Extraordinary Machine (Fiona Apple cover)
Noah & The Whale - Devil Town (Daniel Johnston cover)


I've become obsessed with French pop artist Sliimy. Apparently, he received some press a while back for his cover of "Womanizer" but I must have missed it. I don't really know how to describe Sliimy. The first word that comes to mind is "FAB-ulous".

Sliimy - Wake Up (The video is equally amazing)
Sliimy - Womanizer (Britney Spears cover)

RIYL: Alphabeat, Kate Nash, Phoenix, Mika

Top Ten Prince Covers.

Nothing beats the real thing but these come pretty darn close. In my search for the best Prince covers, I have a newfound love for the underappreciated gem from Sign O' the Times -- "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man".

Richard Swift - I Would Die 4 U
Ben Taylor - Nothing Compares 2 U
Susanna - Dance On
The Be Good Tanyas - When Doves Cry
Martin Sexton - Purple Rain
Duke Special - I Feel for You
Robyn - Jack U Off
Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele - When You Were Mine
El Presidente - Raspberry Beret
Eels - I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man

American Idol - Motown Night

I'm a bit late on 'Motown Night". But last week was one of the better ones I think (last night, however, was enough to make me quit watching this season entirely). I was terrified when they said Adam would sing "Tracks of my Tears". It is one of my favorite songs of all time, and the thought of him singing it was definitely cringe-worthy. To my surprise, I actually liked his version. Doesn't match the original or some of the more popular cover versions, but still not half bad.

The Miracles - Tracks of my Tears
Patty Griffin & Billy Mann (live) - Tracks of my Tears

Songs in Commercials, Tenth Installment

Is it just me, or are these marketing folks just getting savvier lately? Maybe they are realizing that they can seem more hip AND save money on licensing fees at the same time, by using these songs by newer artists? Either way, I am constantly hearing more songs that catch my ear during commercial breaks.

Katie Herzig - Two Hearts Are Better Than One (used in Frito-Lay commercial)
The Mostar Diving Club - The Honey Tree (used in Honda Insight commercial)
Dan Deacon - Pink Batman (used in Crayola commercial)
Jupiter One - Countdown (used in Payless Shoe Source commercial)
Leon Jean-Marie - East End Blues (used in Frito-Lay commercial)

American Idol - Grand Ole Opry Night

I wasn't too impressed with anyone this week but kind of loved hearing one of my favorite songs -- "Wild Angels" -- sound so radically different. Not to mention, you KNOW Scott had to work really hard on the arrangement. All of the rest of the contestants are blatantly stealing the arrangement from somewhere else. Had high hopes for Megan with "Walkin' After Midnight" but it was just "eh" (although she did have the flu... So I'll make an allowance there.) Too bad Alexis got sent home on this song... I didn't think she was that bad! I thought it would be Sarver for sure, but sadly it was not.

Dolly Parton - Jolene
Mindy Smith - Jolene

American Idol - Michael Jackson Night

Yes, I am one of those people. I realize I am way too old to be watching American Idol (actually, I was too old even when the first season aired)... But somehow it always ends up sucking me in. I'm not even really impressed by anyone this season, but what I realized is that the show usually reminds me of some song I had long forgotten about. Last night reminded me how much I love Michael Jackson. And I know a lot of hipsters out there only like Off the Wall and/or Thriller era MJ, but I love it all up to 1991. I can't tell you how many times I listened to Dangerous back in middle school.

My goal is to post the original and my favorite cover version of one song from each episode. We'll see if I can keep it up.

Michael Jackson - Human Nature
David Mead - Human Nature

Songs in Commercials, Ninth Installment

Another batch... enjoy!

Stereo Total - I Love You, Ono (used in Dell Studio commercial)
Estelle - Star (used in Crystal Light commercial)
Thao Nguyen & the Get Down Stay Down - Bag of Hammers (used in Clorox commercial)
Ivy - Edge of the Ocean (used in Office Max commercial)
Tim Myers - The Lucky Ones (used in Lays commercial)

Karima Francis

The album is not out until March 23rd, but you can listen to it in full on at the moment. I urge you to do so. Each song has the potential to make you weep. Her voice is so raw and has so much emotion and so much sadness. Goosebumps appear with the first note. It makes me want to close my eyes and just sit. And listen. And do nothing else.

Karima Francis - Chasing the Morning Light

Songs in Commercials, Eighth Installment

Three of these are from JC Penney ads. I don't think I've been in a JC Penney in at least 5+ years, but I might have to check it out now. And, the Hindi Zahra track is not the one I wanted to post, but this one was in a UK commercial and is still excellent. Anyone know where I could find the song ("Stand Up") from the Western Union commercial?

The Sleepy Rebels - Unbelievable (used in JC Penney commercial)
Emiliana Torrini - Jungle Drum (used in JC Penney commercial)
The Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down (used in JC Penney commercial)
Slow Club - Thinking, Drinking, Sinking, Feeling (used in Lays commercial)
Hindi Zahra - Beautiful Tango (used in NFU Mutual commercial)

Happy ♥ Day!

Some lovey-dovey songs for your Valentine's Day!

Tom Baxter - Better
Said the Whale - The Light is You
Regina Spektor - Samson
Iron & Wine - Naked as We Came
These United States - First Sight
Magnet - Lonely No More
The Love Willows - Falling Faster
Slow Club - When I Go
Thomas Dybdahl - U
Noah & The Whale - 5 Years Time

Ten most excellent cover songs!

Florence & The Machine - You've Got the Love (Candi Staton cover)
Parker Lewis - I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World (Ronnie Milsap cover)
The Bird and the Bee - How Deep Is Your Love (Bee Gees cover)
The Welcome Wagon - Half A Person (The Smiths cover)
M. Ward w/ Lucinda Williams - Oh Lonesome Me (Don Gibson cover)
Emma Burgess - Your Love (The Outfield cover)
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - Mean Son of a Gun (Johnny Horton cover)
Karima Francis - Use Somebody (Kings of Leon cover)
Fun - Come On Eileen (Dexy's Midnight Runners cover -- Live)
Kate Nash - Baby Love (The Supremes cover)

Some songs for today.

Eva Cassidy - People Get Ready
Ben Sollee - A Change Is Gonna Come
Nina Simone - Feeling Good
Mason Jennings - The Times They Are A-Changin'
Patty Griffin - Up to the Mountain
Dar Williams - Better Things
Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better
Dan Wilson - What a Year for a New Year

A happy day, indeed.

Hi-Fi Heart's Favorite Songs of 2008

Better late than never, right?

(Guilty pleasures included too.)

Adele - Chasing Pavements
Alphabeat - Fascination
Anathallo - Noni's Field
Ane Brun - The Treehouse Song
Ben Sollee - Panning for Gold
Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Blitzen Trapper - Furr
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Brooke Waggoner - Daylover
Chairlift - Bruises
Coldplay - Viva la Vida
CSS - Left Behind
Duffy - Warwick Avenue
Estelle - American Boy - Feat. Kanye West
Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood
Florence And The Machine - Kiss With A Fist
Guillemots - Falling Out of Reach
Hercules and Love Affair - Blind
I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares
Ida Maria - I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked
James Morrison - Nothing Ever Hurt Like You
Jamie Lidell - Another Day
Johnny Flynn - The Box
Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire
Laura Marling - Ghosts
Lykke Li - Dance, Dance, Dance
M83 - Kim & Jessie
Marching Band - For Your Love
MGMT - Electric Feel
My Morning Jacket - Thank You Too
Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time
Paramore - I Caught Myself
Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
Rachel Yamagata and Ray Lamontagne - Duet
Sam Amidon - Saro
Sam Sparro - Black and Gold
Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes
She & Him - You Really Gotta Hold On Me
Sigur Rós - Inní mér syngur vitleysingur.mp3
Slow Club - Let's Fall Back In Love
The Avett Brothers - Tear Down The House
The Black Kids - Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)
The Bridges - All the Words
The Cab - I'll Run
The Courteeners - Not Nineteen Forever
The Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper
The Raconteurs - Old Enough [featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe]
The Submarines - You, Me, & The Bourgeoisie
The Wave Pictures - I Love You Like A Madman
Tobias Froberg - Blissful

UPDATE: So, looks like Blogger and don't like this post very much, so I took the links down. Sorry!