Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mixtape #2: heartbroken ladies' open mic night.

Get it HERE. I thought of the concept for this mix when I heard Patty Waters' version of "Black is the color of my true love's hair", a fourteen minute avant-jazz piece in which the singer's typically smooth vocals quickly descend into tormented screaming of the word "black" for over ten minutes, amidst free jazz drums, piano and bass. It was initially the final song on the mix, but I didn't think many would enjoy it, so I replaced it with one of her more accessible, traditional songs.

Anyway, we're all familiar with the mentally unstable or emotionally tormented male singer/songwriter archetype (Brian Wilson, Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith come to mind), but women with similar conditions aren't often given as much attention. While I don't pretend to know the state of these singers' mental or emotional health, each is sung in with such pain, unease, and conviction that I had to compile them into a mix. I'm not celebrating mental illness, as it's truly an important issue that can't afford to be overlooked, but I won't deny that thinking about it informed this playlist. It's not bright or cheery, but these are some powerful songs from powerful singers. There are some recognizable iconoclasts, as well as some lesser-knowns, but each song is from a singer that I love. I hope you find something you like!

Finally: as you can see, i enjoy compiling mixes thematically or by mood, and would love some suggestions for future mixes. You'll be credited for the idea! blog notoriety will be yours!

Track order:
0:00-4:04 "Winds of St. Anne" - Evangelista
3:37-7:24 "If I Had a Heart" - Fever Ray
7:16-10:20 "First Communion" - Gang Gang Dance
10:20-15:46 "Hidden Place" - Björk
15:42-18:30 "Heavy Water/I'd Rather be Sleeping" - Grouper
18:30-20:48 "Polar Nettles" - Neko Case
20:49-24:26 "Ne Me Quitte Pas" - Nina Simone
24:26-27:33 "Adieu Mon Couer" - My Brightest Diamond
27:32-32:54 "Kounandi" - Rokia Traoré
32:52-35:52 "Moon, Don't Come Up Tonight" - Patty Waters
35:52-39:21 "The Neighbors" - St. Vincent
39:17-End "Threads" - Portishead


Sam C. Mac said...

"Ne Me Quitte Pas" I often cite as my favorite song. Nina Simone's voice is a very special kind of inimitable ecstasy.

chet said...

I just started listening to it. Like it already.

Think about it. Grizzly, Panda, Minus the Bear, Bear vs Shark, etc etc etc.

The possibilities are endless.

Lukas said...

Sam - The first time I heard it, it became one of my favorites, too.
Chet - I'll think about it. Working on two more at the moment, though.

winter94 said...

I haven't downloaded this yet, since I'm not at home, but it looks good. But still - tormented women without Billie Holiday or Cat Power?