1 – Purple Haze by The Cure
A great track from a great compilation: Stone Free: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix. This version sufficiently departs from the original, making it acceptable as a new piece of art. I’m a big fan of this record as a whole, but this track clinches it simply by being different. There are some excellent covers by the Spin Doctors, Slash and Paul Rogers with the Band Of Gypsys, Buddy Guy and a collaboration between Pearl Jam and Soundgarden which are all definitely worth a listen, but after the novelty wears off you get the feeling that you may as well just be listening to Hendrix.
2 – As I Walked Out One Morning by Mira Billotte
This is another cover version, this time from the I’m Not There soundtrack. I’ve included it in an 8tracks mix before, but I’m plugging it again. I find myself listening to this version over and over, more than I ever did the original – there’s something intensely likable about the clear simplicity, the prominent bass line and her subtly unconventional voice. I have absolutely no idea what Mira’s other work sounds like, I’m almost afraid to check it out in case it’s a bit of a let-down (as Mason Jennings turned out to be, relative to his sterling performance on this very album).
3 – Stay Away by Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band
Whoo! Another cover! This time from SPIN magazine’s Nirvana tribute album, Newermind. My brother (hey Dyl) sent me this track on his last 8tracks mix. It’s perfect. I think a whole new version of Nevermind should be issued entirely in this style. I’m also going to take this opportunity to say that In Utero by Ella Fitzgerald is the greatest record that can never happen.
4 – Front Row by Metric
5 - Reverberation (Doubt) by The Strange Attractors
From the compilation The Psychadelic Sounds Of The Sonic Cathedral: A Tribute to Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators. A kind of Monster-Magnet-y, Dead Meadow-y psychedelic standard, what’s not to like?
6 – Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band
This is one of those songs that seems to hover familiarly in the back of my head as if it was always there. I took their Greatest Hits out of the library a while back and immediately felt like I’d been listening to it forever, which can’t be true, because I haven’t. It makes me want to own a motorbike and a beard.
7 – The Letters by Leonard Cohen
I’m still in two minds about Cohen’s latest album, Dear Heather, mainly because everyone I’ve ever known called Heather has ended up upsetting me at some point or another, but partly because it’s a bit of an annoying record. It gives you something like The Letters, which makes you go “YES, LENNY!” and then Morning Glory which makes you feel mildly uncomfortable and irritable. His voice has undeniably gotten cooler and cooler as he ages, there’s no argument there.
8 – Stage Fright by The Band
I was recently accused of ‘always playing The Weight over and over’ whenever I host any kind of party. This is true, and I’m not ashamed, but I’ve recently decided I should probably branch out. Here you go, dig the change.