Tag: Wilco

Episode 92 – Top 21 Albums of 2016

Episode 92 - Top 21 Albums of 2016

Above is a collage of all 21 albums artwork. (Artwork – D.Hixon)

2016 was a weird, surreal, and at times beautiful year. It side swiped us with the loss of Demigods who couldn’t escape Death’s undefeated grip. Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen – they’ll never share the same air as you again – and that’s a damn shame.

And now, history will remember 2016 for the the election – whose aftershocks have me cow eyed and slow to speak in the weeks since that fateful Tuesday. I’m scared, sad, and sullen with what it means – but 2016 was more than one day in November, and the music that was released leading up to the results hinted at where we are now. Good art is often ahead of the curve.

Politics and uncertain fate aside – below are my 21 favorite albums of 2016. Aside from the opening sequence, the entire set was done  live in the Mojo – and per every mix I put out – I hope you discover something new you love.

As for 2017….the weird and surreal will morph into something different, and the music will as well, and that I can’t wait for. Keep your head up Unexcused Brethren – Visions pertain to the future, and our actions today must make that bright despite the dark in our current eyes.

Per always, thank you for the support – Peace & Love. ~Mint Pillow

Samiyam – Animals Have Feelings
“paddle boat”
Stones Throw Records

Terry Malts – Lost At The Party
“When The Nighttime Comes”
Slumberland Records

Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
“No Woman”
Secretly Canadian

Tony Molina – Confront The Truth
“See Me Fall”
Slumberland Records

Woods – City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
“Sun City Creeps”
Woodsist Records

White Night – Weird Night
“Dr. Bellows”
Burger Records

Wilco – Schmilco
“Normal American Kids”

The Avalanches – Wildflower
“If I Was A Folkstar”
XL Recordings

Aphex Twin – Cheetah EP
Warp Records

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

Angel Olsen – My Woman
“Shut Up Kiss Me”
Secretly Canadian

Oh Boland – Spilt Milk
Volar Records

Real Numbers – Wordless Wonder
“This Happy Sadness”
Slumberland Records

Nice As Fuck – Nice As Fuck

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
“Decks Dark”

Mozes And The Firstborn – Great Pile Of Nothing
“Till The Feeling’s Gone”
Burger Records

Cool Ghouls – Animal Races
“Time Capsule”
Empty Cellar Records

Morgan Delt – Phase Zero
“I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside”
Sub-Pop Records

Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
“(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)”
Matador Records

Gap Dream – This Is Gap Dream
“Modern Rhythms”
Burger Records

Mndsgn – Body Wash
“Cosmic Perspective”
Stones Throw Records

Continue Reading

Episode 85 – Top 22 Albums of 2015

Episode 85 – Top 21 Albums of 2015 (Artwork - D.Hixon)

My top 22 Album’s of 2015 Album Art mixed as one. (Artwork – D.Hixon)

2015 will go down as the most challenging & rewarding year of my life. Intense is the adjective I’d use to describe a year in which*almost* too much happened. It started with the birth of my Son Dylan – the best thing that’ll ever happen to me. Becoming a Parent is easy, becoming one worth his salt takes some earnest work & humbles you at every early turn.

I lent my Vision Vibes to some great people at WEMF Radio – a perfectly eclectic Family, shout out to Nash, Crespo, Ryan SpaldingFar From Normal, and Andrew Lowery. I also navigated the waters of changing a long time job and career while buying my first Home. It felt like a lot.

All said, future eyes will gleam on 2015 with a favored smile – I’m a lucky man, and through it all, I had some killer music to push me over both the highs & lows. These 22 albums are what stood most out to me in this intensely fantastic year of 2015. Huzzah.

22Steeper – Glitch Root
“Okay: Dark”
Buy via BandCamp

21CFCF – Radiance & Submission
“Blanketed in Snow a Place Returned”
Buy via Bleep

20Man Called War – Naked Animals
Buy via BandCamp

19Wilco – Star Wars
Buy via Kung Fu

18Make Light – Demo
Buy via BandCamp


Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter
“Last Year”
Buy via Slumberland Records

16 Michael O. – Really?
“World Without Meaning”
Buy via Fruits and Flowers

15 Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$
“Save The Children”
Buy via Pro Era

14Toro Y Moi – What For?
“The Flight”
Buy via Carpark

13The Mantles – All Odds End
“Police My Love”
Buy via Slumberland Records

12The Longwalls – Gold Standard
Buy via Static Motor Records

11Howlo – Howlo
Buy via City of Quality Records


Expert Alterations – Three Signs
“Three Signs”
Buy via BandCamp


Muler – Unlikely Soldiers
Buy via City of Quality Records


Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
“How Much a Dollar Cost”
Buy via Amazon


Mac DeMarco – Another One
“Just To Put Me Down?”
Buy via Captured Tracks


Fort Romeau – Insides
“New Wave”
Buy via Ghostly


Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Buy via Domino USA


Big Nice – EP1
“Ta Dum”
Buy via BandCamp


Woolen Men – Temporary Monument
“Temporary Monument”
Buy via BandCamp


Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down…
“Lost My Head There”
Buy via Matador Records


Floating Points – Elaeina
“Silhouettes (I,II,III)”
Buy via LukaBop

Continue Reading

Episode 82 – I See Ossipee

Episode 82 - I See Ossipee

Episode 82 – I See Ossipee

We clutch Summer as the sun sets – yet despite these efforts, it inevitably slips away. Last weekend I ended a vacation by spinning a set with Summer sitting as my muse. Overlooking gorgeous Ossipee Lake in New Hampshire I let the sun and water guide me – the live set, epic in length and diverse in tones, is one I’m proud of.

1. Gilligan’s Island Theme Song
2. François Lougah – Bravo Sotra (Ivory Coast Soul 2 Afro Soul In Abidjan From 1976 To 1981 – 2012)
3. Mebusas – Do You Know (Mebusas Vol 1 – Blood Brothers – 1973)
4. Toots & The Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number (54-46 Was My Number – 1968)
5. Max Romeo – Give To Get (Reconstruction – 1977)
6. I-Roy – Dr. Phibbs (Hell And Sorrow – 1973)
7. The Clash – Revolution Rock (London Calling – 1980)
8. Free Pizza – Net Babes (Boston, MA – 2014)
9. Ty Segal – Who’s Producing You? (Manipulator – 2014)
10. Mozes And The Firstborn – Peter Jr. (Mozes And The Firstborn – 2014)
11. T.Rex – Bang a Gong [Get It On] – (Electric Warrior – 1971)
12. Wilson Pickett – You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover (A Funky Situation – 1978)
13. Ali Ibrahim – La Ilaha Illalahou (Ali Ibrahim – 1975)
14. Rory Gallagher – Whole Lot Of People (Deuce – 1972)
15. Los Orientales De Paramonga – Lobos Al Escape (Cumbia Beat Vol. 1 – 2010)
16. Niagara – City Walk (Niagara – 1970)
17. Dead Meadow – Dusty Nothing (Howls from the Hills – 2007)
18. The Mothers of Invention – Willie The Pimp Part One (Fillmore East – 1971)
19. Funkadelic – Cholly [Funk Getting Ready To Roll!] (One Nation Under A Groove – 1978)
20. King Curtis – Wet Funk [Low Down And Dirty] (Everybody’s Talkin’ – 1972)
21. Sugar Hill Gang – Kick It Live From 9 To 5 (Kick It Live From 9 To 5 – 1983)
22. Mebusas – Son of Mr. Bull Dog (Mebusas Vol 1 – Blood Brothers – 1973)
23. The Rosnah Dengan Siglap Five – Gembira Ria (Steam Kodok – 1965)
24. The Orange Machine – Real Life Permanent Dream (Three Jolly Little Dwarfs – 1968)
25. The Sweets – Coffee In The Morning (BG073 – 2014)
26. Teddy Robin & The Playboys – What I’d Say? (Magic Colours – 2006)
27. Them – Turn On Your Love Light (Turn On Your Love Light – 1964)
28. The Soft Pack – Answer To Yourself (The Soft Pack – 2010)
29. Joanna Gruesome – Jerome [Liar] (Peanut Butter – 2015)
30. Wilco – King Of You (Star Wars – 2015)
31. Sex Dream – Gods (Gods / Tundra – 2013)
32. Marc Desse – Video Club (Video Club – 2012)
33. The Sweets – He Is My Neighbor (BG073 – 2014)
34. Steve Gunn – Lurker (Time Off – 2013)
35. Mac Demarco – Annie (Mac DeMarco 2 – 2012)
36. The Woolen Men – Rain Shapes (Rain Shapes EP – 2015)
37. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Why’d You Want Me (The Sound Of Speed – 1993)
38. The Unleashed – My Flash On You (She Was So Bad! Unissued Sixties Garage Acetates / Volume Two – 1965)
39. The Lovin’ Spoonful – Blues In A Bottle (Do You Believe In Magic – 1965)
40. The Kinks – Johnny Thunder (Are The Village Green Preservation Society – 1968)
41. Flamin’ Groovies – I Can’t Hide (Shake Some Action – 1976)
42. Beck – Whiskey Can Can (One Foot In The Grave [Expanded Edition] – 2009)
43. Mac Demarco – Hoso Boyo (SOME OTHER ONES – 2015)
44. Air – La Femme D’argent (Moon Safari – 1998)
45. The Juan MacLean – Accusations (The Future Will Come – 2009)
46. Toro y Moi – Lilly (What For? – 2015)
47. Panda Bear – Boys Latin (Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper- 2015)

Continue Reading

Episode 80 – Sundazed

Episode 80 - Sundazed

Episode 80 – Sundazed

Sometimes somedays come today – and when today is someday you’re left feeling Sundazed. Visions of the Unexcused’s run on Sundays has come to an end on WEMF Radio – and while there’ll be no show broadcasting today via WEMF – the show’s available via Episode 80, quite an accomplishment unto itself.

I’m hoping that Visions will find a new future slot on WEMF – but either way, it’s been a killer ride and I’ve made acquaintance with a lot of great individuals – but now it’s time to focus on what someday will bring tomorrow as we drift in the summer heat, looking towards the horizon, feeling Sundazed.

Per always, much love to all the Unexcused for the love, support, and listening. Let’s seize the time now, let’s seize the time.

-Mint Pillow, 7/19/15 10:53am

1. Mac DeMarco – I’ve Been Waiting For Her (Another One – 2015)
2. Surfer Blood – Neighbour Riffs (Astrocoast – 2010)
3. Future Islands – Tin Man (In Evening Air – 2010)
4. Cut Copy – Saturdays [Reprise] (Bright Like Neon Love – 2004)
5. Porcelain Raft – Is It Too Deep For You? (Strange Weekend – 2012)
6. Sex Dream – Gods (Gods / Tundra 7″ – 2013)
7. The Soft Pack – Mexico (The Soft Pack – 2010)
8. Daniel Johnston – Ghost Of Our Love (Continued Story – Hi, How Are You – 1983)
9. The Longwalls – The Gold Standard (The Gold Standard – 2015)
10. Wilco – Cold Slope (Star Wars – 2015)
11. Outkast – Spottieottiedopaliscious (Big Boi & Dre Present… Outkast – 1998)
12. Gorillaz – Slow Country (Gorillaz – 2001)
13. Blondes – Paradise City (Touched – 2010)
14. Portishead – Silence (Third – 2008)
15. Four Tet – Hands (Rounds – 2003)
16. James Blake – The Bells Sketch (The Bells Sketch – 2010)
17. Deerhoof – Zero Seconds Pause (Breakup Song – 2012)
18. Make Light – Rodeo (Demo – 2015)
19. Pocahaunted – Make It Real (Make It Real – 2010)
20. Broadcast – Still Feels Like Tears (The Future Crayon – 2003)
21. Annie Philippe – Pas de taxi (Tendres Annees 60 – 1960)
22. King Curtis – Central Park (Everybody’s Talkin’ – 1972)
23. Jimmy Cliff – Let’s Seize The Time (Many Rivers To Cross – 1978)

Continue Reading

Beige Suits and Fedoras – Live Show Review: My Morning Jacket, Wilco, & Bob Dylan

My Morning Jacket, Wilco, & Bob Dylan
Comcast Center, Mansfield, 07/20/13

By: Kevin Gartland

As roadies with white hair and ponytails lit outdoor heaters on either side of the stage, the crowd roared.  A dark shadow with a pork pie hat broke through the fanning light.  After a night of excellent music it was time for the headliner, Bob Dylan.

My Morning Jacket outdid every act of the night as the opener.  Wilco was a close second and Bob Dylan was a distant third.  Before I go on, I will defend this vicious ranking.  I do like Bob Dylan.  I listen to Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home regularly, however I must admit that I’ve never listened to his more recent albums or many of his others.  His work is one of the many black holes in music that I haven’t explored.  I was drawn to this show not entirely by Wilco and My Morning Jacket, but also a desire to watch the Greatest American Musician.

The night began with Jim James and My Morning Jacket.  Wearing his lion’s mane-like hair in the heavy 90-degree heat, James and his band delivered a growling 90-minute set.  This was the first time I’d seen My Morning Jacket and I was surprised that each musician looked suited for a different genre.  The drummer, a Metalhead.  Rhythm guitar, a small club Indie Rocker.  On keys a Jazz Musician.  Rhythm guitar, a Southern Rocker.  Then Jim James, a man who perhaps wandered out of the wilderness of Kentucky directly onto a stage in suburban Massachusetts to entertain us all.

They played sprawling southern, psychedelic rock from each of their six albums – none getting preferential treatment.  James rocked his falsetto perfectly and got non-fan hand-sitters to stand for his antics.  The ample seating still sparse with audience members as the sun was still shining bright, James joked that there are three types of people who come to see the opening act:

  1. True fans who came to see them.
    2. Music fans who may have heard of them and have been converted to fans.
    3. Audience members who came for the headliner and don’t give a shit.

During their excellent performance there were plenty of 1s and 2s with no 3s that I could find.  The overall crowd favorite was a cover of The Band; “Don’t Do It”.  A very appropriate song as Dylan of course was involved in popularizing The Band in the late 60s.

Next Wilco came out.  I missed their opening two songs as I was getting a beer in a short but highly inefficiently run beer line.  That’s a complaint for another night.  Tweedy (also wearing a pork-pie hat) and his band members dressed in classic 60s southern garb were on stage when I returned to my seat.

Tweedy belted out his tunes in his raspy, country-light voice that we all love.  Many of the songs selected were from their alt-country-est album, AM.  The twang used to mix in with Bob Dylan’s set perhaps.

It was the always-mesmerizing “Via Chicago” got the audience to their feet though.  The disarming acoustic guitar and calm vocals contrasted by the fits of anxiety-inducing strobes of Nels Cline distortion-rock frenzied the crowd.  Grey-haired women were dancing in the rows mixed with long-haired slack-jawed youths. A surprising finale was the best of the night though.  Tweedy invited the entire MMJ band to join the stage with them.  Each member of both bands began a familiar tune with perfect timing.  Distortion rang from each instrument including a sax from the MMJ crew.  A moment passed before the noise could be recognized.

It was “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles.  A great selection that energized the crowed and prepared them for the headliner.

Then Dylan.  He arrived on a set lit with warm lights and the aforementioned outdoor gas heaters.  He removed his pork-pie hat to reveal his iconic curly hair; now grey.  Accompanied by a crew of anonymous musicians in beige zoot suites and fedoras, he took the mic stand with confidence and familiarity that 50(!) years’ affords a performer.  His voice, though not the haughty and raspy voice that I’m used to on his records, wasn’t bad.  Just different.  I’ll call it a higher pitched Tom Waits’ croon.  The voice wasn’t the problem here as other reviewers may suggest.

The Anonymous Crew of Beige Musicians played on time with technical proficiency; bobbing at the precise moments of pristine melody with the timing of a well-trained actor.  Dylan faced the crowed as he sang his newer tunes and the crowed roared and whistled at the conclusion of every cleanly rehearsed song.  The Anonymous Crew of Beige Musicians faced Him during every song; not the audience.  That must have been a requirement as he recently canned two rhythm guitarists from the tour in the past two weeks.  Any slip-up and a beige fedora might be stomped out back-stage.  It was a weird 1984 vibe where Dylan was Big Brother.

He played “Tangled Up in Blue”, which was great.  It’s a perfect song.  It just IS and no amount of odd stage dynamics can remove the joy from it.  However, after that my wife got a splitting headache, likely due to coming down from the sugar high she received from her guitar-cup-shaped “margarita” (just serve real drinks Comcast Center!) – so we left.  Neither of us were disappointed with the night.  It was fun.  It was great to see the Greatest American Musician perform live.  That’s not a sarcastic comment either.  He truly is the Greatest American Musician; He just can’t perform as one anymore, which is okay – he’s seventy-fucking-two!

On the way home as some sort of weird musical baptism we played Highway 61 Revisited to cleanse us from the sin of walking out of a Bob Dylan show early. “Like a Rolling Stone” blared as the warm air blew through our hair and I felt guilty thinking, “That’s the Bob Dylan I wish I could see.”

Continue Reading

Mermaid Avenue Remembered

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

The Mermaid Avenue albums by Billy Bragg and Wilco are important works of art. Taking unused lyrics from Woody Guthrie and marrying them with music of their own is a gorgeous way to connect these generations of musicians. The songs show how incredibly talented Woody Guthrie was as a songwriter, while also revealing that both Tweedy and Bragg are cut from a similar cloth. I thought “Christ For President” would be appropriate on this Presidents Day, and unfortunately, Guthrie’s cutting lyrics still hold contemporary weight all these years later.

Trailer for “Man In The Sand”, a documentary on the making of these albums.

Every year we waste enough
To feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
And we shoot it down with wars
– Woody Guthrie

Continue Reading

Top 21 Albums of 2011: Episode 42 – Year of Illumination

Top 21 Albums of 2011: Episode 42 – Year of Illumination

Top 21 Albums of 2011: Episode 42 – Year of Illumination (Artwork – D. Hixon)

21. White Denim – “At the Farm” – D
20. Real Estate – “It’s Real” – Days
19. Porcelain Raft – “Tip of Your Tongue”  – Gone Blind – EP
18. Wise Blood – “Fantasize (Intro)” – These Wings
17. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “No One Is (As I Are Be)” – Mirror Traffic (LA Guns)
16. Neon Indian – “Suns Irrupt” – Era Extraña
15. Caveman – “Old Friend” – CoCo Beware
14. Radiohead – “Morning Mr Magpie” – The King Of Limbs
13. Wilco – “I Might” – The Whole Love
12. Atlas Sound – “Mona Lisa” – Parallax
11. Washed Out – “Echoes” – Within and Without
10. Bibio – “Light Seep” – Mind Bokeh
9. Yuck – “The Wall” – Yuck
8. The Cave Singers – “Falls” – No Witch
7. Beach Fossils – “What a Pleasure” – What a Pleasure – EP
6. Hard Mix – “Memories” – Defaults
5. Cut Copy – “Need You Now” – Zonoscope
4. Toro y Moi – “Good Hold” – Underneath the Pine
3. The War On Drugs – “Best Night” – Slave Ambient
2. WU LYF – “Summas Bliss” – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
1. Kurt Vile – “Puppet To The Man”  – Smoke Ring For My Halo

Continue Reading

Episode 31 – Unexcused Visions of the Southern States

Episode 31 - Unexcused Visions of the Southern States (Artwork - D. Hixon)

Episode 31 – Unexcused Visions of the Southern States (Artwork – D. Hixon)

Dave doing his thing.

Dave doing his thing.

Dave is an old friend from college who was gracious enough to guest DJ for episode 31. Dave hails from Atlanta, GA and DJ’s regularly around the city with his comrade in music, Drew, as DC² = DJs. Both are on a hell bent mission to keep the ATL listenable, and they’re doing a damn fine job of it. Below you’ll find the set list along with some brief explanations on Dave’s song choices. If you like what you hear (and you will) be sure to become a fan of DC² = DJs on Facebookand be sure to give Dave a shout-out.

1. The Soft Pack – Answer To Yourself (The Soft Pack – 2010)
2. Best Coast – Something In The Way (Something In The Way 7” – 2010)

Two recent favorites, no the best coast song is NOT a Nirvana cover…

3. Feist – I Feel It All (Britt Daniel Remix) – (I Feel It All EP – 2008)
4. Lulu – To Sir With Love (To Sir With Love 7” – 1967)

While I no longer listen to Soul Asylum, I saw Lulu perform this song with them on MTV unplugged back in middle school and I’ve loved it ever since…even after I dreamt of young Dave Pirner strangling me with his nasty dreadlocks.

5. Sly & The Family Stone – If You Want Me To Stay (Fresh – 1973)

The obligatory influential afro-funk track as if to say “I like more than white kids with guitars.” Who doesn’t see through that these days? Come on…lets not fool ourselves any longer.

6. The French Kicks – Atlanta (Swimming – 2008)

A shoutout to mah home! I realize most of you are located in the northeast…come visit me…I’ll take you for Barbecue!

7. Broken Social Scene – Canada vs. America (EP To Be You and Me – 2005)

8. J Roddy Walston & The Business – Used To Did (Hail Mega Boys – 2007)

Do you STILL like Kings of Leon? I never did… If KOL could write a half decent song, maybe they’d sound like these guys.

9. The Broken West – Auctioneer (Now or Heaven – 2008)
10. Bruce Springsteen – Atlantic City (Live) (Nebraska – 1982)

As much as I love Nebraska, I love the full E Street Band version of this song that they do in concert…plus I love it when he does a “1,2,3,4” mid song.

11. Sebadoh – Magnet’s Coil (Bakesale – 1994)

I once helped Lou Barlow shop for a discman. He’s not quite the prick people say he is.

12. Wilco – A Magazine Called Sunset (More Like the Moon EP – 2003)

Pre YHF, Derek got me really into Summerteeth…bastard…do you know how much $$$ I’ve unloaded on this band since???

13. Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne (Songs of Leonard Cohen – 1967)
14. The Jesus Lizard – Deaf As A Bat (Lash EP – 1993)
15. Spoon – Waiting For The Kid To Come Out (Soft Effects EP – 1997)

I remember when I first got into this band, I found their first EP in our old CD library atWONY and a promoter told me to listen to this song on headphones…what a difference it makes…turned me into the obsessive Spoon fan I am today.

16) The Radio Dept. – David (David EP – 2009)

Continue Reading