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The Mix June 28th, 2009: Broken

Unbreakable – Michael Jackson Round about here Jackson was morphing into and r&b guy to the exclusion of any halfway decent pop balladeering while Prince continued as the Prince of funk. Both of these guys had lost their pop chops but both were pretty good. This is an all beat extravaganza with a killer drum hook and Notorious BIG lending a rap around four minutes in. Biggie introduces himself with his trademark grunts and makes Jackson seem a little past it but it isn’t a terrible mix.

Good Morning Judge – 10cc
Rise Above – Dirty Projectors
I Want You Back – Jackson 5
I Got A Reason # 2 – Conor Oberst
Run, Devil, Run – Paul McCartney
Knotty Pine – David Byrne and Dirty Projectors
Love, You’re A Whore Regina Spektor
Ink Stain – Regina Spektor The song of the year seems to add credence to Marie Lynn’s aurally screwed jab at regina’s “Far”. With just keyboards Spektor devastates and her cry to man’s humanity forces the subject to irrelevance, timelessness and the shared terror at just what sort of animal we are: “All the ink stains on their wrists mean business, and God is the almighty witness, I wish they’d cure the friendly neighbors, of the disease which makes them haters.”

Everybody’s Here – Brad Paisley
The Dean And I – 10cc
Radio Radio – Brooke White
Betrayal – Elvis Costello
Bobby’s Girl – Susan Maughn
God Help The Girl – God Help The Girl From Stuart Murdoch, the bloke behind Belle and Sebastian, it sounds like an obscure song by Susan Maughn and so good it could fit next to “Bobby’s Girl” no questions asked. There was a time in early 60s when women like Maughn, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, ruled England’s airwaves> If you’ve ever heard Tracey Ullman’s “You Broke My Heart In 17 Places” you can hear her paying tribute to the sound on a number of songs. Murdoch’s gift to you here is a gifted take on the sound. Neither parody, satire nor tribute, it’s as if he stepped back in time. It’s like a Smiths cover come to life.

Bigger Hands – John Anderson
I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
Nikorette – Conor Oberst I’ve been listening to this song all year long. In retrospect, one problem with “Outer South” is there are too many writerly songs and not enough “Gentleman’s Pacts” and this one.

Just Snap Your Fingers – Marshall Crenshaw
Nobody Loves You When You’re Down And Out – John Lennon
Civilan Ways – Rancid The best song about the war in Iraq isn’t only about the Iraq conflict: written by Tim Armstrong for his brother recently discharged from the Army ,it perfectly and sadly expresses the conflicting emotions of a man returned from war and unable to explain what is really unexplanable unless you’ve been there. It is also a love song between a man and his brothers in arm.

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