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Posted at 5:20 PM ET, 01/29/2007

February Mixtape

By David Malitz

Time for your monthly mixtape and guide to some of the best live music options in town in February. A few notes before we begin. 1) Everything linked here is legal -- I think. I'm not trying to get fired or sued, so all of these songs are from official band/label sites or other reputable sources. 2) Unless noted otherwise, each link is a downloadable MP3. 3) Sometimes links die, bands put different songs on their page, etc. If you find a link that doesn't work, sorry, but as of the time this was posted, all links are live. 4) The drawback to doing this at the beginning of the month is that sometimes worthwhile shows aren't announced by then. Oh well. Now, 20 songs to familiarize yourself with. Things will get really busy next month as every band in the world hits the road in preparation for SXSW.

"Wiseblood" -- Shortstack (Iota, Feb. 2)
The local quartet's swampy, Sun Records sound is represented in fine form on this track from its excellent recent album, "A History of Cut Nails in America."

"You're Not My (Myers-Briggs) Type" -- Mess Up the Mess (Warehouse Next Door, Feb. 3)
Part Bratmobile, part B-52s, this local feminist dance-punk quartet gets the crowd moving with bouncy, keyboard-driven tracks like this one.

"Take Your Tiger for a Walk" -- Greenland (Velvet Lounge, Feb. 3)
The local trio keeps you off balance -- in a good way -- on this tuneful piece of indie rock where the constant shifts never seem forced.

"Day's Looking Up" -- Paul Michel (DC9, Feb. 6)
The local singer-songwriter gets dramatic on this sweeping rocker with big guitars and bigger vocals.

"Roscoe" -- Midlake (Rock and Roll Hotel, Feb. 7)
The Texas group does a fine job of recreating the mid-'70s Laurel Canyon folk-rock sound on this standout track which appeared on many Best of 2006 lists.

"Fog Rolling In" -- Revival (9:30 Club, Feb. 8)
A dynamic folk-rock song with psychedelic flourishes is a highlight from the band's debut, "Horses of War."

"Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love" -- Jonathan Richman (9:30 Club, Feb. 9)
The former leader of proto-punks the Modern Lovers is now a gentle soul who writes charming folk-pop ditties such as this one.

"Never Alone" -- Luke Brindley (Jammin' Java, Feb. 9)
A small horn section enhances the local singer-songwriter's catchy pop-rock on this track from his new album.

"Farther On" -- Vetiver (Rock and Roll Hotel, Feb. 9)
Folkies aren't as freaky as sometimes collaborator Devendra Banhart on this gentle, acoustic song highlighted by Andy Cabic's tender vocals.

"Carpetbaggers" -- Harlem Shakes (Black Cat, Feb. 11)
Every band from New York thinks it's the Next Big Thing, but these guys might actually pull it off. Catchy garage rock, great harmonies and you can dance to it, too.

"Barcelona" -- Soft Complex (Rock and Roll Hotel, Feb. 13)
Here's another one that should get people moving, courtesy of the local quintet that is making some of the finest synth/pop/rock around.

"Smile" (YouTube video) -- Lily Allen (9:30 Club, Feb. 16)
She's the reigning princess of British pop, and with just one listen to this reggae-tinged kiss-off to a bum of an ex-boyfriend you'll understand why.

"Hard Times" -- David "Fathead" Newman (Twins Jazz, Feb. 16-17)
The saxophonist who got his professional start as a member of the Ray Charles Band more than 50 years ago always pleases with his signature tune, a smooth (but not "Kenny G smooth") instrumental that showcases his talent.

"Driver A" (MySpace stream) -- Buju Banton (Crossroads, Feb. 17)
The reggae/dancehall icon with one of the most distinctive voices in either genre returns to his dancehall roots.

"Rafters" (Streaming MP3) -- Richard Buckner (Iota, Feb. 19)
The gruff-voiced folk troubadour clears his throat and adds some piano and drums in place of his usually stripped-down arrangements.

"This Harness Can't Ride Anything" -- Chin Up Chin Up (Black Cat, Feb. 20)
Chicago indie rockers ditch the post-rock on their latest in favor of catchy and quirky tunes like this one.

"Gone Beyond" -- Akron/Family (Rock and Roll Hotel, Feb. 23)
New York weirdos show off their mellow side on this strummy folk tune which features their standard chant-along harmonies.

"Detroit Diesel" -- Bill Kirchen (Birchmere Feb. 24)
The King of Dieselbilly checks in with a slice of twangy roots rock that features his usual guitar heroics.

"What If We" (MySpace stream) -- Aerialist (Galaxy Hut, Feb. 24)
Galaxy Hut owner Lary Hoffman brings back his long-dormant band, which plays infectious new wave/garage rock as represented here.

"Context" -- Relay (Warehouse Next Door, Feb. 28)
Philly shoegazers pile on the My Bloody Valentine-esque effects without forgetting to craft an actual tune.


By David Malitz  | January 29, 2007; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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very cool. mixtape-great idea. if aint broke dont fix it.

Posted by: janis | January 30, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Fat Head review: Do you mean but NOT "Kenny G smooth?"

Posted by: SMcK | January 30, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I did indeed mean that. Good looking out, SMcK.

Posted by: David | January 30, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I love Jonathan Richman. What a great choice out of his many, many amazing love songs. Thanks for that.

Also great:
- My Baby Loves Me (ie My Baby Love Love Loves Me Now (Even More Than I Prayed For))

- Surrender ("Your armor so strong is strategically wrong, victory goes this time to the tender.. to wii-in in love, you must surrender.")

Ah! So good! Thanks for reminding me about the concert.

Posted by: Allison | January 30, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Jay Colin is an mc from Amsterdam..the dutch are way to americanized!!Check this out!!Freakin awesome!!

Posted by: Brenda | February 9, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Brenda!Word on the freakin'awesome factor.I love this kid his flow reminds me of Busta with an Q-tip twist,very original mc.Love to hear more though..

Posted by: Sebastian | February 13, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

thanks so much for this--a friend and i saw the aerialist show at the galaxy hut last saturday b/c of listening to their song on this page. great song, great show. i just wished that lary would have some aerialist cds to sell!

Posted by: erin | February 26, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

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