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Posted at 5:19 PM ET, 01/31/2008

February Mixtape

By David Malitz

There should be a little something for everyone on this month's mixtape from jazz (Robert Glasper) to country (the Wrights) to soul (Anthony David) to hip-hop (Sole & the Skyrider Band) to rock (Jason Isbell) to local indie rock (the Jet Age, Apes). First five songs here, the rest after the jump.

"Just Between Me and You" -- Photon Band (Feb. 1, The Red & the Black)
The catchy, slightly trippy sound of this Philadelphia band isn't too surprising, considering the band's name comes from the debut album of psych-pop mainstays the Lilys.

"Best Summer Ever" - A Sunny Day in Glasgow (Feb. 2, Velvet Lounge)
Another group from Philadelphia with a slightly off-kilter indie sound. There are some very pretty melodies hidden under the layers of fuzz and noise.

"Shipwreckers" -- Sole & the Skyrider Band (Feb. 5, Black Cat)
This underground hip-hop act on Anticon incorporates some downtempo electronic elements to go with the rapidfire lyrics.

"Yes" -- Anthony David (Feb. 7, Birchmere)
The Atlanta singer's smooth voice is a perfect match for the easy grooves that bring to mind classic soul acts of the late-'60s and early-'70s.

"Cockroaches in Yr Handbag" (MySpace stream) -- Dan Melchior Und Das Menace (Feb. 8, Black Cat)
This prolific British rocker learned from the best (Billy Childish), and he constantly churns out delightfully art-damaged garage rock.

"You're the Kind of Trouble" -- The Wrights (Feb. 9, Iota)
The modern country duo favors delectable harmonies and simple, straightforward songwriting over the usual glossed-up Nashville production. Smart choice.

"Maiden Voyage/Everything In Its Right Place" -- Robert Glasper (Feb. 12, Clarice Smith Center)
The Great Young Hope of the current jazz scene isn't afraid to tackle hip-hop (check his collaborations with Mos Def, J Dilla and Common), but he can also take a Radiohead song and turn it into a mesmerizing piano jam.

"Bye Bye" -- The Wiyos (Feb. 17, Iota)
I love it when bands accurately describe their own sound. Saves me some work. This Brooklyn band doesn't sound a thing like most Brooklyn bands, playing self-described "vaudevillian-ragtime-jugband-blues-hillbilly-swing."

"Mary Susan" -- Blood on the Wall (Feb. 18, DC9)
You'd be forgiven for thinking this was a death metal band, but on this tune, you're actually hearing ragged indie rockers doing one of the best Pixies impressions ever.

"Which Way Is Up?" -- Cause Co-Motion! (Feb. 18, DC9)
Tuneful, ramshackle indie-pop at its finest.

"Tyrants" -- Black Mountain (Feb. 19, Rock and Roll Hotel)
This Vancouver group manages to cram some stoner rock, psych rock and prog rock into this sprawling eight-minute epic.

"Half the Time" -- Coyote (Feb. 21, Velvet Lounge)
Not too far off from the description above, except this time featuring wailing vocals that give the song some extra intensity.

"Skeleton Man" -- Evangelicals (Feb. 21, Iota)
This Oklahoma band continues to bring to mind the best 1990s work of fellow Sooners the Flaming Lips, going way over the top with special effects to create a weirdo anthem.

"Dress Blues" -- Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Feb. 22, 9:30 club)
A former Drive-By Trucker shines on his own with more of the emotional, twangy rock-and-roll that made him the secret weapon on the last few DBT records.

"O, Calendar" -- The Jet Age (Feb. 23, DC9)
The local trio is back with a new record that features more propulsive, powerful indie rock that should appeal to fans of Superchunk and the Wedding Present.

"Words You Used to Say" -- Dean & Britta (Feb. 27, Black Cat)
Former Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman Dean Wareham continues to write effortlessly catchy, slighty spacey tunes, made even better by Britta Phillips' harmonies.

"In the Night" -- Basia Bulat (Feb. 27, Jammin' Java)
The Canadian singer-songwriter's material has a certain spark, thanks to the generous use of autoharp and piano.

"Wedding Dress" -- Ana Egge (Feb. 28, Iota)
Another singer-songwriter who manages to break the mold, with a captivating voice and stories worth hearing.

"Beat of the Double" -- Apes (Feb. 29, Black Cat)
The local psych-sludge rock veterans can still pack a powerful punch, and they aren't afraid to get a little funky on this track.

"Running Away" (YouTube) -- Roy Ayers (Feb. 29-March 2, Blues Alley)
A vibraphonist who played with Fela Kuti, Ayers experienced breakthrough success in the 1970s with this timeless jazz-funk party starter.

By David Malitz  | January 31, 2008; 5:19 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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how could you not include "Skinny Love" or "Flume" by Bon Iver on this? He is opening for Black Mountain on FEB 19 at RocknRoll Hotel but his album For Emma, Forever Ago was easily one of the top indie albums of 2007. Don't let it happen again. heh.

Posted by: Mat G | February 12, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, Mat G, I actually did include Bon Iver on the December Mixtape for his show at Jammin' Java that month. Couldn't do a repeat so quickly.

Posted by: David | February 12, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, we're playing on the 24th, not the 23rd, but the thought is appreciated.

Posted by: Jet Age Eric | February 14, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

and "... Photon Band" was the SECOND Lilys LP.

Posted by: Jet Age Eric | February 14, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The Lilys got the name for their album from the band, not the other way around. Art Difuria quit the Lilys to form the photon band, and Kurt Heasley named the next Lilys album after the photon band in tribute to him. According to Kurt, it means "In praise of the Photon band". And "Eccsame" was their third release: "In the Presence of Nothing", then the EP, "Brief History", then "Eccsame".

Posted by: Lilys / Photon Phan from Philly | March 6, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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