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Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 12/ 4/2008

December Mixtape

By David Malitz

The December mixtape is scaled down a bit, since this is one of the slowest live music months of the year. Unless you like holiday music. Which I do not. Still, here are 15 offerings for you, including tracks from bonafide legends Ralph Stanley, Loretta Lynn and Ray Davies and up-and-coming acts such as Love Is All and Hayes Carll. First five below, 10 more after the jump.

"See These Bones" - Nada Surf (Dec. 5, 9:30 club)
The New York band has done a fantastic job going from '90s one-hit wonder (remember "Popular"?) to a band with a deep, impressive discography filled with sweet, sentimental rockers like this one.

"Wild as a Turkey" - Hayes Carll (Dec. 5, Rock and Roll Hotel)
An up-and-comer on the Americana circuit, Carll excels at both twangy melodies and memorable lyrics.

"O Death" - Ralph Stanley (Dec. 6, Birchmere)
Legends, Part 1: Even without his banjo, the good doctor can deliver an awe-inspiring, moving solo vocal performance.

"Story of My Life" - Loretta Lynn (Dec. 6, 9:30 club)
Legends, Part 2: The Coal Miner's Daughter experienced a late-career resurgence with her 2004 album "Van Lear Rose," produced by Jack White. This autobiographical tune that closes the album has plenty of kick and grit.

"Wishing Well" - Love Is All (Dec. 6, Rock and Roll Hotel)
This spunky Swedish group has come through with an impressive sugar rush of a sophomore album, all skittery drums, scratchy guitars and gleeful vocals.

"Warm Rising Sun" - Radar Bros. (Dec. 7, Black Cat)
Radar Bros. may be the opposite of Love Is All, playing slow and spacey dirges that make you want to hide under the covers.

"Waterloo Sunset" (YouTube video) - Ray Davies (Dec. 8, 9:30 club)
Legends, Part 3: The former Kinks frontman delivers an exquisite live version -- complete with backing choir -- of one of the most perfect pop songs ever.

"Chinky Glass Eye" - Terrible Twos (Dec. 10, Velvet Lounge)
Hyperactive garage-punk from Detroit with squealing keyboards and howling vocals.

"Space Girl" (MySpace stream) - Pinche Gringo (Dec. 12, Velvet Lounge)
Imagine an even more stripped down, lo-fi version of the White Stripes, but with Meg singing. If she was a better singer. Trust me, it's good.

"Tasteo Show" - Jeremy Enigk (Dec. 13, Jammin' Java)
The former singer for emo icons Sunny Day Real Estate still wears his heart on his sleeve.

"Last of the Rock Stars" - Elliott Murphy (Dec. 16, Velvet Lounge)
This overlooked singer-songwriter has been at it for 40 years and this decades-old tune sounds like it could be an outtake from Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks."

"Mortal Sin" - Deleted Scenes (Dec. 18, Black Cat)
Local indie rockers achieve a big, full sound without forgetting about the hooks.

"Streets of Baltimore" - Evan Dando (Dec. 22, Iota)
The Lemonheads frontman comes to Iota for a solo show. Expect plenty of incoherent rambling, and if we're lucky, a performance of this Gram Parsons classic.

"Magic" (YouTube video) - Robin Thicke (Dec. 27, Constitution Hall)
Severely Overplayed But Still Awesome, Part 1: D.C. made him famous and the lead single off his most recent album is certainly one of the catchiest hits of the year.

"A Milli" (YouTube video) - Lil Wayne (Dec. 30, Verizon Center)
Severely Overplayed But Still Awesome, Part 2: What better way to end the year's mixtape series than with the dude who owned 2008.

By David Malitz  | December 4, 2008; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Music  
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