Merry Christmas to all. This is the final edition of From The Basement to come from my basement studio in Maryland. The movers arrive on Boxing Day, which just struck me as quite ironic considering the boxing is pretty much complete. Episode #38 is essentially a personal mixtape of tunes I wanted to hear while driving to my home state of New Jersey, where we will temporarily set up a series of tents and appliance boxes... hopefully with power and a rocking internet connection. We'll end this arc of the series with sets of personal musical touchstones that summon emotions of beginnings, endings, failure and success, hope and joy and the renewed enthusiasm to continue pushing the rock up the hill. Love to you all for a happy, healthy and love filled Holiday and as always, thanks for listening.
Episode #37 is sort of a mood piece recorded on the 28th anniversary of my Father’s passing. Just a few new things, including another track from the just released Decemberists EP. We make some beautiful Power Pop noise, slip in a bit of classy Jazz with Thelonious Monk, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra and round things out with a whole bunch of comfort food. This might be the last episode from this iteration of Mike’s Basement as we are moving out of state next week.
There’s only time for a few more episodes before I have to move the Mike’s Basement studio and we spend a portion of #36 celebrating some of the new RRHOF inductees. We also dwell on some of the obvious and somewhat ridiculous omissions. One set was inspired by a terrific new documentary on Jeff Beck and we have new stuff from The Decemberists, Mercury Rev (with Margo Price), live David Byrne, Snail Mail and Bruce on Broadway. I have also located my favorite Christmas song of all time, which is guaranteed to make you reach for a box of tissues and/or a barf bag. Once again there’s some “Yacht Rock” that is never played and a blast of Holiday Cheer from The Cartwright’s. Dig in and turn on.
The episodes are coming fast and furious now that I feel closer to 100% recovered. Not much in the way of Holiday tunes this time, but the fact that we dug out the original recordings of “Christmas On The Ponderosa” for some cheer makes that fine. Listen for new stuff from Joe Jackson, Mike Viola, Broken Bells, John Medeski’s new solo album, Mark Lanegan covering Lou Reed and more from the new offerings of Matthew Sweet, Chick Corea with Christian McBride and Brian Blade and Bill Lloyd. New archival arrivals include the legendary Springsteen at The Roxy recordings and a pair of Beach Boys copyright extension releases from 1968. This episode also contains 2 more songs that should be on anything called Yacht Rock but aren’t, old friends Peter Himmelman, Peter Holsapple, Chris Stamey, Nils Lofgren, Jimmer Podrasky, Syd Straw and a whole bunch more.
The Christmas music has broken through, especially that deranged Holiday classic from Dean Martin "Baby It's Cold Outside." But we don't dwell on Holiday sounds in episode 34 as there is also new stuff from Van Morrison, Morrissey, Bruce on Broadway, Rufus Wainwright, Bill Lloyd and a stunning live album from a trio of the finest musicians on the planet; Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade. Speaking of Deano... you'll be surprised at how much he had in common with the late, great Willy DeVille. As a super bonus we've included a Christmas Classic from New Jersey supergroup The Amazing Bolts!
Still no Christmas Music, although a song from the Kate Bush remasters is often used as one and makes an appearance. Episode #33 digs into some newly released archive material from Kate, R.E.M., The Posies, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Howard Jones and The Pixies. There's a new offering from Grandaddy and a brilliant new Matthew Sweet record. Yacht Rock is represented with two artists that you will never hear on anything labeled Yacht Rock, as well as a blast from the past with Velvet Crush, Free, Urge Overkill, The Bongos, Winter Hours, Peter Gabriel, Frankie Miller and much more.
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