folk

Now Digging / Andrew St. James

cararobbins-andrew-stjames-0006
Photo Credit: Cara Robbins

The kids these days. They are getting younger, wiser and more talented. Some of them are even extremely humble and kind. Specifically I am talking about Andrew St. James, a poet out of San Francisco who, at the age of 19, released his second (not his first) LP titled The Shakes in December.

He must get remarks like this all the time, but at the age of 19 I was a peon in the college theater ecosystem and making terrible decisions with regards to men.
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Now Digging / Laney Jones

Laney Jones Grey Fox 2013

I am a sucker for songs with a catchy hook and a whole lot of heart. This tune by Florida-based songstress, Laney Jones starts off with earnest acoustic guitar, building momentum until an electronic beat kicks in at the chorus. When in the wrong hands this sort of genre switcheroo can be a sloppy let down; when done well, a cathartic dance floor anthem that makes you sing-along and shake your booty (e.g. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii / Aloe Blacc).
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / COYOL “Farmers’ Almanac”

roomcoyol

To start with, I owe this band a huge apology.

They sent me their mixtape a year and a half ago. It took me months to set up the interview them, and (after briefly thinking the audio was lost with my stolen computer) finished transcribing it this past fall.  And now at long last it is now here for you to see/hear/read.  Thankfully, the songs are timeless and the theme is rather timely with the new year, making changes, etc.

I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of my favorite mixes I’ve ever received. I mean, all of them have a special place in my heart, both because they were created for me, and I always appreciate how no matter what my musical horizons are challenged or expanded (often both).  The tracks included in “Farmers’ Almanac,” however, are probably the closest to my personal taste.  And not just a genre I’m partial to, but a genre that has a tendency to elicit strong emotions from deep inside my being.  At least three of the artists on here have moved me to tears with their songs.

It does make sense though, as the music COYOL themselves make is not unlike what you will hear on this mix.  Perhaps with a dash of the American Southwest, to spice things up.  A write-up in Black Book Magazine this past fall praises “the fantastic arrangement that seems just a little yet perfectly off and the oddly beautiful lyrics that stick with you long after each track.”
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TA Mixtape / An Ode to Autumn, from East to West (with Kan Wakan, Fossil Collective, Hurray for the Riff Raff and more…)

Godfrey Pond in Weston, CT
Godfrey Pond in Weston, CT

I find it pretty difficult to get into the holiday spirit here in Los Angeles.  I’m assuming this is because I was born and raised on the east coast, where the scenery at this time of year is not unlike what one would find on a postcard.  To be fair though I’ve never actually asked a native what defines Thanksgiving or Christmas to them.

Is Thanksgiving just a very large and specific meal, without the connotation of fall colors and a chill in the air?
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