Joni Mitchell

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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Got It Covered / A Few Of My Favorite Things…(Best Covers of 2011)

By Bekah Touma

The New Year is always exciting for me. I love to look back and make lists of some of my favorites of the previous year. It has been a ritual of mine for a while as a way to keep a nostalgic record of the years. Music is obviously a big part of how I experience life.  A favorite covers list is actually something I had yet to do until now, but I already feel that it’s going to be a necessity moving forward. That said, this was an extremely difficult process.  After a couple weeks (or a few months) of repeatedly listening to hundreds of tracks, I was able to narrow my engorged list down to 15.  Here they are below in no particular order – to rank them would have delayed this article until the Spring:

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The Circle Game: Get Off My Lawn

My grandmother is 94 years old.  Even though she needs a little help these days, she still lives at the home my dad grew up in, goes to church (almost) every Sunday, tries to get to aqua-robics at the YMCA and never misses watching a single Yankees or Notre Dame game – and wants to discuss every detail afterwards.  Sometimes I wonder what she must be thinking about.  Does she know how old she is?  Does she mind having to be driven around everywhere?  How much does she miss my grandpa?  From creepy dentures and mushy food, to amazing stories and patient wisdom – there are no other people who have seen or done as much.

Lily Allen “Nan You’re A Window Shopper” 

Violent Femmes “Don’t Start Me On The Liquor”

John Lennon “Grow Old With Me” 

Loudon Wainwright III “The Birthday Present II”

Joni Mitchell “Both Sides Now”

Rufus Wainwright “Beautiful Child” 

And a very special, sweet video to end the week, about wanting the perfect person to grow old WITH.  You all know it…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CYI5bKZMes]

The Circle Game: Life Moves Fast

“Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller

What makes you a grown-up? At age 24 it’s something I’m constantly wondering these days.  Graduating college?  Getting a “real” job?  Marriage? Babies?  Honestly I’m beginning to think that there is no “a-ha” moment and you just kind of stumble into all of those things and just hope for the best – but I suppose it’s probably different for everyone.  What about you?  And if that “a-ha” moment does exist – what are some songs that reflect on that point in life when you realize that – whatever the trigger – it’s happened?

Sheryl Crow “Can’t Cry Anymore”

Joni Mitchell “The Circle Game”

Don Henley “End of Innocence”

India.Arie “I Choose”

Ben Folds “Still Fighting It”

The Mountain Goats “No Children” 

The Decemberists “The Rake’s Song”

John Mayer “Stop This Train”

The Dismemberment Plan “Come Home” 

Cat Stevens “Father and Son”

Imogen Heap “Bad Body Double”

The Morning Benders “Hand Me Downs”

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