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AGMG Presents: Christmas Tuneskies 2009

December 22, 2009

“That’s sure a lot of tags, Pa…

As many of you readers know, Austin Girl Music Guide’s tagline is Reviews for Regular People (new readers check out my “About This Blog” page to learn more!).  I love music and the main goal of this blog is making music accessible.  I want to share the music I’m currently listening to with whoever decides they might want to read/listen.  Many times that means talking about stuff from the 90s that I’ve just discovered, alternative genres, and also it means that I don’t necessarily listen to every new album as soon as it’s released.

So, when thinking about what AGMG might do to mark the end of the year (really only 8 months of blogging to date – wow!), doing the typical End of Year list didn’t seem quite right considering I haven’t listened to a bunch of albums released in 2009 yet.  In keeping with AGMG’s theme and goal, I decided to implement a new Christmas tradition…the first annual Austin Girl Music Guide’s Christmas Tuneskies!  I made some simple burned CDs for my friends and family (some of whom don’t frequent blogs) in order to share some of my favorite music discoveries from the past year.  The ever-creative Seanningham created this badass CD cover, printed and cut them at Kinko’s, I assembled everything together in a colorful CD case, and there you go…one Christmas tradition begun just like that!

Click on the jump to read what tracks I chose and why, plus get the links to the 15 songs on YouTube and links to the reviews I’ve done and lots more (and if you’re a friend or family member reading this early, um, Merry Christmas)!

Track Listing

1. “2000 Miles”, Coldplay, Charity Recording – 2003 (Pretenders Original 1983)

I wanted to bookend the Christmas Tuneskies album with actual Christmas songs.  For my money, Coldplay has recorded some of the best covers of Christmas songs, starting with this great cover of the Pretenders’ Christmas classic, “2000 Miles.”

2. “Highly Suspicious”, My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges – 2008

A great album and one of the very first reviews I wrote.  Of all the songs on this Evil Urges, nothing signals Christmas mayhem quite like “Highly Suspicious.

3. “Victims of A System”, Rootz Underground, Movement – 2007

I’ve written quite a lot about Rootz Underground this year, including an album review, a concert review, and a musing about their FREE live album, AND I got to interview their lead singer, scoring a shout out.  What other reason do I need to include them in the 2009 Tuneskies?

4. “Waitin’ For A Superman”, Iron and Wine, Around the Well – 2009 (Flaming Lips Original 1999)

Iron and Wine is one of my favorite artists in general and earlier this year, I reviewed his 2007 album The Shepherd’s Dog.  I just recently downloaded Around the Well and was amazed by this cover of The Flaming Lips song “Waitin’ for a Superman” from The Soft Bulletin.  Review of Around the Well to come in the new year!

5. “Southern Point”, Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest – 2009

I reviewed Veckatimest shortly before the ACL Music Festival where I saw them live and they blew me away.  They’re an amazing band and this song is particularly fantastic.

6. “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None O’ This Jelly Roll”, Willie Nelson with Asleep at the Wheel, Willie and the Wheel – 2009

I saw the ACL taping of Willie and the Wheel earlier this year and it was terrific.  I just got the album and decided to include one for all the Willie lovers out there.  Just for fun, check out this version of the song.

7. “Living Thing”, Peter, Bjorn and John, Living Thing – 2009

Peter, Bjorn and John are another band I’ve talked about nonstop on this blog.  Earlier in the year I reviewed the album Living Thing, then more recently, I reviewed their Austin show.

8. “Wavin’ Flag”, K’naan, Troubadour – 2009

I made up for missing half of K’naan’s ACL show by including one of his great tracks here.  “Wavin’ Flag” was recently named as the FIFA World Cup anthem for 2010.  Look for my review of Troubadour in the new year!

9. “The Mountain”, Heartless Bastards, The Mountain – 2009

Again, making up for missing the great Heartless Bastards ACL show by including a song from The Mountain.  Keep your eyes here for a very special guest review of The Mountain after Christmas!

10. “Will It Grow”, Jakob Dylan, Seeing Things – 2008

One of the very earliest AGMG reviews!  A great folk album that didn’t get listened to by nearly enough people.

11. “Holes”, Mercury Rev, Deserter’s Songs – 1998

Deserter’s Songs was one of my absolute favorite discoveries of 2009.  Why did I not know about this band or album before?  No idea, but it’s probably because I was listening to Tom Petty and The Beatles instead.

12. “Sabali”, Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali – 2008

I reviewed Welcome to Mali back in May and then shortly after, saw Amadou & Mariam open for Coldplay in Dallas and Houston.  This song, produced by the Gorillaz Damon Albarn, is one of the most interesting from the album.

13. “Watching the Planets”, The Flaming Lips, Embryonic – 2009

It’s no great secret that I love The Flaming Lips and talk about them constantly, so it’s only natural that I include a song from their latest album.  Despite the naked video, “Watching the Planets” is as family-friendly as the Lips get.  Watch for the review of Embryonic in 2010!

14. “Alcohol”, Gogol Bordello, Super Taranta! – 2007

Another of my earliest reviews was of Super Taranta! and recently I reviewed their live show at Stubb’s and posted an awesome video edited by Seanningham.  What Christmas album would be complete without a song called “Alcohol” anyway?  Eugene Hütz also played a major role in the Christmas Tuneskies CD cover.

    15. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, Coldplay, Mince Spies – 2000

    Alright, it’s official…I talked about Coldplay more than any other band on my blog in 2009.  Like The Flaming Lips, it’s no secret that Coldplay is one of my favorite bands.  I reviewed their live FREE album LeftRightLeftRightLeft, travelled to Dallas and Houston two days in a row to review their shows, and created the very first AGMG “…In 10” video based on footage we took of their concerts.  Closing out Christmas Tuneskies with their beautiful version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” seems very fitting.

    There it is folks!  Try out my mix…I’m sure you’ll find it just as delightful as I have.  Merry Christmas all!

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