Mixmas 2011 :: Matt Duncan
December 12th, 2011 by Matt
If it’s December, then you know it’s Mixmas time at You Ain’t No Picasso! Each year I get a bunch of my favorite bands to contribute themed mixes and share their thoughts about each of the tracks.
Matt Duncan is a nice guy, a talented fellow and a credit to the Lexington community. And just as he’s committed to making Lexington a more interesting place to live (well, listen to music in), he’s helping make You Ain’t No Picasso a little more interesting too.
“Aural Remedies” by Matt Duncan
Generally speaking, I’ll listen to anything that I consider to be “good,” at any time, for no particular reason. But occasionally, I feel like I NEED to hear something for a specific “mood-management” reason. These are some of the most potent aural remedies that I am aware of:
YT link Joni Mitchell – Hejira (cures Wanderlust/Melancholy)
This song can make a trip to the grocery store feel like hitching across the southwest. If you’re feeling restless, wistful, moody, or melancholy, this song will pleasantly heighten those feelings, while bringing about a sense of gravity that might have been lacking. (To be honest, most of the songs on this album serve a similar purpose, but I think this one is the most effective.)
YT Link Radio Dept. – Memory Loss (Relieves Stress)
Bad traffic? Hard day at the office? Awkward holiday? For soothing frayed nerves of any kind, I don’t know of anything better. (Although as with “Hejira,” everything on Clinging to a Scheme could potentially serve the same purpose.)
YT Link: The Sheds – Reflection of the Sun (Turns Frown Upside Down)
Imagine for a moment that Cincinnati has its own Traveling Wilburys, and their only song is about the importance of the sun for your mental and emotional health. This is kind of true. I dare you not to smile when Matthew Shelton starts talk-singing in his lower-than-Cash voice about his solar transformation. (The Sheds were very adept at feel-good songwriting, so as with the other parenthetical notes, see the rest of their catalog for more of the same, though none better.)
YT Link: Al Stewart – Year of the Cat (Rejuvenates)
I don’t get out so much anymore, so sometimes I need a little help to kick start my night. Listening to “Off The Wall” or “Discovery” is probably aiming too high, but somehow this song has just the right combination of absurdity and genuine fun to get my atrophied feet moving. Plus the production is really beautiful (the radio edit is preferable). And if all goes well…
YT Link: Twin Shadow – When We’re Dancing (Sparks Romance)
Whenever I hear this song, I imagine myself in a dark club dancing close with my lady, oh so late in the hot, loud night. I am very drunk, and it is very romantic. As it stands now, I’ve really only listened to this song in the car and on the treadmill, so it’s all a bit theoretical… but I hope this comes on sometime when I’m out. (Cough cough… John the Baptist… cough.)