The Mixologist: Whatever Is Given Can Always Be Reimagined

seamusfelixclay460By Antony. Some people journal. I’ve been known to record my thoughts here and there. But really, I try to channel my energy into projects that aren’t quite confessional. So I make mixes.

I collect songs. The list builds, gets unwieldily and jagged, and then, it begins to emerge. It’s rarely so purposeful as to have a unifying rule or even thematic consistency. It simply sounds right to me today.

This one was born on the California roads and is the child of several iterations. It lacked a heart until a friend gave me the line that now serves as the title. It comes from Seamus Heaney’s “The Settle Bed.”

Given and reimagined.

Several of the songs on here represent the incredibly moving shows I’ve been to recently. Live music had become a thing experienced at arm’s length for me, but in the last few months, the fog was pierced, the walls that were erected overnight fell just as fast. It returned to me, and I’m so grateful.

Some of these songs reimagine the songs of another. Turning them a few degrees, they open up and speak (at least to me) like never before.

I spend a lot of time applying rules to things in life: I declare that this is X and that is Y. Sometimes you should loosen your grip on control and take in what is.

Whatever is given can always be reimagined.

Download S&N Mix 8: Whatever Is Given Can Always Be Reimagined [artist, song, origin/gratitude]

  1. Jose Gonzalez – “This Is How We Walk On The Moon” [Arthur Russel cover]
  2. Fink – “Looking Too Closely” [Thanks, Mark. SLO!]
  3. Bear’s Den – “Elysium” [Great video, looking forward to the show Bonly and Jess]
  4. Shakey Graves – “Dearly Departed” (w/ Esme Patterson) [Great live! Bluegrass Situation, Los Angeles.]
  5. Glen Hansard – “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face” [Arthur Russel cover; fantastic at the Hollywood Bowl]
  6. Blake Mills – “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me” (w/ Fiona Apple)
  7. The New Basement Tapes – “Spanish Mary” [Rhiannon Giddens on vocals, of Carolina Chocolate Drops—a revelation at the Bluegrass Situation. Rescuing of unrecorded Dylan lyrics from ’68]
  8. The Head And The Heart – “Another Story” [Hollywood Bowl, better than expected]
  9. Josh Ritter – “Rosalie” [Chris Smither cover (who’s he?); he played nearly all new material at the Bluegrass Situation. I was transfixed. I believe.]
  10. Eddie Berman – “Help Me When I Say” (w/ Laura Marling)
  11. Langhorne Slim And The Law – “Got My Mind Made Up” [Dylan cover; great live. Met my wife at the Bluegrass Situation. She still came home with me.]
  12. Ben Sollee – “Letting Go” [Thanks Mark!]
  13. Justin Townes Earle – “Glory Days” [Springsteen cover; excellent live–Belly Up!]
  14. Hiss Golden Messenger – “Brother, Do You Know The Road?” [An obsession]

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