Mix CD: It’s Beautiful Now

A month or two ago, a guy at work invited me to join his “prayer meeting.” For those of you who’ve never ventured south of the Bible belt or who didn’t grow up Baptist, prayer meeting is where a good number of church folk spend their Wednesday evenings. It’s a time of fellowship and support and meditation (though in my experience most who attend would bristle at that word, meditation, which reaks of godless Eastern religion and, frankly, hippies). But anyway . . .

Our prayer meeting is held at Preservation Pub, which boasts a distinct advantage over most official houses of prayer in that it pours cheap pints of Guinness and Smithwicks. Also, it has a killer jukebox and a poster of Woodie Guthrie playing his “This Machine Kills Fascists” acoustic guitar. The Pub is on Market Square, just a few doors down from where Suttree goes to sell his fresh catch, and it feels good and old inside.

So on most Wednesdays now I head straight from work to the Pub, where I meet up with an always-different assortment of interesting characters, many of whom have been meetin’ together like this for years. And then, a pint or four later, a small group of us grab our instruments and walk a few blocks to a downtown office, where we hack and sing our way through the Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Everly Brothers, The Band, and Pink Floyd songbooks. Last night I discovered, proudly, that I know every word to “Wish You Were Here” and can sing it, too.

I made this mix for the other guys at prayer meeting, nearly all of whom are about a half-generation older than I am. We all grew up listening to the same music, though. They bought vinyl in the new releases bin; I saw the reunion tours. Roughly, the guidelines for the mix were:

  1. Music they’d like.
  2. Music released during the last five years.
  3. Music from albums that I could strongly recommend.

I made a couple exceptions on guideline #2 but I think they’re justifiable. A friend listened to the mix and told me it sounded like an anthology of mellow songs of the ’70s, which I take as a mark of success. As usual, if you want a copy, send me your snail mail address (or leave a comment). I’d love something in return but it’s not expected.

Side 1

1. “Cold Roses” by Ryan Adams, from Cold Roses (2005)
2. “So It Goes” by Anders Parker, from Tell It To the Dust (2004)
3. “The Race is On Again” by Yo La Tengo, from I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006)
4. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Sufjan Stevens, from Seven Swans (2004)
5. “Feel You Now” by The Autumn Defense, from The Autumn Defense (2007)
6. “Tampa to Tulsa” by The Jayhawks, from Rainy Day Music (2003)
7. “Theologians” by Wilco, from A Ghost is Born (2004)
8. “Water Ban” by The Pernice Brothers, from Yours, Mine & Ours (2003)
9. “Stacked Crooked” by The New Pornographers, from Twin Cinema (2005)

Side 2

10. “Living Proof” by Cat Power, from The Greatest (2006)
11. “Glenn Tipton” by Sun Kil Moon, from Ghosts of the Great Highway (2003)
12. “Roscoe” by Midlake, from The Trials of Van Occupanther (2006)
13. “Effigy” by Uncle Tupelo, from 89/93: An Anthology (1993)
14. “House Carpenter” by Oakley Hall, from Gypsum Strings (2006)
15. “The Past and Pending” by The Shins, from Oh, Inverted World (2004)
16. “Black Star” by Radiohead, from The Bends (1995)
17. “Black Star” by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, from Black Star EP (2004)
18. “Broken Chair” by Luna, from Rendezvous (2005)