Sufjan Stevens's ridiculously ambitious indie landmark Illinois is the highest profile album in this bunch, but in hindsight, I'm not sure it's the best.
That distinction, I think, now goes to The Mountain Goats's devastating, lyrically astonishing The Sunset Tree, band leader John Darnielle's searing account of growing up with his physically abusive stepfather and it's continued impact on his adult life.
But those two albums aren't the only gems represented here.
In addition there are selects from Bright Eye's best album, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Andrew Bird's bizarre, Koyanisquatsi-ish The Mysterious Production Of Eggs, and two more tracks from the Decemberists's Picaresque, discussed with the 2005 Pop mix.
Tracks from Bruce Springsteen's Devils And Dust and Ry Cooder's Chavez Ravine, the tale of the low-income Hispanic neighborhood that was leveled to make way for Dodger Stadium, are also included here, though neither of those albums made that strong of an impression on me.
For a lot of my friends, this was their favorite mix of the 2005 batch.
INCLUDES SELECTS FROM:
Highest Recommends: Illinois - Sufjan Stevens, The Sunset Tree - The Mountain Goats.
Strong Recommends: The Mysterious Production Of Eggs - Andrew Bird, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - Bright Eyes, Picaresque - The Decemberists.
Mild Recommends: Chavez Ravine - Ry Cooder.
Not Recommended: Devils And Dust - Bruce Springsteen
RECOMMENDED TRACK LIST:
1. At The Bottom Of Everything - Bright Eyes
2. Eli, The Barrow Boy - The Decemberists
3. Skin Is, My - Andrew Bird
4. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
5. Muy Fifi - Ry Cooder
6. This Year - The Mountain Goats
7. Lua - Bright Eyes
8. Fake Palindromes - Andrew Bird
9. Devils And Dust - Bruce Springsteen
10. The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decemberists
11. Casamir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
12. Another Traveling Song - Bright Eyes
13. Dinu Lipatti's Bones - The Mountain Goats
14. Tables And Chairs - Andrew Bird
15. The Man Of Metropolis Steels Our Hearts - Sufjan Stevens
16. Soy Luz y Sombra - Ry Cooder
To Listen to or Download Tracks from this Mix,
Click on the Widget Below.
My apologies, for some reason Amazon does not offer original mp3 versions of Bright Eye's At The Bottom Of Everything or Another Traveling Song. I've included an alternate live version of At The Bottom of Everything, but could find no substitute for Another Traveling Song...you will need to pick up the album or jet over to ITunes for that.