November began with a Rory Cochrane twin sighting. Think the “Empire Records” era, if Lucas’ trip to Atlantic City had included more debauchery, less gambling away the store finances.

It will be a good month.

A monthly soundtrack isn’t necessarily a readily-available-for-download collection of tunes. It is instead a list of the songs that helped to shape a month’s time — whether performed live, played on the iPod, heard on the radio or simply stuck in my head. Cameron Crowe once said that he thinks a monthly collection of songs serves better than a diary — I wouldn’t go that far, but I think it’s awfully handy to have.

The tracklisting is available after the jump.


  • Belief — John Mayer: A song that has been stuck in my head since Mayer took the ACL stage in September. The guitar hook seems deceptively easy, whereas the vocals showcase the singer’s lower register (which I prefer) as well as the higher (which he seems hellbent on including in every song *cough*Clarity*cough*). It’s a slow burn with a quick pace and it officially converted me back into a Mayer listener. I’m still coming to terms with this, but I’m digging getting used to it. (Available on Continuum or the live recording of JM’s ACL set that is floating around online. I found my copy of it within this thread of My Stupid Mouth.)
  • Shy — Ani DiFranco: If I were to try to describe the manner in which I spent October looking forward to Ani’s Nov. 13 Burlington show, it would end up as one run-on sentence peppered with giggles and set-list requests. This would be one of them. So how about we skip the embarrassing excited rambles? (My favorite version is available on Living In Clip.)
  • Metaphor — Patrick Thomas: A friend of mine makes beautiful music. On occasion, he rolls into a town in which I can see him perform this music. I happen to love this song. This month, I realized that he knew that I was rather fond of it. (Listen to a full-band version of the song on PT’s myspace.)
  • You Will Love This Song — Amber Rubarth: The lyrics read like a journal entry scribbled down as sleep attempts to set in: you’re exhausted but incapable of shutting your mind down until you get the thoughts out onto a page. When you wake up the next day, you find a beautiflly honest description of the situation you’d spent all day trying to write — waiting right there for you in the notebook.Kudos/curses to Amber for being able to get such words onto the page AND for setting it to music. Teach me, please? (Available for download at Amber’s myspace. Thanks to Steve for the recommendation!)
  • Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show cover) — Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers: Musicians, please trust me on this one. Go see SK6 in concert. Bring a pad of paper and a working pen or pencil. Take notes. Go home and apply what you’ve learned to your live performance style. I predict that mainstream audiences will begin to hear this band name frequently over the next 18 months — and it’s about time. (Live performance downloads available at numerous SK6 shows on the Live Archive.)
  • I Saw (live) — Matt Nathanson: Demand my attention. Grab my arms, shake me, whisper into my ear, reach in, grab my heart, tear it out of my chest, throw it to the ground, stomp on it a few times, pick it up, stick it back in the open cavity, sew me up and draw the corners of my mouth up into a smile. Repeat as desired. (Live performances downloads available at numerous MN shows on the Live Archive. I particularly recommend this one.)
  • So Far We Are — French Kicks: People should hand out compilation CDs more often. People should also make sure that those compilation CDs are a perfect blend of poignant and peppy. Thanks, Jim! (Listen at FK’s myspace.)
  • Hands In My Pocket — Chad Perrone: Chadwick goes alt-country! A snappy, slightly-snarky song that hints at cynicism while utilizing a strong melodic line. What’s not to like? I really dug hearing it full-band for the first time at Radio Bean mid-month. (To listen, get yourself to a show — there aren’t any recordings that I know of yet.)
  • Ain’t Got Love — Todd Carey: This is a song screaming for radio play. Bright, cheerful, catchy and inherently Todd Carey. Got to take it in twice in two days this month and am looking forward to TC getting back to the area soon so I can sing along again. (Listen to the song on TC’s website by signing up for the “Crazy Fools” mailing list. You’ll be sent the password to access the site — the song is listed under “Exclusive Music.”)
  • Poetry & Aeroplanes — Teitur: TC kicked off his Nectar’s set with a cover of the much-loved tune and I realized that I hadn’t heard the original in far too long. (Song available on the album of the same name).
  • Love and Love Lost — Ryan Montbleau Band: I fell in love with this song during the band’s August/September Nectar’s residency. What I didn’t realize until October is that I had heard it for the first time months prior — during the June Boston Harbor Boat Cruise. Curses! (The live Boston Harbor track is available for download here.)
  • Jesus on the Radio — Guster: Sure, the song makes reference to March 16, but this is a song meant for autumn. Driving up a highway during foliage season, listening to this tune makes one feel as if a mug of hot cider will be waiting for oneself at home. Utter contentment. The harmonies are impeccable — I need to find people willing to bust out an impromptu rendition of the song with me. Any takers? (Available on “Keep It Together” — a great live version from the scary-good April Amherst show is available for download here.)
  • ***HIDDEN TRACK*** Montell Jordan — This Is How We Do It: Don’t ask.