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Monitor Mixtape: The Underdogs

Townes Van Zandt 300

From a post on Carrie Brownstein's Monitor Mix blog, available here.

These songs were originally compiled on a rainy day a few weeks ago, with no promise of sun, so they might sound better to your ears under gray skies. The mix could easily be called "The Underdogs."

Many of these artists never gained recognition while they were around (or alive) or still don't get the widespread attention they deserve (Pylon, Van Zandt, Frank, Sill). Some of these tunes are culled from the bands' less popular albums — namely, the songs by Television, Wire, and The Undertones. I love "Days" as much as anything on Marquee Moon and, in my opinion, Wire's 154 is a better and more challenging overall album than its two groundbreaking predecessors. (Though the three albums together form one of the best trifectas in late-'70s music.) Lastly, Small Faces are simply incredible and always make me happy, and I'm still surprised that more people don't seek them out.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Carrie Brownstein is a writer, musician, actor, dog trainer and blogger for NPR Music. She was a member of the critically acclaimed rock band Sleater-Kinney. Brownstein writes NPR Music's "Monitor Mix" blog, and is a contributor to All Songs Considered. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Pitchfork.com and numerous book anthologies on music and culture.