Rusty Willoughby Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

You can undoubtedly make a lot of musician friends when you play in a successful rock band. Luckily for Seattle-based artist Rusty Willoughby, he’s been in three. So for his most recent album, Cobirds Unite (out now on Local 638 Records), he teamed up with Rachel Flotard (Visqueen), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), Barb Hunter (Afghan Whigs), Maggie Bjorklund (Mark Lanegan) and Johnny Sangster (Mudhoney), who add vocals and prowess on instruments such as vibraphone, violin, cello, banjo and pedal steel. The result is gorgeous folk rock with the perfect amount of country tinge, featuring tight duet vocals between Willoughby and Flotard. Get inside Willoughby’s head with this mix tape he made for MAGNET.

“C’mon C’mon” (download):

“Cobirds Unite (Live At KEXP)” (download):

Jacques Brel “Mathilde”
Jacques Brel sweating this one out in some hip mid-century European cabaret. Who knows where this clip is from, because I can’t find any of the particulars, but this song is pure expression of the hell love’s wrath can bring on thee. Scott Walker does a great version of this as well and manages to maintain the sense of sly aloofness that makes the original so great. Video

Woody Guthrie “John Henry
Some of the only existing footage of Woody Guthrie performing. Woody was the original punk-rock troubadour, but so much has already been said and written about this man that I’ll leave it to rest. He knocks this one out with the help of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Video

The Jam “That’s Entertainment
Paul Weller was the coolest thing walking the planet when I was 15 years old. This video offers a bit of proof. Video

Echo & The Bunnymen “The Puppet
From the Urgh! A Music War film that was filmed in ‘80, I think. Early footage proving why Echo was such an important band at the time. All angular Tom Verlaine guitar landscapes plus an art-school-bum-gone-young-Mick-Jagger mopey lead singer?! I mean c’mon! Spectacular. Video

Miles Davis Quintet “So What
I ruined jazz by getting into this record first. It’s one of the bravest records I know of, and it keeps surprising me to this day. Miles is sublime, and the entire cast keeps right up with him. This record lead me to Cannonball Adderley, whom I love, and subsequently to Hank Jones’ piano solo on Cannonball’s version of “Autumn Leaves,” which to me, is the pinnacle of musical expression. Oh, but this song is great, too. Video

Townes Van Zandt “Tecumseh Valley
So sad and hopeless. Townes is a treasure, and I find it sad to believe he’s gone from this Earth. This version is just one of many that makes me want to curl up and cry. In a good way. Video

The Who “A Quick One While He’s Away
This version is thee version of this tune, even without the video. Just ask Wes Anderson. But with the video, it is the apex of rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, holy f#!&*!! Did you see that?! Did you hear that!? Video

Sex Pistols “Anarchy In The U.S.A
This was the first, and maybe only, band to have ever scared me. A lot of rock bands scare me today, too, but not in this way. I mean, hell, I found out about the Sex Pistols on the news. Not from some prancing music fan. The God Damn Television News. Video

The Flying Burrito Brothers “Hot Burrito #1”
Watch and weep. Gram makes me want to cry even when he’s being funny. Maybe the most when he’s being funny. Sad and beautiful. Video

Scott Walker “Jackie
Yup. Another Scott Walker reference. And another Jacques Brel tune. Because it’s some good shit, that’s why! A time when art and music collided and made the best stuff. Yeah, this is TV lip synching, but the recordings are magnificent examples of what human beings are capable of. Well that, and antibiotics. Video