David Gergen Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

L.A.’s David Gergen likes to fly solo. He converted his living room into a home studio in order to record his fourth album, The Nearer It Was…The Farther It Became (due out January 18), which contains songs written and performed by Gergen alone. So what you’ll get is a sound purely his, entirely untouched by any outside influence. It’s no surprise that Gergen is inspired by many of our favorite solo artists, which he included on this mix tape he made for MAGNET.

“The Streets I’m Walkin'” (download):

“Love Blues #11” (download):

Stevie Wonder “Visions”
This song is so beautiful; great acoustic guitar. This takes me to some far away “peaceful” place that I long for; it almost paints a picture of a distant land. On this album, Stevie was at his most profound and inspired. Video

Rufus Wainwright “Go Or Go Ahead”
The song starts really slowly but builds in an incredible way. By the time it gets toward the middle of the song, it peaks and the emotion is undeniable. So much feeling in this song. I heard he wrote it in a car in San Francisco after a three-day speed bender. Great electric guitar and backing vocals when the song kicks in. In my opinion, his best song. Video

Metric “Collect Call”
This song won’t lift you out of depression, but there is a sweet honesty in it. I really like her vocals here. I feel like I want to give Emily a hug after I hear it. Video

Jason Falkner “Holiday”
Great power pop. Great hook. He is an underrated musician in my book, very talented. I need another album from this guy! Video

The Rolling Stones “Sway”
Mick and the boys were pretty deep into drugs at this point, and the lyrics give me a feeling that Mick was really contemplating the damage of drugs. I love the lyric “destroyed your notion of circular time.” Pretty dark lyrics. When I play this song, I usually can’t get enough from one listen, so it goes on repeat for a few plays. Video

Concrete Blonde “Heal it Up”
This song has a bit of a dated quality to it, but her voice and conviction is so intense it gives me chills when she starts wailing. One of my favorite vocalists when she is on. This song needs to be cranked at full volume for maximum effect. Video

Jeff Buckley “Nightmares By The Sea”
This song was done shortly before he died, and you can hear a different sound forming from his previous work. He is not showing off his “pipes” as much as usual, and the song has an understated quality to it. I really miss this guy as much as any artist who has left far too early. Video

Goldfrapp “Hairy Trees”
Whenever I put this song on, I literally feel like I am floating through a forest. If I am feeling some anxiety, I will put this on and it all melts away. So soothing. Good love-makin’ music, too! Video

Blonde Redhead “Spring And By Summer Fall”
Driving at night on the freeway to this song is the best. It’s more rocking than most of their other songs. I really like the guitars; they paint a great sonic picture of despair. Video

Ryan Adams “Nuclear”
This is not from the greatest album, but I love this song. His voice has a raggedness to it that works perfectly with the lyrics. The slide guitar makes this song complete, and when he starts pleading, “Give me an answer,” toward the end of the song, you believe that he really, really does want to know! Video

Radiohead “How To Disappear Completely”
This song paints a picture so vividly, you feel like you are walking through a gray rainy landscape of desolation and you want to disappear even further. Very gloomy, and I love it! Video