The Ultimate Mark CD 2008

For the last couple of years, I and a few of my friends have been sharing music via The Ultimate CD Project, in which we make CDs of our favorite songs and swap. I now anticipate the UCD Project every summer like I used to wait for opening day at the swimming pool.

But I’ve never written a blog post about why I choose the songs that I do. For nothing else but grins, here is this year’s playlist, with a bit of explanation.


“Boy With A Coin” by Iron & Wine

I have two Ecuadorian friends here, Emilia and Dani, who are professional flamenco dancers. If you’ve never seen a flamenco show, go see one this weekend. If you can’t, at least watch the youtube video, which is magic.

“Boy Named Sue” and “Man in Black” by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is a recent obsession of mine, and these two songs represent two sides of Cash – light, fun Johnny and Damn-the-Man Johnny.

“Seen It All Before” and “Black River” by Amos Lee

It doesn’t get any better than black spirituals, and when you combine that with a little acoustic guitar, you’ve earned a fan out of Mark. Cf. previous UMarkCDs with Ben Harper and Martin Sexton.

“Mi Swing Es Tropical” by Nickodemus & Quantic and “Ojalá pudiera borrarte” by Maná

If you live in Ecuador, you’ve gotta end up with some Spanish music on your Ultimate CD. to be fair, though, I’m pretty sure that Nickodemus is from New York, and I picked them up off of an iPod ad.

“Three To Get Ready” by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

I didn’t mean to inherit my father’s love for jazz – it just sort of snuck up on me after college. Brubeck just sounds like home, even if he is from California.

“That’s The Way” by Led Zeppelin and “Up All Night” by Counting Crows

Every year there are a couple of surprises that sneak their way onto the Ultimate CD, just because I happened to be listening to them when I made the playlist.

You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go – Madeleine Peyroux


“Hard Sun” and “Rise” by Eddie Vedder; “Apertura” by Gustavo Santaolalla

Into the Wild and Motorcycle Diaries, two Kerouacian travel movies, will likely never fall out my top-ten (but they’re up there with Batman, so I don’t know how seriously I’d take the list).

“Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne and “It Ain’t Me, Babe” by Bob Dylan

Raspy, acoustic, shouldn’t-have-smoked-that-many-cigarettes music.

“Perpetual Blues Machine” by Keb’ Mo’

On a blues kick these days. Can’t get enough of it.

“Fever For The Bayou” by Tab Benoit

I miss home.

One Reply to “The Ultimate Mark CD 2008”

  1. did you see martin sexton at Rites of Spring freshman year? i’ve found myself lately asking people i’ve just recently met (which, with my job, happens predictably every 2 to 6 months) who their top 5 artists are—it’s always great to hear what music makes others tick

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