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Cheers to you, you scurvy knaves! That’s my belated St. Patty’s Day toast to you — and I’m well aware that saying “scurvy knaves” is more English than Irish, but maybe I’m ready for a bare-knuckle brawl. No, really.

Actually, I’m ready to mix some musical goodness for your ears!


“Beat It,” Fall Out Boy featuring John Mayer

The fact that there’s seemingly a lack of humor in this version made me believe that Time magazine was right when they declared irony was dead. Then I saw a pic of John Mayer’s alter ego “Johnny Ballsac” in Rolling Stone and I realized Time was wrong.


“Baker Street,” Foo Fighters

The original was pure mellow gold — well, except for the lead break. This version completely turns all that mellow-gold goodness upside down in a way that makes me smile and wag my finger like those people in Mentos ads — or maybe it was a Foo Fighters video.


“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” Elvis Costello/The Costello Show featuring the Attractions and Confederates

When this album came out, I had one of those “What the hell is this!” moments after dropping the needle on the opening track. By the time this song came on — first made popular by the Animals — I’d had enough. Oddly enough, over time this has become one of my favorite Costello albums.


“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Tori Amos

Full disclosure: I’m not a Tori Amos fan. I don’t like her “I’m the American version of Kate Bush” persona. That’s right, I’m a Kate Bush fan. However, I appreciated this cover because it allowed me to understand Nirvana’s lyrics without consulting the lyric sheet.


“You Really Got a Hold on Me,” She and Him

Take one part Zooey Deschanel and one part M. Ward, throw them together, and you get … this. The album contains this cover of the Miracles’ original, and a Beatles cover that, truth be told, is pretty crappy. “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” however, has a sleepy quality that would work well in a David Lynch movie.


“How Long,” Donny Osmond

Right now, Ace/Paul Carrack fans around the globe are collectively saying, “Bring me the skull of Donny Osmond!”