The Mercy Seat

Jen Kehl at My Skewed View and Kristi at Finding Ninee host Twisted MixTape Tuesday, a blog hop that’s all about music.  The premise is to create a five song mix based on the week’s theme.  (You can click on the button above if you’d like to play along).

Jen is letting the inmates run the asylum today and giving us another free-for-all week.  This means you are at the mercy of the theme I choose!!  Be afraid.

No, don’t be afraid because I’d never torture anyone with music.  With all my recent medical issues, my soul has been a bit tortured though and its shown in the playlists I’ve been listening to lately.  There’s one in particular that has some particularly maudlin and/or haunting music on it that I’ve been obsessed with and played it frequently.  Often, several times a day.

I selected my top five favorites from that playlist.  They aren’t really earworms because I think they’re actually good songs, but I need to purge this insatiable desire to listen to them constantly.  I’m hoping by using them in this week’s mixtape, I can exorcise these musical demons and get back to being my usual rocker self.

1.  The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave.  I love the intensity of the acoustic version.  It also now hits me that this would have been a great one for the Spiritual song week.

2.  I Want You – Elvis Costello.  The emotion in his voice really comes through and has a way of making his pain so very beautiful.

3.  Done Wrong – Ani DiFranco Everything about this song is just simply stunning.  I ran across it when I was looking for a particular song for the week we picked songs that helped make us the people we are.  It didn’t fit that theme, but I’ve been infatuated with it ever since.

4.  Winter Song – Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson.  I found this song so haunting, even before they started using it in the American Horror Story: Coven promos.  But it was because of those that its been echoing around in my head the past month.

5.  Symphony 6 Fare Thee Well & the Requiem Mix – Emily Wells.  Another haunting melody that’s so far outside my normal listening zone that it even surprises me that I listen to it.

Dream signature


  1. Jean

    All the musicians brought a huge smile to my face with the exception of the last one. I haven’t heard of her…tomorrow when the kids aren’t sleeping I need to listen to something by her on Pandora. I listened to Winter Song on repeat in college.

    • Dream

      I hadn’t heard of her either until they used this song on a Dancing With the Stars episode and I’ve been hooked on it since.

  2. Lance

    I own all of this. I’ve written many times before that I would make a fantastic lesbian with all of my Ani Difranco music and worship.

    Greta list. one of my favorites of all time. Sara Bareilles is so underrated.

  3. Louise

    Ok – I adore the last song (listening to it now). I feel like I’ve heard it on a movie or show? But maybe it just reminds me of something I have previously heard. As for Ani DiFranco – I’m a Dan Bern fan, and he references her quite a bit in his music, but I’ve never really hunted her down – this is the second song of her’s I’ve found (and liked) on this hop (perhaps you posted the other one too – I can’t remember).

    • Dream

      It wasn’t me posting the Ani Difranco since this is the first song of hers I’ve posted. The Emily Wells is interesting to watch in the live videos as she records and loops all the music, building the song as she goes. I couldn’t find one without a lot of crowd noises to post here though.

  4. Slu

    I always enjoy seeing what you have on tap… I love your ‘spirit’ that you put into these Mix Tapes each week. Thanks, Slu

    • Dream

      Thanks! I can always tell when I go back and look at my mixtape lists which ones I was really into and which ones I kinda just phoned it in just to get anything together.

  5. Rich Rumple

    Okay, familiar with all of these (and like them all) except for Emily Wells. Have never heard of her before. Definitely a different sound … and like you … way outside of my normal listening. Still, there is something almost hypnotic about it that keeps you listening. Really some great stuff here!

    • Dream

      Hypnotic! That’s the word I was searching for and couldn’t think of when I was putting together this list, so settled for “haunting”.

  6. Clark Scottroger

    “Jen is letting the inmates run the asylum today and giving us another free-for-all week. This means you are at the mercy of the theme I choose!! Be afraid.”

    thank you for saying that! it helps, given what I put out there today for a TMT… but then again, as I work my way through all the other Posts, I am seeing that ‘assuming control of the asylum’ in a number of places. lol

    It’s weird, but on some Posts on some Tuesdays, I feel despair at how much I am missing in the music out there! I know most of the names of most of the (more) established artists, but I really need to better organize my listening time!

    • Dream

      I try to dedicate listening time to certain artists I may find on another’s mixtape, then end up following YouTube suggestions until I’m so far from where I started, I don’t remember what I was listening to in the first place. That’s the beauty of music, as frustrating as it may be some times.

  7. Jen

    Is there a Nick Cave song that isn’t haunting? Because I haven’t heard one. It is so funny how I am constantly thinking that you are the anti-me when it comes to music. I really love that. I love how we are so the opposite, when I am sad or going through something I go for the opposite music of my feelings. The ONLY time I can listen to music this intense is when I am completely happy. However, love it. And Elvis Costello on any list makes it a number one.

    • Dream

      I didn’t like the original version of The Mercy Seat and almost passed the acoustic version by. I’m so glad I didn’t.

      Woohoo! I’m the Anti-Jen (antigen, ha!).

  8. Marcy

    These songs were new to me, and I was glad to check them out. I especially liked the last one. Hope you’re feeling better.

  9. Kristi Campbell

    One of my best friends is a HUGE Ani fan and while I didn’t love her at first, I’ve grown to really adore her when I’m in certain moods over the past few years. However, that last one? OMG I’m totally in love with it!! I can see why you adore it even though it’s not in your usual style (or any style really right?). I really hope you’re feeling better. Having health issues sucks so badly…hugs and healing to you!

    • Dream

      Ani wasn’t on my radar until a couple years ago, but I still haven’t listened to a whole lot of her songs. I’m working on that. While I definitely have certain styles I gravitate to, I really try to keep an open mind, which has led to me loving these songs in particular. Thanks for the good wishes, I’m past the worst of it and back to just my regular normal problems.

  10. Kir Piccini

    have you ever heard Sara’s song Gravity? It brings me to tears every time. It’s a gorgeous song and I love her voice. She is an incredible artist and musician (her song writing is exceptional).

    and Ani is just “ahhh”, I had a minor in Women’s Studies in college and just fell in love with her music.

    hoping you are feeling much better today…and every day from now on. Sending healing, comforting vibes and lots of virtual hugs.

    • Dream

      I hadn’t heard it, but just went and had a listen. Very beautiful. Like Ani, I think she’s another one I’ll be checking out more in the future. Thank you for the healing thoughts. Normal chronic stuff I’ve come to terms with, but throw peri-menopausal symptoms and a cold on top of it all at the same time and I hit my limit as to what I could bear gracefully.

      • Kir Piccini

        I hear you sister. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and complex (stroke like symptom) migraines after my twins were born 5 years ago, so I have good days and BAD days. Aching, headaches, depression etc. Also, I’m 43 so I’m in the peri place alongside you AND I woke up with a sore throat. 🙂 NO explanations necessary.

        I love that song Gravity, just love Sara’s voice.

        take care of you.

        • Dream

          Damn, I feel for you. All my chronic crap is GI related. My cold started with a very painful sore throat, that led to coughing lasting for over a week. I really hope yours is mild, healing thoughts and hugs back to you as well.

  11. Kelly @ Dysfunctionally Functional

    I pretty sure I was a Nick Cave virgin until your mix! And Elvis Costello…? Man, that voice! ~sigh~ Great song choice. I’ve never really been an Ani fan, but I have to agree that this song is stunning. I love the harmonies & the strings in Winter Song…I’m a sucker for cello music. The little bit of bells were a nice touch, too. I thought I’d imagined them, at first, because they’re only there for a moment…I had to listen a second time to make sure my ears weren’t playing tricks on me. And the last song…? Wow. Just…wow. I love it! Reminds me of Darling Violetta, or Rasputina, both of whom I haven’t listened to in forever, but now I want to start again, LOL!

    • Dream

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Darling Violetta sounded familiar, but I had to look them up to realize it was because of the theme song to Angel. Seems a bit similar to Apocalyptica, which I enjoy. I had to look up Rasputina, they sound like something that would fit into some of my darker playlists.