Let's make this clear.  I'm a Letter Carrier.  I am not supposed to listen to music in the line of duty, other than casing my mail IN the office.  I listen to my music all damn day.  I would evaporate without my music.  Or implode.  Or, worse still, explode.  Worse ONLY because it would create a bigger mess.

I listen to music so much that I am always striving to make things more interesting.  I am forever grateful for Steve Jobs and the fine folks at Apple that created the iPod, a device that enables me to carry a large chunk of my music collection in a small metal box.  And speaking of that, let me make another thing clear.... until they get clever enough to invent an iPod Touch with a minimum of 120GB memory, shut up and leave me to play with my iPod "Classic" 160GB.  Even with 160GB, I am continually going through the gut wrenching process of cleaning stuff off so that I can add new things.

Like I said, people, it's all about keeping things interesting.

Recently, I have taken to listening to some of my favorite artists... setting the iPod to play all songs from an artist on my iPod (case in point: U2 @ 466 songs), and hitting shuffle.  iPod is good to select from the multitude of albums rather evenly.  Case in point:  On my iPod, I have the U2 digital box set, which was released with the U2 Special Edition iPod (you remember the black and red one?), which contained every song released (as well as several unreleased albums) up to that point.  Anyhow, I opted to shuffle my U2 stuff the other day, and it paid more attention to the mixes and b-sides on the singles than it did to the album tracks.  It pretty much selected songs off the plethora of albums, without double dipping.  Genius!  And it made my listening so much more exciting than just listening to the same old albums over again.

Enter today's game.  I have often thought about creating mix discs that cover artists that are somehow interrelated.  These thoughts have led to me to today's activity.

Let me explain.

I began my workday by listening to THE B-52's.  I started with their debut album, followed it up with "Wild Planet", then proceeded on to "Party Mix/Mesopotamia",  While listening to Mesopotamia, I recalled that the album was produced by David Byrne of TALKING HEADS fame.  I listened closely to hear the David Byrne influence, then opted to move on to the classic HEADS' album, "Stop Making Sense".  That put me in the mood to listen to the recent album by David Byrne and St. Vincent, "Love This Giant".  It is one of my favorite albums of 2012.

I think you get where I'm coming from.

So.... let me recount these steps and finish the progression that took me through my entire workday.  Honestly, folks, this is fun.  If not for you, for me.

 1.  The B-52's

As a reminder, the album "Mesopotamia" was produced by the lead singer of the following band, David Byrne.


Again, note that David Byrne collaborated with St. Vincent (Annie Clark) for the 2012 album, "LOVE THIS GIANT"


Prior to this collaboration, St. Vincent has released 3 albums of her own.  The following is taken from her most recent, "Strange Mercy".


In researching an artist that would be related to St. Vincent, I discovered that she sang a duet on last year's ANDREW BIRD album, "Break It Yourself", on the track, "Lusitania"


I was then faced with the task of connecting Andrew Bird to someone.  I did the sensible thing and looked him up on Wikipedia.  Ho-lee crap.  He's performed with everyone.  And their grandmothers.  He was even present on the mid-90's album by SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS, "HOT".  I opted to steer clear of that one.  I did, however, see that Andrew Bird appeared on the album, 'Z', by MY MORNING JACKET.  Upon listening to that album, I definitely discerned the familiar, beautiful whistling of Andrew Bird.


When you bring Jim James (a.k.a. Yim Yames) of MY MORNING JACKET into the mix, you open a door to many options.  The obvious choice was the newly released solo album by Mr. James, "Regions of Light and Sound of God".


One of Jim James' several projects over the last few years was a little project called MONSTERS OF FOLK.  This Indie "Supergroup" featured Jim James, BRIGHT EYES' Conor Oberst, M. Ward and Mike Mogis, also of Bright Eyes (in addition to his production duties).


Which leads us to the inevitable..... M. WARD!  Most people know M. Ward as the "Him" in SHE & HIM, although his solo career has been very prolific and critically acclaimed.  The following is a video taken from a few years ago.... this track even includes the lovely Zooey Deschanel (you know... the "SHE" in She & Him).

9.  M. WARD

The cat is already out of the bag, so I won't bother setting it up.  Enjoy some SHE & HIM.

10.  SHE & HIM

The reality is that I could have taken this further.  I could have ventured on to Jenny Lewis, for whom Zooey Deschanel has contributed background vocals... which would take me to RILO KILEY.... which would take me...............

Maybe another day.