To be taken under the wing of Nic Harcourt, the mastermind behind the tastemaking L.A. public-radio show Morning Becomes Eclectic, you need do one of three things: 1. Write gently melodic songs about moral uplift and the triumph of the human spirit. 2. Fold into your music mild hints of international exotica. 3. Espouse the good-natured lefty politics public radio pretty much exists to espouse. On Sounds Eclectic 3, the third compilation of intimate live performances culled from the show's on-air archives, Harcourt assembles a handy set of examples from which to draw inspiration. From the first category you get slightly scaled-down tent-revival alt-pop from homepeople The Polyphonic Spree, a woozy piano-bar reading of The Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" and Damien Rice's personal-as-always "The Blower's Daughter," which thanks to the trailer for Closer now joins the Shins' "New Slang" as a song I will forever associate with Natalie Portman's face. This Eclectic is light on the second category--"Mirando de Lado," by Mexican dance-rock act Kinky, is as international as it gets, unless you count a ragged "Take Me Out" by Glasgow's Franz Ferdinand. As for the third, alt-country maverick Steve Earle represents with "Jerusalem," his spine-tingling plea for peace in the Middle East. Sounds Eclectic 11? It's yours, dude.
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