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Summer Mix 2011

Long time between posts. <insertexcusehere> Just felt right to do a summer mix.  If the Foster the People song doesn’t stick in your head for a few days you are doing something wrong. (That’s what good corporate indie rock does.)   I’m also being lazy and not posting individual tracks, you have to download the whole zip file to get these.  Enjoy these beachy/breakup/murder songs.

1. Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

2. Cults – Go Outside

3. Okkervil River – Wake and Be Fine

4. The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex

5. tUnE-yArDs – Gangsta

6. Austra – Lose It

7. Battles – Ice Cream

8. Monster Rally – Surf Erie

9. Oregon Bike Trails – Swimsuit

10. Beat Connection – Silver Screen

11. Serengeti – California

12. Smith Westerns – Weekend

13. Tennis – Is It True? (Brenda Lee Cover)

14. Givers – Up Up Up

15. Noah and the Whale – Blue Skies

16. Mr. Little Jeans – The Suburbs (Arcade Fire Cover)

17. Frank Fairfield – Old Paint

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Friday Mix 105

Maybe I’ll keep this motivation going and do more than one mix this summer.  No promises.  There is a lot of good music out there right now and a few interesting releases in the pipeline for the Fall.  More than enough to distract you from the horrors of the world cup.

Best Coast/Rostam Batmangilij/Kid Cudi – All Summer

A promo piece for Converse and summer, I guess.  The beginning of the song with the bell and beat really had me hoping Bethany (Best Coast portion) would say “…all year long we wait for CHRISTMAS…” but sadly it’s just “summer”.  My least favorite season by a wide margin.  The song is fun and the past week of weather in the high 60’s with overcast conditions and some rain in the mornings really makes me think twice about this dreaded season.  Keep it up.

Stars – Wasted Daylight

Despite being a part of Broken Social Scene over the past years I never explored much of the catalog of Stars.  “The Five Ghosts” intrigued me and I gave it a shot and was very happy.  It’s received some pretty harsh criticism compared to previous works so I’m not sure if that means I should or shouldn’t take a look back at their work.  I find the songs on this album to be incredibly catchy and something I want to come back to.

Tokyo Police Club – Favourite Colour

I fell in love with the original Tokyo Police Club EP a few years back and couldn’t wait for their full length, “Elephant Shell”.  When it finally dropped I was less than impressed.  The songs ran together, not in a good way, and felt incredibly boring and lacking anything to draw me back like the EP.  This second LP “Champ” sees a return to the EP in terms of song writing and diversity of music.  I hope they have polished their live show as that was definitely nothing to write home about but I still give them the benefit of the doubt for being much younger and in a pretty hyped blog band.

Damien Jurado – Arkansas

This is a damned good song and album.  Pretty much the song that kicked my ass and got me to do another Friday mix for the first time in several months.  It’s a song everyone needs to hear. Beautiful and touching.  Something that will be used in a cheesy movie in the next year but deservingly so.  (And no, this isn’t country so don’t get too scared by it being in the normal “country” position of my list.)

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Random Song #1

Since I’ve grown disillusioned to coming up with four songs every other week as of late, here’s a random song that I felt worthy of sharing with the masses.  It’s one to get the weekend started when you are in love (or sad and single), yet not in that gross way.  Originally a single that never took off, I can’t understand why.  The sheer force Holly delivers this song with is amazing, in and of itself.

Buddy Holly – Oh Boy!

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Ranch-A-Thon 2010

It’s my second favorite day of the year next to Christmas.  Ranch-a-Thon.  Those who’ve been know the feeling; those who haven’t are truly missing out on a life altering event.  This year’s motto was brought to you by the drunken philosopher Bret (America) Hanson who at around 11am told a companion, “I’ve never done anything sexual at Ranch-a-Thon!”  More fitting words have never been uttered and truly describe the RAT experience.  Guns, explosives, aerosol, wild game, fireworks, craft beer (Non-INBev or SABMiller) and camping.  What could make for a better weekend?

In the true spirit of the season I’ve put together the 7th RAT mix to commemorate the event.  The main track list is below though there are extra clips from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development and the Office that really give you a feel for the theme this year.  A playlist is included in the zip.  Enjoy and I hope to see you at RAT11 in March 2011.

1. Black Lips – Bad Kids

2. Jaguar Love – I Started A Fire

3. Crocodiles – I Wanna Kill

4. Sleigh Bells – Crown On the Ground

5. Vampire Weekend – Cousins

6. Hot Chip – One Life Stand

7. Bad Black – Fallin’ & Flying

8. Washed Out – Feel It All Around

9. The Big Pink – Dominos

10. Titus Andronicus – Titus Andronicus Forever

11. Local Natives – Wide Eyes

12. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

13. Drive-By Truckers – This Fucking Job

14. Double Dagger – Pillow Talk

15. Butthole Surfers – Pepper

16. Miranda Lambert – White Liar

17. Flying Lotus – Computer Face/Pure Being

18. Desaparecidos – Popn’ Off at the F

Download .zip file (117MB)

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Friday Mix 104

Off to Paso this weekend for a rainy weekend.  With any luck all of this rain will mean extra tall grass for RAT in just about 30 days from now.

Local Natives – Airplanes

Saw these guys at the OC Tavern in San Clemente back in December of 2008 and thought they were fun but never would have guessed they would have taken off this much, thank you Pitchfork I guess.  I told a friend in December that when the album officially came out in the US that my guess for Pitchfork was a 8.2.  They got an 8.4 so I was just a few tenths of a point off.  This is a pretty catchy track with a nice hook in the chorus.  They have since moved on to bigger and better venues which is a good thing since the OC Tavern is a horrible place to see a band.

Broken Social Scene – World Sick

The first new song of theirs that I can remember since their drug induced take on Puff the Magic Dragon from several years back.  Full length comes out in May.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & the Cairo Gang – Play, Guitar, Play

On the opposite side of things you have Will Oldham who is the musical equivalent of Sarah Winchester who felt she would die if her residence was not under constant construction.  Will Oldham seems to have a need to create at least one new album every year.  This is no different and his new album “The Wonder Show of the World” comes out on March 23rd.  This being a cover of a Conway Twitty song from the mid-80’s it could be the ultimate fit for my country appreciation track of the week but I’ve got other songs in mind.

Waylon Jennings – Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way

From the soundtrack to Crazy Heart which everyone needs to see as atonement for having paid to see Avatar.  (Yes,  I know you have all seen that piece of garbage.)  Originally it was included on Jennings’ 1975 album “Dreaming My Dreams” and stayed on the country charts for thirteen weeks.  References to Hank Williams of course.

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Friday Mix 103

Rainbow Bridge – Rain Nair

From a lo-fi comp “Underwater People’s Winter Review comes a song that I should have posted last Friday had I been in Southern California.  It’s now 68 and sunny rather than 50 and raining on this Friday morning.  Oh well, I’ve been spoiled by the amount of rain we’ve gotten this year so I shouldn’t be complaining.  Regarding the song, it stands out amongst the rest and while I’m still not fully on board with the lo-fi boom of 09-10 there are certain parts that show promise.

Vampire Weekend – Ruby Soho (Rancid Cover)

Posted for the high school flash backs this original song inspires as well as Rancid having been the first concert Heather and I ever attended together.  (Still not sure why she got tickets to see them in 06’ at the House of Blues but it was an interesting show.)  Vampire Weekend do a great job bringing their own sound to this song in this BBC Radio 1 live studio appearance.  On top of that I still love their preppy shtick and how honestly they try to pull it off.  And yes, I understand I’ve now posted yet another Vampire Weekend song in the three mixes I’ve done in 2010.

Hot Chip – One Life Stand

They first caught my ear, along with many other people’s, in 2005 with the single “Over and Over”.  It became our group’s defacto anthem for a while along with nights at Avalon before it was swallowed whole by the vapid group of hipsters that now call it their establishment of choice.  This album and this song in particular bring back those good vibes and remind me of what Hot Chip is really all about.  Just kidding, I have no idea what they are all about.

Johnny Cash – Tennessee Flat Top Box

A few weeks back on a Sunday afternoon without football we watched an old Austin City Limits episode from the late 80’s with Johnny Cash.  It was nice to get another image in my head of the man in black that wasn’t of him in his final years.  He was the consummate performer.

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Friday Mix 102

Some great stuff has been appearing as of late which will put 2010 in line with some of the better musical years of the last decade.  Be sure to get out and see Crazy Heart if you have any interest what so ever in country music or the superb acting of Jeff Bridges.

Frida Hyvönen – Jesus Was a Crossmaker

A cover of a Judee Sill original song written by her and Graham Nash in the early 70’s.  Saying the song is a simple rendition is to do it a disservice as it is a very emotional song that might be subdued in part by the musical arrangement but one that you get lost in soon enough.  That might be a huge pile of BS but just listen and get back to me on that one.

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Don’t Haunt This Place

Being out sick yesterday I spent the good portion of the day laying around on the couch catching up on season two of the AMC series “Breaking Bad”.  The show’s first season brought enough action/drama/suspense that I didn’t know how season two could do anything to top it.  The season has brought deeply evident changes in the emotional states of the characters involved in the show and you can’t help but start to feel for those characters and the huge amounts of stress, anger and hurt they are going through.  It takes a toll on you as you watch it episode after episode.  Perhaps that is why it’s a series best enjoyed week to week.  That said this song is one that hits again on the topic of a broken relationship.  Yet it does it with an upbeat drum part and ends with hope that maybe things might work out as both parties are aware that they need to come to agreements on things in a relationship.  I’m just hoping that Breaking Bad can come to a similar resolve when it wraps up for the last time.

Vampire Weekend – Cousins

I didn’t post anything from their 2008 debut album as they were the kings of indie fandom those first few months of the year and I was growing weary of the hype, however well deserved it may have been.  I’m not sure why I’m changing my tone here as these guys are even bigger than ever and just had the number one album on the Billboard charts.  It’s probably mostly because I had this song tagged back in December and never got a chance to post it.  Download it, love it, buy the album and continue to keep this album above Ke$ha.

Jeff Bridges aka Bad Black – Fallin’ & Flying

I’ve made no qualms about expressing my utter contempt and hatred of all things Avatar.  One of the first things critics (yes, there are many despite the $$$ this abomination has taken in) point to is the generic story line.  “Crazy Heart” ultimately has a fairly standard story line as well if you break it down to a pitch line.  I won’t do that here for those of you who might actually go see the movie even though it is fairly obvious.  That said the real strength of this movie and what makes the story work are the characters, acting and small plot points that make you keep watching.  Jeff Bridges pulls off the best acting of the year by far in his portrayal of “Bad Black” a down and out country music singer who has lost his direction, and fame, and now must play in bowling alleys and saloons to support him.  The song here is one of the songs from “Bad Black” that is played a few times in the movie. It will surely get stuck in your head and is one of the best songs on a superb soundtrack.  Beyond Jeff Bridges take on the role the biggest surprise for me was seeing Colin Farrell play the part of a fictional Tim McGraw type country singer.  The singing is all real and is the highlight of a very enjoyable movie all around.

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Friday Mix 101

It’s back.  After a wedding, php hack to my WordPress install that lead to Google blacklisting my site(update your install, kids!) and Christmas I’ve got things sorted out and will post a few songs that have been going through my ears lately.

The Big Pink – Dominos

I listened to this on repeat for about a week in early December.  Similar to how Passion Pit took a few months to get picked up by stations such as KROQ and played to oblivion I predict this track will be next, if it hasn’t hit already. It is a truly great rock track and one I can see every fratbro in the Mid-West fully embracing.  These guys HAVE to get bigger in the current landscape of music.  It’s destiny.

Sleigh Bells – Crown on the Ground

This came out of nowhere in October and I was hooked beyond belief.  It was one of those instances where I tracked down every single song I could find online (no official EP as of yet) and couldn’t get enough.  The duo consists of the former drummer of Poison the Well (Note: I saw those guys open up for Cursive back in the day at the Glasshouse and couldn’t believe the hardcore kids “singing” along to their screams.  It was frightening.) and a former bubblegum pop girl group singer.  The amount of distortion gives you a “what is this crap doing to my headphones” feeling but then everything is brought together so well that you know it is meant to be and not a setting you just messed up.  They then go a completely different direction when they break out another song on their demo with “Ring Ring”.  Very minimal distortion and a catchy chorus you will find lingering for a week or more.  I can’t wait for the actual release whenever that might be.

The xx – Shelter

Just like The Big Pink this UK group snuck up on me.  I was disillusioned with the various bands making debuts from August thru October so I didn’t pay attention to this until a little before Thanksgiving.  It’s now the go to work CD to listen to from start to finish.  It becomes one song when I passively listen to it.  This might not sound like a ringing endorsement but it is.  This is one of those songs that do stick out besides the other obvious choice in “VCR”.  If I ever do a “Best of 2009” this will be high on my list.

Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

I have a whole wedding post half way finished where I discuss all the various songs that were either played at the wedding or used for something related to the wedding.  This song would fit in that category since it was the song I heard over and over on our honeymoon in Hawaii.  Our rental car had no tape deck or audio input port so we were stuck with the radio.  Being on the Big Island this meant smooth jazz or a modern country station.  I picked the modern country station and soon realized it was like any other FM station playing the “hits”.  This means playing 15 songs on repeat with commercials thrown in for good measure and a canned DJ making a quip about how great the previous song is.  Taylor Swift stood out though and this song soon became the anthem of the trip for me, to the wife’s chagrin.  (I’m also pretty sure Taylor Swift won’t be with any of the above mentioned bands on blogs anytime soon.)

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Friday Mix 100

A fairly forgettable Friday Mix to celebrate the 100th mix. Sorry. Wedding planning is getting in the way. Next mix will be a little more special.

The Very Best – Mwazi

They’ve grown on me.

Letting Up Despite Great Faults – In Steps

LA band that has gotten buzz with all of the other bedroom projects that are the rage right now. Definitely a fall sound going here which is a nice change of pace from the summer bedroom pop of July and August.

Kings of Convenience – Renegade

It was hard to pick one song from this album. It grew on me.

Lyle Lovett – Pantry

Lyle has a new album. Yes, I like it.

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Friday Mix 99

Kickball National Championship Tournament in Vegas this weekend. Watch for Costa Messy on Sportscenter Saturday night when we win the 72 team tournament.

Zero 7 – The Road

Came out of nowhere with this beautiful record. Different from most of what I have heard of Zero 7 in the past but something that I’ve had on repeat and find soothing beyond belief.

Karen O and the Kids – All is Love

It didn’t grab me at first listen but the opening “1,2 ready go!” I’ve had in my head for the last week. Very cute and something I could see kids really digging and something that parent’s aren’t going to want to blow their brains out over having to hear it 1000x a day.

Fuck Buttons – Flight of the Feathered Serpent

Mellowed out on the noise and made something that is possibly commercially viable. Crazy as that sounds from Fuck Buttons.

Vampire Weekend – Horchata

All blogs are required to post this song this week or they will be taken down. It’s mandatory, Al Gore told me.

The Mountain Goats – Matthew 25:21

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” – Matthew 25:21. If you don’t get moved listening to this song you need to evaluate what you hold dear on this earth. He’s said in recent interviews this is autobiographical regarding his mother in law’s death from cancer. The verse is very fitting for someone passing on and having that faith that there will be that voice on the other side saying, “job well done. Welcome home.”

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