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Archive for June, 2012

Ladies y Gents, it’s finally the end of the week! That means… I’ll wait for you to answer. I’ll give you a hint— What? Yes, I know you have time off work. That’s not what I was going on about. FRIDAY FOUR-PLAY! Yes, finally. We’re switching gears this week to encompass some sweet summer tunes that you can listen to, whatever the weather. Heat wave or otherwise.

In the coming month I’m proud to announce some guest playlist-makers. Next week we’ll have my dear friend, Jordan. He knows music young and old, known and obscure, good and kitsch. We’ve wandered the scape of music oftentimes together and come back with treasures to behold. After that we’ll have friends who I haven’t even asked yet! So it’ll be a surprise even to them!

We begin with a cover of Michael Jackson’s “I Want You Back” by Discovery as side project involving one of the driving forces behind Vampire Weekend. It’s a great cover making the song their own with a remixed end that gets me every time. RIP Michael Jackson, you talented, sometimes creepy man. Moving on to a song that was my introduction a couple years ago to Beach Fossils. “Daydream” gives away their propensity towards that sunny surf sound. Ideal for a summer’s day. Almost sounds like the vocals are altered by the heat waves. jj has an interesting sound that mashes a lot of sounds together that shouldn’t work but do all the same. “Things Will Never Be the Same Again” finds them mourning the future with a melancholy take on tropical music. Lastly we have a song I almost included on the “Forward Fare #2” playlist. It’s catchy with that hummed “Oooo” and it’s got that driving beat I dig. Enjoy the songs. Cheers.

Track list:

  1. I Want You Back – Discovery
  2. Daydream – Beach Fossils
  3. Things Will Never Be the Same Again – jj
  4. Madder Red – Yeasayer

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Ladies y Gents, it’s a late one this week.

Better late than never. —Anonymous

Junes already almost over and so is our look into the future of what I will listen to years down the road. Last week I took the four-play into a folk/acoustic direction. This week we’ll have some alternative/electronica influenced tunes. Skip to the end…

First up is that awesome song from this video. It’s poppy and has that tune that got stuck in my head for quite awhile. It once again doesn’t hurt having those strings prominent in the background. Be sure to check out the other music from Broadcast 2000. You won’t be disappointed. We have “Kim & Jessie” next from M83 a song that I came across accidentally with my music library on shuffle. The song got stuck and has helped as a gateway to other 80’s steeped music. I can’t remember how I came across Black Kids, but their sound is new and their lyrics quite irreverent. This makes listening to their album, Partie Traumatic, repeat worthy. Of an album of winners “I’m Making Eyes at You” is one of my favorites. The last track this week is from LCD Soundsystem. The track, “All my Friends,” may be a long repetitive song but I thing has a nice build to it that keeps the audience interested but still at arms length, much like what the song is about. I got into LCD after hearing and loving the soundtrack to Greenberg.

Bonus Track! This week I have the pleasure of bringing you an additional track that isn’t on Spotify, but I want people to hear. Floorplan are friends of mine, yes, but their song “Giantess” is one of those that I would love regardless. The catchy song plus the memorable music video makes for a deadly duo. The video shows a wit not present this particular song that is apparent in their other tracks. One thing obvious is their talent in nailing down both the lyrical and musical styles that their emulating but still making it entirely their own. Be sure to tell them how much you like the music, download the song from the link at the bottom of the video, and spread it like it’s hot. Cheers.

Track List:

  1. Get Up & Go – Broadcast 2000
  2. Kim & Jessie – M83
  3. I’m Making Eyes At You – Black Kids
  4. All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
  5. Bonus Track: Giantess – Floorplan

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Ladies y gents, TGIF. Am I right? After the previous two weeks of presenting songs from my past that I will continue to listen, I will now present two weeks of new songs that I think I will listen to in the future. I have found it quite difficult to narrow the next two playlists down from the masses that I have recently discovered. After all, limited by an obtuse time limit for “my past” music library, it’s harder when you have so many that are “new.” I tried to keep the previous songs from 2006 or before, but now I have music that I acquired after 2006 that was released well before that time. It’s been a struggle but I hope it’s rewarding to your ear-holes.

We begin this week with a track the title track off The Walkmen’s album that just dropped a month ago. This song shows the maturity the band has grown into over the last few albums of theirs. It’s really a love song to the singers “best friend” as they fight for their shared life and dreams their children will always hear about. This message of monogamy is one I can get behind, especially juxtaposed with the songs defining my own values.

Next, we have a song that became an instant classic to me as I have come closer to getting a “home” of my own. It’s catchy and it’s very retro-feel gets me every time. I would like to put a new song from the Magnetic Zeros’ new album but I have not been so immediately enraptured by any one of their songs to demand an “add” to a playlist of mine. Plus I don’t own it, and I don’t do the illegal thing. But on to the next track, “San Bernadino,” from The Mountain Goats. The vocals can be a bit divisive for some, but I actually like John Darnielle’s voice even though I can’t get over the voice of The Decemberists (I haven’t really tried, though, and it’s not at the top of my to-do list). The hook for me, initially was that I grew up close to San Bernadino and then I got pulled-in by the lyrics. It didn’t hurt to have those strings in there, either. Lastly, we have a track that’s on the forth-coming solo debut of the lead singer of The Frames, Glen Hansard. He’s a talented fellow and dating his biggest fan means it’s inescapable. But if it means listening to the new album, titled Rhythm and Repose, over three times in one day, going to see Mr. Hansard at Amoeba Records this coming Monday and going to see him in concert this Wednesday, then it’s an inescapable with which I can easily deal. I actually really like the album and “Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting” is currently my favorite track amongst a set of eleven wonderful songs. Enjoy the tunes. Cheers.

Track list:

  1. Heaven – The Walkmen
  2. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  3. San Bernadino – The Mountain Goats
  4. Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting – Glen Hansard

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Ladies y Gents, it’s the end of the week again and I’m presenting to you the continuation of June Tunes. It’s a way to share songs new and old that have made up my foundation of listening for the last ten years-ish. Next week we’ll get to songs that I think I’ll listen to consistently in the future, but this FF-P we’re focused on the past.

We start with an epic track based on an epic film based on the epic true story. It’s a beautiful song that hooked my ears with the strong beat and that bassline, it didn’t hurt having that violin in there. It’s all from the gent behind the Once soundtrack, with a little help from the rest of the Frames, of course. Glen Hansard is considered by some (read: the girlfriend) to be a genius and I won’t argue with them after this track. The Frames put on a great show and are widely underrated especially after being in the music biz (that’s what we call “the music business”) for over twenty years.

Track two I came across in a friend’s music library only to get hooked on the whole album from The Silver Seas entitled Starry Gazey Pie. The band was originally called “The Bees” but frequent confusion with the British band of the same name meant a change was imminent (though they tried putting a “(U.S.)” after “Bees,” to no avail). The song is a dreamy ballad that meanders with a beauty all its own.

If you’re not listening to Belle & Sebastian I feel sorry for you. They craft these narrative songs built on poetry and subtext. Their songs also possess a melancholy despite their light sound. Belle & Sebastian, luckily have a wonderful back-catalogue that’s easy to listen through.

I found a free mp3 on Pela’s website back in 2007. It was an early mix of “Lost to the Lonesome” that I instantly fell for  and knew I had to have the rest of the album. One of my other favorite tracks off Anytown Graffiti was/is “The Trouble With River Cities.” Something about the picked guitar and snare that open the song soon after joined by slurred lyrics. It’s too bad the band broke up in 2009 after years of turmoil because their sound was/is thoroughly enjoyable in a world so quick to eat and forget. Cheers.

The Track List:

  1. Fitzcarraldo – The Frames
  2. Message From the Birds – The Silver Seas
  3. A Summer Wasting – Belle & Sebastian
  4. The Trouble With River Cities – Pela

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Ladies y Gents, with the awakening of another June I start a series of four posts that will lend an ear to music young and old. We begin with two weeks of eight collective tracks reflecting what I listened to some years ago then will go into eight more delicious tunes that I think I’ll have playing constantly in the future. I look forward to taking this journey with you. I’ve tried to create a sandwich of songs people should recognize with a couple songs that may be old to me but may be new to you.

Sufjan kicks us off with my favorite of his songs, to date. It’s melancholy and beautiful notes put my hearing receptors at ease. I was turned onto Sufjan by a teacher well-versed in music, shortly after Seven Swans came out in 2004. I have been a fan ever since.

I discovered Steve Reynolds, a Canadian singer-songwriter, through a web of links from other musicians’ websites. He had a few tracks available for download. I leapt at the opportunity to increase my music collection. I quite enjoyed his voice and his picked guitar wasn’t too country but was a welcomed track on my mix CDs.

I’m sure I found Phoenix through Limewire or whatever the P2P was at the time (Kazaa maybe?), regardless the end result was that I bought Alphabetical and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the eleven tracks. The sound was progressive in the sense that it was like nothing I’d heard before in 2004. There was a nice beat, with some natural instruments and smooth vocals. It was to my great surprise in 2009 when suddenly they struck it big with their great album Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixI was taken aback that they weren’t more well known, but better late than never. Just be sure to check out Phoenix’s three previous studio albums if you enjoy their sound as much as I do.

Last we the truly classic “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. I knew I had to have this song when I heard it on some commercial in the early aughts. Luckily my dad knew what it was and I (maybe, illegally) downloaded the track. The playful intro, the steady beat, the orchestra… Oh, the orchestra! Up to hearing “Mr. Blue Sky” I had mainly listened to orchestral music like Beethoven, and was just getting into The Beatles and loving them. I hear the song and I learn that I can have my cake and eat it too. This song still warms my heart, especially when it isn’t exactly a blue sky, though those days rarely happen in the Golden State. To this day it still makes it onto playlists, such as this, to bring a classic sound to a modern party. Cheers.

Track List:

  1. A Good Man is Hard to Find – Sufjan Stevens
  2. Painter & Son – Steve Reynolds
  3. Holdin’ on Together – Phoenix
  4. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

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