mix xxv. send fire, good god the offering.
miley cyrus – wrecking ball (caked up remix) i want to open up with this statement: NO ONE is better at dancing to this song than me, alone in my living room while no one is home. [this statement written BEFORE proof was leaked onto the net on instagram. jus’ sayin’.] hands down. that being said, a coworker introduced me to the caked up dudes. and while I really like what they’re doing, the treatment works so much better when you’re familiar with the track that they chopped up. and this track right here is one that I ended up really liking off of miley’s record. she nudely catapulted herself into the spotlight and into the eyes of so many who never would have otherwise even taken a look. and that’s a feat. this song sounds best when the bass is turned higher than it should be, and the beats are giving you a massage and you’re annoying neighbors or others in traffic. this song sets me off. hype.
their/they’re/there – new blood this is a track that had such an incredible noodly positive vibe that I had to throw it on here and early. it gets a little bit of that “downerhood” somewhere halfway through, but what compilation of mine wouldn’t? evan weiss is one of the most constant and hardest working dudes in all of music right now, and the fact that he jumped into a project with mike kinsella got me so stoked. and their work shreds. I really like what they’re doing there. but this song is one of those moments that in the opening of it all gave me chills. june? September? that type of weather. not enormously hot or sweaty. sun and green. I do a weird dance in the beginning of this track that’s kind of like a guy in a tim & eric video, along with lionel Richie. and furthermore, anyone else hear protoman’s whistle up in here?
the war on drugs – red eyes and this track right here brings me to the night of that aforementioned pre/post summer day. a dream in open land. the reverb on the vocals gives it that spiderwebbing fractal vibe. and the synth rolls on. this whole record holds this same vibe. I remember driving home on 26 to 526 during my half hour commute. open roads, no one in the way, just cruising. this was the perfect soundtrack for just those rides.
…and you will know us by the trail of dead – all white this record was actually my favorite of that year when it came out. sort of outside my wheelhouse. OR SO I THOUGHT. when I sent it out to the homey jeff roche, he came out and called it exactly what it was: the stoner movielife. blew my mind, changed the whole sound. even if only for the better. please check out the record ‘worlds apart’. as I described it, it was a massively heady undertaking. really ambitious. soundtrack moments, weird dialogue. (what does the whispered voice even say in the beginning?) and all this from a band that I was turned onto by searching on a website for bands that I thought I would like if I liked ‘at the drive-in’. whoa. but yeah, there’s a lot going on even on this straight forward track. THIS particular track reminds me a lot of ‘the snake the cross the crown’ in the classic rock style that it employs. could have just been the moment and headspace I was in while listening to this, but there’s something about the brief story that this song tells that reminds me of jack kerouac’s poetry readings that used to be complete disasters. but hey, whatever gets you there.
fairweather – carte blanche favorite band. first track off of their first record in ten years. hearing this for the first time literally made me stand up out of the chair I was sitting at and start throwing ‘gang vocal hands’ without knowing any of the words. I was so happy. so happy. they still had it. and the full record is still a product that as a fan I can hold high with the rest of their library and I’m sure as a band they’re endlessly pleased with. the one thing about fairweather that was terrifying is that they did three PERFECT records. well. two full lengths and an ep. all EXACTLY what a fan of a band would want them to be. twenty four songs, all listenable, none skippable. nonstop. you are happy with that output for so long. and then they announce that they’re coming BACK and the possibility of anything short of something you’d love is something that made me brace for impact. no brace needed. this song also opens the crack into the portion of the mix cd that brings some aggression to the fold.
code orange – i am king so. heavy. the opening sounds like something out of a raging industrial act. but make no mistake the angle these guys are coming with. this is a hardcore band. and they are painting a pitch black canvas. I’m sure even mentioning it is probably something that they’re tired of hearing about, but the lead singer is a chick. and she gets a DOPE sound out of that voice of hers. full record is dark as fuck.
every time I die – el dorado I’m really mad that the lyrics in this song don’t say “my homeboy’s backing me.” because I could have sworn that out of the ENTIRE list of incredible buckley lyrics, THAT might have been my favorite. but no, the one imprinted on my wallet over and over and over [and over] remains the best (and most accurate). these guys always bring the party. and I think this might end up being my favorite record of the year when all’s said and done. but it’s got some stiff competition. this whiskey rock vibe is just so good and fucking nasty. but somewhere in the middle of this song, they break out a RIPPER of a riff. and it punishes. it’s so gnarly. it’s the sound of a city being overwhelmed. it’s what I want to walk down the aisle at my wedding to and then water slide INTO my funeral. SO WILD. it’s the best [thing I’ve ever heard]. also, this song is on the soundtrack for NHL 15. DONE[EEE].
my iron lung – in defense of drowning another band in something that I’ve heard referred to as ‘The Wave’. a lot of bands in that honest post-hardcore movement are really getting their stuff together and being noticed by the right people. it’s really getting out there. this is just a well performed song with its highs and lows illustrated and arranged in the perfect places at the perfect pace. that weird almost robot vocal part towards the beginning? chills, man. plus, the ending lyrics ‘I tried my best to let go’ are… whoa. you know.
st. lucia – elevate so now that we’re over being angry people, this song goes back to a place of bobby brown, prince, lionel richie (referenced twice now? hell yeah) levels of giant sunglasses and palm tree shirts and music videos with boats and cartoon alligators. it’s just catchy. writing this has to be something you do by mistake. or maybe something you work your entire career towards? I’m not sure. it sounds like it was written by inhabitants of ferngully. the hook is a whistler I keep coming back to.
the guru – barracuda hands these guys remind me so much of the more irreverent days of modest mouse. this song is definitely from a different mindset when bands like bloc party were writing songs to dance around house shows to. if I’m not mistaken, I believe the lyrics include simply stating MARIO PARTY. I’m not sure why or how one ends up at this decision. but it’s fine. the song is fun.
geographer – shell beach just another cool track that seems like it’s coming out of that brooklyn music scene from the early 2000s. the loop of that asian influenced hook throughout the track makes it. that’s all there is to it. it’s the spine and nerves of all of it. and the rest thrown on top of it is just a real set of marvelous direction. a lot of what this mix and what these songs ended up being to me are representations of summer. outside on the porch with a beer reading. or just being out in a new place, complete in some type of alienation and/or isolation. this track, though? such a good groove.
caribou – odessa had the opportunity to catch these guys opening up for radiohead last year. and while the radiohead set was one of the most memorable and interpretive experiences of my show-going life, this performance that these guys put together was a blast to watch them throw together. really minimal but lots of great loops, and a great warm up to get the body moving in just that small way that’s required for a show like that. the little sounds and echoes and audio droplets that trickle through really make this song a great headphone track.
wet – you’re the best stumbled upon this track completely by accident. but the entire ep was a really fantastic surprise. dark and female in a lot of great ways. honest and sad lyrics.
sky ferreira – everything is embarrassing this is that token BEING A GIRL IN THE 80s IS FUN track. though complete revivalist stuff brought sometime in 2012. I mean, honestly, I’m not a fan of sky, but after this track, I’m absolutely interested.
jungle – lucky I got what I want their record is so good. so fun. and I think their single’s video really went somewhere big in a viral way. listening to it as a whole, though, this song seemed like it had more of a voice that resonated with me. kind of that laid back funk. the layered vocals has something to it that’s got a real anthemic feel to it without getting massive in any scale. I knew that when I heard this track, I wanted this to be the end of the mix. one of those that sort of wraps everything up. that cooled out jam that tones it all down. but more and more new music kept rolling out and I really wanted to share so much more in this phase of the mix. one thing I’ve found about this mix is that it seems to have a completely different soul than so many of the past ones. it’s comprised almost entirely of a different beast. the falsetto lyrics on this track kind of give me the same vibe of watching that video of marvin gaye lounging on the couch and crooning a dope song and jamming with his band. the snaps? perfect.
grails – corridors of power rediscovered this track at a really interesting time that I was going through in august. I’d hit a really desperate point where I couldn’t focus any of my thought, any of my energy into a positive place or direction. I was letting myself get buried by work, by family, by people I loved. this came on during a rare shuffle with the ear buds on and walking and i couldn’t do what I usually do when I first truly connect with a song. I couldn’t check the artist, I couldn’t just the song title. I just had to let it be its own character, its own song, its own nameless entity. and during the time I heard this, I was following a bunch of really basic, really simple relaxation and breathing techniques suggested by the help of a friend. just really getting back to a zero place a few times a day. and this song delivered me there. it got me to the empty and swollen safe place that I needed to be in. when I finally went back to see what the name of the song was, it really blew me away. not that a title can make a work any better or worse, but it was completely appropriate that it’d come to that. slide.
four tet – angel echoes a song built on a loop that’s always really resonated with me. that chopped up voice reminds me of a beautiful car wreck in a dream. the terrible and angular lights of a glorious color. it builds in a subtle way. and I’ve gotten lost in this cycle several times, each time thinking that I hear different voices chiming in at different times. it definitely plays tricks on me. aural mirage.
phantogram – bad dreams the full album is so good. SO good. in fact, there’s a song I think I like more on that record that just didn’t fit on here as well as this one did. but this one’s chorus and vocal lines just filled what I loved about the theme of this mix so well. it’s a feeling of almost complete abandon. really gorgeous. and not overwhelming or overwrought. just a big feeling. I also really like the guitar tone they use in the second verse. very ‘xx’.
the fauns – 4am just a well written, fuzzy, cool vibe. shoe gaze, you know, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. I ended up importing this record I liked it so much. it reminded me of a band I hadn’t heard in YEARS called ‘last days of april’. just the subdued nature of it. that synth sawing through the background the entire time. the somber vocals. that fairly consistent revisiting of the color lavender. the title of this track, again, just a title, but it makes perfect sense. I think there must be something extraordinary that I never pinpointed in my late teens and early twenties, but it brings me back to a real nostalgia for that era, the snow on the ground, the age of ‘driving around’ with a hope that someone will call or text you. stupid and young anonymous love. ‘wonderful.’
portugal. the man – tommy it’s weird. this song translates to me in perfect, deeply resonating ways sometimes. and others, it just sort of feels like I put the wrong song on here. but going back to their initial album and hearing what I loved so so much about this band in this sound that they departed as early as the very next album. just so many weird ideas swirling around in the microscope lens like viruses without purpose. endless concepts. especially knowing the talent that these dudes were holstering when coming through with this record. the “chorus” (I guess?) around 1:28 comes in with no warning, just sort of fades in. but that part is probably what speaks so clearly to me. it comes back again, just like someone changing the record in a jukebox. that’s really what shows what portugal’s vibe is all about in their later records. from the point it reprises until the end. really a deep dive into the mind of john gourley. wild.
la dispute – woman (in mirror) this album, though. listened to it on repeat while driving home from Orangeburg, over an hour away. and I got lost, past midnight, drove down an unlit road in THE COUNTRY. eventually hit “End of Paved Road”. so fucking crazy. unreal experience. but yeah, I spent a lot of time with this record. it entranced me. parts of it feel a little silly. just not right. (see, if you can, ‘morning after snowstorm’. ugh. what a joke.) but there are two tracks, this one included, that I’d describe as perfect songs. the way that these tracks are built on a percussion track and build from there. almost simple like spoken word, a jam of a band really vibing it all out together.