Download the 2009 Mixtape, a damned good one if I do say so.
Deep in Kentucky, the Box Tops
Did you know that Kentucky is where the rock band Slint is from? No wonder this song about KY begins with a weird, truncated descending gtr head. Creepy, luscious arrangements underpin the teenage Alex Chilton’s shattering vocal performance.
More Than This, Roxy Music
A minor anthem of my last week-ten-days, Brian Ferry’s cooing just really takes me to the limit on this number. Have you ever been in love? Do you ever have the feeling you’ve been cheated? Well you should, because this track is not included with your download!
Never Stops, Deerhunter
This Microcastle album, it speaks to me. Very smarty-pants, Chairs Missing and Goo-style syncopated melody/drone/vamp bits, presided over by a smart, somber, would-be deviant preppy. Really good goddamn fun, if by ‘fun’ you mean staying alive in a vaguely bohemian, transient pocket that is almost as bombastic as your own last 2.5 years’ domesticity.
Jump in the Fire, Night Marchers
The Byrds-y/Television-y gtr intro deserves your attention, not least because it’s a perfect illustration of the ways in which the Byrds’ guitar sound influenced Television. However, Night Marchers are tougher than either of the latter groups: less flower-y than the Byrds and less Charles Baudelaire-y than TV. This kind of pop-garage-y guitar punk is the sort of thing that almost everybody does but that almost nobody does well. Like the Deerhunter, the Marchers’ lp should’ve merited high marks in the Bestuv 2008 discussion if I hadn’t been such a slow-roller as to’ve missed ‘em until mid-Feb of ’09.
Doves and Stones, Mark Olson and Gary Louris
And here we have one of our front-runners for bestuv 2009, a lazy, languid soliloquy so perfectly sung and strummed that hearing it feels like falling and landing at the same time. ‘I am going to see these boys in Portland this coming Monday Night! Who is in?
Sand, Hush Arbors
This is the music Cookie Monster, Eliot Gould and I listen to in the desert together (, where I’m the guy carrying the car door and sporadically rolling down the window!) ‘Glad to see the Hush Arbors campaign proceeding thoughtfully and sonically into even-higher thought/sound-echelons on this Ecstatic Peace release. I’d be hitting this even harder if I wasn’t still trying to eschew the sngr/sngwrtr vibe with limited success.
The Wrong Turning, Magnetic Morning
It never goes away, me and my sullen/morose/deadpan, gtr/vocs/synth-based shoegaze deposits! Absolutely “stately” Yamaha keys, here.
Gauze, Red Red Meat
Uhhhhh, I’ve always been a Califone fan, but shoulda known about this antecedent outfit a lot earlier. Grifters-y – that’s right, I said Grifters-y – bar/chord swagger, and Grifters-y mid-range slacker vocs. I need every single alb these guys made. Seriousy, this guy’s right there with Sam Prekop (and the Grifters guy, Shouse) in my ‘fave singers’ standings.
If Only It Were True, The Walkmen
Something like the Walkmen’s Blood on the Tracks, You & Me cheers up when you listen to its consituent tracks out of sequence, or just in individual helpings: ironically, this is testimony to the album’s overall cohesion as-sequenced. Anywho, “If Only It Were True” comes on as another, escalating declaration of faith in wrist-slitting when situated within the alb’s overall arc; however, it’s much less desolate on it’s own! Less desolate, but still wrenching! And Dylan-y. And Sinatra-y, almost. Serious balladry, seriously.
Go Easy, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
2:30 minutes of pop psychology platitudinous-ness grafted onto genuinely exciting gtr/drum/voc goings-on. ‘Brilliant, you could almost say, if some of the production wasn’t a bit, uh, like Counting Crows trying to conjure up an Evol swagger.
Slipped Dissolved and Loosed, Lambchop
Lambchop’s back and nimble, well-put-together as ever. Now Pass the Sun Drop.
Life Itself, Bruce Springsteen
One of the ones on Working On a Dream that’s less marred by the bad production. The bad production actually kinda helps this one, which is PG-13-y and dark and woulda worked well as a b-side for “Tunnel of Love,” which by the way is a great fuckin’ song.
Hair and DNA, Hot Snakes
I’m really excited about the “thing that happens” on this mixtape right around here, at which point things start to veer a little more punkward. Hot Snakes stem from the proud RFTC/Drive Like Jehu soil, and begat the Night Marchers and Obits, both of which are also featured on this here tape. Hot Snakes embody a rock/punk modality, like Silkworm, AC/DC and Crazy Horse do. They’re one of those bands that everybody thinks they sound like, but whom nobody can equal or even really approach. They are a band whose brand of rock is so self-evident that it could be mistaken for contrived or unsophisticated. Don’t make that mistake, readers.
We Don’t Think, We Know, Maritime
Beautiful, approachable jangle-emo from Davey Von ex-Cap’n Jazz-and-Promise-Ring. My first taste of this alb, and it shalln’t be my second-to-last.
The Speeding Train, The Van Pelt
I remember the first time this song was played live, and I remember how it emerged as the closer for every show thereafter. Certainly “the pure aesthetic” is no longer as captivating a philosophical location as it’d seemed to be when I was 17, but the song still resounds, a true classic of its moment.
Trigger Cut, Pavement
And then there’s this, one of my favorite songs EVUH, which will let speak for its well-spoken self.
The Guitar, Young Widows
Wow, a plainer piece of Louisville-for-life, post-Albini narrative has never been intoned. I am in need of a vinyl copy of this very sympathetic, very pissy Young Widows album, despite Gabba’s stated reservations.
Fuck This Band, McClusky
I’m long overdue to be diving into this band, and pleased as pie to find them as dour, driving and dissonant as their reputation suggested. This is sort of like if the guys in Arab Strap took a major Circus Lupus turn…that’s right, it’s that good.
Pine On, Obits
I am very, very excited for Obits just-now-released debut LP. ‘Hard to believe the what-goes-around-comes-around, perma-revolving-door, traveling-hands-of-time nature of indie rock has afforded us this successful fusion of Drive Like Jehu and Edsel alums!