Tactical Vagueness: 2015 covers mix 1

That’s what this is. And it goes like this:

  1. Sarah Blasko “Bye Bye Pride” (Go-Betweens)
  2. PaPaPaPadre “Andy’s Chest” (Lou Reed/Velvet Underground)
  3. Robert Wyatt “I’m a Believer” (Neil Diamond/The Monkees)
  4. New Fumes “I Talk to the Wind” (King Crimson)
  5. Tracey Thorn “Under the Ivy” (Kate Bush)
  6. Whiskeytown “Give Me Another Chance” (Big Star)
  7. Momus “Absolute Beginners” (David Bowie)
  8. David Mead “Save a Prayer” (Duran Duran)
  9. Father John Misty “Heart Shaped Box” (Nirvana)
  10. Willie Wisely with Kelly Jones “So Into You” (Atlanta Rhythm Section)
  11. Winterpills “Train Running Low on Soul Coal” (XTC)
  12. Ballet School “Sara” (Fleetwood Mac)
  13. Viet Cong “Dark Entries” (Bauhaus)
  14. Paige and the Thousand “Spin Your Stars” (Bye Bye Blackbirds)
  15. Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark “Sunday Morning” (Velvet Underground)
  16. Woodcraft Folk “English Scheme” (The Fall)
  17. Rachel Unthank & the Winterset “Sea Song” (Robert Wyatt)
  18. The Volebeats “Knowing Me Knowing You” (ABBA)
  19. The Jigsaw Seen “30 Century Man” (Scott Walker)
  20. Queens of the Stone Age “Christian Brothers” (Elliott Smith)
  21. Crystalized Movements “Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad” (Caleb)
  22. Lower Dens “Maneater” (Hall & Oates)
  23. Mike Viola “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (Tears for Fears)
  24. Gazelle Twin “The Eternal” (Joy Division)
  25. Andy Rehfeldt “Steely Sabbath (Paranoid)” (Black Sabbath…in the style of Steely Dan)

Again, the link is to a YouTube “video”…don’t bother watching, it’s just a still image for 100 minutes. Unless you really, really, really like the image.

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Submarine Whispering Gallery: Spring 2015 Songpile

The usual – anyone who’s actually reading this knows by now…the songpiles are stray tracks that have come my way in the last three months that aren’t on whole albums that I own. This batch includes the following:

  1. Anamai “Half”
  2. John Vanderslice “Midnight Blue”
  3. The Paperhead “Pictures of Her Demise”
  4. Flyying Colours “Feathers”
  5. She’s So Rad “Sewn Up Sunrise”
  6. Vinyl Williams “World Soul”
  7. Todd Rundgren/Emil Nikolaisen/Hans-Peter Lindstrøm “Put Your Arms Around Me”
  8. Zero 7 “Home” [Stereolab remix]
  9. Le Volume Courbe “House”
  10. The Living Statues “Blackout”
  11. T. Hardy Morris “My Me”
  12. Red Sea “Tandem Style”
  13. Summer Fiction “Perfume Paper”
  14. No Joy “Moon in My Mouth”
  15. Moon Honey “Boy Magic”
  16. Wren Kitz “Hall of Lame”
  17. Lower Dens “Johnssong”
  18. James Cook “Bees in November”
  19. Crosss “Dance Down”
  20. Two Sheds “I Am My Own”
  21. Johanna Warren “True Colors”
  22. Little Racer “Jack Knife”
  23. Tough Age “Warm Hair”
  24. The Flashing Lights “Friends You Learn to Hate”
  25. Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” (“acoustic” version)

This time, the playlist is a single YouTube “video” (image chosen from those that show up with an image search of the title) that segues the tracks. If anyone knows a quicker way than iMovie to add an image to a soundtrack (on Mac), let me know – uploading this thing took hours. Enjoy!

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Semantic Entropy Sink: songpile 1 for 2015

The usual…25 songs from who knows where: anywhere except albums I’ve purchased (probably).

  1. Beacon “Fault Lines”
  2. The Fin. “Night Time”
  3. Sam Cohen “Let the Mountain Come to You”
  4. American Wrestlers “I Can Do No Wrong”
  5. Lost Boy ? “Love You Only”
  6. Weed “Thousand Pounds”
  7. Gal Pals “Here’s to the Gals”
  8. Colours “You Were Mine”
  9. Young Guv “Crawling Back to You”
  10. Faith Healer “Canonized”
  11. The Nightcrawlers “A Basket of Flowers”
  12. Lewis & Clarke “The Silver Sea”
  13. Robert Darlington “I Need a Miracle”
  14. Steve Barton & the Oblivion Click “Kinks on Vinyl”
  15. Split Single “Glori”
  16. Thomas D’Arcy “All Over Your Face”
  17. LMNOP “Forever Through the Sun”
  18. Northern American “Elysian”
  19. Pinkshinyultrabeast “Glitter”
  20. Cheatahs “Sunne”
  21. Warehouse “Omission”
  22. Cotillon “Gloom”
  23. Etiquette “Brown and Blue”
  24. Grand Vapids “Secret Sin”
  25. The Zambonis “Andy Moog Meets Robert Moog”

Secret Chimp!

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Conscious Uncrumpling (Or, The Tracks of My Tiers)

Here’s what’s on my 2014 best albums playlist. The order is musically motivated, and it doesn’t reflect any sort of ranking.

So, Conscious Uncrumpling:

  1. Johnny Marr “Playland”
  2. Camper Van Beethoven “Dockweiler Beach”
  3. The New Pornographers “War on the East Coast”
  4. Tom Vek “Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)”
  5. Popstrangers “Country Kills”
  6. The Caribbean “The Chemistry Sisters”
  7. Morrissey “Istanbul”
  8. The New Mendicants “Cruel Annette”
  9. Ex Hex “You Fell Apart”
  10. Body Futures “When You Had a Jaw”
  11. The Both “Bedtime Stories”
  12. Neil Finn “In My Blood”
  13. The GOASTT “Animals”
  14. Owen Pallett “The Passions”
  15. Beck “Turn Away”
  16. Joe Henry “Every Sorrow”
  17. Peter Matthew Bauer “Latin American Ficciones”
  18. Outrageous Cherry “The Department of Ghosts”
  19. The Black Watch “Anne of Leaves”
  20. Split Single “Fragmented World”
  21. St. Vincent “Birth in Reverse”
  22. TV on the Radio “Happy Idiot”
  23. Interpol “Ancient Ways”
  24. Temples “The Guesser”
  25. Cymbals Eat Guitars “Warning”
  26. Spoon “Rainy Taxi”
  27. Three Minute Tease “Coffee That Makes the Man Go Mad”
  28. Angel Olsen “Hi-Five”
  29. Army Navy “Birdy”
  30. Eno – Hyde “Who Rings the Bell”

(The earlier post today details way more than you need to know about which records I liked in 2014.)

So have a listen.

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It’s the end of the year as I mix it (and I feel fine)

I’ve given up pretending that my limited sample size can say anything about whether a given year was a “good year” for music or otherwise. I am completely persuaded that every year is a good year unless you have extremely narrow taste, or if you simply happen not to hear the things that are probably out there which you’d like. There’s so much music out there, it’s difficult to imagine passing judgment on an entire year based on what you happen to have heard. I say this because, once again, I had a difficult time narrowing things down: some records were clearly outstanding, and some were clearly kinda meh…but a whole lot were in the top-middling area contending for second- or third-tier status.

Anyway:

Here are the very best of the year’s releases, in alphabetical order:

  • The Both The Both
  • Camper Van Beethoven El Camino Real
  • The Caribbean Moon Sickness
  • Ex Hex Rips
  • The GOASTT (Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger) (whatever they’re gonna call themselves) Midnight Sun
  • Johnny Marr Playland
  • The New Pornographers Brill Bruisers
  • Popstrangers Fortuna
  • Spoon They Want My Soul

Two of these bands are arguably the very best around in their genre: Spoon is probably the best rock band out there, and the New Pornographers the best pop band around. Both bands’ 2014 releases were slightly better than their prior (still very good) releases, too.

Next tier:

  • Peter Matthew Bauer Liberation!
  • Beck Morning Phase
  • Neil Finn Dizzy Heights
  • Interpol El Pintor
  • Morrissey World Peace Is None of Your Business
  • Owen Pallett In Conflict
  • St. Vincent St. Vincent
  • Temples Sun Structures
  • TV on the Radio Seeds
  • Scott Walker & Sunn O))) Soused

Several notable “comeback” releases here, from Beck, Interpol, Morrissey, and TV on the Radio…coming back either from absence or weaker recordings.

Still really quite good:

  • Army Navy The Wilderness Inside
  • The Black Watch Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy
  • Body Futures Brand New Silhouettes
  • Cymbals Eat Guitars Lose
  • Joe Henry Invisible Hour
  • The New Mendicants Into the Lime
  • Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire for No Witness
  • Outrageous Cherry Digital Age
  • Split Single Fragmented World
  • Three Minute Tease Bite the Hand
  • Tom Vek Luck

And still very good: The Autumn Defense Fifth, Peter Buck I Am Back to Blow Your Mind Once Again, Eno – Hyde Someday World and High Life, Field Report Marigolden, Doug Gillard Parade On, Guided by Voices Cool Planet, Sondre Lerche Please, Thurston Moore The Best Day, The Paul & John Inner Sunset, Peggy Sue Choir of Echoes, Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters Lullaby and…the Ceaseless Roar, The Raveonettes Pe’ahi, School of Language Old Fears, Devon Williams Gilding the Lily, Wussy Attica.

And very good but with some reservations: Anton Barbeau Distortion Schlager, The Mike Benign Compulsion Here’s How It Works, Hospitality Trouble, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard Here Be Monsters, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks Wig Out at Jagbags, Medicine Home Everywhere, Bob Mould Beauty & Ruin, Pixies Indie Cindy, The Proper Ornaments Wooden Head, Teach Me Equals Knives in the Hope Chest, Sharon Van Etten Are We There.

Several good tracks but falling a bit short: Blonde Redhead Barragán, Emperor X The Orlando Sentinel, Literature Chorus, Maximo Park Too Much Information, Nømads Free My Animal, Real Estate Atlas, Sloan Commonwealth, Statuesque All Your Requiem Requirements, The Fassbinders Earthworm, Unicycle Loves You The Dead Age.

Several good tracks but either a handful of lame tracks or just decent without having many thrills…: Robyn Hitchcock The Man Upstairs, Laetitia Sadier Something Shines, Dean Wareham Dean Wareham, Wye Oak Shriek, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. (I dunno…I’m not quite persuaded by the synth-heavy sound of that Wye Oak record…) And: S. Carey Range of Light, Cibo Matto Hotel Valentine, Dum Dum Girls Too True, Guided by Voices Motivational Jumpsuit, Graham Lewis All Over, Liars Mess, Merchandise After the End, Nothing Guilty of Everything, The Baseball Project 3rd (anyone else think this one really should have been called I Don’t Know?), Tweedy Sukierae.

A handful of good to excellent EPs: Anton Barbeau vs. The Corner Laughers A Battle to the Birth, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard Mars EP, School of Language More Fears, Self Super Fake Nice, Speedy Ortiz Real Hair, Vinyl Williams Trance Zen Dental Spa, The Zags Small Bags.

There were a number of records that I acquired too late in the year to really form an opinion of: Andrew Bird Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of…, The Flaming Lips et al. With a Little Help from My Fwends, Parquet Courts Content Nausea and Sunbathing Animals, Philip Selway Weatherhouse (although I can say this is more interesting than his first release), Paul Smith & Peter Brewis Frozen by Sight, Zammuto Anchor (also better than his first one).

Next…the actual playlist of selections from the top titles…

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The Knuckle of the Business: 2014 covers mix 2

People doing things with other people’s songs. (As always, these are best listened to in order and with zero gap between tracks.)

  1. The Mommyheads “Moisture” (Residents cover): Who knew the Residents had a New Orleans sort of thing going on?
  2. Low “I’m on Fire” (Bruce Springsteen cover)
  3. Dawn Landes “More Than This” (Roxy Music cover)
  4. JEFF the Brotherhood “Come in Alone” (My Bloody Valentine cover)
  5. Tombs “‘Heroes'” (David Bowie cover)
  6. Sugar “Dum Dum Boys” (Iggy Pop cover)
  7. Beck “Wah-Wah” (George Harrison cover)
  8. Tony Rivers and the Castaways “Girl Don’t Tell Me” (Beach Boys cover): You’re probably thinking, yep, sounds like a Beach Boys song. But if you don’t know the original, you wouldn’t know that the Beach Boys’ version sounds like a Beatles cover…
  9. Preoccupied Pipers “Smothered in Hugs” (Guided by Voices cover)
  10. Telekinesis “Strange Powers” (Magnetic Fields cover)
  11. Tashaki Miyaki “The Beautiful Ones” (Prince cover)
  12. +4dB “Rook” (XTC cover)
  13. Robyn Hitchcock “The Ghost in You” (Psychedelic Furs cover)
  14. Lydia Loveless “The Killing Moon” (Echo & the Bunnymen cover)
  15. Elvis Costello “Beginning to See the Light” (Velvet Underground cover)
  16. 16 Horsepower “Bad Moon Risin'” (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
  17. Go Home Productions (Mark Vidler) “My Paperback Sharona” (Beatles/The Knack mashup/cover)
  18. Robin Zander & Rick Nielsen “Jet” (Paul McCartney & Wings cover)
  19. Wilco “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” (Steely Dan cover)
  20. Ryan Adams “Wharf Rat” (Grateful Dead cover)
  21. Amy Anelle & the Shishi Valley Boys “Friends” (Led Zeppelin cover)
  22. Peter Gabriel “Listening Wind” (Talking Heads cover)
  23. Big Daddy “Once in a Lifetime” (Talking Heads cover)
  24. My Darling Clementine “It’s All Too Much” (Beatles cover)
  25. Temples “Waterloo Sunset” (Kinks cover)

The knucklebone’s linked to the fingerbone…

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Winter Songpile 2014: The Azimuth Error of Revolution

Right…’ere it is again. A little number we call…25 stray tracks that have come my way during the winter of 2014 that aren’t on albums I own (yet). Or otherwise fit in with entirely arbitrary rules of my own making. The list:

  1. Nude Beach “I Can’t Keep the Tears from Falling”
  2. Talk in Tongues “Still Don’t Seem to Care”
  3. Jorge Elbrose “Called to Ring”
  4. Panda Bear “Mr. Noah”
  5. St. Vincent “Sparrow” [b-side]
  6. Sabina “Toujours”
  7. Nots “Reactor”
  8. Drums “Magic Mountain”
  9. Stephen Doster “Arizona”
  10. N. Lannon “Dreamers”
  11. Cleopatra Degher “California Forest Fire”
  12. Steve Gunn “Milly’s Garden”
  13. You Am I “Mr. Milk”
  14. Eyelids “Forget About Tomorrow”
  15. Needle Points “Black Hurricane”
  16. Invisible Familiars “Heavenly All”
  17. Sam Cohen “Kepler 62″
  18. Valise “Don’t Forget Me”
  19. Johnny Marr “The It-Switch” [b-side]
  20. Happy Diving “Weird Dream”
  21. Sugar Candy Mountain “Soak Up the City”
  22. Sporting Life “Tsunami”
  23. David Bowie “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)”
  24. John Cale “If You Were Still Around (2014)”
  25. Dan Bern “Talkin’ Woody, Bob, Bruce & Dan Blues”

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