I tried my hand at Madmadcat's decade mixtape challenge: 20 songs, 2 songs from each year, with no band duplicates. I tried to go for a mix with a decent flow and I think I succeeded somewhat. Naturally, it was difficult to pick just 20 songs to represent the past 10 years, but that is part of the fun. And really, it's in no way representative of the entire decade. Get the download link below. You can peruse the tracklist while you wait for the file and clown (or praise) me in the comments.

1. Elliott Smith - Everything Reminds Me of Her (2000)
2. PJ Harvey - This Is Love (2000)
3. Curve - Gift (2001)
4. The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl (2001)
5. Neko Case - I Wish I Was The Moon (2002)
6. Tom Waits - Alice (2002)
7. PUFFY - Planet Tokyo (2003)
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (2003)
9. Lali Puna - Left Handed (2004)
10. Ted Leo / Pharmacists - Me and Mia (2004)
11. Kate Bush - How To Be Invisible (2005)
12. The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno (2005)
13. Asobi Seksu - New Years (2006)
14. El Perro Del Mar - God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get) (2006)
15. Grinderman - No Pussy Blues (2007)
16. Kaela Kimura - Ground Control (2007)
17. Perfume - Puppy Love (2008)
18. Portishead - Machine Gun (2008)
19. Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart (2009)
20. Sweet Trip - Your World Is Eternally Complete (2009)

>>zip file<<

Favorite films of 2009

Because we all like lists of some sort, these are my favorite films of the past year. Keep in mind these aren't really in any order, and they are basically out of what I've seen. I haven't seen Avatar, Up In The Air, Precious or anything else that people are going crazy about. So there.

In case the images fail, again:
  • Black Dynamite
  • District 9
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • A Serious Man
  • Thirst
  • Up
  • The Road
  • Zombieland
  • Moon

Refrain from breaking my heart

I'm really liking Theoretical Girl's cover of Erasure's A Little Respect. The sleigh bells are a nice touch. I fucking love sleigh bells, maybe even more than handclaps. In any case, she posted this track on her blog as part of her Advent Calendar series. If I were you, I'd head over there and download this, and everything else. There are some really cool tracks available...for free!

Theoretical Girl > A Little Respect

And while we're at it, why don't we show a little respect to the classic original track? See what I did there?

Erasure > A Little Respect


Children's Christmas Song

This little gem is from the Supremes' Christmas album, pictured above. The backing vocals feature Diana Ross' little brother, Chico, and Berry Gordy's children, Joy, Berry, and Terry. Diana name checks them all in the song, which is pretty cool. I wanna be immortalized in a Supremes song. Merry Christmas, peeps.

The Supremes > Children's Christmas Song


You're gonna tell me sweet things

One of my all-time favorite bands. Debbie Harry is all class. This is a Buddy Holly cover from Parallel Lines, which is arguably their best album. I think I've said it before, but I could go with either Parallel Lines, or Eat To The Beat. Both of those albums, start to finish, are nearly flawless to my ears. Just for fun, I'm including the Buddy Holly track, as well.

Blondie > I'm Gonna Love You Too

Buddy Holly > I'm Gonna Love You Too

Monica Bellucci

Sweet Trip > Monica Bellucci


No one makes me feel the way you do

Say hello to the magical, Kate Bush. I love the sweet and lilting feel of this track, it's a perfect little gem. Songs like this are the reason that b-sides were invented.

Home For Christmas is a b-side from the Rubberband Girl single, which was taken from her 1993 album, The Red Shoes.

Kate Bush > Home For Christmas

And the bells were ringing out

The classic. RIP Kirsty MacColl.

Repost: I will be hating you for Christmas

This one is a repost from last year. It's a holiday fave, what can I say?

Remember that feeling of getting dumped right before Christmas? I'm sure we have all been there. This song sums up that feeling.

I love this:

There's gotta be a better way to deal with the pain
There's gotta be a better way to deal with the hate

Wish that I could find some way to make you go away
Wish that I could have a drink and make you fade

It's so perfect.

Check this out on Everclear's So Much For The Afterglow album. It's an unlisted track at the end of the album, so keep listening after you think the last song is done.

Everclear > Hating You For Christmas


That was the worst Christmas ever

A long time ago, I used to work at the Mervyn's at Serramonte Shopping Mall in Daly City. This one particular Christmas eve, we closed up the store and we got off at 5 or 6, I think. There was an El Torito (Mexican restaurant slash bar) across the parking lot, so a few of us decided to head there for drinks.

About 5 Long Islands later, the bar is closing and this guy, Vince, suggest we all go to his place for beers. And so we go. Vince has a case of beer through which we plow. We drank it up fast. Then, Vince produces a bottle of Herradura, which we all proceed to finish. It's something like 2am and I remember being absolutely gone. The doorbell rings, and a few more people join the party. Somebody brought special brownies, but I didn't know they were special. I hungrily wolf a couple of them down.

Bad move.

I pass out on Vince's couch around 3 or 3.30 in the morning. Soon enough, 6.30 am arrives and Vince is waking me up. "Dude, you gotta get outta here, my parents are gonna be home soon", he says. Thick cobwebs in my brain and my head spinning, I somehow manage to drive home. I couldn't even make it upstairs to my bedroom, I pass out on the couch.

Less than an hour later, my little brothers, ages 6 and 7, come galloping down the stairs for the opening of the Christmas presents. All excited, they wake me up and I'm somehow able to play it straight in front of everyone. After the presents are done and everyone else is occupied, I crawl upstairs to my bed and sleep until dinner time.

Sufjan Stevens > That Was The Worst Christmas Ever


Come On Santa

You're sitting in a booth in an old greasy spoon, eyes staring into the eternal darkness of the coffee that sits before you. It's Christmas eve and there's a sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree by the door. There's one other patron, a man sitting at the counter, wearing a faded baseball cap, ignoring his plate of sausage and eggs while he drinks from a flask of Wild Turkey that he intermittently pulls from his shirt pocket.

She walks through the doorway and the open doors momentarily allow the wind to announce her presence. She slowly drifts to your booth and the music starts as if it were cued for this moment. For a second she's standing there, staring down at you with big blue eyes shrink-wrapped in tears, and it feels like forever. You give a barely perceptible nod and start to get up. As your frame unfolds, she takes your hand and leads you for a few steps and then stops. She whirls in slow motion to face you and takes a hold of your hips, pulls you close and you both begin to slowly sway to the music. Her arms snake their way up and drape themselves around your neck, her head resting on your shoulders while she breathes sighs into your ears. "Come on, Santa..."

The Raveonettes > Come On Santa


Timing is Everything

I've been working diligently on my 2009 mix. It's a little bit longer than I initially thought it might be, but oh well, this is the stuff I liked. 2009 has been a pretty good year, even if I was attending less gigs. One of the more memorable events of 2009 is illustrated in the images below.

It was also a pretty good year for music. I tried to keep my tracklist low, but it slid up to 30 and I couldn't figure out what to cut. Therefore, I'm just gonna post the whole thing in its entire glory. Some of the songs are kinda long (5 tracks at 7 mins or more) and the entire mix clocks in around 2 hours and 15 minutes. But as I mentioned, this is the stuff I liked, for better or for worse. Check it out, maybe you'll like it. Burn an mp3 disc or stick it on your media player of choice. Scope the tracklist below, and download it here if it suits your fancy. Props to my buddy, @MiriamIsntFunny, from twitter who inspired the mix title when I couldn't come up with a thing.

Timing is Everything

1. The Twilight Sad - I Became a Prostitute
2. Fleeting Joys - You Are The Darkness
3. The Raveonettes - Bang!
4. Afternoon Naps - Seasons May Change
5. Camera Obscura - French Navy
6. The Postmarks - Go Jetsetter
7. Phoenix - Love Like a Sunset
8. Perfume - edge (triangle mix)
9. Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
10. Riceboy Sleeps - Daniell In The Sea
11. Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard - One Fast Move Or I'm Gone
12. Neko Case - I'm An Animal
13. Mayer Hawthorne - Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'
14. Kleerup - Until We Bleed (With Lykke Li)
15. Asobi Seksu - Sunshower
16. Bat For Lashes - Pearl's Dream
17. El Perro Del Mar - Gotta Get Smart
18. The xx - Shelter
19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Little Shadow
20. Sparklehorse & Fennesz - Goodnight Sweetheart
21. Bon Iver & St. Vincent - Roslyn
22. Summer Camp - Ghost Train
23. Sparklehorse & Danger Mouse - The Man Who Played God (feat. Suzanne Vega)
24. Fuck Buttons - The Lisbon Maru
25. Sweet Trip - Your World is Eternally Complete
26. I Was A King - Step Aside
27. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - This Love Is Fucking Right
28. St. Vincent - Marrow
29. Them Crooked Vultures - New Fang
30. ISIS - Stone To Wake A Serpent


Decadeology: Listening too long to one song!

I really like all of the New Pornographers' output, you really cannot go wrong if you were to choose only one of their albums to spin. That being said, I think Twin Cinema is a really, really great power pop album. For me, Sing Me Spanish Techno is the focal point of that album. It's an incredibly catchy, driving pop song with great singalong-ability. If you have heard the song, then chances are you know what I'm talking about (and possibly agree with me). If you haven't heard it, I honestly think you're missing out and you can give it a chance here.

The New Pornographers > Sing Me Spanish Techno

Pop Molecule

Just as an FYI, I've been spending a bit of time over at Pop Molecule. It's a collaborative blog that arose out of a random conversation. Stop by, drop us a line and add us to your RSS reader. It's a pretty cool group of peeps. It's mostly a stuff-we-like type of blog, but a couple mixes have already been posted that I think will be worth your time. Check it out.



Decadeology: I must above all things love myself

Grinderman's No Pussy Blues starts off with a tapping typewriter and the nervous click of a hi-hat, while a bass drum keeps time like a heartbeat. It reminds me of someone sitting at a table, drumming their fingers while waiting for bad news. The voice of Nick Cave comes in to tell the tale of how he's aged and how he's not taking it so well. He meets a girl at a gig and, try as he might, he can't seem to maneuver her into the sack. He lets out his pent-up frustration and shouts out "DAMN!" as the song explodes into a screeching fury of guitars, banging drums and crashing cymbals. This song takes everything down to base levels. Drums, guitars and bass. Dude just wants to get laid, is that so wrong? Easily one of my favorite songs and albums of the past decade. Not to mention it was an absolute treat to see them live at such a small venue.

Grinderman > No Pussy Blues


You can't deny

Just listening to the new Sweet Trip album, You Will Never Know Why, and my jaw is on the floor. Loved it so much I just ordered it from the Darla site. Healthy doses of shoegaze, c86, electronica and Stereolab are all over this wonderful album. So nice to have a late entry to fave albums of 09 lists, and perhaps even those decade lists upon which we are all working so hard. This track, Pretending, has really caught my ear. I've been repeating it quite a bit so far.

Sweet Trip > Pretending


Decadeology: Bleed you dry

I only recently came across the Twilight Sad, perhaps around summertime. I had liked what I heard from Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters, and then I read that a new album (Forget The Night Ahead) was gonna drop this fall. The first single, I Became A Prostitute, hit sometime in August; it completely blew me away and quickly became a favorite. I love the noise, I love the singer's thick Scottish accent and I love the darkness they conjure up. This song is devastating.

The Twilight Sad > I Became A Prostitute


Decadeology: It's the gift that you're given

Curve's Gift details a controlling relationship. Toni Halliday's voice is as cool as ice as she tells her lover to "do it to please me". The "gift" in the song is the one that she gives to him. She is basically the gift, and she expects him to act accordingly. Do it to please her. I love this song because it's about some totally dysfunctional relationship (as most Curve songs seem to be), to which I can relate. Musically, the song walks in-between electronica and rock. The guitars are fiery, the beats are aggressive and the vocals are coolly detached. I think you might be able to describe a lot of their songs as such. This one is one of my favorites in their catalog, and also of this decade.

Curve > Gift


Decadeology: I close my eyes and I let go

Kaela Kimura's Ground Control is ridiculously catchy. In a perfect world, this would be a worldwide #1 hit. It's the sassiest song of the summer you've ever heard. I almost wish she sang it in Japanese, but it's so much easier to sing along with in English. I love the flow of the song, it's so seamless and perfect. I also love the "HEY!". To me, it's just a song about how someone can send you into orbit and also be your tether to the real world. It never sounded like so much fun. Easily one of my faves of the decade.

Kaela Kimura > Ground Control


Decadeology: Go and come back

A slightly less well known band, Fleeting Joys were recommended to me by a friend. We both share a love for shoegaze and noise pop, he mentioned to me that the Fleeting Joys' album, Despondent Transporter, was reminiscent of Loveless era My Bloody Valentine, which is right up my proverbial alley.

This song, Go and Come Back, is gorgeous. It's like floating on a cloud, while passing in and out of brief thunderstorms. I love the wispy, ethereal vocals; the noisy and vibrating guitars. Yeah, it's a lot like MBV, but but who cares when it sounds this good. They just come off as a band who loves this particular genre and they do it well. Alternatively, it could be that I love this sound so much that I'm probably being a bit forgiving, but hey, it sounds good to me.

Fleeting Joys > Go and Come Back


Decadeology: You gotta give to get

I wasn't very impressed with my first encounter with El Perro Del Mar. It was the song, Candy, which is actually still one of my least favorite EPDM songs. I generally like sad, slow songs but this one was just too mopey, even for me. My opinion of her changed once I heard God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get). God Knows is like a slice of heavenly pop. The horns and strings give the song a sweet and elegant feel while she repeats her mantra. I know some people who have complained that her lyrics are too simplistic and repetitive, but I feel that she's using her words to evoke a feeling rather than try to create a lyrical masterpiece. This especially shows on her first album. I felt the second album, From The Valley To The Stars, wasn't nearly as strong but that's a whole other post.

Back to the song, I love how the sad, guilt-ridden lyrics that are wrapped up inside this gorgeous pop song. Musically, it's a bouncy number that harkens back to 60s girl pop, and maybe even a little ballroom style in the middle section. Easily one of my faves from this past decade, I love this song. The video is very sweet, as well.

El Perro Del Mar > God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)


Decadeology: Welcome to my life, tattoo

One of the coolest albums of the past decade is Petra Haden's 2005 a cappella album cover of The Who Sell Out, titled Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out. The album sounds like it's borne out of joy or simply, an unabashed love. It's fresh, inspired and thoroughly enjoyable, whether you are familiar with The Who's original album or not. Even the little commercial bits are done with a with a straight face. It's a celebration of art while creating something entirely new at the same time. And I haven't even gotten to her voice yet. You know how you hum different parts (other than the vocals) of a jingle or some song. She does it and makes it sound wonderful. And on top of that, her voice is absolutely lovely. Check out Tattoo, which probably is my favorite song on either album. After you're done with that, do yourself a favor and go get this album.

Petra Haden > Tattoo


Decadeology: I Wish I Was The Moon

In 2002, Ben was obsessing over the then-new Neko Case album, Blacklisted. He burned a copy for me to check out and, to be honest, it really didn't do much for me and I kinda just put it away with little fanfare. A couple months later, Neko was playing and Ben happened to have an extra ticket, so I went along. I probably figured at the least, it's a night out and I could have a few drinks or whatever...no biggie. I think we saw her at the always great Bimbo's 365 Club. Let me tell you, I was blown away, and I walked out of that show a fan.

Hearing her songs live made so much sense to me, I totally connected with them. The power of her voice really shines in a live setting. I think the best description I've read characterized her voice as "golden, burnt honey", which someone posted on a message board I used to frequent. I was also charmed by Ms. Case's sense of humor. You've got to see her if you haven't already, her between-song banter is quite amusing. In the days after that gig, I was able to listen to that burned disc with a new enthusiasm and ended up collecting her other works. So I have Ben to thank for introducing me to Neko Case, as well as Mogwai. I Wish I Was The Moon is probably my favorite song from Blacklisted, it's gorgeousness on a stick and definitely one of my favorite songs of the past decade.

Neko Case > I Wish I Was The Moon


Decadeology: Stop coming to my house

2003, I went to see Mogwai with Ben. Ben was already a big fan and had been listening to them for some years, and he persuaded me to check out this show. I had only heard of the band, but not the music. Basically, I went in cold to the gig. So we went, it was at Bimbo's 365 Club, and I emerged at the end a Mogwai fan. Loved the whole quiet/loud/quiet thing. There were moments at that show where you could hear mice scurrying about, or pins dropping. Other times, you might have been wishing you'd brought earplugs. You get the picture. Seriously, I had never seen or heard anything like it at that point in my life. Since then, I've seen them live nearly every time they've come through San Francisco. My favorite gigs being the aforementioned Bimbo's show, and the time they played Coachella in 04. That Coachella gig, they closed their set with 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong, and it was sublime.

On my way out of the show, I picked up Happy Songs for Happy People, which was the latest Mogwai disc at the time (eventually, I worked my way backwards and collected everything I could of their discography).
Happy Songs became part of my soundtrack to that year, I listened to it constantly. Stop Coming To My House is one of my favorite tracks on the album (and I love the title). Understated. Devastating. Beautiful.

Mogwai > Stop Coming To My House


Decadeology: This is really happening

To me, Radiohead's Idioteque is the sound of paranoia, or the progression of insanity. With its eerie, metallic, hollow, and echoing soundscape, it captures the feeling of the end of the world or someone on the edge of completely losing their mind. It reminds me of everyone scrambling to make sure their systems were Y2K compliant. It reminds me of Bush's Florida election recount. Even though the song predates the 9/11 attacks, it still makes me think of it. Maybe Idioteque was a harbinger of things to come, or maybe it's me who is paranoid. Whatever the case is, I feel that this is one of the songs that completely expresses the detachment, fear and paranoia of this decade; perhaps even the 21st century.

Radiohead > Idioteque


There's a million ways to go

Last night, I rewatched Harold & Maude. Thing is, though, that the last time I saw it, I might have been in my early teens. Yeah, that was a long time ago. So last night's viewing was almost like watching it for the first time, and it was great. I especially liked the Cat Stevens soundtrack. The scene where Maude sings If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out and coaxes Harold to join in was very cool. The song is really pretty and uplifting, but not in a cheesy or schmaltzy way. Great movie, great soundtrack. Definitely check it out if you haven't already.

Cat Stevens > If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out


Decadeology: Candy says

When I first heard about Asobi Seksu in 2004, it was all the buzzwords that got me interested in them; shoegaze, dream pop, noise pop, swirling guitars, japanese girl singer. You know, stuff like that. I picked up their self-titled debut album and was underwhelmed, to say the least. I caught fleeting glimpses of something beautiful (Sooner, I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me) but, despite the great cover image, that album came off as unfinished or incomplete. I ended up putting it on the shelf and forgetting about it.

Fast forward to the spring of 2006, I had read somewhere that Asobi Seksu were about to drop a new album, Citrus. I was curious, but it wasn't something I was eagerly awaiting. A few weeks later, I lazily clicked on a preview of one of the new tracks, New Years. Holy shit, I was blown away. I think I put it on a mix for someone with a similar taste for such things (Jen R?), and she was enthralled as well.

Everything is there; crystal clear production, towering walls of fuzzy guitars, hooks for days, driving bass-lines, ethereal vocals (in Japanese as well as English). It is the perfect combination, and all the songs are really great. I swear, once I finally got a hold of a copy, I pretty much listened to it at least once a day for a year. I still enjoy listening to it and I still get chills at certain parts of certain songs. I totally have no problem recommending it to anyone.

For this, I'm tempted to post my favorite, Red Sea. Or maybe the unabashedly My Bloody Valentine inspired, Pink Cloud Tracing Paper. Or the haunting and soaring, Thursday. Any of those would be worth a listen. However, I'm going to drop New Years here, as it was the first song from Citrus that I heard. Honestly, though, there's not a bad track on this album. Only three years later, I daresay it's a classic. Seriously, I'll be rockin' this til I die.

Asobi Seksu > New Years


Decadeology: It's the place you want to be

Another post about my favorite songs of the decade. It was the summer of 2003, I was listening to Jellyfish's Spilt Milk, which is one of my all time favorite albums, and a great summer album, to boot. I found myself wondering what was going on with the Jellyfish guys, since they had split up in 1994, about a year after the release of Spilt Milk. I remember finding a page that said Andy Sturmer was writing and producing for a Japanese pop group called Puffy (known as Puffy AmiYumi here in the states). Intrigued, I looked for something to download so I could check it out.

After a few false starts, I finally obtained a full copy of Nice., which was the latest release, and I was finally able to click the play button. The opening track, Planet Tokyo, blindsided me the way that Scott Stevens destroyed Eric Lindros. Seriously.

This album checked a bunch of different genres, but it didn't sound like cheesy ripoff. It sounded more like a joyous celebration of all things pop. The production was airtight and pristine. The voices of Ami and Yumi melded together in harmony so perfectly, you'd never guess that it was a talent contest that brought them together. Listening to Nice. is like being on a party bus made of cotton candy. If you took Nice. along with you on a fishing trip, you'd catch more fish than you could carry home because this album has hooks for days. Okay, that was really bad, but I think you get the point.

This was the album that got me hooked into Jpop. Like the lyrics in Planet Tokyo said, "Planet Tokyo, it's the place you want to be, tonight." Yeah, I wanted to be there.

Puffy AmiYumi > Planet Tokyo


Decadeology: A veil of diamond dust

So my friend, Madcat, came up with the idea of making an end-of-decade mix. The rule being that you can have only 20 tracks, two per year. It'll be tough leaving stuff out, but it'll be interesting to see what makes the final cut. Just for fun, I will try posting some of my candidates here and, eventually, posting the final tracklist. Here is one of my candidates.

One of the biggest releases in the past ten years, for me, was Kate Bush's Aerial. I fell in love with her when I first came across her in the mid-eighties. Hounds of Love had just been released and I quickly grabbed her previous releases. In 1993, she put out The Red Shoes and I have to confess that I was disappointed. So I hoped it was just a minor misstep, even Kate Bush can make a mistake, and waited for the next album. And I waited and waited. Soon enough, it seemed like she had disappeared from music altogether. There would be whispers and rumours of a new album every now and then, but nothing. In the summer of 2005, another rumor popped up. Then, there was actually a single, and a shiny new website! The anticipation was killing me.

I picked up Aerial one day in early November and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It's difficult to quantify whether it was worth a twelve year wait or not (how would you really measure that?), but the fact that it was a solid album helped lessen the sting a bit. I'd say that
Nocturn is probably my favorite song on the album. It's the second to last track on the album and, to me, the preceding songs are like the steps that lead up to the pedestal of Nocturn. This song is the centerpiece of the album. The way it moves, it's very sensual. Not to mention the lyrics, running around on a beach naked, just before dawn. She's very good at painting pictures with her words.

I actually wrote a review of the album that was published in a very small fanzine, I think I'll post that, hopefully, this weekend. Until then, listen to this.

Kate Bush > Nocturn


Við spilum endalaust

I found this over at La Blogotheque. Apparently, these guys at La Blogotheque ask random bands to play in random places. They have a bunch of very cool vids from very cool bands. I really dig this one. It's Sigur Ros playing in a cafe in France. The couple at the beginning of the video crack me up. They're like, "Icelandic musicians? Okay, we have to leave now." Very amusing.

Sigur Ros > Við spilum endalaust

Sigur Ros - Við spilum endalaust - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


Give me these moments back

RIP John Hughes. His movies were jam-packed with musical moments. Probably the scene that really connected with me was in She's Having A Baby, when Elizabeth McGovern's character was having complications with her pregnancy and Kevin Bacon's character was understandably upset and slowly losing it in the hospital. I remember sitting in the theater, watching the scene unfold. The music came on and I was like "Wait a second...no way!". I had to stay to the end to check the credits, and sure enough it was a new Kate Bush song. OMG I was so stoked, I had to go out and get the soundtrack the very next day. That song, This Woman's Work, is one of my all time favorite Kate tracks. Check the scene here.

She's Having A Baby probably wasn't my favorite Hughes flick, but for me, that was definitely one of the best musical interludes in his films. As for movies, I might actually like Planes Trains and Automobiles best. Steve Martin and John Candy really worked well together, I thought. And the scene where Steve Martin is yelling at the car-rental lady is absolutely classic.

Kate Bush > This Woman's Work


My Theme Song

I've been meaning to post this, but just haven't gotten around to it. I didn't really know any Warren Zevon outside of Werewolves of London and the album he made with the R.E.M. guys, Hindu Love Gods. Thanks to Nora for the mix she made for me.

Warren Zevon > Splendid Isolation


Rhyme The Macaroni Well

I'm totally obsessed with this track. Generally, I'm not a fan of mashups, but I really dig this. It's Perfume's Macaroni vs. the Beastie Boys' Rhyme The Rhyme Well. I even found an mp3 of it. Flawless victory!


Honesty is not always the best policy

Chatting with a friend last week, and the subject of Depeche Mode came up. I was never a huge fan, but I did like whatever singles I heard. I have to say, however, that Violator is one awesome album. Every track on there is outstanding, but I'd have to say my favorite is Policy of Truth. You can hear the coolly detached tsk-tsk of Dave Gahan's voice as he sings "You will always wonder how it could have been if you'd only lied", proving once again that honesty is not always the best policy. Anyone that tells you otherwise is full of shit.

Depeche Mode > Policy of Truth



Remember the mid/late 90s, when people were into that swing phase? Bands like the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Royal Crown Revue, Cherry Poppin Daddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were all over the place. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were in that movie, Swingers. One of the bands I actually liked was the Squirrel Nut Zippers. The reason I'm thinking of this is that the SNZ song, Hell, popped into my head today. So weird. I used to like this a lot and I haven't heard it in ages. My favorite part is where the singer spells out the word 'damnation' (D and the A and the M and the N, A and the T and the I-O-N). I even remember an episode of the X-Files where Fox Mulder walks into a morgue to check on an autopsy. The attendant down there is listening to this song, and (I think) Mulder actually mentions the band's name on the show. I even saw the Squirrel Nut Zippers live one time, but it was a complete shamble. It was the last night of their tour, and they were so visibly tired and out of it that the music sadly fell flat. Oh well, whaddya gonna do?

Listening to this song again, I can say that I still like it. The rest of the album sounds good as well. Kind of a nice trip back, I'm glad the song somehow found its way into my brain on my dreary bus ride home.

Squirrel Nut Zippers > Hell

New Paths...

I just came across this video while searching out Mogwai clips. The editing is perfect, but the subject matter is incredibly heartbreaking. According to the Youtube blurb, the video portion is "
footage from a documentary about one of the largest modern crime inflicted against humanity, namely Hiroshima". New Paths To Helicon Pt 1 is one of my favorite Mogwai tracks, it's very emotional and compelling to my ears. That plus the tragic imagery of Hiroshima really did in my head. Brilliant video, I almost wish I had not seen it.


If you can just get your mind together

I just saw this cartoon and it made me laugh a lot for some retarded reason (gimme a break, it's late at night). Then, it reminded me of the Belly cover version, and I found this video which I'd never seen before. Really cool, except...WTF is the bass player wearing? She looks like some sorta Flashdance reject or something. Hilarious.

Belly > Are You Experienced?


If Cupid's got a gun, then he's shooting

I like this song quite a bit. The lyrics sound really tortured, I wonder if Lykke Li wrote them. She sure sings it like she means it. I'm going to have to investigate Kleerup, I know nothing of him except that he appears to be a big shot producer from Sweden. I like the haunting feeling the music evokes, the strings do the trick. Combine that with Lykki Li sounding like she's on a three-day vodka bender and voila, you have perfection. I like it!

Kleerup (featuring Lykke Li) > Until We Bleed


Nothing's left here but you

When I first read about Asobi Seksu's Acoustic at Olympic Studios album, my first reaction was "uhh, what?". Here you have a band that has made its name on noisy shoegazey ethereal pop music. And now they're turning off the fuzz? Really? I was skeptical but I had to hear it and, surprise, surprise; it works! I think the biggest thing for me is how sweet and strong Yuki's voice sounds when it's not buried underneath layers of guitars. My favorite track is Thursday, which comes off like a bedtime lullaby. It sounds so tender and loving, it makes me want to curl up and drift off to sleep as Yuki's voice echoes softly in my ears. Also on the album is a lovely cover of Leonard Cohen's Suzanne.

Asobi Seksu > Thursday (Acoustic)


You and I, meant for each other

After finding that cool remix in the previous post, I decided to delve a bit more into the world of Sweet Trip. They have a new album coming in September, so I'm hoping they play some local shows. There are some really cool mp3s on their site, my favorite of which is called Noise is a Social Skill. I love the glitchy electronic pop sound augmented by the boy/girl vocals. I also love the distortion and note-bending at the end. This song, to me, is a little genre journey, happily winding its way through indie, shoegaze and electronica. It all goes hand in hand and the result is a breath of fresh air.

Check out downloadables here, listen to more here, and look for their discs over at Darla.

Sweet Trip > Noise is a Social Skill



I just ran into the coolest fucking song. It's a remix of Takako Minekawa's Never/More. The remixer is done by some peeps called Sweet Trip who, evidently, are from San Francisco. How cool is that? From what I can tell, the track is on the Japanese version of the Recubed EP, and I have only the American release of that disc. I like the static-y sheen they add to the song, it's like drifting through white-noise clouds on a grey and overcast day. Very lovely. The original version is on her quirky and very cool Roomic Cube album. I might have to see if I can find the Japanese issue of Recubed.

Takako Minekawa > Never/More (Sweet Trip Remix)



I just ordered Triangle, the new Perfume album, which is the follow up to last year's fabulous Game. About half of Triangle are singles I already have, but it's not that big a deal to me. I really like this new remix of Edge. It sounds tougher and meaner. You can pick it up over at Yesasia.com, if you're interested.

Perfume > Edge (¡é-mix)