Thursday, April 2, 2009

guest tape: snuff mix - april 2, 2009

Today I'm pleased to introduce our first guest tape. Katie has prepared for you, our dear readers, a charming meander that we call "Snuff Mix for Kath at the Hands of Cagefighter".

To explain: my pheromones have once more betrayed me and a 35-year old cagefighter (who does, actually, have a heart of gold) has become taken with me to the point of telling me about dreams he has had about me and that once I am "put in my place once, just once, I will be that much better." After a bourbon-, gin-, and beer-soaked night, we decided that a really funny idea would be to create a mix for my eventual demise at the hands of this cagefighter (because, logically, what else could putting me in my place mean other than a truly horrifying combination of sex and death). Thus, dear readers, track how the mix progresses from charming seduction to the cagefighter stroking the cheek of my still-warm corpse. On the bright side, Katie has informed me that I will not hear more than the first few tracks.

And I'd just like to interject - really? Two consecutive tracks about being hungry? An oblique reference to American Psycho? Infinite Lost Highway songs? Goddammit.

01. "Uptown Girl" - Billy Joel (An Innocent Man);
02. "Hungry Like the Wolf" - Duran Duran (Arena);
03. "Hungry Eyes" - Eric Carmen (Dirty Dancing OST);
04. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye (Let's Get It On);
05. "Magic Spells" - Crystal Castles (Crystal Castles);
06. "This Love" - Cocteau Twins (Cruel Intentions OST);
07. "In the Air Tonight" - Phil Collins (American Psycho OST);
08. "I Put A Spell On You" - Marilyn Manson (cover);
09. "Girlfriend in a Coma" - The Smiths (Strangeways, Here We Come);
10. "This Magic Moment" - Lou Reed (Lost Highway OST);
11. "Heirate Mich" - Rammstein (Lost Highway OST).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Songs for Your Space Odyssey

I've really been lacking inspiration these past few months in terms of mixes, but I have returned triumphant, with a brand-spanking new mix for your listening pleasure. My friend "D" had a sci-fi themed party the other night, which I was sadly unable to attend due to other out-of-town engagements, but in commemoration of her birthday, and her apparently kick-ass (and revealing) costume, I have created "Songs for Your Space Odyssey".

Obviously, this mix has Bowie. Duh. It also contains a couple tracks off of "OK Computer". Again, duh. In an attempt to vary the music, and to avoid breaking the first rule of mix-taping, I have managed to find some pretty solid covers. Other than this however, are a nice mix of songs ranging in genre for your flight across the galaxy, and please, don't forget to bring your towel.

track list
01. "Fett's Vette" - MC Chris (Life's a Bitch and I'm Her Pimp)
02. "Every Planet We Reach is Dead" - Gorillaz (Demon Days)
03. "Paranoid Android" - Sia (Exit Music)
04. "Starman" - Mates of State (All Day)
05. "Rocket Man" - Elton John (Rocket Man)
06. "Space Travel is Boring" - Sun Kil Moon (Tiny Cities)
07. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1" - The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)
08. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 2" - The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)
09. "Astronaut" - Wintersleep (Welcome to the Night Sky)*
10. "Monster (RAC Remix)" - You Say Party! We Say Die! (Remiks Cube)
11. "Robots" - Flight of the Conchords (Flight of the Conchords)
12. "Intergalactic" - Beastie Boys (Sounds of Science)
13. "Gamma Ray" - Beck (Modern Guilt)
14. "Harder, Better, Faster" - Daft Punk (Discovery)
15. "Ziggy Stardust" - David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars)
16. "The Tarleks" - The Rheostatics (2067)*
17. "3rd Planet" - Modest Mouse (The Moon and Antartica)
18. "Ray Gun" - The Bird and The Bee (Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future)
19. "Sad Robot" - Stars (Sad Robot EP)
20. "Moonage Daydream" - Danny Michel (Loving the Alien)*
21. "The Killing Moon" - Echo and The Bunnymen (Donnie Darko OST)
22. "Looking for Astronauts" - The National (Alligator)
23. "Subterranian Homesick Alien" - Radiohead (OK Computer)
24. "Sci-Fi Lullabye" - Silversun Pickups (Pikul EP)*
25. "Space Oddity" - David Bowie (Best of Bowie)

it's all happening - february 22, 2009

Those who regularly monitor Torrey and I's mixes on Cassette Shelf have, most likely, come to be sure of one thing above all others: Torrey's mixes will be a fun, witty mix of indie rock and pop, and mine will be depressing, or at the very least low-key and mellow. Today, dear readers, is the day that this changes. I had one of those weeks where good thing after good thing happens; I got startled by my own genuine happiness, a friend fell in love, intelligent friends received copious amounts of monetary validation. good things, in short.

So this is a genuinely happy, ecstatic, euphoric mix. This is the music that erupts out of your stereo when things seem to be going right in all the most unexpectedly right ways. Don't confuse this with manic happiness, or the happiness that comes from one extremely good thing happening, but only to you. This mix is for pervasive happiness; for when good things seem to come in fives and sixes and to you and everyone you know, when you become convinced that there are high pressure zones of good karma moving into low pressure zones and everyone you love is right in good karma's path. Put more simply, in the immortal words of Penny Lane (yes - immortal, deal with it), it's all happening.

original track list
01. "Mr. Blue Sky" - E.L.O. (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind OST);
02. "Lovers in Japan / Reign of Love" - Coldplay (Viva La Vida, or Death and All His Friends);
03. "The Crane Wife 3" - The Decemberists (The Crane Wife);
04. "My Slumbering Heart" - Rilo KIley (The Execution of All Things);
05. "Fidelity" - Regina Spektor (Begin to Hope);
06. "T-Shirt Weather" - The Lucksmiths (T-Shirt Weather);
07. "Scenic World" - Beirut (The Gulag Orkestar);
08. "Get Lost" - Patrick Wolf (The Magic Position);
09. "Elevator Love Letter" - Stars (Heart);
10. "60B (Etown Theme)" - Nancy Wilson (Elizabethtown);
11. "Quiet Houses" - Fleet Foxes (Fleet Foxes);
12. "Old Old Fashioned" - Frightened Rabbit (The Midnight Organ Fight);
13. "Major Label Debut (Fast)" - Broken Social Scene (Broken Social Scene);
14. "The Year in Review" - Her Space Holiday (Xoxo Panda and the New Kid Revival); *
15. "Chariot" - Page France (Hello, Dear Wind);
16. "Solsbury Hill" - Peter Gabriel (In Good Company OST);
17. "Fresh Feeling" - Eels (Souljacker);
18. "Dry the Rain" - The Beta Band (High Fidelity OST);
19. "Agoraphobia" - Deerhunter (Microcastle);
20. "Sweet Darlin'" - She & Him (Volume One);
21. "Oh Heart" - Jill Barber (Oh Heart);
22. "Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters" - Elton John (Almost Famous OST).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Top 5 (Under the Radar) Albums of The Year

Seeing how we've been doing a music blog for a little over a half-year now and I feel it is suitable to call myself "a blogger" (whatever that means), I feel it is my right, nay, my duty to put out an indulgent, tired cliche of a Top 5 List. I feel I have this right firstly because of my undying love for "High Fidelity" as well as my passionate desire to spread the word about some of the fantastic albums that have flew under the radar this past year. You will not see Coldplay, Kings of Leon, or even TV on the Radio on my list, seeing how both of those acts received so much year end attention. Also, you will not see The Hold Steady on my list, because I feel I have devoted enough mental adoration to them and their previous albums, I already expected greatness from this album, and me putting them on my list would be somewhat masturbatory. Rather, you will see some really fantastic indie gems that snuck up on me this year and managed to hold my attention and buzz around in my head long enough for me to write them down right here.

5. Noah and the Whale - "Peaceful the World Lays Me Down"

I have embarrassingly little to say about this album since I got my hands on it just a few days ago, but any music based on Wes Anderson films, and imbued with their quirk and playful charm are good by me. The very first time I heard Noah and The Whale, I listened to the entire album in one sitting, which has maybe happened to me three times in my life. That is not to say I have never listened to an entire album, just not the first time I play it. If I had heard this album earlier, it would probably be higher on my list, but this is the way the world works.

4. Amylie "Jusqu'aux oreilles"

First of all, I don't speak any french. None. I barely passed intro French in grade 10, and it's been a while. I can now tell you that I have no idea what Amylie is singing about. It could be anything. She could be singing about elephant sex and I would be humming along merrily. This is a testament to Amylie's talent. I've heard some comparisons to Feist, but I'm not sure I hear it. What I can tell you is that Amylie can sing beautifully. She is probably the most talented singer I've heard in a while, and manages to keep me captivated by just her voice and the playful melodies of her songs. Even if you're not into French music, like I certainly am not, check her out, you will most likely be pleasantly surprised.

p.s. the translation video is somewhat terrible, but it's all i could find. I do not think one needs a translation to appreciate the music, in fact, it may hinder one's enjoyment.

3. Bon Iver - "For Emma, Forever Ago"

I can't really say much about this album that hasn't already been said. Perhaps the most critically acclaimed of the albums on my list (at least in the blogs and magazines that I frequent), so I will not devote too much time to this album other than to say that it is beautifully heart-wrenching and honest. Please do yourself a favor and check out Bon Iver, and grow a beard in celebration of this fantastic album.

2. Los Campesinos! - "Hold on Now, Youngster..."/ "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed"

Ok, technically I suppose this is cheating, but you know what? A self proclaimed blogger has that prerogative, and both albums were released this year. Overflowing with joyful teenage neuroses and ideosyncratic playfulness, (see why i'm a blogger now? thought of that one in psych class) Los Campesinos! provides the soundtrack to your teenage years, complete with glockenspiel, and really damn catchy pop tunes. Also they're from Cardiff, home of my favorite anti-alien task force (if you get that, you get a gold star, but you will never touch a breast again, sorry dude). Admittedly, they are not for everyone due to the fact that the lead singer might rub some people the wrong way (particularily those with a low tolerance for goofy emo haircuts and naisally pseudo-singing), but if you are the least bit interested, please check em out.

1. Frightened Rabbit "The Midnight Organ Fight"

I absolutely love this album. No other album this year has stuck with me as much as this. I can listen to this album at any time, any place. I even listen to this while running, and it keeps me going, which is a big deal for me since running is perhaps the most boring thing for me to do. I've describes Frightened Rabbit as a Scottish version of Glen Hansard's (of Once fame) The Frames, but I don't think that really does them justice. It's hard to put my finger on it, but for some reason, no other album this year really resonated with me like Frightened Rabbit. I'm not sure if its the writing, or the delivery, but this album has since been put into my pantheon of albums with such peers as Interpol's "Turn on the Bright Lights" and The Thermals "The Body, The Blood, The Machine". I have listened to this album in its entirety more times this year than I can count on all of the digits on my body, and in my opinion, it is better in its entirety than in its individual parts. Of course, as usual, Grey's Anatomy beat me to the punch and featured "Good Arms vs. Bad Arms" in an episode, and apparently Chuck also had a couple songs, which is news to me since I watch it, but I just looked it up, so there you go. Also, ladies, a hint: nothing will make me drop my pants faster than a thick scottish accent, just for future reference.

Honorable Mentions: The Streets, Arkells, Fleet Foxes, Girl Talk, Elliot Brood

Saturday, January 17, 2009

exercises in self-evisceration -- january 18, 2009

One of my favorite parts of High Fidelity is the idea that our attachment to music is largely autobiographical. I am never quite sure if my attachment to a song at a particular emotional crux in my life is because I had said emotion and then the song fulfilled it, or if I heard the song and felt said emotion in a devastatingly complete way. Put differently, is music my autobiography or am I music's autobiography? If Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons, what does it mean that I measure mine out in chords and verses? And if I make decisions based on the intersection of one particular song into my life at one particular moment, do I still have agency?

In other words, enjoy the self-evisceration. Real emotion makes for good production value.

original track list:

01. "Cath..." - Death Cab for Cutie (Narrow Stairs);
02. "Neither of Us, Uncertainly" - Deerhunter (Microcastle); *
03. "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver (For Emma, Forever Ago);
04. "New Romantic" - Laura Marling (My Manic & I);
05. "It's Not" - Aimee Mann (Lost in Space); *
06. "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" - Coldplay (cover);
07. "I Will Not Sing a Hateful Song" - The Constantines (Kensington Heights);
08. "Crowd Surf Off a Cliff" - Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton (Knives Don't Have Your Back);
09. "Teeth" - Kristin Hersh (Hips and Makers); *
10. "Lost in the Zoo" - Goddamn Electric Bill (Swallowed by the Machines);
11. "Remember Me As a Time of Day" - Explosions in the Sky (How Strange, Innocence);
12. "90-Mile Water Wall" - The National (Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers);
13. "Never Is a Promise" - Fiona Apple (Tidal);
14. "Have to Explode" - The Mountain Goats (Tallahassee);
15. "About Today (Live)" - The National (The Virginia EP);
16. "Little Person" - Jon Brion (Synecdoche, New York OST). *

NOTE: I forget to check that the tracks were all correct. "Cath..." is now actually "Cath...".

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This post is going to take care of some housekeeping for the blog.

Mixwit is unfortunately closing down. We are hoping they may return with some form of paid service, which I would be crazy enough to pay for, but in the meantime we are going to attempt to transition over to Seeqpod. We will see how well this goes, and I may even attempt to convert our old mixtapes into a still-listenable format in Seeqpod as well. (When infinite time presents itself, of course.)

Second, I do not have a mixtape because my computer's hard drive kicked the bucket and my external hard drive is halfway across the country. Hence, I cannot deliver to ye faithful readers the proliferate tapes I had hoped to.

But, here's a video from one of our favorite new bands of 2008 to take you into 2009. God bless Sub Pop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Songs for Christmas that Don't Suck Santa's Bells

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Now I hate Christmas spirit as much as the next self-respecting hipster. However, it seems that we are finally at that point in the season where it is simply inescapable, which drives me up the wall. If possible, I would like to go grocery shopping without hearing Britney or Beyonce's latest rendition of some song that used to be good before it was driven into the ground season after season. Seriously, Elvis did it just fine years ago, thank you very much.

Anyways, in an attempt to make the holidays that much more bearable for you, because I love you all that much, I have somehow managed to pull myself away from studying the evolution of emotion to bring you this: Songs for Christmas That Don't Suck Santa's Bells.

On this list, I hope, is the remedy for all that Christmas spirit. There's some bittersweet, some depressing, some unknowns (maybe), and just the littlest bit of cheer (courtesy of your hipster favorites). Hopefully these are songs that haven't been driven into the floor for you. Also important to note, this is a bit of a personal list, and includes some of the Christmas music that I grew up with. This will explain the Bon Jovi and Tom Petty, so Kathryn stop looking at me like that, I know what you're thinking.

Anyways, have a good holiday season, this will most likely be my last post in 2008 since I am leaving the country for the holidays. See you all in 2009.

track list
01. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Death Cab for Cutie
02. Merry Christmas Baby - Bonnie Rait and Charles Brown
03. That Was the Worst Christmas Ever! - Sufjan Stevens
04. The Christmas Song - The Raveonettes
05. Please Come Home for Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
06. Back Door Santa - Clarence Carter
07. Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty
08. Christmas in Hollis - Run-D.M.C.
09. Oi to the World - No Doubt
1o. Santa Clause is Back in Town - My Morning Jacket
11. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies ft. Sarah McLachlan
12. Happy Christmas (War is Over) - The Polyphonic Spree

p.s. Isn't that picture ridiculously awesome? That's what you get when you google image search "hipster christmas"