Saturday, June 27, 2009

New and Extended 2009 Mix

For a while now, I have found myself appreciating longer songs more and more. This is news only in that, as a member of the '70's punk rock and post punk generation, long songs were anathema. They were part of what we were rebelling against. Long songs meant Yes and ELP and the Grateful fucking Dead. Short songs (aka singles) were where it was at. And, except for a few exceptions over the years (like Public Image Ltd, Metal Box), I have pretty much stayed true to that thinking. But in the last few years, I've discovered many longer (five or more minutes) songs that I've enjoyed immensely, even after repeated listenings.
Most of them come from, directly or indirectly, some genre of dance music, particularly from those composers and musicians who have been using dance music as a jumping off point to explore more conceptually adventurous ideas.
I have a couple of theories about why I find myself drawn more and more to longer compositions:
One of the reasons may be that, as more and more musicians themselves abandon the same prejudices I had, and have become more interested in longer forms, they have therefore concentrated more on how to make them interesting. Another, more mundane reason, may be that I now do most of my listening mainly on headphones, the textures, arrangements progressions over the course of a composition become more important, and longer songs lend themselves to these aspects of the composition.
Here is the Playlist:
1. Phoenix - Lisztomania (Classixx Version) 5:02
2. Windsurf - Bird of Paradise (Studio Version) 13.57
3. Isis - Handing of the Host 10:43
4. Seefeel - Plainsong 7:44
5. The Field - The More I Do 8:33
6. The Honeydrips - Fall From a Height-The Field Way (Remix by the Field)
7. A Mountain of One - Your Love Over Gold 6:39
8. Lewis and Clarke - Light Time 7:22

The Mix:
New and Extended Mix

Sculpture by David Smith

Sky Saxon RIP

Lost in the hysteria surrounding the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson was the passing of Sky Saxon, 71, former lead singer and bass player for the Seeds, the LA-based proto-typical '60's garage punk band. His death should not go unnoticed.
The Seeds were one of my early rock and roll infatuations (after Love and before Cream). I bought their first album mainly because they looked incredibly cool on the cover, but then discovered the power of their buzz saw guitars and Saxon's eternally petulant voice. The second album, Web of Sound, expanded on the nastiness of the first album, and, particularly in the writing, demonstrated that they were more than one-hit wonders. (Unfortunately, the band never lived up to the potential of those two albums, releasing first a bad blues album then a "flower power" album, before disintegrating.) Saxon later became a member of a West Coast spiritual cult. He would sporadically perform and release albums either under his own name or as the Seeds right up to the time of his death.
All these years later, listening to those early Seeds albums, it's easy to reconnect to the anger and exultation of adolescence.
The Seeds - Mr. Farmer
The Seeds - Can't Seem to Make You Mine
The Seeds - Up In Her Room

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Here Comes the Summer 2009 Mix

There are 41,000 songs in my Itunes play list. The word "summer" figures in 304 of them, proof that the idea of "summer" plays a big role in our collective psyche.
On the East Coast, we have lived through such a long, shitty Winter and rainy Spring that Summer seems almost unimaginable. Nevertheless, today is the first day of Summer, and so I present to you, in the words of the fabulous Undertones, "Here Comes the Summer."
(Just a half-glass-empty reminder: for some people, Summer doesn't necessarily mean big fun or hot fun or any other kind of fun.)
The 2009 super-fun Summer play list:
1. Here Comes the Summer - The Undertones (The Very Best of the Undertones)
2. Summer's First Breath - Epic45 (May Your Heart Be the Map)
3. It Must Be Summer - Fountains of Wayne (Utopia Parkway)
4. Summer Breeze - The Isley Brothers (3+3)
5. Your Summer Dress - Dirty on Purpose (Hallelujah Sirens)
6. Endless Summer - Anoraak (Nightdrive with You)
7. Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers (Anthology 1964-1977)
8. Summer '68 - Pink Floyd (Atom Heart Mother)
9. One Kiss Don't Make a Summer - Lucky Soul (The Great Unwanted)
10. Summer Samba - Ice Demons (Miami Ice)
11. A Warm Summer Night - Chic (Risque)
12. Summer In Your Heart - Shermans (Casual)
13. Long, Hot Summer - Style Council (Hit Parade)
14. That Summer, at Home, I Had Become an Invisible Boy - The Twilight Sad (S/T)

The Mix:
Here Comes the Summer 2009 Mix

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Techno Pop Mix

I created this mix a couple of years ago but never posted it. It consists of a bunch of songs that either began life as techno songs or used techno as a jumping off place. What's interesting is how "pop" they all are - how melodic, accessible, radio-ready. (Several of them were radio hits in one format or another.) It just goes to show that any genre - no matter how left-of-center its origins - can become part of the mainstream.
1. The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Underworld
2. Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space - S/T
3. Royksopp - So Easy Melody AM
4. Moby - South Side Play
5. Chicane - Saltwater (Thrillseekers Mix) Behind the Sun
6, Delerium w/ Matthew Sweet - Daylight Poem
7. Mandalay - Beautiful (7" Canny Mix)
8. Kings of Convenience - Toxic Girl Quiet Is the New Loud
9. Everything But the Girl - Missing (Terry Todd Mix) Amplified Heart
10. Cornershop - Brimful of Asha When I Was Born for the 7th Time
11. Moodswings - State of Independence Moodfood
12. One Dove - White Love Morning Dove White
13. Leftfield - Open Up S/T
14. Dido - Thankyou No Angel
15. Deep Forest - Sweet Lullabye (Ambient Mix) S/T

Techno Pop Mix

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New and Recent Songs Mix 6/09

Here is a mix of recently-released stuff that I've found myself listening to with some regularity over the last couple of months. I particularly like the Junior Boys and the Black Kids (actually, at this point, I can't get the chorus of that fucking Black Kids song out of my head), but I strongly recommend all of the albums represented by the songs in this mix.

The Playlist:
1. Axis: Thrones of Love - The Pink Mountaintops (Outside Love)
2. If the Stars Were Mine (Orchestral Version) - Melody Gardot (My One and Only Thrill)
3. Two Doves - Dirty Projectors
4. Hurricane Jane - Black Kids (Partie Traumatic)
5. The Animator - Junior Boys (Begone Dull Care)
6. 16th Stage - Osborne (A Bugged Out Mix by Hot Chip)
7. Only You Can Make Me Happy - Au Revoir Simone (Still Night, Still Light)
8. Canned Food - Surf City (s/t)
9. Tokyo - Sissy Wish (Beauties Never Die)
10. He Doesn't Know - Tina Dico (A Beginning/A Detour/An Open Ending)
11. Jim Cain - Bill Callahan (Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle)

The Mix:
New and Recent Songs Mix 6/09

(Artwork by Jackson Pollock)