Monday, December 20, 2010

My Personal Top 40 of 2010

This was not an easy list to compile. Now before the totally called for "duh" involuntarily escapes from your lips, I must add that I didn't necessarily pick my favorite song in every scenario here, I instead tried to pick the 40 songs this year that made the biggest impression upon me, and that best accomplished the goals that I felt they set out to accomplish. This was especially hard in the few cases where I loved a particular album so much that my judgement on which song was the best was completely clouded. I probably should have picked "Round and Round" from the Ariel Pink album, not "Bright Lit Blue Skies." Both songs were impeccable, and a brilliant showcase of the in which direction this brilliant artist seems to be headed. "Round and Round" might have been a better display of this, but "Bright Lit Blue Skies," was, I think, my favorite. So here I am;list completed, accompanying radio show done, and I'm still debating my choices! Feel free to debate my choices as well...

Right this way please.

Underworld - Always Loved a Film

Teengirl Fantasy - Cheaters

Best Coast - Boyfriend

Veronica Falls - Stephen

Belle and Sebastian - I Want the World to Stop

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Bright Lit Blue Skies

The Splinters - Sea Salt Skin

Liechtenstein - Passion for Water

The Bamboos - Keep Me In Mind

This Many Boyfriends - I Don't Like You (Cos You Don't Like The Pastels)

Wild Nothing - Summer Holiday

El Guincho - Ghetto Facil

Corinne Bailey Rae - Paris Nights and New York Mornings

Garotas Suecas - Codinome Dinomite

Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep

Discodeine - Synchronize (Ft. Jarvis Cocker)

Tracey Thorn - Why Does the Wind?

Autolux - High Chair

Gorillaz - Stylo

LCD Soundsystem - One Touch

The Liminanas - Je Ne Suis Pas Tres Drogue

Dean & Britta - It Don't Rain in Beverly Hills

Cinema Red and Blue - Melanie Down

Catwalk - (Please) Don't Break Me

Everybody Was In The French Resistance... Now! - Hey! It's Jimmy Mack

Jo Stance - Hey Girl

Caribou - Leave House

Gold Bears - Jezzer

Magic Kids - Summer

Math & Physics Club - Jimmy Had A Polaroid

Standard Fare - Love Doesn't Just Stop

Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

Kings Go Forth - Get A Feeling

Jens Lekman - The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Drink Drank Drunk

The Clientele - Paul Verlaine

Girls Names - Falling

Seu Jorge & Almaz - Everybody Loves the Sunshine

The Ocean Tango - The Munich Train

Mav!s - Feeling Lucky

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sing a Holiday Hymn!

Thanksgiving weekend has officially come and gone here in the states. We've survived Black Friday (crazy long physical shopping day), and today that I guess we're now calling "Cyber Monday" (shut-in/office drone day)!

Some gifts however, need not be purchased. Thanks to the internet and dedicated pop archivists out there, every now and again an absolute treat like the video below is stumbled upon. It feels particularly poignant since I decided to open the radio show I was asked to fill in on with "Holiday Hymn." It sounded better than I remembered, and so perfect for the extremely chilly and windy evening that we experienced here in Los Angeles. Add to that, the show was extra heavy on Edwyn Collins last night; I played something from his new solo record, AND the Orange Juice Box Set. Plus, it's just... the holidays, there's something kind of wonderful about that, especially with tunes like when tunes like this one out there.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thoughts About Halloween, Jandek, and (You Guessed It) A Link to a Radio Show...

On a scale of one to ten my level of "into-it!-ness" for Halloween is somewhere around a three. I don't despise the holiday, and I've had a pretty good costume or two in my day, but I've never been one for the vast minutae of Halloween that so many seem to hold so dear.

That said, one thing that I do love is a good theme to base a radio show around. The fact that the majority of my October 31st was spent either on the air, or preparing to be on the air is perhaps the most perfect way I've ever spent a Halloween. Looking back, I realize that I perhaps should have made at least one of the shows entirely Halloween themed, but there's always next year. One particularly noteworthy artist that my exploration for spooky tracks brought me back to was Jandek.

There's nothing all that particular in Jandek's work that you could use to tie back to Halloween, I loosely went with the fact that he has a record called Blue Corpse, but the overall atmosphere is what makes Jandek's music so chilling. Despite a few shows within the past few years, Jandek still remains largely a creature of seclusion and mystery. In fact, Spin Magazine ran an article about Jandek several years back and there was a sidebar citing the 5 least plausibe Jandek rumors. One of them was; "He's actually Thurston Moore." I like that. I like the idea of Jandek shrouded in as much mystery as can be, it makes the songs all the more discomforting. Cause these songs are so spare, so strange, and so sure haunt you for some time that to know anything about the person responsible for them would almost seem to take away most of the songs' overall appeal.

All that said, you must certainly be able to imagine imagine that after a year or so of not thinking about, or hearing those songs; they're all the more jarring. The song I played on this particular Halloween show, "Part II," has always been my favorite. I can't explain why, and I think that for the best. Jandek, and this song in particular, just make me nervous, and I like it.

You can listen to the show here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 10/17/2010

Sometimes record and season meld together with such perfect harmony that, the entire world around you seems to possess that harmony as well. The feeling of a world where everything is completely and utterly in place can only ever last for a moment, but there are certain things that almost make you sure that it will last forever. The Ocean Tango is the new collaboration from El Records legend Louis Phillipe, and the experimental Swedish indiepop/lounge/jazz set Testbild! Hearing their self titled record for the first time on Saturday turned out to be the precise thing to make my entire show fall into place.

I listened to the Ocean Tango all afternoon yesterday as well, wrapped in blankets, as the rain fell far away outside. Heavenly.

You can hear one of the songs by visiting the Ocean Tango's Bandcamp page. You'll probably want to go ahead and pick up your digital copy of the album while you're there.

You can hear a different Ocean Tango song by listening to my most recent radio show. Do that right here.

Here's the full playlist:

Kings of Convenience - I'd Rather Dance With You

Jens Lekman - The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love

Cinema Red and Blue - Same Mistakes

Crystal Stilts - Shake The Shackles

Mermaids - Everybodys Acting Like An Animal

Belle and Sebastian - I Want the World to Stop

The Bahama Soul Club - Sugar Cane

Tha Boogie - Peter Parker

Mayer Hawthorne - Thin Moon

The New Holidays - Maybe So, Maybe No

Bryan Ferry - Shameless

Dinosaur L - Go Bang (Walter Gibbons unreleased mix)

Fusioon - Tocata Y Fug

Devo - Please Baby Please

Pixies - La Love You

El Guincho - Ghetto Facil

David Bowie - Golden Years (EJL remix)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Falling Over

The Intelligence - Estate Sales

Surf City - Kudos

Superchunk - Why Do You Have to Put a Date on Everything?

LA Font - Metal Box

The Beachnuts - Cycle Annie

Eternal Summers - A Salty Salute

Standard Fare - Philadelphia

Jad Fair & The Pastels - When We Touch

Foals - Total Life Forever

Tom Tom Club - As Above So Below

David Sylvian - Wonderful World

Clinic - I'm Aware

The Vaselines - Whitechapel

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Time of the Season

Broken Social Scene - Windsurfing Nation

Deerhunter - Desire Lines

John Cale - Antarctica Starts Here

The Clientele - Paul Verlaine

The Ocean Tango - The Ocean Tango

John Vanderslice - Trance Manual

Caribou - Bowls

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wild Nothing

Wandering through the cold evening air, slightly tipsy, and alone. I'm so rarely alone these days. I'm listening to the final draft of the Hungry Beat! mix CD, but I'll eventually be thinking much more about Wild Nothing's first record.

I'm on my way to see Wild Nothing play their first Los Angeles show, and before I turn my attention fully to thoughts of the show I would soon experience, I make a note of the sounds of the Revolving Paint Dream encased within my headphones. I look down at the device playing the song, and make another note of the fact that I'm essentially holding the song in my hand, and that it really sounds like the kind of song that should always be held in someone's hand.

Wild Nothing's record Gemini opens with a song called "Live in Dreams," it's exactly the kind of song that you wish you could hold in your hand forever, but like the feeling and time it so perfectly captures, you know it will slip away all too soon.

I mentioned that I was alone that night because I live with someone now. He was already at the Wild Nothing show by the time I started walking as he was playing bass for the opening band. It's an exciting, and endlessly comforting feeling to realize that I'm very likely living with the person that I'll live with for the rest of my life. Still, hearing a song like "Live in Dreams" reminds me of the time when I was wandering around strange cities on my own all of the time, excited, and oddly comforted by the fact that I would probably be alone forever.

"Live in Dreams," is not necessarily the best song on Gemini, but it is the perfect opening to a record such as this one. So rarely does an LP open to reveal so much of the beauty that's in store, yet at the same time leave so much to be discovered.

Monday, August 16, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 9/12!

Got to see Wild Nothing, last night, and that was great. I've been meaning to write a post about that band and their record Gemini which I believe is the best record released this year. You can expect to see that post here before the week is out.

For now, I'll leave you with the link to listen to my most recent radio show. You can do that, here.

Here's what I played:

NDF - Since We Last Met (Edit)

Bostich & Fussible - I Count the Ways

!!! - Steady As the Sidewalk Cracks

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Got a Thing on My Mind

Kings Go Forth - Now We're Gone

Sweater Girls - Summer Girls

Procedure Club - Rather

Wild Nothing - Live in Dreams

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Drink Drank Drunk

Jakki - Sun...Sun...Sun (Walter Gibbons original 12" edit)

Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing

Underworld - Grace

Hot Chip - Hand Me Down Your Love (Todd Edwards Microchip Remix)

Magic Kids - Skateland

Tommy Roe - Dizzy

The Brisk - El Juego Del Amor

Cats On Fire - Your Woman

This Many Boyfriends - I Should Be A Communist

Caribou - She's The One

El Guincho - Frutas Del Caney

Tullycraft - DIY Queen

Franklin Bruno - The Irony Engine

The Mountain Goats - The Alphonse Mambo

Wavves - Super Soaker

Allo Darlin'- Henry Rollins Don't Dance

The Bangles - Want You

Best Coast - Boyfriend

The Pastels - Crawl Babies

Deerhunter - Revival

The New Pornographers - Silver Jenny Dollar

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Fright Night

Comet Gain - I Close My Eyes And Think Of God

Serge Gainsbourg - Bonnie and Clyde

Otis Redding - You Don't Miss Your Water

The XX - Heart Skipped a Beat

LCD Soundsystem - Somebody's Calling Me

The Books - Beautiful People

Dean & Britta - I Found It Not So

The Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning [Single A-Side (Mono Version)]

Little Joy - Don't Watch Me Dancing

Monday, July 19, 2010

KCRW Playlist 7/18!

What have you been listening to lately? I spend days scouring record stores, blogs, and/or the KCRW music library, and yet I always seem to draw at blank whenever I'm presented with that question. There is absolutely no reason for this at all, unless perhaps the concentration of too much information in one spot can form the appearance nothing being there at all. But there is so much that should be talked about. Both of the songs I've heard from Autolux's new record make me very very happy. I can't get enough of the new !!! single "Am/FM," and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's "Before Today" remains in heavy rotation it might even end up my favorite of the year. This week, I came across a band called Ribbons. They have a new E.P. called "Love is Mysterious," and the title track is hauntingly pretty. I plan to spend most of this week listening to their earlier full length Surprise Attacks.

Of course, the absolute best way to share what you've been listening to lately with someone is to play them some songs. You can listen to my most recent radio show here.

And here's what I played:

Daft Punk - High Life

LCD Soundsystem - One Touch

Bomb The Bass - Boy Girl

Franz Ferdinand - 40'

The Hepburns - Writer Friend

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Say No To Love

!!! - Am/FM

Ariel Pink With Added Pizazz - In The Heat Of The Night

Ana Tijoux - Obstaculo

Lindstrom & Christabelle - So Much Fun

The Beatle-Ettes - Only Seventeen

Best Coast - Boyfriend

Abe Vigoda - Throwing Shade

Bart & Friends - These Words Are Too Small

Dharma Burns - Too Many Days Gone

REM - Can't Get There From Here

The Pastels - Yoga

The Pepper Pots - Dream Guy

Ratatat - Sunblocks

Crayon Fields - Living So Well

Tame Impala - Alter Ego

Autolux - Supertoys

Seu Jorge - The Model

The Wrens - This Boy Is Exhausted

Unkle - Joy Factory (Feat. Autolux)

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Little Girl (Feat. Julian Casablancas) Clean Edit

This Many Boyfriends - Diaries

Tender Trap - Suddenly

Wild Nothing - Bored Games

Dean & Britta - It Don't Rain In Beverly Hills

Roxy Music - More Than This

The Clientele - House On Fire

The Beach Boys - Caroline No

Ribbons - Love Is Mysterious

Orgone - Doin Me Wrong

Mr. Clean & The Soul Inc. - What's Goin' On?

Mayer Hawthorne - I Need You

Miriam Makeba - Lindelani

The Ipanemas - Passa O Ponto

King Crimson - Epitaph (Alt. Instrumental)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: This Many Boyfriends - "I Don't Like You (Cos You Don't Like The Pastels)"

I have a radio show in the archives from this past weekend. I'm not going to post the playlist or the link to list cause I was losing my voice steadily during the course of the program. I figured I would spare you the experience of listening to me choke my way through each break. On the bright side, what the show lacked in vocal performance I feel it made up for in musical discoveries. My favorite such discovery was this gem from Leeds band This Many Boyfriends. Of course anyone who knows me would be right to assume that I'd naturally be inclined to like a song called, "I Don't like You (Cos You Don't Like the Pastels)," but the song itself is such silly good fun I'd love it regardless of the subject matter. Good joke songs are a tricky thing to pull off, and this one is a big winner in that category. Really simple melody, band checking lyrics, and a chorus that is sure to be shouted at indiepop dances for years to come are all present here. I might even be so bold as to say that it's the best musical taste factoring into a relationship song since "Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend's Too Stupid to Know About." Oh if only there were a video...

You can pre-order your copy of the CDEP Getting a Life With here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 6/6!

Time really does fly. As I type this brief post alerting you to the fact that my latest KCRW show is in the archive, I'm already thinking about what I want to play tonight when I fill in for Chuck P (midnite to three if you feel like tuning in.) The past few weeks have been a real blur. I wish I had some brilliant observation about a few of the songs that I pulled out for the show this past weekend, I certainly found some things that I was pretty excited about. However, extra work (in various forms), the planning of my new club night, and an overall erratic sleep schedule that is promising to be even more so this week ensures that when I am home I just don't want to think that much. With all of that said though, I would have so many enthusiastic words for almost every song on this show if only I could summon them, hopefully you'll feel the same. I will leave you with this lovely performance from Quadron on yesterday's Morning Becomes Eclectic. That's one that's definitely worth getting excited over...

Listen my most recent radio show here.

... And here is the playlist:

Souljazz Orchestra - Lotus Flower

Crystal Castles - Celestica (Thurston Moore Remix)

Quadron - Average Fruit

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Lost Saint

Wild Nothing - Chinatown

Underworld - Scribble

Fischerspooner - Emerge

Allen Kwela Octet - Question Mark

The Hepburns - Writer Friend

Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - Dub Y Guaguanco

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - L'Estat

Yeah Yeah Noh - The Time Beings

The School - Shoulder

Jonathan Richman - Parties In The U.S.A

The Small Faces - Sha La La La La Lee

LCD Soundsystem - Home

Air Miami - World Cup Fever

BLK JKS - Zol!

Standard Fare - Vaya Vaya Mexico

Half Man Half Biscuit - The Referee's Alphabet

Eux Autres - World Cup Fever

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Love Burns

The Californian - Sea Of Love

Stereo Total - Illegal

Tracey Thorn - Why Does The Wind? (Michel Cleis Remix)

The Fall - Mexico Wax Solvent

David Bowie - Golden Years

Nada Surf - Bye Bye Beaute

Teenage Fanclub - The Fall

The Pastels - Yoga

The Bomb Pops - Won't Find It

The Ipanemas - Traz Um Presente Pra Mim

The Bamboos - Keep Me In Mind (Randomer Remix)

The Clientele - Harvest Time

Lois - Sugar Rush

Friday, May 28, 2010

Plastic Bertrand - "Sha La La La Lee"

The next installment in my listening to/obsessing about/writing about the records I found in Scotland blog post series...

Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" is a guaranteed dance floor filler every time it's played at Hungry Beat! The style of dancing that it usually inspires is at least as entertaining, and sometimes even more entertaining than the song itself.

"Sha La La La Lee" was one of the first records I found while shopping at Elvis Shakespeare in Edinburgh. I think that I already knew that "Sha La La La Lee," and "Ca Plane Pour Moi" were separate singles, but that didn't stop me from checking the other side of the record with nervous anticipation and excitement. Even though my first guess was right, I immediately recalled the couple of times that I'd heard "Sha La La La Lee" in the past and was immediately very very excited again.

There's absolutely nothing to analyze here. The song is every bit as stupid, and fun, and raucous as you could hope for a single from a Belgian punk outfit who essentially did the whole thing for a laugh. Raise the volume on your computer speakers as loud they will go, press play on the posted video, and jump around until you feel dizzy and giddy and all of the other things that great pop music should make you feel.

Monday, May 24, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 5/23

By the time I fell into bed this past Sunday morning, I was feeling my exhaustion so severely it was all that I could do to see straight. In every moment leading up to that time, I was having a blast. I'd been pretty excited all week about starting this show on a particularly dance-y note with Fosca's It's All Going to End in Tears going right into a current over the top pop addiction of the moment Lindstrom & Christabelle (it really is so much fun). There is actually quite a bit of new music out there now to get kind of excited about. New York band Beach Fossils have been a big favorite of mine lately. Sure there are plenty of existing bands that they could be compared to, but what a satisfying sound they have fallen into, every song is like walking through a pretty, hazy dream.

French band The Liminanas came onto my radar a few weeks ago. after a good deal of review in that relatively brief time span, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that they've made the coolest damn single of the year in "Je Ne Suis Pas Tres Drogue." I challenge anyone to listen to that song all the way through and not feel any desire to get down.

And the overpowering need I felt for a last minute addition of Beat Happening to this program was taken care of in the form of "Look Around." Always a favorite of mine, and as right for this particular program as I had hoped.

It's also worth mentioning that our guests at Hungry Beat! this forthcoming Saturday (May 29th) are Cats on Fire. They are from Finland and put on a highly fun live show. Observe...

I fully expect to see all of you at La Cita on Saturday night...

You can listen to this radio show here.

And here's the playlist:

Fosca - It's All Going To End In Tears

Lindstrom & Christabelle - So Much Fun

Stereo Total - Baby Ouh!

The Liminanas - Je Ne Suis Pas Tres Drogue

Cats On Fire - Your Woman

Quadron - Pressure

Club 8 - Shape Up!

Beat Happening - Look Around

Lali Puna - Our Inventions

Codeine Velvet Club - Hollywood

Strawberry Switchblade - Since Yesterday

The School - Is He Really Coming Home?

Razorcuts - Big Pink Cake

Herr Jazz - Hey Merlin Thanks For The Free Coffee

Altafini - Eu Lutarei Pela Paz

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Bright Lit Blue Skies

The Fall - Cowboy George

LCD Soundsystem - Somebody's Calling Me

Poison Control Center - Pacific Sunrise

Orchestre Bella Bella - Sola

The House Of Love - Destroy The Heart

Serena Maneesh - D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D

Math & Physics Club - Jimmy Had A Polaroid

Tracey Thorn - Swimming

The Pastels - Worlds Of Possibilities

Flying Lotus - MMMHMMM Feat. Thundercat

UNKLE - Joy Factory (Feat. Autolux)

Black Tambourine - Drown

The Splinters - Sea Salt Skin

The Beatles - She's Leaving Home

Male Bonding - Worse To Come W/ Vivian Girls

Suzi Quatro - Brain Confusion (For All The Lonely People)

Dangermouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night Of The Soul W/ David Lynch

Toro Y Moi - Leave Everywhere

Beach Fossils - Daydream

Foxes In Fiction - Flashing Lights Have Ended Now

Nada Surf - Janine

Twin Sister - The Other Side Of Your Face

Four Tet - Love Cry

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: "Sea Salt Skin"

There's a certain feeling that takes over when song and state of mind converge. Of course life is always a bit nicer with the right soundtrack, but this feeling takes that idea a step further.

Yesterday my soundtrack (or more accurately my entire atmosphere) was hours upon hours of the series Twin Peaks. It was the kind of lazy day that's almost embarrassing. No one was awake before two PM, no one was out of bed until at least an hour after that point, and almost no words were spoken save for the ones that determined which one of us would make the trip to the store for the much needed soda and coffee. Very little energy was expended beyond pressing play, fast forward, and pause on the remote. Therefore when today arrived, I was ready to rejoin society, and ready for a new soundtrack.

"Sea Salt Skin" was my personal highlight of The Splinters debut record Kick upon first listen. With each successive listen I've liked it more and more, but somehow listening to it in the state that I'm in today just heightened my adoration that much more. Though I woke this morning at a perfectly respectable time, and went back to work on everything that needs to be worked on this week, I could retain the best part of that lazy day feeling in the form of this lazy three minute pop song. The whole thing feels spontaneous as if the girls in the band actually did roll out of bed and churn out this lovely, lacksidasical track. It feels like a sound from the 90s that isn't being spotlighted nearly enough right now, but should be revisited way more. The sound of the guitars is simultaneously gritty and crisp, and the vocals are very very clean. The harmonies are very subtle, but essential, and layers of echo exist under the surface to give you more to discover every time. Descriptions like "deceptively simple" must exist because of songs like this one. Add to all of that the the lyrics actually do seem to be describing a lazy day, "So we didn't talk we just put records on," and "The sea salt skin never crossed my mind, and I never felt like I was wasting time..."

Nothing could be better for walking around on a cloudy, slightly chilly day watching pockets of sun trying to emerge and thinking of how nice it is to be able to ease your way back into productivity.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 5/9 - Filling in for NIc Harcourt!

This past Sunday I had the privilege of sitting in for Nic Harcourt at KCRW. The guest host slots are always particularly fun to plan as you want to take the taste of the person whose show you are hosting into great consideration, but you also want to put your own spin on the thing. Filling in for Nic to my mind meant that the Beatles and Morrisey were a must, and from there I thought about Creation records, "Ooh wouldn't Biff Bang Pow be perfect?" I was happy to be able to work in some newer favorites like Male Bonding, the Liminanas, and the ultra cool Brazilian garage/psych band Garotas Suecas (quite possibly my favorite discovery of the year so far). Throw in some Sonic Youth (September 30th at the Hollwood Bowl with Pavement!!!), a little Muslims (or Soft Pack, or whatever) covering Spacemen 3, and I feel like I'm looking back on what has so far been the funnest radio show to put together during my time at KCRW.

You can take a listen for yourself, here...

... And here is the full Playlist:

Codeine Velvet Club - Hollywood

The School - Let It Slip

The What Four - I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy

Morrissey - Cosmic Dancer

T Rex - I Love To Boogie

Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks

The Dead Weather - Jawbreaker

The Muslims - Walking With Jesus

The New Pornographers - If You Can't See My Mirrors

Bamboos - Keep Me In Mind

Catwalk - One By Words

Band Of Horses - Evening Kitchen

The Beatles - If I Needed Someone

Biff Bang Pow - She's Got Diamonds In Her Hair

Sonic Youth - Malibu Gas Staion

Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang I'm A Burnout

Iggy Pop - Search And Destroy

Ana Tijoux - 1977

Massive Attack - Teardrop

Angelique Kidjo - Move On Up

Little Francesco Greaves - Moving-Grooving

Garotas Suecas - Codinome Dinomite

The Liminanas - I'm Dead

Black Tambourine - Dream Baby, Dream

Nada Surf - Love Goes On

Male Bonding - Weird Feelings

The National - Anyone's Ghost

Mavis - Feeling Lucky (Feat. Edwyn Collins)

The Pastels w/ Tenniscoats - Vivid Youth

Turin Brakes - Outbursts

Gorillaz - To Binge

Avi Buffalo - Can't I Know

Kisses - Bermuda (Active Child Remix)

Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?

Best Coast - Far Away

Holly Miranda - Sweet Dreams

Jacques Dutronc - Les Cactus

Big Star - For You

Painted Hills - Nighttime

John Cale - Charlemagne

Tracey Thorn - Why Does The Wind

Caribou - Bowls

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: "Mike Alway's Diary"

Every now and then my deep fascination with the weird world of El Records finds it's way to the forefront of my mind. I find myself listening to the few that I have over, and over again, and I find myself thinking about just how very entertaining it must be to have a conversation with Mike Alway. Mike Alway ran Blanco y Negro, and Cherry Red. El Records was a subsidiary of Cherry Red that Mr. Alway conjured up from some pretty creative recesses in his mind. The more I learn about El Records, the more it seems to function as Cherry Red: Fantasy Division.

In a nifty turn of events, El Records was huge in Japan and was able to release music for perhaps longer than they might have been able to otherwise because of this fact. This video from Kahimi Karie is a great example of the influence that the whimsical, dreamworld-Eurolounge sound (that was just one of many in the El canon) had on the segment of the Japanese musician population that really took to this stuff.

Kahimi Karie even worked with resident Creation/Cherry Red/El genius Momus!

My apologies for the lack of video in this video...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Primal Scream - "Ivy, Ivy, Ivy"

The next installment in my listening to/obsessing about/writing about the records I found in Scotland blog post series...

I'll admit it, I know far less about Primal Scream then I probably should. What I do know are trivial anecdotes, and personal feelings. Things like other bands Bobby Gillespie was in, and the fact that to me, "Gentle Tuesday" sounds like the aural equivalent of a deeply satisfying heavy sigh. I hold questionable opinions on the band's material. I prefer the title track A-side of their "Crystal Crescent" single to it's much revered B-side "Velocity Girl." I prefer Xtrmntr to Screamadelica. So when the "Ivy, Ivy, Ivy" 7" was held up to me at a record store in Edinburgh to be considered for purchase, I had to pause for awhile to wonder if I had actually heard the song, or if I just recognized the title. I was pretty sure that it was the latter, and when I arrived home and finally put the record on my turntable my suspicion was confirmed.

"Ivy, Ivy, Ivy" is a good song. It's fun, it's catchy beyond belief, and though many have probably analyzed this next statement to far greater effect than I ever could, it seems to serve as a nice bridge between the band's somewhat subtle pop past, and their considerably bigger rock future. Pop melody and lyrical theme, rock execution allt the way.

On the other hand, the B-side "You're Just Too Dark too Care" is a slow burning ember that never sparks a flame. Soft, pensive, remarkably pretty, and like "Gentle Tuesday," this one too gives me the feeling of an aural sigh. I once heard someone describe "sypathetic chords," chord progressions that were almost certain to receive a positive response from a listener. Any time I describe a song as an aural sigh, I can't help thinking that the song must contain some seriously sympathetic chords.

In a way this might be Primal Scream making the most of the best parts of certain sounds that they primarily operated within. Mostly these are just two very pleasant songs hear, and should guarantee a positive response every time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

KCRW 4/25

This past week was kind of a haze of residual exhaustion from the week before, the slight frustration brought about by the second false start of what I believe to be a very promising new club night, and Tetris... hours upon hours of Tetris. However, the week did manage to end on a productive note; the new club is well on it's way to having a new home, I'm starting to think about the 7" that will be obsessed over in the next installment of my "Obsessing Over the Records I Purchased in Scotland" series, and perhaps the most productive thing I managed (and certainly the most fun) was this radio show:

You can hear it by clicking this link...

... And here's what I played:

LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean

Bad Dream Fancy Dress - Discotheque

Love Is All - Last Choice

Hot Chip - Take It In

Nada Surf - Love Goes On

Lindstom & Christabelle - Baby Can't Stop

Zoot Woman - Just A Friend Of Mine (Jump Jump Dance Dance Remix)

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Falling Over

Caribou - Leave House

Le Tigre - Well, Well, Well

Gil Scott-Heron - Running

Club 8 - Western Hospitality

Ana Tijoux - 1977 - 1977

Mavis - Feeling Lucky (Feat Edwyn Collins)

Saint Etienne - Spring (Air France Remix)

Ozomatli - Love Comes Down (Anne Litt's remix)

Guru - Loungin - Jazzmatazz Vol. 1

The Bamboos - Turn It Up

Esther Williams - Last Night Changed It All

Garotas Suecas - Codinome Dinomite

Kisses - Bermuda

Ancient Crux - Wingwalker

Gorillaz - Some Kind Of Nature

Serena Maneesh - Reprobate!

Memory Tapes - Bicycle

Stars On 33 - I Feel Music In Your Heart (Lifelike and Kris Menace Remix)

The Undertones - Teenage Kicks (From John Peel's edition of Fabric Live. This was both a tribute to Peel, and to the fact that the Glasgow club Optimo was coming to an end that night. "Teenage Kicks" was the biggest highlight of my one trip to the club. R.I.P to both)

Cosmetics - Honey Honey

The Pastels - Sit On It Mother

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Round And Round

Minus The Bear - My Time

Mos Dub - History Town

The Wake - Here Comes Everbody

Flying Lotus - Do The Astral Plane

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 4/11

For this show, I put the spotlight on a lot of bands that I would like to see if I make it out to Coachella at all (jury's still out). One thing is for sure though, if I'm not in the desert on Sunday night freaking out over the fact that well, you know, Pavement's there, AND Gorillaz. I will be front and center at the Echo jumping around giddily to Love is All. I've seen them three times now, each time I enjoy it more than the last. I might even go so far as to say that they are my favorite live band, and I would see them anytime I had the chance. If you are in Los Angeles on Sunday night, the Echo is the only place to be...

Listen to the show here.

And the playlist is as follows...

Dntel - This Is The Dream Of Evan & Chan

Black Tambourine - Lazy Heart

Love Is All - Early Warnings

Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata

Corinne Bailey Rae - Paris Nights/New York Mornings

P.I.L - This Is Not A Love Song

Caribou - Leave House

The Glass - Four Four Letter

The XX - Heart Skipped A Beat

Cornelius - Windy Hill

Girls - Headache

Quadron - Slippin'

New Order - Leave Me Alone

Galaxie 500 - Ceremony

The Lilys - Dreams Never End

The Soft Pack - Parasites

Dum Dum Girls - Blank Girl

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Without A Heart

Zia - Kofriam

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Antivan Eyes

The Method Actors - Dancing Underneath

The Whitest Boy Alive - Promise Less, Do More

Toro Y Moi - Minors

The Ruby Suns - Cranberry

Matt & Kim - Daylight

Mayer Hawthorne - Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'

Yacht - Psychic City (Classix Remix)

Sex Pistols - Sub-Mission

Gorillaz - Stylo

Gonjasufi - Candylane

Pavement - Shady Lane

Joyce - Feminina

Camera Obscura - Razzle Dazzle Rose

Les Garcons - Encore L'Amore (Leo Zero Edit)

She & Him - If You Can't Sleep

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 3/28

There is an incredibly decent amount of new music to be excited about right now. Brazilian band, Garotas Suecas appeared on my radar last week courtesy of my ultra savvy friend Roger. It is with no hesitation that I award this week's find of the week to this super cool soul tinged psych band. The 7" who's A-side I played on my show this past weekend is available to order here, and there is apparently a full length due out later this year.

In addition to that discovery, another pleasant surprise last week was Fixing the Charts, the new record from Everybody Was in the French Resistance... Now! Fixing the Charts means what it implies, as with this project Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos, and Dylan Valdes from the Blood Arm offer counter perspectives to the messages put out there in twelve popular songs. Concept records like this one always have the potential to walk a fine line between clever and contrived, this one is decidedly on the side of the former.

Plus I played a lot of Slumberland bands to spotlight the then forthcoming Slumberland 20 year anniversary show (by far the best show I've been to this year so far), and I put forth my version of a tribute to the very sadly now late Alex Chilton.

You can check out the show here!

... And here's the playlist:

Everybody Was In The French Resistance... Now! - Hey! It's Jimmy Mack

Quadron - Pressure

Saturday Looks Good To Me - Meet Me By The Water

The Velvet Satins - Nothing Can Compare To You

The Bamboos - Keep Me In Mind

Garotas Suecas - Codinome Dinomite


Beulah - Emma Blowgun's Last Stand

The Who - Pictures Of Lily

She & Him - Over It Over Again

Holly Miranda - Sweet Dreams

The Pastels - Everybody Is A Star


The Replacements - Alex Chilton

Big Star - Thank You Friends

Nada Surf - Blue Moon

Evan Dando - The Balad Of El Goodo

Teenage Fanclub - Tears Are Cool


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Sweet Feeling

Dum Dum Girls - Rest Of Our Lives

Knight School - Jackie The Hero

Sweater Girls - Fingers Crossed


Boyracer - I've Got It And It's Not Worth Having

Henry's Dress - Winter '94

Go Sailor - Together Forever In Love

The How - Dreaming Of Lily


The Wedding Present - I'm Not Always So Stupid

Ringo Deathstarr - Every Time

Caribou - Odessa (Nite Jewel Remix)

Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly - Orange


Pants Yell! - Marble Staircase

Summer Cats - Lazy Susan

Neverever - Coconut Shampoo

Devon Williams - Sufferer

Brown Recluse - Contour And Context


The New House - Pale Boy

The Superions - Totally Nude Island

Gorillaz - To Binge

Ray Davies - Days

New Pornographers - Jackie


Toro Y Moi - You Hid

Donovan - Where Is She?

Love Is All - A Side of a Bed

Boards of Canada - Seven Forty Seven

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Sexual Objects: "Merrie England/Demonstration"

The next installment in my listening to/obsessing about/writing about the records I found in Scotland blog post series...

I arrived at Monorail Records slightly nervous about the possibility that I might have to purchase my records from one of my favorite songwriters, and that the words that came out of my mouth could range from anything to a simple thank you when my transaction was complete, to incoherent babble. I was personally hoping for a brief, yet thorough conversation where I said intelligent things about music other than indiepop. In reality, Stephen Pastel was nowhere to be seen, and I realized that the most clever thing that I could do while there would be to buy all of the records that would have cost me a fortune in shipping if I ordered them as imports.

One such record was a 7" single from the Sexual Objects. "Merrie England" b/w "Demonstration" on the Aufgenladen Und Bereit record label. I'd ordered one record from that label before, a split single from the Kingfishers and Wake the President. I was very happy with that still think "You Can't Change That Boy" was one of the strongest songs to come out of 2007. You'll hear plenty about Wake the President around these parts soon though. For now, back to the Sexual Objects. When I purchased the single I had not yet gotten around to listening to the band. I knew that it was the current project of Davy Henderson, Fire Engines' front man. That, combined with my already favorable impression of the label (who I think probably even took their name from a Fire Engines comp) made this one of my most exciting new record purchases of the entire trip.

I started with the "Demonstration" side. It's an intriguing, slow burn of a song with a somewhat 90s indie rock feel. Well, it's that, but something more complex. I've listened to the song many times and can't quite pin point exactly why it's so compelling, but it really is so compelling. In any regard, I'm pretty much always a big fan of any song that can retain it's mystery over a decent number of repeat listens. This one is no exception.

The other side "Merrie England" proved to be possibly more intriguing, and even more enjoyable. It bounces back and forth from a more upbeat take on that same 90s indie rock sound to a fun sort of ramshackle garage thing, and the undercurrent that I hear throughout the song is the exact sort of post punk sound that I would hope for from a former Fire Engine.

If only all record purchase gambles proved this successful...

Monday, March 8, 2010

KCRW Playlist From 3/7

I'm the best kind of exhausted today. Hungry Beat! was super packed, and super fun. We stayed probably too late at Part Time Punks last night to dance for Cure Night, that followed an unexpected (but welcome) fill-in shift at work. Throw in the Clientele show at Spaceland on Friday night (which was the best Clientele show I've ever seen), and of course the radio show on Saturday night/Sunday Morning and I find myself looking back on a pretty full weekend this morning.

The radio show was quite a fun one. Even though no more time had passed between my last show and this show than would have ordinarily given our rotation schedule, the fact that I had been on vacation made it feel like I had not been on the board for ages. In any regard, it felt great to be there.

I can't decide if my favorite discovery for the show this past week was Gold-Bears, or Warm Morning. I'm pretty inclined to give Gold-Bears the advantage since they are from my hometown (Atlanta), feature Stewart Boyracer on drums for the track that I played, and have themselves a giddily shambolic quality that's much like Boyracer, and Superchunk. I'm looking forward to the two singles they have promised for this year on Magic Marker, and Cloudberry. You can test Gold-Bears out for yourself over at Indiepages. On the other hand, Warm Morning sounds so gentle, and lovely, and well... warm. The song that I played "I'll be Fine" was one that I listened to several times this past week, I was struck by how subtle and sweet it sounds. It seems constructed entirely to produce good feelings in all who encounter this absolute gem of pure pop. I haven't quite figured out how to order their new record Too Far From the Stars yet, perhaps an email to the band is in order? They appear to have been around for awhile, I'll let Heaven is Above Your Head tell you more of their back story. While you're over there, you'll definitely want to grab that mp3 for "I'll be Fine." As for me I suppose I have to call a find of the week tie for Gold-Bears, and Warm Morning. Always a good thing.

I also might have to take a nap...

You can listen to my full radio show here.

Playlist is as follows:
Javelin - Moscow 1980

Garcons - Encore L'Amore (Leo Zero Edit)

Broken Bells - Mongrel Heart

Stereolab - Ping Pong

Warm Morning - I'll Be Fine

Pants Yell! - Tried To Be Good

Young Marble Giants - Wurlitzer Jukebox

Corinne Bailey Rae - Paris Nights/New York Mornings

Myron & E With The Soul Investigators - It's A Shame

Mavis - Feeling Lucky (Feat Edwyn Collins) (!)

Knight School - Prismatic Room

Crystal Stilts - Love Is A Wave

Beachniks - Coney Island

The Art Museums - Sculpture Garden

Gil Scott-Heron - Running

East Of Underground - Smiling Faces Sometimes

The Turtles - Can I Get To Know You Better

The Magnetic Fields - Always Already Gone

Northern Portrait - New Favorite Moment

Gold-Bears - Jezzer

Blair - Candy In The Kitchen

Miike Snow - Sylvia (Hook & Sling & Goodwill Remix)

The Radio Department - This Time Around

The Flatmates - You're Gonna Cry

She & Him - Thieves

Primal Scream - Ivy Ivy Ivy

Frightened Rabbit - Skip The Youth

Crocodiles - I Wanna Kill

Roxy Music - Virginia Plain

Nada Surf - Electrocution

Okkervil River & Roky Erickson - Goodbye Sweet Dreams

Ride - Leave Them All Behind

Serena-Maneesh - I Just Want To See Your Face

Toro Y Moi - Imprint After

Daedelus - Order Of The Golden Dawn

Sugar Minott - Never Too Young

The Pastels - Baby Honey

Pantha Du Prince - Bohemian Forest

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Girls at Our Best! "Go For Gold"

I've been pouring over the records that I brought home with me from Scotland still somewhat in shock due to all of the rather incredible finds I uncovered. I thought about noting them all in one post sort of laundry list style. Then I thought it would be more fun to listen to the records one at a time, and write a few words about why I was so excited about finding whatever record it is I happen to be writing about that day. It's mostly just a nice excuse for a few weeks of pre-determined channels for my geeky obsessiveness. I'll start with the 7"s then work my way onto the longer records as I go along.

First up, Girls at Our Best! There have been many times in my life when I've walked into a record shop, and dug through every 7" in the place muttering "please, please, please" under my breath hoping that I would turn up something from this band. I've looked on Ebay, and seen decent deals, but the timing was never quite right on any of those. So when I found this one, absent mindedly flipping through the G drawer at Elvis Shakespeare in Edinburgh, I almost yelped. I forgot that I was meant to be looking for it, and in a way that kind of made it more exciting. Sometimes you hear a band that seems to be a living embodiment of everything that you know to be fantastic and cool. There might be bands that mean more to you, and you know that there are definitely bands that are, in fact, more cool. Still sometimes you hear something and think "If all music sounded exactly like this, I'd probably be o.k. with that."

I'd heard of the band many times before I actually heard them, and I probably heard them many times before I knew what I was hearing. I'm pretty sure that "Getting Nowhere Fast" was the one that finally caught my attention enough to put it all together. That song had a cool female vocal part, a cool guitar lead, a cool bass line. Everything in the song was perfectly in place so that you knew it had plenty in common with other post-punk songs, and other rock songs, but there was just something a bit lighter about it that made it seem that much more fun. The 7" that I now own, for example, has an Old Western theme as it's basis for the A-side which is carried out in the context of something of a disco song. The b-side "I'm Beautiful Now" is probably one of the best showcases for singer Judy Evans' unique, high pitched singing voice. And it's impossibly catchy with a build up towards the end that has the potential to leave you out of breath. This is most likely because it's almost impossible to hear the song and not want to dance.

I had some pretty good record finds on my trip, but this one might very well be the biggest stand out.

Here's a rather interesting video that someone put together for "I'm Beautiful Now." I'd not heard of this show "Lazy Town" before coming across this video, it definitely seems to have gotten a strong response from people commenting. Still, it's a way to hear the song, so that's good...

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Lately I've been utterly transfixed by two new ones in two very different ways.

I'll be honest, the first time I ever heard the name Gil Scott-Heron it was being shouted at me in the LCD Soundsystem song "Losing My Edge." Even then, for reasons that I can't quite fathom (especially now after having finally heard Gil Scott-Heron) I didn't listen. However when he released his new record about a month ago entitled I'm New Here I knew that listening would be inevitable. The insert of the record tells you to set aside time to hear it, pour a drink, sit down, and give it your undivided attention. While reading that advice, I realized that I couldn't remember the last time that I've done that with a brand new record. Sure there have been times where a record that I was listening to pulled me away from other things and demanded my full undivided attention, but it has most certainly been awhile since that was the case going into the situation. This record absolutely deserves your full undivided attention. Mr. Scott-Heron has a rich back story to be sure, and it's treated beautifully here. The production is spot on, technical smarts, minimal jazz and blues piano and guitar all with a nicely underlying cinematic feel create the precise world that his mostly spoken, sometimes half sung reflections deserve. Is it possible to not be knocked flat by a line like "Not running for cover, because if I knew where cover was I would stay there, and never have to run for it?" Certainly not to my mind.

Conversely, twice now I've found myself home from a tiring day at work, and walking to the grocery store up the street while listening to the new Northern Portrait record Criminal Art Lovers. Both times it's shimmering, falsetto vocal tinged, glorious melodrama have made me forget the exhaustion and gain a sense that somehow, strangely, everything will be o.k. That's in spite of titles like, "The Operation Worked, but the Patient Died."

Here's an interesting montage of images that someone has put together of one of Gil Scott-Heron's most famous pieces:

This is the song that opens Criminal Art Lovers. I can't help but let it make me walk faster every time it begins:

Monday, February 15, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 2/14: All Valentine's Day, All the Time

My bags are packed, and by this time tomorrow I will be on a plane bound for Philadelphia where I'll board another plane bound for Manchester where I'll finally board a plane bound for Glasgow. To say that I'm a little bit excited about this trip would be an understatement. I still haven't fully wrapped my head around the idea that I'm going, I probably won't fully until we are riding the bus through town on Wednesday afternoon to the home of our very gracious hostess. Needless to say, I hope to return to home home with a great deal more records than I left with, and a great deal more to write about here.

In the mean time, I have a new radio show in the archives at You can listen to that show here if you are so inclined. Since it was very early in the morning on Valentine's Day when the show aired, I decided to take that theme and run with it. It's fun to have a chance to sort through your favorite love, crush, and heartbreak songs. It's even more fun to share them with others. So that's what I've done for this show. I was actually surprised at how many songs didn't fit within my three hour time slot. I have a feeling that a few of them will appear on my next show. Picking the Pastels song for this one was particularly tough, it came down to the song that I took the title of this blog from "Baby Honey," and the song that I ultimately chose "Nothing to be Done." I suppose it gained bonus points for having something of a story arch, and for being one of the truly great duets out there. You'll probably hear "Baby Honey" if you tune into my next show. That song definitely deserves some credit for pairing some seriously romantic lyrics with the fantastically noisy guitar drone, and saxophone freak out that are featured so prominently.

One of my fondest memories of KCRW is volunteering years ago on a midnight to three show that was entirely Valentine's Day themed, running to the library begging the DJ to play Galaxie 500 and the Modern Lovers, so it only felt right to do a similarly themed show on my first Valentine's Day on the air. Plus, I'm a big fan of any holiday that pretty much demands that you play Huggy Bear on the radio, and shout along to it in the studio.

Here's the playlist:
Donna Summer - I Feel Love

Hercules & Love Affair - Raise Me Up

The Velvelettes - Let Love Live (A Little Bit Longer)

Love Is All - Make Out Fall Out Make Up

Standard Fare - Love Doesn't Just Stop

Louis Philippe - You Mary You

The Troggs - With A Girl Like You

Camera Obscura - Honey In The Sun

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - A Teenager In Love

Buzzcocks - Love You More

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - By Your Side

Chris Isaak - Wicked Game

Mazzy Star - Fade Into You

Beach House - Real Love

Melody Dog - Futuristic Lover

Sourpatch - Crushin'

Tiger Trap - Supercrush

Tullycraft - Sweet

Gene Kelly - I've Got A Crush On You

Arthur Russell - A Little Lost

The Siddeleys - My Favouite Wet Wednesday Afternoon

The Lucksmiths - Falling Off Of My Feet Again

Cats On Fire - Garden Lights

Razorcuts - Sorry To Embarrass You

Math & Physics Club - I Keep To Myself

The Magnetic Fields - Long Vermont Roads

The Divine Comedy - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Serge Gainsbourg - Bonnie & Clyde

The Pastels - Nothing To Be Done

Go Sailor - I'm Still Crying

The Hit Parade - You Didn't Love Me Then

Princeton - Shout It Out

Huggy Bear - February 14

My Bloody Valentime - Sunny Sundae Smile

The Field Mice - And Before The First Kiss

Galaxie 500 - Oblivious

Otis Redding - You Don't Miss Your Water

Heavenly - Shallow

Biff Bang Pow - She's Got Diamonds In Her Hair

Mayer Hawthorne - I Wish It Would Rain

Miles Davis - My Funny Valentine

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beat Happening

I wanted to write a little something here about how taken I've been lately with the Biff Bang Pow record Oblivion, particularly the song "She's Got Diamonds in Her Hair." More on that to come, but I found this video to be one of the most interesting appearances in the course of my search for a video for that particular song. I never got a chance to see Beat Happening live, nor have I ever seen Calvin Johnson perform in any other capacity. He really is as charismatic a performer as all accounts would lead one to believe. I found it nearly impossible to take my eyes off of him during the course of this show. Subtle yes, but perhaps all the more compelling because of that subtlety. And it really is amazing that regardless of how many bands I see doing great things with such minimal, child like presentations - Beat Happening still seem incredibly raw, and genuinely thrilling.

Monday, February 1, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 1/31

It's been a few weeks since I've been on the air, and I've been using a good bit of that time to track down new music that I can get excited about. I've also been spending more time with records that were released last year that I either didn't spend quite enough time with, or missed entirely. Of course I meant to spend a far greater deal of that extra time writing words of praise about those records here. Wouldn't it be nice if all of our best intentions automatically produced results? Oh well, I can say that lately I keep coming back to the new record from Standard Fare called The Noyelle Beat. They just seem to have the right balance of intimate and epic in their sound, and they manage this while still being a completely fun listen. It's a pretty cool hat trick if you ask me.

Another project that has a pretty firm hold on my attention lately is the The Diogenes Club. I knew nothing about them until I heard Jason Bentley play the single. "Tie Ourselves," from their forthcoming 979 EP on Morning Becomes Eclectic a few weeks ago. There is one previous EP called Do You Know How I Feel?. I haven't had a chance to pick that one up yet, but that's certainly my intention. I don't have too many words about it, it just sounds really really nice. Good synthpop is just endlessly satisfying if you ask me. There's a video for that single too!

You can listen to this most recent show of mine here...

... And here is the playlist:

The Crayon Fields - All The Pleasures Of The World

Zoot Woman - Lust Forever

Kid Creole & The Coconuts - I'm Corrupt (Idjut Boys Edit)

Nikki & Rich - Cat & Mouse

The Shangri-Las - Give Him A Great Big Kiss

Nation Of Ulysses - Today I Met The Girl I'm Gonna Marry

Boyracer - Your Dark Secrets

The Pastels - Anne Boleyn

The Magnetic Fields - The Dada Polka

The Soft Pack - Answer To Yourself

Los Campesinos! - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future

Standard Fare - Dancing

Music Go Music - Warm In The Shadows

Orange Juice - Flesh Of My Flesh

Belle & Sebastian - Le Pastie De La Bourgeoise

Old 97'S - Rollerskate Skinny

The Cure - Bananafish Bones

We Are Scientists - Worth The Wait

The Tartans - Scenic Circles

Wet Dog - Tidy Up Your Bedroom

The Monochrome Set - Espresso

Cats On Fire - Tears In Your Cup

Love - Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark & Hilldale

Jacques Dutronc - Les Cactus

Jose James - Made For Love

Laura Veirs - Life Is Good Blues

Lali Puna - Remember

Bibio - All The Flowers (Lone Remix)

Pepi Ginsberg - Shake This

Momus - The Sadness Of Things

The Diogenes Club - Tie Ourselves Around

Death Kit - I Can Make You Love Me

Memory Tapes - Bicycle

Atlas Sound - Quick Canal (Featuring Laetitia Sadier)

Kings Of Convenience - Renegade

The Clientele - Bonfires On The Heath

Hope Sandoval - Wild Roses

Beach House - 10 Mile Stereo

Seven Saturdays - A Beautiful Day

Friday, January 15, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: Sunny & the Sunliners "If I Could See You Now"

In the grand scheme of things, my knowledge of great Northern Soul records is severely limited. You could set me in front of a bin filled with nothing but absolute gems, and I could probably pull out something like five, maybe up to ten if I was particularly on top of my game that day. The fact that I would know any such records at all has a lot that I DJ at a club with people who are far more knowledgeable on the subject than myself, so I've managed to pick up a thing or two here and there. This track from Sunny & the Sunliners was the first one that really managed to jump out and grab me. I'd heard one of my fellow DJs play it a number of times, and always thought it was great. Still, it wasn't until one particular Hungry Beat! a few months ago that I finally said to myself, "I have to know what that song is!" I asked, and I was told. Ever since then I'll have a day here and there where I simply have to hear the song several times in a row before my intake of it has been satisfied. To my mind it perfectly encompasses everything about Northern Soul records that make them ideal for all night dance parties - the unasuming instrumentation with the always welcome use of horns and an organ in their respective exactly right places, the vocals that are sort of simultaneously heartfelt and whimsical, and probably more than anything else the relentlessly fast (yet very even) pace that blends fantastically with the vocal phrasing to guarantee that you'll be out of breath by the end of the song whether you've been dancing particularly hard or not. I've still not yet tracked down the 45, but I'm hoping that it's only a matter of time...

And if you feel like dancing tomorrow (quite possibly to this song) you should head out to La Cita and join us for Hungry Beat!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

KCRW Playlists from 1/13 (filling in for Michael Barnes) and 1/10 (My show)

Another week, another radio show, well, two actually, but not surprisingly the weekend and early part of the week managed to escape me too fast. Thus, here I am on Thursday sorting through so many thoughts of excitement over so many pop songs that I've been listening to and enjoying lately. Not surprisingly, a good number of those songs made their way into my past two radio shows so I thought this might be a good post within which to discuss those thoughts.

I'm really pleased with the lead singles from both the forthcoming Love is All record Two Thousand Ten Injuries, and the new Knight School record Revenger. It'll be interesting to see if the Brooklyn based Knight School picks up a larger audience with this new release. Their debut record The Poor and Needy Need to Party was one of my favorites of 2009, and I still can't understand why it didn't reach more people. In my opinion The Poor and Needy Need to Party was the one of the most perfect collection of bratty, noisy gleefully short pop songs to come out in quite some time. It's only further helped by the fact that it sounds like it was exactly as much fun to make as it is to hear. "Pizza My Coat," the first single from Revenger seems to be taking them further along in the same direction with perhaps a slight degree of assurance added to the sound. You can download that track here. The fact that the NME is writing about them does seem to indicate an encouraging development in their level of exposure. Slightly funny to see that the NME is writing about them now that they are releasing their music on this San Francisco based label, and not the U.K. based label that put out their first record. Lostmusic is fantastic though, and I would strongly encourage you to visit their website, and purchase the records they release. Love is All appear to have made a label change as well (they're on Polyvinyl this time around), but have also apparently stayed within the same sonic realm that they've been operating in for the past few years. I can't stop listening to the new single "Kungen," it's as giddy and frantic as any of their best, and based on it's strength Two Thousad Ten Injuries might now be my most anticipated record of this year. Hopefully this means a U.S. tour for Love is All in 2010 as well. I can't recommend their live show highly enough. It's almost certain to make you two thousand and ten times happier than you were before seeing it, in my humble opinion. On the rare occasions that I want something slower paced than the Knight School or Love is All singles I've been turning to the dreamy new Beach House record, Teen Dream. Has Beach House ever produced a song that wasn't positively dreamy? Speaking of dreamy, I severely neglected the Maria single from last year Love Is. I can't properly explain that one. Maria finally put three of my favorite songs from their live show on to a 7", and though I've owned it since it was released last year it's only within the past few weeks that I've given it the repeat listens that it deserves. The band finally achieved the exact right sound for them (the one that they have been hinting at since I first discovered that band), and I still maintain that the YAY! label is one of the most exciting things going on in indiepop these days.

Well, I suppose that is enough rambling from me for the time being. Time to head off and search for more lovely new and/or classic songs!

You can listen to me filling in for Michael Barnes here. That will be archived until Wednesday morning of next week.

And you can catch my show here. It's archived until Monday morning.

I've posted the play lists from both shows here as well...

Show from 1/13 (Filling in for Michael Barnes)
Was (Not Was) - "Tell Me That I'm Dreaming"

Quadron - "Slippin'"

Lucky Soul - "Whoa Billy"

Sunny & The Sunliners - "If I Could See You Now"

Myron And E With The Soul Investigators - "Cold Game"

The 24-Carat Black - "Gone The Promises Of Yesterday"

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - "Falling Over"

Testbild! - "My Brother The Submariner"

Slowdive - "Machine Gun"

Charles Bradley And The Menahan Street Band - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

The Clientele - "Since K Got Over Me"

The Go-Betweens - "Bachelor Kisses"

David Bowie - "Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed"

Pete Dunaway - "Supermarket"

Jovenes Y Sexys - "Amor Platonico"

Maria - "When The Sun Goes Down"

Devendra Banhart - "Forget About Him"

The Yummy Fur - "Hong Kong In Stereo"

Comet Gain - "If I Had A Soul"

Love Is All - "Kungen"

Beach House - "Silver Soul"

Atlas Sound - "Shelia"

Knight School - "Pizza My Coat"

The Soft Pack - "Answer To Yourself"

Crocodiles - "Hollow Hollow Eyes"

The Velvet Underground - "I'll Be Your Mirror"

Wild Nothing - "Summer Holiday"

Jim Noir - "All Right"

Toro Y Moi - "Talamak"

The XX - "Heart Skipped A Beat"

Bibio - "Bones & Skulls"

Vis A Vis - "Obi Agye Me Dofo"

Francoiz Breut - "Mochoir De Poche"

The Pastels/Tenniscoats - "Vivid Youth"

Laura Veirs - "Silo Song"

Mulato Astake - "Tezeta"

Desolation Wilderness - "Slow Fade"

Dum Dum Girls - "Baby Don't Go"

Build An Ark - "In The Park"


Show from 1/10 (My Show)
Girls At Our Best - "Pleasure"

Delta 5 - "Mind Your Own Business (Man Ray Mix)"

LCD Soundsystem - "Losing My Edge"

Dead Milkmen - "Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance To Anything)"

Vampire Weekend - "Giving Up The Gun"

Zoot Woman - "Just A Friend Of Mine (Jump Jump Dance Dance Remix)"

Annie - "Bad Times"

The XX - "Shelter"

Princeton - "Shout It Out"

Clare & The Reasons - "Ooh You Hurt Me So"

Plaisir De France - "Le Responsable Revisite"

Laura Veirs - "Where Are You Driving"

Beach House - "Walk In The Park"

Memory Tapes - "Stop Talking"

Washed Out - "Feel It All Around"

Television Personalities - "I Know Where Syd Barret Lives"

Pink Floyd - "Bike"

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Good Kids Make Bad Grown Ups"

Nosaj Thing - "Coat Of Arms"

Taxi Taxi! - "Old Big Trees"

Devendra Banhart - "Goin Back"

Rodrigo Y Gabriela - "Atman"

Kyeremateng Atwede & The Kyeremateng Stars - "I Go Die For You"

Love Is All - "Kungen"

Quasi - "Repulsion"

The Muslims - "Walking With Jesus"

Aberdeen - "Cities & Busses (Live on Morning Becomes Eclectic)"

The Pastels - "Stay With Me Until The Morning Comes"

Maria - "When The Sun Goes Down"

Peter Sarstedt - "Once Upon An Everyday"

Belle & Sebastian - "We Are The Sleepyheads"

Pulp - "David's Last Summer"

The Broadfield Marchers - "Falling Asleep To Disappear"

The Clientele - "Bonfires On The Heath"

Liechtenstein - "The End"

Air - "Tropical Disease"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 1/3 - A Few Personal Highlights from 2009

This was a tough one. 2009 was a pretty great year for me, both in terms of the music that I heard, and personal things. More often than not the two overlapped. It's always nice when such things happen. There are many things that should have been played on this show, but weren't due to time constraints (it still kills me that I wasn't able to close things out with "The End" by Lichtenstein). There are also many things that likely should have made this list that I sadly did not have a chance to hear. These are, of course, only problems indicative of an excellent year for music.

I also realize that leading my show off with a Comet Gain single that was released at the end of 2008 might raise some eyebrows, but since the "Broken Record Prayers" comp was released here in the States in 2009, I decided that it simply must be that way. Since I've taken to the airwaves Comet Gain have to be my most often played band after the Pastels (who I include on every show). 2009 was also the year when I finally started really listening to Comet Gain after too many incidences of asking a friend who was responsible for the awesome song they just played, and the answer always being "Comet Gain." As for picking the song "Love Without Lies," well, I have a weakness for any song that can make the experience of walking somewhere more pleasant, fun or exciting. This song manages all three. When it fills my headphones I walk taller, faster, and with more confidence. Everything is heightened, and the world feels at once a thousand times more risky, and ten thousand times more safe. And what would life be if certain songs didn't come along to heighten everything at the very least once a year?

Upwards and onwards to all in 2010!


You can listen to the show here:

Here is the playlist:
Comet Gain - Love Without Lies

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - The White Witch

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Twin Of Myself (Go! Team Remix)

U.S.E - K.I.S.S.I.N.G

The Postmarks - My Lucky Charm

Air France - Gothenberg Belongs To Me

Little Dragon - My Step

Annie - My Love Is Better

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - 1999

The Mayfair Set - Desert Fun

A Place To Bury Strangers - Keep Slipping Away

The Horrors - Who Can Say

Quadron - Pressure

Crocodiles - I Wanna Kill

Mos Def - Pretty Dancer

Chin Chin - Stay

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Falling Over

Bricolage - On The Omnibusses

Fol Chen - Winter, That's All

Tha Boogie - Peter Parker

Cry Babies - It's My Thing

Myron And E With The Soul Investigators - Cold Game

Mayer Hawthorne - Maybe So, Maybe No

Wake The President - Something To Turn Up

Wake The President - Professor

Sonic Youth - Malibu Gas Station

Knight School - Pregnant Again

Brilliant Colors - I Searched

Pens - I Sing Just For You

The Bridal Shop - Ideal State

Camera Obscura - Honey In The Sun

Testbild! - My Brother The Submariner

Real Estate - Fake Blues

Pastels/Tenniscoats - So Many Stars

John Vanderslice - Carina Constallation

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Sets The Blaze

The Clientele - Never Anyone But You

Atlas Sound - Quick Canal (Featuring Laetitia Sadier)