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)