Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Stretch Run

(Photo: For no reason whatsoever, a young Albert Einstein, when he worked at the Patent Office.)

I'm sure everybody has put all of two and two together by now, but I guess it could be a bit harder for those without facebook or myspace accounts. So, let me say it: I'm moving to Oregon, to live with Alex, to date Amy, to hopefully not work very hard in real life and therefore to *succeed* in various writing and self-employment ventures. (Ah, la esperanza...!) I'm moving in about 5 weeks. It's all very exciting, and 90% of what I think of these days.

And with me here writing about music, telling you all that is me telling you about the mix, I s'pose--since there's no way my music listening and the rest of my life aren't completely intertwined, as they usually are.

So what analysis is hidden here; what prism to view the rest of my life can we draw from this mix? Well, the songs are a little more energetic than usual, so I suppose these changes have given me energy. (Or wait: perhaps I'm tired and looking for a pick-up.) Dee-lite starts the whole thing off with all-time dance party favorite "Groove Is in the Heart," which must mean I feel like dancing my life away (wait, crap--I'm probably being ironic, aren't I). Well at least the title, The Stretch Run--surely this signifies I'm at the end of a long race, ready to take a rest, begin a new day.

Then again, I named the last mix "Miles to Go," so it's clear I don't know what is up and what is down. :-P

I kid. Things are looking good for the future. I am excited, and I think this mix reflects that. I've got a lot to do between now and Dec. 5, but by and large it all seems doable, fun, knee-slap happy.

The Stretch Run
1. Groove Is in the Heart, Deee-Lite
2. I Want To Be The Boy, The White Stripes
3. Mardy Bum, Arctic Monkeys
4. Ragged Wood, Fleet Foxes
5. Under Control, The Strokes
6. That Teenage Feeling, Neko Case
7. Re: Stacks, Bon Iver
8. Gypsy, Fleetwood Mac
9. It Beats 4U, My Morning Jacket
10. Effect & Cause, The White Stripes
11. Waltz, No. 2 (XO), Elliott Smith
12. Killing Lies, The Strokes
13. I Am a Child, Neil Young
14. Holiday Road, Lindsey Buckingham

I think "Groove" is one of those songs no one could ever truly get sick of. I mean, you're kind of always sick of it, but it is incredibly infectious. Am I right?...Been listening to a lot of White Strips AND Raconteurs lately. Jack White is a genius, and I don't give him near enough credit..."Mardy Bum" was also on the mix I made for myself when I left Alaska the first time...honestly, Fleet Foxes can do no wrong at this point...double-dip of Strokes on this one; I'm seriously dying for a new album from them. Please Julian et al., please!...the perfect love song, from Neko Case?...I need to digest more of this Bon Iver album to give him a fair shot at the 2008 "Best Of" list. Any other Best Of recommendations out there, dear readers?..."Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac is such a perfect song. I like gypsies...I really wish I had the newest My Morning Jacket CD, but I don't (yet) "Effect & Cause," when Jack White spits the smack "But if you're headed to the grave you don't blame the hearse," I call back "DAMN!!!" every time...had a talk with my new friend Javier about Elliott Smith a few days back. He is punk-folk, I believe we decided...I like how this album ends up, with some quick childish Neil Young and "Holiday Road" by Fleetwood frontman Lindsey Buckingham. Do you know what movie that song is from? Here's your hint.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let's Visit the 90s (Briefly)

I'm headed to the fair environs of Portland/Salem tomorrow (where stuff like this happens), but this post has nothing to do with that.

Why the 1990s, you ask? I have no idea; most of this music isn't even from the 1990s; I swear, the only 1990s thing that has happened to me lately is a certain presidential election and the growing probability that a certain party's presidential candidate (Barack the Vote!) will be taking office, with a mandate even. Other than that, I got nothin'.

Still, there is something grunge and/or Jtown and/or West Hall about this playlist. Firstly, the Foo Fighters' The Colour and the Shape album pretty much defined my freshman year of college (sexual frustration and existential angst I think would be apt descriptors for both); secondly, the backward-glancing lyrics, hooks, song titles, and even cover song choices of Dr. Dog(the most excellent band you've never yet heard of, in which case you have, in which case I apologize). Thirdly, the Beatles rock reminds me of dorm days with Cebs, circa, to keep harping on the Dr. Dog excellence, this is the stuff that Dr. Dog is most compared to, George Harrison/John Lennon Beatles' riffology.

Anyways, perhaps the 1990s are calling us, folks. Do you remember those days, of fiscal pragmatism at home and abroad? I mean, you were only 18. The best you were doing for eating out was comedy night at the campus dining center; if Jeff Buckley told you to drink "Lilac Wine" afterwards, you would do it. You were head over heals for one certain girl/boy who lived just one dorm over, and you made out with one certain girl at a one certain party, when you were both drunk, but they were never quite the same girl. There was the puke post.

Even if it is only in listening to The Raconteurs' and The Raveonettes' punky teenage play that you can remember it, even if it is only left to us by Loudon Wainwright's childlike glee, the 1990s are there for us. A Democrat in the White House. Apple pie, baseball, the poetry of Jill Osier. What more can we ask for?

So, again, Barack the Vote! Listen to this music while you do so! Go Rays!

Man, I way too drunk right now...damn dorm room bourbon nights...

Let's Visit the 1990s (Briefly)
1. Sleep Walk, Santo & Johnny
2. My Doorbell, The White Stripes
3. Everlong, Foo Fighters
4. A Long Time Ago, Dr. Dog
5. Don't Let Me Down, The Beatles
6. Find the River, Dr. Dog
7. Monty Got a Raw Deal, R.E.M.
8. The Swimming Song, Loudon Wainwright
9. Coconut Skins, Damien Rice
10. When Your Mind's Made Up, Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
11. The Hill, Marketa Irglova
12. Lilac Wine, Jeff Buckley
13. Paranoia in B-flat Major, The Avett Brothers
14. If I Was Young, The Raveonettes
15. The Old Days, Dr. Dog
16. Old Enough, The Raconteurs
17. From a Motel 6, Yo La Tengo
18. On the Radio, Regina Spector

A note on that top photo: it's from prom, I can't remember which one, and was damaged in a dorm room bourbon accident, I believe...also, Shouts to Noel Wien Library, Suzanne, Alisha, and Amy for pretty much everything that is on this mix. I thank you all...Santo & Johnny: a 50s beginning to a 90s mix...Jack White has a strange knack for catchy and upbeat songwriting when he wants to pop it up a little...seriously, check out Dr. Dog, every track you can get your hands on. I haven't heard a bad one yet, and "A Long Time Ago" is the catchiest rock song I've heard since perhaps Weezer's Blue Album...Quick story about this Beatles track: I got it off the Beatles 1967-1970 (Disc 2), which is one of the blue discs of the blue/red double-cd greatest hits package of theirs that is quite widespread. Anyways, I had been missing that that disc (having 3 of the 4) until last night, when Alisha gave it to me. It was the only disc of the four that she had!...excellent (certainly better than me) music blog/emporium Stereogum put together a "tribute" album to R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People. You can download the whole thing at their site, and I put the Dr. Dog version of "Find the River" here. It also made me revisit the original album...loving all of these songs a lot: Louden sounds like Townes Van Zandt to me here, I'm slightly in love with Marketa Irglova now (but not enough to get the little marks over the vowels, apparently)...some classic Buckley, and The Avett Brothers, who are at the heart of one of this librarian's favorite genres, Alt-Country...I kind of hate the Raveonettes, yet I have two full albums of their stuff. On each album there is exactly *one* song that I like...this Yo La Tengo sounds to me like the single point where there sound overlaps exactly with The Pixies...Regina Spector, because I really like Russian chicks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mea Culpa, Glen Hansard

So, remember that film Once, that everybody loved, that came out like a year ago? Yeah, sure you do; you loved it! After all, it was a good movie, with a lot of good things going on for it: good music, compelling love story, underdog vibe, Irish accents...hard not to like all of those things.

Unless you're me, that is. Being a self-avowed contrarian (purely for contrary's sake), I refused to see the film for about a year, despite Katy constantly repeating how good it was, despite her listening to the soundtrack in the shower every day for about 4 months, despite every single person I've ever met ooohing and aahing when I said I hadn't seen it yet. I don't like musicals, I said. I don't like romantic comedy.

Funny, though, that during my visit to Oregon, I finally did see the film with Amy, and fell in love with it, too. The music is good, not musical-like at all, really; the story is earnest and true, the love story not following the typical romantic narrative; and, let's be honest, Markéta Irglová is about the cutest thing in the world and made the film. (Does it freak anyone else out that she was born in 1988?)

Not only that, but Glen Hansard's work with The Frames is pretty good, too!

So, this is my apology to Glen, Markéta, and their cohorts. Everyone see Once, if you haven't already, and buy the soundtrack, if you haven't done that either.

Glen, Markéta, my bad.

"When Your Mind's Made Up," Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

Saturday, October 4, 2008

These Are My Keywords: Vampire Weekend, Cat Power, Jenny Lewis, New, mp3

Another week come and gone...I don't have too much to say more than that. I didn't even have it in mind to post a mix when I woke this morning, but I decided I wanted to put up something, so here are some good tunes I've added to my collection lately. If you're keeping tally at home, my collection is up to 7140 songs, which is 19.6 days of music, which is stored in 26.08 GB. Not really that much, compared to many people I know, actually. But that's from 1021 artists, or 1098 albums, which are much more interesting statistics to me. Wait...why am I telling you about statistics???

Truth told, I have been working on a new blog. It is in terribly rough condition right now, but that is because I cobbled it together from my small, but expanding, knowledge of CSS/PHP markup languages. I used the excellent and fun layout editor by Artisteer, too. Yes, I still have delusions of making money off my love of music. Insane? Probably. But worth a shot.

So, do you want to check out the *very rough* work thus far? Hmm, okay...check it out at:

Anyways, all I've been thinking about this week is blogging, XHTML, keywords, traffic...and, oh yeah, music. So it seemed like I should share some of it with you all. Here we go:

These Are My Keywords
1. Legendary Anchor Ron Burgundy Welcomes You to His Album: Will Ferrell
2. Ottoman, Vampire Weekend
3. Beat (Health, Life, and Fire), Thao
4. The Next Messiah, Jenny Lewis
5. At Least That's What You Said, Wilco
6. Dark End of the Street (Live), Cat Power
7. Shelter, Ray LaMontagne
8. Fighter Girl, Mason Jennings
9. Soldier Boy, Mason Jennings
10. How Lucky We Are, Meiko
11. Heads Roll Off, Frightened Rabbit
12. Home, Great Northern
13. Bowie, Flight of the Conchords
14. Black Sand, Jenny Lewis
15. Everywhere, Vampire Weekend
16. Ron Burgundy's Sign-Off, Will Ferrell

Thanks to Amanda&Jon for the hilarious soundtrack to Anchorman...speaking of soundtracks, "Ottoman" is a new song from VW on the one for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist...this may turn out to be my favorite song off Thao's great We Brave Bee Stings And All album...Jenny Lewis is amazing. Seriously, who were the last artists to pull of the epic song so well: Guns'n'Roses? Queen?...Jenny gets a little rock lineup protection from Wilco, in the same way Manny used to protect David Ortiz (for the baseball fans out there)...OKAY, STOP and LISTEN to this Cat Power live cover of Aretha Franklin's "Dark End of the Street." Now, if that didn't stop you cold in your tracks, 1) watch this video (it's the first one) of that song being officially recorded in the studio, and 2)realize that darling Chan will be releasing an EP with the track December 9th. Wow, it will be so exciting to listen to a nice, cleanly produced version of this song..."Shelter" by Ray L. is one of darling Amy's favorites...this duo of Mason Jennings songs remind me of my friend Alisha and her husband David, who is serving overseas in Iraq. Both of them kick the adorability (is that a word?) of this Meiko song..."Heads Roll Off" from Frightened Rabbit has great lyrics and a better video...honestly, I'm not totally sold on this Great Northern song. What do you guys think?...ah, Flight of the Conchords and Will Ferrell, what a combo for one mix!...pretty sure I'll have given away this entire Jenny Lewis album by Christmas...I'm not crazy about this cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere" from VW, but you should probably have it...oh poor, poor, Ron Burgundy.