What a week! Kanye had a rough week, Keith and Conan got their jobs back, and Limewire bit the dust and was resurrected as a pirate. Looks like everyone is here for the mixtape though. That's what it's all about, bringing everyone together. That and alcohol? Bust out the schnapps, Space Cat.
The weather is too damn cold, people. We don't need a guy with ball shaped facial hair to tell us this, in song or in debate. And it's about to get colder, the biggest release of the fall (and one of the biggest of the year) is a dark twisted fantasy from our favorite rapper/cartoon character EVER. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of great music to soak up before Winter hits. Don't let some of the best undiscovered gems of 2010 pass you by. We've got a few for you after the jump.
Scroll Through The Player To Listen To All The Songs On the Mixtape
1. "Hannah" - Freelance Whales - Weathervanes
We lead off with a 2010 classic, "Hannah", from Freelance Whales. Definitely one of the more underrated pop acts of the year. I spent all week revisiting the record.
2. "Blame Game (Ft. John Legend)" - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I'm beginning to believe the outlandish idea that Kanye West's Fantasy will be rap's Kid A
. Maybe people have broken the formula down before, but not on this scale with this much visibility. The melancholy-infused tracks could be considered analogous to Yorke's desire to rip apart the media's concept of him while simultaneously conflating it, isn't that what West is doing? Rap that is more melodic than aggressive, and more honestly introspective than antagonistic from a rapper as big as Kanye is a big deal. Not to mention the poetry of his lyrics, so much deeper than wordplay or even hidden messages. The first lyric of this song ("On the bathroom wall...") is so painfully honest, it hits harder than most other rap jabs I've heard, ever.
3. "Helena, MT" - Motel Motel - The Big Island
Motel Motel make the kind of music I absolutely adore, absurdly complex and emotionally satiating. Thei latest, The Big Island
, is out now. It definitely doesn't refer to Manhattan, these guys are Brooklynittes through and through.
4. "Roxanne" - White Wires - WWII
Fun, flighty rock for the jump-up-and-down crew in America's hat. Ottawa's finest garage band, to get your Friday going off on the right foot (or no feet). WWII
is out 11/23.
5. "Black and Blue" - The White Buffalo - Prepare For Black and Blue
Sometimes you just need a good folk-sy song with harmonies and guitar to help you get through the end of your day/walk into the sunset, and this song really does it for me. This EP is out now if you're looking for more sad walks on the sidewalk.
6. "Winterlude" - Grandchildren - Cold Warrior
The first time I heard this I think I tweeted "Whoa, Grandchildren. Whoa." (evidence
). I don't know what a Winterlude is but this is definitely what it sounds like. These guys sing too, but this track really struck me my first listen, so it's the mixtape choice for me. cold Warrior
7. "Love The Way You Lie Pt. 2 (Ft. Eminem)" - Rihanna - Loud
Pt. 2 of the radio smash, recorded for Rihanna's LP Loud
(out now). Hits 15x harder than the original I think, but that is just me. It's at least worth hearing. Eminem is a crazy person. Legit.
8. "Babette!" - Pepper Rabbit - Beauregard
These guys are one of the best CMJ discoveries of the 2010 hunt. Their music seems so folky, but watching them live it's all electrified pomp, with plenty of pedal pushing and ambient static. Catch their live set if you get a chance.
9. "PVC" - Suuns - Zeroes QC
Another awesome act to emerge this fall. I don't usually take my advice from Pitchfork, but they are Pitchfork, and they didn't get where they are today by being wrong all the time. These guys are the real deal.
10. "Never Swallow Fruit (Pistol Disco Mix)" - The Radio Dept. - Never Follow Suit EP
This EP gave a few alternate tracks from Swedish popsters The Radio Dept. (who don't like to be called shoegaze according to lead singer Johan Duncanson, take note). The final track is a dub remix of the original of the titular track (with a punny name). We're going to let it play us out this week. Goodnight music fans!