Forty-nine was an OK year, I guess. I don't know history that well. But I know poetry! In 1949 at Edgar Allen Poe's grave the mysterious Poe Toaster
showed up for the first time on 1/19, Poe's birthday, to leave him a bottle of whiskey or something. These are things I like! So to celebrate the mixtape/year of the toaster (who failed to show up this year) let's BUST THIS TAPE UP! Seriously, this tape is ill. We've got some really new/awesome/rocketship stuff. HEADPHONES UP (OR NOT, YOUR CHOICE)! Sorry, it's Friday.
Scroll Through The Player To Listen To All The Songs On the Mixtape
1. "Show Me Something New" - Shout Out Louds - Work
2010's take on The Smiths. It's a little polished sure, but the outro's guitar part is so subtly catchy that after it's over you won't be sure what you're humming or why. Shout Out Louds have an unbelievable ability to jam so much mood and atmosphere into dance tracks. Here's another great example.
2. "Good Friend, Bad Habits" - Owen - New Leaves
With all the Cap'n Jazz reunion news happening recently it's probably as a good a time as any to listen to Mike Kinsella's ode to destructive relationships. Aside from the fact it's a pitch perfect example of what's great about his solo project Owen, it's also just a nice winter drinking song. Kinsella may be getting older but he sure hasn't lost his touch for emo sound collages.
3. "Because We're Dead" - The Slow Club - Yeah, So?
Just like the last two, another mid-winter drinking song. The scrappy gang vocals, the bright clangy acoustic guitar. You can literally hear a bunch of snowed in kids tearing their house apart. And while we don't advocate tearing your living room to pieces, if you're going to do it, this is nice background music.
4. "Warning Sign" - Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
The West-coast Grizzly Bear cooks up a tasty sample of rhythm and ooos with this standout track/cover from their debut, Monkey House
(jokes). It kind of makes you want to dance, or maybe do some painting ... I don't know, the emotions are so complex! The harmonies are so Fleetwood, it makes your head spin. Not in the "nostalgia" way but in the "wow, I love this" way. Go team! Honestly, Talking Heads are weird but this is great!
5. "Lissoms" - Toro Y Moi - Causers Of This
It's been said a few times Chaz really excels as a producer, and I think this epic beat collage demonstrates his button pushing techniques and soundscaping. It may be short, but it takes you to a surprising number of places; chilled out, spaced out, cold weather, warm weather, whatever. Like a day at the beach in the Arctic. This isn't quite "chill-wave" so much as a kid with a computer and a bunch of great ideas.
6. "Promises" - The Morning Benders - Echoes
Um, whoa. The Morning Benders were pretty awesome before, with their mellowed out alt-Beach Boys Cali-pop, but first listens from Echoes
have been an incredibly stellar selection; fleshed out sounds, washes of illustrious vocals, and the tasty chord changes these guys effortlessly incorporate time and again. This is a Morning Bender I can get on board with (get it? Poe Toaster!).
7. "Turnpike Ghost" - Steel Train
Haters can shut it, Trampoline
was a great record and Jack Antonoff writes a great rock riff. Pumped up by his participation in last year's Aim and Ignite
(which was by fun.), I was expecting "Killing Monsters In The Rain" but this is something more energized and scratchy, with some definite fist pumping terminology ("we don't have to live like that!") worthy of Jersey's most fist-pump worth bands (from The Boss to Titus Andronicus). And hey, it sounds like a smoothie made of both. Drink up.
8. "My Life" - jj - jj n 3
There is something haunting, soulful and energetic about this minimalist track off the new record from these mysterious Swedes. They are like the the T.S. Elliots of the Balearic beat scene, making so many melodic and lyrical references to other songs, you barely catch any of them. This song, fortunately, has one of the most transparent (and most satisfying).
9. "Little Lion Man" - Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
Nothing new here, just a guilty pleasure from 2009 who played a pretty baller set at Bowery Ballroom last night. This song got the crowd jumping harder than watching someone make the last basket in OT. PUMP IT!
10. "Bodies" - Savoir Adore - In The Wooded Forest
Although not totally indicative of their overall sound, this song off the young Brooklyn band's latest is super-catchy and captures their live-show presence. While Mumford was entertaining the masses, I called an audible and left to catch this duo for their last night of residency at Cake Shop (an admittedly small and annoying venue) and wound up having a great time watching them work.
So there you go, a little old, a little new. Fill up your fancy foot playlist and get going, the weekend is here. We'll see you when it's over. -joe