54 always make me thing of Studio 54, and since I don't think we can officially sanction a mixtape picture with hookers and blow, we'll go with a disco ball! Hooray, fishbowl shoes! This week New York City went from wet mud-puddle to scorched Earth, as we traded cold, whipping rains for 90-degree sunglass weather. Great trade! We are like the NFC over here. I'll give you two weeks of rain and this half-eaten bag of Doritos for JaMarcus Russel. But anyway, let's tap the jukebox with our fists and give the week a collective "HEYYYYYY", as we put on our leather jackets and ride grease lightning off into the sunset and eventually into a terrible sequel. Coooooool rider.
The Mixtape. Always fresh, like a smart-mouthed punk.
Scroll Through The Player To Listen To All The Songs On the Mixtape
1. "Free Energy" - Free Energy - Stuck On Nothing
This has probably surfaced a few times here and there, it isn't spanking new, but it is the theme song of my week, and seriously, do you mind starting with Free Energy? They are the ultimate pump-it-up Friday band. Stuck On Nothing
is stuck on repeat. Seriously, solid freakin' gold.
2. "Royalty" - Dinosaur Bones - 7-Inch
This little gem of a band popped up while I was playing six degrees of separation with Tokyo Police Club. Aside from production, these guys have a much more subtle approach to retractable pop. There is an EP out there somewhere, populated with the same mildly sinister twists that they employ on "Royalty".
3. "Lemonade" - CocoRosie - Grey Oceans
CocoRosie, the ex-patriot sisters (who I like to call the lost generation of freak folk) are gearing up to release their next album. First cut "Lemonade" is exactly as brain-excavating as you'd expect from these two. A musical box of David Lynch movies. The hook is going to get under your skin and stay there until it's dark outside.
4. "Song For Dan Treacy" - MGMT - Congratulations
I'm sorry to all of you who don't want to enjoy this record, because the more I hear it, the more the quirky hodgepodge of references to post-punk and 60's pop hit the spot. Give it a chance to sneak up behind you and pull your hair. This is a top pick for me so far.
5. "It Only Takes One Night" - Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be
This band is great. Catchy tunes, loving the harmonies, and it sounds like there is an entire layer of the sound shaved off at an obtuse and ridiculous angle, giving the whole thing a punk-y shade of reverberated scuzz.
6. "Swim Until You Can't See Land" - Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
OK, I'll admit, extreme hype usually has an adverse effect on me. Tons of peeps were all Frightened Rabbit is the ketchup on their french fries, and I was like I'll have mine with salt. But I heard the song on an episode of NBC's Chuck
, which I was shamelessly enjoying, and I caved and got the record, and remembered how much I love ketchup. TRUE STORY.
7. "I Was Denied" - Thee Oh Sees - Warm Slime
is sort of a nasty title for a record, but this whacked out San Francisco quartet are kind of a nasty band...so it works, right? "I Was Denied" is an audiophile's nightmare; an oddball slice of garage, psych, and punk all romping about in one haphazard stew of noise. Perhaps that's the warm slime Thee Oh Sees speak of.
8. "Lay Everything On Me" - Oh Mercy - Privileged Woes
Melbourne band Oh Mercy deliver the kind of confectionery pop we're getting used to looking to Australia for. Like The Temper Trap with a bit of a disco flash sheen, "Lay Everything On Me" rides a Slurpee sweet bass line, and minces delicate guitar work with a steady spat of unapologetic cowbell.
9. "20 Miles" - Deer Tick - The Black Dirt Sessions
Sort of a big deal. That's how I'd describe the first track to surface from Deer Tick's June 8th release The Black Dirt Sessions
. The follow-up to Born on Flag Day
, Black Dirt
was recorded in upstate New York late last year. If "20 Miles" is any indication of what is to come, this might be the most distinguished sounding batch of material from the band to date.
10. "Whats In It For?" - Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo
Avi Buffalo is the adopted name of Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, an 18 year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Long Beach, CA. So what's in it for Avi? Oh you know...only a charming album of guitar wrangling pop to be released on Sub Pop later this month. Did I mention he is only 18 years old?