Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

Where We Play It By Ear

4th May 2013

May Mix – 2013

 

Back at it again with an 8-track mix sure to please. Enjoy and happy weekend.

1. Classixx – Holding On

Fresh off their new LP Hanging Gardens, ‘Holding On’ shows off this LA duo’s knack for dance rhythms with a little flavor.

2. Afrolicious – Pleasure Time

I’ve been in love with Afrolicious, and this track has been around for a while. BUT, they’ve re-recorded their best tracks for their first true LP California Dreaming. Previously under the ESL music moniker, they’re now selling their album on bandcamp under their own label. It’s amazing. These guys do weekly events in San Fran and I’m sure they light up the stage as well as they do coming from your speakers.

3. Yacht – Second Summer (RAC mix)

What better way to welcome in Spring/Summer with this re-imagined track from RAC and Yacht.

4. She & Him – Together

Volume 3, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel’s 3rd album together, is just as delightful and nostalgic as their previous 2 volumes. M. Ward takes more of a backseat vocally this time around, allowing Zooey to take over with her soulful croon.

5. Iron & Wine – New Mexico’s New Breeze

Iron & Wine’s new LP Ghost on Ghost is typical high-quality, horns-a-blowing, wordplay-a-swirling goodness that we’ve come to expect. The delicate strings that open up ‘New Mexico’s New Breeze’ pair nicely with Beam’s soft vocal delivery and the high-arching chorus.

6. Devendra Banhart – Fur Hildegard von Bingen

The bass beat on this track from Banhart’s new album Mala is phenomenal. Be sure to check out the rest of the album, as Banhart delivers a predictably consistent album full of intricate riffs and esoteric titles.

7. Junip – Your Life Your Call

The 3rd product from Junip Junip clearly has Jose Gonzalez’s fingerprints all over it. I can’t decide if I’m happy that Jose has focused his efforts on Junip vs. solo work, as Junip has a layer of complexity and fullness that Gonzalez’s solo work is missing. Who cares? Enjoy.

8. Two Door Cinema Club – Spring

I’m a little late to this party, but I’m smitten with TDCC. ‘Spring’ with its roadrunner guitar riff and the memorable chant of  “If I follow you tonight / And leave tomorrow / If its all forgotten love / forgotten love” will be in your head long after the song’s end.

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22nd April 2013

April Mix

Hey now – april floods will hopefully bring may flowers. But like the rain, great music has been flooding in over the last few weeks, and that doesn’t even take into account Daft Punk’s much, much, much-awaited LP due out in about a month.

With that, wanted to give you a mix of 8 songs to chew on. Enjoy.

1. Portugal. The Man – Purple Yellow Red and Blue

Great to see that a new album from Portugal the Man is due out in the not so distant future (june 4). A steady backbeat drum, alto piano, and falsetto vocals bring this single from the Dangermouse-produced album to the front of the list.

2. Mr Little Jeans – Oh Sailor

Featuring The Silverlake Conservatory Of Music Youth Chorale, this ditty is a journey all its own. Sweet-as-honey vocals leads into xylophoned-backed youthful cheers that is sure to be a favorite of many remix artists out there.

3. Joywave – Tongues

Hot damn. This song has been in my head for weeks now. The mixtape 88888 put out by Joywave has its highs and lows, but this is the friggin’ everest of it. If the looped alien vocals and the snare drum don’t keep you interested, the smoking bass will draw you in.

4. Two Door Cinema Club – Next Year (RAC remix)

RAC has been lighting it up in the remix arena lately, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Granted, he’s got a great song to deal with in the first place, but the added dimension from RAC is superb.

5. Griz – You Got to Change

Griz, you got nothing to change with this song. An absolute downtempo hip-hop gem  of a beat that is begging for some vocals from a lyrical mastermind.

6. Say Lou Lou – Julian (Monsieur Adi remix)

Monseiur Adi has been lighting it up as well, with his Justice-inspired remixes (haven’t checked into this, but my gut tells me this guy must be a member of Justice) and Julian is the next in line.

7. Aaron Smith – Dancin (KRONO remix)

This is more a testament to the magic of the remix by KRONO than the song itself. The original song is, well, DREADFUL. Go find the youtube video for it and it only makes it worse. But this dark, mysterious remix is just what the DJ ordered.

8. Gypsy & The Cat – Sorry

“I know you won’t say you’re sorry, don’t you think you should be sorry for that?” This Aussie collective delights on ‘Sorry’ that is simply sublime.

 

 

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28th March 2013

First (in a while)

I’m trying to find a manageable way to get back into the music blogosphere, so here’s an attempt to get back to it. I’ll try to post semi-regularly, mostly of the ‘mix’ variety via soundcloud or 8tracks. Would love to hear feedback.

This mix is fairly loaded my friends.  Enjoy.

1. The Hood Internet – Justin Timberlake  vs. Daft Punk (Suit & Tie)

2. Ghost Loft – Seconds

3. Russ Chimes – Turn Me Out

4. Wild Belle – Love Like This

5. Vance Joy – Riptide

6. Bon Iver – Flume (Kulkid Remix)

7. Bibio – A tout L’heure

8. Lemaitre – Cut to Black

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3rd June 2011

Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

New Coldplay Track. I feel compelled to post their first new single in 3 years. The song features a sample of Peter Allen’s “I Go to Rio”.

Enjoy.

Listen to “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

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22nd March 2011

Royksopp ditties

These come off the Forsaken Cowboy EP, the second single from their latest LP Senior. Enjoy.

Forsaken Cowboy by Röyksopp

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21st March 2011

The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts

British lo-fi outfit made groundbreaking work with their debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike. A blend of hip-hop, pop, electronic, bossa nova, and  70s elevator music, The Go! Team was bringing something fresh and untapped.  The new-found success surely affected their approach to the next critically acclaimed Proof of Youth, as they moved closer and closer towards becoming a one-dimensional hip-hop non-sequitur.  Not my cup of tea, but I will readily admit that The Go! Team’s latest Rolling Blackouts is absolutely wonderful.

Strangely nostalgic in its sound, Rolling Blackouts goes back to what The Go! Team does best: refreshing and modernizing older sounds. Take the short “Lazy Poltergeist”, a delicate piano interlude that seems to long for a simpler time when keyboards were all you really needed. Yet not too much earlier on the album, “Apollo Throwdown” takes a harp, an orchestra of strings, lays a backbeat down, on which TGT drops their signature anthemic rap vocals.  “Bust-Out Brigade” begins with blaring horns more suited for a 80s cop movie, but this instrumental gets more and more intriguing as layers of xylophone and synthesizers get a hold of it. “Buy Nothing Day” sounds like it might have been ripped right out of a mid-90s pop song, but it works. The Beach-Boys-like “Ready to Go Steady” is perhaps the most joyful song on the album, and if the chorus doesn’t stick in your head for days I’d be surprised.

I could go on, but for the sake of brevity I won’t. So go and grab a copy of The Go! Team’s Rolling Blackouts.

Listen to “Apollo Throwdown

Listen to “Ready to Go Steady

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19th March 2011

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Terrible band name, yes, but they’ve got an  insanely catchy song “The Golden Age” featured in a Heineken commercial this past week. The song is actually a couple years old, but there’s no time limit on an awesome track.

Listen to “The Golden Age

YouTube Preview Image
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19th March 2011

TV on the Radio – Will Do

I’ll admit I’ve never the biggest fan of TV On the Radio. I thought they were getting accolades for doing nothing but putting out lo-fi esoteric sounds. That said, I’ll never turn down a great song. “Will Do” comes off of TV on the Radio’s 5th LP Nine Types of Light. It begins with a bluesy twinge, as twinkling ivory trickles in ever so slowly, only to be perfectly complemented by a slow pulsating bass line.

Note: Best wishes to Gerard Smith, bassist/keyboardist for TV on the Radio, who was recently diagnosed with Lung Cancer.

Listen to “Will Do

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18th November 2010

Bibio – Lovers’ Carvings

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So I’m staring at my TV the other day, and bam, another awesome Amazon Kindle commercial comes on.  I’ve got no crazy love for the Kindle, but I have to say that all their adverts are intriguing as they are simple. And what’s this distinctly retro vibe of a single guitar and a cowbell? Why yes of course it’s a track off of Stephen Wilkison’s (penname: Bibio) album Ambivalence Avenue from last year.

Bibio – “Lovers’ Carvings

Bibio -  “Lover’s Carvings (Catz n Dogz Re-edit)”

Get a copy of Ambivalence Avenue.

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16th October 2010

The Weepies – Be My Thrill

It’s pretty crazy to think that The Weepies husband-and-wife duo of Deb Talan and Steven Tannen have already come out with their 4th LP Be My Thrill! What with a rather young child in tow, I would understand how a studio album and a 36-city tour would be arduous. I could wax more about the unexpected prolific nature of The Weepies, but I’d rather talk about other items. Like the fact that I don’t see The Weepies as just music artists. For some reason, there’s this very human, ‘unprofessional’ quality to their music. I get the sense that I am getting an unprecedented, unencumbered, unfiltered look into their lives as a married couple, as parents, as unqiue individuals on their own. I like the transparency, I relish it, I relate to it.

Take the song “Empty Your Hands”, at the end of which Deb Talan sweetly exclaims, ‘Our baby learned to run today / in circles on the grass / His joyful face it radiates / These moments go so fast / let them go.’ What a sweet insightful view on what it must be like to see your child growing up, and the only way to capture these fleeting moments are in your mind.  And The Weepies penchant for playing with words is as bright as ever on the whimsical, country-twinged “Hope Tomorrow”: ‘A windy fitful day in winter / charging toward the Ides of May / The climate now is cling to splinters’.

The Weepies have mastered the art of the delicate, achy ballad: From the waltzy “Please Speak Well of Me” to “They’re in Love, Where Am I?”, Talan and Tannen seem to express a certain confidence in their relationship — enough so to talk about past loves, their own love, and all that that entails.

The golden AM radio “I was Made for Sunny Days” is as bright and shiny and American as a Chevy Camaro, while album highlight “Hard to Please” is an edgier sound (for the Weepies, at least) that sees the duo expanding their horizons. I give credit to the Weepies for broadening their sound, with the B-52 bass heavy “Be My Thrill” that really propels the middle of the album forward. Tannen’s vocals are somewhat hidden on this record, but his solo work in “Be My Honeypie” and his harmonious stylings on “Hummingbird” are simply beautiful. If there’s one complaint, I’d like to see Tannen contribute more vocals.

Anyway, enough. Go get a copy of Be My Thrill.

HEY CHICAGOANS! The Weepies are coming to Space in Evanston, IL (just north of the city) on October 30th.

Listen to “I Was Made For Sunny Days

Listen to “Hard to Please

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