Jul 29, 2009

Devoted to Change

Asger Carlsen [from Wrong]

The silver lining of a "funk" is coming out of it. Things that can bring you back: the potential of new bathroom fixtures, a shower that cleans one layer deeper than expected, an accidental side glance in the mirror, exhaustion with exhaustion. You've dug through the heart of the mountain from the mouth of its cave. There are fields of OK on other side, in the next valley. The pollen is much calmer there. How (suddenly) exciting.

Ben Kamen - Devoted to Change (mp3)

Jul 28, 2009

Music From a Tree

Diego Stocatto - Music From A Tree

Jul 25, 2009

Wiillows of Carbeth

Liu Bolin [from The Invisible Man]

Trembling Bells - Willows Of Carbeth (mp3): This song reminds me of my parents. It's one where I can imagine my mom looking up from her book and stating she really likes the voice. "Who is this?" she'd ask, but never remember. I take that back, she might remember it again just as the first guests pull into the driveway for Christmas and ask me to put it on. My dad would pull a burned CD-R out of the "T for Trembling" 2009 stack and note (again) that it reminds him of Fairport Convention. Over dinner my mom would raise her glass of wine and lovingly thank everyone and everything including "that song... from before... the nice old one, you know... that sounded like..." And my dad would say "it's a new song, and it sounds like Fairport Convention".

Jul 24, 2009

In a Hidden Town, at a Hidden Beach

Tommi Toija - Blowing Up The World (2006)

Blue Roses - I Am Leaving (mp3): Laura's slim voice stretches to hold an acoustic guitar like it's an oversized beach ball. At times she finds it little unwieldy and, frankly, unnecessary as she'd rather set it down and open up her voice to the wind. With her eyes closed, she touches a tiny neon synth on a gold chain around her neck from her Grandma. Her jeans drape a little baggy and at the end of nearly every sung phrase, she gently tugs at the left pant leg to nestle a bare foot deeper into the sand. She takes color pictures of it with her breaths.

Jul 23, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

Grant Worth - The Mystery of Fern Canyon
You Realize The Rabbit Head Is Vital To Your Journey (2008)
[from "Choose Your Own Adventure"]

1 - When I get summer happy, I make lists. There's fruit on spinach salads, wild children chants in the streets, and plane ticket stubs kept in your pocket for way too many days. Do you want to:

+ Stick your hand in your pocket to feel the edges of the ticket? (go to #2)
+ Try to wrestle the stub out of your pocket? (
go to #3)

2 - It feels like the fuzzy edges of middle school notebook paper, likely scrawled with pictures of stick people and squiggly odor lines. I remember fraying the edges of paper like this to litter the linoleum with snow during summer as a kid. Do you want to:

Draw a nostaglic picture on notebook paper? (go to #4)
+Draw a nostalgic picture on the sidewalk? (
go to #5)

- I am hit by a bus while preoccupied with airplanes in the sky. (the end)

4 - I pull out a sheet of notebook paper and scribble the outline of a large jar, then add a moth with long antenna wearing a neon Zarape. What would you do with it?

+ Mail it to Chris Garneau. (go to #6)
+ Fold it into an airplane and take it outside to throw. (
go to #3)

- I draw you on the sidewalk with crayons so you won't wash off in the rain. You live forever. (the end)

6 - His record label's address is: Absolutely Kosher Records - 1501 Powell Street, Suite H - Emeryville, CA 94608. Seriously, do it now. (the end)

Chris Garneau - Fireflies (mp3) [Buy "El Radio" (2009)]

Jul 21, 2009

An Afternoon Marinade

I'm gently marinating in a distressed yellow coffee shop, just behind the glass from a steady warm rain. The Barista's red t-shirt is cut wide with a scissors at the collar. The mugs must all be clean, because she's sitting tight against a small wooden table and slowly running her finger from its center to the nearest of its four corners. Her quiet smile tightens to a whistle around the words "lights will guide..." And I realize this is her CD playing, a bowl of all the gooey-est Coldplay songs she could find. A marinade to tenderize the tightest of afternoon muscle.

Coldplay - Fix You (mp3)

Jul 19, 2009

To: A Second Little Person

Michal Giedrojc [from "Dreams"]

Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make. You can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years! And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce…

And they say there’s no fate, but there is, it’s what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead, or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain wasting years for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right, but it never comes. Or it seems to, but it doesn’t really.

So you spend you time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along, something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel cherished, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is is, I feel so angry! And the truth is, I feel so fucking sad! And the truth is, I’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long, I’ve been pretending I’m okay, just to get along!

I don’t know why. Maybe because…no one wants to hear about my misery…because they have their own.

Fuck everybody. Amen.

[Preacher's monologue from the movie Synecdoche, New York]

Jon Brion (ft. Deanna Storey) -
Little Person (mp3)

Jul 16, 2009

Preview: Mad Fork Fest 2009

Phillip Toledano - Phone Sex (2008)

Gary was watching a
"World's strongest women" show and
saw a woman pick up a motorcycle.

"Oh I could do that," I offered

"Could you?" he responded, breathless.
"Yes. How much do you weigh?"
"Oh. I could bench press two of you."
"Oh my god...
I'd like to see you lift up my girlfriend's car."
"What kind of car does she have?"
"A Mazda Miata."
"Oh yes, I could pick up a Miata.
In fact, I would love to."
"Really?!?!?! Oh my god!
What if my girlfriend was inside?"
"I would just pick it up,
lift it to shoulder level,
and then hoist it up over my head,
with your girlfriend inside.
I'd slowly turn around in a circle
with it held up in the air,
with your girlfriend screaming
in the front seat."

A part of me may miss getting paid for this
when I move on.

Excerpt from "Phone Sex" (2008)

See all the following acts for free at the Memorial Union Terrace tomorrow night (Friday, July 17th starting at 6pm) as part of the second annual "Mad Fork Fest", curated by the ever-ambitious WUD music kids.

Yeasayer - Tightrope (mp3)
Ponytail - Beg Waves (mp3)
The Antlers - Two (mp3)
The Duchess and the Duke - Reservoir Park (mp3)
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Wind Phoenix (mp3)

Jul 15, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 131-140

Kirill Golovchenko - Feld der Wunder

And so it's the end of the Great Songs of 2008 list at last. I've rounded to an even 140 songs because, for some reason, an even multiple of ten seemed important. That's a lot of notable albums in one year. So many that I've been incredibly, and hopefully not inextricably, distracted from the moments of 2009. I have, for a moment, become that uncle of yours who listens only to music from 1967, when the experience of Jimi Hendix in Strawberry Fields with The Velvet Underground and quadaphonic sound just stopped music forever for him. Only I'm that for 2008... a strange year of pop hip hop and electro dance rock and pretentiously fragile indie choruses and punky psychedelia. Flash forward to me still sitting on a lawnchair today mumbling about how there couldn't have been more amazing Mount Eerie songs packed into 2008. Yeah, it's time to move on.

So here's the rest, the end, the sounds of my sentence trailing off. We finish with songs that should've been much higher in the list... mmhm... oooahh... hey... nuff said.

131) Erykah Badu - Soldier (mp3)

132) Ponytail - Celebrate The Body Electric (mp3)

133) The Gaslight Anthem - Great Expectations (mp3)

134) South San Gabriel - Emma Jane (mp3)

135) Sun Kil Moon - Like The River (mp3)

136) Jentri Colello - Daisies (mp3)

137) Death Cab for Cutie - Grapevine Fires (mp3)

138) Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened (mp3)

139) Violens - Violent Sensation Descends (mp3)

140) Young Jeezy (ft. Jay-Z) - Put On (mp3)

Download 131-140 as a zip file.

What did I miss? Feel free to add your additions to the list in the comments.

Jul 7, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 121-130

Tunga - Peine [Capillary Xiphopagus Between Us]

I'm sorry and all that. And also I miss you. And I'm asking you to never mention this again, if that's OK, so we'll never have to come back here. Don't make me explain how I doubted you. And list all my justifications. Just hold me really tight for one second and I'll reciprocate for a second. And then I'm asking that - please - we just hug the same, nothing more and nothing less. Always.

Here is the start of the end of the
Great Songs of 2008 series... including the latest Iowa corn field rave anthem, the beef jerky vocals of one of the most popular rappers of last year, a Dear John letter, a blatant glamorization of domestic violence, a hypey British cover of Notorious B.I.G., and construction-paper indie single from Iceland.

121) Goldfrapp - Happiness (mp3)

122) Leslie Hall - Blame The Booty (mp3)

123) Lil Wayne (ft Bobby Valentino) - Mrs. Officer (mp3)

124) Noah & The Whale - 5 Years Time (mp3)

125) Dan Black - HYPNTZ (mp3)

126) Florence and the Machine - Kiss With a Fist (mp3)

127) Sin Fang Bous - Clangour And Flutes (mp3)

128) Authur Russell - I Couldn't Say It To Your Face (mp3)

129) Lambchop - Sharing A Gibson with Martin Luther King Jr. (mp3)

130) Plants and Animals - A New Kind of Love (mp3)

Download 121-130 as a zip file.