Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Mixes 2013

Mix 1
1. The Wolf - Phildel. Phildel is one of my two favorite discoveries this year, along with MS MR. This is the description I read when I was introduced to this song; "British musician Phildel makes songs that sound like the ones on Florence + the Machine's first album, or maybe White Chalk–era PJ Harvey—nursery rhymes with drum machines for grownups who've seen some shit. (She's seen her fair share, having been raised in an abusive home that didn't allow music.) Her first (and right now, only) album, The Disappearance of the Girl, has its ups and downs, but this song will never leave your head. Ever. Prepare to be constantly singing to yourself about wolves and blood and sinners and stuff, because that's your life now."
2. White Teeth Teens - Lorde. Not that I don't love Royals - I do - but we've all heard it often enough this year, yes? This is my other favorite off her album. I love the harmonies on it. Can we also talk about how wonderful she is live?
3. Dark Doo Wop - MS MR. I love them. They played Outside Lands this year, and they were easily my favorite set.
4. So High - Here Is Your Temple.
5. Because the Night - Garbage & The Screaming Females. The Screaming Females were opening for Garbage on their last tour, and they put out this single for Record Shop Day. I know we're all used to the 10,000 Maniacs version, but once you adjust to this tempo, I really like having the two singers, plus the amazing guitar solos. That girl is a crazy force of nature.
6. Adelaide - Meg Myers.
7. To Dust - Alice Russell. (That link is a live recording.)
8. Hot Knife - Fiona Apple. Heh, on last year's mixes (which I seem to have never uploaded. Whoops.), I noted that I had just started listening to this and Lana's Ride. So here they are, because I still love them a year on. I also loved the video her Ex, Paul Thomas Anderson, did for her here.
9. That's Alright - Laura Mvula.
10. Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monae. I haven't liked the Electric Lady quite as much as her last two, but this is a really fun song. Another performer who is just crazy talented live.
11. Bring the Noize - M.I.A. I actually like the song Matangi just a little bit more, but it was harder to fit in a mix. Y.A.L.A. is also great.
12. Sacrilege - Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They also played Outside Lands, and Karen O was AMAZING. She is just the coolest. Also, I hadn't seen this music video, but I love it.
13. Waste of Time - .
14. Halo - LP. Her live Beyonce cover. I find some her vibrato almost painful to listen to, but I find her voice so unique and some of those notes she holds are just amazing. (We've all heard Into the Wild, yes?)
15. Diamonds - Jessie Ware. (Live BBC cover) Another Outside Lands set - which was surprisingly energetic, given that I tend to think of her as a next-gen Sade. (Wildest Moments being my favorite.)
16. My Kind of Love (RedOne & Alex P Remix) - Emeli Sande. Its not up to the same level as Next To Me (from last year), but I did get a chance to see her at Outside Lands this year, so I wanted to include something of hers.
17. Ride - Lana Del Rey. God I love this. I love her entire, insane rambling short video about being a biker prostitute. I wish to god the Oscars would let her make a short film for Young and Beautiful for the middle of the Oscarcast.
18. Foolish Games - Jewel & Kelly Clarkson. 16 years on, and I still love this song. (16?!? Holy fuck.)
19. Bones -MS MR. Some more.(Hurricane, Fantasy and Think of You are also all worth checking out.)
20. Into the Black - Chromatics. I just love this cover. Yet another Outside Lands group, too... (You may know Chromatics from their scoring part of that astounding opening chase in Drive with Tick of the Clock.)
21. Beside You - Phildel

Mix 2
1. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody - Fergie ft. Q-Tip and Goonrock. I'm a little sad that this isn't going to be the Gatsby offering for best song. I kinda want a chorus line doing the Charleston. Or to let Baz choreograph a big Busby Berkeley number.
2. Aye - Dio ft. Sef. Okay, so I have fallen wildly in love with Welcome to Night Vale, which became one of the top 3 podcasts last summer. (This article from the awl, is a great introduction. I'm one of those who went, "what is this shit all over my tumblr?" I really highly recommend you go listen to the Pilot. Cecil's voice is wonderful.) Anyways, each episode has a song as the day's weather. This is one of those songs.
3. Rocks - Primal Scream. This year, the lovely and talented Leila Sales published This Song Will Save Your Life, which is a great book about a teen who becomes a DJ. Leila makes some of the best mixes I know, and she is the one who introduced me to The Pill, the Friday indie dance party in Boston that was also one of the inspirations for the book. Needless to say, I listened to the mix for the book quite a lot this year, and several of the songs made their way on here.
4. Money for the Weekend - Alberta Cross.
5. Medicate or Stimulate - Minutes til Midnight.
6. The Bus is Late - Satellite High. Another Night Vale addition. As one person put it, "I identify with this song on a spiritual level." Plus - hey! He's from SF. Awesome.
7. Moral of the Story - Watsky. SF!
8. We Are Your Friends - Justice vs. Simian. Another one from This Song Will Save Your Life.
9. It's You - Duck Sauce. I saw half of Duck Sauce - A-Trak - at Outside Lands. It was weirdly ravey for the middle of the park.
10. Quarter to Three - Gary U.S. Bonds. Another from This Song....
11. Killer Queen - Queen. I don't remember what prompted me to add this to a playlist back in the spring, but it's pretty much been stuck in my head the rest of the year. (Hey, did you hear Ben Whishaw is going to play Freddie Mercury in the official biopic?! Crazy, no?)
12. Mis-Shapes - Pulp. Another oldie, but goodie. Also from This Song...
13. 17 Crimes - AFI.
14. Once in a Lifetime - Wolfsheim. Last one from This Song...
15. Love is a Bourgeois Construct - Pet Shop Boys.
16. Thieves in the Night - Hot Chip. So I finally got around to seeing Sound of My Voice, which is a great film, and this played over the end credits. It was an unusual choice, but it worked, and I've been listening to it a lot ever since.
17. Resonance Disaster - Hubrist.

Mix 3
1. Duet - Philip Glass (performed by Sugar Vendil and Trevor Gureckis, Stoker Soundtrack). Stoker is one of my favorite films of the year, and the scene where Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode play this duet might be my favorite scene of the year. Hell, David Ehrlich loved it so much, he used it to bookend his annual Top 25 films montage.
2. Hopeless Wanderer - Mumford & Sons. Yes, they are ridiculous, and yes, the music video for this is a parody. But it makes me laugh. And I still like the song.
3. When This All Started - The Soft White Sixties. Another SF band and Outside Lands discovery. (I'm somewhere in this crowd...)
4. Female Robbery - The Neighborhood.
5. The Long Haul - NO.
6. The Vampyre of Time and Memory - Queens of the Stone Age. Hooray.
7. Pink Rabbits - The National. Guess who jumped into the crowd right by me?!
8. Line of Fire - Junip.
9. Underwater - Mika. (BTW - Mika and Kristen Chenoweth singing the Popular Song? Adorable.)
10. Falling - HAIM.
11. Demon Dance - Surfer Blood. Hey - these guys were at Outside Lands!
12. We Can Work it Out - The Beatles. Hey, Paul McCartney played Outside Lands. It was wonderful.
13. KV Crimes - Kurt Vile. Also at Outside Lands.
14. Pictures of Matchstick Men - Camper Van Beethoven. Outside Lands (Also, the 80s were weird.)
15. Got Something For You - Best Coast & Wavves. Wavves were at Outside Lands, too!
16. Freedom - Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton. From the Django soundtrack.
17. Truth - Alexander. This played over the end credits to Curfew, which won best live-action short last year. (And well-deserved, too! It was one of the Oscars I was rooting hardest for. It's available on iTunes if you're interested. If you don't want to spend $3, here's the trailer.)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Mixes.... from 2012

Since I apparently never got around to posting them last year:

I made these mixes up about Thanksgiving, so I’m sure I’m about to find a whole bunch of wonderful things at the end of the year or rediscover ones that got lost in the shuffle (Meg Myers? Fiona’s Hot Knife? Sky Ferreira’s Everything is Embarrassing? WHO KNOWS.) Anyways - they’ll have to go on next years’.

Disc 1
  1. Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra – Do It with a Rockstar. Aaaaahhhhh. Love. The whole album, Theatre is Evil, is wonderfully 80s/early 90s influenced and has a number of really great tracks. (I actually don’t love the video they came up with for that one, so try out The Killing Type or Want It Back (NSFW). Or listen to Melody Dean or Massachusetts Avenue.)
  2. Garbage – Control. My favorite track off the new album. Which Rolling Stone listed in their top 50 albums of the year thusly; “We had no idea how much we'd missed Shirley Manson and her digital-grunge mates until they suddenly zoomed back into our lives. The first Garbage album since 2005 has everything that made us fall in love with them years ago: Manson vamps, sneers and tosses out sexily standoffish lyrics and big, gut-punch choruses, while the band works itself up to a frenzy of shimmering electronics and sleek, metronomic beats. But it wouldn't be a Garbage album without drummer-producer Butch Vig running all of it through waves of majestic distortion.” (And here is I Hate Love live. Shirley is 46. 46.)
  3. Lana Del Rey – Off to the Races. I know I put Video Games on for last year, but I’ve actually listened to this one more. I love the way the rhythm is so off-kilter and I think this track is the epitome of her whole 60s-Lolita-gangster-Nancy-Sinatra shtick. (Also, Christopher Glazek’s piece on her in artforum, focusing on the National Anthem and Ride videos, is a great read.)  
  4. Gotye – Easy Way Out.
  5. Kaiser Chiefs – Kinda Girl You Are. They played this one when I saw them back in the spring and it stayed stuck in my head for days.
  6. Emeli Sande - Next To Me. I’m still a little sad she didn’t sing this one at the Olympics.
  7. The Raveonettes – She Owns the Streets.
  8. Elbow – Grounds for Divorce (thanks, Chris!).
  9. Muse – Madness. Ah. Muse does their own version of dubstep. Kinda. Sorta. Really, though, it reminds me mostly of Resistance or Bliss. Because big, sweepy love songs is what they do best.
  10. Ladyhawke – Black White & Blue. The drums, guitar, and bass are all her on this one.
  11. 2:54 – Scarlet.
  12. Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour.
  13. The Presets – Ghosts. Probably my new favorite band discovery. Thanks to my hairdresser.
  14. Florence + the Machine – No Light, No Light. Okay, anyone who likes her probably already HAS this one, but… I really, really love it and none of the other tracks was going to cut it. Plus I love the choirboys in the vid.
  15. Dum Dum Girls –There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover). I was working on my “Valerie” mix earlier this year, which is all cover songs, and I discovered a few new (to me) ones that I quite like. There are a couple more coming up on the next disc.
  16. Bloc Party – Ion Square.
  17. Norah Jones – Miriam. The best murder ballad since… Heavy In Your Arms? The Rake’s Song?
  18. Bat for Lashes – Laura.
  19. Garbage – You Look So Fine [Fun Lovin’ Criminals Remix].

Disc 2
  1. Deadmau5 – Aural Psynapse. I have no idea if this is an older song (because I don’t follow him), but it popped up as a part of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo viral blog last winter and promptly got stuck in my head.
  2. The Raveonettes – Beat City.
  3. Tune-yards – My Country. Pretty sure I put Gangsta on last year’s mix, but this one is great, too, and the video stars kids from a couple SF charities. (They are so cute!)
  4. Die Antwoord – I Fink U Freeky. Yeah, yeah - I know. I know. And yet…. I really like the Roger Ballen music video.
  5. Jay-Z, Kanye West & Frank Ocean – No Church in the Wild. Again, I figure probably everyone already has this one. Yes? No?
  6. Watsky – Show Goes On (Lupe Fiasco Mini-Mix). So Watsky is a rapper/poet from San Francisco. He’s probably best known for another short video he did called ‘pale kid raps fast’. His “Man of Constant Sorrow” is worth checking out.
  7. Azealia Banks – 212. It’s from last year, but… I keep listening to it.
  8. Icona Pop – I Love It. Easily my song of the summer. Coincidentally, written by Charli xcx, who is coming up.
  9. The Magnetic Fields – Andrew in Drag. As Neil Gaiman said, “This is my favourite thing. I came really close to typing that in capital letters and adding a SQUEE at the end. Best song. Best video. Best everything. Just watch it. Unless you are scared of nipples. DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU ARE SCARED OF NIPPLES. (This is because there are nipples in it.)”
  10. Divine Fits – Would That Not Be Nice.
  11. Charli xcx – You’re the One. I’ve heard her sound called darkwave, indietronica, and goth pop. Whatever. This is a fab song.
  12. Marina & the Diamonds – The State of Dreaming.
  13. Austra – Lose It. Another one from last year. I really loved this part of a review; “Katie belts out “Ohs” in higher and higher octaves until several dogs start crying.”
  14. The Aislers Set – Mission Bells. This is an older one that popped up on a “best songs about SF mix.”
  15. Belle & Sebastian – Piazza, New York Catcher. Ditto.
  16. Ryan Adams – Wonderwall (Oasis cover). The others from the “Valerie” mix.
  17. Carrie Manolakos – Creep (Radiohead cover).
  18. Amanda Palmer – In My Mind (ft. Brian Viglione).

The Outside Lands Disc
Of a fantastic concert-going year, Outside Lands was the highlight for me. It was wonderfabulous. So I thought I’d put together a disc of songs performed at the fest. Enjoy!

  1. Ennio Morricone – The Ecstasy of Gold. This scene, from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, was the intro to Metallica’s set, which made me really happy.
  2. Jack White – Freedom at 21. I love this song soooooooooooooo much. (I also love that Hype Williams did a Jack White video. Sixteen Saltines is also excellent.)
  3. Beck – Black Tambourine.
  4. Two Gallants – My Love Won’t Wait. (Las Cruces Jail and Nothing to You are also worth checking out)
  5. Metallica – Fuel.
  6. The Kills – Baby Says.
  7. Franz Ferdinand – Dark of the Matinee. I thought I’d put on something a little less well known than Take Me Out or No You Girls.
  8. Fitz and the Tantrums – L.O.V.
  9. fun. – Carry On. I was waiting for Franz Ferdinand to come on and caught their set. Surprisingly good live. Although the tweens around me did not know the words to You Can’t Always Get What You Want, which is just wrong. (Figuring everyone has We Are Young and Some Nights?)
  10. Foo Fighters – Walk. I adore this song. Really – I adore this whole album. It was produced by Butch Vig, they recorded in Dave Grohl’s garage, it is SO. GOOD. Anyways, it didn’t work to put this song last, but I really think it is one of the best rock songs ever and you should turn it up really, really loud and scream along. (Here is a live version)
  11. White Denim – Street Joy. White Denim was one of the best sets I saw. Maybe it was because it was the first set I saw and I was amped up, or maybe they are just fantastic live. If they play near you, you should go and find out.
  12. Animal Kingdom – Tin Man. This one was funny – I know this band from their song Mephistopheles, which seems to be an outlier in their catalogue. But it turns out they do have a few other songs I enjoy – just all a bit mellower.
  13. Dispatch – The General. I love Dispatch so much. I shouldn’t. They are too hippy-crunchy-granola-jam-band. But they are just so great. (Other great songs to check out: Mission, Two Coins… Really, you should probably just go listen to all of their album Bang Bang.)
  14. Alabama Shakes – Heartbreaker.
  15. Regina Spektor – On The Radio.
  16. Geographer – Kites.
  17. Explosions in the Sky – The Birth and Death of the Day. I have not seen Friday Night Lights Yet, but apparently these guys scored the series?
  18. Dirty Dozen Brass Band – When the Saints Go Marching In. Yay! New Orleans Brass Band! Goodnight everybody!

Monday, November 11, 2013

My most important movies from...

I loved this concept from The Cold Open Podcast: What was your favorite movie from each 5th year of your life. I'm a little unclear on the concept - does it have to be something that was released in that year? Or can your favorite movie at age 5 be the Wizard of Oz? For this, I'm going to go with favorite, most memorable or otherwise influential film for me that came out in that particular year.

Age 5 (1988): Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out that year, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see that until later. However, The Land Before Time also came out that year and it was one of my three favorite films growing up. (The other two were Robin Hood, which just had its 40th anniversary - ooh-de-lally, and the Secret of NIMH.)

Tree Stars for Life, y'all.

Age 10 (1993): Okay - Jurassic Park was a big one for me. My parents made me read the book before I could see it in theaters, which is hilarious because they are the first to admit that books are always scarier. But I did, I loved every moment of seeing it on the big screen, and I went on to devour the rest of Michael Crichton's oeuvre.

This might be my favorite piece of fan art ever.

However, I think it has to be Nightmare Before Christmas. I loved that movie so much. I still do. (One of the best gifts I ever received was a box with Lock, Shock and Barrel in it and no other explanation. I still have them.)

And now I have Danny Elfman's score stuck in my head...

Age 15 (1997): Okay. I may have seen Titanic more than once. I blame the tin whistle in the soundtrack.
It had NOTHING to do with baby face here.

This was about a year before I started to get really, really into movies. But L.A. Confidential came out that year and I loved that. I remember going on a school trip to the movies to see it and being absolutely blown away.

Hiya, handsome.

But I would have to say that my favorite movie for that year was The Fifth Element. My father taught me to love crazy Gary Oldman early (I saw the Professional at about 10 or 11). I loved that Ian Holm was in it. And I still giggle everytime I think of Multipass.


Age 20 (2003): Oooh, fun year. And by this point I was really into film. I'm going to cheat and say Angels in America. It was an HBO film, but that is my favorite play, and I think Mike Nichol's adaptation is wonderful. It makes me feel better about people.

"This is my favorite place in New York City"

(Also great that year? Return of the King, the Triplets of Belleville, 28 Days Later, Finding Nemo, the Magdalene Sisters, Whale Rider, Young Adam, Monster, and Japanese Story. And for fun: the first Pirates of the Caribbean and X2.)

Age 25 (2008): Other recommendations from that year: Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Let the Right One In, Waltz with Bashir, Snow Angels, and Cloverfield. Let the Right One In - SO GOOD.

Third runner up: In Bruges. I adore Martin McDonagh. I think he is the most brilliant playwright around. His first film is hilarious, dark and whip-smart.


Really, really close runner-up: The Escapist. A GREAT performance by Brian Cox. And I love the rest of the cast. It's a taught thriller, nearly entirely shot in Kilmainham gaol. 

Yeah, I'd watch this group read the phone book. Escaping from prison is just a bonus.

In the end, I think I have to go with The Fall here. I love beautiful films, and this film is just so lush, and so gorgeous, and so expansive, it is one of my all-time favorites. I just adore it.

Shot in 28 countries. 28.

Age 30! This year! Hmm, I'm quite behind on a few things I've been meaning to see (Upstream Color, Mud, Short Term 12, the Hunt, Something in the Air, Blancanieves, Fill the Void, Lore, In a World, A Hijacking, Fruitvale Station, Byzantium, Europa Report, Ain't Them Bodies Saints - which I swear to god did not get an SF release, I'm seeing 12 Years a Slave this Week... (OH MY GOD I AM SO BEHIND AND I'M NOT EVER GOING TO CATCH UP BEFORE THE OSCARS) Not to mention there are bunch that have yet to release that I am excited for - Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street...

This one is probably the hardest, as we are in its midst. It's easy to say Land Before Time stuck with me, because I can still recite chunks of that film two and a half decades later. 

So. I have seen some entertaining and wonderful things so far. These are all delightful and worth your time: the Kings of Summer, Much Ado About Nothing, Prince Avalanche, the Last Step, the East, Side Effects, This is the End, the World's End, Iron Man 3 (it's no Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it was the best of the tent-poles this year), and Rush. Gravity gets a special mention for being very wonderful, beautifully shot, and I'd be happy if it won a lot of awards this year.

I think so far the ones that have lodged in my brain are these: Spring Breakers, Leviathan, the Act of Killing, and Stoker. Schizophrenic, to say the least. We'll see where I land come January.
A trashy, biting social commentary on the American Dream... experimental documentary on a fishing boat...
...a surreal and terrifying exploration of human atrocities...
...and a psycho-sexual coming-of-age film. It's been a weird year.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Violence and Anti-heroes on TV

My brother wrote a post on violent tv. [Go read it. I'll wait.]

I disagree. And I disagreed to the length that it wouldn't fit in the comment box.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Found on Tumblr...

Lord, 100 top songs! Love love love.

Ah, Jesus. I'm not sure I could pick just 5. Hmmm..... Spark, Sugar, Bliss, Playboy Mommy, She's Your Cocaine. But, but! Concertina! Space Dog (live)! Girl! Bouncing Off Clouds! Cloud on my Tongue! Rattlesnakes! Raspberry Swirl! Hey Jupiter! Suede! Precious Things! Little Earthquakes! Mr. Zebra! Caught a Light Sneeze! TOO HARD.

Can I pick one per album instead?
American Doll Posse - Teenage Hustling
The Bee Sides - Siren
Beekeeper - Martha's Foolish Ginger
Boys for Pele - Talula

Choirgirl - Spark

Little Earthquakes - Tear in Your Hand
The Live Bootlegs - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Scarlet's Walk - Amber Waves
Strange Little Girls - Strange Little Girl

Tales of a Librarian - Snow Cherries from France
To Venus - Bliss

And Back - Sugar
Under the Pink - Cornflake Girl (I actually listen to the alternate audio version on Librarian and the live version on To Venus and Back more....) So maybe Past the Mission instead?

Bonus Welcome to Sunny Florida footage of Father Lucifer:

I was actually at the BofA pavilion for that bootleg performance. It was her last night of being 41. Happy 50th, lady.