Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 2011 Mix

I was going to put a galaxy inside the drain, but I'll let you imagine that instead.

1 - Yo La Tengo - The Weakest Part
2 - Stereolab - Captain Easychord
3 - Broadcast - Pendulum
4 - Brian Eno - 2 Forms of Anger
5 - Ride - Taste
6 - Dinosaur Jr - Been There All the Time
7 - Flying Saucer Attack - Wish
8 - Michael Rother - Blauer Regen
9 - Television - Careful
10 - Elvis Costello - Less Than Zero
11 - Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb (Live)
12 - Link Wray - Georgia Pines
13 - Jack Rose - Linden Ave Stomp
14 - Faust - It's a Bit of a Pain
15 - Tom Waits - Virginia Avenue
Get it here.

This month's mix is comprised completely of stuff I've been listening to & enamored with as of late. During the recent ice storm, we pretty much listened to albums all day long while baking bread, cookies, pizza. Had to lead off with Yo La Tengo as we just saw them live at the Vogue a couple weeks back, in the teeth of winter. Much of the other stuff are recent additions to my collection, either digitally or vinyl.

Musically, I was trying to kind of segue through frozen weather into the great meltdown wherein Indiana becomes a sodden, muddy sponge. So while it begins warm & bouncy, almost holiday-like with "The Weakest Part", it soon moves to a colder location with the sterile, precise groove of "Captain Easychord" and the frosty, ethereal-quality of "Pendulum"'s menacing, insistent & dark form of pop (re-visiting Broadcast's catalog like many other people in light of lead singer Trish Keenan's passing).

"2 Forms of Anger" continues this train of thought, beginning with sounds of industrial waste, perhaps the post-internet clatter of once-great and now-empty totems of manufacturing. Still, at the end it bursts into a great, kraut-y beat reminiscent of Eno's best 70's work. "Taste" takes that insistence of beat & sound a notch up, adding the right amount of jangle & melody. Controlled freak-out if you will, perfect for cabin fever, as is "Been There All the Time", an apt epithet for the everpresent music & solo-inclined mood of J. & company.

Flying Saucer Attack's Self-Titled debut LP. Find it strangely appropriate to their sound. And along with Ride & Brian Eno, part of the blurred landscape-covers trio on this mix.

The deep-freeze sets in with "Wish", which gives me the alien-feeling of gazing out onto what was once a yard full of plant fibers, animal detritus, wind-blown trash, but has become a pearly sheet of round-contoured ice. Are we on another planet? Humanity returns with "Blauer Regen", which begins with warm guitar harmonics, rays of light that lead to the thaw audibly present in the songs's second half.

"Careful" is simple, fresh, spring. Like how you feel the first time it gets above 35-degrees. Still cold, but you don't care. "Less than Zero" and "Under My Thumb" get progressively more swampy in their riffs, sustained chords buzzing by like the extending hours of the day. The marimba-turned-bass line in the latter is plant-like in its branching off, twisting and turning in vine-like fashion. But not until "Georgia Pines" do we actually hit the swamp, following Link down a rabbit path back where the pine needles render sleeping bags useless.

Now yer in the pines. Having recently drove the back-roads from Montgomery into Florida, I can tell you that these places still exist.

"Linden Ave Stomp" continues the warm feeling, whereas before you were in the pines, now you seem to be floating over. An aerial shot, black-and-white. Landmarks. "Home of..." signs. There's a lilt present though, in some of the chords, hinting that you might not be out of the woods. "It's a Bit of a Pain" is a mellow end to the day, engine-buzz doppler-ing past your house at sunset, strangers clambering down from the bus-stop, talking non-sense. You know the sounds that are almost good because they go away? They're in this piece. Genius! "Virginia Avenue" is all denouement, shambling to bed. I see the sun glow in the distance, the days finally lengthened again. The possibility of unfulfilled promise exists in spring. "And let me tell you...I'm dreamin'..."

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