A Quarter Mixtape for Your Thoughts…

These are just some modern rock songs. Well, modern, yes, rock, not entirely. However, I’ve been listening and relistening to these songs with such regularity that I can’t help but share this playlist with you. Those who have been listening to previous playlists will find some “repeat offenders”, which just goes to show their lasting power. Rather than give you a full run down of each and every song I’ll just spotlight some tracks and let you listen to the full 2012 Mixtape Vol. 1. (You Tube Playlist to follow.)

  • 22 Million Australians Can’t Be WrongGotye‘s “Somebody That I Used to Know” seems to have taken our country by storm with the same fury as his homeland and rumor has it that he’ll be appearing on SNL this Saturday – queue the DVR (or get an espresso after dinner and catch it live! How very 1999.)
  • Sunday Driving Pop… Clearly I have a penchant for pop songs with catchy-dream like riffs from Kishi Bashi and his psychedelic-Beatles-esque “Bright Whites” to 80s dance-synth revivalists like Frankie Rose (“Know Me”) and Chairlift (“I Belong in Your Arms”) to the swinging 60s duo Tennis (“Origins”). All guaranteed to get you bopping.
  • 90s Rewind?. . . Last year, I felt as though 90s alternative rock was back and now I’m feeling a 90s hip-hop and soul revival. See, e.g., Robert Glasper‘s “Black Radio”, Blue Note Records (New York, 2012) (evokes tones of Blackstar); see also, THEEsatisfaction’s “QueenS”, SubPop (Seattle, 2012) (a neo-soul sensational sound).
  • Relishing in the Dark . . . Daughter’s “Landfill”, Perfume Genius‘ “Hood”, and Islands’ “This Is not a Song” are bluntly put morose explorations of love’s demise. And, yet, they are the sort of dull flame that can’t help but attract our moth-like ears and minds with their acute poignancy. Although it’s been said many times and in many ways, Daughter accurately expresses a sentiment we’ve all felt before (right?): “I want you so much, but I hate your guts.”
  • Slackers Never Die… Cloud Nothings’ “Stay Useless” is a slacker anthem for the 21st Century that would make Superchunk happy.
  • The Blues are Never Blue… Closing out this mix are two artists, Adam Arcuragi and the Alabama Shakes (more to come on their stellar “Boys and Girls”), treading in traditional American Folk and Blues traditions but infusing these forms with a fresh almost tent revivalist energy that will have you foot stoppin’ and hollerin’.

…but don’t take my word for it. Let the music speak for itself.

Note (for the sake of completion). The following songs weren’t available on Spotify but I would add them to the mix

  • Kendrick Lamar‘s “Cartoon & Cereal – next to Danny Brown, he is my favorite new rapper – his album Section.80 from 2011 didn’t catch my ear until recently but it’s been playing with high frequency
  • Teen Daze’s “Let’s Groove – a disco dance song for those days when you need a little pick me up; p.s. dance party invitations always welcome
  • Julia Holter’s “In the Same Roombizarre ghostly experimental chamber pop evocative of a David Lynch dream sequence… I’m so predictable.

…final thoughts (for now): Off to see Idaho’s Youth Lagoon(!!!) tonight at the Metro. But before I leave everyone, I need to gush about what a stunningly beautiful set I heard by Lost In the Trees last night. As I previously wrote their recent record feels likes a sylvan dream, well it was most definitely Midsummer Night at Schubas. I am a sucker for horns and violins on stage and love the intimacy of a campfire-like sing-along. It was all that along with some truly eerily, angelic singing. If these guys are coming your way (click on the link), do yourself a favor and catch them live. (If you are disappointed, I’ll reimburse you for the ticket.)


P.S. Chicagoans take note:  Wilco and Andrew Bird will be playing a show July 4th Weekend in Kane County.  There will be post-show fireworks.  Go here for ticket info.

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