Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Mix

"Move Your Feet from Hot Pavement and into the Grass"

Greetings from Port Chester, NY--that forgotten suburban city, thorn in the side of Westchester County corporate developers. Once the site of a pulsating music scene now is a trashed outer-borough wasteland lined with shabby shops and potholed pavement. It's late July and the heat makes waves in the air, the asphalt bakes in the orange sun and King Street pressurizes under my feet. These are the songs I listen to most when walking hot sidewalks. Like icy lemonade in dixie cups, these songs cool me down.

Summer Mix (45mins)

Download (40mb)


1 - Ach M :: "cave grill"

Arch M records meditative EPs that evoke sonic july. Spaced out, peculiarly tropical and decidedly psychedelic, heart strings are pulled and thoughts provoked while minds and muscles are turned to mush. The thumping bassline nails the ambient wa-wa phrases to the ground. Captures lackadaisical summer in a bottle.

2 - Beach House :: "Saltwater"

Dissonant, harmonic. heartwrenchigly low-fi. Casio chords run through a broken amp, drum machine on loops in a dusty cellar. This material will lull you into a aural daydream while you picnic in an abandoned meadow in rural Maryland. It's effortless, simple, far more poignant than anything else I've heard from them.

3- Deerhunter :: "Rainwater Cassette Exchange"

Bradford Cox and his shoegazing co. get beachy on this one, turning the reverb all the way up for californian delight, sounds like a 60's pop quintet broadcasting from a sewer in Pasadena. Deerhunter, Lotus Plaza and Atlas Sound aside, Cox's blog is worth following as well, his charisma as a musician is matched by his taste in doo-wop, micromixing, and youtube videos. New Deerhunter record coming soon, evidently.

4 - Yuzo Kayama :: "Black Sand Beach"

Japanese surf rock The interpretation of the beach formula on the other side of the pacific is a wonder to behold. Arguably superior to U.S. bands in execution and heart, surf rockers from japan turned the genre into a blistering, up-tempo pre-thrash powerhouse. Listen to Yuzo Kayama, Dick Dale of Tokyo, tear up the frets.

5 - The Drums :: "Let's Go Surfing"

The contemporary surf-rock renaissance can be spotty, but The Drums really nail it. Unlike bands that incorporate folk and shoegaze into the surf sound, they are are more roots-surf, literally singing about the beach with facetious lyrics about "the new kid in the town." "♪ Down down baby down by the rollercoaster ♫". Pop gold.

6 - Jacuzzi Boys :: "Island Avenue"

Menacing garage rock from Jacuzzi Boys, shakin down punks at the arcade. Grisly guitar strumming and gnarly wet lead riffs, this one's a real firecracker. Irreverent lyrics and snarling vocals, yeah, a real gem.

7 - The Love Language :: "Lalita"

Feel good summer jingle jangle pop song, stripped of sappiness thanks in part to mean, screeching guitar line, a monstrous pop hook, and catchy lyrics with a fantastically animalistic percussion part. Gets your feet stomping.

8 - Brilliants Colors :: "Over There"

No-fi San Francisco songstresses Brilliant Colors harness noise nicely on "Over There". Sounds like b52's x thurston moore x neon boys. Pear shaped and grimy.

9 - The Babies :: "Meet Me in the City"

CAN NOT get this song out of my head. Loving the open chord rockabillie folk-core pop sound and lyrics that resonate with all new york subway hoppers. Members of Woods and Vivian Girls. (If u ask, me, this band outshines both) These guys played Purchase recently. Can't believe I slept on that.

10 - Wavves :: "Gun in the Sun"

Infamous one man band Wavves. This isn't something I talk about alot, but this music is phenomenal. The hissing guitar thrashes and the tape recorder hanging on for dear life make "gun in the sun" far and away his best cut. I don't know how the fuck he achieves that falsetto doo-wop melody, it's unhuman.

11 - The Crystals :: "He's a Rebel"

Here's a phil spector record from the early sixites. The wall of sound really pounding on this one--that thundering drum line. Been on a huge doo-wop kick these last few months, barbershop quartets are like Mr. Softee ice cream cones for my eardrums. Thing about this song, it's bubblegum lyrics over and instrumentation that's mean as a snake.

12 - Public Nuisance - "Please Come Back"

I picked this up from a mix that Avey Tare of Animal Collective made for the Deerhunter blog, (check out mixes from all three current members HERE), the harmonies on this are haunting, the strumming pattern chopped up with the drums makes for a wildly original garage rock record. Public Nuisance were an unsigned sixties pop group in California, forgotten by all save for lost vinyl collectors. Check out more lost garage bands at Garage Hangover, (site is incredible)

13 - Real Estate :: "Suburban Dogs"

Real Estate This song sends me slowly spiraling into a daydream about Bergen County dogs running away. I grew up in the country, so suburban life holds a kind of mystique for me, and this songs epitomizes the ennui and dog day afternoon beauty of it all, the ways that suburbanites humanize themselves, seeking out meaning in cookie cutter cinemascopes.

14 - Arcade Fire :: "The Suburbs"

The new Arcade Fire single. (Only band that could pull off such a heavy handed title). That crash cymbal rollicking piano line intro gets me going. "The Suburbs" possesses some novelistic qualities to it, encapsulating a weighty dramatic arch, using only 5 minutes of analog tape. Again, the commentary on suburban weirdness resonates with me, not only as a resident of a particularly of wacky suburban city but also as someone who finds a twisted prettiness in what Win Butler calls "the walls that they built in the 70's." A record and a half, the drone of the descending guitar line in the chorus keeps me up at night.

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