We're in the last month of summer but in NYC at least it's still blazing hot which is making a lot of people angry. I'll say one of the best things about being currently underemployed is not having to brave the overcrowded subway platforms at rush hour. You can just feel the tension in the air, or maybe it's just the humidity. This mix doesn't reflect this in any way, I don't think, but you know, just saying. It's hot.
Cover art this week is courtesy my friend Kelly and these flamingos are from her mom's back yard Florida or something. Summer seems to be over for these guys.
- Figurines – Lucky to Love
- Oranger – Suddenly Upsidedown
- Klaxons – Echoes
- Of Montreal – Enemy Gene
- Blonde Redhead – Not Getting There
- Medicine – Never Click
- The Intelligence – Like Like Like Like Like Like Like
- I Was a King – Nightwalking
- One Man Band – Love You
- Gabor Szabo – Sunshine Superman
- A Classic Education – Terrible Day
- Tennis – Baltimore
- Prefab Sprout – Lions in My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
- East River Pipe – Here We Go
- Eternal Summers – Disciplinarian
- Lotion – Feedback Queen
- Winter Gloves – Strange Love
- Penelope Houston – Harry Dean
- Game Theory – The Real Sheila
- Kelley Stoltz – I Don't Get That
- The Woodentops – Why
Blah blah blah no shuffling, ok. Liner notes after the jump.
Figurines – Lucky to Love
A new EP from these Danes snuck out back in May which I didn't realize existed until recently asking myself, "hey what happened to Figurines?" I love 2005's Skeleton, it's 2007 follow-up not as much, but the songs on this EP are pretty promising.
Oranger – Suddenly Upsidedown
I think most people who are more than casual music fans have pet bands you champion and put on mixes constantly in hopes of spreading the word. San Francisco's Oranger are one of mine. This is from 2000's great The Quiet Vibrationland, a gentle psychedelic pop mini masterpiece.
Klaxons – Echoes
UK's most interstellar pop act still haven't landed on Earth. I loved their first album, which won the Mercury Prize, and the new one seems even further out there (Alpha Centauri maybe) but they still know their way around a good hook. Also, maybe album cover of the year?
Of Montreal – Enemy Gene
Kevin Barnes, using all his Outback Steakhouse money not spent on renting horses, finally goes hi-fi with L.A. cool kid Jon Brion, indulging in every studio fantasy he's ever had. The result, False Priest, is still pretty weird — Barnes' brain is just wired different — but it's now weird like Prince. It's very Prince. This is one of the more restrained, old school Of Montreal tracks on the album.
Blonde Redhead – Not Getting There
I think Blonde Redhead's new album, Penny Sparkle, is going to be a grower.
Medicine – Never Click
One of the better American shoegaze bands, Medicine put a layer of ear-piercing white noise on top of just about everything they did. But on their second album, The Buried Life, the pop songs started to shine through. "Never Click" is still pretty f-ing noisy but what a tune. Wonder how bad Brad Laner's tinnitus is.
The Intelligence – Like Like Like Like Like Like Like
Yay a new album from the twisted, brainy Intelligence. Lars Finberg may be working in the garage, but his has a hovercraft parked in it. Males is out next week, and I think you're gonna like like like like like like like it. A lot.
I Was a King – Nightwalking
Wasn't expecting a new album from these Norwegians so soon! A little less Dino Jr/Teenage Fanclub, and a lot more horns. I'm still in the digesting stage, but this is the song that has stood out so far.
One Man Band – Love You
I don't know much of anything about OMB apart from this was released on the Superimposers' digital singles label, Topanga. If I had to guess it's one of the Superimposers under another name. An exercise in recreating a sound as much as a single, this is like 1968 in four minutes. I'm still trying to figure out if the end is an actual "Wichita Lineman" sample or a perfect clone.
Gabor Szabo – Sunshine Superman
Hungarian jazz guitarist covers a Donovan classic, from his 1972 album Bacchanal. I won't front and say I'm any expert on this guy but I do tend to like sunshine FM stuff from this period. Reminds me of car trips with my parents, though the easy listening stations never played anything quite this good.
A Classic Education – Terrible Day
At this point Jonathan Clancy gets a lot more attention from blogs for his His Clancyness solo recordings than his actual band, A Classic Education, but I still prefer his songs with a full the full band. I mean, they're both good. ACE have a new EP out soon on Lefse Records and this is from it. If memory serves, Jonathan said this track is from an Italian movie soundtrack and he translated the lyrics. (He's Canadian but lives in Bologna, lucky bastard.) Maybe he'll write in to correct me or give further info.
Tennis – Baltimore
This married duo have a good hook: after saving up for years, they bought a boat and sailed the Eastern seaboard for nearly a year, and then wrote a bunch of songs about their experience. This is the title track of their new-ish EP on Underwater Peoples. I can't quite make out the lyrics, but I'm going to guess it's all about the time they docked in the titular city and the police found 13 dead women in their cargo hold. Oh wait, that's The Wire.
Prefab Sprout – Lions in My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
This is Prefab Sprout's first-ever single. If the title seems willfully obscure, it's because Paddy McAloon wanted to be an acronym for Limoges, the French city where his girlfriend was living at the time. Right from the start, his wistful romanticism (and jazzy melodicism) was in full view. I like this one a lot as it is before all that bad '80s production got ahold of them.
East River Pipe – Here We Go
F.M. Cornog would probably be signed to Underwater Peoples if he was just starting out now instead of the '90s. Everytime I hear Real Estate I think of East River Pipe, though I never seem to find the song that is the direct through-line. But I think you can hear it on this, probably the most immediate song from 1995's beautifully depressed Poor Fricky.
Eternal Summers – Disciplinarian
I know I already put an Eternal Summers track on a Summer Fridays mix this year, but I wasn't expecting them to have a whole new album out so soon. Silver comes out on Kanine records in September and this is the lead track. So many duos just bash it out, but there's a lot of subtlety with their arrangements. Plus they're the best band to ever come out of a two-hour radius of my hometown.
Lotion – Feedback Queen
Why did Lotion not become huge? One of my favorite bands of the '90s, so smart, such good musicians, so much going on in their songs, yet totally embraceable. What a giant pop song this is. And soooo good live. Seeing them play at Luna Lounge on many occasion is one of my best memories of that era. I dream of a reunion gig.
Winter Gloves – Strange Love
These Montreal guys schedule and cancel NYC gigs with frequency but maybe with this new album they'll finally play here. Kind of in the Tokyo Police Club mold but a little funkier. This kind of stuff isn't exactly in fashion right now, but worth your time.
Penelope Houston – Harry Dean
Onetime singer of SF punks The Avengers, Penelope Houston's solo debut from 1987 was a bit of a surprise — owing more to early 70s Island Records folk than anything else. Produced by Residents cohort Snakefinger, the whole thing isn't a success but "Harry Dean" is awesome. My college radio station played this one a lot.
Game Theory – The Real Sheila
Speaking of, Game Theory's Lolita Nation soundtracked much of my Freshman year. It was strange and poppy and unlike anything I'd ever really heard before. (Though it sounded enough like R.E.M. to pull me in initially.) They played on my birthday that year though I don't really remember much about the show as I was young and dumb and going to a top ten party school.
Kelley Stoltz – I Don't Get That
Like Eternal Summers, when I put a Kelley Stoltz song on an early mix this year I was unaware an actual new album was just around the corner. To Dreamers is out Oct. 12 on Sub Pop and this is the first track they've let us hear. It's a winner.
The Woodentops – Why
The Woodentops hold a special place in my heart. Somehow I ended up with a copy of 1986's Giant which I listened to near constantly my senior year of high school (It was on one side of a cassette that had Hunters & Collectors on the other that was almost always in the car stereo). I think I bought it because it was produced by Bob Sergeant, as I was obsessed with the English Beat at the time as well. Still one of my favorite albums of the '80s. This was a b-side to their single "Love Affair with Everyday Living" and forcasted the band's growing love of dance music. There's some questionable rapping type things going on at the end but I love the little keyboard hook and the killer bassline.