Easy Tiger: Summer Fridays 4.2

3 Jun


Did you know there’s an animal park in Florida that develops bonds between tigers and humans by having them swim together? You probably did, it’s been around for three years. I just found out via this week’s cover art done by my friend and frequent art contributor Kelly Hitzing. If you didn’t, there is such a park and the photos are terrifying. It’s like that Truck-o-Saurus episode of the Simpsons come to life…minus the Truck-o-Saurus and the sharks.

Anyway, my nightmares are your awesome cover art to the second Summer Fridays of 2011. By pure coincidence there’s a song by Cat’s Eyes. And lots of other new music, plus at least one song about the summer which is a cheeseball thing to do and I can’t promise I won’t do it again. But I can promise that the song will be good if I do so. Without further ado…

DOWNLOAD SUMMER FRIDAYS 4.2

Tracklisting:

1. Fun Boy Three – Summertime
2. Cat’s Eyes – A Face in the Crowd
3. Wild Flag – Future Crimes
4. Seapony - Into the Sea
5. pow wow! – It’s Not That Easy
6. The Monochrome Set – Karma Suture
7. Hong Kong in the ’60s – You Can Take a Heart but You Can’t Make it Beat
8. Love Inks – Wave Goodbye
9. Ivy - I Get the Message
10. The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy - Groovin’ in the Bus Lane
11. The Attack – Colour of My Mind
12. Starfucker - Astoria
13. Small Sins – Why Don’t You Believe Me?
14. The Young Knives – Woman
15. The Hollies – Postcard
16. Nina Slash – Candy Box
17. Lemonheads - Confetti
18. The Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See
19. Dani Sheridan – I Guess I’m Dumb
20. Girls Names – Lawrence
21. Hunters & Collectors – Everything’s on Fire

I know you know, but I can’t post this without reminding you that the songs herein are mixed together, so listening on shuffle would be a bad thing. So don’t do it! Liner notes after the jump.

1. Fun Boy Three – Summertime
There are about a zillion billion versions of this George Gershwin standard from Porgy & Bess, but of modern adaptations this is my favorite. Fun Boy Three’s take feels like July in the South when the humidity’s so thick you can barely move. They also get Gershwin’s irony, and underline it with a magic marker…but it works.

2. Cat’s Eyes – A Face in the Crowd
One of the more unexpectedly great albums of 2011 is Cat’s Eyes, the colaboration between Horrors frontman Faris Badwan and classically trained singer/instrumentalist Rachel Zaffira. A girl group song with the roles reversed, “A Face in the Crowd” is full of little amazing production touches you only discover on repeat listens.

3. Wild Flag – Future Crimes
While we await the debut from indie rock supergroup Wild Flag (Sleater-Kinney + Helium) here’s the band’s Record Store Day single to hold you over. I like the strident chorus. Glad to report Carrie and co still got it.

4. Seapony – Into the Sea
You may remember this Seattle band from the Spring Fever mix a couple months ago. Here’s another gem from their lovely debut album that just came out on Hardly Art. An old guy like me hears a lot of ’80s indie influences — Creation records, Sarah records — but maybe you just hear a great little pop song. NYC folks take note, Seapony will be here in two weeks.

5. pow wow! – It’s Not That Easy
This NJ/Greenpoint band were hard to miss two years ago, they gigged all the time and made L Magazine’s annual 8 Bands You Need to Hear list. And then they went away. For, like, a whole year. Now they’re back and, if I can judge a band on one song, better than ever. They used to have this sort of wine cooler party rock vibe and now it’s a little more indiepop. “It’s Not That Easy” make me want to hear more. They play my Sound Bites Summer Series at the Fulton Stall Market on July 10. Free, come down!

6. The Monochrome Set – Karma Suture
I have often thought if I was ever to form a band (a real one not like this) I would want it to be like the Monochrome Set. Slightly poncy, lyrics about upper class, general martini rock vibe. Until that happens please enjoy the real Monochrome Set, another winner from one of the most overlooked bands of the last 30 years. Bid and Lester Square have reformed The Monochrome Set this year (!), and I’m hearing we might get them at CMJ this year. Wouldn’t that be AMAZING.

7. Hong Kong in the ’60s – You Can Take a Heart but You Can’t Make it Beat
London trio who mix sunshine pop, easy listening and a love of analogue synths…of course I love it. Somewhere between Everything but the Girl and High Llamas. The only bad thing I can say about their debut album My Fantoms is that it’s not available on vinyl.

8. Love Inks – Wave Goodbye
I think this goes pretty well out of HK60s. Nice minimalist pop from Austin that DOES NOT sound like Young Marble Giants, despite the many comparisons to the contrary. (Blame the press release for that one I think.) Anyway, their record, E.S.P., is pretty good. They still need to work on their live show, though.

9. Ivy – I Get the Message
I remember seeing Ivy open for Kitchens of Distinction in Pittsburgh about two weeks before I moved to New York. Talking to them about my impending move, their advice: get an apartment with built-in A/C. I did, but it broke down about two weeks into July. So it goes with apartment life.  This song’s pretty cool.

10. The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy – Groovin’ in the Bus Lane
Perhaps the finest ode to public transportation ever. Not that I can think of many others, apart from Shinehead’s “Chain Gang Rap.” Pat Fish has always been a staunch supporter of the bus, and vegetarianism. I giant influence on me, musically. Somehow I missed the fact that for the last ten years Pat Fish has also fronted a dub rock band called Wilson.

11. The Attack – Colour of My Mind
’60s mod pop outfit The Attack coulda been as big as The Who but they crashed and burned after four singles. This was the b-side to their third single and bettered the a-side (“Created By Clive”) by a mile. You can get all four singles — and tracks from their scrapped debut album on a fine compilation,  never made it much past this single — their debut album was never released at the time called About Time!

12. Starfucker – Astoria
I had this and the Attack song picked out for this week’s mix without ever listening to them right after each other… this song almost seems to be born out of The Attack’s opening little riff. “Astoria” is a one riff jam, but it’s a good one and, at just over two minutes, doesn’t stick around long enough to point it out.

13. Small Sins – Why Don’t You Believe Me?
Small Sins were hot for a minute or two in 2005 back when everybody and their sister had a music blog. (It felt like that in NYC at least.) The Hype moved on but Small Sins kept going, doing what they always did: clever danceable pop. It gets kind of ELO in the chorus. Edit note: I initially typed ELP, which Smalls Sins most certainly do not resemble.

14. The Young Knives – Woman
Speaking of keeping on going, it’s The Young Knives! The finest band ever from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. (Probably.) Perpetually uncool, continuously great. Their latest is called Ornaments from the Silver Arcade and this is a kind of like that cod-afrobeat post-punk thing you got a lot in the early ’80s (The Slits, Amazulu). The Young Knives stick around because, you know, what else are they gonna do? I for one am glad they still exist.

15. The Hollies – Postcard
I wish you could be here.

16. Nina Slash – Candy Box
I met Nina Slash on a trip to Montreal last year while attending a festival and ended up spending more time hanging with him than with the other writers and industry folks with whom I was supposed to be hobnobbing. I didn’t know of his band at the time and got this 7″ six months later. It’s pretty awesome.

17. Lemonheads – Confetti
“He kinda shoulda sorta woulda loved her if he could’ve” — one of my favorite Evan Dando lyrics. From the days when he could do no wrong. What a voice.

18. The Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See
Alex Turner seems to have hit middle age at 25 but it suits him fine — Suck it and See is my favorite Arctic Monkeys album since thier first. Slowing down to the occasional midtempo song (like the title cut here) allows you to breath a bit and take in Turner’s still formidible lyrical skills. “That’s not a skirt, girl, it’s a loaded shotgun/and I can only hope you’ve got it aimed at me.”

19. Dani Sheridan – I Guess I’m Dumb
This was a song Brian Wilson wrote for Glen Campbell — so I’m told — but this version is by Dani Sheridan which can be heard on the first installment of the essential Dream Babes compilation series. It’s got good sweep.

20. Girls Names – Lawrence
Given Girls Names’ sound, as steeped in obscure ’80s indie as it is, I have to imagine this song is about Lawrence of Felt and Denim fame. (Not so much Go Kart Mozart fame.) If you like jangly, echo-y type stuff Girls Names are for you. Their album on Slumberland is pretty awesome if you dig that sort of stuff. And given that you’ve read this far, you probably do.

21. Hunters & Collectors – Everything’s on Fire
Okay I admit it this song is sort of shoehorned in here at the end of this mix. Something about the band’s sound — and the old school mastering that has quiet quiets and LOUD louds — makes it hard to put on with anything more modern. I loved H&C’s album Human Fraility which I put on one side of a C-100 Maxell tape (The Woodentops’ Giant on the other) that was a constant in my car stereo senior year of high school. These guys did a fair amount of political songs, but were best when getting into the meat of relationships.

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