It’s the Time of the Season for Mixes: Summer Fridays 3.1

 
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We're still three weeks away from the official start of the summer, but with temperatures in the '80s and Memorial Day Weekend upon us… close enough. So here's the first of a season's worth of mixes, made just for you. Having a little extra time for this one I redid it multiple times, tweaking here and there, and am pretty happy with what's now before you. Hope you like it. Cover art for this first mix of 2010 is by frequent contributor Kate Bryant and is the first to features a fold-able insert with track listing. If you'd like to contribute art to a mix, please do get in touch. No one wants me designing anything.

As always, the songs segue into one another, so no shuffle please! Here's the link:

DOWNLOAD SUMMER FRIDAYS 3.1

And the tracklist:

  1. The Crayon Fields – Voice of Paradise
  2. Club 8 – Dancing with the Mentally Ill
  3. David Snell – International Flight
  4. The Cyrkle – Red Rubber Ball
  5. Allo Darlin – The Polaroid Song
  6. The New Pornographers – Silver Jenny Dollar
  7. Sambassadeur – Days
  8. The Embassy – Time's Tight
  9. Kelley Stoltz – Pincecone
  10. Art Musems – Sculpture Gardens
  11. The Particles – Apricot's Dream
  12. Eternal Summers – Able To
  13. Air Waves – Knockout
  14. Veronica Falls – Beachy Head
  15. The What Four – I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy
  16. The Monochrome Set – Eine Symphonie Des Grauens
  17. Biff Bang Pow – Someone Stole My Wheels
  18. The Depreciation Guild – Crucify You
  19. Jack Nitzche – The Lonely Surfer
  20. Comet Gain – I Never Happened
  21. Avi Buffalo – Truth Sets In
  22. Burt Bacharach – Something Big

Liner notes for the curious are after the jump.

 
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AC Newman + The Oranges Band | The Bell House | 11.15.2008

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"I live seven blocks from here!' Carl Newman made no bones about The Bell House being his favorite venue in the city, adding "I will only see bands here and can't imagine why I'd go to Manhattan again." Artist and venue are so chummy, the Bell House was Carl and his band's practice space for this show. "They said we could have whatever we wanted from the bar. This is when I realized that I was an adult. I didn't get wasted, I just had a couple gin and tonics and worked on the songs."

This convivial relationship made for such a relaxed atmosphere that the show, Newman's first solo show in 3 1/2 years, felt more like a party than anything else. And it was a good one. His band on Saturday, six-strong, included a violinist, a accordionist/trumpet player, and the lovely Nicole Atkins on backup vocals and percussion. I'm not sure that this is the official band that Newman will tour with next year once the album is out (surely Atkins won't be) but they seemed to have it together.

This was the first time most of us heard songs from his forthcoming second solo album, Get Guilty (out Jan. 20), of which we got seven from it and the same amount from 2004's excellent The Slow Wonder. The set started with the only song released yet from Get Guilty, "There are Maybe Ten or Twelve," which isn't quite the immediate pop number "Miracle Drug" (which followed) or "On the Table" were, but it's growing on me. Some of the other songs, including "Seven Ways to Stockholm" and a couple whose names I don't actually know (though I scribbled down chorus lyrics like "Yo Ho" and "Straight Shot) were the kind of zippy pop songs we're used to from Newman. The Slow Wonder was one of my favorites of 2004 so I have high hopes from the new one.

Newman came out solo for the encore and told us that he'd submitted two covers for an upcoming Starbucks' Valentines Day compilation. "The one they took was A Ha's "Take on Me," he said. "The other song, which I genuinely like, is this one" and he proceeded to play of The Go-Betweens' "Love Goes On!' from 1989's 16 Lovers Lane. The crowd applauded so much he did an impromptu second encore song, the New Pornographers' "The Fake Headlines" because they hadn't practiced any of his other solo songs.

SETLIST: There are Maybe Ten or Twelve*  | Miracle Drug | Like a Hitman* | Secretarial | Seven Ways to Stockholm* | Come Crash | Heartbreak Rides* | Palace @ 4AM* | The Cloud Prayer | All My Days* | Drink to Me, Babe, Then | Changeling* | On the Table | The Town Halo | ENCORE: Love Goes On | The Fake Headlines

(*new)

MP3: A.C. Newman – There are Maybe Ten or Twelve (pre-order Get Guilty [$3 off!])

MP3The Go-Betweens – Love Goes On! (buy it)

Orangesband
I got to the Bell House too late for openers Bird of Youth, but Baltimore's The Oranges Band were were solid indie rock '90s-style which makes sense as singer Roman Kuebler spent two years as Spoon's bassist and the band also features ex-Guided By Voices/Cobra Verde/My Dad is Dead guitarist Doug Gillard. The set also featured an appearance by Kuebler's dad who made a plea to the audience to check out the merch table where we could pick up The Oranges Band's forthcoming new record right now.

I really meant to buy that but I was too consumed with the idea of heading outside the club where one of the Red Hook Ballfield vendors had set up shop. I might have prefered tacos or hurraches, but the Ecuadorean pupusas dished up with vinegary slaw and a big dollop of crema were the perfect end of the evening. Delicious. Carl Newman was enjoying one too, and I almost asked him what kind he was eating, but decided not to bother him at his home away from home.

Also there: Music Snobbery (with some much better photos than mine), Bumpershine, Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry, Nada Surf

A.C. Newman is Guilty

Acnewman_get_guiltySo Matador just released the details of Carl Newman's second solo album and follow-up to The Slow Wonder, one of 2004's best albums. Get Guilty will be out January 20 and features a bunch of guests including Superchunk drummer/funnyman Jon Wurster, Mates of State and Nicole Atkins.

I loved The Slow Wonder and am really looking to an all-Carl tour-de force. For those in NYC, you can hear a lot, if not all, of Get Guilty's live debut when Carl plays The Bell House on November 15. Tickets are on sale now. This will be Carl's second appearance at the Bell House, the first being an impromptu performance at the Club's opening party when Nada Surf coudn't make it. Here are a couple YouTube videos of Carl goofing around with Eugene Mirman, then performing The Slow Wonder's "Miracle Drug":

Also, did you ever see Carl interview me on New York Noise?

No One Twisting His Arm…

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I bought the new issue of The Big Takeover over the weekend. (REM's on the cover… am I the only one that thinks Peter Buck kind of looks like Bea Arthur these days?) I'm always anxious to tear into it — it's always good and one of the few music magazines these days that takes longer than an afternoon to read — but I was specifically looking forward to this one to read the second half of editor Jack Rabid's interview with New Pornographers' AC Newman. The first half, in the last issue (which also featured AC on the cover), was one of the best interviews with a musician that I'd read in I don't know how long.

To be honest the second half is not quite as good as the first — Carl takes a lot of BT reader questions — but he did talk about his band Zumpano who were signed to Sub Pop in the early '90s, and were really one of the first pop bands, along with Velocity girl, to be signed to the Seattle label that was then known as the home of grunge. Jack asks if there is any chance, what with New Pornographers' success, that we might see their two albums reissued…

AC: No, I still don't really want to do it. A friend at Sub Pop was talking about how they wanted to repackage both records as a two-for-one. But they're just a part of my past. I feel like it was a learning process.

JR: You don't wan't people to hear them???

AC: I just want them to go away.

JR: Why?! They're excellent!

AC: They're all right. I still feel kind of embarrassed by them. I feel like New Pornographers is the music I've always wanted to make.

JR: I can't imagine someone buying Zumpano records and not buying New Pornographers. Not buying it?!

AC: Maybe… I don't have any problems with those records. But some things from your past, you just want them to exist in their own time. It would be nice if they become really sought-after. If all the copies disappear, and then people start paying $100 for them on eBay… like Game Theory CDs from the '80s. Those have become sought-after because they're all long gone.

JR: Maybe I should sell mine!

AC: Apparently Lolita Nation is the one that everybody wants..

JR: I've got that.

AC: Get rid of it before the market falls out!

I had no idea Game Theory CDs were such hot property, though in a weird bit of happenstance I've been listening to Lolita Nation a lot lately — which I won't be selling to anyone. I bought Lolita Nation my freshman year of college after hearing a couple Game Theory songs on that Enigma Variations 2 compilation I mentioned in my Wire post last week. (You all remember that, right?) And the college radio station was playing it and they sounded similar to a lot of other, paisley-wearing bands I liked at the time — Let's Active, The Three O'Clock, and R.E.M.

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Like a lot of double albums, Lolita Nation is a sprawling mess. Songs crashed into one another, with some half-baked 20 second snippets thrown in, along with a really weird sound collage near the end of the record. But in between all that unbridled creativity, there were all these amazing songs and I thought it was the most awesome thing I ever heard. Obsession set in quick. This was maybe the first
record I'd heard at that point that attempted to bring a Beatles
aesthetic to the "college rock" sound.

And again, the songs. Lolita Nation has at least ten great ones. Mitch Easter produced and, apart from some thin-sounding keyboards, it doesn't really sound all that dated. Probably because they resisted the reverby/gated drum sound that was so prevalent at the time. It really holds up. Most of Game Theory's album's are worth hearing, but Lolita Nation is genuinely essential.

Frontman Scott Miller says there's not enough demand for reissues, but seeing how '80s indie classics from Let's Active, The Three O'Clock ,and Dumptruck (who were probably equal on the obscurity level) can get them, surely so can Game Theory. The real reason is probably because Miller doesn't own the rights to the masters.  Until someone rectifies this situation, here are a few of Lolita Nation's choicest cuts:

MP3: Game Theory_- Not Because You Can


MP3
: Game Theory- We Love You Carol And Alison


MP3
: Game Theory – The Real Sheila

MP3: Game Theory_- Slip

MP3: Game Theory_- Chardonnay

Scott Miller's post-GT band, The Loud Family, are worth checking out too, as is the Loud Family website. He's a true musicologist, and has lists of his Top 20 albums for every year from 1965 – 1999, which makes a great shopping list for those who want to fill out their music collections.

Meanwhile, for those of you who started reading this thinking it was going to feature some Zumpano songs…

MP3: Zumpano – The Party Rages On

MP3: Zumpano – Behind the Beehive