Summer Fridays 3.2: Hazy, Hot and Humid

Whoo it’s hot, huh? And barely June. Despite my hopes at not having to make any of this year’s covers myself, here we are with a patented B.Pearis Type-Over-Photo school of design. (The font, if you’re curious is a Peter Saville original, created for the 1981 – Factus 8 – 1982 compilation EP.) I actually kind of like this one, though.  The photo is from the Library of Congress’ Flickr. It was taken at a square dance in Oklahoma around 1939. No one in this photograph was dancing to The Drums, The B-52’s or Air Miami, but if I was to go back in time with a boom box and play this mix for them, I feel pretty positive they’d be frightened. Fear would turn to anger and I’d get beat up or worse. But maybe doing so would somehow end up in stopping Hitler. Which would make it all worth it. That is the power of music, folks.

But I digress. Here’s mix #2 which I think turned out pretty well and is about half-and-half new/old. At one point this one had two French language tracks, but now it has none. Probably because of the whole time travel incident, the USA never had to storm Normandy and somehow those musicians were never born or never became musicians. Looks like I’ve got some paradox-fixing to do.


  1. Django Django – WOR
  2. The Slits – I Heard it Through the Grapevine
  3. Young Friends – Riverside Kids
  4. The B-52’s – 52 Girls
  5. The Drums – Forever and Ever Amen
  6. Air Miami – Word Cup Fever
  7. Lulu – I’ll Come Running
  8. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Bright Lit Blue Skies
  9. Darwin Deez – Bad Day
  10. Foals – Total Life Forever
  11. New Order – The Village
  12. Beach Fossils – The Horse
  13. Sea Lions – Good Feelings
  14. The Aislers Set – The Way to Market Station
  15. The Housemartins – Sheep
  16. Here We Go Magic – Casual
  17. The Soundcarriers – Last Broadcast
  18. The Radio Dept. – This Time Around
  19. LiLiPUT – Die Matrosen

It should go without saying at this point that this is an actual mix, the songs segue together despite being separate tracks. So no shuffling, ok? I switched to Mediafire for this one — does it download quicker/easier? Liner notes after the jump.

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NYC Popfest: The Radio Dept. | Mondo! @ Don Hills | 5.15.2009

Nobody really knew what to expect of enigmatic Swedes The Radio Dept. who were playing their first ever New York show, which was also second-ever show in the United States. There's an air of mystery around the trio — they aren't big on interviews or press photos or playing live in general or releasing records in a timely manner — which fits well with their dreamy, often amazing music. With all the other bands on the bill (Liechtenstein, Cats on Fire, The Tartans), most people's expectations were lowered, kind of amazed that we were actually going to see them play at all.

The verdict: pretty good. Playing drummerless and with a lot less guitar pedals than I was expecting, the band recreated the hazy charm of songs like "1995" and especially "I Don't Like This" the latter of which is from their near-perfect This Past Week EP. The smoke machines and moody lighting kept things mysterious. It sort of reminded me of the Cocteau Twins, who didn't get a drummer till late in their existence. I do wish they'd worked up at least one song with one of the other Popfest bands' rhythm sections, and maybe played one song as a full band — say, "Where the Damage Isn't Already Done" from Lesser Matters — but the laptop percussion and bass sounded pretty good. And loud. You could feel those subfrequencies in your stomach.

The set was short, a "warm-up" for their proper show at The Bell House, and included "Freddy and the Trojan Horse" and, I think, "Pet Grief" and "Why Won't You Talk About It." (I could be wrong about those last two.) The show finished with a new song, perhaps upcoming single "David" (out June 23), which if its thumping, distinctive beat is any indication, the new album will bear a distinct balearic influence. ("Freddy and the Trojan Horse" was already heading that direction.) Maybe they've been hanging at fellow Swedes Studio's studio.

 MP3: The Radio Dept. – I Don't Like This (buy it from Labrador or Emusic)

Frank from Chromewaves make the trek down from Toronto for the show and will probably have a review up Monday or so. Meanwhile, here are a couple more pictures from the show:


New Radio Dept | “Freddie and the Trojan Horse”

Has it really been two years since The Radio Dept. released Pet Grief? The calendar says "yes." The only reason I noticed this was a missive from Labrador records letting me know that their new album, Clinging to a Scheme, will be out September 10. That’s actually a year quicker than it took for these Swedes to follow-up their acclaimed 2003 debut. At this rate, we’ll get Album #4 next summer.

According to the band, influences for the third album included "minimalistic post-punk, krautrock, repetitive ‘motorik’ beat and ambient noise." I don’t hear any motorik beat on Clinging to a Scheme’s first single, "Freddie and the Trojan Horse," though I do detect some ’80s gated drums and less reverb than we’re used to from these guys (which still means more reverb than most). It’s definitely peppier than almost anything on Pet Grief, which was a disappointment around these parts. Catchier too.

MP3: The Radio Dept – Freddie and the Trojan Horse