Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Hodgepodge of Past and Present





I was going to say that this one is a little out of character, but so was the last one, so maybe now it's becoming in character. Although this one is a different type of different. Whereas last one I kept in a direct timeline, this one is, well, not even close. The past (and present) few months have been hectic and hard to keep up with, and some of these songs I'm honestly not sure were from the month of April. But I know they made an impact, long enough for me to remember them past April into May. And being that my months kind of have been blending together excessively, I feel like there hasn't really been a definitive start and stop. Besides, even if they couldn't keep up, NO SONG LEFT BEHIND!


"The World You Love" - Jimmy Eat World
I never tire of this song, and the feels it gives me never diminish. More than anything, I always connect to the lyrics:
"I fall asleep with my friends around me, only place I know I feel safe, I'm gonna call this home."
I've always viewed home as a fluid concept, and while moving put a good distance between myself and my friends, I also know that I can go almost anywhere and still be home. And I knew that in another month, one more piece of home was moving to me.

"Songs For Teenagers" - Fake Problems
Immediately upon hearing the guitar I thought I needed this song for my mix. As soon as the lyrics started I was like, hmm, maybe not. But then I kept falling more in love with the melody and percussion. Finally, "It's a shame, all the ways we build ourselves up, just to let each other down." sold me, and here it is.

"Wandering Limbs" - Kimbra This song is one of those that I'm not really sure if it was April or not. I had notated it under the April heading, but it felt like so much longer than that. Then again, April had so much happen that it could've seemed shorter than it really was. More than anything though, when I marked this song as mix material, what caught me the most was the accompaniment by Sam Lawrence. Initially I didn't know who it was, but it reminded me of the singer from As Tall As Lions. Deep down I knew it wasn't, but I really really really wanted it to be, because now and forever into the future I will be sad that they stopped existing as a band.

"Dreams So Real" - Metric
When I went back over this song, I thought I had the wrong version, except it's the only version I have. Not gonna lie,  I keep wondering why this song caught my attention, because it just constantly seems like an unmemorable type of song. But I distinctly remember the lyrics "I'll shut up and carry on, the scream becomes a yawn." getting into my head and making me write down the song to come back to later. It's just such a great way to talk about how often people fall into complacency, and time moves on without them.

"All The Way" - Taking Back Sunday
Another one I'm not sure of when it came in, I just remember working at Best Buy and seeing that Taking Back Sunday had a new album, so of course I had to check it out. I listened through it at some point, and this one caught me just a little. What put it over the edge was that it kept coming on shuffle (of course.) It also helped; and maybe this isn't the right way to classify it; that some of the lyrics were.. I don't know, "country" ish? (I had to ask how to even start to describe, and I'm still not satisfied.) But how he uses "ain't" and instead of "I taught" it was "I done taught."

"Fairweather Friend" - Spitalfield
This I can blame mostly on my new friend Ben. Well, new friend, back in April. I basically started talking at him through the back "wall" of the kiosk where I work, whenever he was around, and, when it comes to making conversation with people I don't know anything about, I always start music. And, it took him just a smidge to start talking more than one sentence at a time, so it mostly just involved me telling him to listen to these musics once I realized that while our music paths crossed, it wasn't very often. Spitalfield was I think one of the first three bands I recommended to him, which, I think I force everyone to listen to them at some point or another because I love them so damned much. But this time I was a little bit surprised. Anyone I ever point to Spitalfield seems to enjoy Five Days and Counting the most, off of Remember Right Now, and in this case Ben was no exception. But the other song he told me he enjoyed was Fairweather Friend, and that was a first. It's actually one of the few songs in their entire collection that Mark Rose is not the main singer on. As a kicker, it came on shuffle maybe a day after he told me this. So yeah.

"The Whitest Lie" - Bayside
This was another album that I didn't realize existed until I walked by it at Best Buy. I still (2 months later) haven't really gone through the album more than once, which, once is good. But I haven't given in the same amount of consideration that I gave Killing Time. Which, at this moment I love the most out of all their albums, but it is entirely possible that Cults could surpass it, if I only give it the chance. However, when I actually happened upon this album I can't remember. Before this blog I went through all my statuses on Facebook for the past few months to try and even find out what month it was, because I was certain that I posted some lyrics, but couldn't find them. However, as I'm writing this, I'm starting to think I actually posted the lyrics to Twitter. Whoops.

"The House That Fire Built" - Mae
This was just straight unfamiliar nostalgia. Unfamiliar, because I did not recognize this song in the least when it came on. But nostalgia, because I most certainly recognized the voice as soon as he started singing and it immediately reminded me of late high school and seeing Mae perform in Davenport in the last few months before the venue closed for good. I can't even remember what it was called, I just remember it was near the bookstore. There's really not much more to say on the song, other than it's just so, so, good.


Honourable Mention:


"A Three Legged Workhorse" - This Will Destroy You
This one came on shuffle while I was at work, and the reason it's honourable mention is because, much like Metric, on second listen it didn't seem quite as memorable, but I still enjoyed it. Just no memorable lyrics to redeem it. I'm slowly (through shuffle) getting more into This Will Destroy You though, I'm not entirely certain how I came across them, but they're perfect for certain moods.

"Pyramids" - Two Door Cinema Club
I hope I don't get ostracized for this, but the intro of this song caught my attention at work, and I checked, thinking it was Slowdive, and wondering when I squished them onto my iPod. Listening to them side by side, well, it doesn't make any sense at all. But in the moment, it's the thought that occurred. The lyrics are very simple, but catchy, and it's just an overall feeling of exploration that the song gives me that left it lingering in my head.

"Little Black Backpack" - Stroke 9
This song is a beast on its own. Jake played this album in its entirety for me while we drove to his hometown, so I would know "what his childhood consisted of." I had not recognized the name Stroke 9, but as soon as this song came on I realized I had heard it before. I can't... this song is awful. But it deserves a mention not only for being part of Jake's childhood, but for following me into Illinois during my trip. My first foray outside of my parents house upon visiting, we stopped at the mall. And this song was playing. What.



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Linear Liaisons







This is probably the least cohesive mix I've ever made and allowed to continue existing. And it's taking a lot of effort, because I hear it and I KNOW I could rearrange them so they fit better. But this one is a direct timeline. There was never any question about which song I heard/decided on first or third or eighth. There aren't any "oh this caught my attention let me write it down for later" stories. I know the exact moment for when each song came into play and I love it. (Despite how much it makes me fidget.) But when has life ever fit together perfectly? Imperfections are what makes it perfect, right?

"Blud (CHVRCHES Remix)" - SOAK
I found out about this song before March had actually happened, from an article I had read. But sometimes I get in moods so I save the song I know I want to check out, until my mind is a bit more clear. This was one of those times, so I had it up in my browser for probably a week or so? And ironically, when I finally got around to listening to it, it was the first of March. I'm not sure yet how I feel about SOAK individually, but I absolutely love what Chvrches did with "Blud."

"Whirlpool" - Sea Wolf
Fast forward to March 4th. I'm on my way home from job #1 to relax and eat before job #2 and what do I see? My friend Mike on my porch. Then I take a few more steps, and see a Sonic the Hedgehog suit-wearing Jake. Surprise! That really has nothing to do with this song though. The intro caught me one morning while I was working, and I know I heard it again after Jake had arrived and when I did it made me think that Sea Wolf was a band I should get around to showing him, eventually.

"Taking You There" - Broods
Here I am, driving to pick up Jake to hang out for the day. I don't know about anyone else, but when I have new people I care about in my car, I start analyzing what music should be playing when I pick them up. Do I want a solid album from a single artist that I hope they'll love, or should I keep it on shuffle? Then I start skipping backwards and forwards, because I know I get trigger happy and will skip every song because it's not good enough, so I need to find a good run. And then often, such as this time, I usually remind myself that I think way too much, just find the next song you feel like (in this case one I want to sing along to) and just let it be what it is. And I don't even remember what song it was that I found and accepted, but it ended right as I was pulling up, and it was Broods that came on when Jake and I started our adventure. I actually had just gotten their EP and wasn't super familiar with them, so I had to actually check to see what was playing when it came on. And it was a good song.

"Attractive Today" - Motion City Soundtrack
We started off our travels in a sing-along-loudly-in-the-car kind of mood, and in figuring out which bands with both knew well enough to sing to, we agreed upon Motion City Soundtrack to start us off. I personally am more of an "I Am the Movie" kind of girl, I know that album front to back, but this was one we both really got into.

"Song For Luna" - As Tall As Lions
On the way to our next destination, something reminded me of As Tall As Lions. They've been on my mind for a while to show him some songs, and for once I finally remembered. This was the first of three songs I played for him. It was hard to decide which one to put on the mix, actually. The third song I had saved for another occasion, and the second one is the one where I actually could tell he was drawn in by them. But, this one was the first, and it just worked.

"Just One" - Blind Pilot
This was later in the evening, hopping from one location to the next, and Jake wanted to find a specific Blind Pilot song but he couldn't remember what it was called.. I know we went through three of them, and when I asked him about it later, he listed off four it could've been. This was one of the four. I figured out two of the others, I'm not sure if this really was the third one or not, but it's the one I chose.

"The Journey to the West" - Joe Hisaishi
The final night before Jake left, we were all at Mike's house basically relaxing and it came about how Princess Mononoke was Jake's favourite movie, and I (and someone else) had not seen it before so it was determined we should watch it. However, it took about 6 or 7 times to actually get the movie to play past a certain scene. I remember commenting on how much I enjoyed the music, the first time I heard it. It was still good the continuing times I heard it as well, but I knew I had to pick a piece from the beginning just from the sheer absurdity of how long it took us to get the playback figured out, and how persistent we were and getting this movie to play. Especially since none of us even made it to the end before we went to bed.

"The Symphony" - Snow Patrol
I don't remember when, exactly, but I know it was after Jake had left. As per usual, I had been hanging out with Mike and was leaving from his house when this came on. I couldn't recall having heard it before, I didn't even know what album it was from. But it's nothing more than that, a new(ish) song that I enjoyed while driving a familiar route.



Honourable Mention:


"Title and Registration" - Death Cab For Cutie
Jake and I listened to a fair share of Death Cab For Cutie (and The Postal Service) during his visit, but even with his help I honestly couldn't find the perfect song for the mix. There were so many options, and even now I wonder if I should have included a different one. But I keep coming back to this one, and really, this video.



"Pilgrim" -

This is completely nerd related - not the music, but the reasoning. I had just heard about her, and found her album No Mythologies To Follow. Back when I could listen to music and play League of Legends at the same time with no problems, I started from the beginning and got in queue for a ranked game. I did better than I expected, and this album just fit in the background perfectly. Not too erratic or crazy, but not too mellow.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Ever-changing and Unpredictable







First of all, I'd like to point you in the direction of Caitlin Lehman Illustration for the art I used on my mix. I mean. Seriously. Is it not the most awesome?

"Stay the Night" - Zedd feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore
I think I actually heard this song in January first, but I'm really not sure. I just remember hearing it and wanting to write about it, and then forgetting until recently. I like Zedd (musically too, but I'm sorry look at that face!) and I like Paramore, and I heard they had teamed up but I wasn't sure what to expect. It's good, and I do like it, but it also has the ability to get old fast which makes me sad. When Tegan & Sara teamed up with Tiesto, I know that will never get old. But that's not even the reason I picked this song. The lyrics were the deciding factor of me wanting to write about it. Because when I first heard the song, not knowing it was them, I felt a little disdain. Cheap lyrics, I though. High School pop music, I thought. And then I actually payed attention and was like no wait that's me. I won't say I was a prude, but I used to have a lot different ideals than I do now. And there have been times where I relate exactly to the message in the song. Or at least, to the message I interpret from it, which is basically don't be afraid to seize the moment. Just because something won't last forever, doesn't mean it's not worth it in the present.

"Number Five With A Bullet" - Taking Back Sunday
I just absolutely love this song. It manage to come on shuffle multiple times throughout the month, but the time I really remember was while I was on my way to Mike's house to hang out and see The Lego Movie. Which, if you haven't seen it, go. And if you need a partner I'll gladly watch it over and over and over again. But I digress. I had recently found out news that was not my most favourite to hear, and I was dealing with unrelated loneliness thoughts, and I ended up posting the lyrics "You said it makes you want to fall in love, or be smart enough, to keep your distance. You can't decide, you can't decide..." on my Facebook because it both did and didn't fit with the moment but no matter what I needed those lyrics.

"Tattooed Tears" - The Front Bottoms
This song came on shuffle twice. The first time I was confused because it felt so familiar but it wasn't. Like some odd combination of The Mountain Goats, The Weakerthans, and Piebald or such. It made me think of how much Jake loves the literal lyrics of certain songs by The Mountain Goats, and I pondered if he'd like The Front Bottoms. Then the 2nd time it came on, I was reminded I wanted to send it along, so I did. And maybe it took two listens, but I finally understood why my friend Corina is so obsessed with them. I'm not at that level, but I understand it.

"Celebrating Nothing" - Phantogram
After the instant love for "Fall In Love," I'm happy to say I was not disappointed with the release of their new full length "Voices." This song stood out more than the others, for the most part, but I do enjoy them all. Their sound is just sooooo good. I don't know how else to say it.

"Good Intentions" - Paper Route
I can't remember why I initially looked into Paper Route, thought it's a fairly safe guess to say it was a Spotify suggestion. I just know I downloaded an album, put it on my iPod, and promptly forgot about them. One of their songs came on while I was driving to Brian's house in Bonita, and it just fit the mood so unbelievably well, that I sought out the rest of the album and started from the beginning. This particular song I ended up playing two or three times by the time I had arrived at his place.

"Never Gonna Change" - Broods
Most likely another Spotify suggestion, but I'm not as certain as I was with Paper Route, because I know I first listened to them via a YouTube video, which I promptly sent on to two more people because I enjoyed the sound that much.

"White Apple" - Blind Pilot
This is a song that I'm not even sure Jake sent me. He is definitely the reason I know it, but whether he just talked about it, or actually linked it to me, I have no recollection at this point. It actually drives me bonkers that only have a vague idea of the origin (Jake) of this song. But I do know that it haunted me ever since, and I didn't mind one bit.

"All Is Dream and Everything Is Real" - Hammock
This. This I know was a Spotify suggestion and I am ever so thankful it was. Such beautiful music. The first song I heard was "I Can Almost See You" but this one is the one I kept coming back to. Overall, the entire album Departure Songs is just phenomenal.


Honourable Mentions:


"In Exile" - Thrice
I listened to this song enough in February that it could've easily been on the mix, but I've also posted it across Facebook so many times, and I know it's in at least one previous mix, but probably multiples. But this song gives me so many feels. This is so much me. Was so much me, until now. Being here, in California, it's different. It's not as literal anymore, because I actually feel like I'm home. Doesn't mean to say that I don't worry that some day that feeling won't be true any more. But for the time being I am content and I plan to stay.


"Broom People" - The Mountain Goats
This is another from Jake, reminding me that I don't always have every album from artists I enjoy. He was telling me the story/feelings he has associated with this song, which made me immediately look to find it in my library, only to be saddened by its absence. (Which I remedied, of course.) The meaning this song has to him, the fact that he has meanings and stories to tell, and shares them with me. I don't know. I don't want to say it makes me feel less alone. But, I can't think of how else to phrase it. I'm not the only one, and it's just such an amazing feeling to realize that.




Monday, February 10, 2014

Songs Never Sent







The contrast between the title of the mix and the image used on the mix is the most accurate description of this month that I could make. And I swear, one of these days the mix won't be influenced by my friend Jake. Actually, no, I don't. I think at this point it's pretty much impossible.
Every song in here that references him are songs I almost sent him, but then the moment passed. But the song left an imprint that wouldn't dissipate, so onto the mix it goes.

"On Top of the World" - Imagine Dragons
I heard this song on the radio, on my way home from work one day and connected to it. 
"Waiting on this for a while now, paying my dues to the dirt."
It hasn't been the easiest since moving out here, but I saved and worked for it, and it's still a point where I am heading in the exact direction I want to be. 

"Sleeping With a Friend" - Neon Trees
This song is.... a lot of things. A lot of it, to put it bluntly, is that I only really sleep with friends. I need some sort of a connection with a person. It doesn't have to be seven years of best friends forever, but someone I could see myself hanging out with on a regular basis. (Not that we have to, but just, that type of connection.) And given my derpy brain, this song associates with Jake. We have this conversation off and on, both jokingly and seriously. Because we both agree that I will probably try to seduce him when he moves here. Maybe not be the smartest idea I've ever had, but you know, it definitely won't be the dumbest. And he's someone I can see being stuck in my life for the rest of his. One way or another.

"Young Blood" - The Naked and Famous
I first heard this song somewhere around the 2:30 mark and for a brief moment thought somehow it was new M83. Obviously the rest of the song negates that, but I fell in love with it nonetheless. I didn't investigate the rest of the lyrics 'til writing this, but the "can you whisper?" kept resonating every time I listened to it.

"Kaleidoscope" - Blink-182
This month had a few more downs than the average up and down month. I started getting stressed out about finances, and that triggered other less stressful things to become full blown anxiety and panic. But I kept telling myself it will pass. And everyone else kept telling me it will pass. And it's getting there. "It's a long road, to get it right..."

"Broken Bottles" - The Forecast
I completely missed this song in at first, an album I haven't been as well-versed on. I knew when I heard it that it was them, but I couldn't figure out what song it was. I wonder who can guess why this song is on here? (Sarcasm.) This is just basically every serious conversation Jake and I end up having. An unhealthy back and forth, almost. One of us (or mostly me) ends up expressing lonliness, and we keep each other company 'til it becomes manageable, and then we fail to go to bed at a reasonable time because no one knows how to say goodbye.

"Boxelder" - Motion City Soundtrack
The random memories that associate with songs never fails to amaze me. I've hung out with my friend Mike multiple times, both at my place and his, and elsewhere. I had my iTunes on shuffle one day when he came over, and some random awkward possibly awful song was playing and I skipped to the next one, which was this song and I felt that this was acceptable, and went and sat down content. No big story with this one. I'm not as familiar with this song as other MCS stuff, I don't even remember the song before or why I skipped it, but I remember this is the song that came on next that I was content with and commenced hanging out with Mike. I don't remember the songs after, either.

"Lazuli" - Beach House
I love Beach House. I don't remember what I was doing, I just know this song came on shuffle, and as soon as it got to the 30ish second mark I was like: "Yup, this is going on my mix. There needs to be more Beach House in my mixes."

"Cannibal" - Silversun Pickups
I kept catching the tail end of this song on the radio. And every time I did, I shook my fists at the sky and screamed "Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!?" I loved what I heard so much, and I just wanted to hear it in its entirety. I found the video for it, with the whole song, and then basically just played it forever. It turns out this is just one new song, to go on as a bonus for a 'best of' album, which I call bullshit because I just want an entire album of songs like this. I wish I could explain to you how much passion this song instills in me when I hear it. I just want to dance and jump and scream to it at a show. I can't put it any better than that.


Honourable Mention:


"I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands" - Minor Alps
I originally listened to this song in December, when a friend from my early college days posted it on Facebook. I almost put it on the December mix, because Jake (of course.) But other than watching that video it hadn't really sunk in with me. The video was super cute, and the lyrics were great; however it just didn't keep coming back like I originally though it would. But then throughout January I kept randomly getting "I don't know what do with my hands..." trailing through my head.



"Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
This one was another radio song, that caught my attention enough to find out who it was. In the beginning it was a strong contender for the mix. But it turns out this is a radio song that gets played. And played. And played and played and played. So I didn't bump it entirely, but I couldn't willingly include it as the original eight. Ironically, although I could probably use the lyrics to attribute this song to Jake, it's not. It was just a catchy upbeat song that caught my attention randomly. Sure, there's the lyrics like "dreaming about the things we could be," but, well, I may be cheesy, but I'm not that cheesy. What really gets me are the lyrics "everything that kills me makes me feel alive." So simple of a contrast, but so great, I still get goosebumps.




Monday, January 6, 2014

Glorious, Amazing Mistakes






First, I'd like to comment on the title. As you all (probably) know, I'm a bit of a Neil Gaiman fangirl. And often times he blogs about his wish for the New Year. There isn't a one I don't enjoy, but thus far I've never loved a New Years wish/resolution as much as the one he wrote about mistakes. You can read a collection of his wishes here, but I'm also pasting this particular one because I love it that much:

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.


So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever."


I want to forever have the courage to do the things I'm scared of doing. I want to always be Doing Something. I want to always make mistakes.



Second, I've always considered that perhaps these blogs would be better/easier if I wrote about the songs throughout the whole month, as I'm realizing they need to go on the mix. This month solidifies that consideration. Sometimes you can narrate the past without bias, and that's what I've attempted to do, though it's been... troublesome. But, I digress.


"High For This (The Weeknd Cover)" - Ellie Goulding
This song was sent to me by my previously mentioned friend involved in the game of music tag. I listened to it, I enjoyed it, I and I let it sit off to the side. Then one day a friend of a friend and myself that were starting to talk on a daily basis realized we basically speak the same language when it comes to music. I had introduced him to Ellie via the song Stay Awake, and while we were discussing her I remembered this one originally by The Weeknd and forwarded it to him. It was just a simple reply of "I'm really into this song." but every time I introduce/recommend any song to any person and it elicits a favourable response, it makes my heart flutter a bit.

"The Engine Driver" - The Decemberists
This one... This one guilts me a bit. Only a few days prior to sending my newest acquaintance (named Jake, because I'm going to get tired of finding creative ways to reference him.) quoted this song at me during a Skype call. We'd only been talking for a week or two, perhaps? So there was still an air of "I think I like you but you're kinda not real since you live halfway across the country" as the call was wrapping up and he said "..if you don't love me let me go." I just kinda stared at him for a bit, and in my head I was fumbling for the proper interpretation. Because, you know, I'm a girl, and I over-analyze everything. 'Well of course I don't love him, we haven't even met in real life. So what, say "Okay bye!" instead? But that's so harsh...' He must've recognized the look of I don't even know what - distress? confusion? - on my face, because he linked me to the song. I started listening to it, enough to catch the reference, but not all the way through. Partially because (like we had a habit of doing) the conversation was still going and I wanted to focus on what he was saying, but also partially because I assumed it was in my library and I had already heard it. And I was wrong. I went to find it in my library, rather than track down the link and realized I was lacking the entire album. As passionate as I am about music, and sharing it with others, sometimes I blow off what others try to share with me. And any time I do, I end up feeling ashamed.  Even if it's only for a day or two, and even if no one ever finds out, I end up feeling like a hypocrite and it haunts me.

"Running to the Sea (Seven Lions Remix)" - Röyksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør
I might've actually found this song towards the end of November, but it definitely took over in December. This Seven Lions remix was actually the first version I heard of it. I honestly hadn't listened to the original until writing this, whoops. It was Susanne Sundfør's name that caught my attention, after falling in love with her song with M83. I've just been devouring remixes a bit recently, and I thought the contrast in the song was amazing.

"Will Calls (Diplo Remix)" - Grizzly Bear
I managed to find this song on Soundcloud the day it was posted and I got so giddy that someone remixed a Grizzly Bear song. And not just anyone, Diplo, a name I (an edm newb) recognized. It's hard to describe, but I just really love when bands I follow are appreciated by wider audiences.

"The Mother We Share" - Chvrches
I honestly can't remember if I saw one of my friends listening to them on Spotify, or if they were mentioned on Facebook, or if it came up through my Soundcloud. I know I started listening to them thru Soundcloud, but I believe it was a combination of the first two that made me seek them out, and I'm glad I did. I almost thought I wouldn't like them, because of her voice. (Although she's a doll to look at!) It's on the verge of being almost too... young sounding? for me, but there's something there that captivates me, and paired with the music, it just works.

"Minnesota, WI (Oliver Nelson Remix)" - Bon Iver
This has always been one of my favourite Bon Iver songs thus far, but I absolutely loved hearing it in a new light. It doesn't give me quite the chills the original does, but given the remix/edm kick I've been on, I couldn't not fall in love with it.

"Half A Mind" - Jenny Owen Youngs
I follow Jenny on Twitter, and she posted a link to a project she worked on - The Acoustic Guitar Project. Something I had never even heard of before. I was on my phone, so I saved the link to check out when I was at home. Do you ever have a song just hit you right in the feels, and it just can't be applicable to anything else ever again except the situation you're experience right in that moment? That was this song. I heard it, and immediately thought 'Well, fuck.' This wasn't even midway thru December, and I hadn't even been talking to Jake for a month yet. I really can't speak for him, because all I have are my interpretations of what he says. But I myself was at the stage that if he were a real person, living in the same zip code, I would most definitely be dating him. (Well, assuming he was okay with that.) And by now I had acquired this status of being able to send him songs randomly, and they fit perfectly with the mood of whatever was going on. I was basically a musical psychic. But I couldn't send this song to him. No way. So much truth to the lyrics, but no. No, no, no. I fall fast, and I'm at the age where I rarely bother fighting it. But I do try to refrain from wearing it on my sleeve. (Yeah, I'm bad at that too.) I am constantly worried about causing others distress, and this song was no exception. So I kept it to myself as long as I could. But I also knew it had to go on this mix, and that I had to tell the story. And this story in particular was one I wanted to tell to him first-hand, so eventually, I did.

"Fall In Love" - Phantogram
This song brought to my attention that Phantogram was working on a new album. That alone excited me. Then I listened to it and, I just, I couldn't stop listening to it. I still can't stop listening to it. If I did side-by-side repeats, there'd be a good chance this would wind up on January's mix too. (But I have personal criterion to follow.) This was one song that I wanted to share with Jake specifically, but never did. To me, this song doesn't have a cut and dry interpretation, and at the time I didn't want to risk ruining my wonderfully awesome track record at sending the perfect song at the perfect moment. Turns out this song fit more thoroughly than I could've imagined.




Friday, December 6, 2013

It Takes Some Pluck






"Don't Try" - Everything EverythingEverything Everything started my November. They were my get-riled-up music on the way to a November 1st Halloween party where I knew hardly anyone. I knew the host, one of the first friends I made, and one other person. The rest were people I had no idea who they were, or people that I knew of, but did not know. I almost didn't go. I had to work late, therefore arrive late, and that combined with the lack of friends was... a bit daunting. But knowing that the only way to make friends was to force myself upon people, off I went. It was actually this song (which is on a previous mix) that got me bouncing and riled to begin with, but the whole album is pretty darn glorious. And I continued to listen to them throughout the month, with Don't Try really grabbing me with the lyrics this time. Some songs you don't notice 'til the 2nd or 3rd go-round, and this was one of them.

"Rafstraumur (Cyril Hahn Remix)" - Sigur Rós
Another band I listened to a lot of this month was Sigur Rós, mostly their album Kveikur. In the beginning when I was walking to work on the early mornings, it was enough to help me wake up, but in a gentler fashion. However it was thanks to Spotify that I found out there was a remix of this particular song. I learned of it maybe a month or two prior, but... things are forgotten. And then when I was going through and trying to figure out which particular song I wanted for this month's mix I re-found this and got all giddy on the inside.

"Knock You Out" - Tiësto feat. Emily Haines
This and the next three or four songs after can be attributed to the people I've met this month, some directly, some indirectly. One of my coworkers is very much into the EDM scene and she wrote me two pages worth of music to check out. That.... takes time. I've known about Tiësto but never really took the time to look into his stuff. So, she shoved me over the fence a little bit and then lo' and behold he's done songs with Emily Haines from Metric and Jónsi? Okay, you have my attention! I love Emily's voice in this, and not gonna lie, the lyrics are good too.

"Beam Me Up (Kill Mode) (Original Mix)" - Cazzette
This was another one on the list. I had seen ads for them when they first were on Spotify, but I never checked them out. Very catchy, and, I very much remember listening to them at a LAN party to drown out a fellow gamer who was playing what I believe was Miley Cyrus (or something similar) on his laptop speakers. Cazzette was very effective.

"Call On Me (Radio Edit)" - Eric Prydz
This artist was on the list from my coworker, but before I actually got around to looking into his stuff, a friend I made at the Halloween party  (that I thankfully went to) sent me this over Facebook in what has now become some sort of music video tag/war/epidemic? Regardless, I watched it on my break at work and then it was on repeat in my head for the rest of the way. Of course.

"Stay Awake" - Madeon feat. Ellie Goulding
This I actually found on my own, but because of my coworker and friend. I notice there was a fair amount of music on Soundcloud (Remixes of Everything Everything's Don't Try being one of those things) so I made an account and started exploring. I came across Madeon and saw not only had they remixed a Pendulum song, but also collaborated with Ellie Goulding. I fell in love a little bit.

"The City" - The 1975
Another artist I was introduced to by my friend via the Facebook game of video tag. I was actually sent this video which prompted me to look into the rest of their stuff and then I ended up listening to them for a whole week straight with nothing else. That voice though...

"Trojans" - Atlas Genius
This is one that seems to be popular on the radio around here, but I don't mind. The first time I was like, oh, hmm, not bad. But it grew on me every time I heard it until I needed it in my library, not just on the radio. And I mean, c'mon. Handclaps you guys. You can't resist handclaps. So many times I heard them while driving, and made a mental note to look them up when I got home. And, well. You know how mental notes go.... But I got around to it eventually!


Honourable mentions:


"Sweater Weather" - The Neighbourhood
The first time I heard this song, was via a friend on Twitter. Interestingly, this friend on Twitter is probably one of my longest running internet friends. I found him way back in the day of College, or possibly even late High School years. Back when AIM and ICQ and Xanga were all things you did. I met him once, in real life, many years later in Chicago, and I really don't remember much of it other than constantly laughing, and watching a plastic bag drift over the Chicago River. And honestly, those memories are enough to know that that was a good day. The other thing about this song, is the lyrics. When I heard the opening lines, I was disappointed because I wanted to love the song, but I love beaches and California, and it's not too cold here. However, I am finding out that California does indeed get cold enough to make me shiver. And despite my disagreement with parts of it, I still love the song.



"The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World
There are so many stories behind this song, and part of the reason I left this as honourable mention, is so I could make it the last story I tell in this installment. Although this song is more of a beginning than an end. First and foremost, I've heard this song on the radio here multiple times. But not only that, it's seemed to come on the radio during times that I needed to hear it. Ultimately, this song is why I'm where I am now. When it was first released, I heard it on the radio and fell in love. I bought the album immediately, and continued to fall in love with each and every song. I studied the lyrics. I brought the CD to an overnight at a friends house and listened to it while reading the lyrics. And then, I read the thanks. And I saw all these bands mentioned, and I went on a freaking music rampage. I looked up every band listed in the liner notes and listened to at least one song from each. And it was just a domino effect. This song opened my eyes to a whole new range of music that I never knew existed and I just dove straight into that rabbit hole and never came back. And I'm thankful for it every second of the day. I owe this song A LOT.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Planted Roots and Apt Comrades






"The Fox" - Ylvis
I am really truly sorry for this. I got social, I made friends in the area, and within days one of them brought this to my attention. So kind. But I hope you can at least give me credit for putting it first so you can skip it. Or, hey, if you haven't heard it yet, you're welcome! Regardless, it had to be included, because it was a milestone of this month. Unfortunately.

"Falling" - Haim
People talk, I investigate. I'm not entirely sold, but I do enjoy it. This is something I will have to give more listens to in the future.

"Purple Yellow Red and Blue" - Portugal. The Man
I can actually remember the moment I heard this song on the radio. Maybe not the exact day, but I know I was in the car while my brother was driving and I got excited that a song I liked was on a station he listened to. Not a lot of our music tastes overlap, but when they do I cherish it.

"In the In Between" - Saves the Day
So many things... I love Saves the Day as it were. But also, a friend of mine, well, perhaps just an acquaintance at this point, was the drummer on this album. We rarely talk anymore, but once upon a time he sprawled out on the floor of my Chicago apartment in all black clothes and rolled around because all the cats were doing it. And when he got up I'm pretty sure he had more cat hair on him than any of the actual cats did. I funded this album partially because I enjoy Saves the Day, but mostly because he is one of the most down-to-earth guys I know in music and I was happy for him.

"I Loved the Way She Said 'L.A.'" - Spitalfield
This. So much this. Spitalfield chose to do a reunion tour for Remember Right Now - the first album I ever heard from them. Freshman year in college my friend played a few songs for me. That night I went home, immediately ordered the CD from their online store, and because shipping took a few days, went ahead and torrented the album while I was waiting. This song in particular was the song I fell in love with, before I ever knew I would have dreams of California. And then for them to reunite for a show in San Diego, within a month of me moving there. A little bit of home away from home. I got to talk with them, and I met other local people as well, and it was just an overall marvelous night.

"The One That Got Away" - The Civil Wars
It took the news of them breaking up for me to finally get off my bum and acquire this album. The vocals are just as haunting and heartbreaking as they were on the first album. Gonna keep my fingers crossed that maybe some day they can reconcile and create more beauty.

"Waking Up" - M83 (with Joseph Trapanese)
As soon as I saw the preview for Oblivion, I searched out this soundtrack. And I loved it. Finally, upon browsing movie options, this choice came up and it was one both my brother and I could agree on. And it was amazing. The movie was great, but accompanied by the music it was epic. If you're later to the scene than I am, watch it.

"Overture" - Danny Elfman
This soundtrack was, well, the soundtrack to my solitary pumpkin carving the day of Halloween. I initially was hoping to carve a pumpkin of Jack, but ended up opting for the cat which you see on the mix. Partially because it was better fit for the pumpkin I had, and partially because I miss my Phoenix and am continuously rebelling against living with a dog.