Out 4 2012, 7h00

    So I rarely send out mixes anymore (or update journals for that matter). I think it's something to do with "progress" in a technologically digital age. Sharing music used to mean mix tapes. Then it became mix CDs, which in turn became playlists. Now we just stream everything, and if you're the sharing type, you might collaborate on social playlists from within Spotify or subscribe to one of your friends.

    Mixes used to bridge the space between individuals. Since most of my social networking accounts are linked and constantly sharing whatever I'm listening to into ever-merging lifestreams, that gap has been eliminated. The fact is, we don't listen to music alone anymore.

    Everything I just wrote has nothing to do with this mix. Well, insomuch as the constant state of being technologically "on" slowly chips away at the little things, like mailing letters or creating an actual mix CD.

    What's below is actually the only physically crafted mix I sent out this year. It went to Denmark in exchange for a lovely jazz-laced CD, sent by a music-obsessed friend, whose taste in music far outshines mine in the diversity department, the wonderful MillaYWTS. I figure I should post mine here so there's at least one 2012 journal entry. It's a little out of date now that summer is officially over, but that doesn't mean the music has to stop.

    «Click the album art to download»

    [01] "Symphonia IX (my wait is u)" by Grimes
    [02] "Shitty City" by Moonface
    [03] "Visionary" by We Have Band
    [04] "All of Me" by Tanlines
    [05] "Empty Streets" by Ghost Beach
    [06] "Tunnels" by The Hundred in the Hands
    [07] "Pillars" by Foreign Fields
    [08] "Bruises" by Dusted
    [09] "The Cold" by Exitmusic
    [10] "Dream It Up" by Sydney Wayser
    [11] "The Anatomy of Now" by Dana Bouy
    [12] "The Art of Progress" by Work Drugs
    [13] "Black Magic" by Magic Wands
    [14] "Further Out" by Beat Connection
    [15] "Key To My Heart" by Zulu Winter
    [16] "Beg For The Night" by Twin Shadow
    [17] "Follow" by DIIV
    [18] "Burst" by Craft Spells
    [19] "Counting Days" by Wild Nothing
  • Yesteryear

    Mai 7 2011, 16h19

    The long overdue 2010 mix is finally up and ready for download. I think "lush" would be the best word to describe it. Five months late isn't too bad, eh?

    «Click the album art to download»

    [01] "A Voice In The Louvre" by Get Well Soon, from Vexations
    [02] "I Used To Do" by Clogs, from The Creatures In The Garden of Lady Walton
    [03] "Kolniður" by Jónsi, from Go
    [04] "Alike" by Efterklang, from Magic Chairs
    [05] "Suburban War" by Arcade Fire, from The Suburbs
    [06] "Hustle" by Tunng, from …And Then We Saw Land
    [07] "Come On You Young Philosophers!" by The Strange Death of Liberal England, from Drown Your Heart Again
    [08] "You Caught Me" by Olivia Pedroli, from The Den
    [09] "Dirty Cartoons" by Menomena, from Mines
    [10] "Yulia" by Wolf Parade, from Expo 86
    [11] "An Apology" by Future Islands, from In Evening Air
    [12] "Just Too Much" by Tu Fawning, from Hearts On Hold
    [13] "Run Me Out" by Zola Jesus, from Stridulum II
    [14] "My Dark Skin" by The Rumour Said Fire, from The Arrogant
    [15] "After Love" by Windsor For The Derby, from Against Love
    [16] "Cold Summer" by Seabear, from We Built A Fire
    [17] "Off Point" by Junip, from Fields
    [18] "Amahl" by Little Scream, from The Golden Record
    [19] "Winterkill" by The Thoughts, from I Won't Keep You Here
    [20] "He Would Have Laughed" by Deerhunter, from Halcyon Digest
  • Samurai Jumpsuit

    Mar 13 2011, 14h41

    I wanted to build a mix around my choice of stand-out 2010 songs, but every time I tried to do that, I failed miserably. The initial lineup was just too unwieldy, requiring a lot of editing to get the thing down to a human scale. Then the songs that remained seemed to hop all over the place style-wise. Maybe it's a stupid OCD thing on my part, but I feel like a proper mix-tape should have a cohesiveness to it, whether that be genre-based, melodic, emotional (lyrical) -- there has to be something that ties what the ear is experiencing to the actual compilation. Three months later, I do have a top-2010 mix done and ready to burn (with caveats). This just isn't it.

    Samurai Jumpsuit feels more personal than any year-in-review album I could come up with. And I can honestly say that I absolutely, 100%, love all of the songs on this mix. This is subway-headphone music; late night walking, shoulder-to-shoulder, crowed dodging, street jogging workout music. It's something I'd listen to to escape everything-else music. But then maybe all music is like that.

    «Click the album art to download»

    [01] "I Saw The Weak Hand Fall" by Tim Exile, from Listening Tree
    [02] "Spiders" by Joakim, from Milky Ways
    [03] "Falcon Jab" by Ratatat, from LP3
    [04] "Soleil Noir" by Scratch Massive, from Time
    [05] "Courtois" by Vive La Fête, from Disque d'Or
    [06] "Spin This Town" byWe Fell to Earth, from We Fell To Earth
    [07] "Need You Now" by Cut Copy, from Zonoscope
    [08] "Go For The Stream" by Sinner DC, from Crystallized
    [09] "Streetlights" by White Lies, from Ritual
    [10] "Poison The Ivy" by Filthy Dukes, from Nonsense In The Dark
    [11] "Shitty Little Disco" by Arms, from Kids Aflame
    [12] "Cause For Alarm" by The Boxer Rebellion, from The Cold Still
    [13] "Drunk Fun In London (ISAN remix)" by Vincent Oliver, from EP3
    [14] "Walking Through That Door" by Future Islands, from In Evening Air
    [15] "Couleurs" by M83, from Saturdays = Youth
    [16] "Put The Days Away" by Sun Airway, from Nocturne Of Exploded Chandelier
  • The Haze Mix

    Nov 13 2010, 19h24

    I try to give friends seasonal mix-cds. Nothing holiday related, just mixes of songs that have somehow defined a period of time for me. Often it becomes a collection of mostly-new songs or artists that I think deserve to break out from obscurity. So they're usually pretty current, and frankly, I'll listen obsessively until I move on to something new that hooks my ear.

    Unfortunately, the year's quickly slipping away from me before I can make a new mix. I've got something in the works, but I don't know if it'll ever get finished before December. So, for now, I'm revisiting this compilation that was made when the sun was still high and humidity choked New York.

    So here it is: Haze is a washed out collection of electronic beats and shoegazy rock with a touch of post-punk and neo-psychedelica. I suppose it defines my default taste in music right now. And it's pretty good, so grab it while it lasts!

  • The Dance Mux

    Jul 1 2008, 2h39

    It all started with the first track, "Min Värld". Dunno what it is, but there's something about that song that makes me want to rock. So I thought, why not go from there? -- Songs that have a certain je ne sai quoi, thereby compelling a person to get up and move (which could in theory be ANY song, so don't think too hard on that).

  • Mux 3's a Crowd

    Mai 10 2008, 4h21

    Muxtape is obviously conquering my Last.fm journal these days. I'm not quite sure how to describe this playlist.. it's a bit avant-garde as far as genres are concerned, but there's nothing really stand-out jarring about the flow from one song to the next. So maybe it's not avant-garde at all. It's got some nice basslines, a few strings, a smattering of electronic post rock, and some resampled audio snippets. Could it be predictably bohemian then? Ew, that sounds so poserish. It's not poserish, I swear.

    Well, whatever it is, I can't put my finger on it, but I know it's most definitely something. I should add that this mux was made specifically for MillaYWTS.. Because I've been a total loser for more than a year by not holding true to the mixtapers' creed. (Yes, as much as it pains me to admit it, it's official. I've got a year-old postmark to prove AND remind me of my lameness. It's all good though.)

    Here's to hoping these sounds fill a void somewhere. You know the drill.. click to play:

  • Wall of Sound

    Abr 15 2008, 6h14

    Right. So here's another mix. The theme here is the so-called "wall of sound" method to making music. Just click the cassette to have a listen on muxtape.

  • The Art of Muxtaping

    Abr 4 2008, 4h26

    Muxtape, a devilishly simple way to create digital mixtapes (*coughs* playlists), launched last week. While chances are pretty high this free service will be short-lived for obvious legal reasons, you might consider taking it for a spin before the inevitable ensues. Think of it as your moral imperative as willing participants in "the social music revolution". You know, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.. comradery amongst fledgling music brethren and all that entails. Vive la Révolution!

  • (some) 2007 Album Acquisitions

    Jan 5 2008, 4h30

    I was going to write a lengthy review of my favourite albums of 2007, but then I realized I'd have to choose from roughly 200 albums. And I mean, that's doable; I can certainly choose 20-odd favourites from a list. The problem is that I'll have to really stop and think about which albums to review. That takes time and a little concentration.. both of which are in short supply. So I guess what I'm saying is that the review thing isn't happening tonight. Instead, all I really came up with is the following list which required absolutely no thought on my part.

    And you know, at first, I thought I had a problem; a music addiction or some sort of compulsive album buying disorder. But then I did the math and discovered that's only about three albums a week, which isn't that bad.

    EDIT: I lied. It's pretty bad. I forgot to factor in albums bought in 2007, but released years prior. We're talking 600+ albums taken-in last year. Which is pretty excessive.

    The Acorn: Glory Hope Mountain // Air: Pocket Symphony // Airiel: The Battle of Sealand // Alaska In Winter: Dance Party in the Balkans // Aloha: Light Works EP // Amandine: Solace in Soar Hands // The American Dollar: the.technicolor.sleep // Amiina: Kurr // Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha // Aqueduct: Or Give Me Death // The Arcade Fire: Neon Bible // Architecture In Helsinki: Places Like This // Art Brut: It's A Bit Complicated // Athlete: Beyond the Neighbourhood // Au Revoir Simone: The Bird of Music // The Autumns: Fake Noise From A Box of Toys // Band of Horses: Cease To Begin // Battles: Mirrored // Bear Colony: We Came Here To Die // Beirut: Elephant Gun EP // Beirut: The Flying Club Cup // Beirut: Pompeii EP // The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse // Bishop Allen: The Broken String // Björk: Volta // Black Kids: Wizard of Ahhhs // Bloc Party: A Weekend In The City // Blonde Redhead: 23 // Bluebottle Kiss: Slight Return + Out Seeds // Bodies of Water: Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink // Boy In Static: Violet // The Bravery: The Sun and The Moon // Brightboy: In The Shadows Of Trance Formers // British Sea Power: Krankenhaus? EP // The Broken West: I Can't Go On, I'll Go On // Build An Ark: Dawn // Burial: Untrue // Calla: Strength In Numbers // Canon Blue: Colonies // Cary Brothers: Who You Are // CatPeople: Reel # 1 // Charalambides: Likeness // Charlotte Gainsbourg: 5:55 // The Chemical Brothers: B-Sides Vol. 1 // The Chemical Brothers: We Are The Night // Cherry Ghost: Mathematics // Cherry Ghost: Thirst For Romance // Chikinki: Brace, Brace // The Cinematics: A Strange Education // Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Some Loud Thunder // The Clientele: God Save The Clientele // Cloud Cult: The Meaning of 8 // Coconut Records: Nighttiming // Cut City: Exit Decades // Death by Kite: Death By Kite // Deceptikon: Greater Cascadia // Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity // Deerhunter: Cryptograms // The Depreciation Guild: In Her Gentle Jaws // Devastations: Yes, U // The Dolly Rocker Movement: A Purple Journey Into The Mod Machine // Dungen: Tio Bitar // The Earlies: The Enemy Chorus // Editors: An End Has A Start // Efterklang: Under Giant Trees EP // Eluvium: Copia // The Exploding Boy: The Exploding Boy // Familjen: Det Snurrar I Min Skalle // Feist: The Reminder // Field Music: Tones Of Town // Fields: Everything Last Winter // Figurines: When The Deer Wore Blue // Film School: Hideout // The Filthy Youth: (Demo) // The Floor Is Made Of Lava: All Juice No Fruit // Foals: Hummer // Foreign Born: On The Wing Now // Friska Viljor: Bravo! // Fujiya & Miyagi: Transparent Things // Germans: Cape Fear // Ghosts: The World Is Outside // The Go Find: Stars On The Wall // The Good, The Bad & The Queen: The Good, The Bad & The Queen // GoodBooks: Control // Grails: Burning Off Impurities // Great Northern: Trading Twilight For Daylight // The Hair: Indecisions // Handsome Furs: Plague Park // Hard-Fi: Once Upon A Time In The West // Hella: There's No 666 In Outer Space // Holler, Wild Rose!: Our Little Hymnal // Hollywood Porn Stars: Satellites // Holy Fuck: Holy Fuck // The Honeydrips: Here Comes The Future // The Hoosiers: The Trick To Life // Idlewild: Make Another World // Immaculate Machine: Immaculate Machine's Fables // Interpol: Our Love To Admire // Jape: Floating // Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala // Jettie: Kites For Charity // José González: In Our Nature // Kent: Ingenting // Kent: Tillbaka Till Samtiden // The Killers: Sawdust // The Kissaway Trail: The Kissaway Trail // Laakso: Mother, Am I Good Looking? // Lacrosse: This New Year Will Be For You And Me // LCD Soundsystem: Sound Of Silver // Life Without Buildings: Live at the Annandale Hotel // Loney, Dear: Loney, Noir // Los Campesinos!: Sticking Fingers Into Sockets // The Lovekevins: Vs. The Snow // Low: Drums and Guns // The Maccabees: Colour It In // Mando Diao: Never Seen the Light of Day // Manic Street Preachers: Send Away The Tigers // Maps: We Can Create // The Mary Onettes: The Mary Onettes // The Mary Onettes: Void EP // Matt Pond PA: If You Want Blood EP // Matt Pond PA: Last Light // Maxïmo Park: Our Earthly Pleasures // Melpo Mene: Holes // Menomena: Friend and Foe // Menomena: Wet and Rusting EP // MGMT: Oracular Spectacular // Midnight Juggernauts: Dystopia // MIKA: Life In Cartoon Motion // Minipop: A New Hope // Miracle Fortress: Miracle Fortress // Montag: Going Places // Mooncake: More Oxygen, I Said... // Moros Eros: Jealous Me Was Killed By Curiosity // Moving Units: Hexes For Exes // The National: Boxer // The New Pornographers: Challengers // The Northern Coast: Canada For Beginners // The Octopus Project: Hello, Avalanche // Oh No! Oh My!: Between the Devil and The Sea // Okkervil River: The Stage Names // One Small Step For Landmines: One Small Step For Landmines // OneRepublic: Dreaming Out Loud // The Owls: Daughters and Suns // Panda Bear: Person Pitch // Papercuts: Can't Go Back // People Press Play: People Press Play // The Perishers: Victorious // Pinback: Autumn Of The Seraphs // Pink Reason: Cleaning the Mirror // A Place to Bury Strangers: A Place to Bury Strangers // The Ponys: Turn The Lights Out // Pop Levi: The Return To Form Black Magick Party // Ra Ra Riot: Ra Ra Riot // Radical Face: Ghost // Radiohead: In Rainbows // The Rakes: Ten New Messages // The Real Tuesday Weld: The London Book of the Dead // Rilo Kiley: Under The Blacklight // Rogue Wave: Asleep At Heaven's Gate // Róisín Murphy: Overpowered // The Rosebuds: Night of the Furies // Sambassadeur: Migration // Say Hi: The Wishes And The Glitch // Saybia: Eyes On The Highway // Sea Wolf: Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low EP // Sea Wolf: Leaves In The River // Seabear: The Ghost That Carried Us Away // The Shaky Hands: The Shaky Hands // She Wants Revenge: This Is Forever // The Shins: Wincing the Night Away // Shocking Pinks: Shocking Pinks // Shout Out Louds: Our Ill Wills // Shy Child: Noise Won't Stop // Sigur Rós: Hvarf-Heim // Simian Mobile Disco: Attack Decay Sustain Release // The Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist // Snowmobile: The World Keeps Spinning // Sondre Lerche: Phantom Punch // Soulsavers: It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land // Stars: Do You Trust Your Friends? // Stars: In Our Bedroom After The War // Stray Ghost: Stray Ghost // Sunset Rubdown: Random Spirit Lover // Surrounded: The Nautilus Years // Susumu Yokota: LOVE or DIE // The Tellers: Hands Full of Ink // Throw Me The Statue: Moonbeams // Tigercity: Pretend Not to Love // To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie: The Patron // Tokyo Police Club: Smith // TOMBOY: Seriøs // The Tough Alliance: A New Chance // Trans AM: Sex Change // Travis: The Boy With No Name // Turn Brakes: Dark On Fire // The Twilight Sad: Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters // Ulrich Schnauss: Goodbye // Ulrich Schnauss: Quicksand Memory EP // The V.L.A.: 1st EP // The Virgins: The Virgins // Von Südenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions // Voxtrot: Voxtrot // We Are Wolves: Total Magique // We Start Fires: We Start Fires // West Indian Girl: 4th & Wall // White Rabbits: Fort Nightly // Windmill: Puddle City Racing Lights // Winterpills: The Light Divides // Yeasayer: All Hour Cymbals // Yosebu: I'll Be Waiting Till Dawn // You Say Party! We Say Die!: Lose All The Time // Young Galaxy: Young Galaxy // Young Love: Too Young To Fight It // !!!: Myth Takes
  • Loved Tracks Radio v. "Love This Song" Tag

    Ago 6 2007, 7h12

    I've been thinking of getting rid of the "love this song" tag. I figure we all get a loved tracks radio here on Last.fm, what with that little heart button all over the place. It's on our audioscrobblers, scattered throughout each artists' page, and then each and every track listing page; it's on the embedded radios that litter the site, and it's even a right click on our desktops (in the systray for PC users). With that much accessibility to love buttons, Last.fm has literally taken the work out of spreading the love. That said, you'd think it kind of redundant to have two radio stations based on the same idea. Foolish, even.

    But it's actually neither. I took the time to sit and listen to my radio stations when I was on the fence about what to do about the "love this song" tag. And while on the surface the two love-based radios may seem identical, they're actually quite different. There's a nuance in the love expressed through Last.fm. Here's a brief observation:

    The "Loved Tracks" radio is created on impulse. We users simply press a heart shaped button, and voilà! --we all have a loved tracks radio. It takes about half a second to right click the auidioscrobbler. Using this method, I've been known to spread the love when I probably should have kept it to my self.. usually during long music binges when I've reached a near-hypnotic state of consciousness. But I won't make excuses. I freely and unreservedly admit to acting sluticious with the love button.

    I'll be writing a field report or just bumming around on the Internet, a song I like will come on, and then I'll mindlessly hit the heart.. regardless of whether or not I really "love" the song. It just sort of feels right at that particular moment in time, so I hit the button. And even though I know it's a cheapened version of love, it's a compulsion that I accept and live with (though I often regret it when listening to my Loved Tracks radio).

    The "Love This Song" radio, on the other hand, is much more refined. It's the classier, more romantic version, of the two loves. I've seen other users with this tag, so I liken it to following in the footsteps of the Troubadours and courtly love. Users of the "love this song" tag are true music lovers. It takes time to manually tag a song and, maybe I'm only speaking for myself when I type this, but we have to really like a song to tag it "love this song." --We have to love it.

    I don't like having to click on the song link, redirect to the web page, click "tag this track," select "love this song," and then select "submit." There are just too many steps involved. Unless, of course, I actually love the song.. in that case, taking the steps necessary to tag it are sort of like making a pilgrimage. It's a minor act of devotion on my part.

    And, I know, there's the "tag this track" button in the audioscrobbler.. but it hasn't been working for me lately. I click it and it brings up the dialogue box sans functionality. It just sits there, loading empty grey space; there are no tags, and if by some miracle the tags do appear, I'm usually about 30 seconds into the next song.. a song I didn't want to tag in the first place (add to that that 30 seconds is a mind-numbingly long time to wait when all you're doing is waiting for a dialogue box to become responsive.. as you can imagine, love quickly fades to frustration).

    I sometimes wonder if an update to my audioscrobbler's tag-this-track function will cause the sound of my radios to essentially merge. I have a sinking suspicion that having the ability to easily tag things again will result in a loss of romantic Last.fm love.. tagging things "love this song" will become a stand-in for the heart button because, as human beings go, I'm pretty lazy. When given the choice between leisure and even minor amounts of work, sloth invariably wins out with me. So I know I'd chose the the quick tag method. And that doesn't bode well for romantic love.

    Well, anyway, here's the verdict: I think I'm going to keep my "love this song" tag. This little dissection of Last.fm love has made me aware of its nuance, and I'm curious to see how the two radio stations continue to evolve. Will my new-found consciousness undercut the heretofore organic nature of "love this song" tagging, and will I have to stay hypervigilant to counteract that? Or has nothing really changed at all; won't the quasi-laborious task of manually tagging a song weed out the songs I don't really love?

    I sincerely hope it's the latter, but in the event the two radios do merge sound-wise, this verdict will be up for appeal.

    --EDIT-- the "Love This Song" tag has been relabelled "Pushkin judges you" ..because Pushkin's literary awesomeness warrants a radio station.

    And now for some obligatory artist whoring:
    (because that's what these journal entries are all about)

    Bishop Allen , The Go Find , Guster , Maps , Montag , The Most Serene Republic , Oh No! Oh My! , Psapp , Simian Mobile Disco , Soulsavers , Teddybears , Ulrich Schnauss