Caniculae

Caniculae_cover

Here is a short mixtape that I whipped up while wrapping up the first Scholastics + Moon Cities collaborative mixtape. “Caniculae” is a Latin equivalent of the “dog days” of summer, which have passed but seem to be lingering out here. All of these songs are from this last year except for the first track, which is from last year. The cover is from the beginning of the second volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, if you’re curious.

[audio:Caniculae.mp3]

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Tracks: (artistsong)

1. WomenGroup Transport Hall
Of all the lo-fi/noise pop bands that became popular in certain corners of the internet in 2008, Women were the ones who actually had some substance underneath their gruff exterior. This song is so short but has so many melodic ideas that it leaves a lasting impression.

2. The xxVCR
The xx have released probably the sexiest album of the year. It’s so catchy and smooth and intimate. I love the simple production and the girl-boy vocals.

3. Dan DeaconJack & Jill
Wow, so this song is kinda nuts. A couple of years ago, Dan Deacon released an album of crazy synthesizer noise that didn’t sound all that dissimilar from someone playing with their electronic sound toys, but which held hints of compositional genius under the wires. This year, he released a far more brilliant album (which contains this song) that is far more mature, but keeps the madness of his older output.

4. Memory CassetteSurfin
The mastermind behind Weird Tapes/Memory Cassette/Memory Tapes has gone from stay-at-home-dad to Best New Music on Pitchfork. Memory Cassette is his more shimmery 60s side, and this song is a great example of the shimmer.

5. Taken by TreesMy Boys
Animal Collective wrote the song of the year this year with My Girls. Victoria Bergsman, former lead singer of the Concretes and voice of PB&J’s Young Folks, came back with her cover version of the song, with Dan Lissvik of Studio’s sparklingly perfect production and awash with Iranian atmosphere.

6. DM StithFire of Birds
David Stith’s compositional skills seemed to emerge, fully formed, from the internet this year. His songs are so dense and just suck you in. There’s at least 4 good songs bubbling to the surface in this fantastic track.

7. BLK JKSMolalatladi
BLK JKS is math. Prog rock + punk attitude + chops + noisy, dirty atmosphere + heavy African influence = awesome. Yup, it’s just math.

8. The Widow Babies Harp of 1000 Strings
This song took a couple of plays to hook me, but then I was forever devoted. Chris Schlarb does a great job of maintaining the rawness of the performance while giving us that stark, catchy afro-guitar and that unpredictable, hard-hitting percussion. Available for download here for free.

Cold Fuzz: March/April Mixtape

cold_fuzz_cover

Here, finally is the new mixtape. The last one was a couple of months ago. I thought the turnaround would be quick, but I ended up changing the tracklist three or four times before I finally settled on the final version. It ended up being pretty long, but I think it is work it. Also, the mp3 quality is less (~143k VBR mp3) to shrink the file, but it is still good enough quality.

This is a pretty mellow, soulful mix. I was going for a mix of more gorgeous ambient and lush, static-y folk/rock. I tried to stay away from shoegaze bands while still trying to evoke a shoegaze-ish mood. A great listen for the end of the winter, I think. Probably would also work well for sunrises.

[audio:Cold_Fuzz.mp3]

[Cold Fuzz] Right-click and Save As to download the file (71 mb)

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