Ryan’s Playlist Picks 🌤 28 June 2017

A lot of the time I listen to music in my car, I just shuffle my entire library and see what comes up. I like the idea of just having what is essentially a Ryan radio station, made up of just music I’ve added to my library. That said, I’ve always been a bit paranoid about Apple’s shuffle feature. It seems to have a recency bias, and doesn’t ever seem truly random. Stuff that’s getting promoted by iTunes tends to pop up on shuffle more frequently, and I am pretty sure it seems to prefer songs I’ve listened to a lot. I guess that’s better for the listener than something truly completely random–it seems random but is familiar enough that it feels like my phone just gets me.

Anyway, this is a playlist of songs that, with the exception of track 1, came up randomly in this exact order on my phone last night and this morning. I think it’s a pretty wide variety of artists, but it works remarkably well as a single musical object.

  1. Backroads by Tall Tall Trees
  2. Places by Georgie James
  3. Open by Com Truise
  4. Colluding Oligarchs by Shabazz Palaces
  5. Falling by Morella’s Forest
  6. Drifter In the Dark by Ween
  7. Surge by Above & Beyond
  8. Pictures of Matchstick Men (Mono Version) by Status Quo
  9. Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect by The Decemberists
  10. Strength by Fraunhofer Diffraction
  11. Bad Friend by Bon Voyage
  12. Red Hot Drops by Chad VanGaalen
  13. Working for Vacation by Cibo Matto
  14. Zeeman Effect by Melodium
  15. Bulletproof by La Roux
  16. clouds & Rain by Zac Love

I hope you like it! It’s good for driving and doesn’t have any bad words.

Impossible Pop 2010

It’s 2011 and I’d like to talk (some more) about my favorite music from 2010. Last year was possibly the year I followed music the closest. I used my emusic subscription to the fullest and I was keeping up on all the big trends. Honestly, it was kinda overwhelming. I don’t plan to follow music as closely or acquire as much music this year. It’s very possible I will talk about it more, though.

One album that surprised me to no end was Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz. The album is all over the map, combining Sufjan’s pastoralism with stuttering beats and wild electronics. (Beats an electronics aren’t foreign to Sufjan–see his first album or 2009’s The BQE.)

The last track of the album is a massive pop epic called Impossible Soul. The track rounds up a lot of different sounds in modern pop. It drives, gets loopy, yearning, ethereal, auto-tuned, and acoustic in its 25 minutes. Which makes it a pretty good framework upon which to lay some of my favorite tracks from 2010. Without further ado:

Impossible Pop 2010 (right-click and save as…)

Tracklist:

1. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. I
2. The Clientele – Jerry
3. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. II
4. Baths – Maximalist
5. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. III
6. White Hinterland – Icarus
7. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. IV
8. Kanye West – Lost in the World
9. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. V
10. Yeasayer – O.N.E.
11. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. VI
12. Hot Chip – I Feel Better
13. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. VII
14. Balmorhea – Bowsprit
15. Sufjan Stevens – Impossible Soul pt. VIII

C90 Christmas: Eve & Morn

Eve cover

I put together a Christmas mixtape for you. It’s two sides of a 90 minute cassette. (The cassette ended up being a little longer than 90 minutes, actually. Lucky me.) One side is for Christmas evening and the other is for Christmas morning, but you can really play them any time you’d like. There’s a nice mix of traditional songs, new takes on classics, and original pieces. It’s mostly Sufjan-free, too. (Not that I don’t love Sufjan’s Christmas albums–I do! they’re fantastic, but I thought it would be nice to have some other Christmas music…though I did slip one song in there.) It’s all zipped up and ready to go in iTunes with album art, track order, etc. You might want to turn on Sound Check, as there is wildly varying sound quality and bitrate in the songs. Click on the Links below to download the zip files.

If you’re thirsty for more Christmas music, check out my post from 2008 rounding up some good stuff and including an old radio show of mine!

C90: Christmas Eve

  1. 1. O Little Town of Bethlehem – The Innocence Mission
  2. 2. Joy To The World – Eef Barzelay
  3. 3. Silent Night – Bosque Brown
  4. 4. The Christmas Waltz – Sam Billen and Josh Atkinson
  5. 5. lo, how a rose e’re blooming – Feist
  6. 6. O Holy Night – Anathallo
  7. 7. God Rest Ye Merry Little Gentlemen – Viva Voce
  8. 8. Christmas Time is Here – Cepia
  9. 9. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Starflyer 59
  10. 10. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – The September Equation
  11. 11. Carol of the Bells – Outputmessage
  12. 12. Hymn for St. John of Shanghai – Create (!)
  13. 13. Joy Joy!!! (Feat. Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri) – Bifrost Arts
  14. 14. I Heard the Bells – Pedro the Lion

C90: Christmas Morn

  1. 1. The Nutcracker Ballet March: Tempo Di Marcia Viva – Moscow Rtv Symphony Orchestra
  2. 2. Christ Was Born On Christmas Morn – Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers
  3. 3. Come On! Let’s Boogey To The Elf Dance! – Sufjan Stevens
  4. 4. Father Christmas – The Kinks
  5. 5. Got Something for You – Best Coast, Wavves
  6. 6. The Bells of St. Mary – Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans
  7. 7. Jingle Bells (Dan The Automator Remix) – Dean Martin
  8. 8. Little Drummer Boy (Edit) – Lindstrom
  9. 9. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Sy Mann
  10. 10. Angels We Have Heard On High – Joy Electric
  11. 11. the first blip blop noel – dma-sc
  12. 12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Goat Explosion
  13. 13. Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year – Rosie Thomas
  14. 14. Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) – Elvis Presley
  15. 15. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Ella Fitzgerald
  16. 16. Auld Lang Syne – El Perro Del Mar

Enjoy!

December 2009 Roundup

Hey Ryan, what have you been up to lately?

A bunch of stuff, actually:

Dunecember

I started a Dune Book Club for the months of December and January. There’s a blog, a twitter account and some other links. We’re only about 80 ages in at this point, so it is still very easy for you to join.

Mixtape

I did another combo mixtape with my good friend Fred. It’s called the Elephant Gambit. Go here to download it and read our commentary.

Top Ten 2009 albums to play for your parents

The first part of my year-end music roundup is up at Super Secret Space Base here. The second part will be a Favorite Albums of 2009 post here and maybe somethin’ crazy on Twitter.

As always, I’m a twitter addict, though I do keep mini.prestigeformat.com pretty well-supplied with links.

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]

Right-click and save as…

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.

U Still Rock – A May 2009 Mixtape

ustillrock

The theme for this mixtape is difficult to articulate but pretty simple to recognize, I think. It has something to do with the combination of rocksteady and dub (no reggae) with pop. But there’s more to it than that, I think. Uh, so think of this as a solid, nearly hour-long jam.

[audio:U_Still_Rock.mp3]

Right-click to download…

Tracklist after the jump

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Golden Hurricane Mixtape

golden hurricane

This is an old mixtape. My best guess is that it’s from spring 2005, though it may be older than that. Enjoy.

[audio:Golden_Hurricane.mp3]

Right-click and save as…

Tracklist below the jump.

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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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January Super-Mixtape!

Here’s my January (and a little February) 2009 mixtape. This mixtape fell together mostly through shuffle on my iPhone, and didn’t take me as long to make as last month’s. I am already working on next month’s, so it looks like I might be able to churn these out monthly like I hoped!

Watch out! This mixtape veers a little more toward “difficult” music–some more glitchy, ambient, noisy, non-English, or otherwise odd sounds. There’s a few (hard-to-distinguish) “bad words” and towards the end, it gets kinda brütal.

The tracklist is embedded in the lyrics field of the mp3 and I’ve got an annotated tracklist after the jump.

[audio:January_2009.mp3]

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A Year-End Mixtape

As promised at the bottom of my first Albums of the Year post, I have finally completed a mixtape with [mostly] 2008 tracks. (I added one not realizing it was from 2006, but it fit too well to be excised.) I really like the tracklist, but the transitions between songs can be a little rough. I would have taken more time to iron things out, but then this might not ever get posted.

[audio:California_Winter_8-9.mp3]

Right-Click and Save As to download

Download it here, or stream it. It’s about an hour long and about 100mb. The image above is the “album” art for the mix–a picture of my adorable daughter and my lovely wife taken while we shopped for a Christmas tree (original image here). The font is Anivers. MOON CITIES is my musical alter ego. The tracklist is below the jump and in the ‘lyrics’ portion of the id3 tag, but I highly recommend that you listen to the mixtape before looking at the tracklist because surprises are fun.

If you’re a rights holder to any of the music contained in the mixtape and would like me to take it down, please let me know.

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