The Mixtape: Fall '09 edition
A dozen tracks to keep you company as the leaves fall and the weather turns cold
Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 6:18pm
I've made plenty of musical discoveries since school started. This mixtape isn't themed, but as soon as fall weather hit Champaign-Urbana, I found these 12 tracks to be good company as the dreaded cold moved in. Give them a listen, and let me know what you think!
1. "Olympic Airways" by Foals
Foals are your typical hipster pack. Normally I wouldn’t draw your attention to them, but this song is something special. It is instrumentally gorgeous; even though the short sequence of guitar notes that captured my heart is simple and on repeat throughout almost all the song, I never get sick of it. It’s something to check out, especially if you’re a Bloc Party fan.
2. "The Whale Song" by Modest Mouse
Woohoo Modest Mouse! What a timeless band. Almost everyone I know has overplayed “Float On” at some point in their high school career, or at least I did. Anyways, “The Whale Song” is nothing like “Float On”; its long waning guitar and epic rhythm make it almost unrecognizable as Modest Mouse if you’ve been hanging out in the “Float On” house. If you’re not digging the instrumentals, wait until the song gets three minutes in. This is where the vocals kick in and it’s hectic and beautiful. The build up to the climax of this song is totally worth the wait.
3. "Should Have Taken Acid With You" by Neon Indian
If Neon Indian isn’t going to be the next big thing in indie music then … well, I don’t know. That would just be thoroughly wack. They’re kind of like Passion Pit, they’re kind of like MGMT, and they’re kind of different. I forecast that they’ll make a big boom onto the indie scene pretty soon. Until then, you all can have the pleasure of saying, “I knew them before they were even famous.”
4. "Young Adult Friction" by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
This band is new and cool! Aside from the fantastic name, they make some very respectable music. This song will take you back to the '80s, make you think you’re Molly Ringwald (until you realize Jake Ryan won’t miraculously fall for you), and have you reminiscing about how fun your adolescent years were (until you remember you’re still living them).
5. "Kamphopo" by The Very Best
“Kamphopo” is straight-up fun. The Very Best, composed of European production group Radioclit and Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya, have created one of the most enjoyable and fun-loving albums of the past few years. Ridden with samplings, remixes, and unexpected collaborations, The Very Best have made a huge splash on the indie music scene. In “Kamphopo,” Mwamwaya sings in his native Chichewa and samples from an Architecture in Helsinki track, infusing Western music with South African marabi and kwaito music.
6. "She Doesn’t Belong to Me" by Tap Tap
Hello? Tap Tap? Are you there? It’s me, Sindha. I wanted to let you know you have entirely rocked my world. I’m not sure where you came from, who you’re made up of, or why more people don’t listen to you, but I think you’re all-around great. “She Doesn’t Belong to Me” is perfect and such a tease of a song due to its two-minute length that leaves me wanting more and more.
7. "Animal" by Miike Snow
This isn’t very unique of me, but whatever. “Animal” is one of this year’s best songs. Miike Snow is not one man, but actually a Swedish group consisting of Andrew Wyaat, Christian Karlsson, and Pontus Winnberg. The band name, as I’m sure you are wondering, comes from Japanese director and producer Takashi Miike, who is infamous for his gory and sexually explicit films. If you think that tells you anything about Miike Snow’s music, you are terribly mistaken. This is the stuff one bops around to, so put on your headphones and find yourself an empty room to jump about in.
8. "Fernando Pando" by The Virgins
OK people, let’s move past “Rich Girls.” Yes, that song is purely awesome and funky and catchy and everything good, but The Virgins have in fact created other music. Some of it is actually pretty good, believe it or not. An example? “Fernando Pando.” This acoustic song is like on the other side of the indie rock globe from “Rich Girls,” and it's still damn catchy. Lead singer Donald Cumming sounds like he belongs in London in the early '80s/late '70s, hanging out with The Jam or the Smiths. What’s cooler than that?
9. "Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" by Blakroc
Did anybody know that The Black Keys, Mos Def, Jim Jones, the RZA, Nikki Wray, Billy Danze, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Q-Tip, and NOE collaborated? No? I didn’t either. Well, not until last week. Blakroc’s album comes out on Nov. 27 (Black Friday), and I don’t think I have been this excited about an album release since … ever. Anyone who knows a handful of these artists should join me in this excitement. Even if you don’t, here’s a sneak peek at the album. You’re sure to love it.
You can listen to "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" by Blakroc here.
10. "Vampire Boy" by Esther Rimbaud
Oh, gosh. I have to confess (and most of my friends are already well aware) I have the biggest crush on Esther Rimbaud. All I know about him is that he is a musician from Ontario, he’s all kinds of attractive, and I couldn’t find a copy of his song “Vampire Boy” anywhere so I had to get a sneaky friend of mine to extract it from his YouTube video. (Shhh!!!) This song, and please pardon me for saying this, immediately made me think Rimbaud was a modern-day Dylan. If that’s what he was going for, he does a damn good job. Watch the “Vampire Boy” YouTube video and join me in what my friend Gabe Smith so cleverly called “impossible love.”
11. "Mexican Mavis" by Boy & Bear
Australian group Boy & Bear are like a more upbeat version of Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes … basically just what I’ve been waiting for. It’s beautiful and vintage without being overly lethargic. There’s not much more to say about them, but I find myself to be a big fan, and you just might too.
You can listen to "Mexican Mavis" by Boy & Bear here.
12. "Wet Paint" by Cale Parks
This song haunts me. Being the drummer for indie bands White Williams and Aloha, Cale Parks sat in the shadows for a while as drummers tend to do. When his first solo album, "Illuminated Manuscript," came out in 2006, Parks was the brunt of much criticism, and listeners remained unimpressed. On Parks’ behalf, I’d like to point out that “Wet Paint,” a track off of said record, was actually rather brilliant. Parks’ vocals are very tastefully placed within a infectiously eerie electronic track that I find myself coming back to over and over again, despite the harsh words of many a critic.