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Almost there! Pretty much around number six, though, it gets really hard for me to decide what's better than what. I might have just left it at a six-way tie for number one but, well, that seemed like a bit of a cop-out. In the end, I ended up ranking them more based on gut impact and my overall relationship with the artist/band than the actual musicianship. So, basically, they're all amazing.

Ten-six. )
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I guess I should have just added these to part two because there really aren't that many left. But all... four of them are very good!

Is this even worth an LJ cut? )
urgencytobleed: (jenny smile)
Guess what? I finally got another mix done! And in time for Valentine's Day, too! Now, I don't really care about the holiday one way or another, but the general theme of this is "sappy love songs" so it's appropriate to post it at this time. It covers a pretty broad range, since I could only get so far with the 100% in love songs so some are sarcastically romantic ("Fucking Boyfriend", "Marry Me"), some are depressingly romantic ("I Know I Know I Know", "My Invitation", "I Know"), some were chosen simply because their titles seemed to fit (any of them with "heart" or "valentine" in the title), and the rest of them are pure, unabashedly sugary, head-over-heels-in-love songs. So, whether you're going to bask in a lonely depression or spend some time with a special someone, I hope you enjoy this!

Download entire mix (69 MB)

2007, #5-1.

Jan. 8th, 2008 11:47 am
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Drumroll, please...

5. Los Campesinos! - Sticking Fingers Into Sockets (purchase)
(+ The International Tweexcore Underground)

I debated whether I should place Sticking Fingers Into Sockets this high or if I should even place it at all because I've only started to love it recently and it is just an EP after all. However, I've become extremely obsessed with it over the past week or two and the fact that I'm even considering it at all amongst so many full-lengths is impressive enough to cement its place. Plus, if you include the quite excellent The International Tweexcore Underground single, you almost get enough to make a pretty solid long-player. Now, to actually talk about the important part, the music: I'll admit that all of their songs have a similar sound, but you know what? It's one damn good song and anyway, in my opinion, they're different enough to distinguish themselves from each other. This EP serves as an excellent proper introduction to their music. It opens with "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives" and its catchy and lyrically amusing chorus will be stuck in your head for days on end ("There's red stains all over the place/But they're not blood, they're cherry-aide/We throw parties, you throw knives/It's all the same if the fizzy drinks are nice"). Plus, that darkly humorous reference in the second verse ("It's your party but I'll die if I want to/I'll die if I want to") is bound to at least make you chuckle. Then there's "You! Me! Dancing!", a six-minute dose of pop perfection which culminates in the childish but strangely addicting shout-along of "It's you! It's me! And there's dancing!" Even the 35-second closer, "Clunk-Play-Clunk-Rewind-Clunk", has something lovable about it. As for that single, "The International Tweexcore Underground", it's another instantly enjoyable track, with sparring boy-girl vocals and cute if slightly pretentious lyrics. Even their covers, like Pavement's "Frontwards" and Heavenly's "C is the Heavenly Option", have just as much attitude and personality as their originals. Sure, they stick to a similar formula and their song titles nearly veer into Fall Out Boy territory as far as complete absurdness goes, but they never take themselves too seriously and seem like they're just out to have a good time and that's really all that matters. I'm almost positive their upcoming debut full-length will find a place in next year's list, though it does have quite a bit of stiff competition. (Since writing this, I downloaded the album leak because I have absolutely no willpower, but the plus side - it's completely excellent, as I was expecting.)

  • We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
  • You! Me! Dancing!
  • The International Tweexcore Underground

See #4-1. )

Tomorrow, the best songs from the albums that didn't quite make the cut but were still noteworthy.

I'm back!

Nov. 29th, 2007 12:58 pm
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Yes, I have made a triumphant return if anyone has actually missed me. To make up for my unscheduled absence these past few weeks, I'm working on a Christmas/winter/December themed mix but that'll take another week or so, so here are a few other things to keep you busy.

First of all, I saw Tegan and Sara last night. It's a little bittersweet, seeing as the show was completely kick-ass but it also marked the end of my concertgoing for at least a few months. Despite that, it was awesome. They didn't play any really old songs (pre-If It Was You) but I just realized that really, there are only three or four from those albums that are near the top of my all-time favorites so I'm not that disappointed. They did play most of the songs from their latest album The Con, along with a sprinkling of the best of So Jealous and If It Was You. Highlights included a rocking version of "So Jealous", a mass crowd sing-along to the main set closer "Call It Off", and well, pretty much the whole thing. There was also, of course, a lot of hilarious banter, mainly courtesy of Sara who I have completely fallen in love with after last night. I love Tegan, too, but I'm on a total Sara kick right now. Also, Northern State opened and their music isn't really my thing but they were really fun and energetic and had great stage presence. Here's a song from them and a few Tegan and Sara songs as well:

  • Northern State - Better Already
  • Tegan and Sara - City Girl
  • Tegan and Sara - Floorplan
  • Tegan and Sara - So Jealous

Also, I realized that I hardly ever listen to the CD samplers I get with Paste magazine every month so since I had nothing better to do, I listened to the latest one on the way to the concert and found a few songs that I adore. So, naturally, I will share:

  • Ingrid Michaelson - Die Alone
Okay, I actually already knew this song, but I didn't realize how awesome it was until now. It's cute and poppy but the loud guitar riffs and layered vocals make it a bit more edgy and memorable. Also, I love Ingrid's voice.

  • Jens Lekman - The Opposite of Hallelujah
The instrumentation in this song is pure ear candy and the chorus is absolute pop perfection. I'm not completely sold on his voice yet but it's growing on me. Basically, it reminds me very much of Camera Obscura if they had a male lead singer instead. It's almost too sweet. And handclaps, too! Everyone knows that's one of my weaknesses.

  • Me'Shell Ndegéocello - The Sloganeer: Paradise
I'm not sure why I like this so much because it's nothing like what I usually listen to, but I was half-falling asleep in the car and this caused me to wake up and pay attention again. I was even more surprised to find out who the artist was because I've listened to Me'Shell a bit in the past and I don't remember her sounding like this at all. The first thing I thought of was Imogen Heap but the only thing that's really similar to her is the higher airy vocals and that it's very electronic; it's much more experimental and unstructured overall than Imogen, though. And it sounds like about three different people singing but I think it's all her, so kudos for that.

  • The Trolleyvox - I Call on You
Straightforward catchy indie pop-rock. There's nothing really unique or spectacular about it but I really like it. I think it's partly due to the singer's voice, which is kind of flat and nasally but not completely overbearing in those aspects. And it's kind of retro '70s sounding but still very modern. But mostly it's just catchy, catchy, catchy.
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So, the past few days, I've been working on making a mix of songs that are extremely personal to me and I think I've finally got it as good as it'll get. This is different from my usual themed playlists because I tried to make it as if it's an actual mix CD, so it's about 80 minutes worth of music and I tried to organize the songs in a way that made sense thematically and sounded good. I'm no expert at that, though. Since it's meant to be listened to in a specific order, I've uploaded the whole thing as a ZIP file but seeing as I've posted quite a few of these songs in the past, I've also uploaded them all individually if you prefer that. The only difference is that the ZIP contains an instrumental song as the first track because I think it works well as an intro. I didn't upload that one on its own because it's not as important as the other tracks plus it's a Shannon Wright song and I've had stuff by her reported and removed from my Box.net account in the past and didn't want to risk it again. Most of these songs are terribly depressing, so it goes... it seems to be easier to find songs that describe me when I'm depressed than when I'm happy. Alright, enough talk. Below the cut are links to each individual song as well as relevant lyrics from them and below that is the link to download the entire mix. Enjoy! (Oh yeah... I promise it's a complete coincidence that two of the songs have nearly identical titles.)

I'm ready to go... )
Download entire mix (69 MB)
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Tegan and Sara

The Con

With The Con, the duo's fifth album, Tegan and Sara Quin have created their most mature, creative, and experimental piece of work yet. It seems the girls have finally reached their full potential by combining elements of their previous sounds - the acoustic singer-songwriter fare of their first two albums, the gritty folk-rock of If It Was You, and the catchy, precise pop of So Jealous - into one that is truly unique and individual. With an impressive catalogue of music already behind them, the Quins show no signs of slowing down any time soon. The Con is lyrically, vocally, and musically miles above their past endeavors, which is even more astounding considering the consistency they've shown throughout their entire careers.

read more... )

  • The Con
  • Burn Your Life Down
  • Like O, Like H
Official website
Purchase The Con (CD/CD+DVD)
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Usually songs that are less than two minutes don't do much for me. They're either over before they really have time to develop or are that short for a reason (because they aren't really worth the time in the first place). So, when I'm truly impressed by one of these songs, it's a pretty big deal. It also speaks well to the artist - that they can leave such a large impact in such a small amount of time. With this in mind, I set out on the task of finding the very best songs under two minutes in my possession. I started out with well over 300 but after weeding out dozens of meaningless thirty-second interludes, concert banter, and instrumentals (since I don't have many, I'm saving them as a theme possibility for the future) I began the pain-staking task of combing through the rest to narrow down my very favorites. The list slowly dwindled down to 50, then to 30, 25, and finally to its final stage where I couldn't possibly lose any more, 20. So, here it is: my top twenty favorite songs that don't quite reach two minutes - short and sweet and completely perfect that way.

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My three most anticipated albums of the next couple months are definitely Tegan and Sara, Eisley, and Rilo Kiley. The excitement is upped even more now due to the fact that I somehow have plans to see all three of them live. This is quite an achievement for me, considering the Patty Griffin concert I attended in April was my first since seeing Tori Amos in August 2005. Obviously, I really have to make up for lost time now. Anyway, to contain my own excitement and for anyone who's been living under a rock this year and isn't up-to-date with these, here are the first singles from all three albums and my thoughts on them.

read more... )

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Well, here it is - the final part... for now. I've found or remembered way too many other great covers to leave them out completely so you can expect to see them at some point, just with a week or two break first. These last ten don't have much variety either, I must say, with one artist making up half of the songs - I just couldn't get rid of any more than that!


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April 2012



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