To The Maxx


new years revolutions
January 1, 2008, 7:44 pm
Filed under: music, Uncategorized

Every year on New Year’s I make a mix of some of my favorite music from the previous twelve months. In past years I’ve made copies for a small number of people. But this year, as I now have this blog, I thought it would be nice to put the mix online for all.

This is not a ranked list of the best songs of 2007. It is a two-disc mix of a whole mess of songs from 07 that moved me in some way. Do enjoy.

Happy 2008!

DOWNLOAD MP3:
NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTIONS – PART ONE (1:19:40/91.2 MB/160 kbps)

1. Hello Stranger “Big Boots”
AC/DC as fronted by a female Bon Scott.

2. M.I.A. “Paper Planes”
A sample of “Straight To Hell” by The Clash + the chorus from Wrecks-n-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” + gun sound effects = the song I danced hardest to in 2007.

3. White Williams “In The Club”
Cleveland dude is bored, turns on laptop, makes good with the world. Nice T.Rex vibe on this track.

4. Bat For Lashes “What’s A Girl To Do?”
Bat For Lashes is the work of Natasha Khan, of the eminent Pakistani squash-playing Khans. A perfect otherworldly blend of past and future sounds.

5. Army Navy “Saints”
Perfectly executed melodic indie rock. Teenage Fanclub comparisons are inevitable and appropriate.

6. Deerhoof “The Perfect Me”
Every album they put out, there’s a few songs that blow my mind. When I first heard this track, the opener from “Friend Opportunity,” my jaw hit the floor. And every time I listen to it, that initial feeling returns.

7. Gravenhurst “Trust”
Sounds like Morrissey fronting Yo La Tengo.

8. David Vandervelde “Nothin’ No”
Chicago-based guy, really classic songcraft, super fuzzy sound.

9. Blitzen Trapper “Wild Mountain Nation”
Gotta love me some lo-fi Pacific Northwest indie country jams. Reminds me of the pre-”Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” styles of Wilco.

10. Jay Reatard “I Know A Place”
This “semi-acoustic pop single” 7″ is a something of a change of pace for the Memphis based punk/new waver. This is a song so catchy that when I first heard it I thought I knew it already, thinking it was by The Clean or something. But it’s a new song and a great one at that.

11. Chuck and Mac “Powerful Love”
The only old song on here this year, courtesy of Numero Group, the incomparable globetrotting crate-digger reissue label from Chicago. This is a beautiful track from 1970, found on the 2-disc set “Eccentric Soul: Twinight’s Lunar Rotation.”

12. Lavender Diamond “Open Your Heart”
A lovely tune from the wacky Becky Stark and her hippie-ster bande.

13. Miniature Tigers “The Wolf”
Two and a half minutes of great choices. Like a miniature tiger, this song is small but ferocious.

14. Animal Collective “Derek”
Maybe the shortest and sweetest song off of “Strawberry Jam.”

15. AA Bondy “Vice Rag”
Scott Bondy, formerly of Verbena, resurfaces under an alias, unplugs his guitar, listens to americana, sings about drug abuse, asks Jesus for forgiveness.

16. Candie Payne “By Tomorrow”
This girl is fantastic. She’s from Liverpool and she’s my age and her songs are moody and groovy and dramatic… What Amy Winehouse is to 50’s and 60’s girl groups, Candie Payne is to Dusty Springfield.

17. Liam Finn “Lead Balloon”
Mad genius progeny of Neil Finn. This manic track only hints at the craziness of his Jon Brion-esque live shows.

18. Caribou “Melody Day”
The first track from “Andorra,” which i think perfectly fuses Caribou’s live-band, “nuggets”-esque impulses with the electronic composition he’s known for.

19. The National “Mistaken For Strangers”
They keep raising the bar higher and higher. This band should be really huge, but I guess I’m happy they’re just… big. Regardless, i cannot get this song out of my head, as hard as i try.

20. Love of Diagrams “The Pyramid”
Angular Aussie post-punk trio. Perfection to my ears.

21. Ra Ra Riot “Each Year (RAC Mix)”
I love the band’s original version, but this amped-up remix by Andre Allen Anjos raises the bar even higher.

22. Luther Russell “Everybody Falls”
This L.A. guy came out of nowhere for me, but as it turns out he’s been putting out records for over fifteen years. I snooze, I lose. Killer chorus, guy.

23. MGMT “Pieces of What”
This is one of the tracks on MGMT’s “Oracular Spectacular” with a totally bizarre structure. Once they finally build to the harmonious Crosby Stills Nash & Young pinnacle, you expect the song to carry on for a while longer, but it just ends. It’s a ballsy move.

24. Christopher Denny “Time”
Saw this Arkansas dude play in a tiny room in Brooklyn. His is one of those classic old-timey voices that gets me every time. Just cuts to the bone.

25. Radiohead “4 Minute Warning”
Radiohead’s reemergence at the end of 2007 was truly exciting. This track is not on “In Rainbows,” but comes from the bonus disc of outtakes from the same sessions. Why this (and a few others from that disc) didn’t make the album is beyond me. Totally haunting.

DOWNLOAD MP3:
NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTIONS – PART TWO (1:18:41/90.1/160)

1. Stylofone “Loose Boots”
Brooklyn band with swagger and guitar harmonies up the wazoo. They will beat you up.

2. Department of Eagles “No One Does It Like You”
Another project from Daniel Rossen of the great Grizzly Bear. This is a duo and the vocal interplay and harmonies between the two voice are pretty stunning.

3. Coconut Records “West Coast”
Jason Schwartzman’s solo record is great fun and this single prooves that sometimes the simplest melodies are the most powerful.

4. of Montreal “Du Og Meg”
Their “Hissing Fauna” record is my favorite of the year, but I like this non-album track more than anything on the album. I think it’s because the horns remind me of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Total mimi-masterpiece.

5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings “Nobody’s Baby”
Sounds shockingly authentic, circa ’68. But no, it’s a brand new record. Love the band, love her voice, the production, the graphic design. What’s not to love?

6. Chief “Shaker”
My anthem.

7. Orillia Opry “I Lied”
Another year and another new discovery from Montreal. There must be something in the water up yonder. Anyway, this spare acoustic number really tugs at me.

8. Dr. Dog “Worst Trip”
I resisted this band for so long because of their name. I assumed they were some crappy jam band. Not the case. Total 60’s psych throwback brilliance here.

9. Shout Out Louds “Tonight I Have To Leave It”
In Sweden there’s this little book they pass around called “Writing Perfect Indie Pop Songs That Makes The Kids Cream Their Britches.” The copy that Shout Out Louds have is autographed by The Cure.

10. Handsome Furs “Dead + Rural”
Okay, more Canadians. This is the side project from Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and his fianceé Alexei Perry. They make triumphant and creepy music, if that makes any sense.

11. Santogold “LES Artists”
New Wave meets M.I.A. meets Karen O. meets Tegan and Sara on the Lower East Side.

12. LCD Soundsystem “Watch The Tapes”
Finally saw them live this year and they really work hard up there. Totally won me over. I don’t know how that drummer does what he does. You’d think he’d pass out or his arms would fall off or something.

13. Meg Baird “The Waltze Of The Tennis Players”
Singer from Philly’s sinister folk group Espers puts out solo record of covers and a few originals. Max weeps. This exquisite Fraser & Debolt cover is a highlight.

14. Andrew Bird “Heretics”
This guy has come a long way since his work with Squirrel Nut Zippers. His songwriting is top notch, the production a dream. The whole album is at this level of quality.

15. The Felice Brothers “Frankie’s Gun!”
Gotta love those rough and tumble family bands. If Dylan and The Band had stayed in the basement, the output might’ve sounded something like this.

16. Shocking Pinks “Emily”
One man band from New Zealand, used to be in The Brunettes, signed to DFA records. I had only heard this song and then I bought the album and the whole thing is quite good.

17. Bonnie “Prince” Billy “I’m Loving The Street”
The lone original on Will Oldham’s “Ask Forgiveness,” a mini-album featuring covers ranging from Mickey Newbury to Phil Ochs to R. Kelly. But this song really holds its own in the context of those he did not write. The man is that good.

18. Black Lips “Good Bad Not Evil”
This album is so full of life… the perfect soundtrack to getting in fights and screwing. Their energy reminds me of the Make Up… they approach every song as though it’s the single.

19. Robert Francis “Pilgrims”
A deep cut from one of my favorite records of the year. I used to skip over this song, then I actually sat down and listened to it.

20. Land of Talk “Sea Foam”
Last Canadian band, I promise. This comes from their fantastic E.P., which saw a proper release in 2007. Excited to hear what they do next.

21. Yeasayer “2080”
One of the most unbelievable songs of the year. So textured…

22. Deerhunter “Fluorescent Grey”
From the E.P. of the same name. Sort of a mantra repetition thing, but it has a great cold build to it. I didn’t realize it got this chilly in Atlanta.

23. Dirty Projectors “Rise Above”
Dave Longstreth found an empty audio cassette box with no tape inside while he helped his parents move. It was a tape he loved as a kid, the Black Flag album “Damaged.” He hadn’t heard the album in many years, so he set out to recreate it from memory. The end result is much more interesting than an album full of cover songs. This is a record of reimaginings and reawakenings.



Merry Christmas from Kashbuk And The Klowns
December 24, 2007, 10:23 am
Filed under: music

This is a Christmas song.
A disturbing Christmas song.
A real-life horror movie of a Christmas song.

It was sent with no background info on the artist, Kashbuk And The Klowns
(I believe it’s pronounced cash-buck). Tried a google search, but it was a fruitless endeavor. Nothing came up for these shadowy characters. But whoever they are, they’re mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore.

This is the most vitriolic and intense Christmas song I’ve ever heard.
This is an anti-war Christmas song.
This is my gift to you.

DOWNLOAD MP3:
KASHBUK AND THE KLOWNS “CHRISTMAS TIME THIS YEAR”
(ysi)



year end wrap-up: albums
December 12, 2007, 11:34 am
Filed under: music

it’s been a good year for culture. i have compiled a list of my favorite albums of 2007.
songs and films will come around the end of the month.

a. top 25:

1. Of Montreal “Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?”

2. Coconut Records “Nighttiming”

3. Caribou “Andorra”

4/5. (tie) Animal Collective “Strawberry Jam” / Panda Bear “Person Pitch”

6. The Broken West “I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On”

7. Radiohead “In Rainbows”

8. Dirty Projectors “Rise Above”

9. LCD Soundsystem “Sound of Silver”

10. Standing Nudes “Ghost Story”

11. Black Lips “Good Bad Not Evil”

12. Land of Talk “Applause Cheer Boo Hiss”

13. Handsome Furs “Plague Park”

14. Meg Baird “Dear Companion”

15. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings “100 Days, 100 Nights”

16. Shocking Pinks “Shocking Pinks”

17. Andrew Bird “Armchair Apocrypha”

18. Frankel “Lullaby For The Passersby”

19. Love of Diagrams “Mosaic”

20. Liam Finn “I’ll Be Lightning”

21. Battles “Mirrored”

22. Yeasayer “All Hour Cymbals”

23. A.A. Bondy “American Hearts”

24. Grinderman “Grinderman”

25. The Warlocks “Heavy Deavy Skull Lover”

—————————————————————-

b. my friends are brilliant – the music i listen to the most is that which is made by my friends. i’d rather not rank it amongst the other releases, because favoritism would run rampant. so this is an alphabetical listing of my friends’ music from 2007 and it should be read with the understanding that i love it as much as, if not more than, the albums listed above.

Alvin Band “Alvin Band,” “Musical World,” “Lady Portrait”

Robert Francis “One by One”

Sunny Levine “Love Rhino” (coming in march)

MGMT “Oracular Spectacular”

Miniature Tigers “Miniature Tigers” (coming in the spring)

—————————————————————-

c. i also liked these:

Arcade Fire “Neon Bible”
Devendra Banhart “Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon”
Beirut “The Flying Club Cup”
Blonde Redhead “23”
Bonnie “Prince” Billy “Ask Forgiveness”
Bowerbirds “Hymns For A Dark Horse”
Bill Callahan “Woke On A Whaleheart”
Cocorosie “The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn”
Deerhoof “Friend Opportunity”
Christopher Denny “Age Old Hunger”
Enon “Grass Geysers… Carbon Clouds”
Jesca Hoop “Kismet”
Justice “†”
Lavender Diamond “Imagine Our Love”
Liars “Liars”
Cass McCombs “Dropping The Writ”
The National “Boxer”
Phosphorescent “Pride”
Spoon “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”
Mavis Staples “We’ll Never Turn Back”
Sunset Rubdown “Random Spirit Lover”
Saul Williams “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!”
White Williams “Smoke”

—————————————————————-

d. my favorite reissues/old stuff finally released:

“Brazil 70: After Tropicalia” (Soul Jazz Records)
“Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay” (Numero Group)
Jim Ford “The Sounds of Our Time”
The Four Mints “Gently Down Your Stream”
“Home Schooled: The ABC’s of Kiddie Soul” (Numero Group)
Sonic Youth “Daydream Nation (Deluxe Edition)”
Stephen Stills “Just Roll Tape”
Neil Young “Live at Massey Hall 1971”
Young Marble Giants “Colossal Youth & Collected Works”



the return of phantom planet
November 27, 2007, 3:39 pm
Filed under: music

i was still in college when Phantom Planet put out their last record (their third full length, which was self-titled). it was my junior year. i lived in a tiny room in a shitty house on a corner. i liked to play music really loud that year (as has been the case most years). i have fond memories of blasting that Phantom Planet album in that little room. jumping on the bed, playing guitar along to it. sonically, it was a super crunchy album; brittle, even. the band was saying… “watch out. we blow speakers.” in my mind, it was a total 180 from their previously jangly material; an evolutionary step forward and a step away from their association with a certain show on a certain channel formerly known at The W.B EDIT: the O.C. was, in fact, on FOX.

so here we are, nearly four years later and finally a new album on the horizon. why so long? they parted ways with Epic Records. frontman Alex Greenwald played in blackblack and sang/toured with Mark Ronson. they recently signed with a new label, the indie juggernaut known as Fueled By Ramen, went back into the studio and the results are being mixed now, in anticipation of a spring 2008 release. wikipedia tells me that “the new record is about singer Alex’s fictional experience with a cult.” awesome.

so… a four song EP of rough mixes materialized, only available at their shows. i hope that all of these songs will be on the record when it comes out. “Leader” has that instant-classic catchy singalong thing going for it. There’s “From This Day On,” a ballad with a dark vibe and some Radiohead-ish guitar parts. There’s a big change of pace with “Too Much Too Often” a driving dance tune with crazy dynamics: a spot of melodica here and a wild “drums in reverse” breakdown there. great stuff.

here, for your listening pleasure is “Geronimo,” a balls-out rocker that builds and builds and builds and totally conjures up the image of a shitload of people being compelled to jump off a cliff together. cults are creepy. EDIT: judging from the lyrics, the song seems to actually be about rough sex.

DOWNLOAD MP3: PHANTOM PLANET “GERONIMO” (yousendit link)

Phantom Planet myspace



young turks
November 21, 2007, 8:08 pm
Filed under: music

i’m a couple weeks late on this november mix. as soon as i said i’d post these mixes on the first of each month, i sort of got super busy. so…. who cares. i’ll have a few mixes in december, some year end best-of type stuff… and a return to individual mp3s when the new year rears its bitchface.

this latest mix is comprised entirely of older music. none of that newfangled noise the kids dig. the most recent song on here is from 1999 which wasn’t that long ago, but the mix skews earlier. i’m younger than all but four of the nineteen songs here, if that’s any indication.

and now, some songs of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s for which i am thankful. and, in the cases i can remember, the people to whom i am thankful for turning me onto the song in the first place.

DOWNLOAD: MAXX MIXX, NOVEMBER 2007 (56:10/224 kbps/90.1 MB)

1. The Psychedelic Furs “Pulse” 1980 from their self-titled debut. I like to dance spastically to this one.

2. Can “Turtles Have Short Legs” 1971 klassic krautrock, sampled by Busdriver on the track “Avantcore.”

3. Pylon “Stop It” 1979 influential Athens, GA new-wavers reissued and back on tour!

4. El Otro Yo “No Me Importa Morir” 1999 Argentine altenative rock. this is apparently some sort of anthem.

5. The Clean “Tally Ho!” 1981 Thanks Jeff Delauter, you introduced me to The Clean. Their music doesn’t seem to age at all.

6. Shabby Tiger “Slow Down” 1975 Thanks Steve Jones, you have the best radio show ever and introduced me to this song.

7. Family Fodder “Debbie Harry” 1980 great stalker-ey song by mysterious post-punk collective from London. i used to play this at dance parties in college despite people not really knowing what it was.

8. The Jerms “Nobody” 1969 cool weird track from “Action Speaks Louder Than Words – The Best of SSS International Group pf Labels 1967 – 1970” purchased at Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA.

9. The New York Dolls “Trash” 1973 I can’t for the life of me remember when I first heard this, but my opinion of the Dolls had previously been based on “Personality Crisis,” a song I’m not wild about. but once I heard this song I was officially hooked.

10. Frank Black “Men In Black” 1996 I bought “Cult of Ray,” Black’s third post-Pixies solo album, from the used bin at the old Rhino records on Westwood Blvd, above Santa Monica, not below. I miss that used bin. pretty sure this was his only solo music video from that era, directed by Mike Mills.

11. The Monks “I Hate You” 1965 Thanks, Pete Yorn, for telling me about The Monks at some family function in the late 90s. Wish I could have seen these guys in their day… this leaves me speechless.

12. Fellini “Rock Europeu” 1985 If Joy Division had been Brazilian. From “The Sexual Life Of The Savages” compilation on Soul Jazz Records.

13. Wire “The 15th” 1979 don’t remember the first time i heard Wire or this song or who turned me onto it or them or anything… but this song’s great and i love how the sorta meaningless lyrics fold in upon themselves for the song’s bridge. a slower live arrangement from German TV.

14. Orange Juice “Love Sick” 1980 Edwyn Collins’ first band. they sound like a Scottish version of The Modern Lovers at moments.

15. Television “Glory” 1978 this is from Television’s second album, “Adventure,” which is overshadowed by it’s predecessor, “Marquee Moon.” I bought this at some small indie record shop in St. Paul, MN when I was looking at Macalester college. The song has a nice Talking Heads vibe in addition to its obvious Television vibe.

16. 3 Stars “Jersey Slide Pt. 1” 1971 taken from the new jaw-dropping Numero Group compilation, “Home Schooled: The ABC’s Of Kid Soul.” i can do it, you can do it, she can do it, they can do it.

17. Fleetwood Mac “Big Love” 1987 from “Tango In The Night,” one of those CDs that was in my parents collection and i payed no attention to. then i saw the video on VH1 classics, freaked out and put on the CD.

18. The Tammys “Egyptian Shumba” 1963 thanks Frank Lyon for putting this song on my mix a few years ago. it is obviously one of the very greatest girl group songs, if not one of the very greatest songs i know. primal stuff here.

19. Alan Vega “Ice Drummer” 1981 one half of Suicide. Thanks, Sam Fleischner! i didn’t know his solo stuff until Sam played me this jam during a late night music trading session while we were briefly roommates.



TO THE MAXXX PRESENTS!
November 6, 2007, 3:39 am
Filed under: endorsed by me, music


AND

HELLO STRANGER & MINIATURE TIGERS
Thursday at the Viper Room. 9pm. 21+

Okay, I’m not really “presenting” this show, it’s just that two of my friends’ bands, two of my very favorite bands, are playing a show together. Even though it’s a total coincidence and I had nothing to do with it (other than the fact that I will be in attendance), I will capitalize on this kismet and promote the show in an entirely unofficial capacity. so I… “present” this show to you.

hello stranger myspace
miniature tigers myspace



where’d the cheese go?
October 25, 2007, 8:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

sorry for the lack of posts. things is crazy around these parts.
i hope to have new mix up soon for you people.