Sunday, September 28, 2008


Thanks, I like to play/make lots and lots of mix tapes.

1. Kanye West feat. Mos Def and Freeway - "Two Words"
I know I've used this before, but, seeing as how Kanye's debut disc was the soundtrack to my Trollwood summer, I'm gonna use it again: Strange how my memory improves tenfold when aided by music. -> This one brings me right back to the summer of '04, when I worked at Fargo's glamorous Trollwood Performing Arts School. As a glorified janitor....

2. Michael Franti and Spearhead - "Hey World" [Remote Control Vers.]
And, continuing this lazy trend of recycling my words, here's what I wrote about this track in my review of its parent album, "All Rebel Rockers": Like a cross between Grayskul’s bouncy “Scarecrow” and any given giddy OutKast hit, everything just seems to come together for four glorious minutes: From the perversely fun lyrics (“I didn’t come here to chill, I came here to rock / To smash the empire with my boom box”) to the top-notch production, this is it; this is why we listen to music.

3. The Killers feat. Lou Reed - "Tranquilize"
I like what Brandon Flowers told Maxim about this track: "That song was begging for a duet, and Lou Reed's one of the kings. We were all nervous. He's not a large man, but he's intimidating. He must have thought we were all right, though, because he finished the song. It's exciting that there are people like him in the world. I hope one day to intimidate people."

4. Oranger - "Crones" [MP3]
Recommended if you like Death Cab, but with a little mid-'90s alt.rock and a little Cars action thrown in for good measure. A nice late autumn/early winter tune, once the season finally hits us. (Sorry, I just watched "A Simple Plan," so I'm hankerin' for my "birth season.")

5. Val Emmich - "Go On With It" [MP3]
Radio-ready pop with a sense of Western flair. For fans of groups like the Fray, but far more uplifting.

6. Arson Welles - "Second Coming"
This song completely blew my mind. I just "discovered" it on one of those Radio K comps. ("Stuck on AM 3," perhaps?) Indie pop that's every bit as exciting as those late-period Tripping Daisy masterpieces. I especially like the Beach Boys-influenced flourishes. <- Will never get sick of those.

7. Cracker - "Good Times Bad Times" [Led Zeppelin cover]
I'm embarrassed that there was a point in my life when I needed my generation's rock 'n' roll bands to tell me that it was OK to like those of my father's.... But "Encomium" sure did the trick!

8. Eels - "Jelly Dancers" [Dimension 5 cover] [MP3]
Mesmerizing fun from Eenie Meenie's "Dimension Mix."

9. Saint Etienne - "Artieripp"
Along the same lines as "Jelly Dancers," this track takes you to different dimensions and alternative realities. (Listen with caution, I guess....)

10. KoRn - "Wake Up Hate"
I recently rediscovered hard rock -- thanks to local acts like Number One Common, Malec and Portraits for Judith -- so you might have to deal with a little more variety on these here mix tapes in the coming days.

11. Local H - "Fritz's Corner"
I don't usually go ga-ga over too many concert films, but the sight of Local H fizzling out speakers with this frenetic stomper forever changed my mind about what RnR duos were capable of. (This was a few years before the White Stripes.)

12. Deadstring Brothers - "Lonely Days" [MP3]
Don't let the title fool you; this track'll put a spring in your step in no time.

13. Ben Weaver - "White Snow" [MP3]
Here I go with my winter fascination again....

14. Mason Jennings - "Crush the Pill" [Live on Radio K]
A complete story in just over a minute's time. How does he do it?

15. The Mountain Goats - "Palmcorder Yajna" [MP3]
I've been paying a lot more attention to these guys since Aesop Rock told me why he sought out a collaboration with frontman John Darnielle: "My brother introduced me to the Mountain Goats’ music sometime around 1994, and it blew my mind. I had never heard a non-rap act pay that much attention to lyric writing, and treating lyrics as an 'art.' It was apparent from the first few words out of his mouth that this man was a writer."

16. Irving - "Turn of the Century" [MP3]
Irving, where have you been all my life? This is really beautiful music, but, like Beulah or Mason Jennings' "Nothing," it also has a groove -- something that will make you move.

17. Human Highway - "Sleep Talking"
Beatlemania v2.0. Courtesy of the dude from Islands, no less.

18. The Sadies - "Little Sadie" [MP3]
I feel like I should be at the Brewhouse or something with Americana this flashy and polished. Steve Albini's production prowess shines through again.

Thus concludes your twenty-fourth dose of SHAKE*YOUR*SHORES.

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