Monday, January 3, 2011

Fly High, Duluth! Mix Tape 2011.1 :: ALIS VOLAT PROPRIIS

Submitted for the approval of the Mix Tape Appreciation Society, here lies ... "Alis Volat Propriis." Enjoy at maximum volume.

1. Peter Gabriel - "Excuse Me"
From the ex-Genesis mastermind's first solo release (1977's "1" or "Car"). It's amazing to hear just how influential he has been to the current crop of indie rock weirdos. I love it!

Considering how this unabashedly samples from "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z, I'd recommend downloading it now, before it's sued out of existence. (Remember Danger Mouse's "The Grey Album"?)

An obscure gem from the Human Highway/Royal City mad man. Just beautiful.

4. Three Mile Pilot - "Still Alive"
What the cool kids in San Diego were listening to last year.

5. Telekinesis - "Non-Toxic"
My favorite quote about this must-hear Seattle outfit comes courtesy of Spin: "If you don't like Telekinesis, your ears don't work."

6. Les Savy Fav - "Let's Get Out of Here"
From my list of 2010's best music: "While New York City art rock bands are mainly known for their 'hip factor' and not necessarily their material's staying power, this frenetic group’s songwriting just keeps blowing away all expectations with each album."

7. Stuart Davis - "Only Changing Drugs"
A highlight from my 2009 Budgeteer interview with Davis: "I think there’s a little bit of a disconnect that goes on in our culture. There’s way more interest — way more fascination and passion — about spirituality in our country than gets depicted in mainstream media.
“… We tend to see religion and spirituality depicted in our culture like you’re either a religious fundamentalist or you’re a New Age wacko or you’re an atheist — and it’s such a totally oversimplified depiction of what we’re actually like.
“People are very nuanced, fascinating, spiritual creatures.”

8. M.I.A. - "XXXO"
Last year M.I.A. made a pop song, and ... it's a much better pop song than any pop artist has ever recorded.

9. The Apples in stereo - "Can You Feel It?"
Yes, that's how they prefer "in stereo" to be written. (The group began its life as "The Apples," if that explains anything.)

10. Admiral Radley - "I'm All F----- on Beer"
Definitely more Grandaddy than Earlimart on this one. Jason Lytle has yet to let me down.

11. Cee Lo Green - "Bright Lights, Bigger City"
I can't get enough of those cheesy synths!

12. Marc Gartband - "I've Been Old, I've Been Young"
From the phenomenal "Fatwa." (A free download for the time being.)

13. Bad Books - "Holding Down the Laughter"
Music doesn't get much more monumental than this.

14. Local H - "Michelle (Again)"
"Michelle (Again)" is the rare example of a group not really changing up its sound -- yet still making wholly exciting music. This one rocks hard.

From my "Best Duluth Music of 2010" mix tape: "Rappers David 'Bliss' Kittelson and Cory 'MC1980' Jezierski gave away one of their two 2010 releases ('A Gentleman’s Guide to Mixing Tapes') at While the official release, 'A Gentleman’s Guide to Dangerous Living,' contained a number of noteworthy tracks and collaborations with other artists, this song just seems like the perfect introduction to this entertaining rap duo."

16. Reggie Watts - "Social Construct"
I can't say much for his comedy, but his songs (or, rather, "aural experiments") are simply phenomenal.

17. The Chemical Brothers - "Horse Power"
On paper this is the lamest Chemical Brothers track to date (horse samples!), but, somehow, it's one of the most invigorating tracks from last year. They haven't totally lost it yet.

18. B. Dolan - "Earthmovers"
Like old-school Sage Francis? So does his buddy B. Dolan, and that's why you must listen to his records.

19. Jon Auer - "Beautiful"
The most underrated group of musicians in the '90s? The Posies, without a doubt.

20. Death Cab for Cutie - "Why You'd Want to Live Here"
A staple of my short-lived radio days (see note at bottom of page)

21. Fort Wilson Riot - "Orange-Haired Woman"
This group (in duo form) recently opened up for Cloud Cult at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. What a show -- I especially appreciated their shout-outs to fallen house-elf Dobby! ha ha ha (A special thanks to "Auntie Ann" for the tickets!)

22. Husker Du - "No Reservations"
Bob Mould owes me a beer.

23. Of Montreal - "Friends of Mine" (Zombies cover)
Zombies covers are, by default, terrific, but this one really takes the cake. Hear it any way you can.

BONUS VIDEO: Mr. Oizo - "Flat Beat"

Even though he hasn't had a regular radio gig since he was the program manager at Thunder Web Radio (now KDSU) in Fargo, Budgeteer editor Matthew R. Perrine likes to make mix tapes like he's going to play them on the air someday. 

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