INDIEchouette


BEFORE MARCH ENDS

I think this one is easier on the ears.

1.  Sea Legs | The Shins
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The beginning to this song, before any melody or lyrics, sort of reminds me of something Switchfoot would do, and I loved Switchfoot when I was maybe fourteen.  I have since moved on, but you could say that I am comforted by familiar things.  Everyone is.  In addition to reminding me of Switchfoot, the Shins will always remind me of some scene from Garden State, even if only two of their songs were in the movie.  “Sea Legs” is a darker Shins piece, but it’s not unpleasant.  In its boldness, it is pleasant.  It is assertive.  It is an evening piece.  The evening is my favourite time of day.  That’s why I put this on my March mix, because it’s starting to get warmer, it’s spring, and the evenings are beginning to grow more and more enjoyable.

2.  Unforgettable Season | Cut Copy
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Sometimes, when I have a clear head, blank slate, and I don’t already have a song in mind, I’ll allow my iPod to shuffle around songs that I don’t listen to very often.  That’s how I grew to like “Unforgettable Season.”  The reason I allowed myself to listen instead of switching the song is that it’s encouraging and atmospheric, like most summer songs.  It’s not summer, but it’s close enough.

3.  Can’t Stop Now | Keane
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As I said before, familiarity is comforting.  Keane is familiar.  Also, Keane and piano rock in general both give me this weird romantic-comedy feelings.  It’s probably because Keane always has this pained, broken-hearted sound that captures the feeling that someone is lonely and trying very hard to be happy in order to get over something dreadful.  I’m not going to lie (and really, why would I lie), I love that sound and I love that feeling.  Emotion keeps my heart running.

4.  Take Me Anywhere | Tegan & Sara
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I think Tegan & Sara’s short songs are the best ones because they pack the most feeling into the smallest packages.  For example, listen to “Soil, Soil.”  That’s one of my favourites.  Also, the short ones tend to be the catchier ones.

5.  Jedi | melpo mene
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I have a newfound love for Star Wars.  And I have a relatively newfound love for the style of elevator music that Melpo Mene produces.  But my love for gentle, delicate voices is not newfound.  It may be because of “I Adore You” or maybe because of the all-around sound that their albums produce, but I find that Melpo Mene is the epitome of a cloud-band.  Also, for some reason, maybe because his voice is just so delicate and his songs just so tender, Erik Mattiasson somehow reminds me of a Swedish version of Gael García Bernal’s character in The Science of Sleep, which is endearing.  It makes me want to tuck him in and make him breakfast.

6.  Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car | Iron & Wine
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Ali pointed out to me that Sam Beam looks like Jesus.  I already somehow realized this, but having her point it out so bluntly is only a little bit of a setback, because I generally love hairy people.  I really don’t care that he has taken up the typically unattractive Christ-look because of his delicate, smooth, and intimate voice, which is revealing but still manages to retain a great amount of dignity.  I love Sam Beam’s work.

7.  Let It Fall | Lykke Li
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I uploaded this song only a few days ago, but here!  I’m giving you another chance to introduce yourself to Lykke Li!  Every time I listen to this song, I want to hopskotch, jumprope, draw with chalk, and play outdoors kids’ games.  Do not ask why.  Probably because of the sing-songness, syncopation, and “so happy-ee-ee-ee!” Maybe I’ll make a mix of new childhood nostalgia songs for the summer.

8.  Soul Meets Body | Death Cab For Cutie
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I also uploaded this song recently, but I don’t think I ever explained just why.  I went on a bike-trip for dinner to Carytown with Virginia and Bryan, neither of whom have websites that I can link to.  We ate dinner at Nacho Mama’s and then left to gather up our bikes and as we drove past Nacho Mama’s again, we heard this song emanating from the outdoor speakers.  When I hear a song that I already love playing in a public place, I will be hooked on it for a while.  This one’s for the good biking weather!

9.  Coat Check Dream Song | Bright Eyes
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Cassadaga wasn’t as awesome as Conor Oberst’s older material.  We all know that.  The warbly voice was gone, the drugs were absent.  There were, however, some winners, such as this one, which features some woman as a guest–who is it?  Is there more than one woman?  Is one of those women Maria Taylor?  I think that the woman in this song really makes it.

10.  Dance Dance Dance | Lykke Li
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I searched Lykke Li on Youtube.  I found this video.  A dancer all alone.  This song could make you feel so alone in a crowd.  The percussion.  Her lonely voice.  The lonely lyrics.  I became ecstatic and fell in love with the song.  What I love is that there is not really any buildup and it never becomes a huge fanfare, though it gradually becomes a little more lively, a little more happy until there is a chorus of women and maybe one man.  Also, it’s probably the only song in the world written and performed by a self-proclaimed shy person.  I love that.

11.  Wedding March | Erin Tobey
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I don’t like the idea of marriage, but I love the idea of a female acoustic artist.  In fact, I love the idea of acoustic artists in general.  Or acoustic artists that are purely instrumental.  Or purely instrumental artists.  Lyrics sometimes get in the way.  That doesn’t happen with Erin Tobey.  Erin Tobey’s voice is so gentle, anyway, that it just combines with the guitar and absolutely floats as it ascends to meet Melpo Mene in the clouds.  Listen to the lyrics, though.  They are how I feel.

12.  Avignon | Pinback
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This was my first taste of Pinback years ago.  So when I was asked by Ke at the beginning of last semester if I had ever heard of Pinback, yes, I had, but I didn’t know it until I checked out my Last.fm charts from forever ago.  My first taste of Pinback was via Last.fm and I was probably sixteen.  I must add here that it was a faster verion and that I officially love songs with pet names.  In this case, they’re sad pet names.  In other cases, you get pet names like Baby Girl, which is basically my cat’s name.  Babygirl.  Babyqirl.

Avignon (Full Band Version) | Pinback
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This is the faster version.

13.  Hanging High | Lykke Li
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Supposing I have children, I want them to grow up listening to this serene tune.  That’s the first thing I thought when I first heard these bittersweet sounds.  She has a delicate but distinct voice, so sweet and dignified, so bold, and so young.  She’s so young.  It all shows here.

14.  Effigy | Andrew Bird
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You can tell that Andrew Bird definitely loops the beginning, which is a magical procedure to witness live.  He has to be so precise!  Anyway, I heard this one at Cherry Alley, which was another case of falling in love with a song I know and then hear in a public place.  I recognized Andrew Bird’s distinct voice immediately and felt calm.  As far as I’ve noticed, he rarely uses guests, but when he does, they’re incredible females.  Ali put it so simply:  It’s such a beautiful song.  Even if it’s about death.  Well really, those can be the most beautiful because they’re loneliest.

15.  House By The Sea | Iron & Wine
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I feel that I need to show you a picture of Sam Beam’s Jesus-ness in order for you to understand.

Not Sam Beam.  Actually Jesus.

Not Sam Beam. Actually Jesus.

The reason I love this song so much is that it talks about two jealous sisters waiting in a house, basically just prepping, doing nothing, waiting for something terrible.  I picture an abandoned house where my sister is making angels in the dust on the wooden floors and I am walking around, loving her, trying to take care of her, trying to change the locks on the door, trying to keep her safe even though we can’t be safe anywhere and we will have to leave soon.  There is a lot of imagery, and it reminds me of myself and my sister, Rachael.  Or what we could be if we were terrible people who had to get along because we had nobody else.  Also, I love raspberries.  And I love the way Sam Beam sings about raspberry leaves.  And I love the guitar riffs.  This is currently my favourite Iron & Wine song.

16.  Underground | Sentinel
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Even if the guitar parts make little sense to me, it’s my favourite part.  I like this song because it has potential.  It succeeds in being atmospheric and a definite travelling song, which is all I really ask of it.  My favourite part is either the beginning or the last ~30 seconds.  If you like it, then I advise that you check out “Avalanche” by Sentinel.

17.  2 O’Clock | Kaki King
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Kaki King is playing a childish game with us.  Her voice is like Erin Tobey’s in that it floats up in the clouds.  I’m guessing that this song is about someone who is taking care of a very injured person who doesn’t love her. the pain is the reason I love this song.  And the sing-songness she uses when she gets to the built-up part.  I generally love Kaki King’s ability to capture any melancholy emotion, though.  In a sense, it’s a shame she doesn’t sing more, since her voice is tinged with pleasantness, but then, I’d be afraid that her voice or lyrics would get in the way of her music, which would be unfortunate.  Also,  you need to listen to Kaki King’s retaliation at the end of the track.  Don’t stop when she stops singing.  Keep going.

18.  Out On The Weekend | Neil Young
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Listening to the original really stresses just how well Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes can cover Neil Young.  Or how much Neil Young influenced Bright Eyes.  I wish I had good taste when I was younger.  Don’t fret that it’s a really quiet track, either; my dad converted all of his records into mp3 format and that’s why.  “She’s so fine/She’s in my mind/I hear her callin'”  Yeah.  Favourite part in any version.

19.  Resurrection Fern | Iron & Wine
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My attention was called to this piece because it was on a mix that someone close to Jaimie had made for her.  It shows how close.  Whenever I hear, “Like stubborn boys across the road we’ll keep everything,” I think of Charles, Coleton, Phelan, Travis, and Torey and how close we were the summer of 2007 on North 11th Street under Charles’ tree.  Every day!  Every night!  Circle Meetings!  We were a family, along with my real family, Rachael, Alexa, and Shannon.  I loved them all.  I still love them all.  I miss being lonely, underage, and terribly sad.  I think that it’s harder to be lonely and of age.  I really do.

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I’M GOING TO PRETEND I WAS NEVER ON TEMPORARY HIATUS

Here is a story for you.  I thought I had four As and one B this semester at college.  When I checked my grades online, I found that I had four As and one C.  The C was in my one-credit Intro to University class, where we did jack shit and my teacher was a certified phony.  I’d nabbed As in Psyc, English, Math, and Gov.  This was not an easy feat.  And that one-credit piece of shit class dragged down my GPA.  Needless to say, I was at least a little frustrated, and supposing my cousin, Liz, chances upon this entry, she will probably correct me and tell me that I cried and she wanted to punch me in the face.  College is something you have to pay for, so my mentality was to achieve all As (unlike my high school mentality, which was “Fuck It”).

However, I still made Dean’s List.  This is extremely satisfying.

My message to you is:  If you go to VCU, do not take Univ 101 no matter how your advisor urges that you do so.  It’s just not worth the time.

I will give you two more things today.

The first is a book recommendation.  If you’re like me, then you have multitudes of books lying around your room and your suitcase that you cannot wait to read, yet there are still so many more that you have not yet acquired of which you yearn to get ahold.  And you’re ever so open to recommendations, as you love to read and you love books, but at the same time, you barely have room for another book in your life right now.  I am like this now, and I was also like this when I purchased the book that I am currently reading, but I urge you to do whatever you can to make room for this book.  And I’ll tell you what this book is.

But first, I have to admit that I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet.  I feel so overwhelmed now because I must have about a million undiscovered gems to read, especially considering the grandeur that is this novel.

everything-is-illuminated

The book is called Everything Is Illuminated and it was written by Jonathan Safran Foer.  And I’ll have to leave it at that, because it’s impossible to describe in all its intricacies.  I can tell you that if you doubt me at all, then just read the first “chapter” piece, narrated by Alex in hilariously fucked-up English.  If you’re a language person like I am, then you’ll appreciate these segments.  And if you still doubt me, then turn to the next “chapter” piece, narrated by Jonathan.  If you’re a detail-oriented person like I am, then you’ll appreciate these segments.  And if you still doubt me, well, you might as well read the entire novel.  It’s thick but the pages fly by.  And it’s probably worth it.

I might as well add that yes, a movie version does exist, and it may or may not be loyal to the book and it may or may not be fulfilling, but I only recommend the book.  It is worthwhile to read the book.  Elijah Wood is in the movie, but I don’t know whether or not it is worthwhile to watch.  Just read the book already.

Also, okay, since I had to find a photo of the book cover, I also ran into shots from the movie and it is tempting to watch it now.  But please, be a good person and read the book.

The last well…maybe the last thing I wanted to tell you is that of course I enjoy Melpo Mene, and that I have another Melpo Mene track to share with you.  Not unlike the band’s other tracks, this one is a sweet, soft lullaby-like crooner tune but it strikes me probably because it is both incredibly joyous and terribly melancholy at the same time.  It is not unlike a sunny afternoon on a day where you’ve slept too much, because while it’s dandy that everything is gorgeous and that you are well-rested, the sunlight will go away soon and the day will end and then you’ll have nothing to do.

I should get away | Melpo Mene
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And I was just thinking that maybe this should be the end of my post, but I have decided to take it upon myself to introduce to you a phenomenon.  If you have already seen this phenomenon, then I am proud of you.  But I can only go a few days or weeks without seeing this video before having to refresh my memory.

It’s not that I think this girl is stupid or that I want to hate on her.  I just find her videos humorous in content.  This is probably the most popular one, but her others are gems as well.  She can be good-natured and excited, which in turn brings a smile to my face maybe because her good moods are fairly contagious, or maybe because she’s just so unbearably silly.  It kind of reminds me of an exaggerated version of me reacting to anything to do with Rilo Kiley.  I’m not praising her views on Twilight, though.  I find it fairly silly to defend something like a popular (and allegedly poorly-written) piece of literature so relentlessly and without restraint.  This sort of video by a self-proclaimed “twituber” makes me want to test Twilight for myself so I can be a better judge, since my taste in literature is relatively acute.  Then again, most girls who read Twilight, their taste is acute too.  They mostly refuse to branch out from the Young Adult section, which means they’ll just imbibe novels like A-List, The Clique, and other such teen romance/girl-fiction shit.



FINALLY

This is a mix I made for Jay called “Finally” to introduce him to some new kickass mewzik while he drove back to his school from mine.  Apparently, it’s immensely depressing.

Also, I apologize, for there are a lot of repeats here–things I’ve previously loved or posted on my blog.  I think you’ll find a few new treasures, though.  And if you’ve never read my blog before, all the better.

By the way, I’ve got a new mix headed your way super-soon, so keep lookin’.

1.  I Will Never Love You More | Soko
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2.  Green Rain | Shugo Tokumaru
[buy] [mediafire]

3.  Sleepyhead | Passion Pit
[buy] [mediafire]

4.  I Adore You | Melpo Mene
[buy] [mediafire]

5.  Seaside Sorrow | Lonely Boy
[buy] [mediafire]

6.  Sunrise | Caroline
[buy] [mediafire]

7.  Plasticities | Andrew Bird
[buy] [mediafire]

8.  Postcards From Italy | Beirut
[buy] [mediafire]

9.  The Funeral | Band of Horses
[buy] [mediafire]

10.  He War | Cat Power
[buy] [mediafire]

11.  Fools | The Dodos
[buy] [mediafire]

12.  Holes | Melpo Mene
[buy] [mediafire]

13.  Acid Tongue | Jenny Lewis
[buy] [mediafire]

14.  (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan | Dntel
[buy] [mediafire]

15.  Return to Goleta Drive-In | The Northern Two
[buy] [mediafire]



MIX: SEPTEMBRE 2008

Derek has a CD player in his car.  He kept spinning the same CD every time he drove me places.  He told me that these were the songs that were constantly stuck in his head.

Since it was the same CD over and over again, I volunteered to make him a new CD with the songs that are constantly stuck in my head.  He thought that was a good idea because his sister allegedly makes him listen to very bad music sometimes.

This CD was only semi-hard work because I had to hunt down the MP3s online via the Hype Machine and then cut two at the end because a CD only holds 80 minutes.  The rest of the work was easy peasy, just picking out songs that I can’t get enough of lately.

The songs are in no particular order because it’s just a bunch of songs that blitzkrieg my brain in no particular order with no warning.  Because of this random order, I am an advocate of putting this mix on shuffle whenever you want.

And here’s my reasoning for each track in no particular order (main reasoning = catchy).  There are also download links over yonder.

Virgin Suicides [ysi] | Van She
Okay, I’ve already written about how awesome this song is, but I honestly don’t see how anyone could dislike it.  It’s upbeat and happy.  Think “Look Up” by Stars, except without all the encouraging parts.

Two Silver Trees [ysi] | Calexico
“Two Silver Trees” is what “Young Bride” by Midlake was to me about a year ago.  I take this song seriously.

Kids [ysi] | MGMT
The first time I heard “Kids,” I wasn’t paying attention.  And then I ended up downloading it, and for the first two weeks of school, it was my silly anthem for walking around campus.  I felt so MGMT.

Little Monsters [ysi] | Charlotte Gainsbourg
I love bells and I love her whispery Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg-inherited voice.  This song is small furry mystical creatures on the beach on a fall night night during a meteor shower.  Charlotte Gainsbourg could make death by bubonic plague sound good.

Af607105 [ysi] | Charlotte Gainsbourg
What I also love about Charlotte Gainsbourg is that most of her songs are night songs with an accent, for when you’re warm and comfortable and relaxed and in some kind of indescribable state of bliss.  Maybe naked.

Irene [ysi] | Caribou
I think I picked this one up from AllThingsGo once, but disregarded it for the most part.  However, upon moving into college, I discovered that I had a snoring roommate.  My methods of coping during the wee hours of the morning included turning the AC on high, turning on the TV, making banging noises and pretending I couldn’t help it, using earplugs, and listening to my iPod.  During one of the iPod nights, I was able to sleep, but was roused not by loud, unsettling music like the Fall of Troy, but in fact by some of the most peaceful and beautiful music I had ever heard.  In my heavy-lidded, half-conscious state, I noted that the song was “Irene” by Caribou.  It’s been constantly replaying since.

St. Petersburg [ysi] | Brazilian Girls
I lurk the Hype Machine frequently and actually found this track in the “Popular” section.  I downloaded “L’Interprete” because it looked like a French name.  “St. Petersburg” was a tagalong, but I actually like it more because while it’s very chill and catchy, it also soars at some parts and comes down from those orgasms appropriately.

Evening Life [ysi] | The XYZ Affair
While this is a summer song, um, hello?  Most of September is still summer.  We just don’t consider it summer because it’s a transitional month, and we have school and work again.  Well, work for teachers.  It’s the same as June being spring, December being fall, and March being Winter.  I know they’re out of order.  Anyway, I just like the melody, I think, and the singer’s fairly high voice.

Id Engager [ysi] | of Montreal
We all know that of Montreal is crazy fun.  I just think this a subtle improvement on their old stuff.  Less senselessness, but still enough.  Still high-quality, same genre, same Kevin Barnes, same play on words.  Of Montreal is still creepy sex.

Parisian Skies [ysi] | Maximo Park
This one’s an Ali.  You can always tell Alis because they’re British.  Much like “I Adore You” by Melpo Mene “Parisian Skies” floats like clouds.  But they’re more aggressive, passionate clouds.  I have enjoyed this track all summer at the beach, in the car, in bed, walking.  It sounds like I’m a sex addict.  Oh, also, I’m a francophile, so of course I love an amazing indie rock song called Parisian Skies.  Come on, guys.

Gold Mine Gutted [ysi] | Bright Eyes
I used to listen to the Metronomy remix nonstop, but I’ve begun to reappreciate the glory of the original now.  It’s a lot sadder.  In many ways, I think that’s a plus.  It more accurately represents Bright Eyes.  There’s something so chill and spacelike about the original.  It feels like floating.

Two Doors Down [ysi]| Mystery Jets
Yet another fabulous contribution from Ali.  While I initially disliked the eighties touches, now I know I’m in love.  I guess it depends on how you listen.

Gobbledigook [ysi] | Sigur Rós
While a lot of Sigur Rós’ other material is often floaty and dragged out, Gobbledigook is a definite rock piece, all business, no nonsense.  But the percussion makes me want to skip around gleefully.

I’ll Kill Her [ysi] | Soko
She said, “Please can you make some beautiful baybeeez?!”
Little angry Frenchwoman who has her entire life planned out.  I definitely don’t mean any harm to blondes, ever, by putting this song up here.  “All she’s got is blondeness, not even tenderness!”  If I had the space or the patience, I’d put all the lyrics here.

I Blame Coco [ysi] | I Blame Coco
I am a fan of delicate, pretty voices, which is one of my problems with a lot of French music.  A lot of them have deep, raspy voices.  Not a fan.  Coco’s not French, but she is Sting’s daughter and she is my age, and she does have a deep voice.  But her song’s fun, and her voice is a classy addition to this very low-key chanson.

Dishwasher [ysi] | Fujiya & Miyagi
My main obsession with this song is the low-key nature.  Then there’s the percussion.  Then there’s the “raspberry rrrrripple ice cream” part.

Complicated (Avril Lavigne Cover) [ysi] | Ben Gibbard
Shut up!  This is serious!
Wanna know my secret?  I listen to Avril Lavigne to fall asleep some nights.  IT’S OUT.  And while Ben points out that her life isn’t very complicated, man…this is a good cover, especially with the talking at the beginning and at the end.  Those parts make the song.

Hello Benjamin [ysi] | Melpo Mene
I’ve already declared that I’m in love with this band.  But there’s something about the melancholy tone of this one that just gets to me.  That, and it’s always moving.

Broadripple Is Burning [ysi] | Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
I will haunt you like a ghost
I keep running into this song.  It’s more delicate than a Bright Eyes song.