INDIEchouette


BEFORE MARCH ENDS

I think this one is easier on the ears.

1.  Sea Legs | The Shins
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
This is the faster version.

13.  Hanging High | Lykke Li
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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
[mediafire] [buy]
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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MUZAK AND SUCH

The weather was perfect.

We rode squished in the back seat of Carol’s car to the park.  Not that the park is not within walking distance.  Just, it would be convenient to bring Carol’s car and have a ride.  You know.  We played frisbee.  By the time we were all panting from trying to catch and throw with a perfect wrist snap, every last one of us was thirsty.  And there were seven of us.

Zelda’s was right there, but Katie pointed out that Zelda’s also has new employees “every day.”  This is actually true.  Plus, Zelda’s is inferior to Cherry Alley.  It’s simple.  We walked the extra blocks to the clearly superior café, and those of us without money ordered cups of water.  For some reason, don’t ask me why, I always feel guilty when I order water from a café or restaurant, especially if I’m not ordering anything else.  I should just wear a sign around my neck whenever I plan on eating somewhere.  “Hi, I’m a cheap bastard.”  But I really do love Cherry Alley.  I really do spend most of my time and money there.  And they really do play superior music.  They are superior.

We sweated it out at a table meant for four, and trekked back to the park for more frisbee.  Aulden went home and we continued to play frisbee.  Paige and Tim left, and we played more frisbee.  And then Carol drove the remaining three of us home.

The rest of the evening was humble.  I worked out for a fairly long time.  I watched television, made pasta, and here I am.  Simple.

Here is one thing that bothers me.

I constantly tell you that I listened to Bright Eyes because Erika urged me.  I will remember that day for the rest of my life.  The first album I listened to.  The first song, even.  The sun in my room.  That red plastic swivel chair from Ikea.  It was a profound experience that allowed me to branch out my musical tastes.  It started with other artists on Saddle Creek.  Then I used Amazon as my tool to new artists.  I found the Arcade Fire there and fell in love from the first time I listened to “Neighborhood #1.”  And when I say love, I mean love.  Erika gave me the hint about Rilo Kiley with the Saddle Creek 50 album, and I remember becoming addicted.  I added the two Rilo Kiley songs, “With Arms Outstretched” and “Jenny You’re Barely Alive,” to my poserpod.  And I was in the car with my mother on a sunny afternoon.  We were on our way back home from the Food Lion in Goochland.  I listened to those two songs in succession, and it made the afternoon seem infinite.  There is no better way to describe something epic.  Infinite.

Jared and Jordan noticed that I have a story about every song or artist or album I have ever been intimately connected with.  I even have stories about Motion City Soundtrack and Relient K and Switchfoot.  Avril Lavigne.  Yes, I loved them.  I don’t anymore, but whenever I find people who like them, I just think…there’s hope in this world.  They might branch out like I did.  Maybe they will have a friend with the decency to introduce them to Bright Eyes.  That friend will give them the right album, and they will listen to the right song first.  Maybe.

So you get it now.  I’m in love with music.

I’ve offered a million times to make Rachael a mix CD.  She hears my music loud and clear in the house every day.  My experiments.  New songs.  I told her years ago to borrow my Sufjan Stevens albums and become acquainted.  She would like them.  “Chicago” is pretty mainstream, especially because of Little Miss Sunshine.  Of course, she doesn’t listen.  But then she gets a whole slew of new friends who are casual listeners.  And she gets an iPod.  And she wants to fit in.  So she abuses the privilege.  And now what do I hear pouring out of her iPod?  Two Sufjan Stevens songs.  One M.I.A. song.  Three Shins songs.  ONE Arcade Fire song.  Two Eisley songs.  Maybe five Beatles songs tops.  Oh, and you can’t forget Tegan and Sara because she has three of their songs.

It’s okay that she listens to good music now.  In fact, it’s great.  But if it’s so casual that she won’t explore any songs that aren’t “popular,” ones that her friends won’t listen to by chance–so casual that she won’t be compelled to look into the artists and similar artists and other songs and new genres–what’s the point?!  It defeats the entire purpose of enjoying music and thinking for your goddamn self.  In fact, her friends get their music from boys.  Boys who get their music from probably skate videos and good movies.  So even her friends who encourage her to branch out a little aren’t original.  It’s all passed down.  But don’t you think it would be fun to be the trendsetter for a change?

And granted, I find my music with the help of lovely blogs and lovely friends and movies and such.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t branch out on my own sometimes using the resources I’m given like Amazon and Last.fm.  I guess we all have to piggyback a little, but when someone doesn’t appreciate what they’re given or takes it for granted or turns her nose up at it until it is popular, I get extremely pissed.



THE HOPEFUL MIX

Broken Heart by Hotel Lyric on Flickr

Pretty dramatic. Haha, I hate being dramatic.

Since my love life has been screwed over as of last night, my insides have been pretty cold all day. TOTAL FUCKING KARMA. I deserve it. Thus, today deserves a not-love song. However, I feel that posting a not-love song would be jinxing it. So instead of posting a not-love song, I’m going to post some of my favourite songs for “rough times.” We’ll call it the “Hopeful Mix.” Or something. Kinda corny.

Hopeful Mix | zip file

1. A Better Son/Daughter | Rilo Kiley [buy]
And sometimes when you’re on/You’re really fuckin’ on/And your friends they sing along and they love you/But the lows are so extreme/That the good seems fuckin’ cheap/And it teases you for weeks in its absence
Basically, this is why I love Rilo Kiley so much. I mean, they’re kickin’ and screamin’ and marchin’ for happiness. That’s what this song almost feels like–a march. And it reminds you of everyone who loves you, and it put Jenny Lewis in the ranks of people who’ve got your back. She knows what you’re going through, and you’ll survive. Look how awesome she turned out.

2. Crown of Love | The Arcade Fire [buy]
If you still want me/Please forgive me/Because the spark/Is not within me
“Crown of Love” is definitely a winter song by The Arcade Fire, which is definitely a winter band. The violin says it all. My favourite part is the end, which you could almost dance to.

3. All The Young Dudes | Mott the Hoople [buy]
And my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones/We never got it off on that Revolution stuff/What a drag too many snags
This track’s in the trailer for Juno. The lyrics aren’t particularly hopeful or anything. Just, the use in the trailer makes it out to be a hopeful song, so that’s how I’ll always see it.

4. Hold Me Now (Radio Edit) | The Polyphonic Spree [buy]
You’re still miles away
What a fanfare. But seriously, the Polyphonic Spree can grant hope any day. It’s just the whole orchestra vibe they’ve got goin’ on.

5. Hey Jude | The Beatles [buy]
Take a sad song and make it better/Remember to let her under your skin/Before you begin to make it better
My reasoning? The transition from softer to louder. Also, fuckin’ revolution. I want to see Across the Universe.

6. Your Heart Is An Empty Room | Death Cab for Cutie [buy]
All you see/Is where else you could be when you’re at home
This is one of my favourite songs of all time, and I just wish I could convey the extent to which I love it, but I just can’t. I wish I had a pal like Ben Gibbard.

7. Cleanse Song | Bright Eyes [buy]
And if life seems absurd/What you need is some laughter/And a season to sleep/And a place to get clean/Maybe Los Angeles/Somewhere no one’s expecting
Erika brought me to Bright Eyes with Lifted. “Coat Check Dream Song sounds nothing like my first tastes of indie, but it’s so irresistibly beachy clean. Although I’ve not yet completely accepted Cassadaga, maybe just because Conor Oberst was clean in making it, I do like this song. It’s really light.

8. Hey, You In The Pants | The Underquotes
The Underquotes broke up earlier in 2007 after releasing a few pretty tight songs. None of their songs have lyrics, and this one especially may be a bit raw, but just listen. It’s not a sad song, that’s for sure. To me, it just speaks for itself.

9. The Henney Buggy Band | Sufjan Stevens [buy]
Oh Father John, you cannot tell me/What’s right and wrong/You cannot tell me
This song was introduced to me as the favourite Sufjan Stevens song of someone very close to me. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I actually picked it up and started listening avidly. “The Henney Buggy Band” seems happy. But it seems that way because it’s nostalgic. And I dunno about you, but nostalgia makes me feel good sometimes.

10. Look Up | Stars [buy]
So far keeping it together’s been enough/But look up rain is falling/Looks like love
The reason I started listening to this song in the first place is that it was mentioned in the book Miss Misery. David wants to give Cat a mix tape, and he puts this on it. He notes that it’s hopeful, and there’s hope for them to be together. Of course, in the end, he doesn’t give her the CD after seeing her immense collection of them and learning of her immense dislike for them. Well, I’m not saying there’s hope for me to be with someone, but I am saying that it’s possible to be as happy again.

11. Kissing the Lipless | The Shins [buy]
But you’ve/Got too much to wear on your sleeves/It has too much to do with me/And secretly/I want bury in the yard/The grey remains/Of a friendship scarred
The Shins make me happy.

12. Teenage Love Song | Rilo Kiley
I still love you/And always will/All those motel rooms/Ya footed the bill
LAWLZ. So much angerrrr! I’m not mad myself, but ah, her situation makes mine seem fairly minuscule.