Music

Favorite Song Of 2012

Some of you might pish-posh at the idea of anything ‘best of the year before’ that comes after the stroke of midnight on 1/1. Too bad. I’m as big a fan of letting the past go as the next gal, but I think the rules clearly dictate that you can dwell on auld lang syne for the entire month of January (resolution making or sharing for the upcoming year, meanwhile, is allowed through February). Which brings us to: My favorite song of 2012.

This was originally going to be five favorite songs of 2012, but narrowing down to five + ordering within the five seemed difficult. But choosing my top number one absolute hands down favorite? No problem: “Alexander McQueen,” by Canadian band Tomboyfriend.

[Listen/download here]

It’s from the band’s King of the Animals EP, which is all around awesome –though brief; just five songs. Do also give “Margaux” a listen; it’s like Counting Crows at their best and least hack-y (which may seem like a strange comparison but I spent a good part of the mid-90s and early 2000s praying for Adam Duritz to marry me, so it’s meant as a compliment).

“Alexander McQueen” is, in fact, about designer Alexander McQueen, who killed himself in 2010. It’s heartbreaking. It’s gorgeous. And, like most Tomboyfriend songs, it’s epic in a way that doesn’t feel (to me, at least) overwrought.

QM_Tomboyfriend

Maybe it’s hard not to make epic-sounding music when you’ve got 10 people in your band — the group definitely conjures a New Pornographers/Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes dynamic — but it’s also thanks to songwriter and lead singer Ryan Kamstra, who has been described as a queerer, more glam Meatloaf. It’s become something of a mission of mine to introduce Tomboyfriend to as many people as I can (like with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone in a previous life), because you will love them. And I like sharing things that people will love. And I like sharing things that deserve more love.

So just in case you missed it above: Alexander McQueen mp3.

I’ll leave you with this description of the band from The Little Red Umbrella:

Tomboyfriend’s music is a glammy echo of the best of the ’70s, of the New York Dolls, the Velvet Underground, the B-52′s, and pretty much everything that ever happened in the heroin-addled artsy heyday of Max’s Kansas City and CBGB & OMFUG. Their lyrics are dense and poetic and playful, littered with the half-digested remains of a pop culture diet, the kind of literary collage of references and re-appropriation that will take a listener years to unpack, but brings titans like Nick Cave and Dan Bejar immediately to mind.

And the video for “Almost/Always,” from the band’s 2010 album Don’t Go To School:


rearrange: an early summer 2012 mix

Happy summer, guys. In my general tradition, I am posting a beginning of summer mix, 2012 edition. It’s really all about Best Coast—I mean, seriously, Best Coast, right? I can’t get enough right now. The beach!, everything still sounds like the beach, though in a way slightly different than last year’s beach and slightly more different than the year before that.

[Even Lafayette, Indiana is too hot this time of year—that still, dry, let's-have-red-wine-at-noon hot; that all I can think of is Lily in Run, River hot; that do we really have to wear clothes? (and I work from home, so not really) hot. It's more or less my favorite weather.]

I’m also into so much by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy right now, because every other month he’s got out something new these days (though it’s still always strangely jarring when he really loves Jesus).

Best newcomers: Lower Dens? Maybe I just like that their album is called “nootropics.”

.rearrange >> an early summer 2012 mix

{tracklist} 

that’s what’s up – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
the place – Best Coast
dream – Mirel Wagner
alphabet song – Lower Dens
do you know ida know – White Fence
firehorse – Our Hearts
chain of broken hearts – Billy Bragg and Wilco
goin’ to the party – Alabama Shakes
I can tell you’re leaving – Trembling Bells and Bonnie Prince Billy
palms will smoke in cold air – The Pica Beats
my better self – Tennis
dusty rhodes – Lotus Plaza
on the sea – Beach House
tearz for animals – CocoRosie
hummingbird, pt. 1 – Bonnie Prince Billy

//////////

I turned 30 last week, by the way. It doesn’t feel like much, really, but I do like to think of things symbolically so I’ve decided that our thirties–and I say “our” because so many people I know are entering their 30s this year, as are Little Wayne, Elizabeth Moss, Kate MIddleton and Kirsten Dunst–are going to be pretty damn good. In your 30s, you’re still young but not as stupid as you were in our 20s, mostly.

If you listen to what sociologists say, the beginning tip of Gen Y (aka the millennial generation, but I dislike that name) could be as early as 1979, but most place it at 1982 — which makes those of us turning 30 in 2012 the first Gen Y’ers to do so.

Happy 30s, Gen Y. Here’s some music for the beginning of June twenty twelve.

Psalms of March — a (belated) 3.2012 mix

Meant to post this last week and never got around to it. This is my March playlist/mixtape/mixcast/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I hope it will do for April, too.


Psalms of March (a 3.2012 mix)
#indiepsychfolkdancepopmumblewave

1. “Good Woman” – Cat Power
Because good woman/manhood has been a topic, of late. And because this song is sexy and wistful and gorgeous, and just right for an unseasonably warm early spring.

2. “Lovesickness” - Tomboyfriend
Because Tomboyfriend is one of those bands you like because almost every song sounds epic; maybe you don’t know exactly what the words mean, or even really what the gist of the song is, but something! is going on! and it! is a big deal! And our protagonists are feeling wistful or nostalgic or triumphant about it, so each song provides a mini-catharsis, like watching a Greek Tragedy or a Grey’s Anatomy episode in 4 minutes. So, yeah: I dig this band. And hope you do, too. [And if you do, check out "End of Poverty" or "Almost Always" by them next.]

3. “Could be so Happy” – Heartless Bastards
Because they’re a Cincinnati band! [Which is where I'm from.] And very folky, very throaty, the kind of thing you’d want to listen to on a hot night, somewhere smoky.  #psychfolk? They just released a new album, “Arrow,” but this song is from their 2009 album “The Mountain.”

4. “Holiday” – The Kinks
‘Cause … The Kinks, duh.

5. “Common Burn” – Mazzy Star
Because who among you did not lie in your high school bedroom listening to “Fade Into You” on repeat? And Hope Sandoval is back! This is from a 2-song EP released Oct. 2011, the first Mazzy Star release since 1997.

6. “Wind Was the Wine” – Woods
Because they’re my favorite and this is their new song. It’s short, sweet, Seussical and quietly joyous.

7. “Myth” – Beach House
Lovely, in that could-be-the-soundtrack-to-a-Twin-Peaks-dream-scene way. Or a cross between that Best Coast song with the urban Romeo & Julie video starring Maebe Funke and something out of Rocky Horror Picture Show? Yep, I think that about sums it up.

8.”The Night (rewards remix)” – School of Seven Bells
Because one of my best friends was in a band, Painted Face, founded by singer/musician Allie Alvarado, and Allie (who was formerly in Telepathe) has recently joined School of Seven Bells! Cheers, Allie! Also, because this song/remix is pure dance party.  Pure dance party/rooftop, basement, beach or movie montage.

9. ”Love Love Love” – Of Monsters and Men
This is the first song on this mix that my boyfriend fell for. It’s strangely arresting the first time you hear it, even though in the hands of a different sort of singer (Colbie Callet? Taylor Swift?) the same words and melody would maybe come off totally grating/cutesy? But here’s it’s like … haunting, and just the slightest bit potentially heartbreaking (also: catchy!). [Update: BECAUSE—aha!—THEY ARE ICELANDIC.]

10. “Firestarter” – Blouse
Art school kids from Portland.

11. “The Way In” – Porcelain Raft
New wave beach party prom rock? I don’t know. Something like that. That’s what I keep describing everything as. That’s what everything sounds like, right now, beach parties prom or dusk.

12. “Go Home” – Lucius
Twangy back porch and/or drinking music. Achey. Pretty. From 2 girls with cool hair and sunglasses and 2 guys with mustaches.

13. “Lost on Leaving” – Luke Roberts
Brooklyn meets Nashville, literally.

14. “Bird Child” – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Mariee Sioux
From a Bonnie Prince Billy/Mariee Sioux collaboration that also features a billion or six other interesting musicians. Here is how label Spiritual Pajamas describes it: “Flowering tongues, love skulls, whales trapped in ice, be thou not deceived and touch yourself a hundred times. These songs carve a place in your heart and tattoo your brain for ages to come.”

15. “State of Mind” – Whispertown
Sound like Tegan and Sara. Touring with Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s.

16. “Bird on the Buffalo” – Angus Stone
Because I liked the 2010 album, Down the Way, Angus Stone put out with his sister Julia. I can’t decide yet about his solo efforts. I like his nasally Bob Dylan affect (that sounds sarcastic, but I mean it), but overall it’s maybe a bit too hip-soundtrack-to-a-WB-teen-series?

17. “From Finner” – Of Monsters and Men
Because I believe two songs from one band on a mix are okay.

19. “Honolulu Blues” – Craig Finn
Because I recently had a conversation with someone about how Hawaii was the saddest place they’d ever lived. Craig Finn is the dude from the Hold Steady, who writes about Jesus, sings about drugs and performs like a former musical-theater major. (This is from his debut solo album)

20. “Radio” – Lana Del Ray
Because I don’t understand why everyone hates her?

21. “Voices” - Soft Metals
More Portland natives, currently living in Los Angeles. From the same label (Captured Tracks) as Blouse.

22. “Everybody Loves a Lover” – Doris Day
Because they do, don’t they?

{click to download}

‘Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do

I have probably written about Rihanna more than any other celebrity. Mostly because I don’t generally write about celebrities (though I also seem to write about Leann Rimes quite often …). But also because Rihanna’s whole weird S&M-princess-meets-Tammy-Wynette-thing fascinates me.

Last week on Blisstree I wrote about how Rihanna and ex-boyfriend, abuser and musical collaborator Chris Brown both grew up witnessing domestic violence. Rihanna’s dad abused her mother, and Brown’s stepdad abused his mother. I think that’s important to any musings on what’s up there. Also:

I think Amanda Dobbins at Vulture nails it here, with “The Argument You’re Having With Yourself About Rihanna and Chris Brown;” it’s also a nice summary of the argument the Internet is having about Rihanna and Chris Brown. Clearly, the publicity is good for both their albums (Perez Hilton’s post about it was pretty accurately titled “Rihanna & Chris Brown mind-fuck the world”). And who are we to say … yada yada yada. But in the end, what it keeps coming back to is: Maybe Rihanna is in an abusive relationship. Maybe Rihanna is ‘a very famous, very rich, very talented 24-year-old in an abusive relationship.’

So, that. Or maybe she’s not, you know? This is a woman who’s recorded songs about abusive relationships and whips and chains and talked about being sexually submissive in Rolling Stone magazine. In short: She’s no shrining violet.

Which is what makes this whole Rihanna and Chris Brown narrative so puzzling. When we saw pop divas of previous generations stay with men who abused them, the women were usually somehow dependent on their abusers. Think Tina Turner. Or even Whitney Houston. (Yes, she was already famous by the time she married Bobby Brown, but drugs are another kind of dependency—or, enabling someone can make them dependent on you). Rihanna, however … She’s the bigger celebrity. She’s in no way dependent on Chris Brown. And she seems to have her shit together. She seems to have her shit together and she chooses to work or be with a man who nearly killed her. And she’s kind of defiantly proud about that.

A few days ago, I read about how she tweeted a line from her 2009 song “Hard” in the midst of all the ‘open letter to Rihannaetc. etc. etc. hoopla and the rumors about her and Brown’s upcoming collaboration.

They can say whatever, Ima do whatever…No pain is forever<—–YUP! YOU KNOW THIS

The first thing I thought of was “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do,” the early female blues standard written by  Porter Grainger and most associated with Bessie Smith, who recorded the song in 1923 (it was also recorded by Billie Holiday and bunches of others). Here are a few lines:

Well, I’d rather my man would hit me / Than follow him to jump up and quit me / Ain’t nobody’s business if I do

I swear, I won’t call no copper / If I’m beat up by my papa / Ain’t nobody’s business if I do

A long time ago I wrote a paper I’ve long-since lost about early female blues singers. It turned me on to folks like Bessie Smith, Trixie Smith, Lucille Bogan and Ma Rainy. Pandora has since turned me on to many others. If you haven’t heard much classic female blues, you will probably be surprised by how dirty! it can get. Bogan in particular—whew. There’s also a wonderful playfulness, though, and an awesomely feminist bent. They challenged prevailing gender roles and ideas about sexuality and femininity. Rainy—billed ‘the Mother of the Blues’—was married to a man but slept with women. Here’s Rainy’s “Prove It On Me”:

I went out last night with a crowd of my friends,
It must’ve been women, ‘cause I don’t like no men.
Wear my clothes just like a fan
Talk to the gals just like any old man

Cause they say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me
Sure got to prove it on me.

Lesbians were fairly common on the classic blues circuit. Mike Rugan’s ‘Uncensored History of the Blues’ blog introduced me to Bogan’s B.D. Woman’s Blues (She recorded it under the name Bessie Jackson). B.D. stood for bull dyke (or bull dagger).

Comin’ a time, B.D. women they ain’t going to need no men
Comin’ a time, B.D. women they ain’t going to need no men
Cause they way treat us is a lowdown dirty sin

B.D. women, you sure can’t understand
B.D. women, you sure can’t understand
They got a head like a sweet angel and they walk just like a natural
man

And, just for fun, here’s “Shave ‘Em Dry,” a song recorded in 1935 by Bogan:

I got nipples on my titties
Big as the end of my thumb
I got somethin between my legs
That’ll make a dead-man come

So—lots of sex. Lots of lesbians. Also lots of honesty about what it was like to be a black woman at the beginning of last century. Some of the songs are camp. Some of the songs are heartbreaking. And “Tain’t Nobody’s Business” wasn’t the only song defending or celebrating an abusive lover. Not only was early female blues full of lesbians, it was full of women “repeatedly left, beaten, cheated on, and ignored, only to forgive their lover because of his sexual prowess. Here’s Trixie Smith’s “You’ve Got to Beat Me to Keep Me” (also written by Porter Grainger; clearly dude has some issues):

You’ve got to beat me to keep me, cause mama loves a hard boiled man
So don’t you let no man cheat me, if he’s got a good right hand.
Beat me up for breakfast, knock me down for tea,
Black my eye for supper, then you’re pleasing me.
You’ve got to beat me to keep me, cause mama loves a hard boiled man.

Here’s Ma Rainey’s “Sweet Rough Man:”

I woke up this mornin’, my head as sore as a boil
My man beat me last night with five feet of copper coil

… But the way he loves me, makes me soon forget

There are tons of fascinating things about early blues ladies I want to ramble on about, but! that is not the point here. The point is about Rihanna: She’s certainly not the first female singer to defend being with someone who beats her. She’s just the first in a while.

The point is also agency: They were reclaiming it.

So is Rihanna making a feminist statement in flaunting her friendliness with Chris Brown? I certainly wouldn’t be the first to point out that by being so publicly congenial to Brown, by defining the terms of their relationship, she could be trying to reclaim agency, to set herself up as not-a-victim, to show she was not afraid of him.

I also wouldn’t be the first to point out that no one’s sure whether they are friends, lovers or trying to stir up a lot of publicity for their new songs.

But Rihanna isn’t just friendly to Chris Brown. She doesn’t just project forgiveness. After (reluctantly) leaving Brown, she puts out a hot violent sex song with Eminem. She puts out her own song called “S&M.” She says things like:

“Sometimes whips and chains can be overly planned – you gotta stop, get the whip from the drawer downstairs. . . . I’d rather have him use his hands.”

Clearly she gets some level of enjoyment from being roughed up and being submissive.

… And she’s, like, not afraid to talk about it? Which is … cool. But also not cool because rough sex shouldn’t really have anything to do with actual violence, and people get easily confused.

But it doesn’t really matter. She’s not asking us to like her decisions—she’s just kind of making us acknowledge that she is making decisions. For personal or professional or whatever reasons, she is choosing what she’s choosing, and she believes in these choices. She believes that making them doesn’t disempower her.

Cause it ain’t nobody’s business if we do

And maybe that’s right. If we believe women are fully-autonomous people and all of that—well, we have to respect the choices they make, even when we don’t agree with them. Which doesn’t meant we can’t talk about them. If you collaborate with an ex who nearly killed you on two songs released the same day, you have made the discussion part of the pop culture public domain. And I do think issues like this are instructive. On the one hand, it’s pop gossip. On the other hand, the stories we tell about celebrities both reflect and resonate with the society who tells them. They become allegories. Rihanna and Chris Brown have no reasonable expectation of bloggers, entertainment TV hosts and kids on Twitter not talking about them. But!—

Maybe “not blaming the victim” isn’t the point. Maybe the best way to not take away a woman like Rihanna’s agency is to blame her fully—to acknowledge/accept that she has reasons for making the choices she’s making and doesn’t care if we approve or understand.

Just some thoughts …

okartparty: a february 2012 mix

It’s been entirely too long since I’ve last posted a new mix up here. Here’s what I’ve been listening to so far in 2012. It’s mostly new-ish with some old and some last-decade. So: Submitted for the approval of the midnight society:

okartparty — a february 2012 mix 

Some Place // Nick Waterhouse
I Cover the Waterfront // Billie Holiday
The Youth // MGMT
Only Someone Running // Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Matt Sweeney
Shallow // Beach Fossils
Awake My Body // Alexander
Paper Trail (remixed) // Atta Boy
The Lion’s Roar // First Aid Kit
Trouble // The Babies
Serpent // Sharon Van Etten
A Hundred Highways // Dirty Beaches
Bad Girls // M.I.A.
Fire (Folked Out 4-Track Version) // The Submarines
Unrequited Love // Lykke Li
Something In The Water // Brooke Fraser
I Slept With All Your Mothers // Harriet
Berkeley Pier // Tilt
Twisted Little Blades // Little Barrie

click to download

* [dedicated to Morgan McNaught, who asked me on gchat the other day why I hadn't shared any music in so long, and whose house in Chicago I was living at this time last year.]

heat wave/lavender wild {a mid-summer 2011 mix}

As promised (to myself, anyway),  the second installment in my 2011 summer mix tape trilogy (first installment here); a little late to be classified as ‘mid-summer,’ perhaps, but So. Awesome. that I’m sure you’ll forgive me. The past two months have been really good months for music, as far as I’m concerned. New albums from Beirut, YACHT and Ducktails, and new LPs or singles from Woods, Best Coast, Jens Lekman, Real Estate, and Forest Fire—I mean, seriously? Thank you, Summer 2011, thank you. And you wanna give me a whole album of Buddy Holly covers as an added bonus? You’re too much, really. Aural exuberance overload of the best kind ….

 

heat wave/lavender wild {a mid-summer 2011 mix}
DOWNLOAD

Tracks:

East Harlem – Beirut
Pure joy, really. Combine this with the YACHT song following it, and I triple dare you not to feel a little burst of happiness. 

Shangri-La – YACHT
This seems like a departure to me from previous YACHT albums (I’m thinking ‘Psychic City’), but I could just not be remembering previous YACHT albums correctly. Anyway: BY FAR my favorite song on this mix; upbeat, poppy, and it’s not only about Los Angeles (a city I love), but about starting a commune in Los Angeles (an idea friends and I have discussed many times). “If we build a utopia will you come and stay? Shangri-la la la la la la la la la ….”

Our Deal – Best Coast
Thanks to Ms. Rachel Steinberg for sharing this adorable Romeo & Juliet a la swoopy-haired teens on Brooklyn-rooftops video, directed by Drew Barrymore and featuring Arrested Development’s Maebe {you’ve probably already seen it, but if not}.

Find Them Empty – Woods
I love Woods; I’ve said it 2 million times on here, and I think I’ve run out of ways to profess my love for them other than that …

It’s Real – Real Estate
I think I creeped Real Estate lead singer Alex Bleeker out the other day when I cut my twitter follows down to 80 (that’s practically 3 in twitter numbers) and he made the cut … But I’ve got a soft spot for Greenpoint boys, having lived there myself not long ago; and an Alex Bleeker & the Freaks show at Monster Island Basement a few years ago where they first played the ‘Touch-of-Gey’-inspired ‘Getting By’ was one of the best shows I’ve seen (I’m more of a AB&TF fan than Real Estate, but I’m actually really digging this song …). Dear Alex: Can you & the Freaks please cover Thunder Road sometime?

Right Away – Vetiver
Two points for any song that mentions living in Ohio!

Middle Cyclone – Neko Case

(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care – Cee-Lo Green
Unnervingly catchy, from the overall-great Buddy Holly cover-album Rave On Buddy Holly.

An Argument With Myself – Jens Lekman
Weird and catchy and slightly irritating and slightly funny; very in the vein of ‘Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo’ or ‘The Opposite of Hallelujah,’ but with more of Jens talking to himself …

Sympathique – Ben l’Oncle Soul
Thanks to Rachel for this one as well. French soul music. If you can’t get behind French soul music, I can’t get behind you.

Rhubarb Girl – Ducktails
More Greenpoint boys! I think … I may be wrong about this one … regardless, I have a hard time not loving any part of the Woodsist cabal …

Future Shadows – Forest Fire
I have seriously been waiting for years for a new Forest Fire album, as in, probably searching every 6 months since 2008 to make sure I wasn’t missing anything new by them; that’s how much I loved their 2008 album ‘Survival.’ Well the wait is (almost) over—Future Shadows is the first single from Staring at the X, which is supposed to be released in October. {Oh, this song doesn’t disappoint, p.s.} {And thanks to Courtney for the tip}

Ohio – Boy + Kite
From the debut album of this Austin-based band. This song really gets me at the beginning, but the chorus gets really, like, late-90s psuedo-indie pop, if that’s such a thing … Mixed feelings on the album as a whole, really. I can’t remember why I downloaded it, nor why I included it here …

The Rose With the Broken Neck – Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi & Jack White
Because I apparently can’t resist Jack White duets?

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know – Herman Dune

Not Fade Away – Florence + the Machine
More from the Buddy Holly album.

Hop Pala – Stephan & Haigaz
I’m gonna let Rcrd Lbl handle this one: “Hop Pala,” a haunting cut off a new three-disc set of music from the Ottoman-American diaspora between 1916-1929 curated by Ian Nagoski and released by curatorial masters Tompkins Square, is the soundtrack of immigration. We hear this music and think of places and times both strange and foreign, yet the compilation is called To What Strange Place because that place for these musicians was New York City. Artists like Stepan & Haigaz populated small pockets of major Manhattan neighborhoods and eventually Astoria, Queens. This was their folk music, a way to keep their unique culture alive in a strange new world, yet it’s still resonant today.

Let’s Do Something Impossible – William Elliott Whitmore
The opposite of the authenticity of the song above … I used to argue with my friend JVLaB about William Elliott Whitmore, because he hated his ‘shtick’ of being all depression-era bluegrassy. Okay, okay—but he does it so well ….

Bury Me Beneath the Willow – Linda Stoffel & Blackberry Winter
From the soundtrack of the gorgeous and creepy Winter’s Bone.

Shady Grove – Shrimp Boat

From a 2005 album from the mostly 80s/early-90s Chicago band Shrimp Boat. This is another album I have no idea how it came to me, but I’ve been listening to it a lot …

Sea Past: A Summer 2011 Mix, Part I

{I made this mix and wrote this post at the end of May and then never published it. Summer!}

Coney Island Ferris Wheel

These songs make me want to be at Coney Island, two years ago, wearing a romper and a big gold elephant charm on a chain and drinking tall cans of Coors Light, when Brooklyn was still new. Or sitting on the gravel in a Columbia Heights backyard circa 2009, wearing a sundress and grilling veggie burgers and DC all new friends and limitless possibilities. In a mini-van dipping pringles in peanut butter, smushed by blow-up rafts and hoop batons, heading from New York City to some place quieter where we cook things on fires. On my old roommate rooftop with the pool, grilling squash and making up rap songs about libertarians.

All of these places, flashes of scenes from the beginnings of summers past—those wonderful days and nights when the heat wasn’t yet too oppressive, and the whole damn season seemed exciting! and full of potential! and epic! From now on, I’m only having transcendental experiences, one could say. And really believe it.

I guess that’s where we are right now, isn’t it? The end of May/Beginning of June. That gorgeously-anxious time when the summer is a blank slate, just waiting for us to fill with camping trips and beach outings and grill-outs and new friends and love love love and late nights and pool parties and tecate, and maybe this year you won’t even get so many bug bites. Maybe.

I love this time of year. And I love soundtracking this time of year. So here’s my best attempt, guys. Part one of my (third wait, fourth annual) Summer Mixtape Trilogy (vow for this year: I will actually post all three installments; I always make three, but seems I haven’t actually posted all three since summer 2008). [Ed note: Taking  a month to post this first mix doesn't bode well on that front...] Cheers.

Sea Past: A Summer 2011 Mix, Part I
{Download}

1. Ten-Twenty-Ten // Generationals
{earlier this summer, I thought this was totally a contender for Summer Song of 2011; I have since changed my silly mind}

2. Planter’s Song // Shrimp Boat

3. Half Rat // Shannon and the Clams
{I’m really still undecided whether I like this song or find it annoying}

4. Lord Knows Best //  Dirty Beaches
{favorite}

5. Ring Me To Sleep // Woods

6. Who Are You // The Elected

7. Heavy Storm // First Aid Kit

8. Waiting For My Chance To Come // Noah and the Whale
{It finally ocurred to me, after being a vague, unconscious thought for months, that song sounds just like certain Tom Petty}

9. Drunk But Not With Wine // Herman Dune
{2nd favorite}

10. All the Same // Vieux Farka Touré

11. Country Song // Emmy The Great

12. Smoggy Mountain High // Key Losers

13. Phoenix Wind // Yeasayer

14. Ice Cream (Featuring Matias Aguayo) // Battles

15. AwayWay // Ponytail
{see comment on song 3}

16. I Know Places // Lykke Li

17. After_Party // Midnight Televison

18. Jupiter Trine // Sun Herbcraft

19. Postcard From 1952 // Explosions In The Sky