Sunday, May 17, 2015

Useful Mix

[UPDATE 7/17: Useful Mix is ready for use.]

A work in progress. I’m not still meditating on a theme, just trying to organize a two-hour playlist for one or two discs that I’ll be happy to hear while driving around Albuquerque later this week. (Above image: turning onto Lead from my old apartment.) Upon my return to Minneapolis, check back for the final cut and listening options. Until then, tell me what should stay and what can go. Alphabetically:

Alvvays, “Next of Kin” — Haven’t nearly worn it out, and can’t imagine vacationing without it.

Azealia Banks, “Soda” — Still haven’t figured out if she’s talking about drugs or guys or actually just soda, but whatever the case it’s the musical high point of an album that thrills front to back.

Bedhead, “Half-Thought”

Best Coast, “My Life” — There was a misunderstanding for a while that Best Coast’s lyrics were a weakness, and not a defining feature. So while the new album gets good press here’s my own favorite example from the previous one. If my vacation discs end up with a theme, it starts here.

Broadcast, “Goodbye Girls”

Built To Spill, “Some Other Song” — “Never Be The Same” might have the jaunty Real Estate / The Men (when they’re jaunty) vibe I’d rather hear but I love the way this one’s heavy intro gives way to a dreamy “I can’t wait to get back home to you.”

The Chambermaids, “China Blue” — Not sure how high the bar is but here’s the best song out of Minnesota this decade.

Clarence Carter, “I Can’t Leave Your Love Alone” — Foretold.

Cornershop, “6 A.M. Jullandar Shere” — Foretold.

David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights, “A Break in the Weather”

Dawn Richard feat. Aundrea Fimbres, “Phoenix” — Zac likes it.

DJ Quik, “Puffin the Dragon” — From rockcast to real life.

DJ Rashad feat. Spinn, “Show U How”

Dwight Yoakam, “Sad, Sad Music” — I’ve recently had the chance to explore his early albums and of course the song containing the line “there should be music” was an easy point of entry.

Gang Starr, “As I Read My S-A” — When I started snatching up used Gang Starr discs I hoped for such good songs sequenced past track 15.

Girlpool, “Chinatown” — Luna did it, Destroyer did it, and now Girlpool have done it, written a great song called “Chinatown.” If their live show is any indication, forthcoming Before the World Was Big is gonna be wonderful. Intertwining guitars recall the city at dawn that Television also carved lines into.

Idlewild, “Radium Girl” — Zac likes it.

ILoveMakonnen feat. Rome Fortune & Ceej, “trUe thang”

Jazmine Sullivan, “Silver Lining”

Jenny Lewis, “Aloha & The Three Johns” — Requisite vacation tune.

Jessica Lea Mayfield, “Standing in the Sun” — I blame everyone who didn’t tell me this song existed last year. Surely you knew I’d like it?

The Kinks, “Some Mother’s Son” — Life is sweet.

The Mekons, “Hello Cruel World”

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, “Lots of Lovin”

Prince & The New Power Generation, “Diamonds & Pearls” — Foretold.

Scrawl, “Enough” — Or “Hymn,” or “Begin.” From Smallmouth, not highly regarded but the kind of 27-minute album full of distinct guitar parts and measured vocals I end up playing more than most of my other buys.

Springtime Carnivore, “Foxtrot Freak (Something in the Atmosphere)” — Disc one, track one.

Supergrass, “Low C” — Knew the day I heard it that this song would one day be ten years old.

Swervedriver, “For A Day Like Tomorrow” — The beauty of their new album still seems impossible to me.

Tinashe, “Wrong” — The second song from Amethyst, not Walking Wounded, but it all comes out the same.

Tori Amos, “Jackie’s Strength” — Foretold.

Warren G, “Super Soul Sis” — Maybe it’s a more common practice than I realize but it seems remarkable to me that a major album by a male MC gives over an entire track to a female MC (though I had to look elsewhere but the liner notes for her name). Also remarkable, the beat. If it’s not the album’s best, it’s at least the quickest to recall a summer ’95 four or five pm vibe, the time of day when Oprah and Hard Copy aired.

We All Together, “Little Boy” — Lifts the opening of “Imagine” but the words go to a different place: “Think of your mother and all the things she did just for you.”

YG, “I Just Wanna Party” — It’s almost time to celebrate the one year anniversary of listening to this a lot on the bus to summer school.

Young Guv, “Kelly, I’m Not A Creep” — Best power pop I’ve heard in ages, not that I’ve tried very hard. So big.

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