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Top 15 Tracks I Listened to in 2007 (According to Last.fm) January 20, 2008

Posted by reidmix in Best of 2007, Carpark, Free MP3, Indie, Labels, Lists, Music, PawTracks, States Rights, SubPop, Warp.
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As I stated earlier about my iPod conundrum, Last.fm has statistics more closely approximate my listening habits this year. With the introduction of rolling charts that I was hoping for last year, I thought I’d also list my Last.fm top 15 tracks in my 2007 end of year round-up.

With my “Best Of” lists I aim for diversity listing each band once, highest track count wins. For Last.fm, these include releases in 2007 and earlier. Also, since it’s easier to get free, legal music these days, I will try to link to the song when I can.

Can you spot the pattern?

01. Bro’s by Panda Bear
The first song I heard off of “Person Pitch” was Good Girl / Carrots, but Bro’s is the album’s masterpiece, clocking in over 12 minutes long. That’s alot of Panda Bear! [myspace] Bonus: First song off of “Person Pitch,” Comfy in Nautica [mp3]

02. My Life’s Alright Without You by No Age
This song reminds me of one of my favorite HNIA albums “King of Sweet” and thus is one of my favorite songs off their debut collection of singles. [mp3]

03. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend
Yes, again. I really do love this song. [mp3]

04. Little Mistakes by Lucky Dragons
I’m surprised that this song is the top Lucky Dragon’s songs I listen to — a short instrumental from the epic “A Sewing Circle” album (47 songs). [mp3]

05. Dumb Luck by Dntel
This song sets the album’s tone. It’s a soft introductory number that speaks of ethos and regret. It’s the only song on the album of the same name that is not a collaboration and is all Jimmy Tamborello. [mp3]

06. Carry Around by Annuals
I enjoy the freneticism of this song and especially the opening lyrics “I got magic in my head / magic up my nose / magic coming out my fingers / magic crying out my eyes / I’ve got magic everywhere I fucking look.” [video]

07. Belarus by Low
Sometimes those cryptic songs with the power of repetitious lyrics hold the strongest hold when played over tight electronic loops and dubs. Is this song about a landlocked Russian republic? [live mp3]

08. I Am John by Loney, Dear
These song’s lyrics respond to my gay side, the want of a love of a boy. Swedish Emil Svanängen may not have a gay side, but I do 🙂 [mp3 reposted] Bonus: Another super addictive song, The City The Airport [CSS Remix] [mp3]

09. Prozac by Ollie Byrd
I really love Ollie Byrd’s album, so many good songs that get under your skin in a post-punk no-wave kinda way. Pixiesesque. [mp3]

10. This Sentence Will Ruin / Save Your Life by Born Ruffians
If I could factor in the amount of times I played this in my car, it would probably rank #1. I look forward to their debut, let’s hope it was cheaper than their EP. [mp3] Bonus, best Grizzly Bear Knife cover, ever. [mp3]

11. Hold On, C’mon by We All Have Hooks for Hands
I can thank Indiefeed for this jewel — there’s some Arcade Fire magic lurking in there. I pay it forward: [mp3]

12. Shunpoudoh by radicalfashion
There are two songs from this album, “Odori” that pop my lid on an electronic-The Books kinda way. You have to go to their site to hear it: [myspace] Bonus: Here’s a sample of the other, Thousand (feat Carl Stone) [mp3 sample]

13. Photocopier by Fujiya & Miyagi
Me and my thousand indie-blogger friends would like to introduce you to Fujiya & Miyagi, a anglo-trio from , Brighton, England. You have to go to their site to hear this Photocopier. [myspace] Update: I found it. Bonus: another good krautrock inspired song from “Transparent Things,” Cassettesingle [mp3]

14. A Great by Curium
Two songs in one, from this e.e.cummings lovefest. The first part of the song is “A Great” sounds like it is delivered straight from The Matrix. [indiefeed podcast] Also: first track off of “Nowever”, Seeker of Truth. [mp3]

15. There Are Too Many Birds by Arthur & Yu
I am smitten with Arthur & Yu. It reminds me of my love affair I had with OP8 featuring Lisa Germano in the late 90s. Thanks Dntel, folk at it’s best. [mp3 reposted] Bonus: the other single, Come to View (Song for Neil Young) on their debut album. [mp3]

If you notice, I really have to thank Subpop for a great year — if a song isn’t on Subpop, it will be (I’m talkin to you No Age). Next, my top bands listened to according to Last.fm.

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Top 15 Tracks I Listened to in 2007 (According to iTunes) January 6, 2008

Posted by reidmix in Arts & Crafts, Beggars Banquet, Best of 2007, Carpark, FatCat, Free MP3, Indie, Labels, Lists, Merge Records, Music, PawTracks, Reviews, Song Reviews, SubPop.
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I had a strange situation with my iTunes this year.

I listened to many tracks both on my desktop computer at work AND a laptop computer my work supplied me at home or away from the office. All my iPod listens get synced to my work computer. The strange thing that happened was that I moved to a new company this year, and only have partial information for my iTunes tracks because I only brought along my work catalog from work — which is the most authoritative for me.

So even though, I cannot get my iPod numbers to relay to last.fm, my last.fm tracks are probably more accurate this year. Nonetheless, I love that I get different lists from both of these sources. I’m always surprised by the songs I end up listening to over and over, many of which are tied for the same place. I want to share some great songs all of which came out in 2007.

01. To a Fault by Dntel
What a wonderful collaberation with Grizzly Bear, a truly beautiful song. Hear it on [myspace].

02. Shunpoudoh by radicalfashion
Oh this sweet piece of japanese electronica, it reminds me of “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell” by The Flaming Lips. Take a listen at their [myspace] page.

03. Bro’s by Panda Bear
iTunes is a little off, I have listens from the single, the live version, and the album version which would put it at #1 — not to mention the car. Listen to an edited version on [myspace].

04. Now, Now by St. Vincent
First song off her amazing debut, starts off with a kick and steals your heart away. [mp3]

05. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend
How much fun is this song, with the music and fashion references (and well placed swears)! Can’t wait for their debut album this month. [mp3 reposted]

06. I Wanna Sleep by No Age
Reminds me of the best “King of Sweet” by HNIA — from a perfect album that is compiled from single releases. Wow. [mp3]

07. Sorry About the Delay by [Blank]
Also similar in spirit to Shunpoudoh above from this folksy, electronica band. [indeefeed podcast]

08. Ankle Injuries by Fujiya & Miyagi
One of my favorite songs off this impeccable album from this British trio. [mp3]

09. Heretics by Andrew Bird
I felt this song rose above to another level than any other on this album with the exception of “Plasticities”. Two amazing songs. [mp3]

10. Black Mirror by Arcade Fire
The first preview of Arcade Fire’s sophomoric effort, oh the anticipation! [mp3]

11. We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives by Los Campesinos!
How much fun is this Welsh band, another band I cannot wait for their debut. [mp3]

12. Wham City by Dan Deacon
Oh the wack of Dan Deacon, the videos are just as precious. Here’s an edited [mp3].

13. I Am John by Loney, Dear
I bought this album within the first 30 seconds of hearing this song. [mp3]

14. Forever Heavy by Black Moth Super Rainbow
All the elements I love and it’s super sweet psychedelia. [mp3]

15. Werewolf by CocoRosie
One of my favorites from this awesome album (more later). [mp3]

Next, 15 more according to Last.fm!

Top 10 Bands in 2006 (According to Last.fm) January 14, 2007

Posted by reidmix in Asthmatic Kitty, Band Reviews, Best of 2006, FatCat, Free MP3, Kanine, Kill Rock Stars, Labels, Lists, Music, PawTracks, Reviews, Silver Mountain, Tomlab, Warp.
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I started using Last.fm just over a year ago, and the top 10 bands are representative of what I’ve been listening to for the past year. Granted, it doesn’t log the songs I listen to in the car or on my iPod, but Last.fm is still spot on!

In fact, I’ve been debating whether to reset my account so that it will regenerate a new list over the next year. I don’t have this reset ability in iTunes (well, not without losing things like all my ratings), and my top 10 tracks have been the same since 2003.

I love top 10 lists, they are such a good cross-section of someone’s listening tastes and when you find a common band that you and the reviewer love, then it’s like a free pass to try out up to nine other bands if you’ve never heard of them. I found (free, legal) tracks for each band and I hope that you enjoy what you hear!

01. Animal Collective on FatCat Records and their own Paw Tracks
Last.fm has it right, I was completely overtaken by Animal Collective this year. Both completely (re) inventing their own genre of music and becoming masters of it, their realization of “Freak Folk” is more like electronic tribalism. This band is not for everyone (esp. critics), and each album has their share of stinkers, but I adore this band.

02. The Books on Tomlab and their official site
Highly intellectual (look at those track and album names below), The Books are mesmerizing genius. It was such a joy to see them live and discover that their songs could be stripped down to the core sound of cello and guitar (or banjo). Again, this band may not be for everyone, their songs demand your full attention, but they will get under your skin.

03. The Flaming Lips on their official site
First with the anime-riffic album Yoshi Battles the Pink Robots and then the Bush bashing At War with the Mystics, this major label band often gets indie band status. (You try to find free legal mp3s, thanks Warner!)

04. His Name Is Alive on their official site
HNIA was my favorite band in the ’90s before they went into a soul searching tangent into blues. The last album Detrola brought back everything they learned and amped up their sound to the happy discovery of a new generation of listeners. I’m glad they are still in my top 10.

05. Of Montreal on Polyvinyl Record Co. and their official site
Of Montreal use their distinctive sound (like no other) on a full discography of kaleidoscopic (theme? beatles-esqe?) albums. By the time I discovered them, there was quite a back catalog to examine. I highly recommend their KCRW appearance if you come across it.

06. Deerhoof on Kill Rock Stars
You can gain a great perspective on Deerhoof’s growth from all their free mp3s. Such a great band to see live, simple, sparse, and songs that are so anthemic that fans could name that song in just 3 notes.

07. Sufjan Stevens on his own Asthmatic Kitty
The boy genius from 2005 with the release of Illinois, came back this year with both a scrappy little sequel called The Avalanche and the official release of Songs for Christmas which had been floating around the internet prior. I look forward to another States album or something akin to Seven Swans.

08. Lali Puna on Morr Music and thier official site
Lali Puna and Ms. John Soda both may sound similar but are the best bands on Morr. And you can find members of Lali Puna come up in many incarnations such as John Yoko (highly recommend this single). I just adore Lali Puna and their albums get better and better. Morr Music might allow you to freely download high-res artwork and bios from their press-desk, but forget trying to find mp3s: go check out some songs on Epitonic or Bleep.

09. Grizzly Bear on Kanine Records and Warp Records
The harmonies these guys can do are comparible to the Beach Boys or The Beatles, and man they can belt it out in a live perfomance. I have to admit, their remix album of Horns of Plenty is my favorite, and a gateway album to amazing artists like Final Fantasy, Simon Bookish, Dntel and many others.

10. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone on Tomlab and their official site
It’s no surprise that CFTPA ended up on my list, I would guess that if I had discovered them earlier in the year they would have ranked higher. Check out the Young Shields EP with the Cyndi Lauper cover (ok, Prince wrote “When you were mine”, but he wrote everything back then).

You’re Not Supposed To (Video) August 9, 2006

Posted by reidmix in Labels, Memphis Industries, Music, Videos.
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Adorable Field Music plays “You’re Not Supposed To” in somewhere in The North. Adorable. You can also find the quicktimed-up, all-quality, squeeze-it-on-your-ipod version on the extended version of the self-titled album.

Adorable

Loving the Loving Sounds of Static July 30, 2006

Posted by reidmix in Free MP3, Ghostly International, Labels, Music, Reviews, Song Reviews.
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Mobius Band - The Loving Sounds of StaticWhen my iPod follows me into bed and parks itself on my night-stand, chances are I have song or album that’s a keeper. When I play that song on repeat, I know I’ve got an instant classic. Mobius Band‘s “The Loving Sounds of Static” stands out on the sampler Idol Tryouts 2: Ghoslty International, Vol. 2. and positions itself as a quintessential indie electronic song.

The song’s arrangement seems to follow in the same spirit as “Everything’s Gone Green” by New Order. Similarities include an addictive bass-line that requires multiple plays and a bright melody blinking over the song like an old neon marquee. The vocals sing like wanting with lyrics “You know your head / won’t suggest / anything that hasn’t passed the test / by 1996 / That’s not part of it”. Lyrics like these are anthemic for all indie music: “This world’s not right / It’s a losing fight / This music’s not / What you want”.

“The Loving Sounds of Static” epitomizes what I wanted for Robert Schipul and hollAnd’s collaboration on The American Scene. Although that is one of my favorite unsung albums, there’s a discordance between the electronic and indie sides of the album where “The Loving Sounds of Static” seems to succeed at from the starting gate.

Although there’s no trace of a guitar, the song bounces with a jingle-jangle which implies there should be plenty of those indie strings. In fact, the video (see following post) and the version on off their first full length album (of the same name) realize the song in its full guitar splendor. Personally, I prefer the electronic version of the sampler CD with it’s quieter vocals and heavy bass hooks.

Update: The album version of the song is — in fact — the original version. The version on Idol Tryouts was remixed by Junior Boys. Is the genius in the song or in the remix? I will explore and report back!

Discovered on Idol Tryouts 2: Ghoslty International, Vol. 2 from eMusic through Matthew Dear. Album version [mp3] from Ghostly International