21 April 2008


...unless I've already put it on a mix for you. Of course I made a Muxtape. It’s the greatest internet sensation since YouTube, don’t you know. Click here to listen. The track listing (and some notes):

1. Stars, “Elevator Love Letter”: Four minutes of sustained infatuation and longing, this boy/girl duet should resonate with anyone who has ever nursed a crush on an elusive, unobtainable other, which means everyone should love it.

2. Marit Bergman, “No Party”: The misery and splendor of being alone, according to a woman who so much deserves to be a household name outside her native Sweden (especially with this video).

3. Tamas Wells, “Even in the Crowds”: Winsome, soft-spoken, achingly sad Australian folk-pop that belongs on the same A-level shelf as Paul Simon, Harry Nilsson, Elliot Smith and Stuart Murdoch.

4. Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, “Crowd Surf off a Cliff”: Metric vocalist Haines strips down to nothing but a voice and a piano, but she carries the force of an orchestra with her presence (and those simple but spooky chord changes).

5. Roisin Murphy, “You Know Me Better”: Still only available as an import in the U.S., this ex-Moloko singer’s second solo album features plenty of sublime, tart dance-pop like this, where she very nearly resembles a young, pre-fame Madonna (arguably the best kind of Madonna).

6. The Negro Problem, “Repulsion (Show up Late for Work on Monday)”: Wanted to include some Stew in anticipation of seeing Passing Strange next month. I can’t wait to hear if any of its numbers feature a banjo solo.

7. The Go-Betweens, “Bye Bye Pride”: I adored this one long before its writer/singer died two years ago; it carries even more weight now, like a philosophy or way to live.

8. Saint Etienne, “Are We Gonna Be Alright”: From the band’s fan club CD compilation Boxette, a cover of a song written by Matthew Sweet. So delectably shiny/happy it makes me want to hear Sarah Cracknell’s takes on “Sick of Myself”, “I’ve Been Waiting” and many other gems from Sweet’s catalogue.

9. Imperial Teen, “Room With a View”: This venerable indie rock quartet’s fourth album would’ve ended up high on my top ten list last year if I had heard it in time; this is its centerpiece—pretty astonishing in both how grown-up and giddy it sounds.

10. John Martyn & Beverley Martyn, “Auntie Aviator”: A track I put on my beloved “Mysteries” mix that effortlessly lulls me into an altered, more blissful state every time I hear it.

11. Tompaulin, “Slender”: I just found out these obscure Brits broke up a year or two ago; they were the best band I discovered while writing music reviews for this website, and this powerful, momentous track was the most-played one on my iTunes before I had to move my mp3 library to a new hard drive earlier this year.

12. Belle and Sebastian, “Lazy Line Painter Jane”: They’ve had a fantastic career since recording this single more than a decade ago, but they haven’t topped it. Maybe it was a just a one-of-a-kind, magical convergence of melodic hooks, emphatic lyrics, cathedral organ and snappy, soulful guest vocalist Monica Queen?

No comments: