Monday, September 21, 2015

Mux180: October 2015

Download or stream. The choice is yours!

Somehow this became the mux of ripped songs that've yet to officially drop. Not trying to be all cutting-edge, but sometimes cherry-picking advance singles is easier than wading through the usual glut of albums. Continuing to break all the rules regarding Battles, since La Di Da Di has plenty of legs. I've been air-drumming "Non-Violence" all week.

And for those who've been complaining of too-long muxes, this is the shortest one since June. If I excluded "Let It Happen," it'd be even more compact. I already went ahead and chopped off the end of "Under The Pressure" since, well, that kind of just floats along forever.

1. El Vy - I'm The Man To Be (El Vy)
2. Black Lips - Freedom Fries (Freedom Fries / Watch Your Back 7")
3. Deerhunter - Breaker (Fading Frontier)
4. Chromatics - Shadow (Excerpt) (Dear Tommy)
5. Wavves X Cloud Nothings - Nervous (No Life For Me)
6. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal (Sunbathing Animal)
7. Tame Impala - Let It Happen (Currents)
8. Big Grams* - Fell In The Sun (Big Grams EP)
9. Battles - Non-Violence (La Di Da Di)
10. HEALTH - Life (Death Magic)
11. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Just Wait (Surf)
12. The War On Drugs - Under The Pressure (Edit) (Lost In The Dream)

*Big Grams, e.g. Phantogram and Big Boi, is the best left-field collab in a while.

TRT 48:25

Rookies: Big Grams, El Vy

2015 music: Battles, Big Grams, Black Lips, Chromatics, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Deerhunter, El Vy, HEALTH, Tame Impala, Wavves X Cloud Nothings

Monday, September 14, 2015

JDK's Likely Top Four Albums of the Year

Alphabetical since, really, it's sort of a four-way tie.

Battles - La Di Da Di (leak)

The advance singles sort of got my hopes up for something... uh... more substantial? Hate to say it but I'm a bit disappointed with a great album since it's not a super-great album. It continues the somewhat-maddening trend of Battles putting a bunch of experimental two-minute songs into longer cuts. Granted, said two-minute experiments are a lot better than the two-minute experiments on Mirrored and Gloss Drop.

HEALTH - Death Magic

I never thought I'd call a HEALTH album a grower. That, and it sounds weirdly uplifting in parts, like on "Life."

Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire

Same with skipping My Bloody Valentine for their reunion tour in Chicago, I will never forgive myself for skipping this show in Portland. This is Lightning Bolt at the height of their control of noise. This could be their last album and I'd be happy.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love

Consider this the dark horse. It's simultaneously one of the best rock, funk, and dance records of the year.

Knee-jerk reaction update: Obligatory mention that Deerhunter's Fading Frontier and Chromatics' Dear Tommy could also place. Probably a shout for Big Grams' (Phantogram and Big Boi in one of the best longshot collabs ever) EP. Not expecting Radiohead this year, but if they somehow get out an LP, that's another one for the potential list.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mux179: Mr. Mux Strikes Back


I've broken my rule of not having the same band on two consecutive muxes. Well, doubly accidental that Battles has been on three muxes in a row, but "FF Bada" is quickly becoming one of my favorite Battles tracks. Also considering "The Yabba," La Di Da Di is pretty much a lock for my shortlist for my favorite albums of the year. It'll definitely be great to hear the studio version of the album in a week or two before I see them live in early October. Hoping to see some familiar faces at First Ave. who will front-row-it with me.

1. The Black Keys - Bullet In The Brain (Turn Blue)
2. Destroyer - Dream Lover (Poison Season)
3. Titus Andronicus - Come On, Siobhan (The Most Lamentable Tragedy)
4. Cymbals Eat Guitars - LifeNet (LOSE)
5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Can't Keep Checking My Phone (Multi-Love)
6. Brian Eno & Kyle Hyde - Cells & Bells (High Life)
7. Ought - Habit (More Than Any Other Day)
8. Built To Spill - So (Untethered Moon)
9. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
10. The Go! Team - The Power Is On (Thunder, Lightning, Strike [Original Version])
11. Battles - FF Bada (La Di Da Di)
12. Caribou - Your Love Will Set You Free (C2's Set U Free Remix) (Our Love [Expanded Edition])

TRT 57:14

2015 music: Battles, Built To Spill, Destroyer, Titus Andronicus, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mux178: September 2015

8:21 p.m. central update: I've reuploaded the mux as "mux178-fixed.mp3" in the Dropbox link. The ending Battles track is still slightly distorted on the low end (especially around the 51 minute mark, since it goes into the bass basement), but it was a rip that was very low-volume (and so it's low volume compared to the rest of the mux), so this is the best I can do before La Di Da Di proper comes out. As far as I can tell, it's an Audacity problem, so if you crank the volume you won't get any more distortion than what's already there. You're welcome or something.

Damage control: Re-encoding the mux because apparently "The Yabba" didn't like being pumped up 6 dB.


And yes, "September Gurls" has been on the to-be-muxed playlist for a few years now. Finally a September came around where it could start things off.

1. Big Star - September Gurls (Radio City)
2. Tame Impala - Past Life (Currents)
3. Prince and The Revolution - I Would Die 4 U (Purple Rain)
4. Deerhunter - Snakeskin (Fading Frontier)
5. HEALTH - Flesh World (UK) (Death Magic)
6. The Chemical Brothers - Go (Born In The Echoes)
7. Beach House - Sparks (Depression Cherry)
8. Miguel - Coffee (Wildheart)
9. Thundercat - Lone Wolf And Cub (The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam)
10. Moonface - Dreamy Summer (Julia With Blue Jeans On)
11. Wavves X Cloud Nothings - Nothing Hurts (No Life For Me)
12. Battles - The Yabba (La Di Da Di)

TRT 54:01

Rookies: Big Star

2015 music: Battles, Beach House, The Chemical Brothers, Deerhunter, HEALTH, Miguel, Tame Impala, Wavves X Cloud Nothings

Saturday, August 8, 2015

JDK's Favorite Albums of 2015 Thus Far (Part 2)

People tend to like lists. So here's another one of the albums that came out since my May list of prospective albums that I'd consider my favorites of the year.

Obligatory hand-wringing that you should notice I say favorite albums, not best. Music is far too subjective to have anything as definitive. Let's just say that I have such major beef with a site that rhymes with Bitchpork insofar that I completely avoided their 2014 year-end list and felt really good about keeping my blood pressure low when they (probably) shafted my favorites.

Frontrunner: Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire (still): I hate myself for skipping their show at Dante's in Portland because of some unfounded fear of going to venues I've never been to before; that, and the perpetual fear that LB will break up before their next LP. (Nevermind that I saw them before and, honestly, it was pretty impossible to tell what they were playing. Moreso hating myself for not bringing my LP to possibly get signed since the two Brians are very nice guys considering their crazed music.) Fantasy Empire is definitely one of LB's best. The reasons why are so specific to each album, but the absolutely heaviness of this album seems to eclipse their earlier work. Nevermind that "Horsepower" is the closest they've ever come to a bonafide single.

So I suppose I'll launch into a sideways topic, which is Most Anticipated Albums:

Battles - La Di Da Di: I listened to a chunk of their weird 24-hour live broadcast on YouTube where they played songs live in their practice space, and that was some phenomenal stuff. It's a plus that they aren't running into Gloss Drop syndrome, where - apparently - vocalist Tyondai Braxton left the band mid-recording and forced them to completely redo the album. So while Gloss Drop was filled with guest vocals (which were somewhat awkwardly piped in during their otherwise-amazing set at the Fine Line; I've also heard them play "Atlas" live with the vocals unmodulated, which is just kind of weirdly awesome and strange), this is likely purely instrumental. And good christ, those gents know how to play, and how to play multiple instruments at the same time, barring endurance drummer John Stanier. (Requisite mention that he gave me a stick after their show, and it looked like a rottweiler had chewed on it given how hard he smashes his drums.) After some wayward experimentation with some of the more forgettable tracks of Mirrored ("Bad Trails," "Rainbow," "Tij") and some of the short, forgettable instrumentals of their last outing, this definitely seems to be one of those instances where a band's third album might be their first out-and-out masterpiece. I may have retired from live music, but I'm suspending that for the night of October 2, where I might be so crazy as to show up at doors at First Ave. to get a front row spot for what will likely be a very sweaty affair. And, unlike Portland venues and their weird layouts, I think I have a good chance to get a La Di Da Di signed to complete my set of a signed Mirrored and Gloss Drop. And, hell, maybe I'll get another awkward shirtless pic with John Stanier.

Possible Radiohead album: Really sorry to harsh everyone's mellow, but I have a somewhat sinking feeling that this will be the last proper Radiohead album. And it's not just because everyone has side projects (Thom Yorke, Selway, Greenwood doing movie scores), but because they just don't seem to be around each other enough to make something as cohesive as OK Computer or Kid A. Not that they need to make a masterpiece (the excellent but not mind-exploding In Rainbows comes to mind), but given the unfair backlash to The King of Limbs, I think expectations are pretty high. My one and only wish is that they re-record "Knives Out" b-side "Fog," since Yorke apparently hates the current recorded version.

Tier 1 of 2015 albums:

HEALTH - Death Magic: I knew this one was going to creep in here. So after three albums, HEALTH decided to, well, make songs instead of blasts of noise. Not that there aren't some epically-noisy moments on this record. I never thought I'd say this, but some of the tracks just seem a little too poppy, albeit in an electro-noise sense. "Stonefist" rattles the shit out of my car, but for someone who loves the shit out of Get Color's "Die Slow, "In Violet," and Disco 2's "USA Boys," it seems they went in a very slightly different direction. I have zero idea as to the band's politics (impossible to say for any band, really), but I think they could do a fourth album that really pushes the margins of noise into a sort of jackhammer pop sensibility.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love: Left field after two UMO albums that didn't burn as brightly as this. Bonus points for modulating the guitars to sound really fucked up and still deliver some massive riffage.

Tier 2:

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment: This just makes me feel somewhat happy, and that counts for a lot. I've just been to a total of zero backyard barbecues or lake outings that would've been perfectly soundtracked by this.

Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?: If you ever get the chance to see Hot Chip live, do it. I saw them on the In Our Heads tour, and they wisely knew to alternate new songs with old favorites. That, and there were about twenty instruments on stage and ten guys rotating among them. (Nevermind that opener Chromatics - who I originally went to see - were phenomenal to a strangely apathetic crowd.) For that show, they did the old trick of building up a track as members came on stage, and it took about two minutes to realize they were playing an extended jam of "Boy From School." But as for Why Make Sense?, this gets an inclusion if only for "Love Is The Future," which will probably be in my top five favorite songs of the year. Just the structure of having a different instrument play the melody for each verse is brilliant. It's a great sign when a band has been around forever and, each album, they can still throw in at least one mastertrack. Here it's "Love Is The Future," and last time around was the juggernaut of "Flutes."

Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy: This album is a fucking mess. It makes The Monitor look like the easiest thesis statement ever put on record. But with the mess comes TA's giant ambition - which usually results in songs bordering on "anthemic" - that was sorely lacking on Local Business. Sure, that means that some tracks fall totally flat, but with such a massive running time, there's probably something for everyone. Nevermind that "Dimed Out" is probably the catchiest song of the year.

Will Butler - Policy: Tonight's cop out, since I haven't listened to this in a while. It's just a bit funny because, for the longest time, I thought it was Win Butler going solo, which didn't fare well for Arcade Fire (who has lost a lot of stock lately; probably listened to Reflecktor three times). Not to say that Win's brother happens to be extremely talented informs my entire opinion of this album, but he straddles a very fine line between Arcade Fire tunefulness without getting into rather-pretentious theses about suburbs and whatnot.

Tier 3:

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh: This is an incredible album that plays like the reverse of an abrasive Fuck Buttons album. It's also a giant step forward from BM's first album.

Miguel - Wildheart: Total wildcard. Maybe just a case of having no expectations and then playing "Leaves" on repeat about twenty times. It's like a perfect blend of Prince and Frank Ocean.

Viet Cong - Viet Cong EP: It's rare for a band's first release to have such a unified sound, though the band has been playing together for a few years. "Bunker Buster" has one of the funkiest guitar lines of the year, and closer "Death" is a rare 11-minute track that keeps morphing to hold your attention.

Wavves X Cloud Nothings - No Life For Me: Negative points because I totally fucking hate Wavves and think Dylan Baldi is going to run out of ideas really soon (at least for CNs proper), but there still is room for a tossed-off mostly-pop album that goes by so quick that you forgot the earworms crammed into each song. I'm not the first person to say this, but I really hope closer "Nothing Hurts" is turned into a CNs closer proper since it's way too brief and good to run a mere 1:48. And, well, personally I expected this album to be a mess, but I guess the current era of non-eardrum-bursting Wavves and when-Cloud-Nothings-was-a-solo-affair Dylan Baldi worked pretty well for everyone involved.

That's it for now. Still a lot on my hard drive I haven't listened to and, obviously, I expect great things from Battles. Who knew that a band that you could call math rock elicits a massive dance party? To quote some guy after the Gloss Drop show, where we were all literally jumping up and down the whole time, our collective sweatiness made aforementioned guy say, "It looks like we all jumped in a swimming pool."

I will gladly jump in that swimming pool on October 2 at First Ave. Just hope I can buy an album there and stash it in a safe place.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mux177: Mr. Mux Cuts The Grass


1. Caribou - Can't Do Without You (Extended Mix) (Our Love [Expanded Edition])
2. Daft Punk - Megamix 1 (DJ Hero)
3. Battles - Ddiamondd (Mirrored)
4. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Necessary Evil (Multi-Love)
5. The Chemical Brothers - Leave Home (Exit Planet Dust)
6. Spoon - Inside Out (Demo) (They Want My Soul [Bonus])
7. Titus Andronicus - Dimed Out (The Most Lamentable Tragedy)
8. Lightning Bolt - Runaway Train (Fantasy Empire)
9. Wolfmother - Tales From The Forest of Gnomes (Wolfmother)
10. Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World (The Physical World)
11. Bear In Heaven - You Don't Need The World (Time Is Over One Day Old)
12. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Sunday Candy (Surf)

TRT 49:38

2015 music: Caribou (sort of), Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Lightning Bolt, Titus Andronicus, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mux176: August 2015


1. The Rolling Stones - Can't You Hear Me Knocking (Sticky Fingers)
2. Tame Impala - The Less I Know The Better (Currents)
3. Wavves X Cloud Nothings - Come Down (No Life For Me)
4. Maximum Balloon - Tiger (Maximum Balloon)
5. HEALTH - Stonefist (Death Magic)
6. Jamie xx - Hold Tight (In Colour)
7. Hot Chip - Started Right (Why Make Sense?)
8. Crystal Castles - Black Panther (Crystal Castles)
9. Purity Ring - Flood On The Floor (Another Eternity)
10. Miguel - Leaves (Wildheart)
11. Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain (Purple Rain)
12. A Place To Bury Strangers - I Will Die (Transfixiation)

TRT 49:37

Rookies: Miguel

2015 music: HEALTH, Hot Chip, Jamie xx, Miguel, A Place To Bury Strangers, Tame Impala, Wavves X Cloud Nothings

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mux175: Mr. Mux Doffs His Cap


1. TV on the Radio - Quartz (Seeds)
2. Daft Punk - One More Time (Discovery)
3. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Wanna Be Cool (Surf)
4. Passion Pit - Five Foot Ten (1) (Kindred)
5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ur Life One Night (Multi-Love)
6. Sonic Youth - Rats (Rather Ripped)
7. Caribou - Dive (Our Love)
8. Stars - Going Going Gone (Live) (Sad Robots)
9. Moonface - Black Is Back In Style (Julia With Blue Jeans On)
10. Grizzly Bear - Colorado (Yellow House)
11. Led Zeppelin - Ramble On (Led Zeppelin II)
12. Lightning Bolt - The Metal East (Fantasy Empire)

TRT 49:14

2015 music: Donnie Trumpet, Lightning Bolt, Passion Pit, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mux174: July 2015


1. St. Vincent - Rattlesnake (St. Vincent)
2. DJ Shadow - The Number Song (Endtroducing)
3. Hot Chip - Easy To Get (Why Make Sense?)
4. Maximum Balloon - If You Return (Maximum Balloon)
5. Prince - 1999 (1999)
6. Wavves X Cloud Nothings - How It's Gonna Go (No Life For Me)
7. Jamie xx - Loud Places (feat. Romy) (In Colour)*
8. Nao - It's You (February 15)
9. The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses (Sticky Fingers)
10. Cloud Cult - 1x1x1 (Love)
11. Built To Spill - All Our Songs (Untethered Moon)
12. Fennesz - Endless Summer (Endless Summer)

TRT 58:51

Rookies: Cloud Cult, Fennesz, Jamie xx, Maximum Balloon, Nao, Prince, Wavves X Cloud Nothings

2015 music: Built To Spill, Hot Chip, Jamie xx, Nao, Wavves X Cloud Nothings

*Begrudgingly putting this on, since I think The xx and Jamie xx are hideously overrated.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mux174 Preview in Antonyms

Since the delayed Mux173's playlist-as-antonyms wasn't nearly as fun as I expected, I'm doing just that again. Or I'm listening to it right now and fucking with the sequence and wasting time. No secret that my shows the insanity of my obsessive sequences and sort of "spoils" the tracklist, but here's another far-too-cryptic teaser while I decide which Prince track to debut as his rookie.

1. Demon Man - Mongoose
2. DJ Sunlight - The Letters Prose
3. Cold Cheeto - Hard To Acquire
4. Minimum Deflation - When You Leave
5. Serf - 1901
6. Elizabeth bb - Quiet Non-Existence Planes
7. Some English Name - Not Me
8. Earthbutt - White Is So Not Cool Right Now
9. Blue Sky Christians - A Number, When Cubed, Is Not The Original Integer
10. Calm Waters x Significant Landmass - Something That Will Never Happen
11. Broken To Hold Liquid - None of Our Silences
12. Roughness - Finite Winter