Wednesday, November 26, 2014

JDK's Favorite Music of 2014

The top four:

1. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
2. Iceage - Plowing Into The Field of Love
3. Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World
4. Spoon - They Want My Soul

Tier two (unranked):

Bear In Heaven - Time Is Over One Day Old
Caribou - Our Love
Cheatahs - Cheatahs
Cloud Nothings - Here And Nowhere Else
Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE
Phantogram - Voices
Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Mentions that are likely honorable:

Brian Eno & Karl Hyde - High Life
Real Estate - Atlas
St. Vincent - St. Vincent
Strand of Oaks - Heal
The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mux159: Muxilla

mux-ILLA, not MUX-ill-uh. You know, like Godzilla in mux form.


1. Son of Supercar - Shreds (Song Fight!)
2. Wild Flag - Boom (Wild Flag)
3. Ex Hex - How You Got That Girl (Rips)
4. Tapes 'n Tapes - The Illiad (The Loon)
5. Wye Oak - The Altar (Civilian)
6. Sleater-Kinney - Bury Our Friends (No Cities To Love)
7. Beck - Peaches & Cream (Midnight Vultures)
8. Frank Ocean - Super Rich Kids (feat. Earl Sweatshirt) (Channel Orange)
9. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Laramie (LOSE)
10. Chvrches - Science/Visions (The Bones of What You Believe)
11. Spoon - New York Kiss (They Want My Soul)
12. Thom Yorke - Nose Grows Some (Tomorrow's Modern Boxes)

TRT 49:19

Rookies: Ex Hex, Wild Flag

2014 music: Cymbals Eat Guitars, Ex Hex, Spoon, Thom Yorke

2015 music: Sleater-Kinney

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tapes by JET Vol. 001: Goldfinch

Sometimes I get sick of myself. And, hey, maybe you do as well. It's okay. Really. We're all adults here.

With that in mind, for a while I've wanted to invite one of my musically-inclined friends to curate a guest mixtape. The catch is that I wanted to use my (current) mux rules: 12 tracks, no repeated bands, a TRT somewhere around 45 minutes, and, most importantly, some killer music in a great sequence.

Wait no more, dear reader(s). My Minneapolis-based friend, JET - who clearly possesses better initials than everyone and who is an excellent sparring partner vis a vis music - decided to tackle this challenge. The result is Tapes by JET, which I hope to make a regular feature; she picks the tracks and sequence, and I just mix it together for a very JDK-free experience. It's a nice counterpoint to my own far-flung musical tastes. Case in point, JET has no fear to include a Taylor Swift song on this first mix, whereas I pre-emptively apologize anytime I feature a song sung by a girl.

Enough from me. Download Tapes by JET Vol. 001: Goldfinch. She also makes bitchin' album art. (Did I just say "bitchin'"?)

1. Chvrches - Get Away (Drive: Rescored)
2. Hopium - Dreamers (feat. Phoebe Lou) (Single)
3. Caribou - Can't Do It Without You (Our Love)
4. Taylor Swift - Welcome To New York (1989)
5. Against Me! - I Was A Teenage Anarchist (White Crosses)
6. Benjamin Booker - Violent Shiver (Benjamin Booker)
7. The Gaslight Anthem - Helter Skeleton (Get Hurt)
8. Paws - Owl Talons Clenching My Heart (Youth Culture Forever)
9. Main Beach - Dead And Buried (Hypo Lazy)
10. Suzie - Coffin In Houston (Single)
11. The Ghost In You - Ten Thirty One (Single)
12. Wild Cub - Drive (Youth)

TRT 45:42

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mux158: November 2014


1. Kendrick Lamar - i (Single)
2. The New Pornographers - Dancehall Domine (Brill Bruisers)
3. !!! - Californiyeah (THR!!!ER)
4. Caribou - Silver (Our Love)
5. Split Single - Waiting For The Sun (Fragmented World)
6. Strand of Oaks - For Me (Heal)
7. Iceage - Forever (Plowing Through The Fields of Love)
8. Death From Above 1979 - White Is Red (The Physical World)
9. The Rural Alberta Advantage - 45/33 (Mended With Gold)
10. Flying Lotus - Coronus, The Terminator (You're Dead!)
11. Justin Timberlake - Spaceship Coup (The 20/20 Experience Part 1)
12. Hundred Waters - Broken Blue (The Moon Rang Like A Bell)

TRT 50:15

2014 music: Caribou, Death From Above 1979, Flying Lotus, Hundred Waters, Iceage, Kendrick Lamar, The New Pornographers, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Strand of Oaks

Rookies: Hundred Waters, Split Single

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mux157: The Mux of Destiny


1. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Chambers (LOSE)
2. The Raveonettes - Killer in the Streets (Pe'ahi)
3. Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry (Robbers and Cowards)
4. Mission of Burma - Fame and Fortune (Signal Calls and Marches)
5. Spoon - Inside Out (They Want My Soul)
6. Wye Oak - Plains (Civilian)
7. Thom Yorke - Guess Again! (Tomorrow's Modern Boxes)
8. Frank Ocean - Sweet Life (Channel Orange)
9. Kanye West - Black Skinhead (Flying Lotus Remix feat. Thundercat) (Ideas+Drafts+Loops)
10. Aphex Twin - Aisatsana (Syro)
11. Bear In Heaven - Dissolve The Walls (Time Is Over One Day Old)
12. El-P - $ Vic/FTL (Me and You) (JDK Metroid Coda Edit) (Cancer 4 Cure)

TRT 46:29

2014 music: Aphex Twin, Bear In Heaven, Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Raveonettes, Spoon, Thom Yorke

Rookies: Cold War Kids, El-P

Thursday, October 9, 2014

JDK's Favorite Music of 2014 Thus Far

The older you get, the faster time passes. Not the individual days, exactly, but you turn around and January is suddenly May, and then it's October, and I'm only about two months out from my giant list of my favorite music of the year.

It's been a strange year. The year started strong and then went stagnant. Then on random days, it seems like two or three of my favorites of the year dropped all at once. I guess it's like awards season; who's going to remember the early-year releases, like Cloud Nothings or St. Vincent, both of which I've now played to death?

So here's an update, in alphabetical order:

Bear In Heaven - Time Is Over One Day Old
Play count: 9
Favorite tracks: "Time Between," "You Don't Need The World"

While the music world at large seems to have written off BIH (I might be guilty, since I didn't see their show here despite the I Love You, It's Cool show in MPLS was quite excellent), there's still something immensely satisfying about a band that can combine electro and rock so well. Again, it's a shame I missed their show, since their live drummer is shit hot.

Brian Eno & Karl Hyde - High Life
Play count: 6
Favorite tracks: "DBF," "Moulded Life"

Here's one of the surprises of the year, which is an extremely-listenable art project. That sounds like faint praise, but it isn't.

Caribou - Our Love
Play count: 1 for the whole thing, 6-10 for certain songs
Favorite tracks: "Second Chance," "Silver"

Was very much looking forward to this, specifically in the wake of the seemingly-ages-ago Swim, which was rather excellent.

Cheatahs - Cheatahs
Play count: 15
Favorite tracks: "Geographic," "The Swan"

Yeah, yeah, I'll trot out my old MBV meets Superchunk comparison (and that this should've come out in 1993 as the sequel to Loveless) or, really, the MBV ripoffs for about half the tracks. But there are some monster riffs, and as one of the Rock Kids, I have to give this a shout, derivative or not.

Cloud Nothings - Here And Nowhere Else
Play count: 14
Favorite tracks: "Now Here In," "I'm Not Part of Me"

Asshole mode: This really fails as a follow-up to Attack On Memory, and I give this band one more LP to change its sound before they either break up or turn to shit. But, hey, while the highlights are nowhere close to AOM, it's probably the only straight-rock (e.g. not even a single synth) album I've liked this much this year.

Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE
Play count: 3
Favorite tracks: "Jackson," "Chambers"

Pretty crazy for me to earmark this with only three plays. This is going to be the album that doesn't make the year-end list, and then I'll retcon it and have it in the top tier in about mid-2015. There's just so much going on lyrically that I'll have to dissect it like The Wrens' The Meadowlands for a while. (And yes, I know Charles from The Wrens produced their first album and there's a strong CEG-Wrens connections.)

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World
Play count: 11
Favorite tracks: "Virgins," "White Is Red"

Another surprise, in the sense that it's not awful. I don't care if this could've come out in 2006 (in contrast to, say, My Bloody Valentine's MBV, which just sounded like a relic), since DFA have such distinct brand of hipster-approved heaviness that make the prospect of a third LP not that horrible to fathom. (But, really, just leave them wanting more. I was horrified the first time I heard "Trainwreck 1979" and its stupid breakdowns.)

Also, this is one of two albums that I will cry if I don't get it signed at their November show in Portland.

Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
Play count: 3
Favorite tracks: "Never Catch Me," "Coronus, The Terminator"

Just like The National, it sounds hyperbolic but it's not when I say that You're Dead! is FlyLo's third masterpiece in a row. I initially hated Cosmogramma but now rank it as one of my favorite albums, but while I already enjoy this thoroughly, this will definitely be a grower. It already evokes the same sort of quiet, pleasantly-melancholy reflection with its instrumental interludes, not unlike the start of "me Yesterday//Corded." And huge propers to FlyLo who, in pretty much every interview, said he decided to make a tough concept record instead of doing something easy like make an LP of bangers.

Other album where I'll cry if I don't get it signed. I have Cosmogramma and Until The Quiet Comes signed by both Stephen Ellison and Thundercat (whose name is also Steven, and an album-signing that I nearly missed). This time, I'll also bring also my Los Angeles LP.

Iceage - Plowing Into The Field of Love
Play count: 2
Favorite tracks: "The Lord's Favorite," "Forever"

This is top tier stuff from a band that, three years ago, seemed perfectly content blasting out sub-two-minute punk bursts. The shift from You're Nothing to this is, for a lack of comparison, almost like Radiohead from OK Computer to Kid A. Okay, maybe nowhere near that extreme, but when you toss in some trumpets and pianos, Iceage suddenly becomes a Serious band and not just some Danish punks.

Phantogram - Voices
Play count: 9
Favorite tracks: "Fall In Love," "The Day You Died"

I don't really feel like writing this one up right now. That's because, after only playing the MusicNW fest today, I found out that they're going back on tour and playing Portland... on the day I leave for the holidays in MPLS. And consider that the show I saw at the Fine Line a few years back with a live drummer was one of the absolute best shows I have ever seen. (And also one of the better video projections I've seen.)

No slight to the band, but I think I'll be able to catch them one more time in a club before they either play theaters or disband.

Spoon - They Want My Soul
Play count: 12
Favorite tracks: "Do You," "They Want My Soul"

Spoon is sort of turning into mid-career Radiohead for me. They make fantastic albums, but I only really like every other song (that is, on Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows, I didn't really care for half of those albums; same with Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga). This is sort of a good problem, since the highlights are some of the best in the band's discography. The evil part of me wants this to be Spoon's final album (even if Britt goes off and does a million side projects, since this one is basically Divine Fits minus Boeckner) because it's so much better than Transference and, let's face it, Spoon are getting a bit old and aren't nearly as arty-experimental as Sonic Youth, who kind of lingered on as a shadow of their former glory.

Strand of Oaks - Heal
Play count: 4
Favorite tracks: "Same Emotions," "JM"

Yeah, yeah, another low playcount. Once I get through my current listening round, I'll get down to business and listen with a careful ear. This album is rather curious, given how many genres it covers.

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
Play count: 8
Favorite tracks: "Guess Again!," "Interference"

With the new Radiohead likely coming sometime in 2015 (and I'm sure we'll only have a day or two notice before it unexpectedly drops), this is more than enough of an appetizer. I was a fan of The Eraser and this really one-ups it for me, especially with the turn toward minimalism and warmer beats and loops.

(Some worthy albums have been omitted in the interest of readability and because it's dinnertime.)

(Fuck it, here are the albums I glossed over:)
  • Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun
  • The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
  • Real Estate - Atlas
  • Split Single - Fragmented World
  • St. Vincent - St. Vincent
  • Todd Terje - It's Album Time
  • The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream
  • Wye Oak - Shriek
(And let's also pretend that I'm not going to do a four-way tie akin to last year but with, say, FlyLo, DFA, Spoon, and Caribou. And you didn't hear that from me.)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mux156: October 2014


With each advance single, I think Iceage might be making a huge post-punk move into album-of-the-year territory with their upcoming third LP. (Never mind that I say the same thing with each advance You're Dead! track by FlyLo.) Absolutely cannot stop listening to "The Lord's Favorite" (or watching the video, for the matter), and even the nonsensical ESL chorus is permanently lodged in my head. ("One-hundred Euro wine. I do believe in heaven and I do believe it's time.") Kids are way too young to be this talented. Nevermind that Iceage, after two albums of blistering punk ("White Rune" and "Morals" are, plainly said, really fucking awesome), feel right at home with a sort of rockabilly hoedown fronted by a slurred-voice Dane.

Also always nice to hear some new Juan Maclean. It's been forever since their last album and "Happy House." Even longer since Less Than Human and "Give Me Every Little Thing."

Requisite DFA track since, good god, the album isn't terrible but, good god x 2, actually good.

1. Iceage - The Lord's Favorite (Plowing Into The Field of Love)
2. Death From Above 1979 - Virgins (The Physical World) (For MS, wherever you are)
3. Jay Reatard - Turning Blue (Singles 06-07 version)
4. Braid - Damages! (No Coast)
5. The Clientele - I Had To Say This (Suburban Light)
6. Katy B - All My Lovin' (Little Red)
7. Daft Punk - Derezzed (TRON Legacy Soundtrack)
8. The Juan Maclean - Love Stops Here (In A Dream) (For JCD)
9. Tortoise - Gigantes (Beacons of Ancestorship)
10. Justin Timberlake - You Got It On (The 20/20 Experience Vol. II)
11. Kendrick Lamar - Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe (Good Kid M.A.A.D City)
12. Night Beds - Dancing On My Own (Robyn cover) (AV Undercover Season 4) (For JET)

TRT 47:23

Rookies: Braid, Night Beds

2014 music: Braid, Death From Above 1979, Iceage, The Juan Maclean, Katy B, Night Beds (technically?)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mux155: Muxtrastrophe

I like this one as well.


1. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Jackson (LOSE)
2. The New Pornographers - Champions of Red Wine (Brill Bruisers)
3. Phoenix - Rally (It's Never Been Like That)
4. Royksopp - Remind Me (Melody A.M.) (For JCD)
5. Flying Lotus - Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar) (You're Dead!)
6. Chromeo - Over Your Shoulder (White Women)
7. Bear In Heaven - Demon (Time Is Over One Day Old) (For JET)
8. Strand of Oaks - Heal (Heal)
9. Cloud Nothings - No Thoughts (Here And Nowhere Else)
10. Pavement - In The Mouth A Desert (Slanted & Enchanted)
11. The War On Drugs - An Ocean Beneath The Waves (Lost In The Dream) (For BH)
12. Spoon - They Want My Soul (They Want My Soul) (For JC)

TRT 51:16

2014 music: Bear In Heaven, Chromeo, Cloud Nothings, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Flying Lotus, The New Pornographers, Spoon, Strand of Oaks, The War On Drugs

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mux154: September 2014

I rather like this one.


1. Wye Oak - Two Small Deaths (Civilian)
2. Phoenix - If I Ever Feel Better (Run Run Run)
3. Katy B - 5 AM (Little Red)
4. Daft Punk - Around The World (Homework)
5. The Flaming Lips - Buggin' (The Soft Bulletin)
6. Boris - Taiyo No Baka (Noise)
7. Vampire Weekend - Diane Young (Modern Vampires of the City)
8. Fleet Foxes - He Doesn't Know Why (Fleet Foxes)
9. Phantogram - Bill Murray (Voices)
10. Dirty Projectors - Impregnable Question (Swing Lo Magellan)
11. A.C. Newman - 35 In The Shade (The Slow Wonder)
12. Todd Terje - Inspector Norse (It's Album Time)

TRT 47:11

2014 music: Boris, Katy B, Phantogram, Todd Terje

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mux153: Praying For A Polar Vortex


1. The Black Keys - Weight of Love (Turn Blue)
2. The Raveonettes - Sisters (Pe'ahi)
3. Perfect Pussy - Interference Fits (Say Yes To Love)
4. Spoon - Do You (They Want My Soul)
5. .38 Special - Caught Up In You (Special Forces)
6. Death In Vegas - 23 Lies (Scorpio Rising)
7. Broken Social Scene - Sentimental X's (Forgiveness Rock Record)
8. Cheatahs - IV (Cheatahs)
9. Mastodon - The Motherload (Once More 'Round The Sun)
10. Strand of Oaks - JM (Heal)
11. Bear In Heaven - You Don't Need The World (Time Is Over One Day Old)
12. Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay (Dock of the Bay)

TRT 54:58

Rookies: .38 Special, Otis Redding, The Raveonettes

2014 music: Bear In Heaven, The Black Keys, Cheatahs, Mastodon, The Raveonettes, Spoon, Strand of Oaks