SXSW 2011 is upon us. To celebrate this festival, I toast with a mix:
This full-length mix is meant for those interested in who the premiere groups which SXSW is showcasing this upcoming weekend. I plan to be in attendance [about a 6-hour drive away]. I plan on folding down the seats and sleeping in back of my car. I have gone with zero dollars before, and its fun even if all you can do is eat and walk the streets amongst the crowd of tens-of-thousands. Last year I got lost among the hundreds of musical groups, so I decided to do the world a service and post 15 tracks from the 15 biggest artists that everyone knows or should know, just in time for SXSW 2011:
1. Asobi Seksu
Track: 100 Other Lovers
3. Erykah Badu
Track: Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long
4. God-Des & She
Track: Respect My Fresh
5. James Blake
Track: Mount Kimbie – Maybes [James Blake Remix]
6. John Vanderslice
Track: Sea Salt
8. Micachu And The Shapes
Track: Easy Love
10. Noah and The Whale
Track: 5 Years Time
Track: Fucking Die 2 (€€ Cooper Mix)
12. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Track: I Am Warm And Powerful
13. Sondre Lerche
Track: Everyone’s Rooting For You [with the Faces Down Orchestra]
14. Toro y Moi
15. Wye Oak
Track: I Hope You Die
Until I see you on the other side, here’s to dreams of the sweet Austin skyline
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Do you like PJ Harvey? I don’t. There are things to like about it, but not inherently within it. I enjoy the moat but not necessarily the citizens within. However, there is an English uprising allegegedly, with the youth, thus the godmother stakes her claim in the issues at hand. More hopeful and positive for future change, despite a grim outlook on status quo. Who’s to blame? Not PJ Harvey. Here’s four songs to whom the album belongs, dig the song titles, yeh?:
>/ / /
EDITOR’s Note: This is a Re-posting that originally appeared on this blog in 2006. It is the third in a series of reposting popular articles from the past. Maybe it’s outdated, but evidently that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.
An Introduction to Mr. Sufjan Stevens for Dr. Salyers
For ones who may be reading this outside of The King’s College and wondering about these four as the chosen songs to introduce the much broader Mr. Stevens to Dr. Salyers, there is an explanation. The explanation requires meeting Dr. Salyers, or seeing him velasaraptoring around our campus. These four may seem among the quirkiest, though know that it is for very good reason. Therefore, chronologically:
Sufjan Stevens – I Saw Three Ships
Ah, the first listed song is a cover – a connection from a pre-Stevens-introductory existence (a Christmasy carol) to the post. (Hint: This was released in 2002, the second of an annual five-year Christmas project [including 2006 [unreleased], excluding 2004 [never released]]). The ending provides as an introduction to the humility of Mr. Stevens.
Sufjan Stevens – For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
Ah, a relatively normal song. This was included in order to add depth to the perception of Mr. Stevens, and to try to represent some of the broader lyrics of Sufjan Stevens. It can be assumed that God is the benevolent narrator for the line: “If you have a father, or if you haven’t one, I’ll do anything for you. I did everything for you.” That is one mere example of such lyrical depth, and the song as a whole “speaks for itself”.
Sufjan Stevens – Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step-Mother!
Ah, “Decatur…” moves us back to the silly and strange, though it would be unfair and “irresponsible” to reduce the song to such adjectives. This song is from the concept album known as “Illinois”, a collection of songs about a state that Mr. Stevens had merely visited before writing. The song may resemble a children’s tale, but know that (according to what research I’ve done), this song required much study and investigation of the Illinois town Decatur. His noting of “the smell of the grain” and the loose, wild animals are real-life references to Decatur’s weird past and present, as the town has a terrible grainy stench and animals from their zoo once escaped. A favorite line: “Stephen A. Douglas was a great debater, but Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator.”
Sufjan Stevens – Dear Mr. Supercomputer
Ah, yes, this song, “Dear Mr. Supercomputer”, is my favorite from Mr. Stevens’ latest album, entitled “The Avalanche”. The song is in unique time, and during a sort of breakdown the all-girls chorus is chanting “1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! All computers go to Heaven!” The album is another example of Sufjan’s historical references, from Adlai Stevenson to The Vivian Girls.
And there is an introduction, directed toward Dr. Salyers, meant for any. Of course, if you have anything to say, please leave a comment.
(Editor’s Note: There are a few items one must understand in order to begin to comprehend what is Sufjan Stevens. Item 1: Mr. Stevens is widely known as a Christian, and is described as the “liberal compassionate” type. Item 2: Mr. Stevens claims O.C.D., and this works out for the greatest good for the greatest number, as his songs have been written and re-written, and in the case of “Chicago”, there are around ten different known versions, four having been officially released. Item 3: Mr. Stevens, despite offers from major labels, has maintained integrity and sticks with his label, Asthmatic Kitty. Item 4: Sufjan plays a great multitude of musical instruments, numbered around twenty. There certainly are other such items, though they shall be excluded for personal discovery, and for the sake of those who have already discovered.)
The new Devotchka album was recorded in Arizona. The tracks sound familiar to fans, though once again this is another 2011 album with exemplary production. The band hath outdone itself not in lyrics or vocals, but in instrumentation and overall feel. While their sound is not as groundbreaking as it once was, there’s not much room for this kind of band to develop when they already started at the limits. Here are four songs off the new album, entitled “100 Lovers”
Lastly, here’s the video that came from this album, the semi-title track, “100 Other Lovers”:
>These three women, lined up to change the world; unlike the other ones, lined up to see them or changing lanes or clinging to coke lines. These three women, wrapped up in linens and examined as is. Three women at a restaurant with no make-up on, run them through a background check. Robyn is more lyrically carefree, all about the dance anthem. Ke$ha is lyrically dumber/funner. Uffie is lyrically more mischievous and intellectual. All three have solid vocals and mess around on the 1’s and 2’s quite a bit. Here are 3 mp3 examples of each, in case you don’t have enough information to judge for yourself.
Purchase What You Just Heard:
>Here are four albums with one song example from each. They are all EP’s or singles by James Blake, released within the last two years. Below are small writings on or around each.
James Blake – Air and the Lack Thereof
Quiet intro until builds into snaps where the mind’s edges clap together. Syncopate the tune please and quit freaking me out, man. Oh wait, those vox, so great. Thanks.
James Blake – The Bells Sketch EP
The Bells Sketch has a long-ol’ intro, though the meltdown of skin and bone once arrival occurs is quite nice. My ears started twisting, and the music screwed itself into the brain canal. The music was a clamp upon the back of my neck. James Blake is a manipulator of the hand which affects.
James Blake – CMYK EP
CMYK  MP3
The beginnings of science and questioning, an omniplex polytone with no colors yet known till the sprinkling of light into our eyes. Look I found oh it’s inside me. DAMN. Found her… please listen to this so I don’t guess at the meaning alone any longer. It’s nice, to be played on speakers, or powder, or New Year’s.
James Blake – Klavierwerke EP
Who’s yelling in the bathtub, oh my love? How did you fit a piano into the space within my brain. How did the tinkling and clicking enter my bloodstream, and swim through as if a clipper ship, so narrow and thin.
Discovery was formed from Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend [keyboard/production] and Ra Ra Riot’s Wes Miles [vocals]. The combination makes for excellent pop, which expanded until flying away, in my town this past summer. The acceptability of the music mixed with its functional erraticism causes surprise on first listen and ear-warmth thereafter, as the ear wormeth. Here is a revue of Vampire Weekend; Ra Ra Riot; and lastly, Discovery.
1. Vampire Weekend [members: Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, Chris Baio]
Plus Parts of
2. Ra Ra Riot [members: Wes Miles, Mathieu, Milo Bonacci, Alexandra Lawn, Rebecca Zeller, Gabriel Duquette]
a. Boy [track 2 off The Orchard]
c. Dying Is Fine [track off Ra Ra Riot EP]
Make for a new
3. Discovery [members: Wes Miles; Rostam Batmanglij
b. Osaka Loop Line [track 2 off LP]
mp3’s indluded within equation as purplish links.