When I think of the great makers of today’s elctro music, 40-year-old men don’t exactly come to mind. Admittedly, there is a multitude of fabulously talented musicians over 40 (and well beyond), but electro music is still reserved for late nights, dark bars, and drinking past the point of reason in my mind. Tiga stands as a testaments that electro is most certainly not reserved solely for twenty-somethings to dance mindlessly to or let drone on in the background. On the contrary, Tiga has made a reputable career from stylishly making his own music as well as remixing songs by The xx, LCD Soundsystem, Justice, Moby, and many, many others. Maybe it’s time to reframe what electro music represents.
Today's song of the day is "Friends to Lovers" by AlunaGeorge
Sheldon spared our dear readers from a sappy love story yesterday, so I think I am more than allowed to write one today. Admittedly one of their slower tracks, AlunaGeorge fully channel their inner R&B, could-be-the-soundtrack-to-a-cheesy-makeout-scene spirit to produce the admittedly sappy but also gorgeous track that is “Friends to Lovers.” And if you haven’t guessed already, this very song could have narrated so many of the thoughts that were running through my head exactly a year ago.
Coachella Song of the Day (66 Days Until Coachella): “Big TV” from White Lies’ Big TV
I’m going to go out on a limb and compare an under-appreciated contemporary act to some universally-accepted legends: White Lies are the modern embodiment of everything that was great about Joy Division. That’s not a White Lie.
Before you stop reading, no, this British trio hasn’t written a song as elegantly haunting as “Disorder” or crafted an album as perfect as Unknown Pleasures, but they are carrying the torch for the doomiest and gloomiest of UK post-punk. White Lies may never have their debut album cover plastered on t-shirts and frontman Harry McVeigh certainly isn’t a betting man’s favorite to become an enigmatic cult icon like Ian Curtis, but goddamn if their latest release, Big TV, wasn’t one of 2013’s best.
Today's song of the day is "10,000 Weight in Gold" by The Head and the Heart
I can get lost in plenty of songs, can sing my heart out to hundreds, but very, very few actually give my shivers. Though The Head and the Heart cover the broad spectrum of human emotion throughout their strikingly beautiful songs, this one sticks out as simultaneously haunting, accessible, mellow, raw, rich, electrifying, and the embodiment of pulchritude all rolled into one song. It’s no wonder that in all of my hours of downloading new albums and sifting through new tracks that this particular band would not let its music fall by the wayside; on the contrary, they create songs with such captivating allure that it would be near impossible to simply cache them into a playlist I am slowly working through with all of the others. The Head and the Heart demand to be heard.
Coachella Song of the Day (57 Days Until Coachella): “Suburbia (The Full Horror)” from Pet Shop Boys’ Further Listening 1984-1986
Contemporarily speaking, Arcade Fire may have the best-known album (The Suburbs) and songs (the title track, “Sprawl II”) decrying suburban life, but the Sunday night headliners weren’t the first musicians to point out that the cookie-cutter neighborhoods and oversized strip malls surrounding our big cities are not, to be generous, the most fun places to be. With any luck, they won’t even be the first to broach this subject at Coachella.
That honor would go to Saturday third-liners (Third line?!?! They’ve sold over 50 million albums!!!!) Pet Shop Boys, who should really play this extended mix of “Suburbia” from their 1986 debut, Please (given that name so that people would ask the record store clerk, “Can I have the Pet Shop Boys album, Please?”). It’s one of my favorite types of songs, an unabashedly pop chune that is still about something, proving that it doesn’t all have to be “Call Me Maybe” crap.
Yesterday's song of the day was "Continuum" by Young & Sick
I will admit, going poking around the undercard of the lineup can result in finding some seriously strange and (depending on your tastes) unpleasant music. Therefore, when I decided to go sifting through acts on the very last lines of each day my standards weren’t set too high, but I happily stumbled upon Young & Sick. Shrouded in mystery with a mere five songs on Spotify and a longer section about artwork as opposed to the band’s music, there is still much to be discovered about this particular act. Upon listening to those five songs, however, it is obviously clear why Young & Sick is playing Coachella at all: plainly put, this project is creating great music.
Today's song(s) of the day are "Heart is a Drum" and "Unforgiven" by Beck
When I was nearing the end of my high school career, constantly buried in various books that methodically listed every single merit of colleges throughout the united States, I for some reason became transfixed on the idea of going to school out East. With bags packed for Boston come August, I had heard many warnings from my mother throughout the summer before I would leave that the East Coast was different from Colorado in many ways— especially that the sky wasn’t as big there. At the time, I didn’t really have a concept of how something as ever-present and fixed as the sky could possibly be different. After three years years amidst the claustrophobia of all of the foliage, the trees, and the endless buildings, I understand that the choked sky of Boston could not be synonymous with the expansive, consuming sky of the West. Odd as the comparison may be, ‘Morning Phase’ is redefining my concept of how far Beck’s talents extend, and I couldn’t have come to this conclusion before hearing the album.
Yesterday's SOD (sorry for the delay I am moving into a new apartment where I do not yet have internets)
Coachella Song of the Day (48 Days Until Coachella): “The Girl” off of City and Colour’s The Myspace Transmissions
If you’re ever dumb enough to ask a member of a loving couple to tell you how they knew they found the right one, the cliche “I just knew” will inevitably rear it’s ugly head. My issue with this trite and overused phrase was probably that I could never imagine myself saying it, and while I’m pretty sure I will never utter that phrase alone - I have no problem saying “I just knew/know because of (insert slew of reasons here)”. However, this willingness to use the aforementioned cliche is a recent development.
Yesterday's Song of the Day
Coachella Song of the Day (46 Days Until Coachella): “The Villain” from Austra’s Feel It Break
Before the lineup came out, the four of us at Coachella Song of the Day decided to apply our collective Coachella obsession and nerdiness toward something useful, so naturally we came up with a way to gamble on it. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just tell you that we held a 15-round fantasy draft for artists we predicted would be at Coachella, and when the lineup came out, we accumulated points for correct guesses depending on where they appeared on the poster. (We may post a blog entry in the future with an in-depth recap; spoiler alert: I win). When I penned today’s artist’s name in my 13th round slot (50th overall) of our draft board, big-time music nerd (and terrible fantasy sports/Coachella strategist) Alex Rice shot me a quizzical look followed by a, “Who?” He claimed Austra was the first artist taken to that point that he hadn’t heard of.
Today's Coachella Song of the Day: “Faded” from The Afghan Whigs’ Black Love
I had the pleasure of interviewing Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli backstage at Lollapalooza 2012 for Guitar World. The interview didn’t go as well or as long as I had hoped, with Dulli giving short answers to my basic questions that, in hindsight, were begging for quick replies. That’s not to say he wasn’t friendly, because he was very nice to me. I just wasn't expecting a question like “When The Afghan Whigs regrouped in 2011 after being away for most of the last 12 years, did you guys click right away?” to be met with a simple “Absolutely.”
My big mistake was trying to keep my questions related to Lollapalooza, which I did because the piece I was writing was a recap of the three-day Chicago festival (you can read it here: http://bit.ly/1hNKujg). The above question was the only one not concerning the festival itself, and in retrospect I realized that The Afghan Whigs reunion demanded more focus. Maybe it was the fact that he was already running 30 minutes late and there were more writers in line or perhaps it was the 47-year-old Dulli’s intimidating aviators, but I wrapped the whole thing up after about two minutes.
Today's song of the day is "Summer" by Calvin Harris
I like my job— I feel challenged, I learn a handful of new things every day, I have good coworkers, and I feel like I am helping others. However, for reasons completely unrelated to the quality of my position, lately I find myself daydreaming quite a lot while I’m there. To be honest, I have simply been daydreaming a lot these days, and when you live in an apartment with another Coachella-goer (and Song of the Day Writer), co-fantasizing about Indio is a daily occurrence. Precisely for that reason, when I first hear “Summer” a couple of days ago, I knew I would have to write about it because as a go-hard, warm weather anthem it encapsulates a good deal of what Coachella is: rowdy, fun, exciting, open… the list is endless.
Today's song of the day is "Save Me Now" by Aeroplane
While I completely agree that 2014 is clearly badass-chick-chella, the more I dig into the lineup the more I realize that it is also a year full of some innovative DJs. Though I think I am the most electronically-inclined listener among us writers here at CSOD (and [proudly] the only one among us to catch the absolutely phenomenal Pretty Lights set last year), I am more than willing to admit that a couple hours ago I was ragging on mainstream dubstep and most definitely am not willing to hear just any bass drop. Therefore, stumbling upon high-quality beats that automatically make me want to shake my hips and bob my head always elicits excitement for me, and pressing play on my first Aeroplane song was no exception.
Today's song is "This Tornado Loves You" by Neko Case
Neko Case is a badass woman, and I most definitely won’t hear otherwise. While there are many talented female singer-songwriters out there these days, all with their individual followings who will proclaim them the absolute best of them all, I am in Neko’s camp all the way. I don’t believe there is any right way to start explaining how badass this chick is, so let’s just start with the cover art of ‘Middle Cyclone’: she’s literally ready for a car-jousting match. Clearly I am more than a little biased, but I much prefer the compelling, strong, and independent image that Neko conveys rather than another looks-like-the-rest-of-them celebrity. Not to mention her voice is extraordinary— both in its uniqueness and quality— and her music is genuinely engaging, compelling, and fresh. If I had to choose one famous woman to hold up as an icon, Neko Case is absolutely my choice.
Today's song of the day is "Mongrel Heart" by Broken Bells
When the swirling melodies of The Shins float back into my life again these days, I am instantly transported back to my junior year of high school chemistry classes and religiously blasting “Split Needles” on my way to and from school thinking I was the hottest shit that had graced the teen indie world for quite a while. Thus, when I went off to college a couple years later and became oh-so-much more refined with my new setting shift, I also welcomed a shift in James Mercer’s musical projects; appropriately, I too switched over to Broken Bells. Let me tell you, when you go to a small school where only a select few seem to listen to anything resembling good music, it feels pretty great to become solitarily obsessed with a band as great as Broken Bells. If you aren’t familiar with them, I implore you to stop reading this for a bit and give them a good listen— you most definitely won’t regret it.