Sunday, March 18, 2012

"My So-Called Life" Marathon and Another Anticipation Mixtape

A lazy Sunday afternoon spent avoiding the daylight while watching a My So-Called Life marathon. I suppose a sentence like that is why I can't shake the whole "goth" tag; but honestly, I'm a night person. But seriously, My So-Called Life is such a great show that I can't watch just one episode. It reminds me about my big crush on Rayanne Graff. And my crush on Sharon who happens to be the only character on the show whose last name I never remember. It's also the original reason that I hated Jared Leto...or Jordan Catelano on the show. Which ties in to my whole anti-Pretty Boy stance. Aside from Jordan Catelano just being a total douche, I hated his band, Frozen Embryos, especially when they covered "I Wanna Be Sedated" and Jordan ended up singing it (after Rayanne ran off after getting stage fright) and sounding like that awful wussbag singer from the Goo Goo Dolls. This is also why I hate Leto's band, 30 Seconds To Mars...well, that and the fact that the band in actuality sucks. Anyway onto today's mixtape and things that don't suck.

As part of my never-ending search for cool new music, this is another set of songs off of forthcoming albums. So let's get to it - Anticipation 2012 - Vol. 3.

Anticipation 2012 - Vol. 3
1. Beach House, "Myth": Victoria Legrand has an intoxicating voice. For me, that's the key selling point to Beach House's music. Their follow-up to one of my favorite albums of 2010, Teen Dream, entitled Bloom is due out on Sub Pop on May 15th. And it turns out the band is offering this song as a free download.


2. Exitmusic, "Passage": Speaking of intoxicating voices, Aleksa Palladino is also blessed with one. Exitmusic is one of my favorite discoveries so far, this year. They're sound is not too far removed from Beach House, but there's also a little bit of Wye Oak thrown in there, as well. They follow up their mesmerizing 2011 EP, From Silence with their first full-length, Passage due out on Secretly Canadian on May 22nd. This is the title track which you can download here (Right click and 'Save Link As'.)

3. Magic Wands, "Space": Another boy/girl duo making lovesick indie pop. This one was thrown my way by a friend who thought I'd like it and he was right. A lush, hypnotic track that finds a way to make Kraut rock a little sexy.

4. Orbital, "New France" (Feat. Zola Jesus): I'll admit, I'm not what one would call an Orbital fan. But the mere vocal presence of Nika Roza Danilova (a.k.a. Zola Jesus) makes me love this song. It establishes what I call "The Zola Jesus Rule." It states that if Zola Jesus does guest vocals on a song it's automatically good. There's also the existence of the very similar "Robert Smith Rule."

Also, I couldn't resist and had to post the video. Who doesn't enjoy a narrative that involves a big goofy teddy bear?

5. Saint Etienne, "Tonight": Irresistible dance-pop from these UK vets. "Tonight" is the first single off their forthcoming album, Words And Music By Saint Etienne. Band member, Bob Stanley describes the album as being about "how music affects your life. How it defines the way you see the world as a child, how it can get you through bad times in unexpected ways, and how songs you’ve known all your life can suddenly develop a new attachment, and hurt every time you hear them. More than how it affects and reflects your life though, the album is about believing in music, living your life by its rules." Just based on that, I can already tell I'll love it.

6. Bishop Morocco, "Old Boys": Toronto's Bishop Morocco just released their first EP for the Arts & Crafts label - the home of such acts as Broken Social Scene and Trust. "Old Boys," (the title track to said EP) mixes New Wave, dreampop, and Britpop a.k.a. all things I love. Download this song at

7. Craft Spells, "Still Left With Me": Dreamy synthpop straight from California. Their track "After The Moment" off of last year's Idle Labor got a lot of play whenever I DJ'ed out. This one is off the band's new EP entitled Gallery due out on May 15th and is destined for the same fate as "ATM."

8. Ladyhawke, "Black White & Blue": It's been 4 years since Ladyhawke's self-titled debut. This is the first single off of Anxiety a decidedly more rock-tinged album due out on May 29th. The shift in sound shouldn't come as a huge surprise as anyone who had seen her live could tell there was a rock star waiting to burst out.

9. Autochrome, "100 Series":  Yes, it's a well-known fact (especially around my friends) how obsessed I am with Autochrome. Easily my favorite band to come out of Boston in quite a long time. Post-Punk that is dark, danceable, and downright addictive. They've got a record release for the awesome Separation Realms (yes, I've already heard the album) on Friday, March 30th at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge. This song is available to download from their Bandcamp page.

10. Moonface, "Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips": I'm a huge fan of all things Wolf Parade. The band's two frontmen. Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug could basically do no wrong in my eyes. I even love their non-Wolf Parade bands, Hansom Furs and Sunset Rubdown, respectively. But Spencer actually managed to put something out that I wasn't a big fan of under the name Moonface. That project's first album, whose title is too long for me to want to type out, was like a test of my patience as it centered around Krug's eccentricities. Moonface's new album, With Sinai: Heartbreaking Bravery promises to bring his music back down to earth a bit. It's due out on April 17th. Download this track here (Right click and 'Save Link As'.)

11. Blood Red Shoes, "Cold": It's a mystery to me how this duo isn't big yet. I actually got obsessed with Blood Red Shoes around the same time as The Joy Formidable. As a matter of fact, I got to see Blood Red Shoes about a month before JoyFo and they were just as awesome  and as huge-sounding live as they are on record. A pretty impressive feat for a stripped-down guitar and drums setup. "Cold" is the first single off their new album In Time To Voices due out later this month.

12. O. Children, "PT Cruiser": This young UK band plays up to my love of goth. Hell, they even get their name from a Nick Cave song. "PT Cruiser" is the first single off their new album called Apnea out on May 28th.

13. Crocodiles, "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)": In an ideal world, shoegaze and psych rock would be huge. In said world, Crocodiles would be huge stars. Their last album, Sleep Forever was awesome and going by this first single to the new Endless Flowers (out in June) it promises to follow in its footsteps. The only thing I don't like about this band is that lead singer, Brandon Welchez is married to my dream girl (this time I'm referring to Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls)...ho hum.

14. Free Energy, "Electric Fever": An appropriate song to close out this mixtape especially since the Boston weather seems to becoming warmer and sunnier. This Philadelphia band makes the kind of music tailor made for blasting out of top-down convertibles complete with cowbell and dueling solos worthy of air-guitar. Download this song here (Right click and 'Save Link As'.)

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