Anonymous said: do you still like that flutey christopher owens record?
Yeah, it’s cute. The acoustic version is also good. Meeting him was one of the highlights of my year so far.
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 5/10/13
Esteemed guest DJ Ruth Douglas and I had a good time spinning tunes for you last night on WNHU. Thanks for tuning in and placing requests! I hope you enjoyed the show. Check out the playlist below and stream it via Spotify at the bottom.
- 1. Sondre Lerche - “Love You”
- 2. Sondre Lerche - “Track You Down”
- 3. Deerhunter - “Agoraphobia”
- 4. Phoenix - “Trying To Be Cool”
- 5. Vampire Weekend - “Unbelievers”
- 6. Dum Dum Girls - “He Gets Me High”
- 7. The So So Glos - “Son Of An American”
- 8. Pet Symmetry - “Please Don’t Tell My Father That I Used His 1996 Honda Accord to Destroy The Town of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania In 2002”
- 9. Mikal Cronin - “Weight”
- 10. Naive Thieves - “Grindin’”
- 11. Anamanaguchi - “Blackout City”
- 12. Great Thunder - “Kees”
- 13. Christopher Owens - “A Broken Heart” (Acoustic)
- 14. Death Cab For Cutie - “Champagne From A Paper Cup”
- 15. The New Pornographers - “The Laws Have Changed” (Requested by oceanofantics)
- 16. Bright Eyes - “Lua” (requested by Maeve Holler)
- 17. The Front Bottoms - “Skeleton”
- 18. Deerhunter - “Monomania”
- 19. Slow Warm Death - “Sunburn”
- 20. Vampire Weekend - “Finger Back”
- 21. Paul Simon - “Graceland”
- 22. Rilo Kiley - “I Never”
- 23. The National - “Secret Meeting”
- 24. The National - “Karen”
- 25. The Postal Service - “Turn Around”
- 26. Baths - “Phaedra”
- 27. Youth Lagoon - “Posters”
- 28. Sigur Rós - “Ísjaki”
Stream via Spotify:
Today someone recognized me as Intern Chris from The Needle Drop when I was at Amoeba Music, and then Doldrums played an instore show that I didn’t previously know about, and now I’m going to see Christopher Owens later tonight because the guy who recognized me told me about the show and is apparently friends with him.
So overall, San Francisco is pretty great.
Lewis and his Blog January 2013 Mix
Congratulations! You made it through the first month of 2013. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. Honestly, we both do. In celebration of your success at surviving this cruel and confusing world, give a listen to my first Monthly Mix of 2013. If you’re unfamiliar with my monthly mix series, the concept is fairly self-explanatory; every month, I publish a 10 track mix via 8tracks, featuring some of my favorite new music that I heard that month. You can find all of my monthly mixes HERE, at my “Monthly Mix” tag.
This month’s mix features tracks that came out in January, many of which are from forthcoming albums. Stream the entire think at the embedded link below, and read up on each track below that. Thanks for listening and reading!
Permanently-disaffected mumblecore rapper Milo (aka Rory Ferreira) kicked off his new EP Things That Happen At Day with an uncharacteristically hopeful cut that seems to promote self-acceptance even in the face of an unwelcoming world. On “Sweet Chin Music,” Milo waxes poetic about his love for pro wrestling, Delta Force 3, and “egg fried rice and fruits,” occasionally dipping out of his distinctive monotone and into a sumptuous half-sing. He reminds himself, rather soothingly, that he “[doesn’t] feel the need to be the best thing ever.” That self-awareness is not entirely anomalous within Milo’s body of work, but it does stand in stark contrast to the material on his darker accompanying EP, Things That Happen At Night. Pick up both of the records at the HellFyre Club bandcamp page.
2. A$AP Rocky - “Long Live A$AP”
Unlike the lyrically-focused and DIY-motivated Milo, Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky bases almost the entirety of his appeal on image and aesthetic. Frankly, the extremity of this image is what makes Rocky such an interesting figure; he is very much a mirror of rap’s fascinatingly narcissistic cutting edge. “Long Live A$AP” is the title track from his major label debut, a triumphantly hi-fi explosion of a record that manages to say absolutely nothing substantial in the best way possible. The song itself is representative of Long.Live.A$AP as a whole, presenting Rocky as the 2013’s greatest hip-hop paradox. He is, at once, a youthful legend, a geographically-transcendent New Yorker, an underground sellout, and a deeply insecure popular kid, both as self-conscious and self-obsessed as only a true narcissist can be. It’s not conceit if you’re right, and Rocky forces us to wonder just how right he may be. Pick up Long.Live.A$AP via iTunes.
3. Beach Fossils - “Generational Synthetic”
With their forthcoming LP Clash The Truth, Beach Fossils are poised to once again usurp the throne of Brooklyn’s guitar pop scene from their overrated labelmates DIIV, who are led by former Beach Fossils member Zachary Cole Smith. Beach Fossils might not have DIIV’s marketably nihilistic look or vague conceptual coherence, but they make up for it in song quality. “Generational Synthetic” toes the line between pop and punk, and although the singer doesn’t lyrically commit himself like a true punk frontman, there’s enough grit to rock out to. Clash The Truth is out February 19th via Captured Tracks.
4. Bleeding Rainbow - “Pink Ruff”
One part shoegaze, one part noise pop, and one part sugary female vocals, Philadelphia’s Bleeding Rainbow are a delectable duo with a lot of potential. Formerly called Reading Rainbow, the band had to change their name in lieu of a potential lawsuit from PBS, but the name change shouldn’t do much to stop them from winning over your heart. Fans of Dum Dum Girls should enjoy “Pink Ruff,” off their latest LP Yeah Right, for its subtle juxtaposition of garage-rocking minor key power chords and infectious pop melodies. Pick up Yeah Right via Kanine Records now.
5. Iceage - “Coalition”
Iceage’s sophomore LP You’re Nothing leaked well in advance of its release, but if you haven’t gotten on the bandwagon yet, now is the time. Lead single “Coalition” is probably poised to be the consensus standout track on the new record from these Danish, mostly teenage punks, and for good reason. In just over two minutes, the band reaches peak levels of catharsis, thrashing about with dualing guitars and cymbals blaring while frontman Elias Rønnenfelt drags himself out of his usual nihilistic apathy and lashes out in an impressively vigorous display of energy. Like the best moments of their last LP New Brigade, “Coalition” is also deceptively catchy, but this track manages to accomodate aggression and pop sensibility in nearly equal measure. You’re Nothing is out February 19th via Matador.
6. Comadre - “Hack”
The best description I’ve heard of Comadre’s aesthetic is that they “graduated from the Fucked Up school of yelling over what is essentially straight up indie rock.” It’s a true description, but the comparison to Fucked Up ends there; unlike their Canadian contemporaries, this Californian punk group doesn’t seem to take themselves so seriously. Their sound benefits from this looseness, allowing them to experiment with sounds and themes that are generally considered ‘outside’ of the realm of punk. On “Hack,” from their new self-titled record, the vocals are as throat-shreddingly aggressive as anything, but the instrumentals contrast starkly, blending shoegazy guitars with a theremin-reminiscent organ patch. Pick up Comadre via Vitriol Records.
7. Junip - “Line of Fire”
Although I’ve grown increasingly apprehensive about listening to sad singer/songwriters playing solo with acoustic guitars over the past few years, I think I’ll always appreciate the presence of a great songwriter singing over full band instrumentation. For this reason, I like Jose Gonzales’ group Junip more than his solo material, although I appreciate the precedent that he set on his own. Though a great song in its own right, “Line Of Fire” just benefits tremendously from the added texture and energy of the synths, drums, and backing harmonies; they actually make Gonzales’ signature Spanish guitar sound even better. Junip’s self-titled LP is out April 23rd via Mute.
8. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - “So Good At Being In Trouble”
This single from Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s sophomore LP (creatively titled II) is deceptively, subtly infectious. Stripping away some of the more psychedelic aspects of their sound, the group took a decidedly low-key approach on “So Good At Being In Trouble,” an analog R&B jam that harks back to the more soothing, gentler side of 70’s Northern Soul. With an earworm chorus and an arsenal of effects pedals at their disposal, Unknown Mortal Orchestra could have easily turned this cut into an anthemic, festival-ready banger, but they didn’t; this restraint is admirable, even though part of me would like to hear them rock out on this track. II is out now on Jagjaguwar.
9. Yo La Tengo - “I’ll Be Around”
New Jersey stalwarts Yo La Tengo may be the most dependable band in indie rock. Until the release of their new LP Fade, I was hesitant to fully commit myself as a fan, but it’s hard to deny the appeal of their genre-sweeping aesthetic on this record. Fade veers, calmly and tactfully, from the psychedelic heft of “Ohm” to the horn-laden grace of closer “Before We Run,” stopping briefly to catch its breath on tracks like the lovely, gentle “I’ll Be Around.” It’s a mostly acoustic piece with subtle inflections of modulated keyboard — the perfect aesthetic for a great romantic mixtape. It’s a respite on the record, but a highlight in its own right as well. Pick up Fade via Matador Records.
10. Christopher Owens - “Part Of Me (Lysandre’s Epilogue)”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I actually like Christopher Owens debut solo album Lysandre quite a bit more than some of Girls’ material. Girls’ records had the ambition and aesthetic prescience, but Lysandre has the heart. As evidence, look no further than the highlight closing track “Part Of Me (Lysandre’s Epilogue),” a heartbreakingly bittersweet Dylanesque anthem that subverts the guitars and harmonica of “I Want You” into something entirely personal to Owens and yet entirely relatable to us. As a songwriter, Owens’ greatest strength has always been forging this balance, and that above all is what comes through on Lysandre.
Stream the whole mix HERE via 8track. Thanks for listening and reading, and have a great February!
Christopher Owens - “Lysandre”
Former Girls frontman Christopher Owens has his debut solo album Lysandre slated for a January 15th release, but the record happened to leak on the internet earlier this week. On the whole, it’s definitely a more understated record than Girls’ bloated 2011 LP Father, Son, Holy Ghost, clocking in at just under half an hour in length. The songs, for the most part, are also less heavy and grandiose than anything on that record, both from a conceptual and musical standpoint.
The title track is one of my favorites — a bubbly, power pop gem based around an arpeggiated acoustic guitar riff that ebbs and flows with exactly the kind of pristine arrangement that Owens has become so good at crafting. His experience in Girls evidently taught him well; “Lysandre” recalls the gentler, more melancholic moments of their 2009 debut Album, but with significantly improved production quality.
Stream “Lysandre” above and pick up Owens’ debut album from Fat Possum on January 15th.
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 9/28/12
Thanks for tuning in to my radio show Left of the Dial last night. We had a lot of fun in studio spinning classic 00’s indie rock along with new stuff. I played a track from that new Spook Houses LP Trying, which I reviewed recently, as well as a song from the Waxahatchee album that I also reviewed. Both of those LPs are great if you haven’t heard them already.
Check out the full playlist from the show last night below, and stream it via Spotify at the embedded link below that. Tune in again next Friday for another live broadcast.
- 1. Nana Grizol - “Galaxies”
- 2. Woods - “Cali In A Cup”
- 3. Wild Nothing - “Only Heather”
- 4. A.C. Newman - “Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns”
- 5. Elvis Depressedly - “Waves of Bad Intention”
- 6. Flying Lotus - “Electric Candyman” (feat. Thom Yorke)
- 7. Sigur Ros - “Hoppipolla”
- 8. How To Dress Well - “Cold Nites”
- 9. Girls - “Hellhole Ratrace”
- 10. Bright Eyes - “We Are Nowhere And It’s Now”
- 11. Bright Eyes - “Lover I Don’t Have To Love”
- 12. Elliott Smith - “Between The Bars”
- 13. Teen Suicide - “The Same Things Happening To Me All The Time, Even In My Dreams”
- 14. Deer Leap - “What Is Dead May Never Die”
- 15. Sidewalk Dave - “Honey Bee”
- 16. Spook Houses - “Bad Sound”
- 17. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - “Loop Duplicate My Heart”
- 18. Dum Dum Girls - “I Got Nothing”
- 19. Madeliene - “Susan, Oh”
- 20. Feist - “Let It Die”
- 21. Waxahatchee - “Be Good”
- 22. Morrissey - “Suedehead”
- 23. Jens Lekman - “If You Ever Need A Stranger (To Sing At Your Wedding)”
- 24. Neutral Milk Hotel - “Two-Headed Boy Pt. Two”
- 25. Belle and Sebastian - “If You’re Feeling Sinister”
- 26. The Magnetic Fields - “Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits”
- 27. The Antlers - “I Don’t Want Love”
- 28. Grizzly Bear - “Yet Again”
- 29. The Smiths - “Reel Around The Fountain”
- 30. Sufjan Stevens - “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”
Stream via Spotify:
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 4/6/12
Thanks to everybody who tuned in to last night’s live broadcast of Left of the Dial on WNHU. The full playlist is below along with links to stream each of the songs. Tune in next Friday for another broadcast.
- 1. Teenage Fanclub - "The Concept"
- 2. Girls - "Honey Bunny"
- 3. Sebadoh - "Magnet’s Coil"
- 4. Joyce Manor - "Beach Community"
- 5. Japandroids - "The House That Heaven Built"
- 6. The Strokes - "Hard To Explain"
- 7. The Hold Steady - “Party Pit”
- 8. Midi & The Modern Dance - "Everything I Touch (Just Falls Apart)"
- 9. Suns - "Crocodile"
- 10. Martin Luther King - "Boneflower"
- 11. Stay Ahead Of The Weather - "Get Old Or Die Tryin’"
- 12. LVL UP - "ROMAN CANDLE"
- 13. Screaming Females - "Expire"
- 14. Jaill - "Waste A Lot Of Things"
- 15. The Act Of Estimating As Worthless - "The Things We Remember"
- 16. Scott Walker - "Mathilde"
- 17. Jaques Brel - "La Chanson De Jacky"
- 18. Broadcaster - "All Your Friends"
- 19. WHY? - "Good Friday"
- 20. Serengeti - "Long Ears" (feat. Yoni Wolf and Becky Wolf)
- 21. Astronautalis - "Meet Me Here Later"
- 22. The Cure - "Close To Me"
- 23. The Unicorns - "Ghost Mountain"
- 24. Lower Dens - "Brains"
- 25. Beach House - "Myth"
- 26. Dirty Projectors - "Useful Chamber"
- 27. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billie - "Death To Everyone"
- 28. Poliça - "Amongster"
- 29. Craig Finn - "Honolulu Blues"
- 30. Red House Painters - "Brown Eyes"
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 1/20/12
Here’s the playlist from last night’s broadcast of Left of the Dial on WNHU. I tried to play some positive music to counteract my general unhappiness and I guess it worked, at least for the two hours during the show. Notable songs included Sharon Van Etten's beautiful “Kevin's,” from her new album Tramp, which I reviewed earlier today HERE. I also played a track from the new One Hundred Year Ocean EP Poison Smoak, and the new Bruce Springsteen single. I hope those of you who tuned in enjoyed what I had to play.
- 1. The Hold Steady - "Positive Jam"
- 2. Hallelujah The Hills - “It’s All Been Downhill Since The Talkies Started To Sing”
- 3. The Shins - "Simple Song"
- 4. Free Energy - "I’m Going Down" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
- 5. Girls - "Heartbreaker"
- 6. Chestpiece - "Cassius Clay"
- 7. The Flaming Lips - "Do You Realize??"
- 8. Grandaddy - "Hewlett’s Daughter"
- 9. Sharon Van Etten - "Kevin’s"
- 10. Belle and Sebastian - "Seeing Other People"
- 11. The Microphones - "The Moon"
- 12. Laura Stevenson and the Cans - "Master Of Art"
- 13. Spraynard - "We’re Pretty Nice Guys"
- 14. Suns - "Machine"
- 15. Rivers Cuomo - “There Is No Other One”
- 16. Hour of the Star - "Steeplechase"
- 17. One Hundred Year Ocean - “1576”
- 18. Sinforiano Diaz - “Congregation”
- 19. Bruce Springsteen - "We Take Care Of Our Own"
- 20. Okkervil River - "Black"
- 21. of Montreal - "Dour Percentage"
- 22. Cloud Nothings - "Wasted Days"
- 23. The Music Tapes - "The Minister of Longitude"
- 24. Neutral Milk Hotel - "A Baby For Pree/Glow Into You"
- 25. Neutral Milk Hotel - "Little Birds (studio)"
- 26. Neutral Milk Hotel - "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea"
Tune in next Friday for another broadcast on WNHU.
A follower of mine, ladies and gentlemen.
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 11/18/11
Here’s the complete playlist from Friday’s broadcast of my radio show Left of the Dial on WNHU. Thank you to everybody who tuned in. I’m going away to see my family in Maryland (ugh) for Thanksgiving, which means that the next broadcast will not be next Friday, but the Friday after that. So be sure to tune in on Friday, December 2nd for the next live broadcast of Left of the Dial!
- 1. The Clash - "Janie Jones"
- 2. Cap’n Jazz - "Planet Shhh"
- 3. Black Flag - "Jealous Again"
- 4. Minutemen - "Corona"
- 5. OFF! - "Poison City"
- 6. Girls - "Honey Bunny"
- 7. Into It. Over It. - "Discretion & Depressing People"
- 8. Snowing - "Methuselah Rookie Card"
- 9. Grown Ups - "Six More Weeks Of Winter"
- 10. Connecticut - "Intro/The Motherland"
- 11. Refused - "The Deadly Rhythm"
- 12. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) - "Everything Is Connected and Everything Matters (A Temporary Solution to a Permanent Problem)"
- 13. Co-Pilots - "Shut Up, Be Happy"
- 14. peaer - "sheets"
- 15. The Mountain Goats - "Quito"
- 16. The Replacements - "Sixteen Blue"
- 17. Midi & The Modern Dance - "I’m Sure You’ll Call"
- 18. Los Campesinos! - "Hello Sadness"
- 19. The Antlers - "VCR" (The xx cover)
- 20. The Cure - "Plainsong"
- 21. Red House Painters - "Dragonflies"
- 22. The Postal Service - "Recycled Air"
- 23. Radiohead - “Just” (Live) (Just (For College) EP version)
- 24. Real Estate - "It’s Real"
- 25. Giles Corey - "Spectral Bride"
- 26. Kid Dakota - "Crossin’ Fingers"
- 27. Titus Andronicus - "No Future Part Two: The Days After No Future"
- 28. R.E.M. - "We All Go Back To Where We Belong"
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 10/21/11
Thanks to everybody who listened to my show last night. Just as a heads up, I’m not going to be doing my show next Friday (October 28th) because I’ll be playing a show at my school. Regular broadcasting will resume as usual the following Friday, November 4th.
Here’s the full playlist from the show last night, complete with youtube or bandcamp links to each song when I could find them.
- 1. Pixies - "Debaser"
- 2. Titus Andronicus - "Upon Viewing Breughel’s ‘Landscape With The Fall of Icarus’"
- 3. Ramones - "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
- 4. The Stone Roses - "I Wanna Be Adored"
- 5. M83 - “Reunion”
- 6. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - "Heart In Your Heartbreak"
- 7. Girls - "Lauren Marie"
- 8. The Feelies - "The High Road"
- 9. Real Estate - “Easy”
- 10. Elliott Smith - "Son Of Sam"
- 11. Elliott Smith - "Waltz #2 (XO)"
- 12. Elliott Smith - "Rose Parade"
- 13. St. Vincent - "Year Of The Tiger"
- 14. Dntel - "(This Is) the Dream Of Evan And Chan"
- 15. Primal Scream - "Higher Than The Sun"
- 16. Coldplay - “Hurts Like Heaven”
- 17. Fugue - "White Tiger Of The West"
- 18. Into It. Over It. - "Pinky Swear" (Daytrotter Session Version)
- 19. The Postal Service - "Nothing Better"
- 20. Youth Lagoon - "July"
- 21. Modest Mouse - "Cowboy Dan"
- 22. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - "I Will Be Okay. Everything"
- 23. Trash Talk - "Awake"
- 24. Invisible Hand - "There’s Room In My Will"
- 25. Snowing - "Pump Fake"
- 26. My Heart To Joy - "All Of Life Is Coming Home" (Virgin Sails version)
- 27. Pavement - "Fillmore Jive"
Left of the Dial Radio Playlist - 9/23/11
Last night’s Left of the Dial radio show on WNHU was tons of fun. I kicked things off with a couple tracks from my recent Fall 2010 Nostalgia Mix, which can be streamed in full HERE, and tacked on the new single from Diarrhea Planet's forthcoming debut LP Loose Jewels for good measure. I also played music from three of the bands that are playing at Hostage Calm's LP anniversary show at The Space tonight, including tracks from the new Suns EP Be Good Boy and the new The World Is… split 12” Are Here To Help You.
Afterwards, I played some of my favorite Andrew Jackson Jihad songs and then aired my interview with the band, which I recorded on Tuesday at the Heirloom Arts Theater in Danbury. That interview can be read/streamed in full HERE for those of you who didn’t get to tune in last night.
The rest of the night’s set included new stuff from Girls and The Rapture, as well as a cut from the new Into It. Over It. LP Proper, which I reviewed HERE. Finally, I closed the show with two tracks from the recently disbanded R.E.M., including one cut from their latest album Collapse Into Now. It was a busy week, and last night was a busy show. Here’s the playlist below, with links to stream each song, when available.
- 1. Bedroom Eyes - "Dancing Under Influence"
- 2. Jenny and Johnny - "Big Wave"
- 3. Diarrhea Planet - "Warm Ridin’"
- 4. Suns - "Be Good Boy"
- 5. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - “I Will Be Okay. Everything”
- 6. Hostage Calm - "A Mistrust Earned"
- 7. Andrew Jackson Jihad - "Heartilation"
- 8. Andrew Jackson Jihad - "Zombie By The Cranberries By Andrew Jackson Jihad"
- 9. Andrew Jackson Jihad - "Darkest Heart"
- 10. Andrew Jackson Jihad - "People"
- 11. Andrew Jackson Jihad - "Truckers Are The Blood"
- 12. Lewis and his Blog Interview with Andrew Jackson Jihad (9/20/11)
- 13. Defiance, Ohio - "Condition 11:11"
- 14. Girls - "Alex"
- 15. Cymbals Eat Guitars - "Definite Darkness"
- 16. Into It. Over It. - “Connecticut Steps”
- 17. Desaparecidos - "Man and Wife, The Former (Financial Planning)"
- 18. The Fall - "No Xmas for John Quays"
- 19. Violent Femmes - "Kiss Off"
- 20. Bomb The Music Industry! - "Why, Oh Why, Oh Why (Oh Oh Oh Oh)"
- 21. Vacation - "Big Scary Dudes"
- 22. The Rapture - "Children"
- 23. R.E.M. - "Fall On Me"
- 24. R.E.M. - "ÜBerlin"
Anyway, I’m off to see that Hostage Calm show with The World Is…, Suns, and Heavy Breath. Tune in to WNHU next Friday at 6 PM to listen to another live broadcast of Left of the Dial!
what didn’t you like about the second half?
But seriously, that’s what it really comes down to. I enjoy most of the first half and I really enjoy “Vomit”, but after that there isn’t much that I find myself wanting to return to. “Magic” isn’t too bad, though. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like a lot of the personality of the first two records is lost on this one.