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The Mix #4: I Don't Want To Wait Forever

My title this time out is ironic, because I published the last mix over 4 months long ago, in fact, that I'm no longer going to call this series The Monthly Mix. From here on out, it will simply be known as The Mix and then I can put or new one up in a week or three months or whatever. Since it's been a while, I've upped this one to 20 songs instead of the usual 15. As always, just find me on Spotify to play along (or follow my Facebook or Twitter links)...

1. You Can Stay But You Gotta Go/Quasi - I've know of Quasi for a long time but I've never listened to a whole album. This duo is Sam Coomes (who was in Heatmiser with Elliott Smith back in the 90s) and Janet Weiss (who was in Sleater-Kinney and Malkmus and the Jicks and is currently a member of Wild Flag). This track comes from their recent album, Mole City, and is full of fuzzy guitar and the stellar drum work of Weiss.

2. Me & You & Jackie Mittoo/Superchunk - Superchunk came roaring back this August with I Hate Music, which is easily one of my top albums of the year. This two minute slice of power pop showcases the melodic and lyric gifts of lead singer Mac McCaughan while giving you a taste of the wonder of this band. I can't wait to see them again in January.

3. Nothing You Could Say/Big Eyes - Speaking of power pop, I heard this one via KEXP, either while streaming the station or on a podcast. Its charms are obvious.

4. You've Got Me Wonderin' Now/Parquet Courts - These guys are from the Pavement school of rock, with a punk edge that allows for musical experimentation and a sense of lyrical absurdism. Listen to the guitars in combination with the flute and smile at lines like "Toothache's better than heartache" and try to resist.

5. Holding On for Life/Broken Bells - This is the first track from their upcoming album, After the Disco, which will be out in January. James Mercer's falsetto reaches some Bee Gees-like heights here and I love it.

6. Rest My Head Against The Wall/Heatmiser - Speaking of Heatmiser...well, here's a song by them. I was not in the know when this band was active and even though I've known they were in Elliott Smith's past, I'd never dug back. When it was the 10th anniversary of Smith's passing a month or so ago, there were a lot of articles about him and one included a song of his off of Mic City Sons. This song comes from that album but isn't a Smith song.

7. On A Balcony/Okkervil River - This comes from their new album, The Silver Gymnasium, which is a concept album of sorts about Will Sheff's experiences growing up in Meridian, New Hampshire. Digs those horns and that guitar solo.

8. We Exist/Arcade Fire - I have mixed feelings about Reflektor. Some of the songs I really really like but there are a couple that I just don't. I've never felt this way about one of their albums before. It's not that I mind their shift in sound either. Anyway, this song borrows a bass line from "Billie Jean" and it works for me completely.

9. Middle Sea/Yuck - Yuck's debut album a couple years ago was one of my favorites of the year. One of the main singers and songwriters has left the band, so there is a bit of a different sound on Glow and Behold. I still like the band and I think some of the negative reviews are punishing them for not being exactly the same. Whatever. This is still tuneful 90s-leaning indie rock and that pushes my buttons. This song also give the mix its title.

10. Officer/Saint Rich - This is another of the year's offerings from Merge Records, who you can always count on for quality. Guitar rock, baby.

11. Tiger Tank/Speedy Ortiz - The 90s keep popping up in this mix, don't they? Speedy Ortiz makes me think of Liz Phair fronting a grunge band and that is a mixture that has really grown on me this fall.

12. Dust in the Gold Sack/Swearin' - I don't remember how this band popped up on my radar but suddenly I kept seeing reviews or mention of Surfin' Strange everywhere. This song has that buzz and melody that works in perfect fashion on me. I love finding new music.

13. Night Still Comes/Neko Case - Do I need to say anything other than new Neko Case? Okay, how about the fact that Kelly Hogan is once again on background vocals? I could listen to those two sing together forever. My other choice for the mix title was "You Never Held It At The Right Angle" from this song.

14. Let In The Sun/Bill Fox - Fox's name is one of those I've seen pop up now and again about underrated songwriters. Actually, Nada Surf covered on of his songs on their covers album a few years back and it was a highlight of that collection. This song comes from Shelter From The Smoke and is incredibly lovely.

15. Another Is Waiting/The Avett Brothers - I let the last Avett Brothers record get by me but I could listen to this song on repeat for quite a while. That combo of the melody, banjo, and drums hits me right in the sweet spot.

16. I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands/Minor Alps - Minor Alps is Matthew Caws from Nada Surf (hey, them again) and Julianna Hatfield. The album is chock full of great pop songs and their voices sound really good together. I haven't dug into the whole of it too much yet but this track is a perfect encapsulation of what they're doing.

17. Some Kinda Love/Nude Beach - I first heard this song while watching the video in the beginning of the year. The video is a clever send-up of the old VH1 pop-up videos and well worth watching. As for the song, it's right up my power pop-loving heart. I remember liking the album too but it's been a long time. I should go back to it.

18. It's Only Time/The Magnetic Fields - This song was featured in an episode of How I Met Your Mother a few weeks back and served to remind me just how great it is. It seems like it should be on 69 Love Songs but it's actually from i. Some music supervisors know what they're doing.

19. Impregnable Question/Dirty Projectors - I think I heard this via the Noise Pop Podcast but it could have been another podcast. I think it pairs very nicely with the previous track.

20. Au Revoir/The Front Bottoms - I close out with another band that comes from the Pavement branch of the music tree. It's funny and it rocks. What else do you need?


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Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
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8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
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Sunday Shuffle #448

I'm going to do a bit of a "spring forward" edition this morning, which means I'm going to skip over the first song that pops up and start with the second. I think I'll keep doing that throughout, so you get all the even numbered songs, #2 - #20. Why not?

2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
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5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…