Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ChrisMix 2010: Rock Out the Old

Wonder where those artists from yesteryear have gone? Want that group from a couple years back who didn’t quite make the ChrisMix to get a second chance? How about those artists that barely missed the cut this year? This playlist is for you.

1. United State of Pop 2009 – DJ Earthworm
What better way to look back on music from last year than to mash the top 25 songs on the Billboard chart into one track. It’s a little disappointing that the music is similar enough that it can be mashed together. But that’s why I make these mixes so you won’t rely on Billboard.

2. Superfast Jellyfish – Gorillaz
This was my initial favorite track from Plastic Beach. The stellar Melancholy Hill music video may have pushed this track to number two, but it was my first favorite, and one you probably haven’t heard.

3. This Gigantic Robot Kills – MC Lars
MC Lars is perhaps the nerdiest man on the planet, and I love him for it. Here’s a track celebrating ska and robots. I was never a huge ska fan, but this song actually made me like it more.

4. Neckbrace – Ratatat
Ratatat got pushed off the list a couple years ago. And I was going to see them in concert a couple months ago, but The Pixies were playing the same night. But Ratatat is awesome. And for some reason I imagine a frog singing this song.

5. Private Eyes – The Bird and the Bee
I’ll be honest with you. I don’t love Hall and Oates. I feel like I should, but the love just isn’t there. But when tBatB did a whole album of Hall and Oates covers . . . well, I still didn’t love most of them. But this one is good.

6. Eat That up, It’s Good for You – Two Door Cinema Club
This is a new band, so really shouldn’t be on this mix. But I liked this song and it didn’t make it onto the ChrisMix proper, so I’m giving it a home here.

7. Fall Into Love – Rabbit!
The band has an exclamation point in their name. That kind of tells you about this song. They talk a lot about animals and musical instruments and use some cheesy samples, and you can imagine them in your mind just bobbing up and down to the beat. And if you watch them live, they do in fact bob.

8. Shark in the Water – VV Brown
I loved Crying Blood last year. I love this song even more. It was on a continuous loop in my head for much of the summer. Which explains why I didn’t do much swimming.

9. In the Sun – She & Him
I had a hard time picking a song from Volume Two, because there were a lot of winners. And generally I try to avoid singles as you may have heard them already, but I did end up deciding this was my favorite track from the album. It’s a winner; get it.

10. Friends – Luke Top
Kind of a simple track at first listen, but with both a driving pulse and a relaxed style. Both easy to sing along with, and with a lot of little musical twists going on in the background.

11. Oasis – Amanda Palmer
If you know anything about me, you know I’m firmly in the Blur camp, and have never been wowed by Oasis. But Amanda evidently likes them both. Also, she was raped and had an abortion. But not really, just in the song. Which makes it less horrible, but still a very odd song. But one that is very very catchy.

12. Hollywood – Marina & The Diamonds
Another call back from last year. I had only heard a couple Marina songs before this year, but found that their whole library is pretty satisfying.

13. Turnpike Ghost – Tegan & Sara
T&S is one of those groups that all the indie kids love, but that I’ve never loved. I’ve liked them. This song made me see the light.

14. Electric Twist – A Fine Frenzy
AFF missed the ChrisMix in 2007, but came storming back with this track. I don’t know what she’s singing about, but I don’t care. Her last song that almost made the album was about fish. I can’t say she picks the best subjects, but she plays the heck out of them.

15. Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit
I wanted to put this song next to the one by Rabbit!, but they just sounded bad by each other. Rabbit! is all jittery happiness. This track has a bit of happiness to it, which is why it made the album when Frightened Rabbit didn’t make it last year. The last album was too sadsacked, but this one is more hopeful.

16. Black Sheep – Metric
In Scott Pilgrim, this song was played by Clash at Demonhead, the sellout band. Maybe it’s bad that it’s my favorite Metric song. Oh well, take your favorites where you can get them.

17. Romans 10:9 – The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats are so prolific that I’m sure I could include an awesome MG track on every ChrisMix from here until I go deaf. But at the very least they’re getting one this year. And it’s Sunday music!

18. Song for the Divine Mother Of The Universe – Ben Lee
It’s been a number of years since I’ve sought out a Ben Lee track, and then this one pops up. I’m a sucker for a sing-along. Sure the track would be half as long without the callbacks, but they’re fun.

19. Madder Red – Yeasayer
I was going to pick Rome or Ambling Alp off this great album, but then the music video for Madder Red came out. Kristen Bell makes everything so much better. The song suddenly became a great melancholy track of beautiful imminent doom.

20. Sit Down By the Fire – The Veils
I know nothing about this band. I just really like the escalation of this song.

21. Dead Hearts – Stars
Kind of a morbid title, but really this whole album is morbid. But great. Stars always have a good interplay between the male and female vocals, making the songs conversational and intimate. Even when singing about dead hearts.

22. A Dream Within a Dream – Oren Lavie
A song about Inception? Not really. Oren’s voice kind of puts me to sleep. Which I mean as a compliment. It’s very relaxing and nearly a reading of the poetry rather than the singing of a song.

That’s Rock Out the Old. In theory I’ll post the main event, ChrisMix: Roll In the New tomorrow. In theory.

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