Forecast for the Future

"Every individual without exception bears a potential writer within himself. The reason is that everyone has trouble accepting the fact that he will disappear unheard of and unnoticed in an indifferent universe, and everyone wants to make himself into a universe of words before it's too late. 

Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not that far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Some silence / Some sound (two mixes)

Hyperliving has been a bit dormant the past week as I've enjoyed some needed rest. Coming soon is the next month's Hyperliving schedule tonight, but here's a few mixes for the nice weather.

[Note: there should be XML files in both of these zips that you can import into iTunes to automatically rebuild the playlists once you've added all the songs.]

Mix 6: Out of Time / Anglophilia

Click here to download the "Out of Time" mix zip file

This mix goes against one of my general mix-making precepts, which is to vary artists and sounds. Also, a number of these songs have appeared on other mixes I've made. But Out of Time, which I put together over the winter, isn't really about rules--it's about pop songs that I absolutely can't get out of my head. It's definitely a "pussy mix" and it's sort of subtitled "Anglophilia" because most of it has a sort of foppish heart-on-sleeve general sensibility--but basically this is a mix to put on in your car on a beautiful spring day like today and roll the windows down, smoke a cigarette and bask in the sunlight while you let yourself burn to the great feeling about being alive today.

A few specific points on this mix, which is filled with some of my favorite pop songs of all time (or at least in the last year or two):
- The 60s raver "Lazy Line Painter Jane" is the best song Belle & Sebastian ever wrote and is unlike everything else they ever did.
- "Teenage FBI" is Bob Pollard at his absolutel catchiest.
- "Out of Time" (appearing in two versions), "It's All Over Now," and Beck's never released "Untitled" are three songs that I have been beyond obsessed with in the past few months and have played each too many times to count. I can't really explain why I've loved each of these songs so much, except that they are obviously great and they seemed to speak to me and where I've been in the world recently. There are a number of versions of the first two songs, by these artists and others, but these are my favorites
- I normally don't care much for Bright Eyes, but this cover of Daniel Johnston's "Devil Town" is spectacular and has convinced me many times against the rest of my judgement that his last few records deserve a few more spins.
- "My Lighthouse" is a single from the very first Pulp album WAY back in 1983 (who knew they were that old?). It's nothing like the modern band you may know and love but I'm right with Jarvis here. Sidebar: I have a distinct memory of being 15 and listening to this album in my house after borrowing it from a Jarvis-obsessed friend and having my dad--who rarely commented to me about any music choices that hadn't once been his own--look at me plaintively and said, "Ben, why do you like this? The lyrics, I mean, well, they're just terrible. I don't get it." His eyes looked almost pained and I'll never forget it. A moment when I realized sometimes you have to agree to disagree. "Babies", on the other hand, is an undeniable testament to the fact that Jarvis knows exactly what the fuck he's doing and that it's worth all our time.
- "Beautiful" is, yes, a Christina Aguilera cover, and it's honestly exactly that (that's no. 2 unexpected goodness byproduct of Ms. Aguilera)
- "Activation" is an arresting track by Deerhunter side project Atlas Sound and is my latest obsession. I can't quite explain what about the song just does it for me so much, but I can't stop putting it on and I can't get that aching out of my head.
- I thought about putting the My Bloody Valentine cover of Wire's "Map Ref" on here but opted for the original instead. Hope you agree (though replace as necessary).


Mix 7: Rock Against Winter

Click here to download the "Rock Against Winter" mix zip file

I made this one, essentially another roll-down-the-car-windows singalong mix through a garage/punk filter, for a friend this winter to stave off the cabin fever blues. Again, many of these tracks number among my all-time favorites.

A few notes:
- "You Won't See Me Anymore" is the first single released by the Nice Boys, the band formed by surviving Exploding Hearts guitarist Terry Sixx after the rest of his band perished in a tragic van accident. Nothing can ever really approach the true power-pop glory of the Hearts (see: "Shattered") but this track is pretty fantastic and, incidentally, way better than anything included on the subsequent album the band released later.
- "The Classical" is easily my favorite of all Mark E. Smith snarl machines. The first couplet is really too much ( i daren't repeat it here). It is truly a track to shake hearts and minds
- Despite what I just said about "Teenage FBI", "Buzzard and Dreadful Crows" is and will always be my favorite Guided By Voices song--perhaps because it was the first one I connected with (off the canonical Bee Thousand) but I can play it a million times in a row and never get tired of it.
- Jay Reatard is THE FUCKING JAM (click link to see Jay and Co live at Cake Shop via P-fork TV--a great show attended by Doorknobs, Hendo and I)
- Since seeing them last fall, I've totally come around on the Black Lips. At first I didn't quite get what they were about but then something clicked and I now understand that they are some kind of brilliant extension of the way I'd like to see my own place in the world.
- "Drowning" has shown up on three mixes I've made in the last six months--I dare someone to not enjoy it. It seems to get at the heart of whatever it is that makes a great rock n' roll song.
- I hate "earliest is best, of course" arguments because I dig growth and extension, but seriously, "Box Elder" is just one of the best best things Pavement ever did, right at the beginning of their lengthy and almost always excellent career (though it says '93 above, the track was originally recorded and released on the Slay Tracks EP in 1989). I thought for the sake of being cute that I might include the reverent Holly Golightly cover instead but I knew that would just be crazy--so just listen and enjoy. Also, here's a vid of SM doing it solo too.
- My Teenage Stride is a Brooklyn band and "To Live and Die" is one of those songs that remind you of everything great about pop music.
- "Shocker in Gloomtown" is a Guided By Voices cover from a limited release 10" that was the last gasp of the first period Breeders--the EP, recorded by J Mascis, also ironically included a cover of Sebadoh's "The Freed Pig" (a post-DJ Lou Barlow song written about Mascis).
- Speaking of D Jr., their comeback record Beyond from 2007 may have been one of the best legitmate comeback records ever (real tunes, no schtick, all goodness) and "We're Not Alone" is just a perfect DJ moment that, when hearing, feels like the one you've waited your whole life for.
- "That's How I Reached My Uncertain Fate": if only Mission of Burma's entire output had sounded like this. Stands alone with "Academy Fight Song" and "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" as the shining moments in the limited discography.
- "Star Star" aka "Starfucker" is the best song on the so-so slept on Stones album Goats Head Soup and seems like a great way to say goodnight, goodbye, talk to you tomorrow.

thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated. more to music/words to come. Hyperliving will be back. love it. love it. love and love. it's almost summer.


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