the oh so quiet show

First Aid Kit – ‘The Big Black and Blue’

The Big Black and Blue

Last night while curled up in a ball under my sheets in my flu-ridden attempt to fall asleep, I put on my earphones and listened to The Big Black and Blue by First Aid Kit. Did it put me in snooze-land? Not so much—I think my body was way too high strung to be put to sleep by anything. But that late night listening session made me appreciate the album more.

First Aid Kit is the Swedish sister duo of Johanna and Klara Söderberg. Johanna is 19 and Klara is 17. Oh god—what was I doing when I was 17? Nothing this good. (Note to self: Find time machine, tell 17-year-old self to do something awesome.) I first got into First Aid Kit about one and a half years ago when they put up their beautiful cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes. Just two sisters wearing flannel, harmonizing in the forest (and even though I can’t see what they’re sitting on, in my mind they’re sitting on a giant log). And then I got hooked on their EP, Drunken Trees. And then just a few weeks ago I got their debut album The Big Black and Blue, a few months later than it came out because I’m just not “with it” when it comes to new music anymore, as evidenced by the lack of updates in this blog. Oops.

But better late than never. Initially, the only song that really drew me in was “Hard Believer,” but after repeated listenings I realized, “Oh nevermind, I like the whole thing.” So there’s your review: “I like the whole thing.” Yeah, I’m really selling it. If you like catchy tunes and sweet two-part harmonies and acoustic guitar and autoharp (er, that might only be on one song, but whatever) then you should be down with this.

Here’s another song few yew:


First Aid Kit – Waltz for Richard

They’re touring around North America in June. Perhaps I will be pulled out of my no-concert-zone. (If anyone wants to see them on June 15 or 16 in NYC, let me know!)

My Favorite Songs of 2009

Happy New Year! …It still feels like last year. Fancy that.

My music listening this year was rather paltry. Despite that, I still had a hard time whittling down my list to 15 tracks (limited to songs that were officially released this year, as far as the Internet can tell me), some widely popular, some less so, and hopefully as least one you haven’t heard before but end up enjoying. The theme of this list: dancey, pretty, or all of the above. Tracks are in order of how I’d arrange them in a mix CD, not by how much I like them.

1. Animal Collective – In the Flowers


Repeating what I said in January, this is my favorite song off Merriweather Post Pavilion. The 2:30 mark sets off this explosion of elation that could potentially result in dancing, if I weren’t firmly planted in my chair 110% of the time.

2. Kings of Convenience – 24-25


I wouldn’t place Kings of Convenience‘s latest album Declaration of Dependence above their previous ones, but it shows they’re still the best at playing beautiful, warm harmonies. And they’re still one of my favorite artists to see live.

3. Moderat – Rusty Nails


I just blogged about how much I love this song. GO LOOKIE.

4. Dan Deacon – Red F


OH MAN DAN DEACON, YOU’RE THE BEST. I can’t believe there was a time when I thought your music was irritating.

…Nah I lied, it’s really easy to see why his music could be perceived as irritating. Bromst made it easier for me (and probably many others) to get into. My ideal party would be Dan Deacon-powered. And have lots of balloons. That’s what his concert needs: more balloons.

5. Num̩ro# РTonton Klaxonne


This song by Montreal-based duo Numéro# is super catchy, but if it weren’t in French I probably wouldn’t like it as much. Since blogging about it in April I never did bother to look up the translation…oh wait, what do we have here? NOOOO.

6. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead


Holy hell, I was obsessed with Manners this summer. I was determined to see Passion Pit live, so a friend helped me get tickets to their show in Philadelphia, which was the sweatiest experience of my life. Although it was fun, a lesson was learned: do not go to a concert at the First Unitarian Church in the summer ever again. Or at least bring a towel with you.

7. The Drums – Me and the Moon


The Drums make me feel ridiculously happy. HAPPY FUN TIMES NAO [jerks around]…yeah.

8. Le Matos feat. Coeur de Pirate – How Do I Let You Know


I listened to a lot of Coeur de Pirate this year, but as her album came out in 2008 I chose her more recent cover of this 80s-tastic song with Le Matos. More happy dancey-ness.

9. The Octopus Project – Wet Gold


I’ve listened to The Octopus Project only sparingly over the last few years, which is silly since they’re…awesome. This song from their Golden Beds EP is my favorite.

10. Telefon Tel Aviv – Helen of Troy


It’s my favorite song off Immolate Yourself. I have yet to listen to Telefon Tel Aviv‘s other music…I should probably do that.

11. Mew – Hawaii


It took a few listens for me to get into this song, but it became my favorite off No More Stories Are Told Today Sorry… (my second favorite Mew album, after Frengers). Mew has the tendency to write epic songs; I feel like this one fits three acts into five minutes.

12. Phoenix – 1901


I wasn’t much into Phoenix until I heard Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. CUE THE FUN HEAD BOPPING. If only I could have caught them at Trocadero.

13. Annie – Songs Remind Me of You


I don’t like everything by Annie, but some of her songs are instantly addictive, like “Heartbeat” and this one from Don’t Stop.

14. Bat for Lashes – Daniel


It’s dark. It’s pretty. GOOD TIMES. This is the only Bat for Lashes song I really like, but that probably means I should listen to more of her other stuff.

15. This Will Destroy You – Freedom Blade


As soon as I started listening to This Will Destroy You, I bought all their releases (as should you). Not that there were that many for me to catch up on. This year they released two songs on Split, an EP with Lymbyc Systym. This song puts me to sleep, in the good way that achingly beautiful post-rock tends to do. It would also make a sweet soundtrack to watching a blizzard.

Num̩ro# РTonton Klaxonne

Alex gave me this song and now I can’t stop listening to it. Even if it’s too late for me to be listening to music this upbeat.

Numéro#Tonton Klaxonne

More info at Discodust. Except for what the song means. My understanding is that “klaxonner” means to honk, and “tonton” means…uncle? Huh. Someone else out there knows better than I do.

The Song I Would Dance To If I Actually Danced

It would probably help if I gave you an mp3 to go with the last entry. Here she is:


Animal Collective – In The Flowers

While “My Girls” was the first song I latched onto as “MUST…LISTEN…5 TIMES IN A ROW,” “In The Flowers” is now my favorite song of the album. Mostly the part around the 2:30 mark. I don’t think of many things as “beautiful,” but that’s…what it is. In my mind. But in my mind it also makes me think of explosions. Not bad explosions, but happy ones, like if someone shot a cannon full of cupcakes. Or something.

On a random housekeeping note, I just upgraded my WordPress from something from the dinosaur age to 2.7. My template is unfortunately a tad wonky now, something that I’ll correct…eventually. When it’s not almost 2 a.m. As you can see, I rarely update this blog anymore (no time for music anymore = sadness), but I figure I should keep it because it’s my only WordPress blog and thus my only vehicle for learning how to use it. It seems like a useful skill to have as a professional (er, I use that term loosely) blogger who doesn’t want to only know how to use Movable Type.

I really ought to listen to more music though. 🙁

Sunday Mix – “Mildly Happy”

another view of my once bare wall...

A few songs of mild happiness. If you don’t like them, I’ll cut yew.

Kylie MinogueIn My Arms

This song is Calvin Harris up the wazoo. Because he partially produced it. I’ve never really been into Kylie Minogue, but that might change with her latest album.

Lykki LiLittle Bit (Diego Chavez Remix)

It took me a while to get into Lykke Li, who I will put into the “Swedish pop” category even though that’s kind of vague. And that’s why I give you mp3s. It’s like giving out samples of food instead of having to come up with any kind of well though-out description of what I want you to ingest. Wooo. So yes, this remix is what got me interested, a dancier version of the original. [via The Lemur Blog]

SwitchesEvery Second Counts (Ocelot Remix)

I didn’t like this upon my first listen, and then quickly became mildly obsessed with it. And I don’t know why. Ocelot transformed the original song into something full of awesome and unicorns and Jolly Ranchers. [via discodust]

Neutral Milk HotelIn The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Admitting this will probably make me look bad, but this is the first time I’ve really listened to Neutral Milk Hotel. The whole 10-year-anniversary thing piqued my interest. I’m sure I tried listening to them before; they must not have meshed with my 12-year-old brainwaves a decade years ago. Now they mesh. I am happy.

Happy Belated New Year


Hey…uh…how’s it going?

I keep thinking that I can’t keep this blog going, or I can’t seem to update it more than once a month. But there’s no point in killing a site that I’m already paying for (I run all my sites under the same account.) And if anyone happens to stumble upon my monthly (or sometimes bi-weekly) brainfart, then…okay.

I’ve actually been listening to a lot of music lately, something that takes a bit of time away from writing about it. Not that I really “write” as much as “brainfart.” You might be better off going to these other blogs that share some very good qualities: 1) They update multiple times a month/week, 2) They post a lot of mp3s, and 3) I like them:

  1. BiBaBiDi
  2. Superlaser (100 points for the animated gif in this entry, which has the ability to amuse me for a disturbingly long period of time)
  3. Discodust
  4. Disco Workout
  5. Redthreat

I sense a theme. Um.

I spent the last month of last year getting into “stuff you can dance to,” which is a big change from my previous preference of “stuff you can sleep to.” I still listen to the sleepy stuff; I just even it out with the non-sleepy stuff. Only problem is that there’s a thin line between “dance music I like” and “dance music that makes me want to gouge my eyes out, which doesn’t make sense because you don’t listen to music with your eyes, but the pain of stabbing my eyes would detract from the pain of listening to something semi-unbearable,” which is why I sift through blog after blog, listening to god knows how many songs, and find a few gems from a bucketload of digital goo, which somehow makes it worth staying up until 2AM every day wasting my time on the Internet. (I think that was a run-on. Forgive me.)

Here are some of the gems:

Minitel RoseValerie Côte Ouest

The PresetsMy People

(Copy is the only artist here that I’ve listened to a lot. A lot-lot. I have yet to find anyone else who listens to him with the same frequency. If you want to change that, you should get his albums. Weeee.)

Adam SkyApe-X

You get 4 songs. Yup, that’s it. TOODLES.

Happy Holidays


I didn’t have any holiday-appropriate imagery on hand, so here’s something my friend made in response to his plane being delayed. Freakin’ sweet!

So as you may have noticed, I don’t really update this blog anymore, but it’s not dead either. Or else I wouldn’t be updating it. I’ve been annoyed with WordPress lately because it’s fuxoring my HTML and makes me want to crawl back into a warm blanket of Movable Type, which also drives me insane but maybe less so than WordPress at the moment. Anyhoo, if you don’t deal with different blogging tools then you have no idea what I’m talking about. Blah blah blah hi.

Here are some random songs:

Aphex Twin – Vordhosbn

I never listened to Drukqs much when it first came out, but lately this track has become one of my favorite songs. It sounds like. Calculated craziness. Or something. Whatever Aphex Twin tends to sound like. “Insanity.” This makes me wanna run around and smash things. Not really.

Metronomy – Trick Or Treats

I don’t know why I like this song by Metronomy so much. But I keep listening to it. So I guess the brain wants more. I think I ganked this from BiBaBiDi (one of my favorite blogs). Also comes with a weird video:

Fionn Regan – Noah (Ghost In A Sheet)

I’m still listening to too much Fionn Regan. This song in particular. Because it’s pretty. And sad.

I don’t know why I’m speaking in so many sentence fragments today.

Time to bake cookies.

Five songs of random randomness



Aarktica – Seventy Jane

This song by Aarktica (a band that I admittedly haven’t really listened to aside from this song) gives me the impression of…a turning point in an ’80s teenage movie, where everything starts going slow and fuzzy. Worst description ever. Yet that’s all I imagine. Like time has stopped. And things are warm and fuzzy. Or something. Whatever it does to my brain, it’s caused me to listen to it upwards of 25 times in the past few days, so…yeah.

Might just be me.

Shinichi Osawa – Star Guitar (Chemical Brothers cover)

I ran across Shinichi Osawa quite randomly while…randomly searching for Chemical Brothers mp3s on The Hype Machine. If the song didn’t say “Featuring Au Revoir Simone” I probably wouldn’t have thought to listen to it. Which would’ve sucked, since this has been my “WUUUHAAHAH HAPPY?!” song for the week. Like “run around the room crazy happy” kind of happy. And isn’t that what we all want? To run around our rooms with flailing happy arms? …No?The original song is great too (awesome video and all), but Shinichi’s version is a tad faster and benefits from the vocals of Au Revoir Simone. IT IS FULL OF WIN.

Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Alive 2007)

Listening to live Daft Punk songs through your headphones is probably 50000 times less exciting than hearing them live in concert, but it’s still shizzloads more exciting than listening to…a lot of other stuff. This was my main “WUUUHAAHAH HAPPY?!” song before Shinichi’s came along. Of course, it still fills me with happies and triggers arm flailings. Flailings!

Fionn Regan – Be Good Or Be Gone

Like many things, I’m slow on the Fionn Regan uptake. But better late than never.His songs are full of prettiness. GO LISTEN. OKAY, COOL.

Oh, and watch this song’s music video.

Yelle – Mon Meilleur Ami

A large reason that I like Yelle probably has to do with not understanding what the hell she’s saying. And that the whole mishmash of stuff I don’t understand sounds French, which is nice. She could be talking about killing baby dolphins for sport or something equally repulsive and I’d still like her because I DUNNO WHAT THE HELL SHE’S SAYING, FALALA. (That also has a lot to do with why I bow at the altar of Hakan Hellstrom, switching French for Swedish.)

Seriously though. Um. Catchy. Oh, and i know I can stick her lyrics in a translator, but that would ruin some of the fun. I know some French and can identify things every now and then, but not to the point where I can understand a significant part of a song, which is fine with me.

huge mp3 collection|buy mp3|download mp3 online

Aphex Twin Mashups

Aphex Twin Mashups by 100 dbsThose work pretty well, I think.

I’ve been listening to the live version of Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger too much lately. Mixing it with Aphex Twin’s I’m Self Employed mellows it out a bit.

Random Saturday Mix

I meant to post this two weeks ago, but I fell behind.

So here are some songs I was listening to two weeks ago. In the paaaast.

Update: Zach recovered my post! Holy crap! Thanks, dude.

Taken by Trees – Lost and Found

Victoria Bergsman’s solo material under the name Taken By Trees appeals to the sleepy head-lolling part of me. Which is pretty much when I’m on the train on the way to work and on the way back home. Amazingly, I’ve never missed my stop.So, this song is lovely. Lilt-y. Soft and sweet. Like cotton candy. Mm, candy.

The Future of the Ghost – Freak Out

This song by The Future of the Ghost appeals to the part of my brain that would dance if it knew how to. Instead, I just bop my head around. In private. [bop bop]

Delete – Sunk

This song by French duo Delete sounds really crunchy. Like, “Ah, that’s what it sounds like to eat your own teeth,” crunchy. Why that appeals to me, I have no idea.

Caribou – Sundialing

I’ve listened to Caribou/Manitoba before, but for some reason Andorra is his first album that I felt compelled to listen to over and over again and maybe swaddle my head in if it were a pillow. It’s comforting with little happy bits in it. Like a brownie with nuts. Unless you don’t like nuts in your brownie. You can come up with your own analogy.

Girl Talk – Hold Up

I only just started listening to Girl Talk a few weeks ago. Yes, my timing is a bit off. Anyhoo. His 500-songs-smashed-into-one method immediately appealed to me. Somehow he takes a bunch of songs I probably wouldn’t like on their own and turns them into something awesome. Like combining flour, eggs, butter and sugar to make a delicious cake. I wouldn’t want to just eat plain flour, you know?

So basically, Girl Talk is baking delicious cakes.

Joe Dassin – Les Champs-Elysées

One of my friends gave me this song by Joe Dassin but I didn’t listen to it much until after I saw The Darjeeling Limited (which I enjoyed aside from the wave of motion-induced nausea that set in about 2/3rds through the movie). It’s in French. It’s kind of happy.

“Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées / There is everything you want on the Champs-Elysées”

I don’t really agree with that (what if I want a…a PONY?), but it fits the bill as “a very nice street to walk down.”…On second though, maybe it does have everything.