Archive | February, 2011

a cold glass of milk

28 Feb
It’s the end of the month, which means the paying of bills and receiving of paychecks and the subtle reminder that things keep moving forward. Blame it on the 28 days, but February blew by. I am coming off an I Love the Bay week, from prancing around to the Hood Internet at the Rickshaw Stop and an unexpected Irish pop show at Slims, to a sunset run to the GG Bridge, brunch at the Ferry Building, and too many drinks in the Mission. My life is enriched with exceptional people and a beautiful backdrop. And music. #emo intro
[note – couldn’t get SoundCloud to behave on the CWK song, but it remains my player of choice]

bulldozer / step up this is going to hurt / gnash your teeth, take a bite of the dirt

I have to share a pure, unmixed Cold War Kids song because despite what critics may say, their new album is really something and Bulldozer is my favorite track. It is a bit sappy, a bit much, but just listen to it. Arcing vocals, gritty industrial drums, and a sinister rolling bass build into a crazy rush. And then it slows down a bit. And then does it again. Beautiful destruction.
If a love has to be bulldozed in order to to start over, I’d imagine it to be rebuilt on a pretty rocky foundation. But I like the idea of being willing to try. #emo

Today’s Untz: Keyboard Milk / Royksopp

I was fucking around on Hypem on Friday afternoon and eyeing the clock for freedom, when I stumbled upon Keyboard Milk. It started simply enough, and I began to carry on my activities on my own keyboard.  By minute two I had stopped my four window multitasking, halted gchat communication, and deserted my half finished proposal to let this song wash over me in its entirety. Layer by layer.

By around 4:55, you feel like you are swept into the kind of musical celebration played at the end of a SNES Final Fantasy game that you just poured 100 hours of your life into in order to save the kingdom from evil (not that I know from experience what this could be like). Triumphant, majestic, warm.  Royksopp self identifies as a “two-headed norwegian monster, dealing within the realm of contemporary electronic music.” Fitting. Thirsty. #untz

midas radio

25 Feb
Friday brings a chance for San Francisco’s first snow in 35 years and the Untz and the Emo’s inaugural guest post. My favorite Irish lass Laura has graciously contributed a European influence of untz. Please imagine the most delightful accent while reading about it, especially during the part where she says “then you’re sorted!” On my end, some chill inducing new TV on the Radio. Bundle up and enjoy.

Today’s Emo: Will Do / TV on the Radio
‘I’d like to collapse with you and ease you against this sound / I think we’re compatible / I see that you think I’m wrong’

Addicted. TV on the Radio quietly debuted this slow jam on Wednesday via Seattle’s radio station 107.7 The End (yes, the station that the Real World Seattle crew worked at). I am possessed by the tinkering music box opening, mellow beats, and subtle assurance the song carries itself with. Will Do perfectly depicts that uneasy feeling of getting into a new relationship when you know all too well how it can pan out. I can relate.

The Brooklyn born indie rock band re-emerges after a two plus year hiatus, with their latest album ‘Nine Types of Light’ set for release on April 12th. They face great expectations, with 2008’s ‘Dear Science’ claiming album of the year by Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and Spin, but this single suggests they are on the right track. Excited. #emo

Today’s Untz: Midas Touch (Starskee remix) / Midnight Star

‘I’ve got the midas touch, baby / let me touch your body and your soul’

It was a Belgium friend who introduced me to this song– and I am forever grateful. It was during a little techno road trip that I fell in love with it. Who doesn’t love a good road trip with a well thought out playlist? For the car you need the right amount of #untz with #emo, then you’re sorted! He and his friend were singing along to this song like it was in their blood… and I’ve come to learn that those Belgians know their music! The myth behind ‘The Midas Touch’ comes from King Midas who turns everything into gold with a single touch. Not bad if you ask me! And the Starskees remix uses this metaphor when touching ones ‘body and soul’. The beat itself introduces a spell bound feeling that really adds to the lyrics. In short, this song will not have you pumping the air into a sweat, but it’s a happy go lucky, bob your head, close your eyes and wear a smile kinda tune. #untz from Laura

sky germany

23 Feb

I took Monday’s holiday as a holiday from the blog, as I spent too much of the weekend playing to type anything up. My friend Alex was in town visiting from New York, and oh the trouble we found ourselves in after finishing a bottle of wine before even making it to dinner on Friday night. Accordingly, a couple more chill Wednesday tracks to balance out my inner untz and emo.

Today’s Emo: Animal (Miike Snow cover) / Sky Ferreira

 

in your eyes I see the eyes of somebody who could be strong, tell me if I’m wrong / now I’m pulling your disguise up / are you free or are you tied up

Sky Ferriera is a hot mess of an 18 year old from LA who has a background in gospel and the voice of a slightly devious angel. I came across her lighthearted first single, 17, last year and while I was impressed with her pipes and those pouty lips, I was left uninspired by the song itself… perhaps because I am no longer sneaking around using a fake ID (‘mom and dad don’t understand / she got so many older friends‘). Then I came across the young Ferreira’s slow take on Miike Snow’s anthem Animal and got chills. Who knew this song could be so pretty? The girl has a stunning voice projecting some serious soul for her age and this is one of my favorite covers… ever.

Sky has an EP set for release on March 22nd, and if she can find the proper backdrop for her talent, she could bypass the whole pop tart route altogether. From what I have sampled it sounds like she still has a way to go, so until she matures a bit I think her next move should just be covering the entire album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Just imagine her take on Rome. #emo

Today’s Untz: Take Your Time / Germany Germany

 

I love the feeling of good fortune experienced from coming across a great song by an artist you haven’t heard before. I discovered this gentle untz track on Hypem and felt like I’d just stumbled across some bills on the sidewalk. Take Your Time rolls out layer upon layer of of dreamy synth and digital guitar cut with keys. Happiness in a sound cloud, I want to drink it up. Germany Germany is a Canadian dj named Drew Harris. He places his sound somewhere in between Crystal Castles and Postal Service (last Twitter update, ‘the district sleeps alone tonight’), and while the track is unique, I completely agree with his self categorization. A perfect blend of sounds, listen to Take Your Time a few times and try not to smile. #untz

remember the sprawl

18 Feb

It is Friday leading into a three day weekend. Thank you presidents, for the precious gift of time (among other things).  Time to slip out of the workweek and into the land of dancing all night, playing all day, and squeezing in rest along the sides. While today’s first track is a bit of a downer, what a beautiful downer. And the second is sure to cheer you right up. Happy holiday. Tor

Today’s Emo: I Remember / Yeasayer

I remember making out on an airplane / still afraid of flying but with you I’d die today / you’re stuck in my mind all the time

I love tracing the release of a new remix back to an original song that slipped through the cracks. Brooklyn based experimental rock trio Yeasayer released the track I Remember in 2010’s Odd Blood, but since I’ve barely dabbled in the band, I missed it. Then Yeasayer graciously offered the original track, as well as two new remixes, in an EP for free download on their site for V-Day. The remixes are nice, but its the original that has me floored. Twirling, playful synth sounds intertwined with some of the saddest vocals I have heard in a while. Somehow it works. This song is eerie and mesmerizing and I have it on repeat, listening to it with a dopey grin on muni. My only concern is for any lonely fans that might have had it on repeat on Valentines Day. #emo

Today’s Untz: Sprawl of Glass (Arcade Fire vs. Blondie) / The Hood Internet


’cause on the surface the city lights shine / they’re calling at me, “come and find your kind”‘

Seems fitting to celebrate an Arcade Fire song after their big Grammy win, although I missed it stuck in transit on Sunday night. I heard that watching the wtf faces on everyone else was just as exciting as the indie fans freaking out. The twitter response is nothing short of priceless…. “the grammy people have lost their mind…who are the Suburbs and how in the heck did they win album of the year… smh.” I had to Google smh to figure out it’s basically a more polite way of saying wtf.

To throw in an untz twist, I present The Hood Internet’s mash of Sprawl II with Blondie’s Heart of Glass. Hood Internet is on point – I caught half of the Chicago mash up duo for a show last spring, and will see Hood in its entirety at Rickshaw Stop on Thursday. While some of their stuff is laced with a bit too much rap/hip hop for my taste, it is tracks like this that make me beyond excited to dance my face off to their entire set, even on a school night. #untz

candy rawr

16 Feb

Sleepy. Rainy. Wednesday.

Today’s Emo: Candy / Paolo Nutini

oh I’ll be there / waiting for you’

I always assumed Paolo Nutini was from Latin America, perhaps because of his name. Sounds Brazilian. Then I heard Candy, and Nutini’s Scottish chops shined through. Somehow smooth and coarse at the same time, he sounds like a sexy young smoker, with a bit of Mumford and Sons and Avett Brothers tossed in.

Candy boasts one of my favorite music videos, showcasing a delightful little wedding south of the boarder. The location had me temporarily questioning Nutini’s nationality again, but confusion aside, I really enjoy the cinematography and simple happiness here. Things also get pretty steamy at the end. The last few clips are just marginally safe for work, depending on computer screen size. With all the love in the air, perhaps this would have been a more apropos selection for Monday’s v-day post, but it serves well to warm up this rainy midweek. And it means more when it’s just because instead of some corporate Hallmark fueled holiday, right? #emo

Today’s Untz: I Can’t Behave Myself / Deadmau5 ft. Neon Hitch

‘rawr’

While I was a bit disappointed with Deadmau5’s newest album, 4×4=12, this track makes up for some of the other songs’ lackluster untz. It is hard for me to resist strong female vocals on some serious beats, and when you toss in growling animal noises, I’m done. Dark club, speakers up, yes.

I owe a lot to Deadmau5 (pronounced mouse, not mau-five), aka scrawny Canadian dj Joel Zimmerman, because it was while experiencing one of his live sets that I fell in love with the untz. Love his signature bobbing mouse head, trancey collaborations with Kaskade, and that he posts live video casts of himself mixing stuff on his computer while talking to himself. Mostly I just love the way his music makes me feel. Like I want to misbehave. #untz

head and heart, naked and famous

14 Feb

I thought about doing a sappy Valentines Day post on the best untz and emo love songs of all time, but I am happy and tan and tired and jet lagged and not in the mindset to make such a sweeping selection of songs. Instead, I present two mellow tracks that have nothing to do with cupid but are definitely lovable. It is good to be home. ❤

Today’s Emo: Rivers and Roads / The Head and the Heart

been talking ’bout the way things change / and my family lives in a different state / if you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate

I’ve waited as long as possible to share a second THATH song, and it’s time. My favorite Seattle sextet closed both of their SF shows with this aching campfire worthy tune, and to be perfectly honest about my degree of emo, I teared up a bit the first time I heard it. The song’s lyrics, booming drum, and Charity’s raw, throaty voice embedded in the slightly off in a good way harmonies make it worth crying over.

Rivers and Roads was not on the band’s original cd release, and I have been dying to get my hands on a clear recorded version of the track for months. Prayers were answered when the band issued a remastered version of their debut album with a studio version of R and R in January.  #emo

Today’s Untz: Young Blood / The Naked and Famous

trying to find the in-betweens / fall back in love eventually / yeah yeah yeah yeah’

The Naked and Famous is a young group of New Zealanders that remind me of a less whiny Passion Pit. I love the beats in this song, the male/female vocals, and the feelings it evokes… like you’ve missed out on something good but you still feel hopeful for what is next. A fitting song title. The Naked and Famous’ ablum lands stateside March 6th, and Punching in a Dream is another favorite track. #untz

longest nights and lights

6 Feb

This post comes a day early and from 30,000 feet somewhere over Arizona (thanks gogo) as I find myself en route to Costa Rica. I am reuniting with two of my best college friends from the other coast for seven days of sun, surfing, monkeys, mango, and lots and lots of beer. No words to express this excitement, but a couple of fantastic songs to carry the week.

Today’s Emo: I Feel Better / Hot Chip

I only want one night, together in our arms / this is the longest night, we’re meeting arms to arms

Somehow Hot Chip makes robots sound sexy, and I love it. The Brit electro-pop gang garnered my interest with Boy From School and Ready for the Floor, but won me over with this string filled, nintendo game-esque declaration of adoration. The music video is also absurdly entertaining, and while boy bands and aliens don’t exactly mesh with the lyrics of this song, it worth a view (or three). #emo

Today’s Untz: Lights (Bassnector Remix) / Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding has a sultry sweet English voice, a la Kate Nash, and has done some crazy good slow jam covers on anything from Bon Iver’s the Wolves to Rihanna’s Only Girl in the World. She also has a most mashable sound and has been sampled and untz’afied by some of the worlds best djs. This Bassnector remix of Lights is insane. Even if you hate dubstep, just try not get blown away by the drum and bass. Bon voyage. #untz