Archive | March, 2011

sleeping dragons

14 Mar

Last fall I was excited for the extra sleep daylight savings provided when we all fell back an hour. Then it got dark at 5, and that hour stopped feeling so sweet. This morning’s alarm was brutal, but I am thankful for the opportunity to take my end of day commute and evening runs out from under the cover of darkness. Make light.

Today’s Emo: Sleeping Lessons (RAC remix) / The Shins

‘and glow / glow / melt and flow / eviscerate your fragile frame / and spill it out on ragged floor / a thousand different versions of yourself’

RAC gently folds in something warm into the Shin’s already fantastic Sleeping Lessons, crafting a remix that awakens my soul while drifting me away into sleepy musical bliss. Known for capitalizing on a song’s subtle nuances, Remix Artist Collective takes a fresh approach on the art of the remix: “I strive to create remixes for music lovers who want to hear the song re-invented, not just re-interpreted and chopped up,” RAC founder Andre Anjos says, “I hope people experience the original songs in a different way that not only complements the original, but takes them somewhere else.”

Andre is originally from Portugal but currently resides in Portland, Oregon, and has enlisted Andrew Maury and Karl Kling into the collective. The group of twenty somethings have worked magic on Phoenix’s Armistice, Chromeo’s Fancy Footwork and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s Home. All refreshing, but Sleeping Lessons takes me somewhere else. #emo

Today’s Untz: Hello / Martin Solveig & Dragonette

‘you’re alright but I’m here darling to enjoy the party’

The perfect weekend anthem, Hello captures those nights when you are out dancing with your girlfriends and aren’t interested in getting distracted by engaging with the opposite sex. I believe Dane Cook said it best with, “…let’s go dance tonight! Fuck guys tonight. Let’s just stand in a circle around our shoes and our pocketbooks and lets just dance. And if guys come near us we’ll tazer them. No guys.”

Dragonette is an indie band from Canada that has also done some killer collaborations with Kaskade, and Martin Solveig is dj gold from Paris. There are dozens of Hello remixes out there, but I keep going back to the original. The song’s music video is also a treat – Solveig takes on Bob Sinclair in a tennis match. Lycra, short shorts, bad pony tails… #untz

star fetish

11 Mar

It’s the Friday before Saint Patrick’s Day which means a weekend of merriness, day drinking, beer that stains your teeth green and pinching. This will happen all over again on the actual Saint Patty’s day and then again the weekend after. So it goes. I am in the middle of reading Slaughterhouse-Five, and want to follow every thought with ‘so it goes.’

Today’s Emo: Death as a Fetish / Starfucker


I saw Starfucker play all of two songs Wednesday night thanks to totally miscalculating  when they would take the stage. During the majority of their show I was down the street drinking beer from a boot and eating delicious German food, killing time before their show. So it goes. I had the best kind of company, the two songs were good and as a consolation I got to meet the band/get my album signed. The boys look like babies so perhaps this is why they decided to play a headlining show at the Rickshaw Stop at nine pm. School night.

Death as a Fetish is surprisingly upbeat for having a morbid (if not kinky) title.  I’d like the sound to follow me around on a sunny weekend adventure somewhere warm and outdoors. I realize I originally introduced STRFKR as an untz, but their new album is decidedly more mellow than their earlier stuff. Reptilian, which is a slimy sounding title for an album with such smooth beats, is phenomenal – Passion Pit meets Miike Snow meets chill instrumental djs like Germany Germany.  Starfucked. #emo

Today’s Untz: Stars (LAZRtag remix) / The xx

and I can draw the line on the first date/ I’ll let you cross it / let you take every line I’ve got

The xx is one of my favorite bands, Stars is one of my favorite songs, and this is a stellar remix. The underlining theme of Stars takes you to a place that we’ve all been to– that dizzy feeling when you are hitting it off perfectly on a first date, your subsequent decision to not put out because you really like this person, and the inevitable allowance to lose yourself in the moment because Stars don’t shine for the very first time very often, and deserve to be celebrated. LAZRtag transforms the whispy song into something dance worthy and the beats at the end have a hint of Kaskade’s trance inducing sound. Celestial. #untz

stop your body

9 Mar

[guest post by Kurt Soller]

Today’s post injects some East Coast influence into both the Untz and the Emo. The same boy who introduced me to Vampire Weekend during a sun soaked Mexican spring break and Francis and the Lights last fall contributes two bands I have never heard before but instantly love. It doesn’t hurt that the boy can write, having taken on the pages of Newsweek, Esquire, and New York Mag.

I am also not the least bit surprised that his untz involves roaming the streets very late after a night of play. Great taste and thoughtful words… enjoy. And thanks ‘Tugs. – Tor

Today’s Emo: Your Body is a Machine / The Good Natured

we are influenced by self-love and benevolence / narcissism’s overwhelming / vanity is quite exhausting / self-indulgent, hedonistic, blame it all on your upbringing’

I don’t remember how I first found this song, but I do know this: when I went searching for more information on The Good Natured and the indie-pretty Sarah McIntosh, she had just launched her band’s website that day – on March 8th. Needless to say, if she’s anything like her fellow label ladies (Bat for Lashes and Lily Allen, to name a few) or any of the other fierce front women that seem to be farmed in the UK these days, we can expect true greatness. Florence, batten down the hatches!

I’m especially digging the song above because it hides emo-romance beneath lively beats and a constantly-changing cadence. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a gothic, Crystal Castles-inspired undertone to all this, another group that starts my mind racing toward darkness every single time. #emo

Today’s Untz: Stop and Stare / Fenech-Soler

the city, it sleeps, not knowing the reason why

Growing up, everyone always mispronounced my name as Soler (Solar?) and for some reason, even now, I’ve always remembered that. So I was originally drawn to Fenech-Soler when I saw their name – my mistaken name – while reading Kitsune Maison’s stellar online journal.

Soon, I forgot all about the name bullshit and was pulled into this U.K. band’s hypnotizing electro-pop. Like La Roux or Ellie Goulding, I like the glam sensibility that underlines pulsing techno beats. This time, it’s absolutely a dude’s game, with a chorus that’s booming with brio; Ben Duffy is one energetic lead vocalist, and I’m eager for the band to head on their first U.S. tour. After struggling over which of their songs would be the most weekend-worthy, I settled on the one above. It’s an up-all-night anthem about losing track of time, wandering around the city and, perhaps even, forgetting how to pronounce your own name. #untz

when I’m undercover

7 Mar

Too much of a weekend to write much of an intro, but always time for songs. The flames lyrics below are especially relevant to Saturday as I learned to dip my finger in 100 proof liquor, set finger on fire, shoot the liquor, and then extinguish my finger. When trying this yourself, do not accidentally spit out shot onto open flame (Peter).

Today’s Emo: When I’m Small / Phantogram

and bring me to the fire  / throw me into the flames

My first few listens of this song left me transfixed by its sultry sound. Then I actually listened to the words and realized there is no expression of desire in the song, but rather a fierce expression of the opposite… ‘I’d rather die than to be with you…’ Ahem. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful song, and if you listen closely a couple of minutes in you can hear the basic tune from Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World” repeating in the background. Really.

This electro pop duo from Saratoga Springs have been busting beats together since middle school, but officially gave Phantogram a go in ’07. When I’m Small was recently featured in the terrible, hot mess of an MTV show Skins and subsequently has garnered considerable buzz. Dreamy beats and soft vocals with an xx vibe… I can see why, and expect to be hearing more from Phantogram soon. #emo

Todays’ Untz: Undercover Martin (Passion Pit Remix)/ Two Door Cinema Club

and she spoke words that would melt in your hands / and she spoke words of wisdom

Another Two Door Cinema Club song because I cannot get enough of this Irish band’s debut album, and this song with a side of Egg McMuffin seriously woke me up for a day on slopes on Saturday morning. To bump up the already beat driven song I found this awesome Passion Pit remix.

Two Door is playing the Filmore before they come find me in the desert in April, so if you are planning to skip Coachella but take advantage of the epic influx of shows in the Bay the weeks pre/post Coachella, get this on your list. #untz

mornin’ parade

4 Mar

Nothing beats receiving the gift of music, except perhaps being the giver of music because the receiver has you in mind every time they hear your song for a long time, sometimes forever. I can still remember my high school algebra study buddy who burned me my first Death Cab for Cutie CD, and the thrill of opening a package of three mixes from a friend during a very homesick freshman year of college to discover Stars. Bon Iver’s album For Emma will forever both haunt me and make me smile over the set of hands that presented it to me.

In a world of itunes, instant downloads and Hype Machine, there is something pretty sweet about opening a CD case with a handwritten note etched inside from someone you care about. Today’s Wolf Parade track is the result of one of these said gifts. I feel lucky to have received it and happy to share it.

Today’s Emo: This Heart’s on Fire / Wolf Parade

sometimes we rock and roll / sometimes we stay at home / and it’s just fine / this heart’s on fire

It always throws me when I can’t pinpoint why I like a  song, but in this case I have to default to the fact that listening to this makes me happy. An old song that is new to me, the track is off of Wolf Parade’s debut album back in ’05. The Canadian foursome have been playing in enough packs (couldn’t resist) to be considered a supergroup, with members involved in Handsome Furs, Frog Eyes, and Swan Lake.  Animal fetish?

Sadly, I have joined the parade right as it is coming to a close – the group recently announced they are going on indefinite hiatus to work on individual projects, but will be playing one last show at Sasquatch in May. Catch them while you can. #emo

Today’s Untz: Mornin / Star Slinger

give me your sweet face / all laid up next to mine

I apologize for a slightly sleepy untz for a Friday, but just turn that speaker up.  A bro on my soccer team tipped me towards Star Slinger via a tweet (thanks Victor) and this has fittingly become my go-to morning commute song for the past few days. Delicious electro indie hip hop for breakfast. Truly I am wasting this gem with a dreary muni ride as my backdrop, as it would be better served in the comforts of bed durin a blurry eyed Sunday morning for two. Noted. #untz

girl in the deep

2 Mar

Rain in San Francisco during the week = fresh pow in Tahoe for the weekend. Lemons into lemonade.

Today’s Emo: Girl in the War / Josh Ritter

but I got a girl in the war, Paul her eyes are like champagne / they sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain

I haven’t come across any compelling indie this week so I defer to a  favorite from the vault. My love of emo originated from singer/song writers, and Josh Ritter is one of the best I know. The simplicity of sound and its contrast to the complexity in meaning make 2006’s Girl in the War captivating. Iraq, Bush, the apostles, faith, love, loss… interpret the words as you wish, or stop thinking and just listen. And listen. #emo

Today’s Untz: Rolling in the Deep (Adele Cover) / Mike Posner

there’s a fire starting in my heart / reaching a fever pitch /  it’s bringing me out the dark

Came across this track and was like, Mike Posner covering Adele?  Oh please. Then I started listening to it and was like oh, pleased. Until now I really have had nothing pleasant to say about Mr. Posner. I think that ‘Cooler Than Me’ is one of the more annoying songs of last year and that the the ’10 frat grad was more than a little self indulgent in wearing his Duke jacket in his Please Don’t Go video.

However, this effort shows talent is talent, and that I need to tone down the hating… after all I was in a sorority myself (sigh). Posner makes his take on Rolling in the Deep believable. Surprisingly heartfelt vocals, nice trickles of untz, a steady beat, and a touch of the original Adele perfectly woven in. Reminds me a little of the xx’s take on Florence and the Machine’s You Got the Love. Repeat repeat repeat. #untz