Archive | July, 2011

broken concerto

13 Jul

‘He’s rigged a tiny cassette player with a small set of foam earphones to listen to demo tapes and rough mixes. Occasionally he’ll hand the device to Mindy, wanting her opinion, and each time, the experience of the music pouring directly against her eardrums–hers alone– is a shock that makes her eyes well up; the privacy of it, the way it transforms her surroundings into a golden montage, as if she were looking back…’ – Jennifer Egan / A Visit from the Goon Squad

Wednesday. Thank god for headphones.

Today’s Emo: Winter Beats / I Break Horses

Christmas in July! Swedish duo Maria Liden and Fredrik Balck have produced some cozy musical layers for us to snuggle into in spite of the the heat of these summer months with yesterday’s release of Winter Beats. The timing could actually not be better with the cold spell rolling through San Francisco, leaving a permanent layer of white low hanging clouds over us all.

The vocals are almost childlike, the synth sharp, and the vibe surprisingly dreamy considering it comes from a group called I Break Horses. The sweeping sound makes me think of Sufjan’s Steven’s Chicago. I Break Horses release their debut album, less originally named Hearts, in mid August. Pleased to have. #emo

Today’s Untz: Warrior Concerto / the Glitch Mob

This is not your sixth grade orchestra. The intro to Warrior Concerto starts like a happier, less frenzied version of the epic strings build in the theme to Requiem for a Dream, and moves its way into something triumphant and then playful. Beats meet strings, strings flourish and meet more serious beats, ears meet happiness. The Glitch Mob is an electro tripod from LA with a new EP, We Can Make the World Stop, out yesterday. Download the track off their site for free here. #untz

rocks and stones

11 Jul

Back to a regular five day work week. Countdown to Friday and weekend escape to Yosemite commenced with blaring of alarm clock this morning.

Today’s Emo: Box of Stones / Benjamin Francis Leftwich

‘there when the rain came and settled on your skin / more like before and you let it all in’

Gentle singer songwriter Monday morning emo. I came across Benjamin Francis Leftwitch a couple of weeks ago and have been getting lost in his smooth vocals and peaceful sound… he reminds me of a naive, more literal version of Josh Ritter, and I love the sleepy rolling feel to this song.

The title of his debut album, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, had the emo monger in me rumbling before I even heard a track, evoking an image of someone lighting a cigarette looking over a Midwestern field, biting the cold as clouds roll in. BFL is a mere 21 years of age and hails from York. While collectively his songs get a bit repetitive, I hear loads of potential. Will be keeping an eye on this one. #emo

Today’s Untz: Hits Me Like A Rock / CSS (Dillon Francis remix)

‘it’s been so long since I heard that song / made me sweat all night long’

I apologize in advance for getting this song stuck in your head all day. Dillon Francis jazzes up an already jazzy CSS song and the result are these beats playing on loop on my speakers and in my head all weekend long. Fitting, since the song is about when a song hits you like a rock. Love these Brazilian dance poptarts… perfect summer backdrop.

CSS = Cansei de Ser Sexy = “tired of being sexy.” Aren’t we all?  #untz

amor video games

8 Jul

After almost six months of blogging and shameless plugging myself via Facebook, Twitter and gchat statuses, as well as several failed url submissions onto the Hypem site,  I officially got TUATE listed on Hype Machine this Tuesday. Beyond floored.

I ordered a Hypem shirt from the site a week or so back, and low and behold it got dropped off on my desk that very same afternoon. Fate! Happiness. Music. Bribery?

Today’s Emo: Video Games / Lana Del Rey

‘he holds me in his big arms / he’s drunk and I am seeing stars / this is all I think of’

Sultry. The harp filled intro makes me feel like I am stepping into Florence + the Machine’s You Got the Love, but Video Games quickly takes a pace and sound all its own. Lana Del Rey’s look and that velvety voice feel from an earlier era: buffed blonde hair, penciled doe eyes, sharp full lips… I could picture her singing this in an old smokey jazz club, all eyes on her. Then she mentions video games and suddenly I find myself on my couch in high school, curled up with an old boyfriend, smuggled beers and a flirtatiously heated game of Mario Kart. The whole vibe and feel of the song is a string of beautiful contradictions to get lost in. A sincere declaration of adoration (‘it’s better than I ever even knew / they say that the world was built for two‘ meets Sonic the Hedgehog? 60’s vibrations meet modern love?

Thoroughly transfixed by this 24 year old emerging starlet from New york, who describes her music as “Hollywood sad core” and herself as a “gangster Nancy Sinatra.” Lana Del Rey  is currently embedded in studio working on her debut album. More video games please. #emo

Today’s Untz: Amor Fati / Washed Out

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.‘ – Ecce Homo / Friedrich Nietzsche

I know this is a little quiet for a Friday, but turn the dial to the right and ride this chill-wave straight into the weekend. Another great track off Washed Out’s upcoming album, Within and Without. Everything I have heard thus far screams Santa Cruz, surf, sand and a simpler life, and I am eagerly awaiting the official debut. Happily accepting my fate to listen and listen and listen.  #untz

enough sunshine

6 Jul

An epic 3rd of July BBQ led to a much more restful 4th, topped off with champagne and watching fireworks glitter across the bay from my roof with a few of my girlfriends. San Francisco picked a wonderful weekend to forget to be foggy and cold. Now on to the pseudo hump day of a short work week. 60 more days until Labor day.

Today’s Emo: Come Rain, Come Sunshine / Pallers

‘if we had the chance to do it all over again / would we / let it be’

Things start slow here and slip into something steady, with dreamy, celestial synth and chiming beats that build into hints of the Rainbow Road theme from N64. The translucent vocals from Swedish indie trip hip pop group Pallers remind me of the softer side of Hot Chip, and this track has me on repeat.

The duo’s album, The Sea of Memories, is set for a late September release, and if it sounds anything like Come Rain, Come Sunshine I look forward to the perfect soundtrack to ease out of summer into the fall. #emo

Today’s Untz: Enough is Enough / Avicii (live at EDC)

I love untz tracks with epic female vocals, in part because I get a little emo mixed right into my beats… ying and yang serviced at once. It has always surprised me how the cheesiest words can find themselves amongst the most earnest untz, and somehow sound like they belong there. It sounds Avicii killed EDC laying this out for the crowd, and I would have loved to be there. Further props to the Swedish DJ phenom… here’s to hoping he makes his way to the Bay sometime soon to catch a taste of this live. #untz

naked whale

1 Jul

The first of July brings an onslaught of U-Hauls, for free signs on battered couches on corners and for rent signs throughout city windows as people come and go with the changing of a summer month. I have moved the past three summers, spending July surfing craiglist, battling for real estate away from crackheads, cable cars and preschools, and miserably folding my life into boxes to Katy Perry (tough times call for terrible music). This will be my first summer of being settled, and it feels great to stay home.

Happy 4th of July! Signing out til Wednesday for some much needed R&R and playtime.

Today’s Emo: Tonight’s the Kind of Night / Noah and the Whale (RAC remix)

‘on his lips the perfect smile / his eyes begin to flood’

English folksters Noah and the Whale got RAC’ed, and the result is indie pop happiness. Once again, the threesome behind the Remix Artist Collective take a great track and keep it great… not an easy feat. I love that this version isn’t overdone… the original holds its own without cheap thrills tossed in for fanfare. Instead, just jubilant sounds woven throughout to wash something warm over Noah and the Whale’s already standout track off their new album, Last Night on Earth.

It is Friday, and tonight’s the kind of night where everything could change. #emo

Today’s Untz: Young Blood / The Naked and the Famous (White Sea remix)

‘the mood it changes like the wind / hard to control when it begins’

Surprisingly not mis-categorized as untz. White Sea’s version of Young Blood starts even slower than the original version, emitting ethereal emo with whispy, echoing vocals amidst hushed sounds, but then electro hijinx kick in at around 1:51 and do their thing for the rest of the track. Things sound off and on at the same time, with playful drums, discordant beats, and lots of ‘yeah yeah yeaaaahs’ sprinkled throughout. Love kiwis The Naked and the Famous’ original version of the song, loving this trippy, hopped up version as well. #untz