Archive | September, 2011

equals disco

30 Sep

It is getting dark early. I got caught somewhere near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday when the sun slipped below the Bay, and left me navigating through dusk for the rest of my post work run for the first time since April.  Confusingly, but not surprisingly, the daylight departs with the arrival of the warmest weather we have seen here all year. Happy fall San Francisco.

Today’s Emo: Nine Equals Nine / Vanaprasta

Nine equals good. LA gentlemen Vanaprasta have dropped the first release off their upcoming full-length record debut, Healthy Geometry, and this rolling opus has me buckling in the knees. With a fierce Lenny Kravitz meets Kings of Leon vibe in the vocals, celestial beats as a backdrop, and sweet harmonies, I’m over the slightly repetitive ‘nine equals nine’ and have this on loop. #emo

Today’s Untz: Big Jet Plane / Angus and Julia Stone (Stern* Disco remix)

‘can I take ya / take ya higher’

What is lazier, posting a song for a third time, or stealing the #1 song on Hypem yesterday? OK, what about both? It’s been a long week and I really love this song. Australian sibling duo Angus and Julia’s Big Jet Plane meets the match of another great remix artist for just the right amount  of Friday beats. As in I am exhausted and need to have a chill weekend but still have some fun kind of Friday beats. #untz


wicked empire

28 Sep

I created an email account for the blog back in July,, set up what I thought was email forwarding into my regular gmail account, and then just assumed no one was contacting me because nothing was coming through. I used to work at Google, so you’d think I could handle the simple concept of gmail forwarding, but apparently not. I logged into the blog account on a whim on Sunday night and had over a hundred emails waiting for me – music recommendations, artist plugs from labels, and to my delight even few thank you from artists themselves. Totally floored, all was happily (if tardily) received.

Today’s Untz: Wicked Game / James Vincent McMorrow

‘the world was on fire / no one could save me but you’

I saw JVMM for a second time last Friday night, appropriately rolling into Slim’s with a group of six Irish friends, and soon found myself knee deep in whiskey and beautiful music. James played all of my favorites from his album as well as his new cover of Higher Love, and then closed out his encore with this cover of the Chris Issak classic. Stripped down to just that voice and a little guitar, the result was tragically stirring. The house fell silent.

You know when you are watching a soccer game, and both teams are playing quite well, but then someone ties things up at the very end of the game and for the last few minutes everyone is playing like someone hit fast forward – with extreme focus, intensity, drive – and you wonder why either of the teams didn’t display this prowess earlier in the game and annihilate the other team all along? That is how I felt at the end of this show. James played beautifully throughout the night, but at the end some sort of fire got lit that brought things to an entirely new level. Stunning. #emo

Today’s Untz: Walking on a Dream / Empire of the Sun (Oxford remix)

‘we are always running for the thrill of it thrill of it, thrill of it’

Oxford shakes up Empire of the Sun’s signature track into something made to be played on the beach, and the head bob here is unavoidable. This is the first I have heard of French artist Antoine Rigail, pulled from my friend’s BlogJuice but hope to be hearing more soon. For the thrill of it. #untz

miles and waterfalls

26 Sep

After celebrating my 100th post, I promptly missed my regularly scheduled 101st due to being out entirely too late at Thursday’s Bon Iver concert. Fitting.

Today’s Emo: Holocene / Bon Iver

‘and I could see for miles, miles, miles’

Bon Iver at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley: one of the top five concerts I have yet to experience. It was a sunny day and a warm night, and we left work early  to get a prime spot perched on the first layers of concrete rows, with a blanket and a couple of glasses of wine in plastic cups and hot dogs. Classy. Other Lives gave a lively opening with their click clack beats and harmonies and then Justin Vernon and his crew took the stage a little after sunset.

The show was in a word beautiful. There was a perfect mixture of slow the world down acoustics off of For Emma and epic, lingering jam sessions off the new album. Justin’s voice sounded straight out of the studio, even better against the night. I know this is beyond emo, but I literally felt like like the sound laced air felt different when I breathed it in, something extra in there.

Like the best concerts, I left with ringing ears and a dazed grin, mumbled lyrics under my breath, and clarity. Today’s track is my favorite off of the new album, and was absolutely stunning live. #emo

Today’s Untz: Every Teardrop is Waterfall / Coldplay (Avicii remix)

‘I turn the music up, I got my records on / I shut the world outside until the lights come on’

Avicii does a little number on Coldplay’s new single, and like most things he touches, I can’t help but like it.  I remember when Laidback Luke sampled Viva La Vida at Coachella this year and how he was met with murmors of boos amongst an otherwise extremely warm crowd, but it sounds like the untz community has welcomed Waterfall with more open arms as Avicii has been opening his sets with it. #untz

don’t dance around

21 Sep

I have had to step up my game at work this summer, meaning less time plugged into my headphones during my 40+, and a stronger reliance on recommendations to fill these thrice weekly posts with music worth listening to. Keep them coming. Thanks to my friend Chris for not one but both of today’s tracks, including one I am totally losing my shit over (see below).

Also, today’s post is my 100th! Let’s celebrate.

Today’s Emo: It’s Around You / ANR

‘so keep your toenails on the ground / put your fingers in the air / let your voice sing it loud’

Do you remember that scene in the Notebook (sorry guys), where Ryan Gosling has just drooled over Rachel McAdams at the fair, and then runs into her on the street and gives a whole spiel about how when he sees something he really really likes, he’s gotta love it? Gotta have it? That is how I feel about this song. On repeat, nonstop, can’t get enough, since first listen yesterday afternoon.

ANR/Awesome New Republic is a two piece indie duo formed by Michael John Hancock and Brian Robertson at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami back in ’04. They are the first act I have come across hailing from Southern Florida that have had me in a musical fit like this, with TV on the Radio powered vocals and a teasingly mainstream sound with just the right tinge of Yeasayer weird to firmly grab my attention. Singing it loud. #emo

Today’s Untz: You Don’t Want to Dance With Me / Monarchy ft. Britt Love

‘I have got to keep my distance / the pounding of my heart can’t be disguised’

A softer untz, but perfect to combat those “it is only Wednesday?!” feelings washing over me today. If I played anything too wild it would only make my breath all the more abated for the weekend.

I enjoy most Monarchy songs I come across, but this is the first to really catch my ear. Maybe it’s the infusion of Britt Love (who sounds just a little like a less auto-tuned version of another Britney I know) and her sassy vocals, something about the beat, or the markable sting in the song’s theme that has me pulled in here. Likely some combination of the three. I do want to dance. #untz

so shake it

19 Sep

Epic weekend. Epic tunes. Short post.

Today’s Emo: Shake it Out / Florence + the Machine

‘but I like to keep some things to myself / I like to keep my issues strong / it’s always darkest before the dawn’

There’s my girl. Florence Welch is back after a shaky start with the release of What the Water Gave Me. This lead single from Halloween’s upcoming album, Ceremonials, is the stirring, magical, wake me up sound I expect from Florence + the Machine.

Perhaps it is a bit cliche to utilize the “it’s always darkest before dawn” adage, but it fits right into a track about choosing to finally shake off your demons, face the night, and move on into the morning. I know, I know… #emo

Today’s Untz: Feel So Close / Calvin Harris

Feel So Close / Calvin Harris

‘and there’s no stopping us right now’

The softer side of untz… it is really hard not to like this song. Calvin Harris needs no introduction, and his track is happiness, movement and cuddle inducing. Pleased to have. #untz

weekend plane

16 Sep

Bring on the weekend.

Today’s Emo: Weekend / Class Actress

‘you make me late for work / you make me late for church / so hard to leave’

Fall arrives with more sultry, female driven, smooth laced indie in tow. Class Actress’ Elizabeth Harper has stolen my airwaves along the likes of Lana Del Rey, causing me to re-evaluate my usual allegiance to the smokey male vocal. There is something delightfully sweet wrapped up in this electro-pop jam without being too syrupy, and I find it instantly and appropriately slipping me into weekend mode. The track is off  Class Actress’ new album, Rapproacher, out in October. #emo

Today’s Untz: Big Boys Don’t Cry / Aeroplane

Aeroplane posted this track, and a short message, in response to the accidental death of French-born DJ Mehdi. “Hi all, I’m not good with words. But somehow since Tuesday I couldn’t think right and something needed to get out. Music being the only medium I know how to use, here it is. It’s called ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry.’ Once again, my thoughts go out to all my friends who are going through hard times right now.”

A horn blowing intro leads us into something less tangible and more celestial with tingly dripping notes, amidst sinister whispers of ‘big boys don’t cry’ interwoven throughout. While crafted in response to tragedy, there is also a sense of celebration in the sound. #untz

what for

14 Sep

This week I exchanged my demon red glaring “EH EH EH” blaring alarm clock for the gentle dim blue glow of an iHome, which pleasantly (if not ironically) woke me up with Phoenix’s Love Like a Sunset (part II) the other morning. I am reminded how changing little things in life can make a big difference.

Today’s Emo: For 12 / Other Lives

‘but it feels like forever / when your mind turns to fiction’

Another gem off of Other Lives’ new album, Tamer Animals. Like Desert, For 12 reminds me of a country western opus, with a cowboy strumming around a campfire, horse hoof beats, and a stirring for yesteryear. Cool and calm while awakening, this is the kind of music I rely on as my backdrop during a long work day when I need to stay steady. Looking forward to seeing OL open for Bon Iver at the Greek in a couple weeks… beyond excited to hear them and Justin Vernon’s Christmas morning creaks. #emo

Today’s Untz: Life’s a Fati (Nas vs. Washed Out) / Wait What

‘design, you’ve got / the life to guide / your faith decides / the world’s your goal to find’

This is very overdue. My good friend Charlie Kubal (aka Wait What) has been working mashup magic  for a couple of years now and it’s about time one of his gems is featured on TUATE. While I am not partial to the hip hop world (you may have noticed) I am making an exception for Wait What’s new single, Life’s a Fati, which somehow works for me in the way  his entire Notorious xx album (Biggie + the xx) worked for me. My only complaint for that project is I can’t hear the original Islands without missing a beat when the rap doesn’t kick in.

With one of my favorite Washed Out track here, Charlie makes the emo and the hop somehow sound like they were made to be played together.  Not an easy feat. Excited to hear his upcoming full album release on the 20th. Stay tuned. #untz

happy lights

12 Sep

The lineup for Neil Young’s 25th annual Bridge School Benefit Concert was released last week, and I could not be more floored. Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons, Foo Fighters… yes please. The only time my dad makes it down to San Francisco each year is not to visit two of his three lovely daughters but rather to see Neil’s (first name basis) annual production as one of his most loyal fans… clearly music runs in my veins.

We make it a family affair with lawn tickets, the perfect picnic, and craftily smuggled in bottles of wine (my mom looks very innocent to security guards). Looking forward to this year more than ever – tickets go on sale Friday on LiveNation so don’t miss out.

Today’s Emo: Junk of the Heart (Happy) / The Kooks

‘I wanna make you happy / I wanna make you feel alive’

I had an epic love affair with The Kook’s first album, Inside In/Inside Out, circling the CD on repeat for days on end while circling the San Francisco streets with my current love at the time, but alas, like most young love, my feelings for the Kooks fizzled with their second release, Konk.

The verdict is still out on their upcoming album release on Tuesday, but if it sounds anything like this syrupy title track, its looking like fluff… feel good puppy fluff. I like that this song openly embraces its sap factor, and its reminding me of simple Beetles love songs. Too many listens, and you are sure to get a toothache, but with moderation the perfect treat. #emo

Today’s Untz: Lights / Ellie Goulding (RAC remix)

‘I had a way then losing it all on my own / I had a heart then but the queen has been overthrown’

The Remix Artist Collective weaves their signature magic with a softer take on one of the most remixed songs of year. I have been rocking out hard to the Bassnector version, but the RAC spins Lights into something you can take with your morning coffee.  I love the flute sounding spirals interspersed throughout, and the preservation of Ellie’s original take. RAC is great at remixing songs without changing their core, just showing them to us from a different angle. #untz

deep words

9 Sep

Another TUATE post from above, I’m writing this somewhere over middle America. The perfect way to kill time/distract myself from the crying baby on my left, who has already had his diaper changed on the seat next to me twice, and we are only 1.5 hours into the flight. Sigh.

Today’s Emo: Words / Givers

Words / Givers

‘so I choose my words so carefully / like the sun, make it glow, or they glare at me’

This is a song about (surprise) words, and the simple premise that what we say comes back around, so we should proceed with caution. Givers played hard at the Rickshaw Stop Wednesday, and this was one of the songs they rocked out the hardest to, and one of my favorites of the night. The band has a memorizing blonde drummer with hair down her back that she swings around in circles, Animal of the muppets style, when she plays and I think she had more than a few of us ladies in the audience questioning our sexuality by the end of the performance. #emo

Today’s Untz: How Deep is Your Love / The Rapture

‘I’m walking all the time / now you’re walking right next to me’

Nothing like untzing out to yourself on an airplane — this track has me foot tapping in spite of my limited leg room.  How Deep is Your Love is off of Tuesday’s release of The Rapture’s new album, The Grace of your Love, the NY dance-punk group’s first release in five years. Pleased to have. My only concern is how much the chorus of “let me hear that song” resembles Sisqo’s “let me see that thong.” Oh well. #untz

love rest

7 Sep

Off to see Givers play the Rickshaw Stop with a few of my favorite people tonight, and then hopping on a plane to Chicago for work in the morning. The busy life, musically infused.

Today’s Emo: Beth/Rest (solo piano version) / Bon Iver

‘our love is a star / sure some hazardry / for the light before and after most indefinitely’

Bon Iver takes the least Bon Iver sounding track off his recent album and slows it down, strips off all the overdone sax and zany guitar, and leaves us with some of his best work yet, the kind of music that settles into you while you settle into it, and brings you peace after you stop trying to figure out what the fuck Justin Vernon is saying/singing. I love the contrast of his lows and highs, and the rolling piano builds, love listening to this on repeat as I weave my way into sleep. #emo

Today’s Untz: Love in the Rimini / Peter & the Magician

Another untz pulled straight off my friend’s BlogJuice, and his description (me = lazy/busy): “Enjoy a slightly newish release from the Magician (ex member of Aeroplane). There isn’t much to say about the Magician that hasn’t already been said. He’s amazing and you should always check out his choice mixes.” Done. (Thanks Tom.) #untz