Archive | November, 2011

national dance

30 Nov


Today’s Emo: Terrible Love / The National

Terrible Love / The National

‘and I can’t fall asleep / without a little help / it takes awhile to settle down’

I am seeing The National headline for the first time on Saturday night at the Bill Graham Auditorium, and it has already gotten hard to concentrate on regular life three days out. The band needles itself in and out of my heart as being my absolute favorite, and this song brought me to tears at the end of Coachella last year (and not just because I was exhausted after three days of revelry).

The piano, the builds and breaks, the lyrics, Matt’s baritone–Terrible Love settles into you in the best kind of way, and after hundreds of listens still gets me every time. Love is terrible, and awesome, and spider filled and amazeballs. Thanks for articulating this guys, see you Saturday. #emo

Today’s Untz: Dance / Rebecca & Fiona

‘this is happy sleepless times’

Every month or two I come across a new song that immediately drives me totally bat shit and all I can articulate  is, “so good… so good.” I will attempt to shake myself out of my original stupor and explain why: celestial beats, whispery, sigh inducing lady vocals, and some beautiful strings nestled throughout. So good… so good. A blog favorite of mine, Sunset in the Rearview, put it like this: “This track, Dance, is less a song about dancing and more a song about making love to the floor with your feet and, by extension, your body.” Mmhmm.

Upon a little research I’ve discovered Rebecca and Fiona are beautiful Swedish princesses ruling the my world right now, and the duo recently released an album, I Love You Man, which I am checking out as I write. If the vocals sound vaguely familiar, look no further than Kaskade’s Turn it Down. #untz


red light motel

28 Nov

Favorite new website find that combines two of my favorite things: Simply type in the artist you want to listen to, and this genius site will give you a track and the perfect drink pairing. A bottle of red wine all for yourself with Bon Iver, a martini of tears for the Get Up Kids, a shot of Southern Comfort for Tim McGraw et cetra. While not a perfect science (it seems to default less known bands to PBR) it’s really quite clever, and being the Monday after a long holiday weekend, we could all use a drink.

Today’s Emo: At Least I Have Nothing / Saint Motel

‘and I probably messed up / made a mistake / at least it was mine’

A delicious pop treat from up and coming Los Angelites Saint Motel. I was pulled in on first listen by the suave vocals, catchy guitar, and lead singer AJ’s smug “mmm” after singing he has nothing. The hook is inescapable, relaying the somber benefits to leading a life with no strings attached.

The band has described the song as  ‘a fucked up look at the bright side of utter despair. When you have nothing, maybe that nothingness is actually something… freedom.‘ Bright side indeed. The track follows the group’s earlier single, Puzzle Pieces, and will be dropped via an upcoming 7’ vinyl. #emo

Today’s Untz: Red Light / Gigamesh ft Amanda Love

‘music / magic’

Music magic indeed, this track makes you feel good from the ears on down. Gigamesh has been posting great stuff for some time now, but recently released his first official EP. He took the time to personally thank me for my original post of his work a few months ago, while politely pointing out that I had misspelled his name as Gilgamesh (damn Mesopotamian mythology). Never again. The whole four track EP is a win, and Red Light is the perfect way to cautiously ease back into the working world. #untz

fade into everything

25 Nov

I have to blog in hiding from my one year old nephew because he is completely mesmerized by macbooks and tries to swallow them whole. My sister obtained a strange device that converted her old iPhone into a toy for him to play with. Hopefully he will take to music as much as he does to technology.

Today’s Emo: Fade Into You / Mazzy Star

‘some kind of light into your darkness’

My dad played his Best of Bridge School compilation all of Thanksgiving Day, and coming across this track again was a welcome reunion of sound. Fade into You is the kind of track you would imagine slow dancing to at prom if they played artists with a degree of complexity beyond Beyonce, with a steady sway to it that lingers. It settles into you so nicely.

The duo of Mazzy Star has released their first new song in fifteen years, Common Burn, in October, and while it is easy on the ears it doesn’t strike quite the same chord with me. Still worth a listen, and this track definitely worth a revisit. #emo

Today’s Untz: Everything in its Right Place / Radiohead (Tensnake remix)

‘everything in it’s right place’

Something I am thankful for: this edit of Radiohead’s Everything by Hamburg based dj/producer, Tensnake. The remix has been blowing up the blogesphere and dominating my speakers all week. It has been hard to track down an online version, but YouTube to the rescue. Right place, right now. #untz

a little home

23 Nov

A home themed track to go with the holiday weekend alongside your pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s Emo: Home / Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

‘hot and heavy pumpkin pie / chocolate candy Jesus Christ / ain’t nothing please me more than you’

I am lucky to have a concept of home that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, returning for the holidays to the house I grew up in with a family that has picnics under the Christmas tree every Christmas Eve and that lies down on the kitchen floor between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert in order to burp to make more room for the final course.

Edward Sharpe’s version of Home translates this feeling into a love, and I totally dig it… ultimately it is people and not places that cause this sense of comfort. And people can be anywhere. #emo

Today’s Untz: Little Man / Little Dragon (Tycho remix)

‘something missing in your smile / something missing in your soul’

A chill, minimal take on Little Dragon’s Little Man by one of San Francisco’s own. Tycho, aka Scott Hansen, is playing the Independent on December 10th, and if I survive Santa Con that day I will be sure to check him out-ambient beats could serve as the perfect antidote to a morning of mayhem running around Polk Street in a full santa suit. Although maybe I should wear it to the show. #untz

be true or bust

21 Nov

Half marathon complete! Special thanks to Classixx, Swedish House Mafia, and Avicci et al for having my back. Now just need to brave through a couple of days at work before I hop on a plane to Oregon and slip happily into the holiday weekend.

Today’s Emo: True Love or Bust / Long Walks on the Beach

‘and sure we’ve broken our hearts / like one too many times / but not too many times’

After spending the weekend running along the shore of Monterey, it seems fitting to take some Long Walks on the Beach with my Monday. This is third track I have shared from LWOTB, aka Fritz Kramer, investigative journalist by day and magical bedroom pop producer by night, and like all of his stuff, it is the kind of music that just makes you feel good. Sweet crooning, steady beats, an endearing chorus… there is nothing complex here and the gold is in the simplicity of the sound, restful while warming on the ears.

LWOTB’s site, aptly is also filled with hints of musical inspiration and thoughtful little tidbits. I know you have a day job Fritz, but think about coming and walking Ocean Beach and playing a show out here in SF. I wanna buy you a beer. #emo

Today’s Untz: Let it Be / Blackmill ft. Veela

The slower side of untz, this is my first time posting ‘chillstep’ but there is really no better way to describe this sound. Let is Be settles into you and makes you want to stretch out and loosen up, but definitely move. It’s creator, Robert Card, hails from Scotland and is a whopping nineteen years old. At a time where I was busy downing jello shots, he is already crafting some pretty accomplished stuff. Sigh. #untz

turn down the love

18 Nov

I am heading down to Monterey for the weekend to run the Big Sur half on Sunday morning, and have been spending the end of the week gathering all my best untz and flashiest indie pop to make an epic playlist to get me through the 13.1. Definitely not a purist who believes running should be silently focused on concentration and meditation… since the whole thing will be OVER by 9:30am, dishing out the loud stuff that keeps my feet off the ground.

Today’s Emo: You Got the Love / the xx (Florence + the Machine cover)

‘sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose / but you’ve got the love I need to see me through’

While my need for new Florence + the Machine has been satiated with the release of Ceremonials, the lack of any new xx has me revisiting old favorites. Florence’s signature harp cut with the Romy and Oliver’s soft yet smoldering vocals and tossed with playful beats is the perfect soundtrack to start your Friday. After all this time it still falls fresh on my ears… but hurry up guys. #emo

Today’s Untz: Turn it Down / Kaskade (Le Castle Vania remix)

‘look before you make your beat loud / can you turn it down’

There is nothing about this song that makes me want to turn it down–it is exactly the kind of sound that will be fueling me through Sunday. Everyone has been talking about how great Kaskade’s new album is and I can’t help but hop on the bandwagon. While I love her, it is refreshing to hear one of Kaskade’s tracks laced with vocals from someone other than Haley, and Le Castle Vania spins a nice little number on the whole thing. The release of Fire and Ice makes me thankful once again that Ryan Raddon forfeited Mormonism for the church of #untz

pirate doves

16 Nov

Little time for music this week as I have started reading this little series you may have heard of called The Hunger Games, and suddenly am totally unable to pry myself away from hundreds of pages of young adult fiction… some hybrid of Twilight minus the vampires, Harry Potter minus the magic, and Survivor except with teenagers as the contestants who are fighting till the death a la Lord of the Flys. God help me.

Today’s Emo: Wicked Games / Coeur De Pirate (The Weeknd cover)

‘bring your love / baby I can bring my shame / bring the drugs / baby I can bring my pain’

Coeur de Pirate (French for Pirate Heart) is a Canadian born singer named Beatrice Martin. Beatrice hails from Quebec and sings mostly in French (check out Les Amoures Devouees, delightful gibberish to my ears), but she puts her dirty pirate mouth to work on this cover of The Weeknd’s Wicked Games in Ingles. It is brilliant to hear such a gentle, soft voice emitting such gritty language, and while I imagine her singing it with a smirk on her face, she carries the somber tune with sincerity until the very end, when we catch a glimmer of giggles. #emo

Today’s Untz: Mother Protect / Niki & the Doves (Goldroom remix)

‘I used to follow you, follow you for days / I slept beside you, just shadows away’

I have been lusting over this song on Hypem all week only to discover yesterday that the remix artist Goldroom is the main writer for my new blog crush, Binary. New as in I have only just become acquainted and started devouring its content new, the blog has been around for some time now. Highly recommend, as with this track. #untz

star shadow

14 Nov

And the beat goes on.

Today’s Emo: Dark Star / Polica

‘ain’t no man in this world who could pull me down from my dark star’

Gayngs may have taken themselves off the streets for the time being, but two of their talent, producer Ryan Olson and singer Channy Casselle have joined forces to craft Polica in the supergroup’s wake. Dark Star features lot of smooth brass rolling throughout, met with plenty of sass come from Channy. The sultry sound has me thinking of a singer in a smokey old club, and conveys the kind of subtle urgency that makes you want to pull someone into a dark corner.

Excited to see Casselle join the leading ladies of the fall alongside the likes of Lana del Rey and Class Actress. Her echoed, slightly sinister vocals have me reminiscent of a favorite songstress of my middle school days, Fiona Apple. Sway your way through Monday. #emo

Today’s Untz: Scale it Back / DJ Shadow ft. Little Dragon (Party Ben remix)

‘and when you reach up, the sky – I stay…’

When sifting through potential Monday morning untz I tend to sway towards the softer stuff. Epic tracks without any build can feel jarring to take with your Monday morning alarm, and it’s best not to get too riled up so early in the week when Friday feels far from reach. Thus this steady track from DJ Shadow, featuring the cool and collected vocals of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano, remixed by Party Ben. You can almost hear a hint of Donna’s Last Chance in the beat. #untz

dreams like you

11 Nov

I almost saved this for 11:11 on 11/11/11, but decided today’s tracks are too good to sit on. Don’t forget to make a wish tonight.

Today’s Emo: Dreams / Cadillac

‘these dreams won’t last forever / so hold it to the sky’

Some cheery, carpe diem indie pop to slip into the weekend with. OK, I know this sounds a lot like just about any remixed Foster the People track or something straight off of Miami Horror, but a great song is a great song, and I am welcoming the introduction of Cadillac into my arsenal. Dreams is off of the Aussie group’s self titled release out in October. The entire EP is worth a go. #emo

Today’s Untz: Someone Like You / Adele (Thomas Gold & Mark Mendes remix)

‘I remember you said, “Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”

One more take on Rolling in the Deep? I couldn’t bare it. But another run on Someone Like You? Yes, I’ve got it in me. Thomas Gold and Mark Mendes splash something beautiful across Adele’s piercing classic, as the pitter patter of a drum line gives way to rolling piano and Adele’s striking vocals. The beats and builds make a song that bites a little more bitter than sweet a little less emo and more empowering. We’ve all been there. Repeat. #untz

dead lion

9 Nov

I have been a bit of a lush this fall, and after a very sluggish run on Saturday after a very epic Friday evening, I decided to go dry until after I run the Big Sur Half on the 20th. I know, I know, it’s just two weeks without booze… but in this city it kind of pours. Here’s to tea and honey and rest. And music.

Today’s Emo: Paris / Grandpa was a Lion

‘Paris you are the 4th of July / floating on our backs down the river / in the failing light’

Good music settles into my mood, great music has the power to change it. Monday afternoon came with some confrontations leaving me feeling unsettled and hectic. Then Paris came along, and with it slower breathing and a steadier mind. This was temporarily forfeited at the end of first listen, because I had to turn my volume up so high to capture the whispery vocals that the piercing intro of the electro song next in queue almost gave me a heart attack. But all was well when I backtracked through Paris again, and again.

Grandpa was a Lion is Justin D’Onofrio, and his sound reminds me of early Bon Iver vocals meets The Middle East with a touch of Iron and Wine’s folk and glimpses of Youth Lagoon’s backdrop of synth; dreamy lo-fi bedroom pop to curl up into. The track is off of this month’s release, Seven Songs, which ironically contains eight, topped off with a remix of Kanye’s Runaway. #emo

Today’s Untz: Aural Psynapse / Deadmau5

Oh hai Deadmau5, pleased to see you again. Joel officially released Aural Psynapse this week, but the track is actually a rework of an earlier track of his dated some time mysteriously between 1998-2002. You can hear traces of an old school, chiller ‘Mau5 here, especially in the serene beginning, and while this wouldn’t tear down the walls of a club, I am liking it more than most of the stuff he has released this year. #untz