Archive | December, 2011

vampire heartbeats

29 Dec

I am back in San Francisco and in the midst of a forced staycation – the office is closed for the week and we have to take the days off as vacation. Accordingly, I am making the most of it by taking over this ghost town, spending last night playing heated games of liars dice and prowling in the Mission into early hours. And lots of Animal Planet.

Today’s Emo: Heartbeats / Ellie Goulding (The Knife cover)

‘ten days of perfect tunes / the colors, red and blue / we had a promise made / we were in love

I came across EG’s cover of this classic last night and immediately buckled in the knees… my admiration for this lady is only growing, and it is hard not to love hearing her voice sing one of the most romantic songs of my time. Heartbeats technically started with The Knife’s untz original, but her version is easily traceable back to Jose Gonzalez’ stripped down emo take.

There are so many gems nestled in the lyrics that I had a hard time picking a single string for italics above. I ultimately opted for the part of the song about perfect tunes, because when you are smitten hard, music just sounds so much better. #emo

Today’s Untz: The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance / Vampire Weekend (Chromeo remix)

‘your pillow feels so soft now / but still you must advance’

While I have never been a die hard Vampire Weekend fan, their debut album and I did spend a magical spring break together back in college, amidst the sand and surf. This remix has me back on that beach, Corona in hand. #untz


fire in your eyes

26 Dec

Listening to music and slipping into a peaceful post Christmas holiday coma.

Today’s Emo: Open Eyes (demo) / the xx

‘and my sky / don’t seem so bright / with you by my side / everything will be alright’

Drop everything now – or actually slow everything down – a new xx track  has hit the interwaves. The trio posted the song for free download on their blog yesterday, saying “Open eyes is a demo we did whilst creating our new album, we just wanted to share it with you. xx”

While there is not a lot to this one and I have to turn my speakers on full blast to capture the whispering sound, I am still happily soaking in hints of their signature bass and Romy’s soft as snow vocals, her cooing ‘whoooo” here reminding me of old school Tori Amos. I am left with bated breath for their new album and a fully fleshed out track. #emo

Today’s Untz: Fire in Your New Shoes / Kaskade ft. Dragonette

‘while I light a fire in your new shoes / if you should smile / look so surprised’

A lot of the best songs of the year are already starting to surface in the blogosphere in people’s top 10 of 2011 lists, and while Fire in Your New Shoes came out in 2010, both of it’s artists definitely had big years, and it is great to see it resurfacing. More poppy and playful than most of Kaskade’s new Fire and Ice, and with the perfect slice of Dragonette sass, the song still gets me going. Annnnd the intro makes me want to dance in place, hard, a la Flashdance / Jennifer Beals. #untz

final holiday

24 Dec

I should be wrapping presents and grabbing a couple last minute gifts, but music can’t wait for Santa tonight. These cookies can though, with a side of milk. Happiest of holidays.

Today’s Emo: Holiday / Capital Cities (Madonna cover)

‘we’re gonna have a celebration / all across the world / in every nation’

Capital Cities are two heavily bearded guys from Los Angeles who know how to command a crowd and stole my heart with their single Safe and Sound earlier this year. I saw them open for Wait What over at Public Works during the fall and they turned the room in the matter of a song or two, transforming a peaceful upstairs who had never heard of them into a sweaty epic dance party. No better way to spend a Thursday.

Here is the boys’ new take on Madonna’s classic, a toasty warm track that is a great listen for anyone taking the week off of work for stretches of white sand and margaritas or douglas firs, stockings and spiked cider around the fire. Holiday. Celebrate. Merry #emo

Today’s Untz: F.A.R.E.W.E.L.L / Final DJS

I found this gem on one of my favorite blogs, LA’s Binary, and have been playing it on repeat since I arrived home to Oregon for the holidays, much to the chagrin of my family who just doesn’t get “the untz” (pronounced in all different fashions).

F.A.R.E..W.E.L.L starts strong and keeps it up, with unexpected twists and turns carved along the way while still driving you straight forward throughout. Perhaps it is unfitting to start the day with a song about farewells, but this is the kind of music I want to listen to nestled up in bed on a quiet Sunday morning, awake but unwilling to fully wake and leave the warm comforts of bed, sleepily letting its pieces sink in. Merry #untz-mas

mystery candles

21 Dec

‘Tis the season to be jolly, frost sugar cookies, hug the family, realize that two glasses of eggnog is immediately one too many and switch back to red wine, sit around the fire playing cards, and unplug a bit. And then dance one’s face off to ring in the new year. Happy holidays to all.

Today’s Emo: Candles / Daughter 

‘just a young heart confusing my mind / but we’re both in silence / wide-eyed ‘

Sorry for such a wistful melody amidst all of this holiday cheer, but look no further than today’s untz to warm you right up, and let this beautiful track settle into your winter bones. I came across Daughter via Daytrotter, and was instantly bewitched by singer Elena Tonra’s whispy sliver of a voice and her tale of letting yourself take whatever you can get from someone you know you can never really have, even though you are old enough to know better. Elena’s voice reminds me of some of my favorite female vocalists, and Candles strikes me like Kate Nash’s Nicest Thing or Cat Power’s take on I Found a Reason. And don’t worry, whatever tragedy that caused such a beautiful mess has lifted –Elena is dating her guitarist. #emo

Today’s Untz: When I’m With You / Mystery Skulls 

’cause when I’m with you / I never get enough’

Found this gem via blahblahblahscience, and they put it so simply and so well: ‘Mr. Skulls’ top shelf synth pop jam “When I’m With You” just became your new favorite song.’ It doesn’t hurt that the sound perfectly matches how I feel. Repeat repeat repeat. #untz

digital dance blitz

19 Dec

The Naked and Famous tonight at The Independent with some of my favorites. Yes yes yes.

Today’s Emo: Dance on Our Graves / Paper Route

‘I need you now / I need you more than ever before’

So. Emo. But so pretty. Rolling piano, silvery vocals and the steady pattering of drums make this song come over you like rain. Paper Route is a four piece indie rock band from Nashville, and Dance on Our Graves is off of their 2006 debut. Grab a box of tissues and/or a bottle of whiskey and enjoy. #emo

Today’s Untz: Blitz / Digitalism

After becoming totally mesmerized by this song/video, I saw Digitalism play a live band set last week and the German duo totally tore it up. While it was a little slower and more rock-esque than I expected with the instruments instead of tables, there was still plenty of dancing our faces off. Watch the music video once and try not to smile / want to immediately hunt down tickets to see them live. #untz

night cough syrup

16 Dec

Today’s Grum track comes from TrashJuice‘s own Tom “Ferris” Faries.  I have been grabbing undercover untz from his blog for the last year, so it seems only fitting to get an official contribution. Consider this the lovemaking of our blogs (strictly musical).

Today’s Emo: Cough Syrup / Young the Giant

‘life’s too short to even care at all oh / I’m coming up now out of the blue’

A chorus saying life is too short to even care at all could be liberating, like don’t sweat the small stuff that doesn’t matter, or depressing, like fuck everything nothing matters. Since this song is about abusing the Purple Drink I am guessing it is the latter, but what a playful fun melody to take it all in with. Cough Syrup was shot over to me by my friend Chris the other day, and I have been taking steady doses since. The track is off Irvine formed indie rock quintet Young the Giant’s self titled debut of last year. Another spoonful please. #emo

Today’s Untz: Grum – Runaway (Nightriders Remix)

A groovy tune devoid of any lyrical meaning doesn’t mean a song can’t bring to mind an array of feelings. This Grum tune which has been remixed by Nightriders was never officially released. What is released is an overwhelming sense of wanting to cruise down south on the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down, the stars out, a great friend at your side, and palm trees passing you by. This is easily one my favorite tracks of the past year and it entirely encompasses the sound TrashJuice yearns for. Turn it up. #untz – Tom

national treasure

12 Dec

A late and abbreviated post because the internet has been out in my apartment all weekend. And we have mice. And half our lights went out. And (thankfully) SantaCon happened.

Today’s Emo: I Need My Girl / The National

‘I can’t get my head around it / I keep feeling smaller and smaller / I need my girl’ 

The National show last week was so fantastic that I have been replaying bits and pieces in my mind since, trying to relive a bit of what it made me feel. So fitting for Matt Berninger to have an glass of red wine with him on stage all night, amazing that he hopped off the stage and weaved his way through the crowd of Bill Graham rocking out to Mr. November. That venue is so vast it is almost impossible to feel intimate in, and they pulled it off, closing the show with Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks acoustically, with all of us singing along to fill the space.

I was delighted (and jealous) that the band debuted two new songs in a following performance in Canada. Both are awesome, but I Need My Girl is my favorite. Steady guitar strings, an echoed chorus, and sweet but not syrupy lyrics expressing that void you experience when you have to be away from someone and you know they are the only thing that is going to make you feel better. #emo

Today’s Untz: Call it What You Want / Foster the People (Treasure Fingers remix)

‘you say, “now what’s your style and who do you listen to?”‘

Despite aggressive over listening abuse, I still haven’t gotten my fill of FTP’s addictive sound. Thankfully Atlanta based dj/producer Treasure Fingers weaves in some nice variety to one of my favorites. #untz

starry snow

9 Dec

Santa Con is an annual rite of passage for the revelers of all things fun in San Francisco (and around the world), and I am excited to rock my $14.99 Walgreens Santa suit in all of its glory, have some champagne in my orange juice on Saturday morning (OK orange juice in my champagne) and go dance my face off with a thousand or so of my closest friends throughout the streets and bars of this fine city, immersed in a sea of red and white. It is hard not to be jolly in a Santa suit… this holiday brings out the best in everyone.

Today’s Emo: Devil’s Work / Miike Snow

‘my hands, I feel like I’ve been here before’

Miike Snow has given us all an early Christmas gift for being good boys and girls… a new song from their upcoming album, and it is exactly what I wanted this year. I didn’t realize just how much I missed their signature squiggly synth until I got a fresh taste of it. This is a song that just keeps giving. #emo

Today’s Untz: Starry Eyed / Ellie Goulding (Russ Chimes remix)

‘next thing we’re touching’

A throw back: I hearted this song on Hypem back on November 20th, 2010, but I am on a serious Ellie Goulding kick, and this remix is worth a revisit. I am still kicking myself for hearing MGMT at Outside Lands (despite numerous warnings that their live performances leave much to be desired) instead of seeing the golden haired English songbird tear up Sutro Stage. You live and you learn. #untz

enormous dinosaurs and mansions on the moon

7 Dec

I got so excited about today’s artists that my post has turned into a novella. Let the surplus count towards future Cliff Note-esque musings.

Today’s Emo: Leaves Fall / Mansions on the Moon

‘I think of you when the leaves change / and I remember what it is I had’

Mansions on the Moon: this week’s stellar discovery in the internet galaxy. Leaves Fall has the beautiful vocals and lyrics of the traditional singer/songwriter world, but the silvery synth and beat carrying it forward make it its own thing – a little indi-tronic, a hint of bedroom pop. However you define it, it is the kind of song that settles into you and let’s you settle into it. We all have things in life that remind us of people, for better or worse, and leaves are pretty unavoidable, making the song all the more poignant.

Mansions on the Moon is a trio from Atlanta who are releasing their new Lightyears EP track by track on their site. With Pharrell Williams as their executive producer and this amazing sound, it is only a matter of when not if they get some serious buzz. I am reallly excited to see where these guys go. #emo

Today’s Untz: The King and all of his Men / Wolf Gang (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs remix)

‘and if you’re dealing in a trick and a lie / I need to see her face for one last time’

I’ll admit that with a shortlist of nicknames that includes Tor Tor Dinosaur and DinoTor, I was already biased towards Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs by his name alone, but it didn’t take long for him to seal the deal with his sound. TEED is the solo project of Oxford’s Orlando Higginbottom, and Orlando is is the type of artist that makes blogging fun. He rocks an array of epic dinosaur costumes on the stage on a regular basis, takes press photos in an indian headdress, and comes across as totally enormously fun (and bright) in his interviews. Whenever I listen to his tracks I feel like I am transported back to the stone age, Land of the Lost style, but with only friendly, peaceful herbivores roaming amongst the palm trees, accompanied by a booze filled coconut and a little umbrella.

TEED also has great taste in his material – I loved this Wolf Gang track before he went pre-historic on it, and when I woke up to this remix Sunday morning to the start of a great day in the midst of a great weekend, it seemed fitting to share the good vibes. Enjoy. #untz

broken gossip

5 Dec

A short post after an amazingly music filled weekend.

Today’s Emo: Broken Jaw / Foster the People

‘then you take it away / and I come back down’

Foster the People’s Torches has been fueling my winter runs, and surprisingly one of my favorite songs is only on the bonus track version of the album. Broken Jaw drips of MGMT with a slow intro rolling up into an opus of a chorus, and even though it is much softer than most of FTP’s stuff it is so epic and emo it really gets me going. #emo

Today’s Untz: Heavy Cross / Gossip (Fred Falke remix)

‘it’s a cruel cruel world, to face on your own / a heavy cross, to carry alone’

I caught a clip of Heavy Cross on TV this weekend in a perfume ad featuring a smashing Charlize Theron, and was reminded of how awesome this song is. Throw in the handiwork of Mr. Falke and you have the perfect antidote to Monday morning blues. #untz