Archive | February, 2012

dream work

29 Feb

February 29th! Leap Day. I always take ‘holidays’ (I use the term loosely here) as a chance to reflect back and take stock on where I was on that day the year prior, but Leap Day requires a deeper delve back into the past. Four years ago I was a senior in college, battling the bitter cold of Chicagoland winter and studying for midterms, my future unknown. Now I find myself four years into ‘adulthood’ (I use the term loosely here) and firmly nestled into sunny California. Four years from now I will be who knows where, and THIRTY. Today is a friendly reminder that time is moving, whether we notice it or not. Gotta eat up each minute of it, and fill it with music.

Today’s Indie: The Dream Has Faded / Geographer

‘don’t you think it kinda looks like / like we’re driving straight into nothing / like we’re trying to catch it in our headlights / but the night just keeps on running’

San Francisco’s own Geographer released their new album, Myth, yesterday and my burning anticipation was met with sweet musical relief. The album further proves these guys are the real deal, with smooth yet disrupting synth-rock, arcing 80’s-inspired-but-better vocals, stirring lyrics and a sound that is decidedly their own. I love the way Geographer’s music makes me feel, and the degree to which I feel it, and I think that is one of the best things you can say about music.

This wistful and rolling song, The Dream Has Faded, is my favorite so far, but you can stream the whole album via Paste Magazine and choose one for yourself. #indie

Today’s Untz: Body Work / Morgan Page ft. Tegan and Sara

‘I get shy in these lights I feel your body doing overtime’

It is a beautiful thing when both my worlds get so perfectly satisfied by the same song. Indie veterans and sisters Tegan and Sara team up with DJ Morgan Page and the result is something almost as dance worthy as their classic track with Tiesto, Feel it in my Bones. Sexy, sexy dance pop.

The collaboration happened a while back but officially debuted this week with a new music video. Enjoy. #untz


time on desert islands

27 Feb

The best weekends lead to the worst Monday morning blues…

Today’s Emo: Desert Island / Mansions on the Moon

‘you found all the pieces and you rebuild me / all that surrounds me’

Here is the perfect mellow musical antidote from Atlanta indie pop trio Mansions on the Moon. I was floored on first listen by their song Leaves Fall, but Desert Island comes in at a close second with its tingly xylophone and hushed, arcing vocals. The track is off of the group’s debut EP, Lightyears, and the whole thing is entirely outer space worthy. #indie

Today’s Untz: As Time Breaks Off / Delorean

As Time Breaks Off grabs you on first breath, even though (or maybe because) the first few moments sound like we are heading into Eye of the Tiger.  With throbbing beats and epic guitar, it is a fast moving song that carries you with it, instilling a sense of movement and time that feels fitting for a song called As Time Breaks Off from a band named after one of the most epic time machines in history. An oldie but a goodie, the track is off Basquean group’s 2005 album, Transatlantic KK, which has been on heavy rotation on my Spotify all week. #untz

your sunshine

24 Feb

A heat wave has washed over the Bay Area for the past few days, and being trapt indoors during 70 degree weather in February is torture. A sun soaked untz and Friday to the rescue…  and a long lunch in the park.

Today’s Indie: Call Your Boyfriend / Noah and the Whale (Robyn cover)

don’t you tell him how I give you something that you never even knew you missed / don’t you even try and explain how it’s so different when we kiss’

A playful little twist on Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend, English indie popsters Noah and the Whale flip the table and tell us how to politely call our boyfriends and let them know they have been traded in for new flames. While this sounds like the nicest way to go about such a conversation, the whole uptempo spin on NATW’s cover has a smug little grin behind it that Robyn’s original version doesn’t have — she sincerely sounds a little sad and sorry for the chick, like she’s been there too (ahem Be Mine). I guess boys will be boys… but I like it. #indie

Today’s Untz: Sunshine / Picture Book (Justin Faust remix)

‘I feel like the summer inside’

Here is a can’t help but smile electro popsicle of a track, aptly titled Sunshine and perfect for melting you into the weekend. Syrupy sweet in lyrics and sound, it might be advisable to consume in moderation to avoid a tummy ache, but I had it on repeat all Thursday afternoon. Picture Book is comprised of two brothers who were born stateside but grew up in the UK, and Sunshine is the first release of their first official EP, At Last, out in January. German DJ/producer Justin Faust washes a dreamy wave over the single in his remix, and it is in a word, nom. #untz

shut the night out

22 Feb

I took Monday’s holiday is a blogiday, left the laptop at home and spent the day outside enjoying the splendors of San Francisco, ending it all with a sunset over the bay with a four legged friend. Now back to work, but with a little help from another friend, who guest wrote today’s Indie on Jhameel, one of the Bay Area’s own.

Today’s Indie: Shut Up / Jhameel  (guest post by Erik Eppel)

‘is it that I might have heard you shoot the pistol / like an animal you tear apart your prey and then kiss them’

I’d say I went to a concert Monday night, though, when this guy took the stage, the show assumed the character of a séance. Song after song, Jhameel channeled MJ’s ghost—bolstered not just a little by a totally reimagined “PYT”—into a frenetic trance that alternated between lyrics whispered with the sweaty passion of nude bodies in the dark and screamed with a spark that reminds us being human can, and perhaps always should, be wild and reckless. With contagious riffs, a bass line that charms hips like snakes, and yelping lyrics, “Shut Up” exemplifies Jhameel’s energy.

Scattered groups quickly coalesced into a single whistlin’, hootin’ and hollerin’ body at foot of the stage, and the high of the truly New coursed through the crowd’s veins as first one and then another concertgoer turned to a neighbor with the look of instant addiction.

Casting all metaphor aside, Jhameel simply blew me away. I cannot think of higher praise than love at first listen, and as I write this post the morning after, I’m nursing a terminal idiot crush formed in the furnace of Jhameel’s performance at Bottom of the Hill last night.

They say abuse stems from the impossible return to that first high; given how I’m already jonesin’ for another show and eager to confirm Jhameel–Live is a drug that delivers that virginal vertigo every time, it looks like I’m happily headed down that path. #indie from Erik

Today’s Untz: The Night Out / Martin Solveig (A-Trak remix)

‘how does it sound if we spend the night out’

I will be brief with my untz after Erik’s epic opus above: the original version of this song serves as the perfect soundtrack for a drive through the city, but A-Trak’s version (premiered on Fools Gold radio show this week) feels primed and ready for a crowded room of revelers. Revel on: a night out sounds great. #untz

plastic bicycles

17 Feb

My boyfriend gave me the most romantic Valentines Day gift of my life: a box of shinny new custom made The Untz and the Indie t-shirts!  Going to rock these at Coachella this year and quickly garner several hundred thousand more listeners who dance their faces off, or chill. ❤

Today’s Indie: What You Want / Bombay Bicycle Club

What You Want / Bombay Bicycle Club

‘trying to keep a face up tonight / even when the guy’s got you right / coming off the wrong side, you know / oh you force it all’

Saw BBC play the Rickshaw Stop last night, and while I am the sleepiest cat on the block today, the boys put on a great show, highlighting a lot of songs from their newest album, A Different Kind of Fix. What You Want is a more somber track than their shake inducing single, Shuffle, but I found it the most striking. There is a Frightened Rabbit / Fleet Foxes vibe to opening vocals, which gives way to something with a bite to it, and I like the way echoed lyrics give the impression of a round in a lot of their stuff. Coffee please. #indie

Today’s Untz: Our Perfect Disease / The Wombats (Plastic Plates remix)

‘it was the perfect disease we had / something to argue and scream about / who can I see about contracting it back?’

For my next musical adventure and in my quest to balance my inner untz and indie, I am going to see Plastic Plates at the Mezz next Friday. Futuristic space disco, I am ready to dance my face off to you. Here is a fun little remix of The Wombats from him.  #untz

young and naive

15 Feb

I hope everyone is nursing their chocolate and heart shaped meatloaf and champagne (or whiskey) hangovers from Valentines Day with some strong black coffee and some solid midweek music. Here are a couple tracks to get you started.

Today’s Indie: Into the Black  / Chromatics (Neil Young cover)

‘it’s better to burn out / than to fade away’

As I get older, I am finding my dad has had more of a musical influence on me than I ever expected. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, Neil Young played on near constant loop throughout my childhood amidst a lot of rolled eyes and sighs from my sisters and I. To my chagrin, now the old songs that I complained about with such vehemence in my youth have come back to visit like an old friend you never realized you liked in the first place but are happy to see again. There is familiarity and comfort woven throughout so many of them, so when I came across this cover of Into the Black the other day I was instantly struck by it.

While I have posted some funky dream wavvy covers of Harvest Moon, lo-fi Oregonians Chromatics spin a darker, more subdued web around Neil’s song that is settling into me in just the right way. I don’t know if I will ever show such allegiance as to post classic Neil (maybe on your birthday dad) but I will admit to embracing him with newfound respect. Rock and roll is here to stay. #indie

Today’s Untz: Naive / The Kooks (Jean Tonique remix)

‘so how could this be done / by such a smiling sweetheart / you’re so naive’

A quick change of pace: put on your roller skates and turn on a disco ball, it is time for a Wednesday afternoon old school Kooks dance party around the office. I have heard Naive and a dozen remixes of it more than I can count, but I am loving the pacing of Jean Tonique’s take here… turning it up.  #untz

parisian chapstick

13 Feb

I listened to today’s tracks driving through the back roads of Napa this weekend, and while I had heard them both before, there is something about sunshine, rolling hills, cracked windows, and a little vino in the veins to open a song right up to you. Cheers.

Today’s Indie: Paris / Geographer

Paris / Geographer

‘you say you feel nothing hoping nothing’s all I’ll leave behind’

Geographer, I love you, and I am loving the layers of sound in Paris. There is a subtle urgency in singer Michael Denri’s voice which feels fitting in a song about love and loss and leaving, perhaps before you are quite ready to go. The SF trio release their new album, Myth, February 28th, and are playing a regrettably sold out show at the Independent on March 3rd. #indie

Today’s Untz: The Drop / Cherry Chapstick

Katy Perry move over – I have found a much better use for Cherry Chapstick. With ringing beats, 80’s inspired vocals and a drop that doesn’t have to knock you over to still floor you, this is the perfect Monday morning sound. The track is off Ontarian trio Cherry Chapstick’s 2009 Silencer EP. #untz

midnight colours

10 Feb

The greatest lyricist of our time may not be Adele or Justin Vernon, but rather  a crazy and sometimes slightly angry and confused horse living on a farm in rural America. I have been obsessively following @weirdhorse on Twitter for the past couple of months, and his work is just getting better and better with time. Highlights include:

‘We found mud in a horse’s face, we found mud in a horse’s face’

‘I see you trotting round town with the pig I love and I’m like, forget hooves’

‘Nothing compares, nothing compares 2 hooves’

‘Want you to make me feel like I’m the only horse on the farm, like I’m the only one to eat from your palm’

…and Weird Horse’s most moving to date, ‘I’ve got the hooves like Jagger.’ Happy (weird) Friday.

Today’s Indie: All the Colours / Angus & Julia Stone

‘and I can’t see clearly right now / I’m wasted / I’m so wasted on you’

It is the weekend before Valentines Day, so grab someone close and curl up to the sweet Australian crooning of Angus Stone. It is hard to believe/scary to think siblings could produce such a sexy song, but I am willing to let it slide and get lost in All the Colours’ steady guitar rifts, dizziness induing lyrics, and sway inducing sound… the whole thing warms you right up like a second glass of wine.

Love stoned, love wasted, I want it all. #indie

Today’s Untz: Midnight City / The Knocks ft. Mandy Lee (M83 cover)

‘the city is my church / it wraps me in the sparkling twilight’

Hopping on the bandwagon for this cover, because it leaves me totally floored after every listen. I couldn’t get sick of the original version of Midnight City if I tried, but it is great to hear it tossed around by The Knocks and with some fresh female vocals. Further evidence that everything that The Knocks touch turns to gold, and the perfect kind of sound to ride your way into the weekend. Music is my church. #untz

somebody’s wildcat!

8 Feb

Knee deep in the work week… pretty picture from last weekend to tide over to this weekend.

Today’s Indie: Mr. Quiche / Wildcat! Wildcat!

I was a Northwestern Wildcat during my college life, and anyone who knows me well knows I have a serious love for (fictitious) cats, AND I enjoy a mean quiche, so this track grabbed my attention on all counts yesterday morning. Moments later my ears joined in on the parade.

This is the first I have heard of LA trio W!W!, but I have instantly fallen for this song and its brooding, sexy sound cut with hints of Bon Iver-esque falsetto. I am almost equally smitten kitten over Wildcat! Wildcat!’s other track on soundcloud, End of the World Everyday, so if you like what you hear here, prowl there next. #indie

Today’s Untz: Somebody That I Used to Know / Gotye Ft. Kimbra (Myndset remix)

‘but you didn’t have to cut me off / make out like it never happened and now we were nothing’

One of the biggest songs of last year has one of the longest lists of remixes rolling into the new year, but Myndset’s go is my favorite. You are pulled in during the first few seconds and it really doesn’t let up, firmly tracing the original song while somehow showing it all from a totally different angle at the same time. You can almost hear Gotye’s anger/frustration/bitterness in the heart(beats), and the result is an urge to dance it out, hard. Perfectly done. #untz

love where I’m going

6 Feb

Tahoe, Super Bowl… too much excitement. Musical rest.

Today’s Indie: I Love You But I Don’t Know What to Say / Ryan Adams

‘we belong here / we belong here / ain’t nobody that can tell us we’re wrong’

Starbucks has reminded me there is another holiday season upon us with their pink and red heart covered cups, so I will indulge my  gooey side and share something soft and fuzzy. Ryan Adams has had a pretty gritty past with some pretty gritty songs to back it up, so a track like ILYBIDKWTS coming from him gives it all the more sway. My favorite Ryan song to date involves him telling his girl to come pick him up, take him out, fuck him up, steal all his records, and sleep with all his friends. Serenading that he promises to love someone for the rest of his days is a serious departure, put lightly. I guess marrying a former pop princess can have that affect on people.

It is a wonderful problem to have–loving someone so much you can’t put it into words. This track is off Ryan’s album from last fall, Ashes & Fire. Sappy, beautiful. #indie

Today’s Untz: Where I’m Going / Cut Copy

‘take my hand if you know what I’m going through’

We were driving 4+ hours to and from from Tahoe this weekend, and this Cut Copy song came on among dozens of songs, and it was remarkable. Thanks Messer for putting it on the album you made for Dave and Caro. Thanks Dave and Caro for hosting us in your magical ski lease. EOM. #untz