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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

california keys

20 Jul

Three weekends stand between me and Outside Lands, and I am restlessly waiting for live music and the revelry surrounding a summer festival weekend. This will be my third time at the rodeo, and having Outside Lands in our backyard definitely takes some of the pressure and expectations off of the whole ordeal of a fest… no weeks of planning, funds into transit and lodging, or pleading for time off. Instead, a hop in a cab or on a bike, and open fields, happy people, and hours upon hours of music all weekend long. The perfect staycation, dripping of untz and emo, sweet and simple. Will be seeing today’s untz-er for a forth time that Saturday night, dancing my face off. Twenty three more days…

Today’s Emo: California Sunrise / Dirty Gold

‘she waits for the summer to find a lover / she looks for him underneath the sand’

This track is the perfect antidote for an antsy Wednesday stuck indoors, sending me right back into the sun drenched Sierras of Saturday. The trouble with living in Northern California is you are only a couple hours away from heaven in any direction at any given moment, and knowing that makes it really hard to make it through a summer work week. The producers of the track make me think I should be working harder, though, as they released their debut EP during their senior year of high school. High. School. Brothers Lincoln and John Ballif and pal Grant Nassif spent the spring touring and releasing their five track debut EP, Roar, amidst finals and the prom.

Seagulls give way to feel good, tap along drumbeats and youthful vocals of summer love and lust amongst the sand, bringing me back to the opening scene of Grease where Sandy and Danny are rolling about in the wake together. Oh young love. Simple and easy to ease into, like the song. California sunrise, come on and wake me up. #emo

Today’s Untz: Where Are My Keys / Deadmau5

The Mau-five laid this track out for an Ibiza crowd in June and I feel transported somewhere else just listening. A steady, teasing build gives way to brief piano break and then signature mouse tracks in loops. This is the kind of song you could get lost dancing to for hours and hours without realizing it… if this is what happens when Joel can’t find his keys, I hope he stays forgetful. #untz

swift first aid

6 Apr

Finishing up training for the Santa Cruz half marathon this coming Sunday. Regardless of what happens, a big thank you to the harem of gentlemen who have helped me train – James, Ted, Travis and Dana, as well as Florence + The Machine’s Dog Days and Born to Run‘s Caballo Blanco for inspiration.

Now it’s time to put together the perfect soundtrack. During my first half last November I made a terrible rookie mistake. At mile 10, when I was gearing up to put on some epic Tiesto for the final 3.1 I popped my nano into the top of my sports bra to secure my ponytail. Suddenly things fell quiet. My boobs broke my ipod… my decrepit player from college was no match to water resist the dew.  Thus the last three miles were ran in silent frustration, and while they were actually the fastest in all my training, they were oh so lonely.

This time I have a new nano that clips onto the side of my shorts, I know that peanut butter and banana on toast is good, coffee is bad, and preventative Advil is a must. And I have decided to take all the Untzes posted in the past few months as company. #bringit

Today’s Emo: White Blank Page (Mumford and Sons cover) / Taylor Swift

‘you desired my attention / but denied my affections / my affections’

We all have our guilty pleasures, and one of mine happens to be a squinty eyed twenty one year old country crooner who won me over in a particularly vulnerable point in my life with her first single, Tim McGraw (Oregon country roots can’t be broken). While I found her recent album release to be a disappointment with an angry rant of a song against John Mayer and another whiny yawn inducing lament about her break up with Taylor Lautner some December (a month that Team Jacob fans will celebrate forever) I am back on Team Swift with this heartfelt cover of Mumford and Sons’ classic White Blank Page.

The emotion is real, a female take on the vocals is sweet, and I will let the fact that she accidentally has a bit of a fake English accent in parts slide because I accidentally have a bit of a fake English accent after listening to too much Mumford. A chilling, beautiful song in its own right, it is refreshing to see Taylor make it her own and emote some of her boy angst in a way that I can still adore. #emo

Today’s Untz: Move for First Aid / Deadmau5 vs. Michael Woods (Kasade Remix)

‘waited all week just to get out’

I know I have posted a lot of Deadmau5 and Kaskade lately but I can’t help myself… I had some ideas for today’s untz, but when my friend Jenn sent this track out on an email thread, I dropped everything. Kaskade fold’s Michael Woods’ First Aid into Move for Me, turning the dreamy trance anthem into something a little more urgent and truly movement inducing.

I have seen Kaskade live a couple times now, and interestingly enough beyond having dashing good looks and mad talent, a young Kaskade practiced his mixing skills in the dorms of BYU. As in Brigham Young. A man who can get any party started was ironically raised as a Mormon and spent two years on a mission in Japan before bringing the untz world to its knees. I am glad that instead of creating a family of ten he is creating spectacular mixes like this to help me through my work week, and am open for consideration to be one of his future wives.  #untz

falling in love is easy

1 Apr

I wrote a while back about the weight of the gift of music. Today it is the weight of the gift of an impromptu invitation to a show.  Instead of catching up on Glee on the couch on Tuesday, I found myself engulfed by friends, hipsters, twelve year olds with Sharpie X’s on the backs of their hands (all age show), and some serious bass at the Bottom of the Hill. Amazing live music and Sierra Nevada was consumed, and the aches of the work week melted away.

Today’s Emo: Easy to Love / Ivan & Alyosha


‘the sky turns black  / we know it will from time to time / and we’ve been through that / and we came out on top because / you’re really easy to love’

I stumbled across this song on Hypem a while back and then totally forgot about it until my friend Morganne shot out an email seeing who wanted to join her in catching an old friend of hers perform who plays drums for Ivan & Aloysha. She thought no one would be interested, and instead instantly got a replies from a really fun crew.

There is no one in the band named Ivan or Aloysha (which I thought sounded kind of Hawaiian?) but rather the name stems from lead characters in in Brothers Karamazov. I never got around to taking Russian Lit so I have little insight into why, but from what I have gathered the two have some serious talks on faith and god, and things get pretty emo.

I&A played some seriously fun upbeat stuff, but I am drawn back to what I was originally was drawn to on Hypem – the simplicity of Easy to Love.  A soft but steady beat, gentle guitar and warm vocals, it’s the kind of song you picture your secretly talented friends pulling together around a campfire with whatever instruments they happen to have on hand. Perfect music for nestling into before bed.  #emo

Today’s Untz: Falling in Love with Brazil (Kaskade mashup) / Haley vs. Deadmau5

‘it’s not like it’s a photograph / something to frame then hang it up on the wall’

Excuse me for trancing my face off and for my inability to miss any obvious opportunity to inject a song title into a post, but it’s hard not to fall in love with this song. All my favorite players in the untz  world combine their musical prowess to make sweet sweet music, this is a chill untz favorite of last year. While Haley has a beautiful voice, it is the first few minutes of the remix that have won me over… the subtle magic Kaskade weaves into Deadmau5′ already outstanding Brazil.

This feels like the perfect track for easing into summer and all of this sun, although the beats fall in trickles like rain. Suppose it works for San Francisco summer. #untz

dancing with the mau5

18 Mar

I am crankily finishing off a 3 day juice cleanse. Last weekend I decided I go out too often and eat too much crap and that I needed some focus in my life. After 72 hours of just veggie and fruit juice, eggplant broth, detox tea, coconut water, and the energy level of 90 year old, instead of feeling pure and inspired to live life green, I feel like I miss hamburgers, happy hour, and my friends.

My quest for perspective has had the opposite effect than I planned: fuck pro-biotics and aloe shots. I love my messy life, and I cannot think of a better way to break the fast than dancing my face off at Boys Noize tonight at the Mezz.

Today’s Emo: Dancing with the DJ (Campfire Acoustic Version) / The Knocks


I know good love is hard to find / when you’re dancing with the dj, dancing with the dj’

While The Knocks original version of this song makes me want to skate in a disco-themed roller rink, this striped down version makes me want to… strip. Listen to this slow jam and just try not to take your clothes off, maybe around a campfire. The producers-turning-artists Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson have remixed the likes of Big Boi, R2d2 and Calvin Harris, but have recently started releasing attention grabbing tracks of their own. Funny that I discovered them via something so chill. Pass the marshmellows.

Today’s Untz: HR 8938 Cephei / Deadmau5


Oh hai Deadmau5, thanks for randomly debuting an epic 10 minute opus of untz in the middle of the week with another nonsensical song name. When I wiki’ed ‘cephei’ I got a lot of scientific business up over my head, but gather it has something to do with eclipsing stars. The HR and random (?) four digits make the song name feel like some top secret government project in space. Fits the sound. All the elements of signature Mau5 that somehow never get old, I could have this on loop for hours. #untz

** Update from Nicole **

candy rawr

16 Feb

Sleepy. Rainy. Wednesday.

Today’s Emo: Candy / Paolo Nutini

oh I’ll be there / waiting for you’

I always assumed Paolo Nutini was from Latin America, perhaps because of his name. Sounds Brazilian. Then I heard Candy, and Nutini’s Scottish chops shined through. Somehow smooth and coarse at the same time, he sounds like a sexy young smoker, with a bit of Mumford and Sons and Avett Brothers tossed in.

Candy boasts one of my favorite music videos, showcasing a delightful little wedding south of the boarder. The location had me temporarily questioning Nutini’s nationality again, but confusion aside, I really enjoy the cinematography and simple happiness here. Things also get pretty steamy at the end. The last few clips are just marginally safe for work, depending on computer screen size. With all the love in the air, perhaps this would have been a more apropos selection for Monday’s v-day post, but it serves well to warm up this rainy midweek. And it means more when it’s just because instead of some corporate Hallmark fueled holiday, right? #emo

Today’s Untz: I Can’t Behave Myself / Deadmau5 ft. Neon Hitch

‘rawr’

While I was a bit disappointed with Deadmau5’s newest album, 4×4=12, this track makes up for some of the other songs’ lackluster untz. It is hard for me to resist strong female vocals on some serious beats, and when you toss in growling animal noises, I’m done. Dark club, speakers up, yes.

I owe a lot to Deadmau5 (pronounced mouse, not mau-five), aka scrawny Canadian dj Joel Zimmerman, because it was while experiencing one of his live sets that I fell in love with the untz. Love his signature bobbing mouse head, trancey collaborations with Kaskade, and that he posts live video casts of himself mixing stuff on his computer while talking to himself. Mostly I just love the way his music makes me feel. Like I want to misbehave. #untz