Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Splotchy's Contribution To The Unheard Monkey Mix

Here's a discussion of my selections for The Unheard Monkey, Volume 18 of the Green Monkey Music Project.

When Allen first told me the idea for his guest-hosted mix, I'll admit I panicked a bit.

I have not been listening to much new music. I used to love going to my neighborhood record store and browse the used bins, just picking stuff up on a whim. I found a lot of good new music that way.

But, when my twins were born in 2003, my musical tastes stagnated. I didn't go to the record store any more, didn't listen to much music, etc.

My musical tastes got rejuvenated with my membership to the late Oink's Pink Palace, and I started exploring lots of different music. Except, this time around, instead of listening to a lot of new music, I tried out music from the past -- genres like Tropicália, soul, disco funk, that stuff. Hey, did you know that Wilson Pickett is SUPER AWESOME? It's true.

So, Oink went away and my musical tastes once again stagnated. This is actually a pattern I have noticed in my music-listening habits.

Anyways, I saw Allen's mix as a challenge to familiarize myself with a lot of the new music you crazy kids have been listening to. Since I didn't have a lot of time to ferret out music that I liked, I pretty much used the annual Best-Of lists that the popular music site Pitchfork puts out.

Some of the selections here I was already familiar with, and some I just listened to for the mix.

Some artists that didn't make the mix that I did listen to:

Fleet Foxes
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Mai Shi
The Blow
The Knife
Panda Bear
The Mountain Goats
Cut Copy
Hercules and Love Affair
Vivian Girls
Okkervil River
Cymbals Eat Guitars
Viktor Vaughn


Here are the selections that made it---

Solid Gold - Eagles Of Death Metal
So, this artist is not new to Allen. I actually first heard of these guys through the song "Cherry Cola", a selection of his for the ROYGBIV mix. I could see how someone might be annoyed at this song, with its constant refrain of "Sweat!", but I think this is just pure fun rock 'n roll. I smile every time I hear it.

Golden Age - TV On The Radio
I actually saw TV On The Radio do this song on SNL. I was blown away. This is a great song off a great album. TV On The Radio is the current band on my Who's In Charge Here blog, and it's not a mistake I put their musical genre as "Delicious".

Fucking Boyfriend - The Bird And The Bee
MizSplotchy actually turned me onto this group. It's nice and mellow, kinda Europopish.

Trance Manual - John Vanderslice
My friend Andy is a big John Vanderslice fan. He's 6'4". Sorry, I can't help myself with that stupid joke, but Andy is tall. He does like Vanderslice a lot. I went with Andy to a concert at the Portage Theater in Chicago, where Vanderslice was opening up for The Mountain Goats. I was not familiar with either artist before I went.

They were on their "Gone Primitive" tour, which basically meant it was Vanderslice and John Darnielle (the main guy behind the Goats) playing acoustic guitars without any band accompaniment.

I remember liking the song "Trance Manual" a lot. It was kind of weird hearing the song for the first time in a manner that was different from its recording, which I listened to later. Okay, maybe it wasn't that weird after all.

The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
This was totally something I just listened to because I found a review of it on Pitchfork. The singer has a little David Byrne wavery quality to his voice. Though the song isn't as "Delicious" as TV On The Radio, it's still pretty damned good. From what I could tell, there might have been a little backlash to CYHSY's first album -- first people say it's great, and then other people say uh-uh it's not that great, and then those first people say well it's pretty good, to which the other people say, yeah I'll give you that one. I agree with the final assessment -- pretty good.

Good Days Bad Days - Kaiser Chiefs
Hey, this is a band I knew about before the mix! I listened to their previous album Employment. I think I did this because I wanted to hear some of the bands that were playing the Pitchfork Festival in 2006 I attended, though now I'm not sure if KC played there. Either way, I knew about them, dammit.

I could have picked the very energetic "Never Miss A Beat" or "Can't Say What I Mean" but I thought I'd end the mix on the happy, almost marchable "Good Days Bad Days".

Thanks to Allen for shocking my musical tastes into the 21st Century!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

For a guy who has been removed from the new music scene by virtue of twins, those are pretty sweet and esoteric choices.

"The Skin of my Yellow Country Teeth" needs to be on there just because it is such an awesome title, I hardly even care what it sounds like.

Moderator said...

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah definitely have a Talking Heads vibe to them. I like it.