i am gonna make it through this year
What, did you think I was gonna bitch out on disc two of The Big Ticket's Mix '05? Wrong, suckas. Here's the whole friggin' thing. Happy new year.
This second disc is probably more sentimental on the whole, and it starts off as such with this bitterly nostalgic-yet-defiant track by the Mountain Goats. Singer/songwriter John Darnielle passionately belts out this autobiographical tune, from this year's The Sunset Tree LP. Stylus writer Matt Sheardown breaks it down for the site's top singles list (#50):
What strikes me most about this song is the optimism that reverberates through every sung lyric and strummed chord. Considering that our protagonist is an under-aged alcoholic with a penchant for scotch and an abusive home, this is no mean feat. But this is the same optimism that has burned through all of our own veins. This (with all respect to Broken Social Scene) is the true anthem for a seventeen-year-old, girl or boy. You’re a year away from the glorified age of eighteen, the year that freedom begins and the year you can get as close to or as far away from your life as you could want. You’re just waiting for time to catch up with you. And you are gonna make it through this year if it kills you.
I posted this song during one of my lower moments this spring, but am pleased to re-post it while in a better mood. Check out its video (via).
ETA (1/13/06): The first StyPod entry of 2006 is about how this song soundtracked the rocky terrain of one Stylus writer's ups & downs in 2005.
Another re-post (from back in March), this elegant piece of guitar-laden shoegaze is the centerpiece of electronic duo Howard Hello's self-titled EP, and I just had to include all 7+ minutes of it. And yes, they're on MySpace.
Just as "More of the Same" fades away, we jump into this precious bit of velvety lo-fi pop from Canadian indie rockers the Deadly Snakes. I missed my chance to see these guys at the 7th Street Entry this fall, despite my affection for the band's previous album, 2003's celebratory Ode To Joy. This year's Porcella LP is somewhat murkier than its predecessor, with the exception of this happy-happy track. 3hive's Sam wrote back in October:
On "Gore Veil" you'll hear Donovan or Love or Neil Diamond, but what'll stick in your head is that recorder (or is it flute?) melody line just begging for a Wes Anderson movie to call home.
Out of the quiet final moments of "Gore Veil" explodes a fat guitar lick, and we've definitely come about. I really enjoyed Kathryn Yu breakdown of the album that holds this song, so I'll let her to the talking:
"They've made a Springsteen album." A fucking Springsteen album. That's how a friend described the new Hold Steady album to me earlier this year, and he was right on the money. The killer classic rock riffs are still there, as are Finn's unique vocal mannerisms and the memorable, thousand-allusion-a-minute lyrics, but this time around he's supported by what sounds like a cast of a thousand church ominous organs. Separation Sunday is the way it feels to be swept into an unholy alternative universe where everything's just a little bit off. But it's still a little evasive and sexy and totally fucked-up; the freaks from Almost Killed Me are all still bumming around, but this time they think they've found God. Everybody's a sleazy hoodrat or a shifty drug dealer or a born again Catholic school girl gone wrong, or something I'm not even sure how to describe. Craig Finn couldn't write a conventional song to save his life, but somewhere in his complex poetry, stuttering delivery style, and cast of misfits, this collection of songs contains dozens of hooks that stick around like soft, melting bubblegum. I could spend hours unpacking what Finn is really saying, but I'm too busy reveling in how tight and accomplished the band has become, the well-oiled machine they'd always threatened to become. I'm not sure how a resurrection really feels, but by the time our poor, lost Holly rolls around to the front of the congregation, broken and battered, my ears are ringing. But all I want to do is listen once more.
Yes, this is another re-post. There will be more to come, so get used to it.
We continue on with everybody's favorite veteran grrl punks, Sleater-Kinney. The ladies showed up with a whole new level of rawk on their latest album, the raw & screechingly powerful The Woods, and it was very much on display when I finally caught the trio's live show at First Avenue in June. I almost picked the previously posted "Rollercoaster," but in the end I decided that "Wilderness" just seemed a better fit to follow the Hold Steady.
2005's best new wavey brits Bloc Party rode into this year with oodles of buzz for their debut LP Silent Alarm, which actually turned out to be quite good. But for whatever reason, I slowly stopped listening to them as the months passed. Perhaps it was indie hype overload, or perhaps it was the overkill of having their whole album
In early 2005, all I listened to at times was LCD Soundsystem. I was addicted, and I didn't want to listen to anything else besides the self-titled double-disc LP ("Beat Connection" in particular). Of the tracks on the main album, "On Repeat" was the one that really hooked me (hence this re-post). LCD mastermind & DFA co-big cheese James Murphy had quite the year, making my trek down to Chicago for Hipsterfest Midwest worthwhile.
Okay, here's where I start cheating a little. Destroy Rock & Roll, the debut album from Mylo (aka Scottish electronic musician Myles MacInnes), originally saw its release in 2004, though it will finally be getting a proper US release on February 6th, 2006. I first stumbled across Mylo late last year via Music For Robots, but I really got into the rest of his stuff throughout 2005, hence the inclusion of this cheery, albeit sample-repetitive, track on Mix '05. I previously linked to this song's lovey-dovey WMV music video, but I think we should all watch it one more time, just in case you don't have somebody to kiss after the ball drops at midnite tonite (like me).
Prior to seeing The Juan Maclean open for LCD Soundsystem this fall at First Avenue, my pal Rachel got freaked out while reading of Juan's bizarre, drug-induced stories on his website. Apparently, the dude is just as crazy as the DFA guys described him:
Tim: Juan is originally from the much-missed and totally underrated Six Finger Satellite, who Sub Pop should really put out a compilation of, ‘cos they were years ahead of everybody else. They were electronic, but tough and scary. Awesome stuff. His own stuff has elements of Kraftwerk and… I don’t know how to describe Juan really. He’s insane. One of the most intense people you’ll ever meet. You can ask people about Juan and they’ll says he’s extremely scary. Then you meet him, and he’s not. But then you get to know him and he is. There are many, many layers to Juan, and he’s very real.
James: 'I was a big fan of Six Finger Satellite, then we were friends and I was their live sound mixer for years, and I helped them produce their last album. He’s just terrifying to be around. A very heavy character. He was a junkie for 13 years and I hated him at first. But that changed and its an honour to work with Juan. He’s a very genuine character, and an unusual talent… much more surreal than most people.'
Anyhow, I suppose I'm also cheating a bit on this track, since it came out as a single on a split 12" with The Rapture in 2002 or 2003. Since it's also on Juan's debut LP Less Than Human, which only came out this fall, I'm using that technicality to keep the electro thing happening here. Check the vid:
WMV The Juan Maclean - "Give Me Every Little Thing" RAM
Drat. Ran outta time before having to jet off to work. This is only the first part of disc two, so stay tuned for the stunning conclusion later tonite.
Track 01: The Constantines - "Draw Us Lines"
Track 02: Spoon - "The Beast & Dragon, Adored"
Track 03: The Russian Futurists - "Our Pen's Out of Ink"
Track 04: Broken Social Scene - "7/4 (Shoreline)"
Track 05: Bunky - "Chuy"
Track 06: The New Pornographers - "The Bleeding Heart Show"
Track 07: Stars - "Ageless Beauty"
Track 08: Danger Doom f/Cee-Lo - "Benzie Box"
Track 09: Legendary K.O. - "GWB Doesn't Care About Black People"
Track 10: M.I.A. - "10 Dollar"
Track 11: Soulwax vs Lipps Inc. - "NY Lipps (Kazasaki Dub)"
Track 12: Vitalic - "My Friend Dario"
Track 13: Low - "When I Go Deaf"
Track 14: Gogol Bordello - "Undestructable"
Track 15: Silver Jews - "Punks in the Beerlight"
Track 16: Sam Champion - "It's Getting Late"
Track 17: Stephen Malkmus - "It Kills"
Track 18: Okkervil River - "For Real"
Track 19: Wolf Parade - "I'll Believe in Anything"