Tag Archive for 'Iron & Wine'

April 2013

April 2013 from almostaghost on 8tracks Radio.

New music. This mix was tough actually, hard to find a good order for it. Strange songs in there, but also some super terrific ones. 2013 has had a lot of great new music!

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #85

Life In Mixtape Form #85 from almostaghost on 8tracks Radio.

This mix ended up a) odd and b) international. That’s how it flows around here.

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #63

Life In Mixtape Form #63 from almostaghost on 8tracks Radio.

I’m digging on this one–usually I try to dig a little bit deep, but this week I needed to include a bunch of my all-time favorite songs and artists. So yea. ūüôā

- almostaghost

July 2012

July 2012 from almostaghost on 8tracks.

End of the month, a mix of some new music I like to varying degrees.

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #42

Life In Mixtape Form #42 from almostaghost on 8tracks.

Meant to have this up last night, but slipped my mind. Half a day late once isn’t so bad. ūüôā Lucky #42 — the answer to the ultimate question.

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #36

Life In Mixtape Form #36 from almostaghost on 8tracks.

Onwards, 8 more days, 8 more songs. These, I must say, are some great songs. ūüôā Also, got tickets to Coachella again this year, so expect a lot of info/thoughts about artists in the line-up out of me for the next couple of months.

- almostaghost

2011 – Wrap-up and Mix

^ first, a mix. It’s not ALL songs from my top 20 albums either. I do like other things too. ūüôā

And had a couple of requests for an extended list, so here it is. A few that narrowly missed the top-20 just came out, and if I’d had them longer and given them more of a chance, they could’ve climbed up. Artists, next time, release your albums before November, kthxbye!

1. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
2. The Antlers – Burst Apart
3. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
4. The Kills – Blood Pressures
5. Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
6. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
7. Lia Ices – Grown Unknown
8. Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
9. The Black Keys – El Camino
10. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
11. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
12. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
13. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
14. Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
15. Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
16. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
17. Disappears – Guider
18. Youth Lagoon – The Year Of Hibernation
19. Vetiver – The Errant Charm
20. Bjork – Biophilia
21. Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
22. Sophie Zelmani – Soul
23. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
24. Gudrid Handottir – Beyond The Grey
25. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
26. Radical Face – The Family Tree: The Roots
27. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
28. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
29. Feist – Metals
30. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
31. Anna Ternheim – The Night Visitor
32. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical
33. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
34. R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
35. Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
36. Bell X1 – Bloodless Coup
37. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams
38. Wilco – The Whole Love
39. Wire – Red Barked Tree
40. Marketa Irglova – Anar
41. Marissa Nadler – Marissa Nadler
42. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
43. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
44. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
45. Release The Sunbird – Come Back To Us
46. CANT – Dreams Come True
47. Babette Hayward – You Might Be Somebody
48. The Roots – Undun
49. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
50. Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
51. Thea Gilmore – John Wesley Harding
52. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
53. Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
54. The Black Belles – The Black Belles
55. Alela Diane – Alela Diane & Wild Divine
56. Snoop Dogg – Doggumentary
57. Washed Out – Within And Without
58. Ringo DeathStarr – Colour Trip
59. Pterodactyl Plains – In The Air
60. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

that’s enough; all 60 of these I do like! You can listen to my 20 favorites on my Spotify playlist. Add me on there!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for following along. Thanks for talking about music, making recommendations, and sharing stuff with me. On to 2012!

- almostaghost

cyanide breathmint’s best of 2011

This seems to be getting more difficult every year! 2011 was filled with so much great music and I feel like I had such little time to appreciate that. This year’s rankings were truly the hardest ever to compile. Looking past the sheer volume of great new (and “newish”) acts which have emerged, old favorites returned with new offerings, there’s also the fact that my tastes have been diverging in two distinct directions.

My love for shoegaze has has come into the forefront this year, somewhat shattering the usual suspects for top 25 positions. Nevertheless, all those beautiful walls of noise simultaneously crashing down upon my ears couldn’t ever make up for good song writing and talented vocalists. I think that’s reflected in the mix of albums in this year’s Top 25.

I had originally planned doing “reviews” for the top 10. However, I only had enough patience and focus to get the top spot for you. I have included a sample mp3 for each of the top 25 albums. If you would like to grab all of these at once (plus a few bonus tracks), click here.

[UPDATE DEC 26 2011] The honorable mentions have been updated after reading my colleague betweenthesound’s amazing 2011 write up. If you haven’t seen that, you should go read it now¬†(or perhaps right after you finish this post). She managed to (once again) slam me with a gang load of records that were way beneath my radar, but that would definitely have put huge dents in my Top 25 list as it stands.

Without further ado, here they are…

Top 25 Albums:

25) Asobi Seksu РFluorescence

Asobi Seksu – Counterglow


24) The Mountain Goats РAll Eternals Deck

The Mountain Goats – High Hawk Season


23) The Dodos РNo Color

The Dodos – Companions


22) Radiohead The King Of Limbs

Radiohead – Morning Mr Magpie


21) Brute Heart РLonely Hunter

Brute Heart – Hunter


20) Future Islands РOn The Water

Future Islands – Give Us The Wind


19) Dearling Physique РDeadeye Dealer

Dearling Physique – Oh This Currency


18)¬†Neon Indian – Era Extra√Īa

Neon Indian – Polish Girl


17)¬†‚ąÜAIMON – AMEN

‚ąÜAIMON – AMEN


16) Thurston Moore РDemolished Thoughts

Thurston Moore – Orchard Street


15) Screen Vinyl Image – Strange Behavior

Screen Vinyl Image – My Confession


14) The Vera Violets РIn Between Fires

The Vera Violets – Down Tonight


13) The Horrors РSkying

The Horrors – Endless Blue


12) Ladytron РGravity The Seducer

Ladytron – Moon Palace


11) The Antlers РBurst Apart

The Antlers – Every Night My Teeth Are Failing Out


10) Active Child РYou Are All I See

Active Child – Shield & Sword


09) I Break Horses РHearts

I Break Horses – Winter Beats


08) Atlas Sound РParallax

Atlas Sound – My Angel is Broken


07)¬†Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know

Laura Marling – All My Rage


06) Zola Jesus – Conatus

Zola Jesus – Hikikomori


05) PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

PJ Harvey – In The Dark Places


04) M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83 – Raconte-Moi Une Histoire


03) Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi – Love Won’t Be Leaving


02) Brief Candles – Fractured Days

 

Brief Candles – The Sentiment


01) Ringo DeathStarr – Colour Trip

In nearly every review, interview, blurb, or blog post post you’ll read about Ringo Deathstarr, you’ll find three common elements.

1. Trio from Austin

They’ve actually gone through a couple lineup changes over the past 5 years, but have mostly stuck to this formula. The creative element is lead vocalist/guitarist Elliott Frazier.¬†After bassist Alex found her way into the band (2007) by apparently just showing up for practice, things have mostly settled down, just finding the right drummer (as of this writing / hopefully “final” – that’s¬†Daniel Coborn).

2. These guys sound like My Bloody Valentine

Drownedinsound put it this way ”¬†If in the meantime you‚Äôve lost your copy of¬†Loveless, you could do far worse than listen to¬†Colour Trip.” Yeah, it’s true. Too bad Loveless

3. The bassist (Alex Gehring) (now going by “galexy”) is so hot

So there, that’s out of the way.¬†If it’s a more recent post you might read about how these kids just toured the UK/Europe with The Smashing Pumpkins. I have to admit kind of hate those dudes, but ultimately it means more exposure for Ringo Deathstarr and so I guess it’s not a bad thing. Moving beyond those tidbits, you get into a the music.

In case you haven’t noticed I don’t do traditional reviews. I leave it to others to finely dissect the record. Instead of telling you how it sounds (just listen for yourself), I offer you how the record felt.¬†Colour Trip hit hard for me. This was probably my favorite record Fever Ray’s 2009 debut, and going back further it would have to be Snowden’s Anti-Anti (2006). Before I totaled my car, this record could very often be heard at extremely high decibels pulsing through the streets of Baltimore weekday evenings. Dark ¬†reverberation¬†and the haunting fuzz draped chanting of Alex form the basis of my song of the year – Two Girls (stream/download below). For the life of me I can’t tell you what the fuck she is¬†saying, but she is¬†saying¬†it just right. Besides being the single most addicting track of 2011, there’s an equally worthy video directed by Alex, which you can also find below. Be forewarned: One might say it’s NSFW.

Ringo Deathstarr- Two Girls


Honorable Mentions [Highly Recommended]

Austra – Feel It Break
Girls – Father Son Holy Ghost
Hunx & His Punx – Too Young To Be In Love
Metronomy – The English Riviera
Radical Face – The Family Tree – The Roots
Shad[]wb[]x – Lady Doome [EP]
St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
SBTRKT – SBTRKT
Washed Out – Within & Without


Honorable Mentions [Enjoyed]

Arc In Round – II [EP]
Apparat – The Devil’s Walk
Battles – Gloss Drop
Björk РBiophilia
Big Black Delta – BBDLP1
Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Brazzaville – Jetlag Poetry
Chad VanGaalen – Diaper Island
Class Actress – Rapprocher
Com Truise – Galactic Melt
Computers Want Me Dead – Computers Want Me Dead
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Destroyer – Kaputt
Dolorean – The Unfazed
Ducktails III – Arcade Dynamics
East River Pipe – We Live in Rented Rooms
Echo Orbiter – More Batteries
Feist – Metals
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Grimes & d’Eon – Darkbloom [split ep]
Haley Bonar – Golder
Haujobb – New World March
Hercules & Love Affair – Blue Songs
High Places – Original Colors
IAMX – Volatile Times
Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
LAKE R‚Ė≤DIO – Delta
Little Insects – Brighter Than Darkness
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – On Welfare
Lumerians – Transmalinnia
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Malajube – La Caverne
Morpheme – Infection
Niva – Feverish Dreams [EP]
Mogwai – Earth Division [EP]
Music for Headphones – Life.in.Mono
Niva – Feverish Dreams [EP]
ohGr – Undeveloped
Passwords – Passwords
Phantogram – Nightlife [EP]
Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t – Lost in the Pancakes
Prefuse 73 – The Only She Chapters
Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
Seapony – Go With Me
Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
Starfucker – Reptilians
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic
Stevie Nicks – In Your Dreams
Stumbleine – All for your smile
Taken By Cars – Dualist
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
The Sea and Cake – The Moonlight Butterfly
Tropic of Cancer – The End of All Things
TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
Tycho – Dive
Ume – Phantoms
Vondelpark – nyc stuff and nyc bags [EP]
Wagon Christ – Toomorrow
Warm Ghost – Uncut Diamond EP
Wooden Shjips – West
Woodsman – Mystic Places
Wire – Red Barked Tree
Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
Yuck – Yuck
††† Р† EP

- breathmint

September 2011 mix

My monthly mix of all new music from 2011 is up. This one ended up a kind of odd mix of songs, but I like it. Stephen Malkmus to Snoop Dogg and everything in between. ūüôā

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost Thoughts On A Song: Iron & Wine “Tree By The River”

Iron & Wine

time isn't kind or unkind

A couple of weeks ago, Iron & Wine dropped their new album, Kiss Each Other Clean. Interestingly, they performed a show here in Los Angeles on the day the album was released, allowing me an opportunity to experience the new songs live before hearing the record. The show was pretty good, and my only real critique was I wished for more acoustic songs, since that is what Sam Beam is truly an expert in. He did a couple, but most of the tracks were laidback rock songs, with horns and background singers and drums and I think there were something like 11 people on stage. Of course, I found out later, that’s what the new album is, so I guess the show fit.

Anyway, I don’t mean to review Kiss Each Other Clean, as I don’t quite have my head all around it yet. (Short review: not entirely sold on the new sound but the songs are generally awesome.) But one song in particular, “Tree By The River,” was something I felt like reflecting on.

“Tree By The River” begins with “Maryanne, do you remember that tree by the river when we were seventeen?” Many of Sam Beam’s standout songs are wistful in nature like this, from his early “Bird Stealing Bread” (“I’ve not seen you lately on the street by the beach or places we used to go / I’ve a picture of you on our favorite day by the seaside”) to the emotional “Passing Afternoon” (“only now I do believe sometimes, with the window closed, she’ll sit and think of me”) to the epic “Trapeze Swinger” (each verse starts with “please remember me”). “Tree By The River” is yet another song about remembering the past, with a tinge of melancholy, but with a matter-of-fact acceptance that sometimes things just drift away.

Before this turns into a “whoa Iron & Wine did it again!” post, I’m not real sure yet if he did. The difference in “Tree By The River” is that basically this is a song about a tree. There is an almost stark lack of symbolism and poetics in “Tree By The River,” which made Beam’s earlier songs so memorable. Nothing happens at this tree. There’s no birds stealing bread out from under his nose, no frightened circus acts overhead, which are clear metaphors. He does reminisce about the sun, a wall, a horse near the tree, but they’re incidental, and the song expresses a very vague memory.

There is some slight framing of the memory, as the repeated verse: “‘Time isn’t kind or unkind’ you liked to say / But I wonder to who and what it is you’re saying today.” This I think is the prototypical Iron & Wine verse. “Time isn’t kind or unkind” gets to that matter-of-fact acceptance I mentioned earlier, and clearly expresses the main theme in many many of Beam’s songs. Tie that to the loss of love hinted at in “I wonder to who and what it is you’re saying today” and pretty much this is Iron & Wine to a tee.

While Beam has always been a master at just saying enough to a story to maintain mystery but still be effective, perhaps then the stark plainness of this song was a conscious decision to cut away all the moments and images he usually puts in his songs. And what’s left is a simply expressed, yet still emotional, lyric that almost everyone could relate to: “Marianne, we were in love when we were young and remember that tree? Where are you now?”

Have a listen:
Iron & Wine “Tree By The River”

- almostaghost