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NOTHING SOUNDS BETTER 14: March Music(ness?)

The absentee Spotify playlist series returns, one George Washington mugshot into the year. Rather than cover the year’s first quarter, though, we’re going back to the intermittent monthly playlist. 

I tried to make jokes involving dozens, but March is simply a bland month. It isn’t the worst. It’s definitely not the best. All the jokes fell apart. Anyways, onward from comedic misfires into some marvelous musical marksmanship.

Sadly, one of our albums of the week is absent from the Spotify library, as is the magical collaboration I covered yesterday. I even missed the boat on an easy Ides of March joke by failing to add two more tracks to this playlist, leaving it at a lucky thirteen.

To counteract these sad shortcomings, we begin with a track from another album of the week: Marnie Stern’s “Year of the Glad.” The playlist pops early, descends into the metal hell of KEN mode and Kvelertak, and winds down with the already lauded Úlfur, the latest Low, and the most chilled-out track from the recent retaker of the “Justin” throne [link].

  1. Marnie Stern - “Year of the Glad” // The Chronicles of Marnia
  2. Golden Grrrls - “We’ve Got” // Golden Grrrls
  3. Youth Lagoon - “Dropla” // Wondrous Bughouse
  4. Rika - “Port Dover” // How to Draw a River, Step By Step
  5. Old Gray - “Emily’s First Communion” // An Autobiography
  6. KEN mode - Counter Culture Complex // Entrench
  7. Kvelertak - “Trepan” // Meir
  8. The Men - “Without A Face” // New Moon
  9. They Might Be Giants - “Tesla” // Nanobots
  10. David Bowie - “The Next Day” // The Next Day
  11. Úlfur - “So Very Strange” // White Mountain 
  12. Low - “So Blue” // The Invisible Way
  13. Justin Timberlake - “Blue Ocean Floor” // The 20/20 Experience

- Tyler Hanan

Nothing Sounds 13: This Halloween, the Batcat Cometh

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My favorite holiday is almost gone, but I’ll refuse to let it go for another few days still. Music is just as big a Halloween event for me as decorations and haunted houses; plus, I actually have the time and funds to indulge it. Epic post rock (Godspeed You!, Mogwai), drawn-out, creepy electronic and drone (Oneohtrix Point Never and Tim Hecker) and the queerer realms of ambient pop (Julia Holter, whose Halloween-ready Tragedy is sadly not on Spotify) - these are the things that pique my interest even more than normal this time of year. So enjoy your Halloween, folks. I wasn’t able to embrace it as much as I would’ve liked, but we’ll take what we can. Pick out some of your favorite soundtracks and blast those through the house, double-check your beds and closets, and for the love of John Carpenter, do not go outside to investigate that sound. I’ll be watching Trick ‘r Treat and Halloween if you need me. [link]

Tracklist:

  1. Oneohtrix Point Never - “Andro”
  2. Crystal Castles - “Year of Silence”
  3. Soft Moon - “Into the Depths”
  4. Mogwai - “Batcat”
  5. Young Widows - “Miss Tambourine Wrist”
  6. Tim Hecker - “Borderlands”
  7. Zomby - “Haunted”
  8. Julia Holter - “Goddess Eyes I”
  9. Zola Jesus - “Avalanche”
  10. Explosions in the Sky - “Greet Death”
  11. Mount Eerie - “House Shape”
  12. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - “East Hastings
Nothing Sounds 12: A March Sampling

I realized that the “Best of” title was silly. First of all, the fact that I could know all the best music of a single month at the moment that month was over was silly. Secondly, the thought of Spotify actually having all the best music is laughable. So, even with this 19-track playlist, I think “A March Sampling” is a much more apt title. Personally, the fact that no tracks off of Julia Holter’s Ekstasis could be included renders this list moot, but I finished it up anyways (Black Breath’s Sentenced to Life also could not be represented here, unfortunately). It’s sad, because this list will never be what I want it to be. Meanwhile, the underwhelming Port of Morrow gets one of its few interesting tracks represented. Sigh. Forgive my complaining, though - there is still a good amount of good music here. Ceremony’s Zoo grew on me quite nicely, and the single is wonderful. The Men’s new album is excellent, The Shoes’ single is as addicting as Tetris (resisted BTVS and drug references), Xiu Xiu released some gloriously weird tracks, Kiernan McMullan’s new record got an 8.9 from our very own Joe Brown… We really are spoiled when I can complain of such trivial things. Enough words - enjoy the mix. As is often the case, I like to follow up a serious, somber track at the end of the album with a fun little epilogue. [link]

Tracklist:

  1. Ceremony - Hysteria // Zoo
  2. Miike Snow - Paddling Out // Happy To You
  3. Now, Now - Dead Oaks // Threads
  4. Kiernan McMullan - What If // Two Years
  5. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s // Rot Gut, Domestic
  6. Oberhofer - HEART // Time Capsules II
  7. The Shoes - Time to Dance // Time to Dance
  8. Yellow Ostrich - Elephant King // Strange Land
  9. The Men - Turn It Around // Open Your Heart
  10. Vcmg - Spock // SSSS
  11. Nite Jewel - One Second of Love //  One Second of Love
  12. Xiu Xiu - Hi // Always
  13. s / s / s - If This Is Real // Beak & Claw
  14. Tanlines - All of Me // Mixed Emotions
  15. Unsane - Decay // Wreck
  16. The Shins - The Rifle’s Spiral // Port of Morrow
  17. Daniel Rossen - Silent Song // Silent Hour / Golden Mile
  18. Mirroring - Silent From Above // Foreign Body
  19. The Magnetic Fields - Andrew In Drag // Love at the Bottom of the Sea

Tyler Hanan

Nothing Sounds 11: From the walls of my apartment to the confines of a playlist

This week’s playlist is born of a simple construct: what’s hanging on my walls? I don’t often notice posters, nor do I own that money - I just can’t afford the nice ones I would like. I pick one up every now and then, though, and most represent a favorite band of mine. Modest Mouse, True Widow, and empire! were all pickups at shows (the Modest Mouse poster being the last one available at the Royal Oak date - I felt like an asshole and didn’t care). I won the Propagandhi show poster in a contest (but when I look at me, I’m just sad I missed the show - I still have yet to see them! Criminal). Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse came from the Dark Night of the Soul deluxe set (the greatest thing I have ever won, and one of my most prized possessions). Thrice’s came with the Beggars preorder. mewithoutYou is a show poster (I did go to that show, and how wonderful it was). The Mountain Goats, Fucked Up, and Joan of Arc came with album purchases (All Eternals Deck, David Comes to Life, and Oh, Brother, respectively).

There are a few curious choices. “Pain” is not my favorite song off of DNOTS - that honor goes to “Revenge,” one of my favorite songs ever. I use that song a lot, though, and I wanted to give love to one of the other many gorgeous tracks (I am a noted fan of both Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse). This mix also ended up being moodier and heavier than I initially anticipated, but when True Widow, Fucked Up Iggy Pop, and Propagandhi are included - also taking into account the specific tracks I selected from Modest Mouse and mewithoutYou - that will happen. As for the seemingly out-of-place Mountain Goats song at the end, I simply like ending things with a sort of epilogue; I like to add a song that is a  tad out of place, but is upbeat, simple, and at least marginally hopeful.

Enjoy, everyone. I think I’m going to take my computer out on the porch and write for a while as I enjoy this glorious thunderstorm. I don’t trust Michigan weather patterns enough to say spring is here, but it certainly is close. [link]

Tracklist:

  1. True Widow - “Skull Eyes”
  2. Modest Mouse - “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes”
  3. Fucked Up - “Serve Me Right”
  4. Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - “Pain” ft. Iggy Pop
  5. Joan of Arc - “Love Life”
  6. empire! empire! (i was a lonely estate) - “Everything Is Connected and Everything Matters (a Temporary Solution to a Permanent Problem)
  7. Propagandhi - “A Speculative Fiction”
  8. Thrice - “All the World is Mad”
  9. mewithoutYou - “The Soviet”
  10. The Mountain Goats - “This Year”

- Tyler Hanan

Nothings Sounds 10: The Best of February

I may need to amend the title “The Best of February” to something a little more accurate - something like “The Best of February… On Spotify.” Being limited by the fact that Spotify apparently doesn’t have all the music ever, great releases such as the ones by Burial, Shlohmo, Hooray!, Teen Suicide, and numerous others that would have made this mix didn’t. Be that as it may, there were still at least thirteen February releases that I have heard, enjoyed, and found (at least a portion of) on Spotify. The list is light on anything too heavy, as I haven’t heard much hardcore, metal, punk, etc., this month, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Feel free to share what you think we’ve forgotten - we love broadening our music horizons. [link]

Tracklist:

  1. Grimes - Oblivion // Visions
  2. Royal Baths - Nightmare Voodoo // Better Luck Next Life
  3. Zola Jesus - In Your Nature (David Lynch Remix) // In Your Nature
  4. Air - Parade // Le Voyage Dans La Lune
  5. The Menzingers - Burn After Writing // On the Impossible Past
  6. Cursive - The Cat and Mouse // I Am Gemini
  7. Archers of Loaf - Greatest of All Time // Vee Vee (Remastered)
  8. Frankie Rose - Pair of Wings // Interstellar
  9. fun. - We Are Young (ft. Janelle Monae) // Some Nights
  10. Islands - This Is Not A Song // A Sleep & A Forgetting
  11. Tennis - My Better Self // Young & Old
  12. Perfume Genius - 17 // Put Your Back N 2 It
  13. Sleigh Bells - End of the Line // Reign of Terror

PS: Yes, I did think ending the album with the words “it’s the end of the line, so goodbye” was clever.

- Tyler Hanan

Nothing Sounds 9: Soundtracks

So how about those Academy Awards? I had resigned myself to most of the losses that I feared, but I still feel Rooney Mara is perfect (no Swedish followers, don’t leave! I love Noomi too!). On a quasi-related note, I’ve been toying around with the idea of a soundtrack-themed playlist, but I just didn’t seem to have the knowledge of enough soundtracks - at least, I didn’t feel I did. Also taking into account the fact that I’m always trying to do many things at once, I actually delegated the task… to my friend Kayla, the person who I can most comfortably sit with in a coffeeshop at our computers for three hours while exchanging maybe five sentences. Kayla also runs a really nice fansite for the band The Swellers [link] - make sure to check it out if you’re a fan as well. Here’s the wonderful playlist she put together. [link]

Tracklist:

  1. Nathan Johnson with the Cinematic Underground - “Kara’s Theme (The Drama Vamp)” // Brick
  2. Daft Punk - “Recognizer” // TRON: Legacy
  3. Jónsi - “Brambles” // We Bought A Zoo
  4. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - ” A Pair of Doves // The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  5. Michael Brook - “Swimming & Horses // Into the Wild
  6. Alexandre Desplat - “Awakening” // Tree of Life
  7. John Williams - Hedwig’s Theme // Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  8. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Soft Trees Break the Fall // The Social Network
  9. Emily Browning - “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” // Sucker Punch
  10. Danny Elfman - “Sandra’s Theme” // Big Fish

- Tyler Hanan

    Nothing Sounds 8

    Hey there, strangers. It has been too long. This week’s mix was created with a rather relaxed guiding hand. A mix of punk and hardcore, with an intermission of sorts dividing the fun and angry halves. It’s short and sweet, comprised of some of my favorites. Next week I’ll be back to a more comprehensive, detailed theme. [link]

    Tracklist:

    1. The Thermals - Everything I Want
    2. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - The Mighty Sparrow
    3. Superchunk - Hyper Enough
    4. Aficionado - Stir Like Hell
    5. Les Savy Fav - The Sweat Descends
    6. Mogwai - Drunk and Crazy
    7. At the Drive-In - Arcarsenal
    8. Propagandhi - Tertium Non Datur
    9. Cave In - White Silence
    10. Refused - The Deadly Rhythm

    - Tyler Hanan.

    Nothing Sounds 7: Danger Days

    You remember, once upon an autumn eve when these playlists first began, I mentioned that there would occasionally be themed mixes. Well today, it’s finally happening. This is Danger Days, a celebration of Brian Burton, more commonly known as Danger Mouse.

    Danger Mouse is a superstar, and for good reason. He’s a producer with a tremendous signature style, traversing and melding both hip hop and indie rock. There’s a reason reason people keep going back to him: he’s done production work on the last three Black Keys record (and look how that has worked out) and Damon Albarn worked with him on The Gorillaz’ Demon Days and later on The Good, The Bad and The Queen. MF DOOM made made an album and an EP with him, along with showing up on a Demon Days track. U2 went to him to try to make themselves relevant again. I’m going to listen to the new U2 album! And the only reason is the production of Danger Mouse!

    Besides the opinions of other massively talented people, the quality of his work is magnificent without fail; some even argue that his older work is some of his best. His breakout Beatles/Jay-Z mashup The Grey Album was one of the best such albums of the decade, as we all know. Even before that, though, Danger Mouse was making albums far better with his magic touch. His production on Ghetto Pop Life, his collaboration with Jemini, is terrific. 

    Now, Danger Mouse seems to be churning out a hit every few months. Just in the last two years, we’ve gotten his collaborations and production work with Linkous and Lynch (late, but still); The Black Keys (on two albums); Danielle Luppi, Norah Jones, and Jack White; and James Mercer. It’s getting obscene. He doesn’t play an instrument. He doesn’t sing. That doesn’t matter; Brian Burton is still one of the greatest musicians of this era.

    This playlist takes a song from ten of my favorite Danger Mouse releases, each one that I think shows off some of the signature Danger Mouse tricks. If I may say, this is one of my favorite playlists that I’ve created, though that might be the Danger Mouse Effect. [link]

    Tracklist:

    1. Gnarls Barkley - Smiley Faces
    2. Gorillaz - Kids With Guns
    3. Broken Bells - Your Head Is On Fire
    4. Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It) ft. David Lynch
    5. DANGERDOOM - The Mask
    6. The Black Keys - Too Afraid To Love
    7. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Problem Queen ft. Norah Jones
    8. Danger Mouse & Jemini - Ghetto Pop Life
    9. The Good, The Bad and The Queen - History Song
    10. Beck - Modern Guilt


    - Tyler Hanan

    Nothing Sounds 6

    After a week off, Nothing Sounds returns! Make sure you check out our end of the year coverage if you haven’t already [link], and keep an eye out for our 2012 coverage that will be up soon! Here’s a little mix of electronic and hip hop tunes that I’ve been jamming - enjoy! [link]

    Tracklist:

    1. SBTRKT - Wildfire
    2. Janelle Monae - Dance or Die ft. Saul Williams
    3. Zomby - Digital Rain
    4. Common - Cloth
    5. Gold Panda - Back Home
    6. Das Racist - Happy Rappy
    7. Erykah Badu - Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long
    8. Four Tet - Angel Echoes
    9. The Roots - Light House
    10. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX - I’ll Take Care of U

    - Tyler Hanan

    Nothing Sounds 5

    Weird mix - we have new tunes, old tunes, new tunes that sounds like old tunes, and vice versa. A number of them are favorites of mine from their time. I wasn’t sure how to end this one, none of these seemed right. Then I looked over at my roommate shoveling hot dogs down his throat, looked down at my tofu, and “Meat Is Murder” shoved all other possible closers out of my mind. The others? Simply some songs I’ve been jamming in between frantic relistens to 2011 albums, waffling over whether I should put them 18th or 19th on my end of the year list.

    I kept it short and simple this week, as we’ve got a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Our end-of-the-year coverage has grown quite a bit since last year, with lots of goodies planned for both the loyal readers and the random one-timers. Also, we’re going to take this surge of productivity and harness it, starting off the new year strong. Some of these ideas may not take hold right away, but our coverage should evolve quite a bit over the next few months. I’m more excited to put it all together than I for catching up on Doctor Who - and I love Doctor Who. 

    As always, please enjoy. If you find anything especially pleasing or aggravating, feel free to praise or berate us via our many social media outlets. Much love, loyal readers. [link]

    Tracklist

    1. Ceremony - Into the Wayside Part I/Sick
    2. End of a Year - Eddie Antar
    3. Andrew Jackson Jihad - American Tune
    4. Fugazi - Repeater
    5. Off! - Panic Attack
    6. Talking Heads - And She Was
    7. Minor Threat - Screaming at a Wall
    8. Butthole Surfers - Pepper
    9. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
    10. The Smiths - Meat is Murder

    - Tyler Hanan

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