It’s been a while, and I have lots to share. I’ll get right into it.
First, for old-school fans who now use Rdio, I’ve re-created what I could of the first five STG mixes on Rdio here (unfortunately many songs from that era are unavailable): #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
Second, my friends and I built something I think is pretty rad. It’s called Couch, and it’s essentially a jukebox for your TV, with YouTube videos as the content and Twitter as your remote control. Here’s how it works:
1. Go to AddToCouch.com on your laptop or TV. We’ll give you a hashtag.
2. Tweet any YouTube video @AddToCouch with that hashtag.
3. The video will start playing immediately. Any videos tweeted while that one plays will be queued up and play automatically.
We’ve been having fun with it at the bar and at parties, but it’s also pretty nice at home to queue up music videos that won’t play on phones (or to melt your girlfriend with an onslaught of cute puppy videos…).
What’s neat is that your friends can play along no matter where they are — if they go to the same URL, they can watch the same videos with you and add their own! I also made a cheesy demo video. I’d love for you guys to try it and let me know what you think. Try it with your friends and family after turkey tomorrow!
Third, well, I guess it’s time to get to the music, right? Ok, let’s do that. There are a lot of ups and downs in this one, so turn it up and hang on tight!
<3 | ∑>
Listen on Rdio
Listen on Spotify
1. Violent Femmes - “American Music”
Growing up in Milwaukee, I always assumed Violent Femmes were as famous as Nirvana or Pearl Jam everywhere in the world. It wasn’t til college that I realized few folks had heard of them, and even fewer new their songs beyond “Blister In The Sun.” Thank goodness we have an independent rock station in Milwaukee that still gives these guys the spins they deserve.
2. Oh Land - “Renaissance Girl”
Oh Land is always good for one or two top-notch jams per album, and this is the clear standout from her latest. Check out the equally awesome video, while you’re at it.
3. Music Go Music - “Love Is All I Can Hear”
I spent months last year trying to find the first Music Go Music album on vinyl (finally finding it in the Milwaukee record store where I used to buy all my tapes). I was convinced they were gone forever and never coming back. I was sad. They never got the recognition they deserved, and I never got to see them live. And then, one day, out of the blue, came this new track in my inbox. Back and better than ever!
4. Chromeo - “Momma’s Boy”
My officemates listen to a lot of hard rock, and it’s made me appreciate Chromeo’s lighthearted take on things a bunch more than I had previously. I mean, how can you keep from smiling when this jam comes on?
5. Diane Coffee - “Hymn”
I got to see Diane Coffee on their first tour a few weeks ago, and they were the tightest, most energetic band I’ve seen in a very long time. Sure, the main guy is the drummer in Foxygen, so he knows a thing or two about energetic performances, but holy wow. These guys write amazing songs that are all over the map musically, then pull them all together into a coherent, cohesive, raucous live show.
6. White Denim - “Come Back”
Something funny happened with this latest White Denim record: they took the epic mindf*ck jams they had been slaying for years and turned them into songs. We’ll see if it nets them any more commercial success (if so, it’s well earned), but it should make for an easier entry point to what is ultimately the White Denim experience: the incredible live show.
7. Simon & Garfunkel - “Fakin’ It”
I’ve spun “Bookends” on my record player far too much over the past few months. I’ve been a fan of Simon & Garfunkel since I was in kindergarten (and have the tapes bought from drug stores all over Wisconsin to prove it), but I never knew about this record. Sure, I knew some of the songs, but “Bookends” is full of oddities, pauses, and conversations that give it new dimensions to explore.
8. The Zombies - “Tell Her No”
The Zombies are near the top of my “most underrated bands” list (though they’ve received some critical acclaim, they’re not as widely known as they should be). They wrote incredible songs, performed them with zeal and emotion that was uncommon at the time, and yet only netted three Top 10 hits and no #1s (this song peaked at #6).
9. Surfer Blood - “Say Yes To Me”
Surfer Blood have taken their knack for a hook and added a great deal of skill and finesse for their second album, “Pythons.” I just wish they’d turn up more often in their new home town of San Francisco.
10. Phantom Planet - “Always On My Mind”
Phantom Planet, if remembered at all, are generally remembered for the theme song to The OC, or as “that band Jason Schwartzman was once in.” I’d just like to remind everyone that they had some other good songs, too.
11. Islands - “Hushed Tones”
I hope you guys like Islands, because I keep posting them on here and I don’t plan to stop. Their new album, Ski Mask, is great, as is their live show. Go!
12. Dan Croll - “In / Out”
A young brit with a knack for writing catchy, sincere tunes, Dan Croll will surely become a favorite for many.
13. Freedom Fry - “Friends & Enemies”
You know, sometimes I discover music from Venture Capitalists. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s not. Fred Wilson and many other VCs have great taste. And I suppose this song is pretty perfect for the VC/Entrepreneur relationship, right?
14. Haerts - “All The Days”
Haerts had St. Lucia produce their debut EP, and it certainly sounds like it. Not to say that’s a bad thing, in any way — it’s like getting an extra accompaniment to the St. Lucia record.
15. Matthew E. White - “Hot Hot Hot”
Speaking of extra accompaniment, Matthew E. White recently released an EP to accompany this year’s LP “Big Inner.” The songs are a little jammier, but just as rich.
16. A.R.E. Weapons - “F What You Like”
I wasn’t quite sure what I was listening to when my friend Kian put this song on, but I think I can get down with some synth-punk.
17. Lucius - “Hey, Doreen”
The ladies from Lucius are back again, with a slightly different production sound that works for this track, but frankly not all of them on the album. They’re still fun tunes, though.
18. The Chordettes - “Never On A Sunday”
I had heard this song as a kid, but totally forgot about it til my friend Kramer took me on a journey through various versions of the song “All My Sorrows,” starting with The Chordettes. They’ve got a few other classics you might recognize, but not be able to identify.
19. French Horn Rebellion - “Caaalifornia”
Leave it to some boys from Milwaukee, now living in Brooklyn, to write and record one of the best songs of the year about California. Granted, there’s a bit of a formula for California songs, but I’m not complaining about any of the results.
20. Born Ruffians - “Rage Flows”
I just can’t get these Canadians out of my head, and it’s really hard to pick the right song to put on a mix. I wanted to share Permanent Hesitation, but it has a pretty abrupt start that was just challenging to make flow with the rest of the mix. But you can still check out the sweet video for that tune, and enjoy this one instead!
21. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - “War Zone”
Dale Jr Jr are the hottest thing out of Detroit these days, selling out pretty sizable venues all over the country. And rightfully so — they’ve mastered the mix of blips and “ooh”s/”ahh”s that create the perfect backdrop for their hook-heavy, but still conversant songs. Plus, they’re just ridiculously fun.