MixtapEP #8: Audra to Jesse
- Lianne La Havas, “Forget”
AW: I LOVE THIS. I admit that the first thing that caught my eye is that her hair looks exactly like a bagel stuck to the front of her head, but then I was won over by the weirdo harmonies and the urgent guitars. I know I am not blowing anyone’s mind by liking something that sounds like one parts Goapele one part breakfast pastry and two parts Dirty Projectors but I don’t care! Okay I care a little bit!
JD: Oh my god this is amazing. I feel like my whole next pEP is in jeopardy just from how good this one song is. I like how you snapped up all the good bloggy comparisons to make. I can’t even mention how I hear a little Björk in there because your mention of the DP’s makes it redundant. Instead I will just be like “OMG those drummmmmms!” which is becoming my catchphrase and it’s not very funny.
AW: I knew you would love it!! She is only 22! Before making music, she was a student at Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls!! That is the most British school name in history.
JD: The Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls Alumnae Society is going to FREAK when they hear this.
- Soko, “I’ve Been Alone Too Long”
AW: Well, Soko still exists! And nothing really happens in this video, FILMOGRAPHY-WISE, but I still find it really affecting. It’s like a simple raw song in a simple (aesthetically) raw setting. I totally believe every word she is singing.
JD: That’s gorgeous and a great performance. I feel guilty about how much I lump together heavily-accented English-language singers into a category that seems sympathetic in my head… like, I would put this with Emiliana Torrini, Rita Pavone, and any of the first-name-only singers featured on Nouvelle Vague compilations. They all seem like one artist to me! And that artist is AMAZING!! I think even Leoncie is in there somewhere!
AW: WHOA I FORGOT ABOUT LEONCIE. I think Rita Pavone is more [ADJECTIVE NOT FOUND. SUGGEST: ZAZZY? JE-NE-SAIS-QUOI?].
JD: I do find this video a bit long for how much less is going on in the middle bit. It starts off completely captivating but I did switch to another window for a bit midway through. It’s not only because youtube has ravaged my attention spa… oh I have to put my clothes in the dryer!
AW: Yeah, I sort of like that it’s a bit aimless. I had a hard time choosing which of her new songs to put on this pEP! I love her tiny braids.
- Trust, “Candy Walls”
AW: I’m not going to lie. I have no idea what the narrative for this is. It makes me really nostalgic though, I guess because the vocals sound like music I (my dad) listened to in high school, and the visuals are like the sort of summer I couldn’t ever handle having really because I am neither foot-loose nor fancy-free. I’m all feet and all fancy. But I like that their hair is visibly dirty and I like the way he hugs her at the end. In the middle maybe she dreams she is a horse or something?
JD: My parents crossed the continent on a motorcycle not long before there was me. There was camping and long hauls and I think they had an amazing adventure together. I’ve never heard them say anything about it that wasn’t wistful and glowing. This video mostly makes me think about them, and how the experience wasn’t just made up of the slides I’ve seen, but infinite minute moments along the way.
AW: That’s a good way of putting it! I guess they wouldn’t have taken any video, hey? Too bad! It would have been so grainy and amazing!
JD: It also makes me want to eat a REALLY FRESH gummy coke bottle like they have here, because I feel like I only ever have maybe once in my life and then every subsequent one was from the same batch because no-one ever bought them on purpose.
AW: Hahahahaha. How do people accidentally buy them??
JD: Oh you know, they’re just in with some other stuff. So as far as narrative, I guess she has a late night freakout? I thought she was going off to pee but then yeah she seems upset and sometimes there is a horse. I guess it could be both. It is really affecting! The music is great, and sounds just like the music your dad listened to while you were in high school, but I kind of lament not being able to make out any of the lyrics because I feel they would provide some clarity to the narrative. CLARRATIVE.
AW: Thants.I feel like kind of a chump because Trust (or maybe TRST? I’ve seen it written both ways) opened of for Sleigh Bells (who were selling t-shirts with “Slay Bells” on them, so clearly NEITHER band is super concerned with being accurately googled) last month, but we missed the opening act. I kind of wish I’d seen them, but also I don’t wish I’d had to hurry more that day. COMPLICATED.
- Princess Chelsea, “Yulia”
AW: This is sort of like if Krista Muir and Kate Walchuk and BA Johnson had a baby. Oh man that would be such a cool baby. Haha look at that cat. Why are cats so ungrateful when they get to be in music videos?? Most people are quite excited. Also most of this woman’s videos are very similar but I am still charmed by them. Like sometimes it’s her singing into a camera with a monkey puppet on her bed, sometimes she’s holding a cat, sometimes she’s in a hot tub. I really like the xylophone in this song. Glockenspiel? Oh and singing.
JD: Okay she LOOKS exactly like the infant Katie that we once knew - and she also has a bagel attached to her hair so I think I have detected this pEPisode’s theme.
JD: She makes all the faces, and it’s adorable. That cat is MEAN MUGGIN’ HARD.
AW: Haaa I know!!
JD: He looks exactly like Lil’ Wayne’s pretend dad, Baby.
AW: I don’t know anything about this but it is SO FUNNY I can’t stop reading that sentence.
JD: I bet he has an amazing grill but he’s not even concerned with stunting enough to show it off. He’s just like “WHAT U SEE IS WHAT U GET.”
AW: This is all so funny about the cat.
JD: I think the other theme of this pEP is really tough drums. You have my number on that one. And yeah, glockenspiel - xylophones are made of wood. I tell you that not to be pedantic, but because it’s fun to know that “xylo” means “wood!” In Greek! WOW.
AW: OKAY WHAT ABOUT A MARIMBA IF YOU ARE SO SMART??
JD: Without googling, I can tell you from personal experience that a marimba is pretty much a really nice xylophone. If there is a subtler definition, I’ve forgotten it since All City Intermediate Percussion Ensemble in high school. I had too many crushes to remember EVERY SINGLE KIND OF XYLOPHONE.
The music in this track is kind of a brilliant synthesis of “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Take 5.”
AW: I don’t hear “Ain’t No Sunshine!” Explain!!
JD: Okay first let’s talk about that triple negative. What you are trying to say is “I hear no sunshine.” Second, just listen to the bassline on the original Bill Withers recording!
Oh my god her album is called Lil Golden Book? I’m gonna make friends. Also I’m gonna put a link to where to buy her record on vinyl because next time I have a few bucks in the paypal I’m gonna snag it up: http://lilchiefrecords.storenvy.com/collections/6311-princess-chelsea It better not have crazy New Zealand shipping costs or I’ll freak.
AW: Too late I tricked you and bought it for you haaaaaa sucker.
JD: EVERYBODY LOOK UNDER YOUR CHAIRS IT’S LIKE OPRAH IN HERE ALL OF A SUDDEN!??
- M. Ward, “The First Time I Ran Away”
AW: I love the textures of this, both the song and the video. The soft “oooooos” in the background are … voices? I think? But the fact that I can’t tell makes me feel like it’s a warm summer night and it’s room temperature outside and I can’t QUITE believe I’m not indoors. The colour pallet is so lovely, too. I just bought this album ON VINYL but I haven’t listened to it yet at all.
JD: OH GOD DAMMIT well I guess I will be taking this off of my totally finished next pEP I had all ready to send you. I’ve never been so angry.
This is the M. Ward we like, eh? Huge production and his weird little voice with that exact filter and reverb on it.
AW: Well I’m still not sure I’d LIKE him ha ha! The album is really pretty, I mean to look at. This is the first song I’ve heard from it.
JD: I like the llama, and I like the faces, and I like the geometric elements of the natural scenery that make me think of that stonecutter book from when I was a kid.
AW: It for sure has olde CBCe animatione look to it, do you agree?
JD: I agree that it was very funny to put “e” on the end of those words, but the animatione looks more like Craig McCracken than olde CBCe to me - Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, that stuff.
- Fifth Column, “Like This”
AW: I feel like you would like to know about Fifth Column, In case you don’t already. They are a Toronto band whose album “All Women Are Bitches” was on K Records. They were super interesting but I don’t feel like enough people remember them. They got a lot of media when I was a kid and I actually didn’t know the term “Fifth column” referred to anything but their band for the longest time. They started in the early 80’s and they all made zines and they are the only Canadian Riot Grrrl band I can really ever think of. This video was directed by Bruce LaBruce. You can learn all about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Column_(band)
JD: Ohoooo we are adding videos from the PAST to this whole enterprise?? I’m not prepared for this! There’s LOTS OF VIDEOS FROM THE PAST.AW: I just really wanted you to know about them!!JD: For the first two and a half minutes the bass tone and jagged 8mm thing was like an extended interstitial from Kids In The Hall, …
AW: Oh that is totally true. 100% How did I not notice that??
JD: …but then vocals kicked in and I was mesmerized for the remaining thirty-five seconds during which I had patience for the song to be going on, and then it was another two minutes, and then I was rewarded for sitting through the chaotic, seemingly plotless video by watching everyone surprisingly meet their GRISLY DEATHS at the end. This was a rollercoaster!
Overall I like this sound, it makes me feel like I’m a kid listening to community radio late at night all night (because I was a kid in the 90s). I just wish this particular song were more compact, and that Bruce LaBruce wasn’t such a rascal.
AW: Oh no I think I didn’t notice the gory ending? Maybe I tabbed away or blanked. Maybe check out their other stuff? It isn’t all like this! Um, some of it I don’t like as much. Ha!
- Hoodie Allen, “James Franco”
AW: Okay you don’t have to watch this video more than once but this is payback for the James Franco weirdness on YOUR last PEP. How is this funny for three minutes?? I have no idea but it REALLY is to me. I feel like I will laugh every time I see this video. I might watch it with the sound off next time.
JD: The beat is great but it’s just “Hand Clapping Song” by the Meters, like various huge sections of it, with another breakbeat layered in. It’s a really lazy beat. These are really lazy rhymes - in the middle of the second verse I realized it was post-Das Racist free association “I don’t give a fuck” rap, but like… they have the charisma to pull it off.
AW: Yeah it just sounds like LFO. Which is the worst insult I can give anything.
JD: I neither get the sense that he genuinely doesn’t give a fuck in the ways that it’s cool that they don’t, or that he actually does give a fuck in the ways that they do. I wonder what is the point of singing the first half of the first line as though it’s from “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. Like was it fun or what.AW: Ha!JD: I know Thesis played a show with this dude somewhere some time. So that’s a cool story.AW: Interesting! Probably some people should have had giant Thesis heads.JD: Obviously I think that every day of my life. I wanted to like the James Franco head effect, but I think it was also kind of lazily applied and failed to immerse me in a universe where lots of people legitimately have giant James Franco heads. Which is ALL I ASK.
AW: I like how lazily applied they are and I like it most of all when they change facial expressions.
JD: Yeah it’s pretty good I guess.