I want my . . . I want my . . .

All right, as usual I’ve been listening to a ton of new music over the past few months. Some folks I know rightly bemoan the lack of 120 Minutes, etc. where you can just tune in and hope to hear some cool new music. Well a curated YouTube list makes that process EVEN BETTER in the 21st century. Don’t like a song? Hit next! More good songs, fewer commercials, everybody’s happy. Enjoy!

Music for a Fairy Fest

I can’t take any credit for this one. An old friend DJ’d an event hosted by Crone’s Hollow, an occult store in Salt Lake City. There was a day-long event culminating in a dance party called the Fairy Rade. I have an unashamed weakness for all things tribalgoth and dark pagan, including this sort of great music. They weren’t able to record directly off the board so I threw together a YouTube playlist of the music played that evening.

d j. d r o w n’s playlist, Fairy Rade 2015

  1. Irfan – Star of the Winds
  2. Dead Can Dance – the Host of Seraphim
  3. Faith and the Muse – Elyria
  4. Miranda Sex Garden – Ardera Sempre
  5. Wendy Rule – Creator Destroyer
  6. Cruxshadows – Sophia
  7. The Mission – Severina
  8. Faith and the Muse – Vervain
  9. Die Form – Cantique 1
  10. Lorena McKennitt – To the fairies, they draw near
  11. Rasputina – Hunters Kiss
  12. Siouxsie – Trust in Me
  13. This Ascension – mysterium
  14. Sting – Desert Rose
  15. Front Line Assembly – Providence
  16. E nomine – Mittenacht
  17. Nosferatu – the Wiccaman
  18. Kate Bush – Running Up that Hill
  19. Lorena McKennitt – mummers dance
  20. Razor Skyline – Queen of heaven
  21. Emilie Autumn – Across the Sky
  22. Trobar de Morte – natural dance
  23. Regan High Priestess – Airetaina
  24. Priscilla Hernandez – I steal the leaves
  25. The Gathering – In power we entrust the love advocated
  26. enya – the celts

Review: Cold Mailman – “Everything Aflutter”

Scandinavian music can get really stark: nihilistic black metal, lonely folk tunes, epic Sibelius symphonies. But so often, especially these days, they turn out some of the sweetest pop music you’ve ever heard. “I KNOW we live in a tree-bound land of wintry dark, but let’s drink some gløgg and hold hands!” For my money Norway’s Cold Mailman is one of the most exciting acts in European music. The synths here run intricate and deep, complementing the thought-provoking (if heavily accented) lyrics from Ivar Borwitz. It’s all laid over a solid modern rock backbone that keeps your head bobbing; the effect is happily reminiscent of mid-era Beatles and ambitious-yet-accessible 70s arena rock. They don’t seem to have made much of a splash yet here in the States, but with singles like this that should soon change. Fans of Maia Hirasawa, the Field Mice, Kings of Convenience, or Mates of State should check these guys out. Everything Aflutter is out now on Beyond Music records.

Best of 1994

[edited]: So for a long time I used the streaming service Grooveshark to build playlists. I gradually realized that the nature of their engine–scouring the web for streamable music in different places–was prone to DMCA takedown notices, especially since they wouldn’t pay royalties. Fortunately I keep my favorite lists in text form anyway–even if something gets taken down, we can rebuild it. :) Having said that, I’ve been spending the last couple of days deep within the world of 1994. This is mostly the kind of music you would have heard on college radio or seen on 120 Minutes, and it’s interesting to look at this with historical perspective. This is the year that the music that used to mark me as an outsider stormed up the charts, when “alternative” became a recognized radio format and ironically became mainstream. There’s a smattering of some other stuff too–great hip hop, a few guilty-pleasure pop hits, and a smattering of metal. Enjoy some of the best music of 1994!

 

Good new music for 2015

A friend recently cut the cord. Damn near all the music videos in the world are available on YouTube, but how to find what’s good? It genuinely surprised me how hard it is to answer that question, so here’s my own humble contribution: a list of music videos from the last few months titled “An Indeterminate Number of Minutes.” I tried to get a broad cross-section of genres, but it’s inevitably biased towards my own fondness for indie pop and modern rock. Let me know what you think!

We need more Bollywood in our lives

And the Bombay Royale agrees. They’re an Australian act that interprets, recreates, and extends the sounds of ’60s and ’70s Indian musicals. And Bollywood in those days could sound like anything. American and European pop music was hoovered up wholesale and quickly incorporated into the industry’s musical extravaganzas. The result was a delirious stew of traditional theatre music, disco, post-bop jazz, funk, and current pop.

 

Starting out as a faithful cover band the Bombay Royale quickly moved on to writing and recording their own material. I’m genuinely mystified as to why these cats aren’t one of the world’s biggest bands. This is everything I want from world music–skilled, soulful, theatrical, genuinely diverse, and more fun than a high-stakes art heist at a society shindig. Their new album, The Island of Dr. Electrico, is rock-solid all the way through. There’s no filler here; each song is distinctive while the whole album maintains a fun, exotic feel.

Relistening to some old favorites

A while back I made a list of my all-time favorite albums. I do SO MUCH listening to new music that it feels like a red queen’s race sometimes, struggling just to keep up. So I’m going to take some time, go back and revisit the albums that have meant so much to me over the years.

XTC—Skylarking
Stevie Wonder—Songs in the Key of Life
Tom Waits—Swordfishtrombones
Suzanne Vega—Nine Objects of Desire
They Might Be Giants—Then: The Earlier Years
Woven Hand–Woven Hand
Ani di Franco—Out of Range
Bjork—Debut
Radiohead—OK Computer
R.E.M.—Life’s Rich Pageant
Sleater-Kinney—The Woods
Smiths—Louder Than Bombs
Pogues—If I Should Fall From Grace with God
Ozomatli—Ozomatli
Los Lobos—Kiko
Housemartins—Now That’s What I Call Quite Good
(English) Beat—I Just Can’t Stop It
Peter Gabriel—Peter Gabriel III
Dresden Dolls–Dresden Dolls
Nick Drake—Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake
Elvis Costello—The Very Best of Elvis Costello
Kate Bush—Hounds of Love
Jeff Buckley—Grace
Fiona Apple—Tidal