Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

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Psalms of March — a (belated) 3.2012 mix

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Meant to post this last week and never got around to it. This is my March playlist/mixtape/mixcast/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I hope it will do for April, too.

Psalms of March (a 3.2012 mix)

1. “Good Woman” – Cat Power
Because good woman/manhood has been a topic, of late. And because this song is sexy and wistful and gorgeous, and just right for an unseasonably warm early spring.

2. “Lovesickness” – Tomboyfriend
Because Tomboyfriend is one of those bands you like because almost every song sounds epic; maybe you don’t know exactly what the words mean, or even really what the gist of the song is, but something! is going on! and it! is a big deal! And our protagonists are feeling wistful or nostalgic or triumphant about it, so each song provides a mini-catharsis, like watching a Greek Tragedy or a Grey’s Anatomy episode in 4 minutes. So, yeah: I dig this band. And hope you do, too. [And if you do, check out “End of Poverty” or “Almost Always” by them next.]

3. “Could be so Happy” – Heartless Bastards
Because they’re a Cincinnati band! [Which is where I’m from.] And very folky, very throaty, the kind of thing you’d want to listen to on a hot night, somewhere smoky.  #psychfolk? They just released a new album, “Arrow,” but this song is from their 2009 album “The Mountain.”

4. “Holiday” – The Kinks
‘Cause … The Kinks, duh.

5. “Common Burn” – Mazzy Star
Because who among you did not lie in your high school bedroom listening to “Fade Into You” on repeat? And Hope Sandoval is back! This is from a 2-song EP released Oct. 2011, the first Mazzy Star release since 1997.

6. “Wind Was the Wine” – Woods
Because they’re my favorite and this is their new song. It’s short, sweet, Seussical and quietly joyous.

7. “Myth” – Beach House
Lovely, in that could-be-the-soundtrack-to-a-Twin-Peaks-dream-scene way. Or a cross between that Best Coast song with the urban Romeo & Julie video starring Maebe Funke and something out of Rocky Horror Picture Show? Yep, I think that about sums it up.

8.”The Night (rewards remix)” – School of Seven Bells
Because one of my best friends was in a band, Painted Face, founded by singer/musician Allie Alvarado, and Allie (who was formerly in Telepathe) has recently joined School of Seven Bells! Cheers, Allie! Also, because this song/remix is pure dance party.  Pure dance party/rooftop, basement, beach or movie montage.

9. “Love Love Love” – Of Monsters and Men
This is the first song on this mix that my boyfriend fell for. It’s strangely arresting the first time you hear it, even though in the hands of a different sort of singer (Colbie Callet? Taylor Swift?) the same words and melody would maybe come off totally grating/cutesy? But here’s it’s like … haunting, and just the slightest bit potentially heartbreaking (also: catchy!). [Update: BECAUSE—aha!—THEY ARE ICELANDIC.]

10. “Firestarter” – Blouse
Art school kids from Portland.

11. “The Way In” – Porcelain Raft
New wave beach party prom rock? I don’t know. Something like that. That’s what I keep describing everything as. That’s what everything sounds like, right now, beach parties prom or dusk.

12. “Go Home” – Lucius
Twangy back porch and/or drinking music. Achey. Pretty. From 2 girls with cool hair and sunglasses and 2 guys with mustaches.

13. “Lost on Leaving” – Luke Roberts
Brooklyn meets Nashville, literally.

14. “Bird Child” – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Mariee Sioux
From a Bonnie Prince Billy/Mariee Sioux collaboration that also features a billion or six other interesting musicians. Here is how label Spiritual Pajamas describes it: “Flowering tongues, love skulls, whales trapped in ice, be thou not deceived and touch yourself a hundred times. These songs carve a place in your heart and tattoo your brain for ages to come.”

15. “State of Mind” – Whispertown
Sound like Tegan and Sara. Touring with Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s.

16. “Bird on the Buffalo” – Angus Stone
Because I liked the 2010 album, Down the Way, Angus Stone put out with his sister Julia. I can’t decide yet about his solo efforts. I like his nasally Bob Dylan affect (that sounds sarcastic, but I mean it), but overall it’s maybe a bit too hip-soundtrack-to-a-WB-teen-series?

17. “From Finner” – Of Monsters and Men
Because I believe two songs from one band on a mix are okay.

19. “Honolulu Blues” – Craig Finn
Because I recently had a conversation with someone about how Hawaii was the saddest place they’d ever lived. Craig Finn is the dude from the Hold Steady, who writes about Jesus, sings about drugs and performs like a former musical-theater major. (This is from his debut solo album)

20. “Radio” – Lana Del Ray
Because I don’t understand why everyone hates her?

21. “Voices” – Soft Metals
More Portland natives, currently living in Los Angeles. From the same label (Captured Tracks) as Blouse.

22. “Everybody Loves a Lover” – Doris Day
Because they do, don’t they?

{click to download}


Written by ENB

April 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

everything happens/watercolor sun: a March mix

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I think there was a time when everything sounded a little bit hard but whimsical, a little bit epic, and then everything sounded like the mountains, like bonfires around a farm.

Now everything sounds like a California or Hawaiian beach party thrown by Aleister Crowley, Belinda Carlyle & a mingled pack of 80s yachters & 2011 hipsters, all ghosts and surfers and gurus and weird sound effects and dangerous women. At least to me.

I thought all that Indie Appalachia music was inspired by Recession Times; I don’t know where this comes from. But I’ve been bumming about Venice Beach & Santa Monica the past week, so it suits me fine. Viva IndieSurfWaveFolkstericanaNoisePop! Or something like that.

Listen/download  >> everything happens/watercolor sun: a March Mix


1. Bimini Bay – Tennis // 2. Alemany Gap – John Vanderslice // 3. Robopup – BEEP // 4. Yipmerdai – Der Dong Dang // 5. The Singer (Johnny Cash/Nick Cave cover) – Dirty Beaches // 6. Wild 1 – The Babies // 7. End of the World – Anika // 8. Let England Shake – P.J. Harvey // 9. Hot Sprawl – Man/Miracle // 10. Come Down Easy – Spacemen 3 // 11. Sunset Liner – Ducktails // 12. Forced Aloha – Fergus & Geronimo // 13. find love (clem snide cover) – the sarcastic dharma society // 14. Almost Always – Tomboyfriend // 15. Children of the Light – White Flight // 16. Hit the Road Jack – Cat // 17. I’m free – The Petticoats // 18. You are a Runner – Wolf Parade // 19. The Arc – Wooden Wand // 20. Everything Is Burning – Ivan & Alyosha // 21. When Pushed From a High Branch – Snowblink // 22. Breakin’ the Law – The Babies

Written by ENB

March 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm