focus your audio: for nancy (‘cos it already is)

In M|H’s weekend feature, focus your audio, I’ll be looking at some of my favorite songs. Some I haven’t listened to in years, some I keep in regular rotation, but all having in some way informed my life, my taste, and and how I view music.

Pete Yorn – For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is)

Pete Yorn hit the scene at the end of my junior year of high school with his debut musicforthemorningafter and lead single “Life on a Chain“. I loved it upon hearing it with its bluesy base, but my favorite song from the album has always been “For Nancy”. I listened to this album throughout the rest of high school and got to see Pete Yorn play at  the 2002 Y100 FEZtival on the main stage. He played in the afternoon so I was able to get close and he was an amazing performer.

As the years went on, musicforthemorningafter fell out of my regular rotation, but when I was living in San Francisco in 2009 I rediscovered it while using the mp3 player I had bought and loaded up during my sophomore year of college. I’d had it on shuffle and “For Nancy” came on while I was on the bus in the Marina headed to work at the Exploratorium. After listening through the song I took my player off shuffle and listened to the entire album, remembering why I’d loved it in the first place.

what a difference a decade makes

This morning I realized that yesterday was the ten-year anniversary of the first concert I ever booked. As a freshman in college I joined the WUD Music Committee after seeing their ad in the student activities guide and then attending a free concert featuring Hey Mercedes. The committee quickly became the center of my extracurricular activities and social life, and at the end of my first semester I managed to book one of my favorite bands from home, Punchline, and this little Chicago band that they were on tour with – Fall Out Boy.

This is what I looked like exactly ten years & one day ago.

The show was at the very beginning of the spring semester of 2003, and being that it was January in Wisconsin it was freezing cold and snowing. One of the people who had co-booked the show (Madcap, Count the Stars, and 504 Plan were also on the bill) had nightmares leading up to the show, dreaming that nobody came. Happily, the show ended up being packed. Below is an era-appropriate photo collage from the night, as well a video sampling of the bands that played.

12503collage

504 Plan – Fathead

Count the Stars – Taking It All Back

Punchline – Play

Fall Out Boy – Chicago Is So Two Years Ago

Madcap – Going on the Road

favorites of 2012: albums

We’ve been just terrible the last few years about getting out a favorites list to you (2011’s is still sitting half-finished in our drafts, sad but true). There’s been a ton of good music this year, and we here at M|H hope to eventually crank out a complete list, but for now we give you what we know in our hearts: our top three albums of the year.

***

Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Sub Pop – 05.01.12 

Usually we don’t rank our favorites, but Fear Fun is hands-down our favorite album of the year and near the top of the list for our all-time best. It’s musically compelling, the lyrics are funny and smart, and the entire Misty persona drips with charisma. We can’t say enough good things about this record or Josh Tillman so just trust us and listen to the record if you haven’t become irrevocably obsessed with it already.

Our review: I’ve Got Smoke in My Lungs and a Past Life in My Trunk

***

Zulu Pearls – No Heroes No Honeymoons
Cantora Records – 09.18.12

We rarely get to spend the amount of time with an album as we’d like, but No Heroes No Honeymoons is one that found itself on repeat. There’s a cool confidence and ease that comes to Zulu Pearls and listening to the record is the easiest way to get close to that. There’s something very real about what Zulu Pearls is doing; these songs would be playing in the car, on the jukebox, soundtracking your life. 

Our review: I Like the Feel of Silver, But Now I Want the Gold

***

Reptar – Body Faucet
Vagrant Records – 05.01.12

If you’ve ever wondered what unadulterated happiness feels like, go see Reptar live. It’s impossible for us to divorce the live show from the album and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Reptar is a weird, weird band but the joy they exude while making music endows them with relatability. Body Faucet‘s quirky tunes will dance their way into your heart and mind and you’ll never stop wanting to move.

Our review: Edge of Low Verses, They Blew My Mind