Isn’t my state beautiful? Green trees, lakes and rivers abound, and stunning bands like Altos. One of my all-time favorite live acts, the men and women of Altos will collectively knock you over again and again.
Altos has unwittingly soundtracked my last couple years – I first saw them in the middle of the night with some of my favorite people, fog churning around us as we huddled for warmth as fall started to creep into the last light of summer. They are the band that first led me to The Shitty Barn, now a place I couldn’t imagine my summers without. Last year I returned to the banks of the Rock River, the place where I first saw them play, known then as Group of the Altos. My heart pounded along to “Never Named” as I burned sparklers and fireworks exploded overhead with the song’s pulsing crescendo.
People often speak of true love only romantically and in relation to another person, but the fullness in my heart brought by these notes and places and images can’t be denied.
I first heard Milwaukee’s The Altos in the middle of the night, outdoors on a river bank, surrounded by fog. Backlit by colored lights, all I could see were sharp black outlines cutting through the fog. It was an overwhelming experience – I was surrounded by friends, the stars were bright overhead, and the icy fingers of fall were creeping in. The Altos’ songwriting is dark and complex, and the sheer force of their sound can bowl you over. When I heard they were coming to The Shitty Barn in Spring Green, I invited them to make a mix. Brendan Benham volunteered, and curated a collection of songs having much in common with The Altos’ sound, but left to warm in the sunlight.
These tracks have been in heavy rotation for me lately, soundtracking my summer.
Many of these bands are my friends, and I highly encourage everyone to check out
their records, as they are all fantastic.
This mix is for your summer. Cruise around town to it. Bask in the sun to it.
Smell the lilacs to it. Make out in backseats to it. Party into the night to it.
Shut your eyes and see.
01| New Map by M83 (2011)
02| Kings & Queens by Apostle of Hustle (2004)
03| Brave World – Bowerbirds (2012)
04| Rip the Universe – Reverie Sound Revue (2003)
05| Only Shallow – My Bloody Valentine (1991)
06| Violent Games – Polica (2012)
07| Aviation Class – All Tiny Creatures (2011)
08| Kiss Me Crazy – Bear in Heaven (2012)
09| Go Ego – Eight and a Half (2012)
10| Peg – The Darcys (2012)
11| Summer Dress – A Lull (2012)
12| Still D.R.E. (Shatterhors Refix) – Dr. Dre (2012)
13| Changes – Sandro Perri (2011)
14| Late Nineties Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries/Shampoo Suicide – Broken Social Scene (2002)