The problem with making any sort of list is you inevitably forget something. We are not immune. After publishing our Favorites of 2010 list, we of course came up with a handful of things we should have included. In no particular order, they are:
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks
The National – High Violet Peter Gabriel – Heroes
The Whigs – Black Lotus
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home*
After publishing this, we’ll probably think of twenty more things, but we’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
*Though released in 2009, it really got its legs in 2010 so we’re counting it anyway.
We are pleased to bring you this fantastically crafted mixtape by Jose of Harlem Shakes.
A few words from Jose:
When I make a mix, it’s almost always for a friend, and I generally give it a title and a some kind of a theme. This mix is an exception to both of those rules. This is new and exciting territory for me, just putting a bunch of songs I like together and making them fit together without some specific purpose. Still, I try to employ the same techniques when I’m putting something together, building the mix around 3 or 4 songs, usually the first and last track and a centerpiece near the middle and trying to match everything around it (I always try to make it so that the first track sets the tone and the last provides some sort of climax or catharsis).
“Have You Seen in Your Dreams” is an appropriate kick-off for this mix, with dripping-wet shimmery production and tender vocals. Miracle Fortress is the solo project of Graham Van Pelt of Think About Life. He, along with Shapes and Sizes, is a friend of a friend from Montreal and I’m so glad to have been turned onto both bands. There’s also a pair of tracks by Asobi Seksu and White Rabbits, two bands with whom we share the same maestro/producer, Chris Zane. His work makes me shiver.
The song I wanted to highlight the most is “The Greater Times” by Electrelane. There’s no other band that I am as pleased or as excited to listen to these days. This song is exactly what I want from the pop idiom. From the sweet, heart-aching lyrics to the way she desperately turns “the walls” into “oohs” at the climax — this is my perfect pop song.
I love Canadian bands. Frog Eyes can sometimes be hit-or-miss for me, though on the whole I’m a fan of their records. Their newest, Tears of the Valedictorian, closes with “Bushels”, and it’s basically a summary of the rest of the record. I love the dynamic progression that barrels right through a strong (and seemingly short) nine minutes and forces you to listen to the whole song. The first time I heard that snare/piano roll that finishes each phrase in the first verse, I was hooked.
I don’t want to imply that the rest of the mix is merely filler, though I think everything somehow refers or relates to these three songs in some way. I also don’t want to waste your time with a song-by-song description, so I’ll just let the music do the talking from here. These are some of my favorite songs by bands I love/adore/know. Enjoy!
Mixtapes Heartbreaks by Jose of Harlem Shakes
01| Have You Seen in Your Dreams by Miracle Fortress
02| Cindy Tells Me by Brian Eno
03| Apartment Story by The National
04| Boom! It’s Spring by Night Canopy
05| Thursday by Asobi Seksu
06| When You Sleep by My Bloody Valentine
07| Desaparecere by Deerhoof
08| Take Pills by Panda Bear
09| Alone/Alive by Shapes and Sizes
10| The Greater Times by Electrelane
11| Burning the Cow by Earlimart
12| Just Off the Coast by Clearlake
13| Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins
14| March of the Camels by White Rabbits
15| Bushels by Frog Eyes