Favorited ex.fm Songs

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New and Old Wilco

Real quick post since I'm just procrastinating from my homework.

Wilco released a new album today that I am really enjoying. It's only $5.99 on Amazon (and one of the tracks is free), so I recommend heading over there to grab it if you're interested. The first song features a pretty rockin' guitar solo, and the album is definitely one of their strongest in a while. Since I'm not too familiar with the new album yet, I'll hold off on posting a song from it.

However, with the anticipation of the new album in my mind, I got the song "Reservations" off the phenomenal Yankee Hotel Foxtrot stuck in my head earlier today. The song features one of my favorite lines in the chorus with: "I've got reservations about so many things. But not about you." Anyhow, below is the video:

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is currently only $5 on Amazon too. It's probably one of my 10 or so favorite albums ever, so I'd recommend checking that out as well. If you don't trust me, when compiling top albums of the 2000s lists, Paste Magazine had it 2nd, Rolling Stone had it 3rd, and Pitchfork had it 4th. If you don't trust them either then I suppose that's fine too.

Alright, back to the books. Thanks for the diversion blog-universe.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The glove compartment isn't accurately named

Today, on my drive down to campus a green light with a picture of a key kept flashing. I had no idea what the light meant, so I tried to find the car's manual in the glove compartment. Unfortunately, all I could find were about 30 maps, and a whole bunch of napkins. This ordeal led to the song "Title and Registration" by Death Cab for Cutie getting stuck in my head. The song starts out with the line:

The glove compartment isn't accurately named.
And everybody knows it.
So I'm proposing a swift, orderly change.
Because behind its doors there's nothing to keep my fingers warm.

Based on my experiences today, I think the map/napkin box is the more appropriate name. Anyhow, here's a video of the song from 2003's "Transatlanticism" album, which I remember listening to incessantly my freshman year of college.

P.S. From some quick Googling, it sounds like the light means the car isn't recognizing the key for whatever reason. On my drive home, my second set of keys worked just fine, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a while in hopes that the issue doesn't arise again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My 100,000th Scrobble on Last.fm

This milestone kinda snuck up on me. I knew it was coming up, but when I plugged in my iPod it had 130 or so backed up which left me 17 short of 100,000. Despite there being little logic, reason, or real importance behind it, I decided I should make sure my 100,000th song was a good one. However, deciding on one single song to take that importance was too much for me to handle, so I figured I'd pick 5 songs I love by artists I love to sandwich #100,000. So... here they are:

99,998 - Skinny Love by Bon Iver
This song was the song that inspired my first ever blog post. It's my most scrobbled song on Last.fm, and just a song that makes me stop and take notice every time I hear it. I still hate that I haven't seen Bon Iver perform live, but I did see Justin Vernon perform with his old high school jazz band a few years back, which remains to this day my favorite concert I've been to. All in all, a perfect song from a perfect album.

99,999 - The Gardner by Tallest Man On Earth
This song is apparently my 6th most scrobbled. It's my favorite song by Tallest Man On Earth, and I'm sure I could just listen to it on repeat and never get tired of it. I love the progression of the lyrics throughout the song. It was also one of the first several songs I based a blog post around.

100,000 - Poison Cup by M. Ward
The big round number... Well it pretty much had to be by M. Ward. I've played his songs more times than my second and third most played artists combined. He is without a doubt, far and away, absolutely, positively my favorite artist (I thought about throwing more descriptors in there, but was having a hard time coming up with them). I've got plenty of reasons for that, but the rest of it is just one of those things that probably can't be explained. His music just connects with me in a way that no other artist's music does. My favorite song of his changes from time to time (with about 10 other potential #1s), but Poison Cup is such a fantastic lead track on Post-War, which just so happens to be my favorite album. A more than deserving track number 100,000.

100,001 - The Twist by Frightened Rabbit
I guess this one is a little bit of a dark horse here in the big 5. It is (only?) tied for 19th among my most played songs. With that being said, Frightened Rabbit really forced its way into my top artists over the last couple years. Midnight Organ Fight is in my top 3 or so favorite albums ever and at times feels like it could be #1. I think I've listened to it on every car trip over 3 hours or so that I've made in the last 3 years (and there have been a lot of them). This is another album where my favorite track changes all the time. There are 5 others I could have chosen to represent Frightened Rabbit that would have seemed just as appropriate.

100,002 - Tangled Up In Blue by Bob Dylan
Picking 5 songs instead of one was supposed to make this an easier endeavor, but I still feel bad not including Tom Waits or Hanalei, but at least Waits got the blog named after one of his song. As for Hanalei, until he/they can come up with a reliable way of convincing me they are still a band, they'll have to deal with it. Anyhow, I got introduced to Dylan in undergrad and shortly after really jumped right in with my listening. Obviously I didn't get to experience growing up during the height of Dylan-mania (which I like to think I would have been drawn to instead of The Beatles or Stones or whoever else), but I find myself endlessly fascinated by the man (which I satisfied through books and movies) and the music (which I satisfied through, well, the music). Getting a chance to see him perform last year was really fantastic even if he is getting on in years. There are other Dylan songs I could have picked, but I didn't. Tangled Up In Blue it is.

If anyone managed to stick around through that, thanks for indulging my overinflated sense of significance that I assign to something so trivial as a number on a web page adding another digit.

If you guys had to choose 1 song, or 5 songs (or any other number that you deem to be appropriate), which songs would you choose?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Mates of State

Unfortunately, it's starting to look like school beginning means blogging here will be very sparse. With that in mind, I'm hoping to maybe just throw shorter posts up every now and then, but I tend to want to ramble, so who knows how that will go.

On to the music! A bunch of albums have come out recently that I've been excited to hear. One of those albums is by husband/wife indie pop duo Mates of State. During my first couple years in undergrad, Mates of State was one of my favorite bands, but I really haven't listened to them much over the last few years. However, now that I've gotten into Spotify and can once again sample full albums before buying them (R.I.P. Lala.com), I was able to give their new album, Mountaintops a listen. I have to say that I've really been enjoying it. It might necessitate a trip back through their oldies. After hearing the new album, I'm hoping to catch the band, along with Ra Ra Riot, when they swing through Iowa City in November.

And if you came for the music instead of my ramblings, below is the mp3 for the lead track off of their new album (courtesy of 89.3 The Current), and below that is the video for the same song from NPR.

Mates of State - Palomino

The band also did a free session for Daytrotter in 2006 that you can pick up here.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The wonders of the iPod's album shuffle feature

One of my favorite things about the iPod is the album shuffle feature that it has. I've made a huge playlist of over 900 albums, and a good chunk of my time with my iPod is spent putting that list on album shuffle and just listening to whatever comes up. Sure I could just choose to listen to any of these albums on my own, but there are so many that I just never gave much of a chance to, or that I've just forgotten about because it's so much easier to gravitate to albums I know I love.

Today, the third album that came up while using album shuffle was "So Sudden" by Illinois band, The Hush Sound. I admit to knowing almost nothing about them. They remind me a little bit of Straylight Run, an indie rock group that can slow down and go mellow and that features both male and female vocalists. My iTunes says I haven't listened to any of their music since 2009, so a visit to their discography was long overdue. Below is a song called "The Artist" that I loved a few years back but that had completely fallen off my radar.