If you’ve been around this blog for any amount of time since 2011 or god forbid follow me on any social media, you’ve most likely heard of my love for Brooklyn quartet ARMS. It’s rare that a new band can so rapidly consume my thoughts and actions but not every band puts out an album the caliber of Summer Skills. In addition to putting out one of my favorite albums, ARMS is also responsible for a lot of the music I stumbled upon last year- BELL, North Highlands, Friend Roulette, Illuminator, Conveyor, the list is almost endless and all butterfly effects from my, let’s face it, obsessive love of the foursome. When I came up with the idea to ask my main influencers to help celebrate my blog’s big day, it only seemed right to ask ARMS mastermind Todd Goldstein for his input.
0:00 - Moondog, "All Is Loneliness"
Moondog is my second favorite hobo-genius of all time. The song title is so true.
1:11 - Burial, "Shell of Light"
This is some extremely romantic musical pudding. I would rub it all over my face and torso if I could -- I imagine it has excellent exfoliating and moisturizing properties.
4:30 - Wye Oak, "Dogs' Eyes"
I'm sure I wrote this band off initially for some incredibly stupid, superficial reason, but now I take it all back, whatever vague, trumped-up/made-up charge I had against them. This song is squirrelly and sludgy and sad in all the right ways. Good for Wye Oak.
7:49 - Chris Whitley, "Perfect Day"
I recently rediscovered the late Chris Whitley, who I was way into in high school. (Did I "outgrow" this guy or something? Not sure, adolescent TG was prone to picking up and abandoning music on a proverbial dime.) But this is an uncannily beautiful reading of my favorite Lou Reed song. Affecting, still.
11:12 - Joni Mitchell, "Coyote"
Finally got around to listening to Joni Mitchell's Jaco Pastorius-assisted Hejira album 10,000 times and absorbing its every brilliant detail, like I'd always meant to. Worth it.
15:51 - Colin Stetson, "The Righteous Wrath of an Honorable Man"
This guy played a few shows with Harlem Shakes back in the day, and we were all taken with his dashing good looks and hulking bass saxophone. Turns out he's pretty brilliant -- Colin's music falls somewhere between Steve Reich and the sped-up sound of mating elephants.
18:10 - Benoit & Sergio, "Walk & Talk"
Great dance track, excellent groove, timeless melody. Dave Harrington DJs this song pretty often, and whenever he does I give him a high-five.
22:15 - Alan Parsons Project, "Eye in the Sky"
Why did no one tell me that Alan Parsons Project is beautifully produced pop music with a sense of pomp and humor that you don't often see these days? I thought they were something else. This is a spectacularly well-written slice of '70s pop. Doesn't get much better, as far as I'm concerned.
26:31 - Cocteau Twins, "Carolyn's Fingers"
Dunno, just love Cocteau Twins. I put them on every mix I make, just about.
29:31 - Matthew Dear, "Pom Pom"
When will Matthew Dear get his due? I mean *really* get his due? I mean like, get elected President of America get his due? Funkiest shit imaginable.
32:08 - Chubby Checker, "Goodbye Victoria"
My brother played me this song, and I was immediately hooked. This Chubby Checker record was produced by a guy who used to work with Hendrix, and you can really tell -- the force of this guy's voice, I tell ya... Sounds like he could blow a house down. Also, the lustily-sung chorus non-sequitur "everybody's...going...to the MOON!" makes me pee my pants every time I hear it.
37:52 - David Thomas Broughton, "Ambiguity"
David Thomas Broughton's ultra-spare masterpiece "The Complete Guide to Insufficiency" is one of my favorite albums of all time. He's a very disturbed guy, clearly, but his sense of beauty and keenly observed lyrical understatement gives me shivers. A mix bookended with hobos! We did it! Happy birthday to my favorite blog!