Saturday, May 2, 2009

Flatbasset Mix - May '09

Hey, I realize this is a day late. However, since my dad is the only one to comment on any of the previous mixes, I'm willing to wager very few of you were up late on a Friday night, frantically refreshing the Flatbasset blog, "Where's the mix? Where's the mix? I need sleep, but I need tracks! WHERE IS THE MIX? I swear to god, I'm never checking this blog again!" and so on and so on...

Anyway, it's Saturday. Have some songs.

Click the link, put in the number/letter combo that proves you're living, click download now and delete everything else on your iPod. You won't need it any longer.

Flatbasset - May '09 Track List (click track titles to download individual songs)

01. The Alarmists - Little Hands

I was reading The City Pages "Best Of The Twin Cities" issue the other day. You can imagine my surprise when the award for "Best Band To Break Up In The Last 12 Months" went to The Alarmists! I had no idea they'd broken up! I miss being at the center of the MPLS scene. Here I am getting my news from "best of" issues of the City Pages. Sad.

Anyway, it's not like they were the second coming of The Replacements or anything like that, but I thought they were a good band. I saw them play a great mini-set at The Fetus to celebrate the release of The Ghost And The Hired Gun. Plus, when Sarah heard this song, she told me she thought it sounded like "Counting Blue Cars" by Dishwalla. The fact that you and I can both still sing the chorus of that song means this must be a compliment, right?

02. The Cool Kids - The Delivery Man

I downloaded this song for free of a site called Green Label Sound. As near as I can tell, it's Mountain Dew's attempt at cross-promotion with pop music. Now, I understand that the music industry has gone pear-shaped in the last 5-10 years and that even the most established acts are having to resort to new means to get their music out and make money. The part I really don't understand is Mountain Dew's approach. I mean, I didn't even have to buy a Mountain Dew to get some stupid code from a bottlecap to download the song. I just went to the site. I still have no desire to purchase or consume Mountain Dew, but I do have a new Cool Kids song. How exactly does Mountin Dew come out ahead on this one?

03. Bruce Springsteen - Girls In Their Summer Clothes

If you don't know why this song ended up on the mix you probably should've put on some pants and gone for a stroll around the neighborhood at some point last week.

04. Animal Collective - Who Could Win A Rabbit?

I've never claimed to understand hipsters and their fickle tastes. Try as I might, I just can't figure out why everybody is lining up to jerk these guys off. I got sucked in by the hype and tracked down copies of both Sung Tongs and Feels. This is the only track off either of those albums I wanted to listen to twice. I think it shows what an interesting band they can be when they change the rules from within a typical pop song structure, rather than trying to rewrite the rules at the expense of hooks.

05. Why? - The Hollows

I was a little late to the party when it came to Alopecia, but fuck it. Lord knows it's got my attention now. I love the "all my homies warned me..." bit. It's the type of situation that would only happen to Yoni Wolf, and only he would make you feel jealous of the experience.

06. Sean Na Na - Photo Booth

This is off Sean Na Na's Family Trees album, which I thought was criminally underrated by the local and national media. I sometimes wish we could all completely forget that Har Mar Superstar even exists (nothing against Har Mar, I dig those records). But nothing done under the "Sean Na Na" moniker is ever judged on it's own merits and that's a damn shame. He's written at least one of my ten favorite songs of all time and at least a half-dozen other classics.

07. Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls

Over the course of reading a couple of reviews of the new Pet Shop Boys album, I couldn't help but notice that every review mentioned their Discography: The Singles Collection, um, collection. I downloaded it and I have to say it is pleasantly enjoyable. It's certainly a very "British" album (and if you know what I mean by that, lucky you), which always helps in my book.

So, usually if I downloaded an artist's "Best Of" album and enjoyed it as much as I did this one, I'd go back to the beginning and check out their first album and start putting the puzzle together. However, I've learned something about dance music over the years: There is almost no reason to go back and explore the, for lack of a better term, "deep cuts." New Order, Depeche Mode, these guys... Their singles are brilliant little things to enjoy. The rest usually ranges from "boring" to "drivel." Don't say you weren't warned.

Also, if you ever wondered where Flight Of The Conchords got the idea for "Inner City Pressure," here ya go.

08. DOOM - That's That

I have to be in the right mood to enjoy MF Dooom/Madvillain/Viktor Vaughn/DangerDoom/DOOM and, honestly, this whole Born Like This albums does it for me. Unlike most hip-hop critics, I wasn't waiting and wondering what had happened to MF Doom since he disappeared a few years back. If he turned up again, great. If not, he left a nice body of work. So when I listen to this album, without all of the "comeback" weight attached to it, I find it to be refreshing. There are almost no choruses. Most of the tracks are constructed just like this one, just a good beat and DOOM pressing the accelerator.

Plus this track has a Christopher Lloyd sample. I'm not sure why that scores points in my brain, but it just does. And DOOM does rock grandma like the kumbaya.

09. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Satan Said Dance

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (or CYHSY if you're an idiot) got chewed up and spit out by the post-CD music industry a few years back. I always see this band and Tapes 'N Tapes in the same light because each band was thrown under the spotlight when, after thin but interesting debuts, they just weren't ready. Each put out more interesting and complex second albums that were dismissed almost immediately. Seriously, if you're an indie rock fan (or a fan of either of these bands first albums that was put off by the bad reviews), do yourself a favor and block out the blogosphere for half an hour and judge the albums on their own.

10. The Roots - The Seed (2.0)

If Satan commanding you wasn't enough to get your sexy ass on the dance floor this should probably do it.

11. Soul Asylum - Runaway Train

I was at a bar in Brooklyn a few weeks back when I was caught in the throes of a serious case of jukebox fever. As usual, I immediately started looking for Minnesota bands to play repeatedly. Amazingly, Soul Asylum was all I could find. So, fuck it, I thought, it's time for one of the classics.

As I was listening to it, I realized that I really like this song. In fact, Soul Asylum was a pretty great band. And that's not irony. This is my real blogging voice. With the exception of a dozen Prince singles and one Lipps, Inc. single, this is the biggest song to come out of Minnesota. I mean, "Closing Time" put up a good fight, but you and I both know Dan Wilson didn't have sex with Winona Ryder. And not just that, but Grave Dancers Union sold more copies than all The Replacements albums combined. Obivously, Soul Asylum isn't The Replacements. Lord knows, no one is The Replacements. My point is, it's time to embrace this band and their contribution to Minnesota's national reputation. To paraphrase David Bowie, "Fuck You. I Like Soul Asylum."

12. RJD2 (w/Blueprint, Vast Aire, Aesop Rock, & Murs) - Final Frontier (Remix)

I don't really know what to say about this one. If I have to explain why I put a song with Print, Aes Rizzle, and Murs on one of my mixes, you probably don't really know me that well.

It always cracks me up when Aesop Rock turns up on other people's tracks. I'm a big fan of Blueprint and Murs, but I'm always blown away when Aes is right next to them. It's like I put myself in a different headspace to listen to Aesop Rock albums, so when he turns up on more straight-ahead tracks, I'm just not prepared for it.

13. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)

I was reading about Nick Cave the other day and I read that he's a devout Christian who sometimes preaches. Could you imagine Nick fucking Cave preaching! That "Red Right Hand" voice going on about fire and brimstone and some nonbelievers-be-damned type stuff?!? Yikes!

14. Kidz In The Hall - Mr. Alladatshit

I caught these guys opening up for Mictlan & Lazerbeak at the Hand Over Fist record release show at the Entry last winter. I thought they were really sharp. I kind of wish Mark McKinney was somehow involved, though.

I suppose it's appropriate that my sister actually commented on this playlist, as this is the second Chicago hip hop track to make the mix this month. That means Kanye, The Cool Kids, and Kidz In The Hall have all thrown down for Chi-Town on Flatbasset. Don't feel bad, Common. You'll write a song I want to hear twice someday.

15. Buffalo Springfield - Broken Arrow

I bought this record (Buffalo Springfield's Again) when Sarah and I went to Nashville over the summer. Every now and then I become obsessed with it. Neil Young is as hit-and-miss as they come and with this one I thought he wrote a great closer. Keep in mind, this was in the days of the LP, when the opener and closer on each side of the album was prime real estate. In a band full of songwriters, Young got the first spot on the album and the last. Then he left the band. Now he writes songs about electric cars. I'd like to see a chart of his career arc.