Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Swim, Soak and Sigh Part 2

Photo credit unknown but awesome.
Let's continue the mixtape with the middle five tracks starting off with a local band - The Grecian Urns...

This collection of young musicians from St. Pete comes together during the summers and breaks off into separate colleges during the fall. Catching them in concert becomes a little tricky due to this, but this year they decided to get together and release an album. They played a few shows over at Ella's Folk Art Cafe in my hood too so I've really got no excuse for not catching them live. This song captures a lot of the multi-instrumental joy of this band which is making music as good or better than a lot of "discovered" bands out there - just see Track 8 for similarities. Anyhow, enjoy the track. It's a lot of fun and right after the 3 minute mark it changes over from a simple pop song to a big chorus of whistle-along fun that makes me glad to announce that whistling is definitely back. Thanks Peter Bjorn and John.

Thanks Jordan, good call on this one. My buddy up in Cinci said I should check out this band Horse Feathers and at first listen I thought it was maybe a little too moody and depressing for this mix. That was until I realized that this whole mix is a little moody and depressing. After that, I was all in... and why not? This song is painfully gorgeous. The piano hammers away at your insides sharply and it begins the same way it ends with that sharp piano rapping loudly. It reminds me of taking piano lessons with Ryan Adams and David Gray. After a few listens I'm sure you'll be drawn in.

This band I'd heard a little bit about when I discovered they were playing at the Ritz. My friend Nicole "Elawgrrl" was of course going in her official photographer capacity and was pretty skeptical of the "dirty hippies" we were about to find onstage. They fielded a huge band with two drummers, xylophone, trumpet, guitars, accordion, piano, and a male and female duo trading back and forth on many of the songs. This had to be the nicest group of fans I've ever been packed in with. It was crazy. I even was able to make my way to the front without the typical fistfights and stabbings that usually accompany that sort of thing. This song was featured in a commercial and hopefully that helps pay the gas in these guys monstrous bus because they definitely are worth catching in concert. If they come anywhere near you, definitely get out there and see the spectacle for yourself. When they sing the chorus "We want to heal your janglin souls" you might just find you've joined in and started wishing to be a Magnetic Zero yourself.

This song isn't the typical singalong rocker that Frank Turner is becoming known for in these parts. He toured pretty heavily around his show opening for Social Distortion and Lucero this year and could be seen at many places in Central Florida. This song got stuck in my head and quite honestly fits better with this group of songs than many of his others that I love. Check out "Photosynthesis" on this Irish blog if you're curious. This song is more about the sadness and longing that comes from a life on the road. Nicole heavily recommended Mr. Turner and this song was one of the tracks that stuck out in my mind because of great lines like "And that's how I miss out, on another night. The kind of night where nothing really happens, yeah, but everything goes down" when talking about the difficulty of getting phone calls from friends while being stuck working and out of town. This is great songwriting and even though this album wasn't released in 2010, I'm giving this one a pass because I hadn't heard of it until this year and it is fantastic.

Okay, I'm letting a cover on here. I couldn't get this version out of my head and WMNF played it a few too many times and now I'm stuck with it. I love it though and since Squeeze just celebrated a cool documentary on them recently I felt okay slipping it in here. The Shins are a family favorite anyway so it's nice to hear them making some music again.

The last three will hopefully be up tomorrow!

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