Holocene

Holocene

(compiled October 2, 2011)

Spotify playlist (not all tracks show up…see full list below):

*

Perth– Bon Iver

These Times– Jose Vanders

Land Locked Blues– Bright Eyes

Casio Daisy– Gold Panda

Whirring– The Joy Formidable

Letters from the Height of Summer – Kowalski

Slow Show– The National

Shake it out– Florence and the Machine   (*Check out the The Weekend remix of ‘Shake it Out’ )

I love the rain the most, when it stops- Joe Purdy

Ash/Black Veil Apparat

What Sarah Said– Death Cab for Cutie

Trouble with Dreams– The Eels

Holocene– Bon Iver

Look at you now– Joe Purdy

Somebody that I used to know– Gotye

Moan (Voacal version Feat. Anne Trolle)-  Trentemoller

*all the songs are available for download in my dropbox folder (and also linked on my Spotify account!)

**************************************************************************************************************

As the title suggests, this playlist was very much an inspired by the incredibly talented musician, Bon Iver (a.k.a. Justin Vernon and his band). I first heard about Bon Iver from my friend, Jensyn Hyman, who asked me if I wanted to go see him at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. In accepting this invitation, I had absolutely NO IDEA the sort of “spell” that I would be put under. HOLY HELL.

Justin Vernon is a musician that has a uniquely distinct high-pitched voice that could stand alone and still be magical.  However, at the show, he had 8 other musicians (double drummers, double violins, french horn/trombone/saxophone, synths, double guitars, and keyboard) up there harmonizing with his bone-chilling vocals. (I’m STILL chilly from the night.) So, as much as the night was a “lighter-in-the-air affair, it was also a spectacle of a rock concert.” Most concerts don’t have 10 instruments harmonizing together on stage with a voice that makes magic at ANY octave…UNREAL.

Bon Iver at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley (9/22/11)

Starting off the show with ‘Perth’ (one of my favorites, and the first song on this playlist), there was no denying the effect the music had on all of the fans. The entire amphitheater (8,500 people) listened as if in a trance, sitting near-motionless and strikingly silent while the songs were played…it was as if his dense, thought-provoking lyrics hit everyone like a BRICK WALL.

Bon Iver at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley (9/22/11)

Perth’ and ‘Holocene’ were my two favorites of the night…but some other favorites are MichicantWoodsThe WolvesBlindsidedStacks, and Blood Bank. I also think that ‘Babys’ has a pretty intro and neat vibe to it…although I really do this it’s supposed to be about making babies: “Summer comes to MULTIPLY…” There’s no doubt in my mind that MANY BABIES were made that night. Bon Iver is definitely babymaking music. One of Jensyn Hyman’s favorites is ‘Beach Baby,’ with her fav line being “Only hold till your coffee warms,” and one of Joceyln Berry’s favorites is ‘Wash.’ That’s the BEAUTY of music- its speaks to us all so differently.  🙂

“Slowing down time” with Jensyn Hyman under the spell of Bon Iver’s magic was hands down one of the most INCREDIBLE (an necessary) musical experiences of my life (see pic below). Jen was in agreement: “Beauty. Man, that was definitely one of the most emotionally intense concerts ever! Pretty sure my body was tingling AND I almost had a heart attack!”  Along those same lines, I’m pretty sure I almost had a seizure from all the emotional intensity. I was already WEAK AT THE KNEES and falling over people on my crawl back to our spot on the hill after going to the bathroom. (What. A. Scene.)

Me and Jen seeing Bon Iver at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley (9/22/11)

Me and Jen seeing Bon Iver at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley (9/22/11)

After the show, Jensyn Hyman said, “Listening to Bon Iver’s albums without ever experiencing him live is like seeing pictures of a place without ever ACTUALLY traveling there.” SUCH a good way of putting it…but I wouldn’t expect anything less from such a TRAVEL JUNKIE! 😛

I was CHILLY the entire ride home from all the goosebumps…Yup, SPELL BOUND is the way to describe it, I think. I can’t believe my friend Robin Cumming was in the very front for the show. UNBELIEVABLE.

I STILL get Goosebumps everything I hear the guitar into to ‘Perth.’ SO GOOD. The steady drum rolls that follows and builds up intensity to @1:30 in when he sings: “Still alive for you, love…” is just MAGICAL. I love the aggression of the drums at @2:30 in, and I thought it was so cool to see how the drums harmonized with unique instruments like the French horn. BADASS.

Yet, the WINNER of all the Bon Iver songs (for me) is ‘Holocene.” My heart melts every time I hear the beginning guitar chords, and I can’t help but smile. His high-pitched vocals are hauntingly good, and I can’t help but get chills when he belts out: “Someway, baby, it’s part of me, apart from me.”  For some reason, it hits a nerve for me every time he sings “…and at once I knew I was not magnificent.” Chills down my spine, EVERY TIME. Just like me, Jensyn Hyman was addicted to this song for at least a good month after the concert, and we both agreed that it was mandatory to play it twice a day- once at the beginning, and once at the end, until we both  “could see for miles, miles, miles…”   😉

*

These Times’ is a really catchy song by Jose Vanders (recommended to me by my buddy Andy Aiken) that I immediately liked the first time I heard it.  I really dig the piano and percussion elements, and my favorite line is: “I’ve grown so tired of your cigarettes and stories…for these time in my life go nowhere.”

Described by Perez Hilton as “one of the most exciting things to happen to British music since Amy Winehouse,” 21 year-old Jose Vanders’ ‘prodigious talent’ has marked her out as the next Regina Spektor. Personally, I actually like her BETTER.

Jose Vanders started playing classical piano aged three, and over the last few years has built up an impressive repertoire of songs. She has self-produced and independently released four EPs, which have sold over a few thousand copies, and has over 2 million plays across MySpace and YouTube. Jose has since embarked on a number of headline tours, recorded a collection of her songs at Abbey Road Studios and played in New York and at SXSW, Texas (YES). Her tagline on her facebook page is: “I’m Jose. I write songs. I like beards.” (She’s charming, too!)

Some of my other favorite songs of her are Mother Theresa Can’t DiveLiterature LoversMagician, and Blue Notes. You can check them out on her website: http://www.josevanders.com/

*

Land-locked Blues’ is one of my favorite Bright Eyes’ songs, and I find myself lured in by its somber tones and heavy lyrics. I think it’s pretty cool how the song is designed to be a kind of dialogue between him and his so-called lover. Some of my favorite verses are:

“If you walk away, I’ll walk away

First tell me which road you will take

I don’t want to risk our paths crossing some day

So you walk that way, I’ll walk this way

And the world’s got me dizzy again

You think after 22 years I’d be used to the spin

And it only feels worse when I stay in one place

So I’m always pacing around or walking away

I keep drinking the ink from my pen

And I’m balancing history books up on my head

But it all boils down to one quotable phrase

If you love something, give it away

A good woman will pick you apart    (In some ways this is true, but only cause they care)

A box full of suggestions for your possible heart

But you may be offended and you may be afraid

But don’t walk away, don’t walk away

So I’m up at dawn

Putting on my shoes

I just want to make a clean escape

I’m leaving but I don’t know where to

I know I’m leaving but I don’t know where to.”

*

Casio Daisy’ is one of my top 3 favorite Gold Panda songs. I never fails to put me in a happy mood, even on the worst of days. There’s just something about those effervescent windchimes and the enchanting keyboard ditty (@25 sec in). I definitely find euphoria in Gold Panda’s oriental-ish electronic inspired gems.

It was really cool to experience this euphoria LIVE at The Independent in San Francisco, on Tuesday, Oct 25th (see pic below). Some may say I was pretty crazy for driving over an hour to and from SF for just one show, but I highly value my musical medicine. Plus, I often meet really cool people at shows, like Ashley Curley at Gold Panda and Vanessa Crouse at Phantogram!

Gold Panda at The Indepenedent in SF (10/25/11)

*

I love the immediate intensity at the beginning of The Joy Formidable‘s ‘Whirring’…It reminds me of most Metric songs, which often give me the urge to bop my head and sing at the top of my lungs. (yeah, not so pretty…haha)

My favorite line is: “All these things about me you never can tell…You make me sleep so badly invisible friend.”

The Joy Formidable at Outside Lands in SF (Aug 2011)…Thanks to my buddy Ken Diener for the pic!

*

Letters from the Height of Summer’ is another Kowalski song that I really like, primarily because of the intro guitar part. It very much reminds me of a Beatles song that I can’t seem to pin down. It’s just a very cute, upbeat song that makes me feel carefree and light, kind of like during the “height of summer.”  🙂

*

Slow Show’ is one of those songs by The National that always makes me weak at the knees. As if the distinctively deep voice isn’t enough, the incredibly adorable (and sexy) lyrics accompanying this voice just KILL ME:

“I wanna hurry home to you

Put on a slow, dumb show for you and crack you up

So you can put a blue ribbon on my brain

God, I’m very, very frightening, I’ll overdo it

…..

Looking for somewhere to stand and stay

I leaned on the wall and the wall leaned away

Can I get a minute of not being nervous

And not thinking of my dick? (HAHA, wow…)

….

My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins

I better get my shit together, better gather my shit in

You could drive a car through my head in five minutes

From one side of it to the other.”

By my absolute favorite verse is the last one, especially since it leaves you wondering if he got “her”:

“You know I dreamed about you

For 29 years before I saw you

You know I dreamed about you

I missed you for, for 29 years.”

I am seeing The National with Local Natives in the Bay Area on Dec 4th. SO STOKED!
*

Shake it Out’ is one of my favorite songs from the new Florence and the Machine album, Ceremonials. This song could not have been more fitting for a particularly crazy, stressful week in October where literally felt like I had a “devil on my back” that I needed to “shake off.” You bet I played this song OVER and OVER, and over again. I absolutely love all the lyrics:

“Regrets collect like old friends

Here to relive your darkest moments

I can see no way, I can see no way

And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh

But I like to keep some things to myself

I like to keep my issues strong

It’s always darkest before the dawn

….

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind

I can never leave the past behind

I can see no way, I can see no way

I’m always dragging that horse around

And our love is pastured such a mournful sound

Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground

So I like to keep my issues strong

But it’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back

So shake him off, oh woah

….

I am done with my graceless heart

So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart

Cause I like to keep my issues strong

It’s always darkest before the dawn

And given half the chance would I take any of it back

It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty

It’s always darkest before the dawn

Oh woah, oh woah…

….

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t

So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road

And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope

It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat

Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in me

Looking for heaven, for the devil in me

Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back

So shake him off, oh woah.”

*

I love the rain the most, when it stops’ one of my favorite Joe Purdy songs (although there are MANY, including: The City, I hope this isn’t love, Skinny-dipping girl, Mary, Look at you now, Why do I, Suitcase, Paris in the Morning, Waiting on something new, and Can’t get it right today.) I initially got into Joe Purdy from my sister, Marissa Andreozzi, a few years back. It turns out he’s from Arkansas, so obviously Jensyn Hyman is a fan. 😉

The acoustic guitar ditty in the beginning of this song always puts my mind at ease, and makes me daydream about a lake with boats and light rain showers. My favorite verses is:

“No more grey today, we gonna celebrate

You know Miss Sunshine, she starts to paint a perfect picture of this river parade

And I know that I love the rain the most when it stops

Yeah, when it stops.”

And of course the end….

“I think you’ve had a little too much too drink

Let me help with that

Don’t forget to tie the boat up

Not that way, no it’s a figure eight, yeah  (Haha)

Yeah when it stops…

The rain, when it stops…”

*

Look at you now’ is another Joe Purdy song that I adore. It’s the lyrics though that I find more intriguing than the melody…They are actually quite hilarious (and sad too, of course) if you listen carefully:

“My eyes were sad

And my fingers were mad

As I wrote this letter that said

‘I wish you the best in your new royal address

And I wish that he were dead’

Guess you don’t mind that he’s got a wife

And a mistress already in place

You just throw back your hair

And you’ll say you don’t care

When you hide that look on your face

….

You used to have such a pretty little smile

Yeah, but look at you now

Yeah, but look at you now

…..

He’s a better man now that you’re holding his hand

Now that he’s got yours to keep

Oh, and I hope you can feel your someone who needs you

When it comes for your turn to eat

And so it seems his rich accent must mean that he’s a bit brighter than me   (Wonder what accent?..)

Oh, and I guess he won’t lie through the whites in his eyes

Or the gap in the front of his teeth

….

Well, if I had to guess

I would not be impressed

By the cups of tea he can drink

No, ’cause the fatter he gets from those caviar chips

Is the faster your ship starts to sink     (Haha)

Oh, and I guess I can’t blame you

If I had to shame you

With the things I’ve done since you left town

Probably have to tell your new lover

Fetch a pail of water                            (HAHA, wow)

For your building crumbling down 

You used to have such a pretty little smile

Yeah, but look at you now

Yeah, but look at you now

Oh, look at you now

Look at you now

Look at you now.”

 *

Ash/Black Veil’ is a really cool song of Apparat’s newest album, The Devil’s Walk. I really dig the high energy violin juxtaposed with the soft, slow creeping of the piano in the background. Pretty neat.

*

What Sarah Said’ is up there as one of my top Death Cab for Cutie songs. The piano intro to this song is simply EPIC, and the lyrics are hauntingly stunning.

“And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time

As I stared at my shoes in the ICU that reeked of piss and 409

And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself that I’d already taken too much today

As each descending peak on the LCD took you a little farther away from me

Away from me

….

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines in a place where we only say goodbye

It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds

But I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all

And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground as the TV entertained itself

‘Cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room

Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news

And then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads

But I’m thinking of what Sarah said, that “Love is watching someone die.”  (WOW)

The buildup up of musical intensity and emotion at ~3 min in when he sings: “So who’s going to watch you die?” is always BONE-CHILLING for me…

 *

Trouble with dreams’ is a cool Eels’ song that I dig primarily because of the stirring xylophone elements and the tick-tock sounds. Some of my favorite lyrics are:

“Trouble with dreams is they don’t come true

And when they do they can’t catch up to you

Trouble with dreams is you never know

When to hold on and when to let go

….

Trouble with dreams is you can’t pretend

Something with no beginning has an end

….

You don’t need a thing from me

But i need something big from you

’cause you know i’ve got an awful lot of big dreams.”

 *

I absolutely LOVE the beginning of ‘My Girls,’ especially with the psychedelic, swirling synth elements layered in with handclaps, and looping vocals. Animal Collective has wandered the territorial edges of music, dabbling with Indie rock elements, West African rhythms, and melodies cribbed from British folk. I discovered this song from my buddy Justin McKay‘s spotify account. Thanks, CHIEF! (says “The Rattler”…)  😛

 *

Somebody that I use to Know’ is a pretty popular song by Gotye and Kimbra. I really like the beat in the beginning, and the lyrics are definitely ones that I think most people can relate to, and often can’t ignore:

“You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness

Like resignation to the end, always the end

So when we found that we could not make sense

Well you said that we would still be friends

But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off   (SOOOOOOO GOOD)

Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing

And I don’t even need your love

But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough

No you didn’t have to stoop so low

Have your friends collect your records and then change your number

I guess that I don’t need that though

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.”

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