starbucks is playing holiday tunes, santa's been camped out in the shopping center for the past month, cvs is selling christmas-colored m&ms. the sun sets at 4:45pm. oh man, is it december already?
this month's issue just fell together beautifully. took all of ten minutes, and the songs just fit together like they were meant to be best friends. except maybe "open your eyes", but i'll get to that later on.
to begin: the first track on this thing is a remix by some folks i don't know of a track by a lady i've never heard of, but i stumbled across it a couple of weeks ago and knew it was something special even before the beat kicked in at the two-minute mark and completely blew me away. that line "like a big bad wolf, i'll eat your heart right out of your chest," it just gets me every time. might even say it gives me chills, and so do all the rest of these songs, so there's your theme.
"things behind the sun" was the first nick drake song i ever heard, and i think it's real special. blood bank is from the new EP by bon iver, who i don't think you've heard yet, but i know you'll like him a bunch. i actually used that song on the demo tape i used when i was making this whole project about five or six months ago, back before i fixed the autoplay bug, so i've heard the first ten seconds of this song about ten thousand times, but i still love it.
there's sort of a long story behind how i first heard of bon iver, but here's a condensed version: heard one of his concerts via NPR's all songs considered podcast; realized this was something special and looked him up; found out he was playing in san francisco that same week; showed up to the venue early and overheard some people chatting with a guy with a fancy camera, telling them they loved his website; took a few discreet videos of bon iver playing that night and posted them on youtube; got a message from someone else on youtube saying something like 'nice videos, but check out the ones on this site called the blogotheque'; found out that the blogotheque existed, and came across this page, which changed my life; found out that the cameraman i'd seen earlier was actually recording the entire concert for the blogotheque, and they don't do entire concerts often at all; found out that i accidentally ended up in the video for "wolves" since i was in the front row. i guess that is still a long story, but there you have it. the recording of that concert is linked below.
mount eerie is the current project of this guy phil evrum, who is ridiculously prolific and was also responsible for a band called the microphones, who you'll be hearing sometime in the next few months. he's got a really distinct voice and musical sound, and is generally pretty weird, but when he's on he's on. kevin drew is basically the front-man for broken social scene, an incredible "supergroup" out of canada, and is involved in a lot of other music-related stuff like all those canadians up there; i found "cocaine skin" around this time last year, and the simple but insistent drums really drive the song home for me.
i don't know peter and the wolf very well, but a few people told me how great they are so i picked up their album. it took a ridiculous amount of effort to find, though - we're talking, like, hours - because while i knew perfectly well that i was looking for a music CD, the internet was completely convinced that i wanted "david bowie narrates prokofiev's 'peter and the wolf' ", which was completely incorrect, and it would not be convinced otherwise. anyway, boring story, but i finally tracked down the album and this is a real good song from it.
i found slaraffenland through la blogotheque, and first heard "open your eyes" by watching their blogotheque session; that version of the song is much better than the album version included in this issue, but i can't put a video on a mixtape, so we'll have to make do. if you were to check out the video version of the song linked below, though, i promise you wouldn't regret it. when the ten-ish drummers kick in, the intensity is just magical. you'll also find a link to "temporary slaraffenland", which is a pretty sweet and really beautiful 40-minute film of the band playing their new album in its entirety at various locations throughout copenhagen over the course of an afternoon.
you'll remember beirut from the very first issue of this thing - i've really been into this song for the past month or so, and so here it is. also, the blogotheque recently put up a video of an entire concert of his, too - a very small, cozy one, at that - and it's linked below. the video player on that page has little bookmarks at the start of each song, so if you don't have time to see the whole thing, you should at least check out "nantes" and "my night" at some point, as they're both particularly good; in fact, the second one'll probably end up on a future issue of this thing someday.
the books are a different breed entirely, though. i've tried to describe their sound to people in a bunch of different ways, but have never been able to express it better than by using the term "audio collage". you'll see. i actually just saw them perform a couple of nights ago in a small church in san francisco, and they played this song as the last part of their encore, which was exactly what i wanted since it's my favorite song of theirs. i think it's best when played pretty loud, so the waves of sound can really just wash over you as the song progresses, but maybe that's just me.
finally: do make say think are sort of associated with the post-rock movement, which tends to mean "instrumental music that's sort of unsettling and/or emotionally intense"; i first heard "in mind" when i was lying on the grass in yerba buena park on a sunny day this past summer, and decided then and there that it should be the last song of the first december issue of himom, so here it is. been a long time coming. and that's all for this month - see you in a couple weeks!
every month, i'll put up a new mixtape on the right side of this inter net site, and some words having to do with that mixtape will run down the left side. some tapes will have more or fewer songs than others, and sometimes tapes will have themes. i hope that the one thing that they will all have in common will be that they are all made of good music, and that my mom and anyone else who cares to listen to them will find new music that they like by listening to these things.
which reminds me: this site is a birthday present for my mom. because, in the words of a wise otter, my mom should always get presents because she is my mom. for the technically inclined: this site is powered by php, duct tape, sheer force of concentration, and a modified version of opentape.
my name is jrheard.