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2012 mix

24th Dec 12 (Mon) 3 comments

Time for this year’s mix CD, except I decided to go CD-free again (like 2011’s mix). It’s still formatted to stay contained on one CD (21 tracks ~79 mins); so if you want to download the whole shebang and burn to a CD – go for it!

Check out prior year-based mixes: 2009 (CD) and 2010 (CD) and 2011 (digital). No major theme this time like some of my prior mixes (4 Elements & A-to-Z mixes)… the only rule I placed before myself was that everything is current (i.e.- released in 2012).  A few of the songs were technically released in 2012, but the album will hit in 2013.

This year’s mix ended up poppier and/or melancholier than prior mixes.  Sometimes that’s just how things shake out. I hope you enjoy.

The following songs were put on the mix from mostly lossless sources where possible and for promotional purposes only (read: free direct market advertising to people who decidedly love music). Most of the artists on this compilation are independent (put out the music themselves) or signed to smaller, independent labels. If you like what you hear, check out their music / support them with your wallet if you are able. The artists’ Webpage, Facebook, and Amazon links are available for each song below. I’ve also included concert review links if I’ve seen the artist recently.

Download the ZIP File (140M) available *HERE*, extract then drag & drop the mp3 files to your iTunes (or other playback software).

All Songs Streaming Playlist (click arrows to skip back & forth… for individual songs find them below.)

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01 Brian Borcherdt / Dusted(Into The) Atmosphere” from Total Dust

Brian Borcherdt from Canadian live-electronic band Holy Fuck has done some singer-songwriter-y solo projects in the past, but this album in-between HF albums still held on to some electronics and keys versus the standard acoustic guitar fare.  This lo-fi, melodic, and haunting affair hit me well this rainy Oregon fall.

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02 O.S.I.Wind Won’t Howl” from Fire Make Thunder

The fourth album in the O.S.I. partnership of Kevin Moore (Chroma Key) and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) isn’t a metal heavy as the other albums.  I love how there’s a bit of rock in this track to offset the melancholy delivery of Kevin’s vocals.  Guest drummer on the entire album is Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree.  The album fits in with what I’d call “glitch prog,” to which Kevin liked my moniker.  Organic/real drums cut up electronically alongside with prog rock keys & guitars.  This album is easily one of my favorites of 2012.

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03 Peter MulveyEgg Radio (instrumental)” from The Good Stuff

04 Peter MulveyGreen Grass” from The Good Stuff

Peter Mulvey is an American treasure. His lyrical storytelling, guitar prowess, and overall charm and earnestness make him a favorite artists of mine, period.  With his recent album, he put together a band and re-purposed others’ music… “new standards” if you will.  The instrumental “Egg Radio” is originally penned by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and “Green Grass” is from Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan.

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05 Levi WeaverTalk Me Down” from I Am Only A Tiny Noise [EP]

Less than a year ago, I had no idea who Levi Weaver was.  I joined a fantasy baseball league online (uncharacteristic of me) and met Levi via that.  I had no idea he was a travelling musician until he mentioned on twitter something about a documentary being shot about him (String Theory).  Then the cards fell in place for him to play a show at my house, and then I bought and fell in love with all of his records.  Such is my musical addiction.  Sometimes I luck into gems.  Levi put out the Tiny Noise EP in 2012, but I also strongly urge you to check out his earlier work.

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06 Emily WellsInstrumental (Lolo Remix)” from Mama Remixed

08 Emily WellsFire Song (Doctor Rosen Rosen Remix)” from Mama Remixed

Emily spans indie rock, chamber music, and hip-hop near flawlessly (check her cover of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy“).  With her latest album, Mama, she has continued in that vein… and then also released a remix album for free on Soundcloud.

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 Kim Taylor - Love's A Dog07 Kim TaylorSave My Life (demo)” from the forthcoming album Love’s A Dog

Heartfelt Cincinnati singer-songwriter Kim Taylor successfully Kickstarted her forthcoming album.  I loved this song so much; so here’s a glimpse in what is to come.  Since the Kickstarter is officially done, keep in the loop via her webpage and Facebook for when it’ll hit regular retail outlets in 2013.  Also, take a listen to her back catalog… her music has a special place in my heart.

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09 Sufjan StevensAlphabet St.” from Silver & Gold: Christmas Infinity Voyage [EP]

Five EPs of Christmas music released this year, and I find a non-holiday-forward Prince cover to break things up on this mix.  This song is more indicative of things on The Age of Adz versus the rest of the Christmas EPs.  Enjoy!  Skip below for the other Sufjan track on my 2012 mix for something different…

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10 Digital Noise AcademyMelting Inside” from the forthcoming album DNA

Way back in 2006, the Los Angeles Digital Noise Academy (LADNA) did a couple of shared tracks… passing around pieces via the internet as they’re all busy musicians in their own rights.  Back in those days, there was mention of releasing an album, but nothing ever materialized.  Well, in 2012, they changed things up to just DNA and finally had enough momentum to get a Kickstarter going – which succeeded on its 2nd try.  The album will come out in 2013.  DNA is the cooperative of Ken Andrews (Failure, On, producer/mixer of tons of rock bands), Charlotte Martin (pop singer-songwriter), Sharky Laguana (Creeper Lagoon), Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck & NIN), Fernando Sanchez (popular hired gun), and Jordan Zadorozny (Blinker the Star).

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11 Aimee MannLabrador” from Charmer

I don’t have much to say about this song outside of that I love Aimee Mann, and the video for it was a shot-for-shot remake of the “Voices Carry” video from her ‘Til Tuesday days.  Wacky and fun!

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12 The Album LeafStretched Home” from Forward/Return [EP]

The Album Leaf is Jimmy LaValle, and he’s had some good success making some great keyboard-driven, organic post-rock.  This EP almost escaped me, though, as the word on the street was faint.  Jimmy has an upcoming project with Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon); so I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes & ears peeled better!

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13 Damien JuradoMuseum of Flight” from Maraqopa

Damien Jurado is one of those pure songwriters that hits me hard with his lyrics.  This song has impacted me a lot this year, and I think I’ve listened to it more than 100 times, which knowing the amount of music I go through each year is saying something.  Maraqopa is a gorgeous record, and it will end up high on my list for 2012.

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14 Glen PhillipsStill Carrying You” from Coyote Sessions

Glen Phillips (the voice behind Toad the Wet Sprocket) can bend my ear no matter what he’s doing.  His latest self-release, Coyote Sessions (via bandcamp), is full of some old favorites that he’s done for a while in a live setting, but have never made their way onto formal releases.  A must purchase for the pop singer-songwriter in me.

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15 Charlie Hunter & Scott AmendolaNot Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead” from album of the same name

The ease at which Charlie Hunter plays both the guitar and bass parts on his 8-string guitar makes witnessing him in concert confounding. Fuck that guy! He’s too damn good to be an actual human being.  He’s been working with drummer Scott Amendola in several incarnations in the past (trios, quartets).  For this recent album and tour, it was just the two of them.  Stripped down, yet full of sound.  Highly recommended guitar jazz.

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16 Ben Folds FiveAway When You Were Here” from The Sound of the Life of the Mind

One of the saddest days was when I heard that Ben Folds Five broke up.  I kind of always hoped they’d get back together, but Ben Folds kept chugging away on his solo stuff… which was excellent, but not… you know, not “the same.”  There was a glint of hope a handful of years ago when Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge joined forces with their pianist brother for some live shows.  This year, they got back together for real in the studio!  They’ll hit the road in early Winter 2013.  I’ll be lucky to see them in Portland in February.  When I saw them back in the late 90s/early 2000s, they blew me away.  Truly a fun band to see live!

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17 Bad VeinsIf Then” from The Mess We’ve Made

Cincinnati rock duo Bad Veins should own the world.  Their 2nd full length is lush, hooky, and a perfect follow-up to their 2009 debut.  With the lushness on this record, Ben & Sebastien are probably giving “Irene,” their reel-to-reel band member, a good workout.  Hopefully they buy her new cords and oil her joints in between gigs.

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18 John ZornPathway of Fire” from The Concealed

One of nine releases from John Zorn this year, this album is a jauntier, more accessible jazz compared to some of his other work.  I desperately wanted to put on some screeching, grating stuff from Music & Its Double, but I spared you all.  I was *that* close to doing it, too.  You’re welcome!  Anyway, The Concealed album features some excellent packaging – embossed white inks on white digipack with die-cut shapes in the front.  Kudos to Tzadik’s designer Chippy for her always stunning work.  The music was written by Zorn and performed by the usual suspects in his arsenal – the stellar cast of NYC jazz cats: Joey Baron on drums, Trevor Dunn on bass, Mark Feldman on violin, Erik Friedlander on cello, John Medeski on piano, and Kenny Wollesen on vibes.

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19 Fiona AppleWerewolf” from The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

It’s Fiona.  What can I say? Great standout track on her stupendous new album. There’s “nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key.”

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20 Sufjan StevensJustice Delivers Its Death” from Silver & Gold: Christmas Unicorn [EP]

Sparse acoustic guitar and Sufjan’s angelic voice thrust this song into my head and heart like no other.  I take its lyrics as disappointment in the temporary, which can also be a call to do more fruitful things while we’re here.  Which I think is good advice for everyone.  This song is also not too indicative of most of what you’ll find on the Christmas EPs. I don’t really like Christmas music, but I think Sufjan makes some wonderful art.  And, whoa, his concert tour this year was amazing (see review with photos of the Portland/Aladdin show)!!!

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21 Au4So Just Hang On, Beautiful One” from the forthcoming album …And Down Goes the Sky

These Canadian soundscapers haven’t released music since 2006. I found them in the halcyon “MySpace days,” if that tells you anything.  Their first album (On: Audio) is amazing and textured.  Their 2nd album from which this song is from is out now (digitally) with an official release date in 2013.  It’s also textured and gorgeous, with a little mixing up on the vocal duties.  I’m still digesting it, but I can still very much recommend it!

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Let me know what you think… If you enjoyed what you heard, please support the music. Definitely feel free to pass the link the mix along:

http://tinyurl.com/MixyD2012

~Dan – np: Au4On: Audio

there are no torrents, free mp3 or other downloads available

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OSI #4 is ‘Fire Make Thunder’ (Update from Metal Blade)

23rd Jan 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

OSI’s fourth album finally has a name, a cover image, a tracklist and more… the press release from Metal Blade is below…

Fire Make Thunder marks the fourth undertaking for the collaborative duo known as OSI. Formed in 2002 by Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, former Dream Theater keyboardist), OSI is a long distance partnership, both musicians typically writing and recording alone and sending song ideas back and forth for further elaboration. Written and recorded throughout most of 2011, this latest release once again reflects the eclectic influences of both Matheos and Moore.

Fire Make Thunder is slated for a March 27th release via Metal Blade Records. Today OSI unveils the artwork and the tracklisting for their fourth release.

Track listing:
1) Cold Call
2) Guards
3) Indian Curse
4) Enemy Prayer
5) Wind Won’t Howl
6) Big Chief II
7) For Nothing
8) Invisible Men

Additionally, OSI has released an exclusive audio medley from Fire Make Thunder, which features audio samples from the upcoming release. The medley as well as pre-order opportunities can be accessed HERE (Pacificlectic NOTE: they have the CD for a really great price or a shirt/CD combo).  it’s also available for pre-order on Amazon.

Returning as the band’s session drummer is Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree, this time co-writing one of the tracks with the band. All other instruments and programming were performed by both Matheos and Moore, while vocals and lyrics were handled exclusively by Moore.

All of the recording for Fire Make Thunder, with the exception of drums, was done by Moore and Matheos at each musician’s respective home studio with drums being recorded at Harrison’s home in London. Final overdubs as well as some additional writing/arranging was completed in July 2011 in Jamaica, Iowa, where the band mixed alongside engineer Matt Sepanic at Sound Farm Studio and Recording Environment. Mastering was handled by renowned engineer Roger Siebel. The record was produced by both Moore and Matheos.

We reached out to OSI for comments on the album. Our calls have not been returned.

1/24 Update from Twitter re a vinyl edition (in Europe… which I’ll totally spring for on the shipping):

For More Information Please Visit:
http://www.osiband.com
http://www.metalblade.com/osi
http://twitter.com/osi_band
https://www.facebook.com/pages/OSI/203893353038854
http://www.youtube.com/osivideos
https://plus.google.com/101327182573580737209
http://www.myspace.com/osiband

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaOne Size Fits All

O.S.I. 4th album cover?

13th Jan 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

New on osiband.com

Is it the cover for the 4th album?  OSI responded on twitter with…

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.  It comes out on Metal Blade soon (last we heard was March 2012).  O.S.I. is Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, ex-Dream Theater) and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning).

This in from the Mooreatorium

OSI guitarist Jim Matheos revealed some details on OSI’s upcoming fourth studio album in an interview posted today by the music website Hit Channel. In the interview, which was conducted on Jan. 2, Matheos revealed that Metal Blade Records was expected to release a press this week about the album, along with audio samples, song titles and pictures. He also said that there are no guest musicians on the upcoming album and that the band is considering the possibilities of live shows sometime this year.

“You know it’s coming out in March and there is supposed to be a press release coming from Metal Blade next week and basically they asked me not to tell anything about it before the press release because I guess they want to get all the attention when it comes out,” Matheos said. “Kevin and I are really happy with it, but that’s all I can say. There will be a bunch of information released next week as far as titles, pictures and some samples coming out next week on OSI website and on Metal Blade as well.”

Regarding the use of guest musicians, Matheos said: “Not in this one. We decided for this one that Kevin and I we’re gonna take care of everything, except for the drums that neither of us can do. It just turned out that way, we felt comfortable with the material that we were writing and he felt comfortable with all the vocals. You know a lot of times in the past we liked some of the songs that Kevin didn’t felt comfortable doing lyrics and vocals for them for whatever reason so we brought a guest vocalist here and there. For this one it didn’t work out that way so it’s just Kevin, Gavin and I.”

Regarding the possibility of an OSI tour, Matheos said: “You know it’s like the Arch/Matheos thing. It’s hard to put together. We’re talking about it, we may do a couple of shows this year but we’ve talked about it in the past also and has never happened so far and I can’t make promises. I will do everything I can to do it cause I think it will be a great show.”

Full interview link: interview-jim-matheos-fates-warning-osi-arch-matheos

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaUncle Meat

Steven Wilson solo album cover art (video reveal)

24th Jun 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

I suppose so no one can easily steal the jpeg image?  Anyway, here’s the “cover art video trailer reveal” for Steven Wilson’s upcoming Grace for Drowning album, due out in September.

For more about the album, I did a “here’s all the info we know thus far” recap a few weeks ago.

~Dan – np: Weird Al YankovicALpocalypse

Steven Wilson – Grace for Drowning (2011)

9th Jun 11 (Thu) 1 comment

Update 8/24: there’s a new video for the song “Track One” with the image below, as well as pre-order information at THIS BLOG.

After some news leaking slowly, Porcupine Tree/No-Man/Blackfield frontman Steven Wilson’s next solo album finally has a name… Grace For Drowning.  It also has a trailer…


http://www.gracefordrowning.com/

Recapping the news from prior posts:

  • it’ll be two 40-45 minute albums in the same package… due “Autumn 2011” (September-ish)
  • album names: Deform to Form a Star and Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye
  • pretty organic feel, mostly inspired by the darker end of vintage progressive music and some… movie soundtrack stuff (Morricone especially)
  • the usual array of excellent SW options: double-vinyl release, 5.1 surround sound, hard back book edition, CD, digital…
  • Update 7/19: free download… 9-minute full-track by signing up for the mailing list at http://www.gracefordrowning.com/

Stay up with his Facebook page and http://www.gracefordrowning.com/ for the scoop as it develops.  Steven just finished up his tour with Blackfield, and also in the works… Storm Corrosion with Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt (likely a 2012 release).

~Dan – np: Remy ZeroVilla Elaine

Opeth’s Heritage (goofy cover art)

1st Jun 11 (Wed) 9 comments

Behold, the cheesy-as-hell-looking cover art for Opeth’s upcoming album Heritage (out 9/20/2011 on Roadrunner)…

I just checked, it’s not April 1st again.  Does June 1st represent a similar joke day in Sweden?  Seriously… their faces as fruit on the tree?  Seriously, you guys.  I think it’d actually be an OK album cover without the heads on the tree thing.  With it, though, I classify this as a “death metal fail.”

And, I can’t make out which band member is in the lower right.  Should he be fearful for his job?

~Dan – np: U2How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Sneak peak at OSI #4? New My Brightest Diamond album?

30th Mar 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Yesterday, Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, OSI, ex-Dream Theater) posted on his twitter a video that based on the sound seems like it may be a sneak peak at the fourth OSI album:

(twitvid opens in new window)

Also, an unrelated twitter news blast as well…

Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) noted that she’s going into the studio on Friday to record her next album, and then shortly thereafter hinted to the name of said albumEverything is in Line.

Score two for new media…

~Dan – np: Derek WebbFuck You (by Cee-Lo Green)

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