weekly playlist #4.

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close the door to your office and turn up the volume on your shitty computer speakers, because it’s monday and time for the fourth installment of my weekly playslist. this time around, i bet the majority of the people who actually listen to the playlist will like about 12 out of the 20 songs. that’s 60%, and 10% more than last week. as always, leave a comment telling me what you like/don’t like, or what you’re listening to. you’ll find the playlist widget at the bottom of the post, just before the comments section. also as always, if you like the tracks, i encourage you to support the artist and buy the music via your favorite method (because musicians need money for booze so they can continue to write pretty songs for you).

you’ll find weekly playlist #4 after the jump…01. “damned tree” by eleventh dream day – from the album, riot now! – it’s been raining here in los angeles (which is something that doesn’t happen all that often). i’m sitting here listening to this song as brooke and maddy are grocery shopping and i suddenly feel like eleventh dream day is trying to tell me something. the message? it’s time to cut down the damned eucalyptus tree that’s in my backyard before it falls down and lands on my house, because it will inevitably do so. but it provides such nice shade for most of the year that i’ll probably just let nature run it’s course and deal with the consequences when the time comes.

02. “several shades of why” by j mascis – from the album, several shades of why – with new albums by eleventh dream day and j mascis, all of a sudden it feels like the 80s and 90s again. but it’s not. if it was, i would still be a child and you, you wouldn’t be hearing these kinds of guitar sounds from j mascis, because the other dudes in dinosaur jr. probably would have called him a pussy. anyway, this song is a nice acoustic number.

03. “what a pleasure” by beach fossils – from the ep, what a pleasure – i went to my second favorite record store in los angeles last week and bought this one. when i got to the counter, the dude at the register was like, “i’ve really been diggin’ this record lately.” not what i expected to hear from the guy who always seems to be wearing black t-shirts with the names of obscure heavy metal bands on the front. this record is sort of the opposite of what i imagine he listens to. it’s got jangly guitar sounds, soft vocals and no songs about dismemberment and/or hell. maybe he tries to impress his wife with this?

04. “i know places” by lykke li – from the album, wounded rhymes – i’m not sure what to think about this album as a whole. i imagine i’ll like it a lot more after a few more listens, but this song…oh, this song. i love it. it’s exactly the kind of thing i want to hear on a rainy day.

05. “i’ll see you later i guess” by papercuts – from the album, fading parade -more soft sounds perfect for a rainy day. the title of the song is phrase i use all the time. and now that this song is in my head i’ll probably try to sing (rather than speak) the line, “i’ll see you later i guess” just like this guy. but i can’t sing, so it won’t sound anything like this.

06. “hard up” by mi ami – from the album, dolphins – a change of pace from the last couple of songs. maddy likes this one. it makes her dance in her carseat. i’m happy i have a kid who wants to hear stuff like this rather than the kind of crappy music i listened to as a kid. just now she heard it and asked if i’d dance with her. i did and then she said, “we’re married!” then she yelled to brooke. “do you want to be married, brookie? come here and dance with my daddy!” i guess she thinks that dancing means you’re married. if that’s the case, i’m married to several girls from my junior high years. fyi…i explained to maddy that it takes a lot more than a dance to mean that you’re married. oh. and that she can never marry me.

07. “world’s greatest” by bonnie ‘prince’ billy – from the album, ask forgiveness – will oldham covers a song by r. kelly. i suppose you thought i was kidding when i included that r. kelly song on my first playlist, right? no. i’m not kidding. i love that guy. and if you think he’s not a great song writer, listen to someone else sing one of his songs and then get back to me.

08. “round and round” by ariel pink’s haunted graffiti – from the album, before today – one of the best songs released by anyone last year, and one of my all time favorites. the song is a classic because of what happens after the bell rings (about 2 minutes into the song). also, the cover art for the 7″ is brilliant.

09. “northern sky” by nick drake – from the album, bryter layter – speaking of classic songs…this one never ceases to stop me in my tracks when it starts playing. like, if i’m driving, i have to pull over to listen to it, and if it’s playing in the house, i demand silence until the song is over. makes me want to learn how to play the piano. and sing. and play the guitar. and be british.

10. “alright” by girls – from the ep, broken dreams club – i loved the first record by girls and this ep is just as great. as it turns out, children of cult members make pretty great music. maybe i should join a cult so maddy can become a good musician? let me know if you know of any up and coming cults i should consider.

11. “stuck In chicago” by syl johnson – from the album, “diamond in the rough” – this song actually mentions rain, so it’s a good rainy day song. one time i got stuck in an awful rainstorm in chicago. i was on the ‘l’ on my way to work at this shitty job i had in downtown chicago when the rain started coming down harder than i’d ever seen rain fall. i hated this job more than just about anything in the world, but i needed something to help supplement the tiny grad school research stipend i was getting from my university. it was a basic data entry and database management thing, but the day of that rain storm it became much more. after walking the three or so blocks from the ‘l’ to the office, i was absolutely soaked because i’d been splashed by taxis and big trucks (just like you always see in the movies). oh. and at this point in my life i was too poor to own an umbrella. before i made it to my desk, my boss was like, “i have a special project for you.” i was excited, thinking that she finally saw my potential and was going to increase my responsibilities. so i followed her to the freight elevator and headed all the way down to the basement of the building. i’d been down there a few times before to retrieve boxes of documents that needed to be input into the database i was building, and the place always scared me. it was an old building on michigan avenue and the basement looked like a dungeon. when the elevator made it to the basement and the gate went up, my boss said, “matt, i need you to make sure all of the boxes are at least three feet off of the floor. good luck.” i got out of the elevator, thinking it was a preventative measure. when i got to the room with the hundreds of boxes, there was at least 2 feet of standing water. hoping to impress my boss, i took off my shoes, rolled up my pants and worked through my lunch hour moving the boxes around. midway through the afternoon, an electrician came down to the basement to do some work and saw me walking around in my barefeet. “what the hell are you doing down here? you’re lucky you haven’t been electrocuted yet!” he pointed to a bunch of live wires and told me to go back upstairs before i died. i went up to my boss’s office, told her what happened and she said i could go home. i called liz and told her about my work day and she was worried about me. “next time, say no. and you should ask them for a raise.” the next week i went into my boss’s office and asked for that raise. i got it. an increase from $13 to $15 an hour sounded like so much back then. oh. this song is a love song, but as soon as i saw the title i thought about that rainstorm and that shitty job i had in chicago and got a little sidetracked. sorry about that.

12. “laughing hieroglyphic” by avey tare – from the album, down there – a solo album from one of the dudes from animal collective. this song is totally weird (not unexpected from this guy) but it’s sort of hypnotic. i feel like i’m floating when i listen to this one.

13. “beyond reason” by philip selway – from the album, familial – turns out that thom yorke’s not the only member of radiohead who can sing.

14. “bees” by warpaint – from the album, the fool – i kept seeing posters for this band stapled to poles in and around my neighborhood. for some reason that annoyed me and i had it in my mind that they sucked. then i felt bad about hating them for no reason, so i bought their record and fell in love with it and them. i guess i shouldn’t judges bands by the posters their “street team” members staple to poles.

15. “galactic derelict” by eternal tapestry – from the album, beyond the 4th door – you want to disappear for awhile? turn this song up really loud and close your eyes. you’ll soon find yourself in some strange, psychedelic world where the characters from (insert the name of any sid & marty krofft show) poke at you with burning sticks while throwing back their heads in exaggerated, but silent laughter. i know that sounds scary, but the song is only 7 minutes and 35 seconds long, so you’ll be out of your trance well before you actually get poked with one of those sticks.

16. “here we go” by arab strap from the album, philophobia – on old favorite from 1998 that got reissued last year. this whole album is a cautionary tale about relationships. i think it should be given to every student about to enter college. resident assistants could hand them out as they introduce themselves and say, “before you do anything, else listen to this record. it will help you navigate the world you are about to enter.” i know, i know. this album isn’t about college. it’s about love and death and contracting vd, but mostly it’s about love. a fear of love, but love nonetheless. good lessons for the youth of america, even though this band if from scotland.

17. “last tide” by sun kil moon – from the album, – ghosts of the great highway – i’ve been a huge fan of this guy since he changed his name to sun kil moon. his songs have gotten me through some tough times. if that’s not enough to make me love his music, he also allowed me to use some of his lyrics in my book. i am forever indebted to him. oh. this is the song he let me quote.

18. “the journey” by nick cave & warren ellis – from the album, white lunar – anytime i hear the word “journey” i think of show, the bachelor and how every person on the show talks about their journey to get to where they are. i hate that word so much. it may be the most overused cliché of all time. everyone needs to get it through their head that their life is not a journey. a journey is a shitty rock band from the past that sings shitty songs that your mom used to love when she was in high school. okay, “open arms” is a pretty good song, but everything else they did sucked. this song doesn’t suck. it’s an instrumental song by a legend in my mind (warren ellis) and a legend in everyone else’s mind (nick cave).

19. “written all over your face” by holy shit – from the album, stranded at two harbors – i’ve been to two harbors, minnesota several times, and i’ve always wished i’d get stranded there, but only in the spring, summer or fall. winter in two harbors would be sad and cold. i know this song is only a few years old, but i swear i used to hear it when i went to my dentist as a child.

20. “golden seal” by fucked up – from the album, the chemistry of common life – last year i braved the crowds for record store day at amoeba (it’s an event that happens across the country about once a year to encourage people to buy physical copies of music at independent record stores, and as an incentive, bands and record labels provide limited edition, exclusive records for the day), and somehow found myself at the front of the mass of people trying to get some of the albums that everyone wanted. and from somewhere behind me i heard this impish little voice yell, “hey! can someone hand me the fucked up record? i NEED that fucked up record!” i grabbed a copy and turned to hand it to the woman behind me who was demanding it, and instead of a woman, there stood a boy no older than 12. i handed him the record and he said, “thanks, mister!” i suddenly felt really, really old, but i felt like i’d done a good deed. i’m sure his parents were thrilled.

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