The Uberpop

Weekly Mixtape for 10/25-10/31

Posted in Weekly Mixtape by theuberpop on October 27, 2009

Thus begins the time-honored tradition of putting together a list of songs that I think are really cool at this moment.  Here goes nothing:

1) “Wordless Chorus” My Morning Jacket, Z (2005, Sony BMG Music Entertainment):  Jim James and co. opened their critically acclaimed opus Z with this seemingly Captain Obvious-titled track (the chorus is solely comprised of “Ah” and “Oh” vowel sounds, which are technically words…but that’s really just splitting hairs.)  James’ reverb-drenched vocal harmonies and the eerie organ parts that haunt the better part of the album create a simultaneously dreamy and spooky vibe that seems to fit this time of year like a fitted flannel shirt on a skinny hipster.  Check out MMJ here.

2) “Getchoo” Weezer, Pinkerton (1996, UMG Recordings): Amidst news that Weezer collaborated with the likes of Kenny G, Lil’ Wayne and Chamillionaire for their upcoming record, Raditude, I figured I’d hearken back to a simpler time, namely 1996.  This banner year saw Weezer at their finest, releasing the highly influential yet commercially  ignored Pinkerton, on which Rivers Cuomo traded the sugary pop of “Buddy Holly” for grittier, whinier tracks like “Getchoo” and “Tired of Sex”.  Check out Weezer here.

3) “There There (The Boney King of Nowhere)” Radiohead, Hail to the Thief (2003, Capitol): Radiohead tops a very short list of bands who have retained both their relevance and creative potency nearly 20 years into their career (actually, they just might be the only band on that list).  “There There” is a perfect example of of the band’s ability to somehow marry avant-garde art music and impeccable pop sensibility.  Everything about the song, from the almost primal wall of drums to the warm, meandering guitar lines, paints a sonic landscape that is simultaneously dystopian and beautiful.  This record, in my humble opinion, is the band’s most underrated release to date.  Check out Radiohead here.

4) “So Much Trouble” Matt Pond PA, Several Arrows Later (2005, Altitude): This is another song that seems to perfectly capture the spirit of Autumn, as cliche as that statement may be.  The lilting, mellow tone of the lead guitar line juxtaposed with mellotron flutes and cello is catchy and hooky to the point that it almost acts as the song’s chorus, which is fine with me.  The song is understated and genuinely likable, which may explain why it has the highest number of plays on my ipod (yes, I did go looking for that.)  Check out Matt Pond PA here.

5) “1901” Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009, Ghettoblaster S.A.R.L.): I don’t care how many car commercials this song is in or whether it’s really a “summer jam” or not, this is the most undeniably catchy song I’ve heard in years.  Bravo Phoenix, you win.  Check out Phoenix here.

6) “Can You Tell” Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line (2009, Barsuk) Traditional string instruments (ie. violin, cello, etc) and popular music have always had an uneasy relationship, but this Brooklyn quartet seems to have written a song that embraces that tension without becoming a regurgitation of “Elanor Rigby.”  You can check out Ra Ra Riot here.

7) “My Mirror Speaks” Death Cab for Cutie, The Open Door EP (2009, Atlantic): This track off of DCFC’s post-script to 2008’s Narrow Stairs finds the band doing what they do best: juxtaposing darker lyrics about insecurity, aging and fear of commitment (Gibbard posing as “a man who hides from all that binds and a mess of fading lines…”) with a musical backdrop that bounces and claps as if the song were about lollipops and cookies.  You can check out Death Cab for Cutie here.

There you have it, any thoughts?


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