The Uberpop


Weekly Mixtape for 11/8-11/14

Posted in Weekly Mixtape by theuberpop on November 11, 2009

1) “Selfless, Cold and Composed” Ben Folds Five, Whatever and Ever Amen (Sony BMG, 1997): Before Ben Folds was conducting ringtone orchestras on Myspace and covering Dr. Dre (which is a great cover, by the way) he made piano-pop hip in the late 90’s a prominent third of Ben Folds Five.  This particular record featured the single “Brick”, which garnered considerable commercial success…but that’s not what I’m concerned with right now.  “Selfless, Cold and Composed” stands out to me as a moment of real beauty on an already beautiful record (save for tracks like the abrasive “Song For The Dumped”).  Folds’ playing is reminiscent of Bill Evans or Vince Giraldi and although this may seem like a hackneyed format, there’s something about his juxtaposition of such depressing subject matter in such a vibrant musical setting.

2) “Shiver” Coldplay, Parachutes (Parlophone, 2000): This record was really important for me, and I still think this is one of the best songs in the Coldplay canon.  Do yourself a favor and forget about the overblown (and overrated) live shows and the law suits and sit back and remember why we fell in love with this band in the first place.

3) “Aurora” Foo Fighters, There is Nothing Left to Lose (RCA, 1999): This isn’t the record that most people think of when they think of the Foo Fighters, and that’s understandable.  It’s a very different record than its predecessor, 1997’s The Colour and The Shape, and the backlash associated with branching out heavily affected the band’s following effort, 2002’s One by One.  This song in particular is a more interesting diversion from Grohl and co.’s previous course, a delay-laden pop song about remembering possibly simpler, better times.  The outro, although pretty daunting, features some interesting noises that you’d only hear from a big-riff rock band stretching itself a little, and honestly I think that’s something worth commending.

4) “Here Comes Your Man” Pixies, Doolittle (4AD, 1989): Hopefully we all saw this band’s triumphant performance of this song on The Tonight Show last week…if you missed it, you can check it out on Pitchfork.  After that, you can find this song (or better yet buy this record) and embrace this heavily influential band.

5) “I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel” The Get Up Kids, Something to Write Home About (Vagrant, 1999): Don’t judge me, this song is awesome.  It’s loose, raw and devoid of any auto-tune, giving it more soul than most of the records in this genre that would follow.

6) “Believe Me Natalie” The Killers, Hot Fuss (Island/Def Jam, 2004): This is a particularly deep cut from the Vegas natives’ debut album, seeped in Brandon Flowers’ synthesized goodness and driven by Ronnie Vannucci Jr.’s pseudo-African drum line and Dave Keuning’s arena-ready guitar parts.  To me it’s the only Killers song to date that actually deserves the uber-Vegas horn parts stacked on top at the end.

7) “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” The Postal Service, Give Up (2003, Sub Pop): There have been rumors surrounding a possible follow-up to Give Up since they released it, but do we really need one?  This record spawned more imitators than you could shake a stick at (I’m talking to YOU Owl City) and generated so much hype that any follow up at all would likely be considered forced and inferior by most critics.  Granted, if anyone could rise above such lofty expectations it would be the members of this “imaginary band.”  While there is still hope, we should probably just pop this record in and enjoy this groove laden bit of emo-tronica we’ve been given.

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