Fall Like a Flower - Autumn 2015 mix
Since 8tracks is weirdly coy about showing the playlist until you listen to it, here's the full list (20 tracks, 1:31:24):
The Feelies - Should Be Gone 3:30 (Here Before, 2011)
The Besnard Lakes - Golden Lion 3:46 (Golden Lion, 2015)
Ride - Black Nite Crash 2:33 (Tarantula, 1996)
Grooms - Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair 3:52 (Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair, 2015)
A Place to Bury Strangers - We've Come So Far 5:07 (Transfixiation, 2015)
Quilt - Mary Mountain 4:59 (Held in Splendor, 2014)
Dungen - En Gång Om Året 4:32 (Allas Sak, 2015)
Boom Said Thunder - Summer Twin 5:36 (Summer Twin, 2015)
Major Stars - Blank Slate 5:57 (Decibels of Gratitude, 2013)
Ghost Box Orchestra - Sound of (Eternal Now) 5:08 (Sound of (Eternal Now), 2015)
Magic Shoppe - Trip Inside This House 4:03 (Triangulum Australe, 2014)
Ringo Deathstarr - Chainsaw Morning 3:55 (God's Dream, 2014)
Tasseomancy - Healthy Hands (Will Mourn You) 3:27 (Ulalume, 2011)
Braids - Miniskirt 4:54 (Deep in the Iris, 2015)
Kinski - I Fell Like a Fucking Flower 4:29 (7 (or 8), 2015)
Debo Band - Ney Ney Weleba 5:30 (Debo Band, 2012)
The Ex & Brass Unbound - Theme From Konono No. 2 7:10 (Enormous Door, 2013)
Acid King - Coming Down From Outer Space 5:47 (Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere, 2015)
Lera Lynn - My Least Favorite Life 3:29 (True Detective (Music from the HBO Series), 2015)
Wand - Reaper Invert 3:41 (Golem, 2015)
If 8tracks doesn't work for you for some reason, I also made a playlist on Google Play Music, but I think this might only work if you're a subscriber. And even then, I had to make two substitutions for songs they don't have in their library:
Ghost Box Orchestra - Into the Light 5:06 (Vanished, 2013)
The Ex - Theme From Konono 8:25 (Turn, 2004)
(I've been using Google Play Music for a while now, since it lets me upload my own mp3s and listen to them from any device. And I recently decided to pay the $10/month for a subscription, since it also includes YouTube Red, i.e. no more ads!)
I made a Spotify playlist too, but they also don't have all the tracks, so I made the above substitutions plus one more:
Acid King - Into the Ground 4:33 (III, 2005)
Likewise, I made a YouTube playlist, which has the advantage that some of them have actual music videos, but I also had to make some substitutions there (because I'm too lazy to figure out how to turn my mp3s into videos to upload to YouTube):
Major Stars - Black Road 2:45 (Syntoptikon, 2006)
Ghost Box Orchestra - Into the Light 5:06 (Vanished, 2013)
If none of these work for you, or e.g. you'd prefer to download the tracks, let me know and I'll do what I did for my previous mix and just host it all on my server.
Some commentary on the mix:
Although I constrained myself to keep the tracks in the same order that I saw the bands in, I'm pretty happy with how it came out as a coherent mix with a good flow. There are some not-so-great transitions but I think they're minimal. I had forgotten how much work it is to pick songs for a mix, though! I've been working on this on and off since early December.
That Ride song is from their fourth and last album Tarantula, which is very different in style from their earlier shoegazer stuff, which is dear to my heart. I had read the reviews at the time and never bothered to get Tarantula, so I hadn't heard "Black Nite Crash" until they played it at their show at the Paradise on October 3 (the only thing they played from their last two albums). And it is actually a pretty kick-ass song! I went and listened to the rest of the album on Spotify, but I couldn't get past the non-Ride-ness of it. But I like this one.
Funnily enough, as their first encore song, they played "Today", another song of theirs I had never managed to hear before then. It was on the Today Forever EP which was only released in the UK, and the other three songs from that EP were on the US maxi-single CD for "Vapor Trail", which I do have, so I never bothered to track down that one missing song. It turns out it's really great, and I thought about including it here, but I already posted the video to Tumblr after the concert so I figured I shouldn't repeat it. Its mood happened to really fit my headspace on that night in particular, both musically and (obliquely) lyrically, so it was a nice discovery.
I like that Grooms track, and not just because their singer's vocal style reminds me of someone that I can't quite place. (AC Newman, maybe? Kurt Heasley from the Lilys? Sam Prekop from The Sea and Cake?) Grooms opened for A Place To Bury Strangers, and I honestly don't remember if I got to that show early enough to see them. If I did, their set was pretty unmemorable!
The Dungen show at Great Scott was fantastic. I had seen them at the Middle East downstairs a few years back, not being all that familiar with their music but having heard good things (I think I had just gotten Ta det Lungt and maybe listened to it twice before the show). I ended up leaving about 10 minutes into their set; they didn't sound much like the album, and seemed very self-indulgent in a painful third-tier-'70s-prog-band way. I then grew to really love that album, as well as a few others after it, and either I grew to better understand their acid-rock gestalt or else they had just gotten off to a bad start at the previous show, but this time it all clicked and I had a great time.
I had avoided Ringo Deathstarr for a few years just based on their incredibly goofy name. But it turns out they're right in my sweet spot, sort of a grunge/shoegazer hybrid but tidier than either. They had a new album in 2015 but I like "Chainsaw Morning" better than anything on it so I went with that.
That Braids song, "Miniskirt", seems to me like it should be a massive breakout hit, but as far as I can tell it hasn't gotten much attention. The video is beautiful and compelling, but it kind of undersells/undercuts the raw, cathartic lyrics. I wonder if it will catch on at some point or if I'm just bad at picking hits—I thought The White Stripes' "There's No Home For You Here" was going to be the summer anthem of 2003 and they didn't even make a video for it!
I saw The Ex + Ken Vandermark at Great Scott with Debo Band opening, and I knew I had seen Debo Band somewhere before but I thought this was my first time seeing The Ex (and I almost didn't go to this show but I figured I ought to see The Ex at least once in my life). But recently I was looking through my old events list on Last.fm and it turns out I saw Debo Band opening for... The Ex at the Middle East in 2008! Still, I'm glad I dragged my ass out to see them again, they deliver a unique energetic "ex"perience.
I really enjoyed the Lera Lynn concert (on my birthday, Nov 10, again at Great Scott). When I described her role on True Detective S2 to my friend Kris, he said "oh, so she's the Julee Cruise character of that show?" which is perfect: she is the dark, otherworldly chanteuse who is always playing at the sad bar where the main characters hang out and do their dealings. Most of her non-TV music is more upbeat alt-country, though, or maybe not even alt, so I wasn't sure if I would get much out of the concert. But she has definite charisma, and a good band that has a touch of a Crazy Horse vibe, so it ended up being up my alley. Still, the highlight was her solo performance of a couple songs from True Detective, and "My Least Favorite Life" in particular gave me all the chills I was expecting it to. I love the imagery of "The station pulls away from the train / The blue pulls away from the sky"—that's poetry!
Two days later, the Wand show at the Middle East upstairs, with Ghost Box Orchestra opening, was another one that I almost bailed on, having just seen GBO at their EP-release-party show a few weeks prior. I had pretty much made up my mind to stay in that night, so I gave myself the consolation prize of listening to Wand on Spotify (having never heard of them before seeing that GBO was opening for them). Halfway through the third track of Golem, I realized that I absolutely needed to get to this show, and I was not disappointed: they pick up the retro-psychedelic-pop trail that Tame Impala has abandoned, but Wand is both heavier and nimbler, like Elf Power with more grinning menace. And so I had to put that track, "Reaper Invert", on this mix, even though they released another great album in 2015 after Golem. Also just because it makes a great closer.
Post-script: I'm pretty sure that Wand show is where I picked up the cold that lingered for the next four weeks. Nature's way of telling me I went to too damn many shows, I guess.