Thursday, November 15

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party (Part 3).

CDP Mix-Tape Trade Wrap Party.

Ever since the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade ended a couple months ago, people have been harping on me about reviewing their mix. Time constraints were getting in the way at the time, but while I'm waiting for my book to go to publication, I have a week or two to really sit down and pick apart these works that CDP readers were kind enough to mail to me.

I set the rules for listening to and reviewing the assorted mixes as follows: I would write in complete stream-of-consciousness mode while each song played (hence the poor grammar and possible spelling errors), and stop writing as soon as the song was over. Any pausing or skipping tracks was not allowed. I was listening for songs that I liked, along with the general flow and mood you'd expect from a decent mix-tape. I listened to every mix through headphones and without outside distraction.

My third reviewed mix belongs to one of about three reasons why Milwaukee is tolerable in the least, Domsar. Here we go.

1. Kid On My Shoulders - White Rabbits

The theme of Domsar's mix is 'Musical Apocalypse In 16 Steps.' Clearly, this guy knows what all entails a themed mix. Right away, I get the image of a gritty, damp urban atmosphere in this mix, complete with shady characters, dive bars and exhaust fumes. This opening track is cold, paranoid and frantic, which is exactly what Domsar was trying to get at in the first place.

2. Move By Yourself - Donovan Frankenreiter

Again, this mix has a very distinct 'Milwaukee' feel to it. Smoking cigarettes on ancient fire escapes, snapping blurry photographs of traffic lights and whatnot. This funky track is both uplifting and somber at once, which is exactly what the genre entails, in my opinion.

3. 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene

An amazing track by an amazing band, I'm instantly reminded of falling asleep in the backseat of a friend's car, driving back home on a humid Summer night. Leslie Feist is a big star now, but her work with Broken Social Scene is just unforgettable.

4. Fast As You Can - Cold War Kids

This bootleg-sounding recording of a Fiona Apple song brings to light the vocal mastery of Nathan Willett. I didn't care too much about Cold War Kids until I heard this track. While I can't say I'm a fan of the covered song (or original) in general, Willet's voice is just wildly on display here.

5. As You Wish - Aqueduct

This was a good time to throw a quirky song in to break up the mood a little bit, and that's exactly what As You Wish does. I've heard this song three times now, and only now did I finally understood the Princess Bride inspiration. Wow, that's some good, bizarre stuff right there.

6. Don't Push - The Exit

Quick side story about The Exit. My band played a show with them back in the day, and we've seen them on a few separate occasions, none of which were positive. These guys might know how to tour like crazy and write some interesting tunes, but they're assholes, plain and simple. Still though, this song is exactly where it needs to be in the mix, and pushes the theme along nicely.

7. Hold On - Magnet

There's a lot of positivity mixed with bleakness on this mix, which is clearly done on purpose. This track drags on a bit; I found myself drifting off while trying to listen to it. A very sweeping, layered and dreamy track that can slip you into a trance if you're already tired to begin with.

8. Multiply - Jamie Lidell

I can't say I normally listen to bluesy/soul music, but I really enjoy the upbeat groove in this track. While I think it goes on for a minute too long, it's a decent halfway point to the album.

9. Ramalama - Roisin Murphy

This one isn't working for me. A little too tribal, a little too scene and a little too silly. Maybe I don't get it, I don't know. It just turned from grating to annoying in record time. I think it's the overbearing and snooty tone of Murphy's voice that did me in.

10. Gin 'N Juice - Unknown To Me

This spoken-word, Richard Cheese-style rendition of Snoop Dogg's Gin 'N Juice is a real black sheep in this mix, but good comic relief and surreally bizarre. If I had this in my record collection, I'd be throwing it on every mix I could, too.

11. First Wave Intact - Secret Machines

Nine minutes, wow. I don't see what the fuss is about these guys; they sound pretty much like every other band in this vein. Heavy synth, falsetto vocals, buzzing bass; you know the drill. Really though, this would have been a pretty good 3 minute song, but 9 is inexcusable. Perhaps I'm bitter because of all the buzz these guys have received; I should listen to their album before I start pooping on their parade.

12. Wraith Pinned Me To The Mist And Other Games - Of Montreal

Okay, back to business. Kevin Barnes will make everything better, even if he is making money to shill Outback Bloomin' Onions to already-overweight Americans. Screw it, this song makes me dance! WHOOO!

13. Roscoe - Midlake

This is one of those rare tracks that almost loses you with it's monotony, and catches you off-guard with a beautiful hook. Before you know it, five minutes have passed and you're completely relaxed and in a different mindset than when you were when the song started. Good work.

14. Armchairs - Andrew Bird

Wow, another 7 minutes. I don't know too much about Domsar, but I can surmise that he listens to a lot of music at home, and doesn't have Attention Deficit Disorder. On a side note, I'm boycotting Andrew Bird because he beat out Arcade Fire for the 2007 Mercury Prize. It doesn't matter if this song is amazing or not.

15. See Her, Seer - Inlets

This has a serious Sufjan Stevens vibe to it, which is fine by me. By this point in the mix, the apocalypse is upon us, and we're dealing with the aftermath. At least I'm assuming, by the triple-shot of lengthy, depressing epics.

16. Swans - Islands

Brilliant. The 10 minute opening track to the amazing Return To The Sea is now the closing track for Musical Apocalypse In 16 Steps, and it makes absolutely perfect sense when heard. Islands are featured on at least three different mix-tapes mailed to me, and with good reason. A great end to a great mix.

Domsar had a vision, he had a theme, he knew how to get there and he pulled off a very impressive and expressive mix. With the exception of a wrist-slashing 3 songs in 24 minutes, it was a near-great execution of theme and flow. Time for stats.

Total Number Of Tracks - 16
Number Of Above Average Tracks - 7
Number Of Average Tracks - 6
Number Of Below Average Tracks - 3
Number Of Tracks That I Own - 4
Best Track(s) - Swans (Islands are forever)
Worst Track - Ramalama (Not feeling it, yo)
Total Score - 8.1/10

Tomorrow, I'll have another mix on the chopping block. Will it be yours?

Comments:
Awesome. Glad you enjoyed it, CDP! And thanks for the in-depth review. It really shows that you appreciate the hard work we put into these. And the styles on mine varied quite a bit, so I don't expect anyone to love all of them. Just glad you enjoyed listening.

If anyone wants to download the mix, it is available HERE along with my track commentary, theme, and cover art.
 
I'd encourage everyone to check his mix out. His theme was spot-on, his track commentary is in-depth and the hard work shows. Thanks for participating in the Trade!
 
I love Of Montreal, but they actually make me want to eat Bloomin' Onions LESS for some reason...
 
I heard that commercial again last night. I have no problem with selling out, but Outback? It would have made more sense if Architecture In Helsinki* endorsed them.




*They're from Australia. Try to keep up.
 
"Let's go Outback tonight...life will still be there tomorrow."

The last time I went to Outback and had a Bloomin' Onion, life was barely there the next day. I nearly pooped my brains out.
 
"Life will still be there, but you'll wish you weren't."
 
Whoa. Wait. Of Montreal does the Outback jingle? Really?
 
Not exactly. The commercial uses a reprised-cover of one of their tracks. The ad agency basically took the original song, re-worded it to shill Outback and had a different band perform it.

When I heard it for the first time, I was taken for a loop. It made about as much sense as Black Flag selling one of his songs to Dairy Queen.

"We're gunna have a Blizzard party tonight, all right!"
 
I'm also aware that Black Flag isn't a single person. I was just thinking about Henry Rollins for some reason.
 
I don't understand why people get upset by hearing their favorite band's songs in commercials.

Musicians gotta pay the rent, and sometimes commercials allow them to do that without having to go get day jobs, this means they can make more music for us...it's win, win.
 
I agree, Will. You can imagine the surprise, though. If any Elephant 6 group was going to be tapped for a jingle, I figured it would be the Apples In Stereo.

I remember reading that Kevin Barnes used the money to fund their 2007 Spring tour, which allowed them to get more props and whatnot for an amazing live show. Like you said, win/win.

Even now, I'll dance my ass off if that song comes on at a party, Outback or not.
 
Of Montreal has the craziest live show I've ever seen. And they tour through Milwaukee like once a month. I've seen the circus a couple times. The last one included this huge tri-level platform that encompassed the entire stage and lit up in sections when they walked on it. Not to mention all the crazy live videography and props and costumes going on. It's truly insane. Probably all due to Outback Steakhouse. I can't fault them for that. What I do fault them for is the fact that they never play that song live anymore now.
 
I fault them for no longer being interesting to me...well, no. I fault myself for that. Is it wrong of me to yearn for the pre-synth days? I don't know.
 
Aldhils Arboretum was Kevin's last 'old' Of Montreal release, Satanic Panic was the amazing cusp of new and old, Sunlandic Twins was them becoming a new band altogether, and Hissing Fauna was them going straight off the deep end.

I know what you mean. Sometimes a band will evolve themselves right past their audience. I can't fault Kevin for doing whatever the hell he wants as an artist, it just doesn't mean I have to accept that everything he does is amazing. We have to remember that part of loving Of Montreal is hating about 1/3 of their catalog.
 
Musicians gotta pay the rent, and sometimes commercials allow them to do that without having to go get day jobs, this means they can make more music for us...it's win, win.

A lot of musicians consider that a huge score. In this case, it's the song writer that did it, since Of Montreal isn't really singing it.

Another great review, CDP. And Domar, I'm glad you made your mix publicly available. I'll download it when I'm back from the office.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Thanks, Mike!

I've been trying to sell a song that I wrote when I was 16 to advertisers for almost 10 years now. It's called "My Ex-Girlfriend Is A Slut."

The phone's still not ringing. Imagine that.
 
Thanks Mike! I hope you enjoy it. If not, there are six other CD-Mixes with their own themes available on the sidebar on the left of my site. I get a kick out of making 'em. So have at it.
 
So, I'm seeing American Gangster tomorrow night. Quite possibly seeing No Country for Old Men next week (I'm twice as excited for this one).

CDP (and the rest of the CDPeons): Seen any good movies lately?
 
Taken from Friday's post:

"Hey, seen any good movies lately?"

Not really, but I did purchase the First Season of Metalocalypse on DVD. From Brendon Small, the creator of Home Movies, Metalocalypse is, in my opinion, the only reason to watch the Adult Swim block on the Cartoon Network. Hilarious stuff. Even more hilarious is that the soundtrack to the show, The Dethalbum, debuted at #21 on the Billboard charts, making it the highest charting Death Metal album ever. Wow.

Benjamin recently hooked me up with the 'Version Integrale' of The Professional (Leon), which I've been looking forward to watching for weeks now. I was frustrated when I saw the deleted scenes of the film that test audiences weren't too keen on, and the 'Version Integrale' restores the movie back into what it should have been. It makes it all the more better, which I thought was next to impossible for awhile.

I'll be seeing No Country For Old Men as soon as it premieres, as I've been jacked up about it for weeks now.
 
Sorry 'boot that...

I miss Lost.
 
Yeah, and the news surrounding Season 4 is all bad. We either get 8 episodes and then a huge gap in between, or all 16 episodes.....in 2009.
 

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