Friday, December 31, 2010

Rock the Waffle House: Choice Cuts Vol. 9

1. "Fair Game" -- The Like

There's a lot to like about The Like. Yes, they're the daughters of industry vets (including group founders Elizabeth "Z" Berg, the daughter of a former Geffen exec, and Tennessee Thomas, the daughter of Elvis Costello's drummer. But these women can craft some seriously catchy pop -- and "Fair Game" is irresistible.

2. You! Me! Dancing! -- Los Campesinos!

This feel-good Los Campesinos! track is actually three years old. But I just discovered it this year, and got instantly hooked. I dare you to listen to this track without tapping your toes. (The video's pretty cool too; the song doesn't actually begin until more than a minute in, but it's well worth a watch.)

3. Lose It (In The End) -- Mark Ronson feat. Ghostface Killah

Fresh off Mark Ronson's third album, "Record Collection," this jam's short but powerful, a great use of Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald juxtaposed with Wu Tang's Ghostface Killah.

4. "Sun Hands" -- Local Natives

Silver Lake's own (by way of Orange County) Local Natives was featured on several of Franklin Avenue's playlists this year, as the group's debut CD, "Gorilla Manor," was a fave. "Sun Hands," which features the group's harmonies leading up to a powerful climax, was one of my faves.

5. "The High Road" -- Broken Bells

Broken Bells -- the duo consisting of uber producer Danger Mouse and The Shins vocalist James Mercer -- came on the scene big this year, starting with their lead-off single, "The High Road." Their self-titled CD, released in March, remains a favorite of 2010. Danger Mouse -- real name: Brian Burton -- reps the second producer on our Choice Cuts end-of-year collection, along with Mark Ronson. (His partnership with Cee-Lo, Gnarls Barkley, was also a Choice Cuts favorite.)

6. "Symphonies" -- Dan Black feat. Kid Cudi

Dan Black's "Symphonies" was a minor hit this year in its original version, but I'm partial to this reworked version featuring Kid Cudi. It's been quite a year for both artists: Kid Cudi received three 2010 Grammy nominations and starred in HBO's "How to Make it in America," while Dan Black's debut album "UN" was released this year. Black's video for "Symphonies" (above) also scored multiple MTV Video Music Award nominations.

7. "Not in Love" -- Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith

This is a very late addition to the end-of-year mix -- but I can't get this song, or the vocals by the Cure's Robert Smith, out of my head. It's a cover of a 1980s song by Platinum Blond, updated by Crystal Castles -- with the genius addition of Smith's vocals. Better than anything The Cure has put out since the early 1990s.

8. "Little Secrets" -- Passion Pit

First off, you gotta love the fact that Passion Pit -- formed in 2007 -- took their name (allegedly) from Variety's slanguage dictionary. (Variety used the term in the past to refer to drive-in theaters). I enjoyed Passion Pit's CD for much of 2009, actually, but this song snuck onto my January 2010 mix. It's such a catchy, delicious slice of electro pop (I also love the use of PS22 chorus for the "higher and higher" riff).

9. "Heard It on the Radio" -- The Bird and the Bee

Back in May, we took our first major road trip since the birth of Blogger Baby 2.0. During the drive north to San Francisco, we probably listened to the Bird and the Bee's "Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Hall and Oates" four or five times. It was the perfect, breezy soundtrack for our drive up the 5. "Heard It On the Radio" stood out to me, perhaps because the original Hall & Oates song isn't as overplayed as some of the others that Bird and the Bee (Inara George and Greg Kurstin) covered.

10. "Shyness" -- Thieves Like Us

Gotta love a band that takes its name from a classic New Order track. Thieves Like Us, which boasts members from both the U.S. and Sweden (but is based in Paris), came up with this solid pop song.

11. "Boy" -- Ra Ra Riot

Off Ra Ra Riot's second album, "The Orchard," the track "Boy" was a standout. Fast-paced with some great guitar work, this song will quickly get you moving.

12. "The Drumming Song" -- Florence and the Machine

This was Florence and the Machine's year, and while the hit song was clearly "Dog Days Are Over," I was partial to the power (and the drums, natch) of "The Drumming Song."

13. "As We Enter" (Tinie Tempah Remix) -- Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley

One of the more interesting releases this year came from hip-hop vet Nas and reggae star Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley. Their collaboration, "Distant Relatives," was an interesting mix of hip-hop, reggae and African beats. I actually put several songs on my playlists throughout 2010, and their track "Strong Will Continue" was another contender for the end-of-year Choice Cuts mix. But the lead-off track to "Distant Relatives," the short jam "As We Enter," contains that irresistible sample from Mulatu Astatke. The mix I include is slightly different from the video version (above).

14. "Young Blood" -- The Naked and Famous

OK, so yeah, there's a definite Passion Pit vibe here. I clearly dig that kind of sound. But no matter. I like this song.

15. "Islands" -- The XX
Smoothest grooves of the year came from The XX, including their hit "Islands." London-based The xx's debut CD was actually released in late 2009, but their CD hit it big here across the pond in 2010. The xx also won this year's prestigious Mercury Prize.

16. "Skinny Genes" -- Eliza Doolittle

British singer-songwriter Eliza Doolittle (real name: Eliza Sophie Caird) burst on the scene this year with her self-titled debut. Pop ditty "Skinny Genes" went on to become a big hit in the U.K.

17. "Dear God 2.0" -- The Roots (feat. Jim James and Monsters of Folk)

The Roots are a reminder that, through some hard work, you can have it all. Being the house band for Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night" has given the live hip-hop crew more exposure than ever -- and yet The Roots still had time to release the critically acclaimed CD "How I Got Over." The group even perfomed at Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. It's good to be the Roots. Here, they collaborate with Monsters of Folk's Jim James for a new spin on that group's "Dear God."

18. "Tighten Up" - Black Keys

I didn't think I could like this Black Keys track any more... and then I saw the video and fell in love with it all over again.

19. "Lumiere (The xx Intro Remix)" -- Blue Scholars

This Seattle-based hip-hop duo, consisting of Geologic (George Quibuyen) and Sabzi (Saba Mohajerjasbi), has made it big in the Pacific Northwest thanks in part to their socially conscious lyrics and cool beats. "Lumiere" works thanks in part to that great sample from the xx as well as the catchy lyrics, such as Blogger Kid's favorite line, "Locked in thought/like a Filipino/watchin' boxing." The clip above was created by Oakland photographer John Coyne, who liked "Lumiere" enough to produce his own video.

20. "Soldier On (Big City Love Affair Remix)" -- The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap's original tracks are great, but they also led themselves to some stellar remixes. Here's one, "Soldier On," which I think really benefits from the addition of a marching drum-style backbeat.

21. "Modern Drift" -- Efterklang

Maybe I had a thing for drums this year? Dutch band Efterklang shares a quiet force with "Modern Drift," the first track off their third studio album, "Magic Chairs."

22. "Bed Intruder Song" -- Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers

Wellll.... you can't really put together a 2010 mix without some sort of catchy Gregory Brothers autotune song. "Bed Intruder Song" was in my head, and I'm sure yours, for what seemed like months.

And that's it! Happy New Year, everybody.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Mixes

November 2010

Heat And Hot Water (Passion Pit Remix) -- ARMS (3:32)
Skinny Genes -- Eliza Doolittle (3:05)
Home -- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (5:06)
Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) -- Crystal Castles (3:46)
All Matter -- Bilal (5:21)
Me And The Moon (Twin Shadow Remix With No FX) -- The Drums (4:13)
Somebody To Love Me (ft. Boy George & Miike Snow) -- Mark Ronson And The Business Intl (4:58)
Freak Out -- Tapes 'n Tapes (4:05)
10 Slow -- Twin Shadow (3:58)
What's My Name --Rihanna feat. Drake (4:17)
Ain't Nobody (Coyote Remix) -- Clare Maguire (3:50)
Down By The Water -- The Decemberists (3:42)
Stop Me -- Mark Ronson Feat. Daniel Merriweather (3:54)
Get Some -- Lykke Li (3:23)
Just Before The Rain -- Dutch (3:59)
Louder Than Ever -- Cold War Kids (2:44)
MoneyGrabber -- Fitz & The Tantrums (3:10)
Boxer -- Lovers (4:20)
Favorite Colour (PUNCHES Remix) -- Tokyo Police Club (5:07)
Hypnotize U (Nero Remix) -- N.E.R.D. & Daft Punk (5:33)

October 2010

Lumière (The Xx Intro Remix) -- Blue Scholars (2:42)
I'm Afraid I'm Gonna Die Here -- Tim Kasher (4:51)
Bubbles -- Biffy Clyro (4:58)
A Roof Somewhere -- Lonely Drifter Karen (2:28)
Helicopter (Diplo & Lunice mix) -- Deerhunter (4:06)
Secrets -- Silver Swans (2:52)
Kisses -- Kisses (4:11)
Soldier On (Big City Love Affair Remix) -- The Temper Trap (5:03)
Nobody's In Love (Xaphoon Jones Remix) -- 2AM Club (3:45)
Gasoline And Matches (Soundtrack Version) -- Buddy & Julie Miller (3:12)
Sun Demon -- Stereolab (3:16)
Mountaineer -- White Sea (3:54)
Ode To Hip Hop (Intro) -- Nemo Achida (1:37)
My Girl The Horse -- Fences (4:28)
Total Live Forever -- Foals (3:16)
Resurrection (Penguin Prison Remix) -- The Temper Trap (5:39)
Faith (feat. Drake) -- K-Os (3:21)
Fast Lane -- Husky Rescue (4:36)
Tell 'Em -- Sleigh Bells (2:57)
Get Down -- Danny! (2:24)
Tokyo (Superhumanoids Remix) -- Wombats (3:06)

September 2010

Everything You Wanted (RAC Remix) -- Kele (4:29)
When I Come Home -- The Drums (3:42)
Doubt -- The Corin Tucker Band (3:23)
My Body -- Young The Giant (4:06)
Islands -- The XX (2:41)
Lose It (In The End) -- Mark Ronson feat. Ghostface Killah (2:26)
Climbing Walls (Demo) -- Strange Talk (3:45)
Sun of A Gun -- Oh Land (3:26)
Enemy Gene -- Of Montreal (3:38)
In Sleep (Live) -- Lissie (4:00)
Don't Leave My Mind -- Azure Ray (3:43)
I'm Leaving You For Solitude -- Manic Street Preachers (3:22)
The Good Life (prod. Pharrell) -- Chiddy Bang (2:57)
Boy (RAC Mix) -- Ra Ra Riot (3:54)
I L U -- School Of Seven Bells (4:40)
Stranger -- Dr. Dog (3:44)
Animal -- Jenny And Johnny (3:41)
Pretty Please (Love Me) -- Estelle (Featuring Cee-Lo) (3:59)
Come Undone -- Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan (5:43)
Bed Intruder Song -- Antoine Dodson & The Gregory Brothers (3:05)

August 2010

Stick Up Kids (Full Version Demo) -- Bad Rabbits (3:12)
Big Wave -- Jenny & Johnny (3:54)
Lamplight -- Bombay Bicycle Club (3:45)
Tightrope (Organized Noize Remix) -- Janelle Monáe (feat. Big Boi (4:50)
Why Does The Wind? (Morgan Geist Remix) -- Tracey Thorn (5:56)
Young Blood -- The Naked And Famous (3:53)
Bye Bye Bye -- School of Seven Bells (4:15)
Erase Me -- KiD CuDi (feat. Kayne West) (3:11)
Boy -- Ra Ra Riot (3:11)
Genesis 3:23 -- The Mountain Goats (3:13)
Everytime I'm With You -- Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (feat. Jason Lytle) (3:12)
Make It Better -- The Knocks (3:54)
Georgia -- Yuck (3:40)
Cold War -- The Morning Benders (1:44)
Sun Hands -- Local Natives (4:51)
Wake Up Everybody -- John Legend & The Roots (feat. Common & Melanie Fiona) (4:16)
Jimmy Had A Polaroid -- Math and Physics Club (2:27)
Oh My God -- Cults (3:21)
Trophy Queen -- Guards (feat. Caroline Polachek) (2:11)
Boyfriend -- Best Coast (2:30)

July 2010

I Know We'll Never -- Rose Elinor Dougall (3:04)
Towards The Future (feat. Deacon The Villain) -- Tunji Balogun (4:23)
Can't Back Down -- Bad Rabbits (3:15)
We Don't Want Your Body -- Stars (3:26)
Clap Your Hands (Prince Vince Remix) -- Sia (5:02)
Right On (Feat. Joanna Newsome, STS) -- The Roots (3:36)
Fire With Fire -- Scissor Sisters (4:13)
Shutterbugg -- Big Boi Feat. Cutty (3:35)
Dancing On My Own -- Robyn (4:51)
Tonight, Tonight -- Passion Pit (4:08)
Even Though (Surfing Leons Afternoon Remix) -- Morcheeba (5:38)
Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore) -- B.o.B (3:01)
Tell Me You Love Me -- Leela James (3:30)
Up In The Clouds (Shoes Remix) -- Darwin Deez (3:41)
Don't Turn The Lights On -- Chromeo (4:37)
Point Me At Islands -- Tired Pony (3:12)
Hot-N-Fun (Yeasayer Remix) -- N.E.R.D. (3:46)
Drunk Girls (Holy Ghost! Adult Swim Remix) -- LCD Soundsystem (4:17)
Cold War (Wondamix) -- Janelle Monáe (3:34)
Cosmic Love (Short Club Remix) -- Florence and the Machine (6:50)

June 2010

Fair Game -- The Like (2:28)
Each Year (Absofacto Remix) -- Ra Ra Riot (3:58)
So This Is Goodbye (Pink Ganter Remix) -- William Fitzsimmons (5:04)
Dear God 2.0 (feat. Jim James & Monsters Of Folk) -- The Roots (3:59)
Acapella (Friends Electric Mix) -- Kelis (4:19)
Shyness -- Thieves Like Us (3:39)
Cry Cry (Deichkind Remix) -- Oceana (4:21)
Wait Up (Boots Of Danger) -- Tokyo Police Club (3:18)
Learnalilgivinanlovin -- Gotye (2:47)
Babelonia -- School Of Seven Bells (5:01)
California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) -- Katy Perry (3:56)
Hollywood -- Codeine Velvet Club (4:03)
Strong Will Continue -- Damian Marley & Nas (5:06)
Rill Rill -- Sleigh Bells (3:50)
Tighten Up -- The Black Keys (3:30)
Drumming Song -- Florence & The Machine (3:46)
Kids ('Live Lounge' MGMT Cover) -- B.o.B (3:36)
Excuses -- The Morning Benders (5:17)
What's The Attitude -- Cut Chemist Feat. Hymnal (4:06)
Honest Face -- Liam Finn + Eliza Jane (3:43)
Sleepwalk -- Charles Webster featuring Shana Halligan (5:52)

May 2010

Heard It On The Radio -- The Bird & The Bee (3:03)
Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart -- Alicia Keys (3:51)
The Mall & Misery? -- Broken Bells (4:08)
He's Not A Boy -- The Like (2:35)
Compass -- Jamie Lidell (5:38)
Deny All -- Bettie Serveert (3:02)
Amazing -- One Eskimo (4:37)
As We Enter (Tinie Tempah Remix) -- Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (2:13)
Shadows -- Au Revoir Simone (4:03)
Wake Up - It's Africa Calling (Youssou Remix) -- Youssou N'Dour feat. Neneh Cherry (4:08)
Promises -- The Morning Benders (3:04)
Modern Drift -- Efterklang (4:54)
Invisible Light -- Scissor Sisters (6:14)
Airplanes -- Local Natives (4:00)
Paradise Circus -- Massive Attack (4:58)
Rules Don't Stop -- We Are Scientists (2:17)
Emancipated Minor -- Ani Difranco (4:31)
Infinity Guitars -- Sleigh Bells (2:36)
Laughing With -- Regina Spektor (3:18)
Happy Accident -- Bright Eyes & Neva Dinova (3:12)

April 2010

45 -- Ozomatli (3:03)
Baby Lee -- Teenage Fanclub (4:24)
The High Road -- Broken Bells (3:52)
The Kids Don't Stand A Chance -- Vampire Weekend VS Miike Snow (4:54)
4 3 2 1 -- K-OS (3:54)
Falling From The Sun -- The Album Leaf (4:57)
A Hundred Hearts -- Swimmers (3:05)
At A Glance (Toro Y Moi Remix) -- Body Language (3:24)
Black Lotus -- The Whigs (3:38)
I'm Sorry, Baby, But You Can't Stand In My Light Any More -- Bob Mould (3:12)
Window Seat -- Erykah Badu (4:50)
If I Ever Had a Dream -- Nellie McKay (3:50)
Divisive -- We Have Band (3:46)
Mossie -- Bettie Serveert (3:14)
Good Morning -- Rogue Wave (4:11)
Full Steam -- David Gray featuring Annie Lennox (4:12)
The Boxer -- Editors (4:44)
Powerful Stuff -- Sean Hayes (3:37)
Friends -- Nas & Damian Marley (4:49)
Waves -- Holly Miranda (5:05)
World News -- Local Natives (4:32)

March 2010
Eat that Up, It's Good for You -- Two Door Cinema Club (3:45)
Night By Night -- Chromeo (2:19)
October -- Broken Bells (3:38)
Pirates Declare War -- The Bundles (4:12)
Vapours -- Islands (2:41)
Bloodbuzz Ohio -- The National (4:38)
Four Floors -- Diplo vs. Sunday Girl (4:23)
Turn the Dirt Over -- Sea Wolf (2:59)
Calypso Gold -- Princeton (3:44)
Oh, The Divorces! -- Tracey Thorn (4:15
Flash Delirium -- MGMT (4:16)
Red -- Daniel Merriweather (3:57)
Gladhander -- Stripmall Architecture (4:38)
Ready for the Floor -- Lissy Trullie (4:00)
Always For You -- The Album Leaf (5:08)
Heartbeat (Chase & Status Remix) -- Nneka (3:39)
Games You Can Win -- RJD2 fea. Kenna (5:26)
I'd Do It All Again -- Corinne Bailey Rae (3:07)
I Learned The Hard Way -- Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (3:47)
Feel It All Around -- Washed Out (3:16)

February 2010
Sunlight -- Harlem Shakes (2:53)
Stylo (Chiddy Bang Remix) -- Gorillaz (feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack) (3:36)
You've Changed -- Sia (3:10)
Little Secrets -- Passion Pit (3:59)
Look -- Solillaquists of Sound (4:12)
Odessa -- Caribou (5:16)
The Book of Love -- The Magnetic Fields (2:43)
Soldier Of Love -- Sadé (5:58)
50 Lashes -- Floating Action (4:32)
Oh No -- Andrew Bird (4:21)
The Uncomfortable Truth -- Nneka (3:50)
Fall Hard (Passion Pit Summertime Radio Remix) -- Shout Out Louds (5:00)
Able To -- Eternal Summers (1:59)
Don't Gotta Work It Out -- Fitz and the Tantrums (4:10)
When They Fight They Fight -- The Generationals (3:20)
Feeling The Pull -- The Swell Season (2:21)
Sugalumps -- Flight Of The Conchords (2:12)
Anyway -- Duck Sauce (2:53)
Resurrection -- Lupe Fiasco (feat. Kenna) (2:56)
When I'm Small -- Phantogram (4:09)

January 2010

Two Weeks -- Grizzly Bear (4:03)
Empire State Of Mind -- Jay-Z (Feat. Alicia Keys) (4:37)
The Wooden Chair -- Jenny Wilson (3:15)
You! Me! Dancing! -- Los Campesinos! (5:00)
Walkabout -- Atlas Sound (3:59)
Animal (Mark Ronson Remix) -- Miike Snow (4:58)
Slow Poison (Of Montreal Remix) -- The Bravery (4:01)
Audience -- Cold War Kids (3:02)
Whatcha Say -- Jason Derulo (3:43)
Front Row (Acoustic) -- Metric (3:14)
Cruel Intentions (Heartbreak's Slow Action Remix) -- Simian Mobile Disco (feat. Beth Ditto) (3:28)
Symphonies -- Dan Black (feat. Kid Cudi) (3:40)
Sad Song- Pacific -- Au Revoir Simone (3:26)
I Would Like to Call It Beauty -- Corinne Bailey Rae (4:19)
Mystery Zone -- Spoon (4:59)
Squeeze Me -- Kraak & Smaak (3:18)
Deadbeat Summer -- Neon Indian (4:03)
Seven -- Fever Ray (5:10)
Never Gonna Let You Go -- Esthero (4:00)
Always Free -- The Kooks (3:31)