So where to begin on SXSW 2014? Despite the official showcases being dishearteningly less than incredible this year, the town being whitewashed with major corporate sponsorships, an over abundance of hip-hop sets in a town built on garage psyche and Willy Nelson, somehow this managed to surpass the level of stoked I have felt over previous years and those who have followed HCK! for any amount of time knows how impossible that seemed.
My original plan was to put up twelve songs worthy of a Valentine’s Mix … I have narrowed it down to 32, hope you dig and hopefully there’s someone in your life worth sharing these with, if not check back on HCK! in a few hours, there is another mix on the way for you and I to share. Continue reading
It goes without saying that the fall mixtape is my favorite of the year. I’ve spent the last two weeks narrowing this down to what hopefully will be as rad to hear on your end as it is each time I listen through it on mine.
Getting the closest friends, setting your destination for the middle of nowhere and pressing play, that’s the thought in mind of what kind of mix this should be, hopefully it lives up to all that a late-night hooded-sweatshirt drive calls for.
Okay baby birds here’s some raddness… forty tracks of it… gotsa make up for lost time.
Here’s some great music.
Just when I thought I might actually make it a full month without putting up an Orca Orca song Jim Hewett went and released “Say So.”
Comforting yet important, spacious but deep, might as well call it “Experiencing An Oxymoron” instead.
While “Say So” is playing I really want to come outright and say it is the best song on this weeks mix, as well as my favorite, unfortunately I can’t say that for sure, I’m pretty stoked to be closing out March with such a solid playlist, still without ranking it is more than worthy of a side-one track-one status on this weeks mixtape.
In February of 2011, on one of the first Heycoolkid! posts ever (Winterishly Trapped), I included a track from the band Chairs In The Arno, at the time it had been years since I’d heard anything from them and mentioned the hiatus in the review, turns out it wasn’t just a hiatus but instead the band had succumbed, as so many bands do, to life and parted ways.
So randomly last week I received an email mentioning the former bass-player for Chairs In The Arno, Jeff Knight‘s new project Endless Loop.
There are four Endless Loop songs getting steadily played on my ipod this week. There was a novelty to CITA that attracted me to them, novelty is fleeting and there is no remnant of it on any Endless Loop song, instead you’ll find charisma wrapped in an electro-pop blanket of understated confidence.
My favorite element within the Endless Loop sound is Samantha Hughes and her ideal vocals. “Across The Atlanta” is the perfect example where each time she joins in with Knight’s singing the two voices combine making things feel spot on, as if they were meant for the other’s.
More than likely I’ll be putting up some other songs from these two in the near future.
Here is that Chairs In The Arno track so you can contrast and compare.
I may actually enjoy this cover more than the original. I’ve dug Pictureplane for some time so that isn’t meant to take anything away from what he does, Health just know how to draw certain feelings from a song better than any other artist in the genre.
That guitar use is a straight forward way of setting the entire songs vibe which gets sealed completely by the Fleetwood Mac samples which destroy with angelic fierceness.
For some reason whenever I play this song I picture the Gleaming The Cube warehouse skating scene in my head (I watched Gleaming The Cube and Friday the 13th part six on repeat as a kid, which is not an exaggeration. Most kids had Disney movies, I had Christian Slater with Tony Hawk and Jason Voorhees soundtracked by Alice Cooper collaborating with Kenny Loggins).
—- Okay so I just pulled up the clip from Gleaming The Cube and figured out that if you start the song just between :12 and :13 and start the clip without sound, every time the deck hits the ground it goes with the beat… I know I’m probably the only person on the planet who cares about that combination but if you could have seen the little move I made when I got them aligned you might come close to understanding how much enjoyment I found at four in the morning by aligning the two together (think professional bowler after getting a winning strike, that whole elbow into the side reverse fist pump disgruntled “yeah” face thing they do… just happened)—-
Picture your favorite scary movie from the 80’s, now think of the one scene that you remember being both awesome and creepy at the same time, now imagine “Cold Hands” from V A L I S playing, tell me they don’t fit PERFECTLY together. The one movie above all others where this song would have absolutely killed in…. The Lost Boys ( another glorious movies that helped define my childhood).
V A L I S are out of Chicago and it is nearly impossible to find anything out about the electronic new comers (in part due to an extremely shitty band called Valis…there is nothing worse than old dudes who think they are making “rock” music,these are the same guys that throw the “rock” hand sign in every lame picture they take, you know what I’m talking about, and then the second being that three times in there bio it mentions that one of the members was once in Screaming Trees and then in the last paragraph it says “Say what you will about VALIS… Just as long as you can do it without using the words “trees” or “screaming” because Van Conner has stepped out of the shadows and landed front and center in what can only be described as a total reinvention of self,” don’t name drop your ex-[and much better]band and then talk trash about comparing the dude to them.
Sorry for the digression back to V A L I S the gnarly industrial/techno duo.
If you dig this song then take the time to follow the Soundcloud link below and check out some of their other stuff there, especially “Cobra” which is one hell of a song sampled around the Sylvester Stallone movie with the same title; if you’ve ever had a hangover on a Sunday there is a good chance you’ve seen it a few times like myself.
The number of friends who have that random clinging person who I wish I could just send this song out to are many.
The strength lies in the work Trentemøeller‘s put in allowing an escape from the lyrics themselves causing “Too Insistent” never to have a chance at balancing out, things consistently changing to give numerous angles on the singular message.
This song came out back in January, it takes a close second to “Shadow People” in my favorite Dr. Dog track list.
“Lonesome” is one more example of that mid-seventies sound that for two years now I have been saying is soon to be dominating the scene.
“What does it take to be lonesome? … Nothing at all.” Ahhhhhhhh get it?
1860 are an Icelandic band with a folk backbone and pop mindset. “For You, Forever” is a start to finish hold-hands and sing-along track meant for crush mixtapes and subtle playlist for co-ed drives.
I love that these guys do half of their songs in English and the other half in Icelandic which makes for a very enjoyable listen with their combination of confident steady lyrics and borderline swooning vocals. (Via)
I featured “Riptides” from Strange Fur on the I Saw The Best Minds Of My Generation Choking On Birthday Cake post. “Couldn’t Wait” is a very similar song, although with slightly more upbeat instrumentation, with lyrics of concentrated remembrance of better times shared with someone else.
The direct one-on-one focus to their songs is the one tangent of Strange Fur‘s music that appeals to me more than any other aspect within their creativity.
More than any other band I’ve found in 2012 none have made me feel anywhere near as comfortable as The Parade Schedule. There is some unspoken undertone to Matt Kinder, a longing sadness of some sort yet deeper, for some reason I have instantly attached to it and more-so can relate with.
His fearlessness to weave his faith into his lyrics is of utmost importance to me and it pains me that so many other artists lack the courage to express who they are fully through their art. The Parade Schedule is genuine and I dig it.
I’m not sure what it is about “By And By” that I love so much but I do enjoy this track immensely. The first time I heard it I kept picturing the scene in The Go-Getter (oh my love for The Go-Getter!) when Lou Taylor Pucci is helping his brother’s ex-girlfriend with community service by singing hymns to young kids, it’s one of my favorite movies and I realize these two have no real relation but that was the image playing in my mind, “By And By” may now be my favorite from The Parade Schedule.
I recorded this just before leaving Indiana and have listened to it a good twenty times, I hope you listen intently so as not to miss the sense of awe that came over the crowd as “Towers Of Our Heart” developed.
This is the song Caleb McCoach opened his set with, I first heard it last fall at Broad Ripple Music Fest and have been eager to hear once again ever since, BRMF was also the first time I’d seen him joined on stage by the ever-so-talented Lisa Berlin on the keys.
Having caught him live so many times over the last few years I can say that the difference of having Lisa play along has not only helped transfer his sound in a completely new direction, there is also a calm that is apparent which she brings to the stage, seeming to ease the nervousness that before played an element of contrast to the music he performed. Oddly what that nervousness has been replaced by is a guy who is finally as massive as his lyrics have always been.
Caleb McCoach is easily one of the greatest songwriters living today and now he has a presence when performing that accentuates it. For a while I was afraid that Caleb would begin drifting off into that void of life so many artist dissipate into, it’s beginning to be clear that something more important is happening, a transformation, it is unbelievable to feel the change. His lyrics have always given me chills yet to be there and see a loud room transfer into wide eyes with open jaws mouthing “WOW” to each other felt epic, like stumbling into Cafe Wha? in the early 60’s .
Take everything you love about Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and possibly even Tom Waits (depending on which direction he eventually goes in) and I guarantee you Caleb McCoach fits right in beside them as an equal. He is one of the last remaining songwriting gunslingers, we need someone like him in music now more than ever.
He’s supposed to have a new EP coming sometime in the near future, I cannot wait to own it.
Here is a live take on my favorite Caleb McCoach song “Brother In The Kitchen” :
Make friends with Caleb McCoach – Facebook
Finally some new music from the group that gave us one of the best songs of 2011 “Belly Of The Beast.”
Howth are a developing band out of Brooklyn who are one of those rare collectives to walk the fine line between solid controlled instrumentation and deep heavy lyricism.
Initially “Out In Eagan” is my favorite song from Newkirk which will be available on May 1st (you can stream it now through their Bandcamp link), although with such a strong effort I have a feeling once I’ve listened through it a few more times something else will take it’s place.
Bryan John Appleby has created one of the more organic songs I’ve heard lately, with it’s uncanny ability to drive rhythm upon rhythm that makes this song chug along with importance. “The Words Of The Revelator” is as much a necessity to see performed live as it is to throw on a mix to get your body moving in that uniform “yeah” motion.
“Like Vines” is more poetry than anything else. Joseph Williams using his Boyhood Bravery moniker puts out introspective sketches that are so well written that they make the stripped down nature to his recordings sound necessary.
i wore 3D glasses and i stared into your eyes
you said “the stars look pretty plain tonight”
and i racked my brain right there and then
to try to find a solution
to ‘when exactly did i start to bore you first?’
was it the first time i mis-quoted Bronte?
(and by the way, she still bores me)
or was it the ill-fated night of candle-wax?
either way i knew back then,
as the spectrum bled into a familiar colour,
you’d found another.
i could write about the first time that i lay there in your bedroom
i could write about the first time we were clay
and we both moulded our bodies
intertwined like vines on a National Trust building;
but it wouldn’t change that things ended this way
with you hating me just for liking you
more than a friend should do.
take a look at all that happened;
i bet it isnt how you dreamed it would be
i still have your ring hidden somewhere
i still remember everything.
All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like to have content removed email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know a band or are in a band that would like to have their music reviewed email me at the above address as well,( hard copies of albums won’t guarantee you a spot on a playlist but they will most definitely guarantee you a spot in my heart).