It’s hard to believe but it’s been over two years since HCK!’s first offering. We’ve come a long way, the growth is apparent, looking back at those first posts is a rad experience realizing just how tangible of a difference between then and now there is and how many people have helped to make this one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This also marks the 100th post for HCK! making today’s mix all that more important for me to get right. 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.
“Take It Easy On Me” is my favorite track from Gentleman Jesse And His Men‘s latest album Leaving Atlanta which slightly strips away the punk edge that originally attracted me to their sound back in 2008, leaving the spotlight on a strength of song structure and a nearly impossible sound not to sing along with.
“Take It Easy On Me” was meant for an 80′s montage or 2012 summer nights full of cheap beer and good friends, I’m stoked for the later.
Make friends with Gentleman Jesse And His Men – Facebook
Two things should be stated up front; Father John Misty is in itself one awesome band name, the second being the fact that J. Tillman chose to use it as a moniker rather than riding his own name and its attachment with Fleet Foxesfor further solo success is commendable to say the least.
Until recently I’ve felt that J. Tillman was just creative enough as a solo artist to justify leaving his former band as they were just beginning to make the unfortunate jump from scene to mainstream, all of that has changed completely with the birth of Father John Misty.
I’m not sure what caused it but something big has happened within Tillman, there is a new crystallization of creativity that has me more than stoked to jump on the FJM bandwagon. This is great music, for the first time I’m actually excited not only for what he has laid out in front of us but more-so for what absolute potential this new shift shines a light on.
Welcome to the spotlight J. Tillman you’ve sure as hell earned it.
Upcoming Austin Show:
Mohawk- May 26 w/Har Mar Superstar and Dana Falconberry.
Have you guys heard the 1,2,3Mifits Cover album? If not, you should!
As both a fan of 1,2,3 andThe Misfitsthis combination of the two still amazes me each time I press play.
I’m not sure why I dug up this release from last Halloween but it has been finding itself onto daily mixes these last few weeks. If you happen to be a die-hard Misfits fan and you don’t appreciate this more than likely it is from closed-minded biases rather than any real discrepancies with the sound, sure some of the piss and vinegar is lost in translation yet what we gain makes the loss justifiable.
The band has a kickstarter up to help get a new van due to how many shows they’ve had to cancel from their current van breaking down. These guys create incredible music and if you missed one of their many sets during this years SXSW you should definitely pencil them in at the top of your must-see live list, it wouldn’t hurt to throw down a few bucks to help make it happen.
I was a bit weary about how Paint It Golden would sound when it came out last fall. The thought of the band lacking Mindy White‘s perfectly fitting vocals and the chemistry they helped create within the band’s sound left me without an ounce of optimism for Lydia‘s future. So often in the past I’ve found myself wishing she sang more rather than typically working as an accompaniment, the few songs where she takes the lead were some of their best to date and the presence it brought to their albums was an absolute cornerstone to what made them great.
The dirt that all parties were throwing in each others direction didn’t help bare the loss much either. At the point of their hiatus things seemed bleak with enough drama to fill an MTV reality show, all members seemed to have something negative to say about the band as a collective . So now Mindy is out and the two founding members Leighton Antelman and Steve McGraw are all bro’d-up once again, I’m not sure what happened, I guess sometimes friendship trumps creative differences.
Enter Paint It Golden and the complete shock I had upon finally listening to it last week. This album is better than good, it could quite possibly be their best album yet. There is confidence, there is style, it’s a even a bit more grown-up (for a band I previously would have full-on labeled Emo this is important), and yet the engaging lyrics feel as personal and engaging as ever. All things considered I’m left wondering if White had stayed with the band and they continued on their previous course would I have liked it? Probably not, my sulking-in-emotion drowning-in-depression days are a ways behind me.
There’s a line in the sand between maturing and selling out and thank god Antelman and McGraw chose the side that allows me to continue cheering for them and having great music to coincide with my own life and the memories they have/will attach themselves too.
At this point the only thing I’m not thankful for when it comes to things Lydia related is the fact that they are still touring in support of crap bands like The Maine (I’m sure the guys are good people and all but I’ve seen them live and it sounds like an auto-tuned pre-mixed prime example of all that destroyed a thriving important scene I once held so close), grow some balls guys! Wouldn’t it be better to play shitty bars in dive towns than ride the Alternative Press pre-pubescent bandwagon? I’m not a supporter of business decisions rather than artistic ones and Lydia‘s current tour seems to follow the first route.
At the end of the day, with my judgements on touring decisions aside, I’m glad I hadn’t written these guys off, it definitely would have been my loss. My fingers are crossed they keep it together this time.
I was sitting up last night listening to the new Said The Whalealbum and this song came to mind. I can now say that Little Mountain has shifted from being an album I chose to hate for unimportant hopes that they would have gone a different direction with their sound to one of the main albums I’m listening consistently to. I’ll say this and move on; why do bands never strip things back? It’s always more production, more production, more production with each album until they are undeniably fitting into the clear-channel playlist void of complete sell-out garbage. That’s what bothers me about Little Mountain, sure it’s a great album but it’s a small step towards the dark side, just for once I want a band to get heavier or folkier or go from clean to lo-fi rather than the complete reverse, seriously if Springsteensat down in his kitchen and recorded a new album by four-track as he did with Nebraska it would most likely be the greatest album he’s made in thirty years, I would much rather hear an artist with all their flaws than hear how well a producer can polish over them.
“Apples” is what I was hoping for when I download Little Mountain because it would have been a step forward in songwriting strength for the guys without losing that swing your mug backyard campfire vibe that made songs like “The Light As You” kick the door to my heart open. That’s enough of STW.
Alamo Race Track are a band who have been creating a homogenous sound of music for ten+ years. Their the perfect mixture ofBishop Allen and the aforementioned Said The Whale without losing their own distinct sound, standing out within all comparisons.
It is only April and I have included Old Gray on three mixtapes already. If “Ryan Mitchell Made Me Do It” wasn’t one of the best song I’ve heard since uncovering “Belly Of The Best” last December and before that “Wilderness Eyes” last summer I wouldn’t continue inundating you with their music, after all you can lead a horse to water or some shit.
This song comes from their Demo‘s EP (free through their bandcamp link below) and fully embodies, without missing a single aspect, each and every quality that makes me passionate for music and keeps me shuffling through band pages and blogs all night.
It’s like Fat Mike once said, “the record player spinning the best times I never had, so why do my old records make me sad? Cause they’re so bad and no one seems to understand the glory of guitar when out of tune, the off timing, the singers who can’t sing, the beauty of flaw.” Those few lines define what it is that makes me hold onto the music I LOVE with such closeness as to occasionally lose sight of the fact that a specific song and I as an individual are not one and the same when it feels for those few endless minutes that we are.
Sure I appreciate all types of music, I understand (or at least think I do) the indefinable characteristics that makes the difference between what is good and what is not, like how I can confidently say that Wilco are generic but Whiskeytown were great, but it’s the music that goes beyond labels and definitions that truly bonds with me and causes everything to fall into place, to clear away the chaos and confusion that has become my day to day life and for those brief moments help everything to just make sense. “Ryan Mitchell Made Me Do It” is one of those rare but important songs.
“We live in a dream and, when our lives are over, we’ll finally wake up and realize the world is asleep. We’ll empty our lungs and strum out our heartstrings; we’ll simply wake up and realize the beauty in life.One day we’ll scream and get rid of our demons- we’ll empty our souls, take the world off our backs. And as for me, well, I’ve been through some bad times, but I’ve kept my head up and imagined a place with just you and me. Some day the world will stop and so will our hearts. I love you so.“
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned I Am Fuel, You Are Friends – what is probably the best website in the world for music. Heather Browne has an ear for music which I can merely strive for and an elegance to her writing I could never even attempt. It was awesome to see her venture out in a very organic way when she began Chapel Sessions last year, much of the phenomenal acoustic music in my library has come out of those sessions.
Bryan John Appleby‘s take on the lyrically-sound Paul Simon song “Duncan” is quite possibly my favorite that has come out of the Chapel Sessions. It’s odd how close to the original Appleby keeps his version yet there’s something about it that feels brand new with a deep underlying sadness. Sure that has been a staple of Simon’s songs but this is a fresh sadness, individualized rather than all-encompassing as with all of Simon’s work especially with Garfunkel. I would dare even say that somehow that somber nearly melancholy semblance is what Garfunkel brought to the music which people so often overlook. It’s easy to see Art as just standing there and singing along, and sure Paul Simon was able to go on to define what it means to be a singer-songwriter on his own but it’s those early tracks that stand out, not for the structure but for the spirit they embody, many nights I’ve spent trying to figure out why. What changed? For much of my life I thought it was maturity, taking his approach from passion to professional yet it was when I first heard JBA’s version that this new notion came to me. It’s early in development as a theory goes so I can’t quite expound upon it but the question now is, how is it that Bryan John Appleby accomplishes what Paul Simon never could quite do on his own?
I’m not saying that BJA could write a song of this caliber, that is yet to be seen (we’ve still got time), but he sure as hell can breathe a whole new life into “Duncan” and that is commendable in itself.
Check out the entire Fuel/Friends Chapel Session here.
Listen to the difference for yourself – Paul Simon – “Duncan” -mp3
The best remixes, as with covers, are the ones that can take a great song and change it without losing any of the originals integrity. Copy‘s remix of this formerly chill Hosannas song moves “The People I Know” in more of the direction the original only hinted at in its development.
Nothing over the top is added or tweaked but “The People I Know” now has a drive to it which makes the experience feel more passionate. Marius Libman‘s eight-bit key addition is rather fantastic in itself though, I could listen to those ten second breaks sampled on repeat for an hour and never grow tired of it.
Let’s get back to something a little more visceral.
“Last Cab From Tunis” has a sound that I can only describe as a spot on mix of Real Estateand The Talking Heads, a combination I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t heard for myself.
These guys are out of Austin, I’m yet to catch them live since moving here but I’m hoping that changes in the very near future. A new album is due out in the next month or so, I haven’t seen an official date for it yet, if it’s anywhere near as good as what they’ve put out so far go ahead and count on seeing more of them on Heycoolkid!.
There’s much that can be taken from what is being said in “Lays At Rest.” Since we are all at liberty to make our own interpretation, I can’t help but hear a statement being made throughout this song that embodies the mindset of all those twenty-somethings I consider my peers. The whole burn it all down to build it back up, self-evaluation vs. self-destruction, the standing-still disguised as forward progress and the reality that sometimes we have to defend our decisions after the fact even when we’re not sure ourselves what we are doing, all of that is possibly in “Lays At Rest“. Then again this could just be an indie-pop break-up song.
I’m feeling like I should end this week in a bit more upbeat fashion than usual.
Most SNOWMINEsongs stand within their own unique psyche-pop sound so it’s more of a compliment than just an average reference when I mention how “Piece Of Your Pie” feels very similar to another of my Brooklyn favorite’s Bear Hands, only with more space and a little more swagger, yet the definitive difference lies within how this song is fueled by confidence and just enough experimentation to keep things original.
I really hope to catch these guys live this year. They keep sending me invites to shows in New York, it sure would be nice to have something more within biking distance, sure Lance Armstrong could make a trip out of it but for a half-pack-a-day smoker like myself it’s a little bit unrealistic.
I promise that next week’s post will have more new faces, I’ve been spending much of my time this year actually soaking in entire albums from bands rather than falling in line with A-typical hipsters who only know one or two songs from a band and pretends like they are a passionate fan. I felt somewhat like a fake when compiling my Best Albums of 2012list when I was actually hearing a few of them in there entirety as I was typing up the post. There has to be a balance for continually finding new worthwhile music while at the same time getting to enjoy the incredible art which has already been found, I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out. SNOWMINE create great art, so it’s only a half-assed apology I offer up. I may be lowering my chances of new followers, it’s worth the loss, what’s more important, them or me… not all self-centered decisions are bad ones, right?
So it’s down to the 10 best songs of 2011. Here is what made life better, got me through tough times, made me nostalgic, got me to think optimistically, and at the end of the day helped it all make sense.
Baby Monster’s “The Fear Of Charlie Sunrise” was probably the strongest opening track on a debut album this year (or any album for that matter). There’s a subtle undercurrent of hope filled disparity and sadness of that “I’m not okay, you’re not okay, but we’re okay” vibe which carries this song from being merely a solid effort from an electronic duo to a different place completely that resembles the vacant space within our hearts.
The way the ambient undertones swell in the song until it builds to a point we never realized we had climbed to is haunting. More so is the way it leaves you with an unresolved feeling of empty longing that makes this solid effort from Baby Monster worth loving.
What puts “The Fear Of Charlie Sunrise” into the top 10 though is how there’s such a dual experience when listening between those vacant abysmal-hope feelings and the up front aspect of this being a call out to open your arms and take a chance, both to someone else and to ourselves.
“If you’re so fearless take your hand off your heart” is probably the best delivered line in a song of 2011 and that should not go without mention.
Certain songs just end up tagging along with you, making it on every cruise, each mixtape, into the background at parties, the soundtrack to five AM conversations, you’re cleaning with it on, singing along in the shower, searching for it on jukebox’s, telling everyone who’ll listen about it… In 2009 it was Animal Collective‘s “Girls,” last year it was “Rivers And Roads” by The Head And The Heart and Foals “This Orient,” this year it was “Sandcastle“.
Beverlay is the side-project of Matt Raudsepp (Honheehonhee) and Nico Ormiston (Winter Gloves). Their album Boardwalk was one of the best EP’s to drop in 2011 but outside of giving us the incredible release they have remained almost completely unseen. HonheeHonhee had a fairly successful year so I’m sure a lot of the inactivity stems from focus in that direction.
I really hope to hear more from Beverlay in the future, the duo’s combined effort has a strength to it that thousands of songs I heard this year attempted but few even came close to.
The first time I heard “Shut-Up” it was four-thirty in the morning and I was falling asleep at my computer. I have never heard a song that got me as stoked to hear it as this one did. I must have sent this link out to fifty people before the sun came up that day. This is a song that NEEDS to be heard. If I were making a list of 100 songs that impressed me this year “Shut-Up” would without a doubt be my number one.
Jhameel is spreading around the internet like herpes at Ball State. Only you’re actually thankful to have him in your life. Everything about the guy screams talent and potential that no one else this year has come close to displaying. World meet Jhameel… your new addiction.
I love when people tell me they don’t “Get Into” depressing music. BULLSHIT! I’m calling you out. You may prefer to avoid your feelings but don’t lie to me. I can understand if you were to say you prefer to not listen to sad music. But if I play “252” for you and you tell me something like “I just don’t get into this” you shouldn’t be surprised by my no longer taking anything you say about music for having any amount of substance whatsoever.
You don’t get into “252” it gets into you. It shakes away facades and the self-told lies and leaves you in the healthiest of positions… open and vulnerable. Music with these sad undertones is the most important thing art has to offer. Happy art has no spine, there’s no passion, it’s passive and meant for mass appeal which will have about as much relevance in twenty years as a copy of NOW7.
I guarantee if you hear this song and it connects with a place you’re at inside you will remember it for the rest of your life.
There was a time when I thought depressing music was a waste, there was also a time when I thought baggy jeans and polo shirts looked good, We all grow up, we all see the light, or for your salvation I sure hope so.
The most important songs ever written have come in the midst of social crisis. Folk and Blues were driven by political/social discomfort without a voice. Despite your feelings towards the “Occupy Wallstreet” movement, from an outside standpoint, I hope everyone at least respects the fact that there are thousands of people who feel strongly enough about an issue to make a conscious effort towards change, something they feel so passionate about that they are willing to do more than randomly rant about it through social networks but instead move in visible active ways towards some form of transformation.
I caught a few tracks from Howth over the summer which I thought were full of potential, still I must have underestimated them because I never imagined they would ever create something close to what they’ve given us with “Belly Of The Beast“.
They wrote the song after hearing Professor Gayatri Spivak‘s speech in Washington Square Park on October 15th, they released this song four days later.
The lyrics are on point and delivered in such an incredibly relaxed fashion alongside guitars breathing sullen life the entire way edging in and out of the backdrop of echos and emotion. Even taking the message away from the equation this song has an incredible sound that draws emotion out of the listener from the moment it begins to play.
“Belly Of The Beast” is a song which encapsulates the voice of an entire generation overflowing with discontent… I truly hope someone is listening. - (Via)
” … And if your still breathing you’re the lucky ones cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs setting fire to our insides for fun collecting the names of the lovers that went wrong. We are the reckless we are the wild youth chasing visions of our futures. One day we will reveal the truth that one will die before he gets there, and if you’re still bleeding you’re the lucky one cause most of our feelings they are dead and they are gone. We’re setting fire to our insides for fun collecting pictures from the flood that wrecked our home, it was a flood that wrecked this home… and you caused it.”
“Youth“ gave me a whole new respect for Elena Tonra‘s songwriting abilities which were already impressive. This song just felt like she finally had gotten to the heart of what she’d been signing around for so long.
In what’s felt like one of the more positive years for me this was the only song to actually cause me to shed a tear.
I couldn’t take this song off of repeat the first time I heard it. My brother’s my best friend and I’ve spent the last six months waiting for the first opportunity to move out of this place so there’s something in “Always Gold” that resonates more than most songs do with me.
Radical Face creates music that sounds like a friends voice and he brings his songs from a place that most artists lack the courage to pull from.
Radical Face is personal, and courageous, and aprreciated.
Upon first listen I slid “Make That Call” into my best songs ever written playlist. At the time I was in what felt like a rather solid relationship so the personal connection wasn’t even there and still it floored me.
You can hear Andrew Boze dealing with his own emotions in this track, this is his release and it’s nothing short of monumental.
Fast forward seven months since and “Make That Call” has taken on a whole new place in my life. My relationship of two years ended at the end of summer, this song has helped calm a lot of emotions that might have enveloped me had I not had it as a companion.
2011 has been Trevor Powers‘ year. Going from some practically unknown kid screwing around in his bedroom to having Year Of Hibernation on top of everyone’s best albums of 2011 lists. The dude’s from Idaho! How unreal is life for this guy right now?
When I downloaded the July/Cannons split release I couldn’t upload them fast enough. I must have included one of the two tracks on six posts in two weeks between both sites and the response was overwhelming, I’m still getting emails about the guy.Youth Lagoon is no one’s secret anymore and he without a doubt earned it.
“Wilderness Eyes” is only three listens behindShiv Hurrah’s “All My Teeth” for the most played song in my library, and for good reason; I look for every chance possible to play this song and no matter what the situation it feels fitting.
It was not an easy decision on my part for what song should be number one but as I was shifting songs around and things began taking form I knew that if I were going to post this list with any sort of confidence that “Wilderness Eyes” deserved it the most.
This incredible song embodies everything I hope Heycoolkid! to be about, from how each line feels like a sing-alongable hook to the lyrics encapsulating the feelings of our entire restless generation, all the way down to the confidence displayed in this song yet remaining unpretentious and lacking all forms of arrogance. What’s not to love?
Up in the mountains the light will grow and surround us til we hardly know our friends from the animals
Out on the shoreline we beat our drums and we sing all of our parents songs but the words don’t mean the same no more
Take to the streets with a shriek and a howl bare our teeth with a grin and a growl we wear our faults like crowns
We’re wild When we hit the streets Wild In the packs we lead
Back in our homes they will cage us in try to wash all of our painted skin but their hands cant feed what they don’t own
So we run to the woods where we hid the fear that we’ve wasted all our golden years my friends we’re losing all we know
All Songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like content removed email me at email@example.com