Year of the Dragon

20 / January 2012 / Noah Kuhn

  1. Midnight CityM83
  2. Amor FatiWashed Out
  3. Baby MissilesThe War On Drugs
  4. Love the Way You Walk AwayBlitzen Trapper
  5. This FallBig Tree
  6. Another Like YouHayes Carll
  7. Murderous JoyCarter Tanton
  8. State/MeantMegafaun
  9. Winter in KentuckyWooden Wand
  10. Cigarette SmugglingMummy Short Arms
  11. Eyes Like PearlsVan Hunt
  12. MadAnthony Hamilton
  13. Higher LoveJames Vincent McMorrow
  14. Let's Do Something ImpossibleWilliam Elliott Whitmore
  15. The Golden Age and The Silver GirlTyler Lyle
  16. SerpentsSharon Van Etten
  17. Wait For MeMotopony
  18. Thirteen ThirtyfiveDillon
  19. Beggar In The MorningThe Barr Brothers
  20. New Year's EveTom Waits

I feel like I get spoiled with the January slot. All sorts of great music comes out at the end of the year. With such a catalog to wade through, this was actually one of the harder mixes for me to put together. I had the first few songs picked out well in advance but it took me way longer than it should have to fill in the final 2/3rds. I could probably make a B-side full of songs that didn't make the cut.

Happy New Year!

  1. M83 / Midnight City

    This song has been making the rounds over the past month. Taken from the most recent record by M83. Totally weird video here.

    More Info from Last.FM

    M83 is a French-American electronic music project formed in Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes in 2001 and currently based in Los Angeles, United States. The band's primary member is vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer Anthony Gonzalez. The band was initially formed as a duo also with Nicolas Fromageau; it has released eight albums and two soundtracks, including the Grammy Award-nominated Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. Gonzalez and Fromageau parted ways shortly after touring their second album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. Read more on more...

  2. Washed Out / Amor Fati

    This was a gem from the summer that stuck around all the way through this mix.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Washed Out is Ernest Greene, a young guy from Perry, Georgia, USA who makes bedroom synthpop that sounds blurred and woozily evocative. There’s a sense of longing and distance in Greene’s somber, filtered vocals, but it’s what he does compositionally that makes Washed Out stand out. Backed by gently pulsing, Balearic-tinged disco, Greene’s voice takes on a new dimension. Reminiscent of groups like The Glass and Chromatics, Washed Out is the music to end your night with Read more on more...

  3. The War On Drugs / Baby Missiles

    The Boss meets Tom Petty? I don't know.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The War on Drugs is an American indie rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Band member Adam Granduciel (born Adam Granofsky in Dover, Massachusetts) moved from Oakland, California to Philadelphia in 2003, where he met Kurt Vile and began playing music with him. They began playing as The War on Drugs in 2005, and self-released a demo EP. While Vile and Granduciel formed the backbone of the band, they had a number of accompanists early in the group's career Read more on more...

  4. Blitzen Trapper / Love the Way You Walk Away

    An instant classic for me. Just the right amount of story and harmony.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Blitzen Trapper is an experimental rock/folk sextet which formed in Portland, Oregon, United States in 2000. The band consists of Eric Earley (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Erik Menteer (guitar, keyboards), Marty Marquis (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Michael Van Pelt (bass), Drew Laughery (keyboards) and Brian Koch (drums, vocals). In various combinations and guises, the group had already played a long time together before the "crystalization event" in July 2000 on the slopes of the famous volcano Mt. Read more on more...

  5. Big Tree / This Fall

    This song starts out ho-hum, but at 1:52 it just explodes into awesomeness. I love the guitar licks and the chorus/claps. Just killer. And the coda at 4:06 is a beautiful cool down. Sounds like it was fun to record. The voice reminds me of the Cranberries...

    More Info from Last.FM

    For five years, Big Tree wandered back and forth across the country, building homes on both East and West Coasts while spreading music to everyone in between. In January of 2012, Big Tree ended up in Berkeley, CA and hasn't left since, quickly becoming a staple of the blossoming Bay Area music scene. Big Tree's music has spanned two full length records, two EP’s, and their latest self-release, My, How You’ve Grown, provides a snapshot of the band moving into the next stage of their evolution. Read more on more...

  6. Hayes Carll / Another Like You

    Late addition. I saw the woman doing the duet (Cary Ann Hearst) perform at the Iron Horse in her band Shovels and Rope. She's got some serious pipes.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Joshua Hayes Carll, known as Hayes Carll, is a singer-songwriter from The Woodlands, Texas (a Houston suburb). He is currently signed to Lost Highway Records. Carll has toured relentlessly in North America and abroad (performing over two hundred shows a year), founded a successful singer-songwriter music festival on the Gulf Coast of Texas, secured a record deal with Lost Highway Records, and has even seen his album Little Rock become the first self-released album to reach #1 on the Americana Music Chart. Read more on more...

  7. Carter Tanton / Murderous Joy

    Really dig the breakdown around 1:40

    More Info from Last.FM

    Carter Tanton is currently a member of Lower Dens and a former member of Tulsa from Baltimore, MD. Read more on more...

  8. Megafaun / State/Meant

    From what I read, these guys were in Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver) old band before a big falling out which led him to record For Emma, Forever Ago. I'm a fan of the really echoy slide guitar on the right side.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Brad Cook, Joe Westerlund and Phil Cook originate from Durham, North Carolina, formerly of Amateur Love and DeYarmond Edison, which included Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). They now reside in Durham, North Carolina where they make Appalachian influenced Experimental Rock. Read more on more...

  9. Wooden Wand / Winter in Kentucky

    Don't know much about this guy, I saw the track name on a music blog and was intrigued considering the season. Kind of reminds me of The Hold Steady a little bit.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Says Swans frontman and head of Young God Records Michael Gira, James Jackson Toth's "got that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies—harrowing, bleak and darkly comical—in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad." Wooden Wand, a.k.a. singer-songwriter James Jackson Toth, has released material under such collectives as Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice Read more on more...

  10. Mummy Short Arms / Cigarette Smuggling


    More Info from Last.FM

    Mummy Short Arms are a band from Glasgow characterised by short snappy tunes, a discordant Captain Beefheart-esque singer and the ability to descend into a sonic maelstrom of mistake soup at any moment. Read more on more...

  11. Van Hunt / Eyes Like Pearls

    Totally love this riff. This album is all over the place, but really great.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Van Hunt (born March 8, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He released his debut album, Van Hunt, in 2004, and a follow-up, On the Jungle Floor, in 2006, both on Capitol Records. He won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for appearing on the tribute version of the Sly & the Family Stone song, "Family Affair", in 2007. He transitioned to Blue Note Records where his 2008 album, Popular, was shelved and never released. Read more on more...

  12. Anthony Hamilton / Mad

    Foot-stompin' hand-clappin' Southern Soul

    More Info from Last.FM

    Anthony Hamilton (born January 28, 1971, in Charlotte, North Carolina) is an R&B/soul/"neo-soul" singer and songwriter who rose to fame with his 2003 second album Comin' from Where I'm From, which featured the singles "Comin' from Where I'm From," "Charlene," and "I'm a Mess." Hamilton first discovered his talent while singing in his church choir at age 10. In 1993 he left Charlotte for New York City, where he signed with Andre Harrell's Uptown Records. Read more on more...

  13. James Vincent McMorrow / Higher Love

    I've heard some other covers of this song this year, but this one is a beauty.

    More Info from Last.FM

    James Vincent McMorrow is an Irish singer-songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. McMorrow began performing under his own name in 2007, releasing an EP entitled The Sparrow and the Wolf in 2008. His debut album, Early in the Morning, was released in February 2010 via Believe Recordings in Ireland. The album's momentum was initially slow, but the use of one of the album's songs on Grey's Anatomy sparked interest in the US and in Europe. The album was released to the rest of the world in March 2011; and charted in the top 30 in Ireland and Norway. Read more on more...

  14. William Elliott Whitmore / Let's Do Something Impossible

    Big fan of this guys voice. He sounds like he's 70, but he's only 32.

    More Info from Last.FM

    William Elliott Whitmore (born May 11, 1978, Iowa, United States) is an American blues singer and musician from Lee County, Iowa. He has recorded a number of albums released on Southern Records, and now is a member of the Anti Records family. His act consists mostly of playing the banjo or guitar while singing, though on occasion he performs a cappella. While he has earned much acclaim from the folk, blues and alt-country communities, he is also rooted in the hardcore punk community Read more on more...

  15. Tyler Lyle / The Golden Age and The Silver Girl

    Flutes? WTF? I don't know, still dig this song. Although really, the flutes nearly ruin it. Love when the music drops out to just guitar & vox.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Tyler Lyle (Dec 1, 1985) originates from Carrollton, Georgia. He has been working professionally as a singer-songwriter since age twenty-one, primarily within the style of Indie-folk. For more than ten years he has been releasing music under his own name, as well as his 2016 founded project - The Secret Lair. Influenced by Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Damien Rice. Smart, vicious, and prolific like gravity and levity in the same breath. Since 2012 singer-songwriter in the Synthwave duo, The Midnight. Read more on more...

  16. Sharon Van Etten / Serpents

    Off her record due for next spring. Straight up rocker.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Sharon van Etten (born February 26, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter and actress from New Jersey. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, USA, van Etten débuted with single Much More Than That (2007, Abaton Book Company). Her album Are We There was released on 14 May 2014 on Jagjaguwar). van Etten moved to Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University, where she discovered a variety of influential music. After moving back home to New Jersey, she was encouraged by Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio to pursue a career in music. Read more on more...

  17. Motopony / Wait For Me

    Love the piano riff for some reason.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Motopony is a Seattle-based band that originally began as an outlet for singer/songwriter Daniel Blue's poetry. Crafting songs on a three E-string guitar to match his voice, Daniel played as many shows as he possibly could in his then home of Tacoma. In the summer of 2009 his path crossed once again with producer Buddy Ross (the hip hop pseudonym for Josiah Sherman). Having met years prior while working on other records, Daniel knew that fate had connected them again. Read more on more...

  18. Dillon / Thirteen Thirtyfive

    She's definitely got a little Joanna Newsom thing going on. Some very unique phrasing. Favorite line/rhyme: "I can say that you look pretty. You turn my legs into spaghetti."

    More Info from Last.FM

    There are at least two artists using this name: 1) Dominique Dillon de Byington Every now and then, the collaboration of heart and mind is a mystery. It is not sufficient to have a mind of one’s own. It is important to know how to use it the right way. Besides her senses, for the 30-year-old singer and artist Dominique Dillon de Byington, both coordinates are important indicators of her perception. In her head, everyday situations turn into stories. Read more on more...

  19. The Barr Brothers / Beggar In The Morning

    "My belt is loose and my trigger is tight." This is maybe too similar to the Blitzen Trapper song, but I'm a sucker for outlaw love songs.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Barr Brothers is a Canadian folk quartet founded in Montreal, Quebec, consisting of Andrew and Brad Barr (of The Slip), Sarah Page and Andres Vial. Their first (and eponymous-titled) album was released in 2011. Best known as founding members of the spirited and unpredictable rock trio The Slip, brothers Andrew and Brad Barr had spent most of the 90s criss-crossing North America. In the spring of 2004, the band was playing a small club in Montreal, QC when a fire broke out in the venue. Read more on more...

  20. Tom Waits / New Year's Eve

    Not only is it timely, it's also a fantastic new Tom Waits album.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Tom Waits (born Thomas Alan Waits, in Pomona, California, on December 7, 1949) is a prolific American singer, songwriter, composer, and actor. He started his career in the early 1970s as a singer in spit 'n' sawdust bars. Initially, he was deeply influenced by the beat generation, novelists like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, and poets like Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski. Waits is often compared to Charles Bukowski, being similar both in content and lifestyle Read more on more...

Past Mixes