I’m In Love With Massachusetts

14 / July 2011 / Noah Kuhn

  1. Tell Me A TaleMichael Kiwanuka
  2. Happy BanjoDark Mean
  3. Sister WifeAlex Winston
  4. Where I'm GoingCut Copy
  5. You Push I'll GoBaby Dayliner
  6. Always Like ThisBombay Bicycle Club
  7. RoadrunnerThe Modern Lovers
  8. Lost in My MindThe Head and The Heart
  9. Oh My GodCults
  10. Coney Island WinterGarland Jeffreys
  11. My GirlsBecca Stevens Band
  12. I Dream of ChicagoParlours
  13. The Secret SunJesse Harris
  14. Back to ThisThe Helio Sequence
  15. KitesGeographer
  16. HoloceneBon Iver
  17. Not EnoughJ Mascis
  18. MondayThe Sea and Cake
  19. Small PrayerIt Is Rain In My Face.
  20. I Don't Want LoveThe Antlers

This one went right up to the wire. I was shuffling, adding and dropping until late in the evening. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Some late additions are brand new releases which I'm psyched about. Last July's mix came right after a move from Somerville to Concord, and here we are a year later and I've moved again. There are some summer songs in here, some Massachusetts songs, far more female vocalists than I've included before, and a general leaning toward great moments. I mentioned in my first mix that I am a sucker for an "a ha" moment in a song and this mix has them (for me) in spades. I've marked times on nearly all these songs that stand out—for one reason or another—as my favorites. Hoping you all can find something to enjoy in this. Looking forward to the next six months.

  1. Michael Kiwanuka / Tell Me A Tale

    Love this guy's voice. And the Rascals chorus reprise is just so sweet. He's been touring with Adele I heard. Check out this video from the Black Cab Sessions project. Favorite moment: 1:00

    More Info from Last.FM

    Michael Samuel Kiwanuka (born 3 May 1987) is an English soul musician who is signed to Communion Records. He has been compared to Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Randy Newman, Terry Callier, and Otis Redding, as well as Van Morrison and the Temptations. In January 2012, he won the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. Kiwanuka grew up in Muswell Hill, London, the son of Ugandan parents who had escaped the Amin regime. He attended Fortismere School, leaving there in 2005 after completing his A-Levels. Read more on Last.fm more...

  2. Dark Mean / Happy Banjo

    Love this track. There is an anxious feeling to the first half of the song. The driving drums anchor a swell of banjo, horns, lap steel. It just feels right when the bass drone drops in and the song finally lifts off. This song makes me wish I knew how to play drums. Favorite moment: 2:10.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The recording of Dark Mean’s debut album began sometime in 2007. It’s now 2011. During this period band members Mark Dean, Billy Holmes, and Sandy Johnston released two “work in progress” EPs without expectation. Little did they know Frankencottage and Music Box would become the toast of the blogging community, downloaded in over 100 countries, lectured upon by music professors in Brazil, and find the band rousing audiences into massive sing-alongs in cities reaching far beyond the steel cast borders of a hometown Read more on Last.fm more...

  3. Alex Winston / Sister Wife

    This song kicks ass. Polygamist date night wife fight! I think she's got a unique interesting voice. At first I thought it was annoying, but it grew on me in a hurry. This is just an anthemic pop gem. There are some cool videos of her in Paris here. Favorite moment: 2:32

    More Info from Last.FM

    Alex Winston is a singer/songwriter/guitarist based out of Detroit. Though classically trained in opera, Little Richard, The Beach Boys and The Cardigans are some of her musical favorites. Alex's sound is a mixture of something old, something new and something uniquely her own. Read more on Last.fm more...

  4. Cut Copy / Where I'm Going

    "Yeah!" Love the strange backbeat, and the chorus. Favorite moment: 0:51.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Cut Copy is a synthpop band formed in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia, and made up of Dan Whitford (lead vocals/keys/guitar), Tim Hoey (bass/guitar), Mitchell Scott (drums) and Ben Browning (bass/synthesiser), Bennett Foddy being a former member. Their sound is much in the vein of artists such as Daft Punk, drawing considerable influence from older bands such as New Order, Electric Light Orchestra and Kraftwerk. It began in 2001 as the project for Dan Whitford. Read more on Last.fm more...

  5. Baby Dayliner / You Push I'll Go

    I don't know anything about this band/artist, but this song is a classic. "...with a lime, with a lime..." Favorite moment: 2:30 double snare.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Baby Dayliner (AKA Ethan Marunas) was born and raised in New York City, and went to LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, and the Performing Arts, also known as the "FAME" high school. His undergraduate study was done at St. John's College in Annapolis, MD. After varying roles in various bands, Marunas decided to take the stage as a solo act. He became deft at synths, samplers, and recording, and began crafting songs that would come to life as the Baby Dayliner stage show. Read more on Last.fm more...

  6. Bombay Bicycle Club / Always Like This

    I hear a bit of an Antony and the Johnsons flair in the voice. I just love this melody, catchy as hell. Favorite moment: 1:58.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Bombay Bicycle Club is a British band formed in North London, United Kingdom in 2006. In January 2016, the four members announced that they would pursue solo projects. Ed Nash has since then been recording music under the name Toothless, releasing his debut album in early 2017, and former frontman Steadman has been recording under the name Mr Jukes, releasing a debut single in March 2017. The band was formed by Jack Steadman (vocals, guitar, bass) Read more on Last.fm more...

  7. The Modern Lovers / Roadrunner

    This song is fantastic, and I had to include it in honor of my recent move. I'm in love with Massachusetts! This song makes me want to play in a band and turn my amp up to 11. Favorite moment: 0:17.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Modern Lovers were an American rock band led by Jonathan Richman in the 1970s and 1980s. The original band, billed simply as "The Modern Lovers", existed from 1970–74 but their recordings were not released until 1976 or later. It featured Jonathan Richman and bassist Ernie Brooks with drummer David Robinson (later of The Cars) and keyboardist Jerry Harrison (later of Talking Heads). The sound of the band owed a great deal to the influence of The Velvet Underground, and is now considered one of the leading bands of the "proto-punk" scene. Read more on Last.fm more...

  8. The Head and The Heart / Lost in My Mind

    Great build-up throughout this song. Great harmonies, falsetto and otherwise. Favorite moment: 3:52

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Head and the Heart is a folk band which formed in 2009 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The band consists of Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar), Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar), Charity Rose Thielen (violin, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (keyboards) and Tyler Williams (drums). Composed primarily of transplants to the Seattle area, The Head and the Heart write and play songs that speak to the newness of a fresh start, of the ghosts left behind Read more on Last.fm more...

  9. Cults / Oh My God

    This whole record has a great hazy lazy summer backyard barbecue type sound running throughout.

    More Info from Last.FM

    There are multiple artists named "Cults": 1. Cults is an indie pop duo based in New York City, consisting of Madeline Follin (vocals) and Brian Oblivion (guitar and vocals). The film-students-turned-musicians from San Diego create a nostalgic buzz with their 1960s-sounding tunes about love and loneliness. At the age of twelve, Madeline Follin was offered a record deal with Recess Records after hanging out in the studio with her stepfather, Paul Kostabi's band Youth Gone Mad. Read more on Last.fm more...

  10. Garland Jeffreys / Coney Island Winter

    This album just came out and it is a solid rocker. Great storytelling. Wild in The Streets!

    More Info from Last.FM

    Garland Jeffreys (born 29 June 1943 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. His music is a mix of rock 'n' roll, reggae, blues, soul and even hip-hop. He began his career performing solo in Manhattan clubs in 1966 after attending college at Syracuse University as an art major, where he became friends with Lou Reed (future co-founder of The Velvet Underground). He spent some time in Italy studying art before coming Read more on Last.fm more...

  11. Becca Stevens Band / My Girls

    This is a totally weird folk cover of Animal Collective who made it onto one of my prior mixes. It was just too unique to pass over. I prefer the original, but they do an admirable job translating this a long way... Favorite moment: 1:40

    More Info from Last.FM

    Hailed by the New York Times as a "best-kept secret" with an "impressively absorbing" debut album, Becca Stevens has roots in classical guitar, folk music and jazz, and influences ranging from West African rhythms to eccentric pop. Her accomplished career at the young age of 24 follows several different paths – from being the acclaimed lead singer of Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra to writing original lyrics for jazz trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, Becca Stevens shows versatility and creativity in numerous projects. Read more on Last.fm more...

  12. Parlours / I Dream of Chicago

    This song is just so damn pretty. Favorite moment: 2:30

    More Info from Last.FM

    In the wake of the huge success of Mumford & Sons and their ilk, a band like Parlours could become massive. This may well cause a Marmite reaction amongst listeners, but the doubters should give them a go, because they really are rather good. A five piece from Des Moines, they play poppy folk with great harmonies from vocalists Scott Yoshimura and Dana Halferty (who writes all the songs), catchy melodies and a warm yet jaunty acoustic sound. Read more on Last.fm more...

  13. Jesse Harris / The Secret Sun

    I know, I know, it was in a Corona commercial, but I can't resist it. I want to sit on a beach with my feet in the water and listen to this song. Favorite moment: 0:31, or really the whole thing.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Even before reaching public attention by appearing on Norah Jones' breakthrough debut album, Jesse Harris was a well regarded singer-songwriter in his own right, particularly with well received regular appearances at New York's The Living Room (the acoustic night of choice for the uber-hip alt.country folk set). The release of The Secret Sun album cemented his reputation as an artist of note. Read more on Last.fm more...

  14. The Helio Sequence / Back to This

    Drenched in reverb, echoing off the walls of a cave. I'm not sure what it is about this song, just sounds epic. Love the "tongue-tied and divided" rhyme. Favorite moment: 2:35.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Helio Sequence is an indie electronic/shoegaze band signed to indie label Sub Pop. The band was formed in 1999 in Beaverton, Oregon and consists of Brandon Summers on guitar and vocals and Benjamin Weikel, who has also played for Modest Mouse, on keyboards and drums. To date, they have released two albums on Sub Pop, two on Portland-based label Cavity Search and a self-released EP. Their fourth album 'Keep Your Eyes Ahead' was released on January 29, 2008. Read more on Last.fm more...

  15. Geographer / Kites

    Sounds like an 8-bit video game soundtrack from my youth including a cello and an androgynous voice from heaven. Favorite moment: 1:29 piano roll.

    More Info from Last.FM

    In the summer of 2005, after a series of deaths in the family, Michael Deni left his hometown in New Jersey for San Francisco. He spent the next several months with his guitar and a synthesizer, turning that tragedy into the songs that would soon become the foundation for Geographer. With the additions of cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, Geographer spent the next year cutting their teeth in the Bay Area, winning over crowds with the heart-pounding epics that make up their debut record, ‘Innocent Ghosts’. Read more on Last.fm more...

  16. Bon Iver / Holocene

    Struggled with whether to include this, but it has one of my favorite 5 second moments in recent memory. "I can see for miles, miles, miles..." Favorite moment: 1:55.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Bon Iver is a Grammy Award winning folk band from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, United States, and one of Justin Vernon's current and most notable music projects to date. The band also consists of Mike Noyce, Sean Carey and Matt MacCaughan. The name 'Bon Iver' (pronounced "bon ee-VAIR") is a play on the French phrase 'bon hiver' meaning 'good winter'. Vernon independently released Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007, most of which was recorded during a four-month stay in a remote cabin in Wisconsin. Read more on Last.fm more...

  17. J Mascis / Not Enough

    Moving back to the Valley had me looking for a little Dino Jr., but J's new record of acoustic tracks is actually pretty solid. This particular song is great. I read that the background vox are courtesy of Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, Kurt Vile, and Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene. Totally wacky video too.

    More Info from Last.FM

    J Mascis (b. 1965) is an American musician and songwriter, probably best-known as the singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Dinosaur Jr., though he has also occasionally worked as a producer and film composer. Born Joseph Mascis on 10th December 1965 in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States, in the early 1980s he founded the short-lived hardcore group Deep Wound with his high school friends Lou Barlow and Scott Helland. He started out on drums, but moved to guitar when he went on to found Dinosaur Jr. Read more on Last.fm more...

  18. The Sea and Cake / Monday

    I have always loved their tone. This is off a new EP, and I am a huge fan of the layered guitar sounds. An unmistakable vocal style too leads to a winner for me.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Sea and Cake is a pop/rock group with a pronounced jazz influence, which formed in 1994 in Chicago, Illinois. The group's name came from a willful reinterpretation (in the wake of an accidental miscomprehension) of The C in Cake, a song by Gastr del Sol. Starting with 1997's The Fawn, the group has relied on electronic sound sources, such as drum machines and synthesizers, to color its music, but has retained its distinctive post-jazz combo style. Read more on Last.fm more...

  19. It Is Rain In My Face. / Small Prayer

    Late addition. Loopy electro-folk. Favorite moment: 1:56.

    More Info from Last.FM

    It is rain in my face. is the musical project of Mat Jones, originally from North Carolina but now residing in Brooklyn, NY. He is also one half of the ambient electronica group Pressed And. Read more on Last.fm more...

  20. The Antlers / I Don't Want Love

    This went on and off the mix until the last minute. It ended up sneaking in. Heartbreaking voice. Favorite moment: 2:43 where the song just self-destructs with a wail.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Antlers are an indie rock band currently based in Brooklyn, New York, fronted by Peter Silberman. Initially, The Antlers was a solo project created by vocalist and guitarist Silberman immediately after he had moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 2007. Silberman wrote the first two albums, "Uprooted" and "In the Attic of the Universe" by himself and under his own name. Afterwards, he recruited Lerner and Cicci, becoming a collaborative group. The band recorded two EPs: "Cold War" and "New York Hospitals". Read more on Last.fm more...

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