Street Skimming

102 / November 2018 / Lindsay Schnarr

  1. Rocket ManSteven Drozd & Maynard James Keenan
  2. Three White HorsesAndrew Bird
  3. GallipoliBeirut
  4. RulesKhruangbin
  5. BeautyThe Shivers
  6. Sweet Little KittenHusky Rescue
  7. GunMas Ysa
  8. Bag of BonesFelix Laband
  9. Jaime's SongSylvan Esso
  10. Cold WarCautious Clay
  11. CavalierJames Vincent McMorrow
  12. Towing the LineBen Howard
  13. Sun, Arise!Phosphorescent
  14. Take MeSisyphus
  15. Aye DavanitaPearl Jam
  16. Play With FireThe Rolling Stones
  17. What I'm Doing HereLake Street Dive
  18. Connected By LoveJack White
  19. Before the BeginningJohn Frusciante
  20. Hello StrangerJulia Holter
  21. Free StuffEdward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

I've been spending a day every week or so in NYC recently for work. I wake up early, drive into one of our nearby industrial hubs that connect to Penn Station and wait for a soot-covered Amtrak to stream into view. I find a decent spot on the train to catch my breath, stealing glimpses of people I don't know and who I'm subtly attempting to avoid acknowledging. I see my reflection against the backyards stitched and smooshed together with abandoned toys and above ground pools. The suburbs grow dense and then sparse and then dense again. A wetland or two spark my attention and maybe I'm lucky enough to catch a crane standing statuesque or a heron gliding alongside.

We cross the bridge into the iconic skyline of my final destination. I'm tempted to snap the same pictures that I take every week because the view is just that stunning. Then it goes black. We travel for 10 minutes in blackness below the black streets of the city. When light flickers return, I'm in the tunnel waiting for the steel doors to open, releasing me into a thick waft of human bodies. Within so many bodies, steering and squishing together, I downshift to accelerate my speed up the grime-layered concrete stairs toward the light... partially holding my nose until I emerge, semi-stunned into the retro buzz of Penn Station above.

I step onto the sidewalk at 32nd St and 7th Ave. I look around, each time questioning my sense of direction as I acclimate to being surrounded by buildings that stretch everywhere. I start walking. I walk with my head forward, with purpose to again avoid eye contact with all the eye-catching pedestrians. I walk with a pace that matches the music I have connected to my ears. The music that I hear is my own, but it feels like it floods the streets and everyone and car and flag and plume of cigarette smoke is moving to the music swirling through my mind. I am surrounded by people and yet, I feel the annonimity of self erasing me, erasing it all. I'm in a movie, or a plane, drifting above it all.  I'm alone in a city.  Most people I see have their own earbuds and their own music and are walking alone to their own rythym. I know that I am simply a flash, a beat in their movie. I simultaneously feel more and less connected to humanity in the midst of this mess. This is some of the music I hear here.

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  1. Steven Drozd & Maynard James Keenan / Rocket Man

    My husband introduced this version of this song to me on a dark drive to a party recently. I was silent for the first 3 minutes and then said, this is going on my mix. It has held its number one position on this mix since then. Digging deeper into this song I've known since I can remember, I now recognize how easy it is to resonate with the inherent reckoning that comes with work that pulls you further from home. I love the ending heartbeat.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Maynard James Keenan (born April 17, 1964 as James Herbert Keenan) is an American rock singer. He has been a member of the bands Tool since 1990, A Perfect Circle since 1999 and Puscifer since 2003 He has also worked with TexA.N.S.,Children Of The Anachronistic Dynasty, Green Jelly and Tapeworm . Keenan was born to a Southern Baptist family in Ravenna, Ohio on April 17, 1964. He joined the Army in 1982, studying at the United States Military Academy prep school from 1983 to 1984. Read more on more...

  2. Andrew Bird / Three White Horses

    Discovered this in another heart wrenching episode of This Is Us that I watched recently. Nuff said.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Andrew Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American musician. He was born in Lake Bluff, Illinois and resides in the Chicago area. Bird is a singer, a violinist and, since 2004, a guitarist. He is also an accomplished whistler. His early work, which echoed gypsy jazz and traditional folk, has led into his current sound, which mixes rock with more broad compositions. His years of solo song-craft have now enabled him to produce a sound that is uniquely his own. Read more on more...

  3. Beirut / Gallipoli

    New album of theirs coming out this month. Psyched.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Beirut is an American indie-rock and world music band which was originally the solo musical project of Zach Condon (born Zachary Francis Condon in Santa Fe, New Mexico) and later expanded into a band. The band's first performances were in New York, in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar. Condon recorded before Beirut was established: when he was fifteen and under the name of Realpeople, he made an electronic record, fashioned after his love for The Magnetic Fields. Read more on more...

  4. Khruangbin / Rules

    Andrew introduced me to Khruangbin and I've been hooked on them ever since. Every album is excellent. If you're not familiar, check them out, and then give Mr. Bagge a beer to thank him.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Khruangbin is a three-piece band from Texas, formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Johnson on drums. The trio's first single 'A Calf Born In Winter' was released in May 2014 by Late Night Tales offshoot Night Time Stories, and saw support from DJs Zane Lowe, Cerys Matthews, Tom Ravenscroft, Gideon Coe and magazines as musically diverse as Test Pressing, For Folks Sake, i-D, The 405 and Ransom Note. 'The Infamous Bill' is an expanded offering of Khruangbin's exotic, individual sound. Read more on more...

  5. The Shivers / Beauty

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Shivers hail from NYC and are a duo consisting of Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow. Read more on more...

  6. Husky Rescue / Sweet Little Kitten

    More Info from Last.FM

    Husky Rescue is a Finnish indie pop band founded in 2004 in Helsinki, Finland. After touring 2010’s Ship of Light album, culminating in their last performance at Flow Festival in Helsinki, August 2011, one chapter closed and another began. Prompted in part by long standing singer Reeta Vestman taking the opportunity to study musical theatre in London, Husky Rescue main man, multi instrumentalist and producer Marko Nyberg decided to strip everything down and start afresh Read more on more...

  7. Mas Ysa / Gun

    Discovered this on a dance show, it was one of those contemporary pieces. It captures the mood of this mix perhaps better than any other.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Mas Ysa, the moniker for Thomas Arsenault, a 30-year-old musician and producer from Canada, smoothly blends his raspy vocals with spellbinding whirlwinds of sound on his debut EP, Worth. After spending two years traveling across the globe from the North American continent all the way down to Brazil, Worth serves as Mas Ysa’s musical vessel with 9 cathartic tracks that explore the realms of experimental electronic production. It’s easy to see why ‘Why’ is the lead single off the EP– the catchy Read more on more...

  8. Felix Laband / Bag of Bones

    More Info from Last.FM

    Felix Laband is an electronic music artist from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He creates light, emotional, minimalist soundscapes by combining several styles, and samples from classical, jazz and old television recordings overlaid with instrumental performances by himself and other guest artists. His music has been described by his record label as "indie-tronica" and is similar in some ways to Boards of Canada and Iceland's múm. Maritzburg-born, Durban-bred and Cape Town-based. Read more on more...

  9. Sylvan Esso / Jaime's Song

    I know, I know... another Sylvan Esso song. But they're just too good!

    More Info from Last.FM

    Sylvan Esso is a Durham, NC, USA duo of vocalist Amelia Meath and electronic musician Nick Sanborn. Their début was the double A-side 12" Hey Mami / Play It Right (16 Jul 2013), featuring a capella and instrumental versions of each song. Meath’s powerful voice is front and center, unjoined by fellow harmonizers as it is in her folk group, Mountain Man. Sanborn, who plays bass in the genre-destroying Megafaun, creates intricate, pulsing grooves for Meath’s voice to inhabit. Sites: SoundCloud, Deezer, Discogs and BandCamp Read more on more...

  10. Cautious Clay / Cold War

    More Info from Last.FM

    dating in bern switzerland Read more on more...

  11. James Vincent McMorrow / Cavalier

    Choreographed and performed one of my favorite dance routines to this song. His voice is an enigma.

    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...

  12. Ben Howard / Towing the Line

    More Info from Last.FM

    Ben Howard (born 24 April 1987) is an English singer-songwriter, born in London. He moved to Totnes, Devon, in his teens. Howard's musically-inclined parents exposed him at a young age to their favourite records from singer-songwriter artists such as Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and John Martyn. Howard began writing his own songs and after a short spell studying journalism, he decided in 2009 at the age of 21 to become a full-time musician. After building up a reputation with his gigs across the UK Read more on more...

  13. Phosphorescent / Sun, Arise!

    More Info from Last.FM

    Phosphorescent is the solo project of American musician and songwriter Matthew Houck (born 1980 in Alabama). Houck began recording and performing under this nom de plume in 2001 in Athens, Georgia, USA. He is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Before recording under the name Phosphorescent, Houck traveled the world playing under the moniker Fillup Shack and, in 2000, self-released a limited pressing of the album "Hipolit". In 2001 Houck changed his recording name to Phosphorescent Read more on more...

  14. Sisyphus / Take Me

    This is what happens when musical geniuses hang out together.

    More Info from Last.FM

    1. Sisyphus is the new name for the collaboration between Serengeti, Son Lux, and Sufjan Stevens (formerly s / s / s), whose new project under this moniker is a self-titled album partly inspired by the art of Jim Hodges, and commissioned by the Walker Art Center and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. 2. An Invisible Records employee created a disc of dark ambient music to compliment the movie: The Blair Witch Project in 1999. Read more on more...

  15. Pearl Jam / Aye Davanita

    More Info from Last.FM

    Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Mike McCready (guitar), and Eddie Vedder (vocals). The band's fifth and current drummer is Matt Cameron, of Soundgarden, who has been with the band since 1998. Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament's previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten, in 1991. Read more on more...

  16. The Rolling Stones / Play With Fire

    I think this song was one of their first but it feels more timeless than almost any of their others.

    More Info from Last.FM

    The Rolling Stones are an English rock group that formed in London in 1962. First popular in Europe, they quickly became successful in North America during the "British Invasion" of the mid-60s. Since then, their worldwide sales are estimated at more than 200 million albums. In 1989, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004, they ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2008, Billboard Read more on more...

  17. Lake Street Dive / What I'm Doing Here

    Some questions some ask, when alone in a city.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Lake Street Dive have been performing for nearly a decade after meeting as fellow students at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The band was hand picked by Minneapolis trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson and named after an actual neighborhood of seedy bars in his hometown. Vocalist Rachael Price came from outside Nashville, Tennessee, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney was an Iowa native, while drummer Mike Calabrese called Philadelphia home. “I wasn’t only impressed with their musicianship Read more on more...

  18. Jack White / Connected By Love

    Watched his live performance of this on SNL a few weeks ago. I didn't expect to be impressed but I was.

    More Info from Last.FM

    Jack White (born John Anthony Gillis on July 9, 1975 in Detroit), American rock musician, producer, and actor. He is best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of the rock duo The White Stripes (1997-2011) and more recently guitarist and vocalist of The Raconteurs, and drummer and vocalist for the band The Dead Weather. Jack White first played as a professional musician in the early 1990s, as a drummer for the Detroit cowpunk band Goober & the Peas. Read more on more...

  19. John Frusciante / Before the Beginning

    It's long, and repetitive, and groove worthy.

    More Info from Last.FM

    John Anthony Frusciante (born in New York on March 5th 1970) though probably best known for his time as guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is a respected, acclaimed and prolific solo artist in his own right. Joining the Chili Peppers in 1988 after the death of Hillel Slovak, the band's original guitarist, Frusciante was featured on both Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. However, John's rise was short lived. On May 7th, 1992, John quit the band just before the Chili Peppers were due on stage. Read more on more...

  20. Julia Holter / Hello Stranger

    The cello, her voice, what else does a wanderer need?

    More Info from Last.FM

    Julia Shammas Holter (born December 18, 1984) is an American experimental artist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles. A CalArts graduate, she released her first studio album, Tragedy, in 2011. A second album, Ekstasis, followed in 2012. Holter also collaborates with other musicians including Nite Jewel, Linda Perhacs, and Michael Pisaro. In 2013, she released her third album, Loud City Song to resounding critical acclaim. Read more on more...

  21. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros / Free Stuff

    Bonus track... just to end on an upbeat note. :)

    More Info from Last.FM

    Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is an American indie-folk ensemble band led by Alex Ebert, vocalist of the power-pop group Ima Robot. The band's first full-length recording, Up from Below, was released July 7, 2009 digitally and July 14, 2009 physically on Vagrant Records. Its first show as a full band was played July 18, 2007 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. After breaking up with his girlfriend, moving out of his house, and joining a 12-step program for addiction Read more on more...

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