It's been a while since we last ran an artist's mix-tape, so here's a pretty neat one to return with. Williamsburg indie-pop femmes Au Revoir Simone have chosen their songs carefully under the theme of 'shout outs to friends'. Each member picked three songs and then collaborated for a final track chosen by the whole band.
I've decided to choose bands that we've played shows with that went on to become some of my favorites.
Metronomy - 'Black Eye/ Burnt Thumb'
The first time we played a show with Metronomy, I fell in love. They seemed like the all-boy version of us, but more silly and fun and with less keyboards. I wanted to dress them up in tuxedos and take them to prom, but I couldn't decide which member of the band I would choose as my date if I could make that a possibility. When they perform live, they wear touch lamps on their chests which is cooler than corsages. I chose this song because I remember that they had really excellent dance moves accompanying it when they performed it--kind of spastic and energetic at first, then they got into the groove of the song and swayed a bit Hot Chip like. Do I sound like a giddy school girl?
Dirty Projectors - 'Tour Along The Potomac'
This is awful to say, but the first time I heard Dirty Projectors, it was a few years ago at a festival in the Netherlands, and we arrived just in time for their soundcheck and I remember hearing them from backstage and thinking, "What the hell is this?" disappointedly. But they were headlining, so I watched their show. Well, I spent the entire hour watching them wide-eyed and slack-jawed in disbelief. Thoughts ranging from "That guy is a genius!" to "Those girls sing like angels!" to "What is that strange timing they're playing in?" flitted through my musically naive brain. That was when I became utterly obsessed with them. I bought a copy of every CD that Dave was selling and carried them with me like little treasures for the rest of tour. I've seen them many times since, though I've never had the courage to talk to Dave since that first show. When I really like a band I find that I'm unable to talk to them. (I once stammered a pathetic "hello" at Bjork in the Iceland Airport and she looked at me like I was crazy.) One of Dave's signature r&b style "ooooohs!" is my ringtone, and I was once standing behind him at a bagel store on Bedford Avenue hoping someone would call me so that he would hear it and just know...know that my respect and admiration is great. Anyway, this is my favorite song of theirs.
The Walkmen - 'On The Water'
Everyone talks about how The Walkmen are awesome, and their new LP is so amazing, and blah blah blah. But we played a show with them in some kind of cave in France and seriously, even then, in that smokey hell-hole, they were magic. This song really stood out for its...shimmering. The song just shimmered in the most lovely way. I coveted their keyboard--a compact Farfisa. Also, they're the nicest guys.
Casio Kids - 'Finn Bikkien!'
I have fallen in love with this band from Norway (also on Moshi Moshi). Their songs are super catchy and fun and the fact that they don't sing in English doesn't prevent us from singing along in our tour van!
Crystal Stilts - 'Prismatic Room'
If you have a chance to see this Brooklyn phenomenon live, do it! Their shows are perfect for lazy sway dancing and stomping while still keeping your cool. They turn up nice and loud without being painful, the female drummer is amazing to watch and their keyboard player is off the hook.
Elizabeth Harper - 'Broken Adolescent Heart'
This is my friend Elizabeth who is also playing shows these days under the name "Class Actress." Her voice and song writing is so amazing and she's venturing into the dance music genre but in the most fantastic un-cheesy and un-apologetic way...kind of like Neon Neon. No fear.
Uninhabitable Mansions - 'Do You Have A Strategy?'
OK, so it's my other band, and maybe that's why I'm picking our first single as my first track pick. I think that's ok. Especially because I think you'll like it. It's catchy.
Peter, Bjorn & John - 'Nothing To Worry About'
If you find yourself DJing at a party and desperately need a song to make the hipsters bump and grind their way through the night, choose this one. I promise, unless they are losers, they will totally go for it.
We Are Scientists - 'After Hours'
Just guessing by the fact that if one chooses to walk down the street anywhere in the United Kingdom with Chris and Keith, teenagers come running and screaming after them, that lots of people have perhaps heard this song to death. But for a lady on the move like me who lives with her head in the song, every listen is a fresh reminder of why WAS rules the school. It's fun, tongue-in-cheek, makes an emotional point, and most of all is catchy and wonderful to listen to.
Still Flyin' - 'The Hott Chord Is Struck'
We found out about this band because Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor plays in it....(and they are also on Moshi...oops) Our band is kind of obsessed with hand clap sounds, so the intro to this song makes us happy. But pretty much everything about this band is about having fun. So...in this economy, we all need a little Still Flyin'!