Is it just me or does this picture remind you of every album your great aunt Ella ever made you look through. You know, that summer where you spent sticky afternoons sitting on the plastic covered pleather couches, praying that you'd get to play tiddly winks. Putting all nostalgia aside, believe it or not, this picture was taken only five years ago. Five years ago on the sunny South Bass Island where this monument stands large and in charge, forever remembering what Commodore Perry did in the middle of Lake Eerie. What he did I can't remember, but apparently it was worth, well, something monumental.
And that's what we have here in this post. It's the final of the EA compilations. In case you're new to the game here EA has stood for East Asia where our main writer and founder has been living and studying Mandarin for the last year or so. He says "ni hao" by the way. And now that we've moved all the sentimental rubbish out of the way we can get on to what brought you here in the first place, the music.
EA Mix vol 10 - An Era Ends
zip file : come all ye grubby fingers, your right mouse clicks, ye stereo headphone clad, dreadlock toting, wikipedia crazy masses. come ye here and grab all the tracks in one easy take away box. but remember thee this, you must right click and open this link in a new window or tab, that be the only way to score.
mp3 : Franco Battiato - Ruby Tuesday : Yes my friends, it is a cover of Ruby Tuesday, by an Italian man who sometimes suffers from a case of what can only be described as engrish.com-ness. But when he lets his lungs do the talking, as his voice soars over a refrain that is so familiar, it becomes apparent that this rendition of Ruby Tuesday is worthy to be heard.
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens - Free Man in Paris (Joni Mitchell Cover) : What do you get when you cross classic Sufjan arrangements [think vintage Michigan] with lyrics that aren't quite his own [think even more oblique than, well, everything he writes]? Well what you get is this song that isn't quite Sufjan, isn't quite Joni, but is still a delicious little slice of sound.
mp3 : Miracle Fortress - This Thing About You : Something about this song makes me think it could have been lifted from The Polyphonic Spree or Triangles. Or even DeVotchKa on a, well, less experimental day. Or maybe it sounds like The Walkmen ran into a roving troupe of angels on their way to the latest Asthmatic Kitty release party. Honestly, I can't really define what it is here that makes this song so darn wonderful, but if all these references haven't convinced you then let the music do the err... singing.
mp3 : Bunky - Chuy : There is something motivational about this song that makes it impossible not to start head nodding and foot tapping. Especially when the repetitive chord progression changes and the song turns into the sound you would get if you jumped up and down on your drum set, on acid, in the rain. With perfect rhythm.
mp3 : Andy Friedman - Self Portrait in White Knuckle Death Grip : This song made the mix because it is so depressingly and drunkenly simple. If you've ever slurred a made up song to your mates on the way home from the pub, referencing everything from Van Gogh to William Blake, it probably sounded just like this. Well, if you were a talented musician who was intelligent, still coherent after a bottle of whisky, and extremely well read.
mp3 : Half-Handed Cloud - I Got a Letter : This song may simply be described as the antithesis to the previous track. It's happy, hyper active, nonsensical and blissfully short. Don't die.
mp3 : Modest Mouse - Dashboard : Easily the most accessible song ever put out by the boys from Modest Mouse it still clocks in as possibly the weakest song from their latest full length. Probably the catchiest and most addicting song in this mix my only prayer is that it's not so overplayed as to slowly be going the way of Jumper or Scar Tissue.
mp3 : Rosie Thomas and Sufjan Stevens - Say Hello : "There's an airplane in the sky / with a banner right behind / loneliness is just a crime / so look each other in the eye / and say hello." Sometimes a national leader is measured by the brilliant people they surround themselves with. And sometimes on this blog we like to make far reaching parallel analogies and say things like Rosie Thomas should run for president because she's proven time and again that if you are her close friend you are probably a musical genius.
mp3 : Shannon Stephens - I'll Be Glad : People with the last name of Stephens should sing over banjos until the end of time. Especially if they have a melancholic, slightly broken voice, and a tragic tale of loss and longing to go with it. When you add the harmonica and harmonies to the mix you realize that as long as there are campfires this formula will never grow stale.
mp3 : Arcade Fire - (Antichrist Television Blues) : There is an inescapable quality to this track form the Canadian supergroups latest disc. From the overt 9/11 references to the fact that the track has been said to be written about the exploitation of children by their alleged Christian parents to the pounding beat that drives the entire ensemble to some sort of cathartic choir outburst toward the end, it's all amazing.
mp3 : Son Volt - The Picture : This song is classic in nature. It sounds like something that was picked during the late nineties ska and swing revival, set alone to age in some Californian wine cellar, and just now has found the perfect niche to fill. And then there's the 2:30 mark in the song where it drops and the horns take over for the briefest of ecstasies. It's a light summer wine, with an earthen hue, and a splash of strawberries and cinnamon to make it interesting.
mp3 : The Dexateens - Neil Armstrong : Concept albums are one thing, concept songs are quite another. They're a little slice of fiction of the variety that fits nicely into literary journals, college radio stations after midnight, and pithy away messages. This is a song calling for Mr. Armstong to come down from the moon and to deal with the realities of the world he has for so long been abandoning. Brilliant.
mp3 : Gui Boratto - Beautiful Life : As with most of the EA compilations on this fine blog there always seems to be space for one ambient track. Or at least a remix of something that was once famous or trendy. And we only thought it fitting that we should end this mix, the last of the EA Mix volumes, with a song that simply repeats "what a beautiful life" over and over again. What a beautiful life indeed.
vol 01 vol 02 vol 03 vol 04 vol 05 vol 06 vol 07 vol 08 vol 09