10 for February

10 for the 10th (Download)

The tenth is my least favorite day of the month, mainly because it's the day that my student loan payment is withdrawn from my bank account (goodbye, $600!) Today's tenth is no exception -- it's been a glum day at work, the snow is piling up, and I don't even have the consolation of it being the weekend! I still have to make it through Thursday AND Friday.

So, I've decided that to commemorate the tenth, each month I'll post a mix of ten songs that I've been listening to recently in the hopes of keeping cheerful.

This month I have...

01. "Needle in the Camel's Eye" by Brian Eno -- Every now and then Drew and I revisit the topic of our favorite first songs on albums. He consistently cites Weezer's "My Name is Jonas," but I'm changing my mind all the time. Today's favorite first song on an album is "Needle in the Camel's Eye" by Brian Eno, the first track on the A side of his solo debut, Here Come the Warm Jets. This version is a low-quality rip from some low-quality vinyl, but I think the poor audio gives the song a certain warmth.

02. "Freedom Ride" by the Halo Benders -- One of the best things about my job is that my supervisor is kind enough to let me wear headphones at my desk. Today I sat around with headphones on and listened to all three Halo Benders albums while replying to e-mails and updating spreadsheets. Drew has a tendency to hate on Calvin Johnson, but I have a fondness for his baritone and while Drew can't seem to deal with Beat Happening, we can compromise on the Halo Benders. I love the way Johnson and Martsch (from Built to Spill) work together & this is one of my favorite Halo Benders songs.

03. "Wet Hair" by Japandroids -- I first heard Japandroids this summer. Drew played their album Post-Nothing while we were on a drive to pick up a bike that he had bought on Craiglist. I liked the first track ("The Boys are Leaving Town"), but didn't pay attention to the whole album. A few months later they performed "Wet Hair" on a late-night talk show and it's been stuck in my head ever since. This is definitely my favorite song with the words "bikini island" in it. I'm stoked to see them this April.

04. "Against the World and Losing the Battle" by Madeline Adams -- This is a great slow, mopey, winter song about lost friendships. Back in college, when I was feeling tremendously nostalgic and homesick, I put this on a mix for a friend that I used to be close to. It is probably the most cliche mix choice I could have made, but I don't regret it because it's a great song.

05. "Moulty" by the Barbarians -- Growing up, whenever I griped about my life my dad would make me listen to Moulty by the Barbarians. The true garage rock story of a boy who lost his arm and then found his way. I love old garage songs & I love pretty much any song with a talking part, so there's really no way that I could not not love this.

06. "LAKE" by Jack Turnbull -- I bought Jack Turnbull's CD-R at the Boston Zine Fest back when I was in high school. I honestly have no recollection of the other three songs on the CD-R, but have been obsessed with "LAKE"" for years now & it has one of my favorite lines in a song ever, about embracing the tenuous warmth & joy of a new season and "forgetting that we ever had to wear sweaters."

07. "A Stranger Broke My Finger But You Broke My Heart" by Sand Witches -- I wrote about Sand Witches yesterday, but thought I would stick this on here anyway because I seriously can't stop listening to it -- unbridled (post-)adolescent aggression and wariness and worldliness. My favorite line is "I've had my lisp for thirteen years, so I know what it's like to be afraid to talk" (paraphrased) -- which reminds me of myself in elementary school, sticking stickers onto my speech therapy folder and wishing that my mouth would just hurry up and work right.

08. "Twin Peaks" by Surfer Blood -- "Twin Peaks" is, sadly, not about the show Twin Peaks, but I love it anyway -- jangly guitars, a hint of that Vampire Weekend sound (just enough to draw a comparison, not to be annoying). Two summers ago Drew and I made it our mission to watch the entire Twin Peaks television series and all of David Lynch's movies. The quest is complete -- but I still get creeped out whenever I think of those late nights in front of the tv. The whole Surfer Blood album is great -- they should be touring soon & I can't wait to see them.

09. "Lights Out" by the Third Sex -- Ah, the Third Sex. My favorite semi-neglected Sleater-Kinney-esque girl rock trio. My friend Meadow put this on a mix CD for me when I was in high school -- I used to play this song over and over in a cheap discman with Hello Kitty drawn on it, rocking my head back and forth so that my hair fell in my face.

10. "This Town (No Vocals)" -- Drew recorded this a year or two ago & put it up on a MySpace page that I don't think he updates anymore. My college roommate and I listened to it incessantly on long country drives, the looping guitars making me think of home -- driving down Lost Nation Rd., past train tracks and old industrial complexes.

10 for the 10th (Download)


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