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Flying Over the Streets Tonight : Summer 2010

The title is from the last song on the mix, a song I can’t stop listening to. I was lucky enough to get to hang out at EDC this summer and see Deadmau5, and Kaskade (artist of the last song). My family took a vacation in Hawaii, which was the number one vacation of my life so far. I also got to go on a whirlwind road trip from Colorado, through the Black Hills of South Dakota and into Wyoming. Musically, I enjoyed the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack (never saw the movie), so there are a few songs from there on here, mixed throughout. There’s a mashup of Blur and Kasabian by Party Ben, some instrumental tracks, with Coldplay on piano and Vitamin String Quartet covering Massive Attack’s famous song on the strings. This is for a sweltering summer, full of freeway days and dreamy nights. If you’re unimpressed by the slowness of the beginning, wait it out until the beats at the end.

01. “Sleep Tonight (Junior Boys)” by Stars.
“We don’t want to sleep tonight / still young like that I count the lines / beside your mouth that smiles now / my arms reach up as you go down / with buried heads we both forget all of the past and its regret / wind picks up the window shakes / but we won’t hear the morning break”
Here is a little something to understand about Stars. The album that this song is off of (Do You Trust Your Friends?) has a twin album (Set Yourself On Fire), from which Stars handed out each of their songs to the bands of friends and had them remix it. The original “Sleep Tonight” is decent, but it pales in comparison to this version (which I actually heard first). I mistakenly bought the original CD, thinking that I’d love it, but the remix album is way more enjoyable to me. It’s a sweet song and I love the marshmallowy softness of her voice.

02. “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?” by Bombay Bicycle Club.
“Can I wake you up? / Can I wake you up? / Is it late enough? / Is it late enough? / There’s a story in which my eyes shut / Could you back me up? / Could you back me up?”
Nothing much in the way of lyrics here, but the melody and the beat makes me love it. It’s more ambient noise than something to jam to (appropriate for a song about sleep).

03. “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna.
“Girls can wear jeans, and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots; ’cause it’s OK to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading; ’cause you think that being a girl is degrading.”
Reading about honor killings and that girl being put on Girls Gone Wild without her permission set me off this summer. After a summer of acquaintances shushing me about victim blaming, I’ve already had two classes address the issue thanks to works we are reading, and wherein male classmates started the conversation, skewering our own times equally as well as the time of the subject matter. Way to go, English majors! The song is a classic, I’m not sure that I can add anything meaningful to it, except to say that it is part of the rolling lull of the beginning of the mix.

04. “There’s no LSF” by Party Ben.
“I’m on it, get on it / The troops are on fire! / Ya know I need it, much closer / I’m treading just a little more / Step on it, electronic / The troops are on fire! / I’m much deeper, a sleeper / Waiting for the vinyl trip / Aah, Ahh, What you play / Aah, Ahh, What you play.”
Party Ben creates mash-ups, and this particular one is a mix of Kasabian’s “LSF” and Blur’s “There’s No Other Way”. It’s bouncy and fun, which is what everyone loves about Britpop. I put this here, because Madonna and the Coldplay might have made the mood a little TOO mellow.

05. “Postcards From Far Away” by Coldplay.
…instrumental…
I love this piece a lot, and not just because it sounds like something that could have been played by an “accomplished” young woman in the 19th century. My only complaint is how short it is, but maybe if it were longer it wouldn’t be so lovely to me.

06. “Straight To Hell” by The Clash.
“Can you really cough it up loud and strong? / The immigrants / They want to sing all night long / It could be anywhere / Most likely could be any frontier / Any hemisphere / No man’s land and there ain’t no asylum here / King Solomon, he never lived around here / Go straight to hell, boys”
Yes, MIA sampled the shit out of the beginning of this song. “Straight to Hell” is about all the orphaned kids that came about after Vietnam, and about occupation/imperialism, how there were no jobs, no places for these new people, and how America was a tough place to be, the rejection of these Amerasian kids on both sides, how there is no place for them and they are left in a purgatory. I think the “straight to hell” part of it is the moral hell of the GIs leaving these kids, of the kids being in between two worlds and the general shittiness that grew out of the whole situation. “It’s not Coca-Cola, it’s rice” – I love how even brand/culture brainwashing is addressed. This is the last mellow song on the mix, as the beat starts to pick up in the next song. I love the eerie quality of this song, and I think it blends so well into “Mend”.

07. “Mend (To Fix, To Repair)” by Elsiane.
“Tonight I’m alone to go high / Tonight I’m alone to go / In state of confusion you made an illusion / State of confusion you made an illusion / It is exciting to be away / Feeling you all inside of me / I’m standing here but I’m really gone … You see me as I go / You’ve been precious to me”
Some of the background noises make me think of fireflies, so this is a great summer evening song to me. I love the strangeness of her voice and the lyrics are vague enough to be haunting.

08. “The Line” by Battles.
“The curious light projects these apparitions in a slow dance / It beats like heartbeats, do they want to stay connected to the soul of man? / Along the line / We come to find / You shot yourself”
I like the rise of the song, and the lyrics, but most of all I like the subject matter, which I take as a reflection on humanity (but there is still a sort of supernatural element to it, since we never know what the apparitions are). I feel like the “you shot yourself” is more akin to self-sabotage than suicide. I love the quickly changing pitch of the vocals and the melody of the first half. Once the “hey! hey! hey!”s pop up, I can’t help but think of a Jewish wedding, with a bunch of people tossing the chair into the air.

09. “Electric Bloom” by Foals.
“This is a warning shot, your final call / An empty morgue with gurning hearts and hollowed crowns / And all I see is marching bands / Marching bands which never rest in broken stands / Butcher birds with useless throats / We’re not safe of dying kings with plastic knives”
Songs about greed and having to fight for yourself always peak my interest. “This is not a warning call nor final shot” I love the word play of these lines with those in the beginning. So, the call was the last (but not a warning), while the shot was simply a warning; there will be others.

10. “With You In My Head (feat. The Black Angels)” by UNKLE.
“When you went down, the men came callin’ / Faded in stone as you wept from fallin’ / When you went down, the men came callin’ / Singing in tongues, it makes things summoned.”
I have no idea what this song is about, but it’s catchy, especially the opening. The overall sound is pretty unique to me, despite the so-so middle to ending bits, so I thought it was worth including. This is another one from the Eclipse soundtrack. The songs are almost enough to make me want to watch the film; I wonder where this song was used.

11. “Teardrop” by Vitamin String Quartet.
…instrumental…
This is an all-strings rendition of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, which is probably best known for being the theme song to House.

12. “Raven Star” by Lunascape.
“You walk to me so heavenly / Fairy lights come over me so suddenly / Blue bird of night in black and white / Every time you open your eyes I’ll make you shine / Starlight darling falls down like the weight of a stone / You fall prey to my love, Yvaine, you’ll be never alone”
This song was inspired by Neil Gaiman’s book “Stardust”, which had a movie made out of it in the last few years, starring Claire Danes. It wasn’t bad, and kept the spirit of the book, but it missed a LOT of what made the book special. The main female character, Yvaine, is a star that falls from the sky, which is something the song, with all its electronic edits and dreamy vocals, manages to capture perfectly for me. This song is beautiful.

13. “Godspeed” by BT.
…instrumental…
I missed BT at EDC, but this is one of my favorite songs of his. I love listening to his songs because even when there are no words, such as in this one, the music itself takes you on a journey. While the movie Hackers is a cheesy guilty pleasure, one of the best things to grow from it was the music. The movie has three soundtracks. The first was released with the film, the other two (with music inspired by the movie, not from it) were released a few years apart from one another, with the third and final one released in 1999. This song was on it, and was my first introduction to BT.

14. “A&E” by Goldfrapp.
“It’s a blue, bright blue Saturday-ay-ay / And the pain has started to slip away-ay-ay / I’m in a backless dress / On a pastel ward / It’s shining / Think I want you still / But it may be pills at work”
This song is great to me for a few reasons, but let me tell you about one of the biggest one: the backless dress. It creates a blur between a scene at a hospital (A&E is UK for Accident & Emergency – their way of saying ‘Emergency Room’), being in a hospital gown, and a dance party, being in a sexy dress. The line, “Do you really wanna know how I was dancing on the floor?” furthers the image, so the whole thing is both lighthearted and serious, dancey and stiff, melancholy in word but light in melody.

15. “Y Control (The Faint Remix)” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
“Oh, so wrong, my loving goes / Under the fog, fog, fog / And I believed them all / Well, I’m just a poor little baby / ‘cause, well, I believed them all … I wish I could buy back / The woman you stole”
The lyrics are simple and the remix makes this song so fun. Karen O bugs hard, especially if you ever watch footage of her live (spare yourself the horror), but the spazzy electro-ness of this mix (especially right before the chorus) is addictive to my brain.

16. “4am (Adam K & Soha Mix)” by Kaskade.
“Sleepless gliding / Over the city lights / Watch us flying / Over the streets tonight / And I say / There’s a way, there’s a way I know / There’s a way, there’s a way I know / There’s a way, there’s a way / I know that someday we will surely find it”
Kaskade was the hit at EDC, and this song stood out. In addition to being off of the EDC 2010 CD that was released (continually mixed by Kaskade), it features the vocals of Becky Jean Williams, who is on another Kaskade track that I like called “All You” (also on the EDC album). I pulled the title of the mix from this song, largely because listening to it in the car on warm summer nights is addicting.

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