Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Discoveries from Jiri

1. The Distractions "All Night" (2010)

This song off their debut, Dark Green Sea, bridges the gap between Stereolab and Motown. It transcends time and place. And even though the lyrics consist of one line, they take on new meaning as the music shifts from day, to night, to morning.

2. Spookey Ruben "Rachel" (2009)

Spookey's been in my playlists since I was a teenager. His tunes are detail-oriented, catchy and nostalgic without being lame.

3. Gary Wilson "Secret Girl" (2010)

A relatively new song from the king of the creeps. Such a great funky lounge jam with an equally great

4. Owen Pallett "Lewis Takes off his Shirt" (2010)

I'm a sucker for Chamber Pop and Owen makes it his own. He does this song live masterfully, looping his violin shredding while singing, on Q TV.

5. Justice "Helix" (2011)

After putting out some questionable post-debut material, I'm pleasantly surprised that these jerks evolved into minimal prog/cock rock with Audio, Video, Disco. They'll never be the kings of French House, but it's an excellent stand-in until the next Daft Punk or Alan Braxe album comes out.

6. Washed Out "Belong" (2009)

Chillwave is the new Shoegaze and I'm onboard. Sounds like an early-80's workout video on ketamine. I was skeptical that he could top this High Times EP, but this year he pulled Amor Fati out of his studio (see Steve's pick) and is clearly smacking Boards of Canada across the face with his glove.

7. Ecstatic Sunshine "Conch" (2010)

The sound of a shell rolling around a reef with sun rays poking through the choppy waves. Sigh …I need a vacation. Picks up where Aphex Twin's "Richard D. James Album" left off.

8. V/A "Cheek to Cheek April Showers Pussy Cat Rag Blue Skies Was It a Dream Silvery Moon" (1920's)

I had the pleasure of DJing my friend Marty and DeAnn's Wedding this spring and the theme was 20's Charleston. To prepare, I listened to nothing but buttoned up ballads. roaring' ragtime, dapper dixie and moody orchestra music for close to 4 months! Everyone was so talented, charming and well-practiced back then. Here's a snippet from the set.

9. El Guincho "FM Tan Sexy" (2010)

This innovative Tropicala/AfroBeat/Dub hybrid bravely predicts what music is going to sound like in 10 years. It's slightly disjointed and hard to nod along to but I think it's genius.

10. R. Kelly "A Love Letter Christmas" (2010)

The pied piper of R&B released a great album last year and whenever I don't know what to listen to next, I put Love Letter on. This is him loosening his tie after he finishes the album to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. He even commits to a goofy cowbell solo.


  1. yes! finally made it to Jiri's mix! i've been spoiled by your eclectic library since 1997, and at least monthly i get a Jiri mix, but this is no less a joy

    1) this is great! wasn't hearing any Motown, certainly not in the first minute, but the 60s is absolutely there, played loose and charming by some definite 'Lab fans (and cheers to them). that halfway breakdown is super; i really appreciate the idea now

    2) ahhh Spookey. how long since we found this guy in a dollar rack at a sam goody in a jersey mall? i feel like if i didn't know you Jiri there's no way i would laugh and love every second of this, from the Casio harp in the first few seconds, to the background vocal flourishes reminiscent of Pauly Shore's "Lisa Lisa".

    3) not sure how to take this one at first, surprisingly interesting dude when researched. glad this is actually an innovative Zappa-esque outsider from the Beefheart era, and not some kid in brooklyn trying to be ironic.

    still, someone must help me dissect all the qualities that make this sincerely likeable that are NOT ironic, tongue in cheek, or "it's so uncomfortable it's funny". or is that it? that's ok too. but there's a whole generation of "humor" makers, much of it on "Cartoon" Network, and i just don't get it.

    4) aaauuugh! ...but you and i have talked about this guy before. it's not that i don't marvel at the abilities involved in doing this by your lonesome (except the music he decides to make), but i still hate everyone who ever told me "you should listen to him, you will love him" for thinking this little of me. (not you though)

    5) what a great description! i think it may have been the visual components that sold me on them

    6) i've been so humorously confused by 3 mixes here now with the word "Belong", and none of them my the artist Belong (or maybe Sal)! but i welcome another Washed Out example. i'm really warming up to the electronic 80s references when they're so warbled; appreciating the "i left your tape in the sun all summer" production (ditto Boards).

    7) a bold statement, but i like this! definitely curious to hear more...

    8) so glad to hear a Czechno mix like this. that must've been an incredible wedding, and i know what a cool 4 months of research that was for you! what gems. it may have fallen on you to keep some of these historic torches burning

    9) loved this in 10 seconds. i do wish it went more places, but that's my attention span sometimes. i think you're onto something regarding that music will all be amalgamated in the future. i hope people will stray a bit farther to better sounds than keyboards, but that's going to be an important vessel too

    10) R is simply infallible

    this was a perfect Jiri mix: full of greatness, newness, and undeniably you

  2. I want to pin a gold star on this mix for making me like something by a dude named Spookey. Fuckinginspired. This is exactly why I wanted you in the mix on this: a pantheon of things I never would have heard on my own, and a wonderfully rounded snapshot of you as a person, through the lens of your yearly musical picks. I feel like I cant wait for summer to get into the subtleties of this.

  3. 4. Owen Pallett "Lewis Takes off his Shirt" (2010)

    best choice. I try to see him every time he's on tour. He opened in 2004 for the Arcade Fire (which I didn't realize he was in until they came on and I said,"dude it's the same guy!" ) and he blew me away. Awesome addition to your killer playlist.