SIMPLE MINDED 8-TRACK MIX TAPE – 1st and 2nd Quarter 2017

 

It's been a while, but here's our top musical picks for the first half of 2017.  So enjoy the Simple Minded 8-Track Mix Tape for the first 2 quarters of 2017.

FIRST QUARTER 2017

TRACK 1 – “Weak” by AJR from the album The Click

PRODUCT OF:  New York City

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It has a fresh altnernopop sound that brings indie music sensibilities to a pop scene that can rapidly grow stale.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  AJR dancing around a New York City Subway car fighting ghosts and/or reacting to heavy drug use.  The lack of hobos pissing on the subway makes this video very unrealistic.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  AJR’s name is not a tribute to PBR, the hipster beer, but a combination of the first names of the three brothers in the band – Adam, Jack and Ryan.

TRACK 2 – “Hard To Breathe” by Manifique

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to ride a horse through a rainbow to a magical dream world, this song gives you the soundtrack to that moment.  It’s a great dreamy song that out purity rings Purity Ring.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  No video for the song, but I imagine the above mentioned horses, rainbows and magical dream worlds would make a great video for the song.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  ‘Manifique’ is when something is almost ‘magnifque’ but not quite ‘magnifique’.

TRACK 3 – “Location” by Khalid from the album American Teen

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  If you like soulful ballads and felt they were lacking in recent months, then “Location” is the perfect new addition to your “Get It On” music mix.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  Khalid running around El Paso cyberstalking girls with the cell’s ‘location’ feature.  When Khalid does it in a music video it’s cool, but when I do it I get a restraining order.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Khalid should not be confused with DJ Khaled, although their names are very similar.  Khalid is an articulate young man and DJ Khaled is a Pokemon who can only say his own name and “We The Best!”

TRACK 4 – “Cold” by Stormzy from the album Gang Signs & Prayer

PRODUCT OF:  London

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  There is something wrong with you if you don’t like grime and its unique English take on rap music.  “Cold” is the standout track from Stormzy’s latest album which is the first grime album to reach number 1 on the UK album charts.  The song is a catchy track that builds on the grime sound that has recently produced great songs from the likes of JME and Giggs.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  Stormzy rapping in an icy lair befitting of Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze or The Penguin.  The video could have used a climactic showdown with Batman and/or Flash but the positive message featuring children holding responsible adult jobs is probably more uplifting.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  The name Stormzy does not come from X-Men’s Storm or from Gulf War General “Stormin’” Norman Schwarzkopf.

TRACK 5 – “Off The Record” by Beneath The Waves with Izzy Ramirez from the album Off The Record

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It has a heavy hardcore rock vibe with some amazing guest vocals by Izzy Ramirez that really balance the whole thing out.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  No video exists for the song, but screaming Vikings stabbing random things would work well for this video.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Spending a large amount of time beneath the waves can lead to drowning.

TRACK 6 – “El Paso” by Polaroids from the album Rumination EP

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It is a very cool alternative rock song with a nice alt country vibe and a beach desert twang.  The title of the song is “El Paso” and is not a Marty Robbins cover, so they score points for being creative and not aiming for easy nostalgia points.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  No video exists for the song, but I think a relaxing and classy car ride through the desert would work as a video for this song.  But if it were a car ride with bikini girls then that would be much better.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Shaking a Polaroid picture does not speed up the arrival of your image but it makes for a good Outkast lyric.

TRACK 7 – “Erased” by Gytrash

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It’s a nice modern folk song that just hits all the right notes with an infectious guitar riff and subdued vocals.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  No video exists for the song, but the video for this song should feature some soothing forest visuals with maybe some dancing bears thrown in for good measure.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  If Gytrash ever gets tired of being a folk rocker, he can change his name to G-Tra$h and become a hipster rapper.

TRACK 8 – “Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex from the album Cigarettes After Sex

PRODUCT OF:  New York via El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It sounds like something David Lynch would create if he were a musician that created moody songs.  “Apocalypse” is a hypnotic piece that isn’t overpowering but still manages to take control of your subconscious and make your thoughts wander into another realm.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  No video exists for this song, but I can imagine a backwards talking dwarf and a straight-laced FBI agent grooving along to this tune.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Although it has yet to make waves in America, this song has already charted and experienced great airplay in parts of Europe including Belgium and the Netherlands.

BONUS EUROVISION SONG THAT SHOULD OF WON BUT DIDN’T – “City Lights” by Blanche

PRODUCT OF:  Brussels

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It has a distinct European sound and elements of Lorde, if Lorde hadn’t become friends with Taylor Swift and become a pop darling.  This was the best song in the Eurovision song contest this year but did not win because the “song” contest is more about image and whatever political feelings the people of Europe are feeling at that particular moment.  But it did finish in a respectable 4th place, so that’s cool.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  A magical firefly creeping around a modernist European building.  I don’t want to say the firefly is a peeping tom, but it looks like it’s not the first time it’s gone around a building in the middle of the night.  And why does the firefly turn on all the lights?  Does it turn them on so it could see better?

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Belgium’s one and only win in the Eurovision song contest was in 1986 with Sandra Kim’s song “J’aime La Vie”.

SECOND QUARTER 2017

TRACK 1 – “L’Esercito Del Selfie” by Takagi & Ketra with Lorenzo Fragola and Arisa

PRODUCT OF:  Italy

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It is the perfect summer tune and is the perfect combination of everything that makes Italian Pop so awesome.  From the upbeat tempo to the playful lyrics, the resulting song is very catchy and very memorable.  Listen to it once and you’ll be hooked.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  Pretty girls, 1960s variety shows and time traveling dabbing action!

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Dabbing is now the official dance of Italy and every Italian musician is required by law to do the dab at least once per video.

TRACK 2 – “Brazil” by Declan McKenna from the album What Do You Think About The Car?

PRODUCT OF:  Hertfordshire

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  Although the song was Declan McKenna’s break out song and has been around for more than an year, it is included in his debut album released in July and is the perfect start for those hearing Declan McKenna for the first time.  The song is a great protest song with a folk, indie, island vibe wrapped around a catchy pop package.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  A psychedelic trip through the bottom of the sea, outer space and beyond; but sadly missing a sponge in cubic pants and an astronaut squirrel.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  “Brazil” is a protest song criticizing FIFA, the 2014 World Cup and the general corrupt skeeviness of the whole damn thing.

TRACK 3 – “Spare” by Juanita Dinamita from the album Vamos!

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It’s a rocking alt punk song that gives you flashbacks to great ‘90s artists like Sonic Youth while showing a nice modern edge that helps establish a foundation for the current El Paso alt rock sound.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  No video exists for the song, but some random kung fu fighting and robots would work for a video.  You can never go wrong with kung fu and robots.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  The original name for the band was probably Girl Johnny Dynamite or something of that nature.

TRACK 4 – “Beltnoose (Friends and Lovers)” by Trost House from the album Six Seasons and a Movie

PRODUCT OF:  El Paso

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It is a return to the hard alternative sound that Trost House put out in their last album with a bit more experimentation thrown in for good measure.  If you like your alternative music with a stronger bite that strays away from light pop sounds, Trost House is for you.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  There is no video for this song, but since it has ‘belt’ in the title the video should have belt fights galore and possibly a superhero who fights crime by hitting people with his belt.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Houses designed by famed architect Henry Trost are considered a treasure in El Paso, but if Gerald Rubin and River Oaks buy up a Trost House they’ll just tear it down and build a parking lot.

TRACK 5 – “In Cold Blood” by alt-J from the album Relaxer

PRODUCT OF:  Leeds

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  If They Might Be Giants upgraded themselves to become English cyborgs, they would be alt-J.  The song features binary code and more of the alternative nerd rock goodness that we have come to love from alt-j.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  That a day in the life of a mouse is pretty fucking violent and trippy.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  alt-j is a reference to the letter Delta (the little triangle) that pops up when you hit ‘alt’ and ‘j’ on certain keyboards.  So technically the band is known as “Teeny Tiny Triangle”.

TRACK 6 – “OK” by Robin Schulz with James Blunt from the album Uncovered

PRODUCT OF:  Germany and England

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It’s always good to see James Blunt’s distinctive vocals appearing on random songs.  One day I hope to hear James Blunt on a Swedish death metal album.  Also, Robin Schulz really does craft the most amazing beats.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  A grimier version of that Jim Carrey movie where he tries to erase his girlfriend from his memories and learns a valuable lesson about something or other.  Girls really like that movie, so just pretend you like it and you’ll earn some points.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  If Robin Schulz were to remix James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” it would be one of the greatest remixes in the history of the whole, wide world.

TRACK 7 – “Rolex” by Ayo & Teo

PRODUCT OF:  Ann Arbor

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It’s one of the better songs to burst out of the new rap movement that is currently bubbling out of the boring malaise that hip hop has become in the past few years.  And you’ve got to admire their laser focus on wanting a Rolex.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  Ayo and Teo running around with their teenage posse as they dance wildly with their stylized surgical masks like post modern bandidos.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Don’t worry about Ayo & Teo’s yearning for a Rolex.  They’ve made so much money that they can now afford multiple Rolex watches.  And if ‘Rolex’ is newfangled slang for cocaine or some other drug they can also afford that as well.

TRACK 8 – “Breathing” by Oscar and the Wolf from the album Infinity

PRODUCT OF:  Belgium

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  We’ve sort of been in a mini-drought for a great electropop tune and then Oscar and the Wolf just comes up with a storm of electropop goodness.

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  Hot naked girls in alien body paint acting out a strangely erotic, post-apocalyptic homage to Robert Palmer and the “Addicted to Love” girls.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  Oscar and the Wolf are just one person (Max Colombie) and not a duo as the name would imply.  It is unknown if Max has multiple personalities.

BONUS SONG THAT FEATURES A GROWN MAN DRESSED UP AS SPONGEBOB PERFORMING HARDCORE GANGSTER RAP – “A.C.A.B. II” by SpongeBOZZ from the album Started From The Bottom / KrabbenKoke Tape

PRODUCT OF:  Bikini Bottom’s low-income ghetto area somewhere in Germany

THIS SONG KICKS ASS BECAUSE:  It’s basically a German guy in the flimsiest of SpongeBob SquarePants costumes doing drugs, dancing with bikini girls, holding up guns and fighting with police all while doing violent German gangster rap.  Oh, did we mention there is a guy dressed in Pink that’s supposed to be a gangster rapping Patrick?  It’s everything you would expect and so much more!

IF I CLOSE MY EYES I CAN SEE:  As mentioned before, a German guy with a flimsy SpongeBob costume that has poorly-painted sunglasses doing German gangster rap while doing drugs and fighting with the cops.  It’s brilliance can’t really be described with words.

WANT TO READ A FANTASTIC FACT RELATING TO THE SONG THAT WE PROBABLY JUST MADE UP?  DID YOU KNOW:  SpongeBOZZ and his possibly copyright-infringing antics are still light years beyond the planned SpongeBob Broadway musical (Don’t click on the link to the SpongeBob musical picture unless you want to be scarred for life).

 

Thanks for listening.  Normally we put a list of other songs you should listen to after the Mix Tape, but you’re probably all listened out at this point.  Until next time.

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