Category Archives: Friday Mixtapes

Friday Mixtape: Eve 6

Photo: Ben Zvan

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Eve 6

Who They Are: Pop-punk trio from La Crescenta, California. “SoCal is where my mind states, but it’s not my state of mind.” –“Inside Out,” Eve 6 (1998)

Max Collins – frontman: lead vocals, bass
Jon Siebels
– guitar, backing vocals
Tony Fagenson
– drums, backing vocals

Why I Love Them (and Why You Should Too): Like most, my intro to Eve 6 involved the infectious, tongue-twisting “Inside Out”, a song that propelled their 1998 self-titled debut to platinum status before the boys were even—(as they state in their official bio)—“of legal drinking age.” They signed with RCA records while still in high school. As such, most of Eve 6’s discography involves a teenaged boy’s priorities: gettin’ laid and gettin’ in trouble. Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Eve 6

Friday Mixtape: Bloc Party

From Bloc Party’s “I Still Remember” video. If you like trains, this one’s a must.

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Bloc Party

Who They Are: 4-piece indie rock band from London.

Kelechukwu “Kele” Okereke – frontman: lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Matt Tong
– drums, backing vocals
Russell Lissack – lead guitar
Gordon Moakes
– bass, keyboards, synthesizer, glockenspiel, backing vocals

Why I Love Them (and Why You Should Too): Bloc Party came to me in the most beautifully unexpected way. The last day of class, one of my students gave me a compilation CD of bands he loved and thought I should know. He handwrote the various tracklists, some brief notes: the second album was Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm, their 2005 debut. The year I heard them (2007), Bloc Party released a follow-up, A Weekend in the City, which I wasn’t ready to listen to yet—still soaking up the glory of the first. That changed this week. After revisiting Silent Alarm, I read back up on them—admittedly, the band had fallen off my radar. They now have four albums to their name, one released just this past summer. I have some catching up to do. Check it out: Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Bloc Party

Friday Mixtape: Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind. Photo: Jacked from the Princeton Lawnparties site. Thank you, mates.

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Third Eye Blind

Who They Are: 4-piece rock band from San Francisco. Best known for their heart-stomping “Do-do-do, do-do-do-doodoo” hit “Semi-Charmed Life” in none other than ’97, one of the best years for music.

Stephan Jenkins – frontman: lead vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion, keyboards, drums
Brad Hargreaves – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals
Kryz Reid
– lead guitar, backing vocals (2010–present)
Jon Pancoast
– bassist, backing vocals (2012–present)

Why I Love Them (and Why You Should Too): After singing along to every one of their songs on the radio, the first time I heard Third Eye Blind’s eponymous debut, I couldn’t get through it. Years later, I still don’t know what happened. It’s become a staple—no other song explodes into summer quite like “Semi-Charmed Life” with its notoriously joyous references to meth, sex; meth-induced sex. When that song blasted out of every car window the summer of ’97, the lyrics would get a little jumbled (you know the part I’m talking about) and it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized the explicit drug reference. No matter: four more singles made their way to the charts my freshman year of high school, showcasing a now-unheard-of fourteen—(fourteen!)—track album that is still one of the best debuts of all time. While the band’s had its share of difficulty and controversy (the firing of co-songwriter and lead guitarist Kevin Cadogan in 2000; the departure of founding bassist Arion Salazar in 2006; the firing of Cadogan’s replacement Tony Fredianelli in 2010; the implosion of Elektra Records; and the cancellation of a live DVD and CD in 2008), they have continued to release outstanding music. And of course, the last 3 tracks on 3eb’s self-titled are some of the best I’ve ever heard; I’ve even used them to teach metaphor and imagery to high schoolers.

Check it: Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Third Eye Blind

Friday Mixtape: Tracy Chapman

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Tracy Chapman

Who She Is: American singer/songwriter, 4-time Grammy Award winner (if that matters to you). Ridiculously talented, she plays guitar, harp, bouzouki, banjo, clarinet, keyboards, organ, harmonica, and percussion instruments. Her voice is like a warm blanket, carved wood.

Why I Love Her (and Why You Should Too): I first heard Tracy Chapman in the late’90s, not long after I first heard Alanis Morissette. I was 13, my family had just moved to Indiana after 8 years in Madison, WI, and I was so lonely I could have chewed off my own arm. I spent the summer before high school lying in a rectangle of light between the garage and the family room, drowning in songs like “One of Us” by Joan Osborne, and “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. For the longest time, I didn’t know who was responsible for this track that so perfectly captured the ache in my heart. For years, I actually thought the singer was a man; it took me a long time to wrap my head around the fact that Tracy Chapman is a black woman. (I know, I know. In retrospect, how could I have thought she was anything but?) “Fast Car” is one of many hits off her first, self-titled album, which came out in 1988 (I was 5 years old!!!!). Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Tracy Chapman

Friday Mixtape: Alanis Morissette

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Alanis Morissette

Who She Is: Kickass Canadian, also American. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, flautist, pianist, harmonicaist. Wife, mother.

Why I Love Her (and Why You Should Too): Are you kidding?! Alanis has been a force of nature since she bellowed “You Oughta Know”—bolting us upright in 1995. We oughta and we did. Jagged Little Pill sold 33 million copies worldwide, making it the second highest selling album by a female artist (she should have been first, considering she was behind Shania Twain’s Come On Over—more like Come on!).

The ’90s were great for women: we had Natalie Merchant and Fiona Apple. Lauryn Hill and The Spice Girls. Joan Osborne and Paula Cole. Meredith Brooks—(that bitch!)—and Lisa Loeb. Tracy Chapman and Billie Meyers. Shawn Colvin and—(who could forget?)—Jewel. Later, there were others, like Dido. In 1997, Sarah McLachlan founded Lilith Fair, flicking off the myth that you couldn’t feature two consecutive female musicians. In many ways, this couldn’t have happened without Alanis. Her furor, her honesty, her angst, completely changed how America viewed women artists. Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Alanis Morissette

Friday Mixtape: Tegan & Sara + Against Me!

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the next installment of the Friday Mixtape. This week’s a twofer (I know, I know. We’re changing it up already). Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Tegan & Sara + Against Me!

Let me just say: It’s been a rough week. This song, a duet between Against Me! and Tegan of Tegan & Sara got me through. Both bands save me one note (and one day) at a time.

“Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart”:

I love the way this video is edited. Also, I never would have thought to put Laura and Tegan’s voices together; their music is so different! It’s that vocal contrast that makes this track.

Favorite lyric: “Anxiety, anxiety! You give me no mercy! Grind my teeth, smooth and flat, in my sleep.” Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Tegan & Sara + Against Me!

Friday Mixtape: UVERworld

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

That means it’s time for the first-ever Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

UVERworld

Who They Are: 5-piece rock band from Kusatsu, Shiga. Housemates in Tokyo.

Takuya∞ – frontman: lead vocals, programming
Katsuya – band leader: rhythm guitar, rapping, keyboards
Akira – lead guitar, programming, backing vocals
Nobuto – bass
Shintarō – drums, percussion

Why I Love Them (and Why You Should Too): I’ve been incredibly blessed with some amazing animé on Netflix. If you haven’t already, check out Blue Exorcist, Darker Than Black, Baccano!, Black Butler, Bakka and Test, Ouran High School Host Club. There are some rockin’ opening (and closing) themes for these shows. Checking out live performances on YouTube, I was pleasantly surprised to find I am not alone in discovering great music as a result of great storytelling. A lot of animé fans find awesome music this way. While I am opposed to listening to music without knowing what the artist is saying, I feel slightly less guilty because fans will translate lyrics. I love that their name originated from mixing the German word über with the word over. So Japanese!

UVERworld have been on my Grooveshark for over a month now. Check ’em out:

My intro to UVERworld – Opening theme for Blue (Ao no) Exorcist:

Favorite lyric: “Life’s a bitch so if it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong.”

Continue reading Friday Mixtape: UVERworld