Perhaps it’s the unusual 60-degrees-in-December-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-our-planet weather Rhode Island and the rest of the Northeast have been getting, perhaps it’s the build-up of stress in my life (stemming from too many sources to name), or maybe it’s just me… but this Christmas season ain’t feeling nothing like Christmas. We ain’t got no snow, we ain’t got no jingle-jangle Christmas cheer…we didn’t even get a damn tree! I haven’t been asked what gifts I might want, nor have I asked anyone else. It’s strange in a Tim Burton kind of way, and I never like being that close to the strangeness of Tim Burton.
At the beginning of last week, I put together a mix of songs primarily to get me through finals: a collection of fairly melancholic tunes intended to lighten the fast-paced mood of the week to I didn’t forget where my feet were, to put me into a daze where I could get through this past week as mentally unscathed as possible. I didn’t really intend to share it on IGIF but I haven’t been posting too much lately and I thought maybe good mix of songs–a Christmix, if you will–might revive the mood of the blog just as it did my own. So, without further ado, here is Ice Cold: an IGIF Christmix:
Update: Due to our brouhaha with our current brouhaha with our hosting service – the ZIP file is the only way to obtain the Ice Cold mix. Have at it: Ice Cold: an IGIF Christmix (ZIP) – it comes with a proper tracklist and album art!
[MP3] The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
There’s nothing much I can say about this song that I haven’t said before or that you don’t already know. But I will say that it’s one of the best opening tracks I’ve ever heard, which is why it’s the opener for this mix.
[MP3] Final Fantasy – The Chronicles of Sarnia
While Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds is definitely one of the best releases of 2006, his debut was equally as stunning. This song didn’t really catch on with me the first couple of listens but now I can’t stop playing it, it’s gorgeous.
[MP3] Beirut – Prenzlaurberg
If for whatever reason you haven’t gotten yourself absorbed into Beirut’s debut, or if you haven’t checked out any other tracks than the over-blogged “Postcards From Italy,” I recommend this song as maybe the second strongest track on the album.
[MP3] Annuals – Fair
One day, when I stumbled upon Annuals’ PureVolume site and sent an IM to the band’s singer (whose screen name was freely available), I told him how much I loved the three tracks that I had heard already from Be He Me… but then he sent me “Fair,” claiming it was his favorite on their album. Take that for what you will.
[MP3] Elliott Smith – Angel In The Snow
This is one of Elliott’s lesser-known tracks, originally from the very first Yeti Zine Compilation, but he later re-recorded the song for his planned double-disc of FABOTH. It’s hard for me to pick favorites when it comes to his songs, but this one’s up there (and touches on the winter-theme nicely, I might add).
[MP3] Grizzly Bear – Shift (Live on KEXP)
This is the song that got me hooked on GB (after watching this video of the band singing it in the bathroom of some apartment in France), but they hadn’t recorded this version of “Shift” until this KEXP performance. They’ve actually got a whole slew of alternate versions of almost all of their songs (as demonstrated when you see them live), so hopefully they’ll release more of those as time goes on.
[MP3] Peter and the Wolf – Lightness
Probably the most tender song on this mix (and maybe of the year). I don’t really dig all of the songs from their 2006 album Lightness, but this one really got to me. Thanks go out to GvB for getting me hooked!
[MP3] Dungen – Det Du Tänker Idag Är Du Imorn
What do I do when there’s a band that everyone seems to love that doesn’t sing in English? I pick the instrumental track for a winter mix.
[MP3] Sufjan Stevens – Sister Winter
I don’t need to re-explain myself about how great this song is. If you haven’t picked up Sufjan’s Christmas Box Set yet, do it now… there’s plenty more beauty where this came from.
[MP3] Erik Satie – Premiere Gymnopedie
I’m actually not sure how well-known this composition is (it was news to me when I heard it first last year), but it’s entirely jaw-droppingly beautiful and meditative… which is just what I needed in attempting to connect post-modern literature to quantum mechanics for a term paper last week.
[MP3] Animal Collective – Winter’s Love
This is probably the most beautiful song Animal Collective has done yet… hands down.
[MP3] Eagle*Seagull – Death Could Be At The Door
Well, E*S never really got the break I hoped they would (or that they deserve), so I’ll plug them again. As Zane Low recently said of AF’s new gem, if you can’t into this song, I feel sorry for you.
[MP3] Sleeping States – Rivers
I called this song the best song of November back when Ed from Grizzly Bear blogged about it a couple weeks ago, and it’s been climbing higher and higher on my year end list since.
[MP3] Great Lake Swimmers – Song For The Angels
I hesitated putting such a musically depressing song on this list, but it’s just so damn good. And what better song to end this mix than one that will leave listeners with a knot in their stomach that only starting the mix over again with “Tunnels” will cure?
Thanks for reading, any comments would be much appreciated!