Ice Cold: an IGIF Christmix

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 FireNeighborhood #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 FantasyThe 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] BeirutPrenzlaurberg
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] AnnualsFair
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 SmithAngel 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 BearShift (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 WolfLightness
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] DungenDet 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 StevensSister 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 SatiePremiere 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 CollectiveWinter’s Love
This is probably the most beautiful song Animal Collective has done yet… hands down.

[MP3] Eagle*SeagullDeath 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 StatesRivers
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 SwimmersSong 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!

Posted By Connor at

FILED: Mixes

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous December 17, 2006 at 12:52 am

Good stuff. If I remember right,the Satie piece first ot mass attention in 1969 thanks to a minute and a half’s worth on the “Blood,Sweat & Tears” album.

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jshone December 17, 2006 at 1:42 am

awesome mix, thanx!!

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Anonymous December 17, 2006 at 1:57 am

thanks for the great mix. you should check out horse feathers if you haven’t already–their whole album is perfect for winter

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sleazeh December 17, 2006 at 2:17 am

nice picks. gymnopédie 1 is on many, many movie soundtracks, and is probably satie’s best known piece. better late than never finding it! and tunnels is probably the song that best describes (lyrically and musically) a good harsh montreal winter. thanks for opening with it.

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drewcif December 17, 2006 at 3:06 am

Connor, just a stellar mix top to bottom. It’s rare that I find a blog with more than maybe one amazing song that I haven’t heard, let alone at least 4. Godspeed.

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Wayne December 17, 2006 at 4:14 am

“This is probably the most beautiful song Animal Collective has done yet… hands down.” Couldn’t agree more with that statement, great mix, although i think Father has some how become my favourite annuals song.

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Anonymous December 17, 2006 at 6:06 am

The Satie piece was written in 1888 and is the thought of as the beginning of modern French music. Ravel and Debussy were two of his students, if I’m not mistaken.

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Anonymous December 17, 2006 at 7:55 am

beautiful songs, thank you so much :)

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Anonymous December 17, 2006 at 10:27 am

Wonderful post. I love the Beirut song, and the Eagle*Seagull song is highly underrated. Peter and the Wolf continues to impress me; to boot, Red is such a great guy.
Nice picks all around, Connor.

-Kate K

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wire December 17, 2006 at 12:31 pm

This is a great mix

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Anonymous December 17, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Nice post, thanks a million.

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Justin December 17, 2006 at 2:07 pm

brilliant collection

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not veronica December 17, 2006 at 5:03 pm

I wish it were more wintery here in Seattle, too. I’m looking forward to listening to this — tonight, perhaps! Thanks.

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feather December 17, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Mixes are among my favourite things ever. <3

And that Satie song is my favourite of his. It reminds me, personally, of rainy days; possibly because I discovered it when I was living out a very wet winter in the Bay Area. I just can’t help but think of umbrellas and Paris and light fog whenever I listen to it. I like to pretend as if it was the inspiration for Proust’s “little phrase” in Swann’s Way

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Erik December 18, 2006 at 7:58 am

Great mix. There were even a few (4) songs I havent even heard before. Good stuff. :)

Song number 8, by Dungeon, translates to “What you think today, you are tomorrow”. It’s swedish.

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Anonymous December 18, 2006 at 9:51 am

I tried to download some tracks, but it wouldn´t work. There was this default message saying that you had been suspended. Why is that? Too many visitors? :)
It´s a shame, you mix sounded really interesting… Oh, happy Christmas anyway.

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Thomas Kalkhoven December 19, 2006 at 10:13 am

You should listen to Benoit Pioulard, don’t think I’ve seen him covered here. Anyway his album on Kranky was my favourite of the year, and perfect for a winter mix.

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Aaron Burkhalter December 19, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Erik Satie is amazing, and makes appearances on more somber mixes I occasionally make. I absolutely love the gymnopedies, but I’m a bigger fan of the “Gnossiennes” pieces… which are also meditative and beautiful.

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kate December 19, 2006 at 11:53 pm

kudos to you my friend. always a very tricky thing to compile various poetry. you certainly cheered me up. thanks holmes!!

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Anonymous December 20, 2006 at 1:56 pm

“I tried to download some tracks, but it wouldn´t work. There was this default message saying that you had been suspended. Why is that? Too many visitors? :)
It´s a shame, you mix sounded really interesting… Oh, happy Christmas anyway. ”
Please help, this is what happend to med to

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Molly December 21, 2006 at 7:14 pm

i really wish you hadn’t suspended this so fast. its plain perfect. merry christmas anyways darling.

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Anonymous December 22, 2006 at 1:27 pm

Erik Satie eh?
I did a report on him in 8th grade.
A very eccentric man.
He had a collection of umbrellas.
All the same kind.
Weird if you has ask me.

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Anonymous December 22, 2006 at 1:29 pm

Actually can you repost the Erik Satie piece?
I am DIEING to hear it?
Please?
Please?
Do it for Christmas?

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Anonymous January 5, 2007 at 6:33 pm

what a fantastic mix

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