So that’s it. The big 2-0. Our teenage years have come and gone. We don’t…look any different…feel any different. We still can’t drink, we can’t run for the Senate, we can’t rent RVs… But there’s something unspoken about it all. It feels like we’re on a submarine hovering over the ocean floor… a dead calm, the same as one experiences when waking up right before dawn, walking outside, still out of the sun’s view. Is that what’s happened? Is this a rebirth? 20 years old. It’s easy to say but difficult to admit… So much has happened, so much missed, so many moments regretably not commited to memory. However, while we both somberly take in this inevitable development, we realize that this isn’t a time for regret…it’s a time for celebration. We can’t be sorry that our teenage years are over, but gracious that we’ve made it this far and excited for the years to come.

As a part of this celebration, we’ve decided to do something special for ourselves and the blog. We know that if not for music and its many facets, we would be completely different people today. There’d be no IGIF, no friendship between us, and perhaps no meaningful reflection that we find ourselves in right now. In celebration of the twenty amazing years we’ve been on this planet, we’ve compiled a list of 20 songs that have meant the most to us throughout our lives thus far, organized into 4 parts. From singalongs to instrumentals, these songs trace each year we’ve spent in existence: ages 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and finally 16-20. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Years 1-5, musically speaking, may be remembered hazily, or, by what we enjoyed. Raffi cassettes and “Baby On-Board” stickers went hand-in-hand while most of the music we remember may come from various television shows and Disney movie soundtracks. Whatever the songs that entertained our malleable minds, here is our own personal soundtrack for our first five years:

[MP3] The Arcade FireWake Up
There’s a reason why The Arcade Fire open each show with this song. It’s completely surreal, eye opening, and stunningly beautiful. It’s actually a very sad song, a commentary on how children are forced to repress emotions, yelled at when they cry, confused by it all… but still, the song ends on a positive note, and we’ve chosen it to open our mix. – Connor

[MP3] RaffiJoshua Giraffe
Raffi appears twice in this section. Yes, we know. Raffi is just that good. I will probably remember this song for the rest of my life. I can’t even remember how many times I forced my Mom to play it in the car. See if you don’t get “Nothing can go wrongo / I am in the Congo” stuck in your head for eternity. – Nathaniel

[MP3] Explosions In The SkyFirst Breath After Coma
This song has always reminded me of childhood, innocence, waking up, being born, entering a world that offers an infant as much potential as the millions of sperm did the egg… it’s the only song where I can feel my heart beating in syncopation with the beating of the drum. I could die listening to this song. – Connor

[MP3] Cat StevensWild World
The first song I ever remember hearing was Cat Stevens’ Moonshadow, thanks to my Dad playing and singing it on the guitar to me. This song, although about a girl, fits young lives perfect. Stevens was dead right to call it a wild wild world. – Nathaniel

[MP3] RaffiApples and Bananas
This is the first song I can remember. I used to love singing along to it with my parents as it played on this big blue cassette player…I thought it was hilarious, literally, the funniest thing as a child, how the words were changed with different vowels. I loved Raffi so much, and listening to this song is seriously blowing my mind right now…I mean, I’m completely “there” right now. – Connor

Scraped knees, muddy shoes, creepy-crawlies, first loves, and the formation of friendships that outlast most Volvos all encapsulate this particular developmental stage of life, from age 6-10. It’s the age of discovery, curiosity in almost everything we could wrap our little naiive minds around…and if we didn’t understand, so what!, we’d just pack it in and move on to the next shiny object… Here are five songs for those five wonderful years:

[MP3] The Beach BoysWouldn’t It Be Nice?
Some may argue that this song deserves be included with an older age group, but those people must be forgetting their first loves! Love to a pissant toddler was one of the most spontaneous, confusing, and rewarding emotions we’d yet to discover. My first kiss was from a girl named Reid who pecked me on the cheek as we sat against a tree holding hands. I may not have understood, but I certainly loved every second of it. – Connor

[MP3] Ben FoldsBitches Ain’t Shit
Connor and I talked about this song before I chose to use it. He at first thought it was (lyrically) a poor choice for the age range. Then we came to the conclusion that it fits perfectly because girls between the ages of 6-10 are sluts. We both remember our first big crushes at age 6 and kissing them… only to see them kiss another boy. Moral of the story: “bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks.” – Nathaniel

[MP3] Devendra BanhartI Feel Just Like A Child
Devendra really hit the nail on the head with this song and what it means to be a child. “They think I know shit / but that’s just it / I’m a child.” We may have loved to go out on our own in search of hidden treasure, but it was our mommies and daddies who tied our shoes and dressed us before we went spelunking, and it was they who cleaned us up when we returned. – Connor

[MP3] DonovanHappiness Runs
Donovan’s soothing voice, upbeat melodies, and brilliant usage of singing in rounds makes this a great adolescent song. I almost wish I could return to 1st grade and sit in a cirlce on the floor while everyone sang this happy song. – Nathaniel

[MP3] Sufjan StevensThe Predatory Wasp…
This is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time, and perfectly captures the essence of the “best friend” relationship. Even in an imaginary world where gigantic wasps chase children around wheat fields, the bond is there, an inseparable connection that can last forever. – Connor

11-15 –> What a weird time! We were just starting to rediscover the female form, rebelling from the authority of our parents and anyone else who tried to tell us what to do, and discovering the importance and wonder behind music, which stunningly seemed to represent exactly what we were feeling! How cool is that? I could hate on the man and not feel out of place because it’s exactly what Kurt was doing! Here are five more songs from one of the coolest times of our lives:

[MP3] Elliott SmithThirteen (Big Star Cover)
I can’t lie, Chilton wrote a damn fine love song, but only Elliott could make it so impossibly touching and pertinent. Everyone’s been there… it’s your first crush, at least one that you understand… You’d like to run away with her, take her away from her clueless parents where you can live by yourselves. It’s the one time you can remember caring about someone more than yourself… selfless, blinding, unforgiving love. – Connor

[MP3] NirvanaSmells Like Teen Spirit
This song was the jumpstart into a phase that a ton of teenagers found themselves going through: grunge. Not my favorite song from Nevermind, but the one that catapulted Nirvana to global domination and started the snowball effect of my musical phases and preferences. Love them or hate them, I have to thank them for grabbing my ears and pointing them in the right direction. – Nathaniel

[MP3] RancidRoots Radicals
Rancid was the first band that I really identified with as a young punk-ass kid with a rock-hard attitude. I was the king of ding-dong-ditch, the sultan of TPing, and an all around master of general mayhem. What happened to that sweet kid who loved to help his mom garden? He met punk, punk met his fist, and his first clenched in defiance. – Connor

[MP3] Neutral Milk HotelIn The Aeroplane Over The Sea
I was probably 15 when I first started getting into Neutral Milk Hotel. Someone had sent me this song over AIM and I listened to it on repeat for days. The beauty and brilliance of this song struck a chord with me like no song I had ever heard before and fits this age range perfectly. Much like Nirvana in helping start my musical quest, NMH played a critical role in making me appreciate amazing lyrics and instrumentation. – Nathaniel

[MP3] EverclearSanta Monica
This was one of my favorite songs when I was younger…the guitar riff was so catchy. I was really into surfing and whatnot, so I agreed wholeheartedly with everything the song was saying…except the “we” referred to so passionately in the song, which was probably meant to be a girl, was my dog. But oh man, she would have loved it anyway. – Connor

Between the ages of 16-20 an onslaught of changes were at the forefront of our lives. We can drive, buy cigarettes, get into strip clubs, and vote in elections. Most importantly, our musical tastes are now refined. Like our coveted gasoline, we’ve started in the ground as raw and simple crude oil and been extracted and refined to the point of perfection. Here are the song’s that have

[MP3] The FeaturesThe Idea Of Growing Old
Ages 16-20 are heavily laden with thoughts of love the idea being with someone. I’m not going to deny the fact that love becomes a focal point and central theme of life as you get older and this song is damn romantic. Most romantic songs are slow and sappy, but this eclectic twist makes growing older worthwhile. – Nathaniel

[MP3] The BeatlesGirl
The Beatles were an early favorite of mine, I’m glad to say. After hearing my ridiculously audacious claim that “Oasis [was] better than The Beatles!” my parents went out and bought be as much Beatles music as they could cram into my skull. I ate my words quickly…that was 10 years ago. After 10 years of listening to the greatest band to ever set foot in a recording studio, this song has emerged as one of my favorites. – Connor

[MP3] Modest MouseLives
With our so aptly named final section, which translates to “Thus Begins The Glory of Life,” Modest Mouse’s Lives easily nails this section on the head. Modest Mouse is still my band and this song not only speaks volumes for our latter teenage years, but our entire lives. – Nathaniel

[MP3] Iron & Wine/Calexico16, Maybe Less
The title and subsequent lyrics tell the obvious story here. It’s an amazingly beautiful song that really captures a refined, matured sense of love that had by this time formed in my post-puberty head. I believe I met my first true love at age 16, and although it didn’t last, it was certainly an unforgetable experience…that’s for sure. – Connor

[MP3] The BeatlesIn My Life
It only seems “right” that we both agree on leaving our teenage years behind with a Beatles’ song. Between the great lyrics of reflection and piano solo, this song seems to incorporate our friendships, loves, hardships, and life experience into one Lennon-McCartney masterpiece. – Nathaniel

I uploaded the whole thing as a mix, with the correct track numbers and even a little artwork I did for it, just in case anyone’s interested:

[ZIP] iGIF Presents: Twenty

That does it for our post! If you read the whole thing, THANK YOU! It’s around 5AM at the moment, I (Connor) have been 20 for 5 hours, and it’s about time for me to go to bed. Thank you all for reading, despite the lengthy post and my hatred for everything HTML, we really enjoyed writing this post for you all. Good night,

Connor and Nathaniel

Posted By Connor at

FILED: Mixes

Wow! Bonnaroo is next week, which is kinda hard to believe. It seems like I just bought my ticket not too long ago and all of the sudden I’ll be packing up the car to head to TN. Woo!

Jackie Greene is a man – just to clear up any confusion. When I first heard his name (not his music), I was going to guess that it was a female singer. Jackie Greene appears to the public as a folk rocker but sounds like so much more. After being compared to the likeness of Dylan, Greene has taken his simple folk rock image and added more strings, brass, and an almost blues feeling. His latest album, American Myth, is an awesome piece of musical work. Normally, the somewhat rustic country twist to his music would completely shut me off to his music, but I guess it “just works” for Mr. Greene.

[MP3] Jackie GreeneSo Hard To Find My Way
If I were gonna pick a track to be a “Jackie Greene Staple” it would have to the this song. The feel-good vibe that is present in this song is highly contagious and the music (including banjo, slide guitar, and brass) is extremely well arranged.

[MP3] Jackie GreeneCloser To You
This a good song, mainly for the fact that I can see Greene playing this song with a slew of backup singers and candles lit in the background. Between the brass, organ, and bongos this song shows Greene’s willingness to boldly experiment with new styles of music. Plus the line “Everybody wants to go heaven / But nobody is ready to die” is just amazing.

[MP3] Jackie GreeneLove Song; 2:00 AM
The guitar picking in the beginning of this song reminded me of Elliott Smith for a split second and any comparison to Mr. Smith is a good comparison. A good love song, aptly titled, and a fair presentation of a the “slower” side of Jackie.

Next week will be the final installment of Bonnaroo Bound until next year, assuming Bonnaroo is (once again) complete with an awesome lineup. There are still some tickets available (it’s just about sold out!) and my caravan/camping spot could always use a few additions. If you’re gonna be there, let me know! Until then, check out Jackie Greene’s new album!

So here’s that first taste of MSTRKRFT that we’ve been salivating over and yearning for ever since we heard the DFA boys went pop-tech on us. To be honest, and this is hard to describe any further, it sounds exactly as I expected it would. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad or what… but I do know, I’m certain, that a whole record of this stuff would be pretty mindblowing. It’s like going to an obnoxious, sweaty rave, only not coming back smelling like all kinds of ugly and 4 kinds of sex…which is a rather enjoyable experience on certain occasions, but this time I’ll take my ciggs filtered, thank you.


Bonus MP3:

I don’t know who this boy is, but it sounds like he’s been doing this sh¡t for a while. Check out the homage-quality remix he did for MF Doom:

[MP3] MF DoomMy Favorite Ladies (Clutchy Hopkins Remix)

So check this out, there’s this Nicaraguan rapper from the Bay named Deuce Eclipse. I’d heard he’s known for his sick performances on tour with Zion I, but I hadn’t listened to any recorded stuff. A friend showed me his myspace page, which had some really cool samples, so I went out and got his newest album The Radio Plantation. This guy has really got my attention—his style is unlike any other rapper I can think of, and the album’s sound (which he calls “Freedom Style” or “Oywalk Music”) is really fresh. Here’s a few of the tracks that stood out for me:

[MP3] Deuce EclipseWon’t Forget
“Everybody let me introduce / a little music, let it get inside of you.” That’s a really tight line, and luckily it’s not even the best part of the song. Horns, pounding bass, and lyrics that flow like water make up a really great start to the album. I’m guessing that if you feel this song, you’ll definitely love the rest.

[MP3] Deuce EclipseWake Up
I don’t know why, but it’s like whenever an artist does a song called Wake Up, it’s awesome (The Arcade Fire, Rage Against The Machine, etc.). Deuce’s Wake Up is definitely not an exception—the beat is so f%#!in’ catchy, and it kinda reminds me of this Gang Starr remix of a Macy Gray song: [MP3]

[MP3] Deuce EclipseWise Men
Rap music, especially in the mainstream media, gets ripped apart for being too materialistic and violent. But that really pisses me off because there is so much great spiritually and musically strong hip-hop that rarely ever gets mentioned when the music is scrutinized on a national level. With songs like this one by Deuce Eclipse, I see no reason to knock down a genre that is so powerful, real, and lyrically beautiful because of the supposed “shallowness” of hip-hop artists who succeed commercially. (Editor’s note: right on, bruva!)

By the way, if anyone has any news, music, or any cool info about Deuce, feel free to post it here and share with the rest of us. Hope you enjoy the songs!

So I saw Tapes n’ Tapes and Figurines and Cold War Kids yesterday night at the Middle East in Cambrigde. What an amazing show! Seeing the Omaha boys was great… it seems they’ve mastered the whole “putting on a concert” thing by now (after bajillions of past shows, even before Pitchfork got to them), which further propels them to approaching established indie rock demi-god status. Despite their awesome performance, I have to hand it to Cold War Kids, who pretty much stole the show. They opened with “We Used To Vacation” to a pretty stunned, increasingly enthused crowd, with unmatchable stage presense (seems like they’ve been practicing too). Every guitar riff and solo was spot-on, the random percussion- ranging from a plastic maraca to a Heineken bottle- was well placed and well arranged, and every friggin’ song packed just as much energy as each of the songs off of their EPs, particularly “Hospital Beds” and “Saint John.” These guys have the look and sound of a band that’s already at the top of the indie totem pole, yet they’ve only begun to scratch the surface. Can anyone say “most hyped band of 2007?” Here are some pics from that show…oh wait…I forgot about Figurines… yeah, they were alright. Not really my cup of tea, at least musically (a lot of their songs sound the same, and as a new friend I met at the show inferred, “they sound like what everyone expects indie rock to sound like.”) BUT, they put on a good show and the crowd seemed to love them, so maybe I’m just out to lunch on that one. Here are the pics (click to see full size):