Posted by: cousinbrandon | November 6, 2009

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: Math Rock! 19 Bands, 99 Minutes, 28 Songs

So here’s yet another mix from the Cousin Matt collection.  He made this mix back in 1999, and although it’s difficult to tell, the title is quite clever.  He actually wrote it down the spine of the case so it read vertically.  Named Math Rock, the numbers in 1999, when added together as single digits, equal 28.  See what he did there?  Math?  Cousin Matt, you so crazy!

In looking over the tracklist, particularly at the top of Side A, I think it’s safe to say someone was in his Elephant 6 phase, no?  Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Beulah, Of Montreal.  I mean, if that’s not a tip of the cap to the good of Denver via Ruston, LA, I don’t know what is.  Sadly, I’ve only seen Beulah and Of Montreal in person (thus, I never got a chance to see NMH, the creators of my favorite record of all time, live).  Don’t get me wrong; both Beulah and Of Montreal were fantastic, albeit incredibly strange in the case of the latter.  In fact, I had beers with frontman Kevin Barnes after the performance at Schuba’s in Chicago, back in (I believe) 1999.  His face was covered in white powder with a Dali-esque mustache drawn on.  He was unbelievably strange, which is hard to believe considering their recent slew of records.  Still, weird or not, Kevin Barnes and the rest of Of Montreal continue to put out solid records.

A couple notes on the mixes below.  First, the link to Quasi’s “Birds” is not actually “Birds,” as I couldn’t find a link to it.  Instead, I linked to one of my favorite Quasi tracks, a live performance of “Our Happiness Is Guaranteed.”  Second, in 1999, The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin was my “Record of the Year.”  It remains my favorite Lips record.    

Math Rock! 19 Bands, 99 Minutes, 28 Songs (Side A):

1. Neutral Milk Hotel – “Song Against Sex
2. Olivia Tremor Control – “Hide Away
3. Elf Power – “High Atop the Silver Branches
4. Beulah – “Emma Blowgun’s Last Stand
5. Of Montreal – “A Collection of Poems About Water
6. The Flaming Lips – “Buggin’
7. Lenola – “Stood Up By a Cold Front
8. Elevator to Hell – “Backteeth
9. Juno – “All Your Friends Are Comedians”
10. The Beta Band – “Brokenupadingdong
11. Home – “Seganation”
12. Quasi – “Birds
13. Beulah – “Ballad of the Lonely Argonaut
14. Guided By Voices – “Wrecking Now
15. Built to Spill – “Time Trap

Math Rock! 19 Bands, 99 Minutes, 28 Songs (Side B):

1. Guided By Voices – “Teenage FBI
2. Sleater-Kinney – “End of You
3. The Supersuckers – “How to Maximize Your Kill Count
4. Pavement – “Platform Blues
5. Sparklehorse – “Chaos of the Galaxy/Happy Man
6. Neutral Milk Hotel – “Naomi
7. Olivia Tremor Control – “Hilltop Procession
8. Home – “Forgiveness
9. Cornelius – “Count Five or Six
10. The Beta Band – “Dogs Got a Bone
11. The Flaming Lips – “Suddenly Everything Has Changed
12. Quasi – “Skeleton”
13. Juno – “Leave a Clean Camp and a Dead Fire

Hope you enjoyed the latest “Miscellaneous” Mix.  Honestly, there are tons more in the hopper, so stick with me on this.  Too much good music not to share it with the world.  Oh, and you.  Thanks once again for the assist, Cousin Matt.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!

BD

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Responses

  1. Yeah Platform Blues! That song is a great one. It makes me sad that Pavement fans are so harsh on Terror Twilight. It may have been the Stephen and Nigel show, but that’s a pretty awesome show.
    Another great one, at least the tracks I know are all great choices. There are a good amount of stuff I haven’t heard in here and I’m looking forward to getting into some links. Aside from a couple records, I’ve largely missed the boat on that whole Elephant 6 group of bands. About time I changed that.
    Thanks a lot man.

    • Couldn’t agree more on Terror Twilight. It’s a fantastic record. Granted, I dare you to name one Pavement record that ISN’T fantastic.

      And when you say you’ve missed the boat on Elephant 6 bands, please, Sir, assure me that does NOT include Neutral Milk Hotel…

      • Let me put you at ease. They are really the one exception. Moreso, I’ve only heard Dusk at Cubist Castle and some scattered Of Montreal tracks beyond them. I still need to buy Cubist Castle too, which I really liked but listened to it online and haven’t gotten around to buying it yet. Do you have a record or two that you would start with between those bands?

        By the way, thanks for the Sparklehorse recommendation. I’m just starting It’s A Wonderful Life and it’s off to a really nice start.

      • As for the Pavement thing. I would dare, but I try to do as little lying in life as possible.

  2. Of the Elephant Six contingent, I saw Beulah the most. I actually turned into a frequent Beulah showgoer with my wife, brother, and some friends. The very first time I saw them (at Upstairs at Nick’s, which no longer exists) I was highly impressed with how well they harmonized, especially since they were all dudes. And they didn’t look like the “harmonizing” types of dudes. Equally impressive was multi-instrumentalist Bill Swan (Swanny) who would seamlessly transition to two or three instruments during a single song. One of them being the trumpet. For some reason that just makes it seem more difficult to me.

    Anyhoo, I could on and on. Strangely, this mix doesn’t contain my favoritest Beulah song “If we can land a man on the moon…”

    • Beulah truly was a great live band. And as far as the absence of “If We Can Land a Man On the Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart” goes, I think we know who to blame for that, now don’t we?

      • I did put it on one of my mixes. I just can’t remember which one at the moment.

  3. In case anyone reading wants to see a combination of both that song and Swanny doin his thing, here you go:

    • That was really fantastic. Thanks for posting it. I really enjoyed it a whole lot. I guess with my above question When Your Hearstrings Break is a good place to start.

      Also, with the above. That Sparklehorse record is really, really great.

      This is shaping up to be a really good day that may turn pretty expensive once I get my paycheck. Thanks guys.

      • When Your Heartstrings Breaks is both fantastic and easily accessible. And although the malty will disagree, I’m a big fan of Yoko, as well. Still, if you buy Heartstrings first, pick up The Coast Is Never Clear second.

        Also, finally remembered the name of the Sparklehorse track with the video shot in the Czech Republic: “Devil’s New.” Good stuff.

      • Thanks Brandon. I just read a really nice little review of The Coast Is Never Clear and I’m looking forward to diving into both of them eventually. I’ve got a feeling that I may just grab them both at the same time. Assuming that all goes well, I’ll have a look at Yoko third.

        Youtube doesn’t have the Devil’s New video unfortunately, but I’ll keep my eyes open for it. Did you find it on a DVD?
        It’s a great song.

  4. Yeah, as Brandon points out I just never took to Yoko. It was, however, brilliantly named as they knew it was gonna be their last album together. For me, Beulah’s high-water mark has to be The Coast is Never Clear. Not to take away from their others – it was just their most consistent. Even their first one, Handsome Western States had obvious standouts – namely “Disco: The Secretaries Blues”. I was a sucker for the big hook back then.

    Funny how, of all the bands on the mix, we got talking about Buelah. Home was another criminally under-appreciated band. Granted, they’re quality has trailed off in recent years, but their early work was undeniable.

  5. I haven’t heard of Home until now. I liked Forgiveness. I was having trouble searching on them. Is there a particular album to keep an eye out for?

    • the malty is more the Home guy than I ever was, so I’m sure he can help you out. More importantly, if you don’t own Quasi’s Featuring “Birds,” you need to get on that one. Really an unbelievable record from start to finish. Also, refer back to my Top 106 Records of All Time list. Might give you some more suggestions/help.

      • Thanks Brandon.
        I actually had only heard about Quasi until they opened for Built to Spill in L.A. a little ways back. They were really great live, but I picked up When the Going Gets Dark I was a little lukewarm to it minus a couple of very high points. I’ll give another record a look.
        Thanks, I had actually forgotten about the list as a really good reference point. Probably answer a lot of these questions right off the bat.

        Also, Leave a Clean Camp and a Dead Fire is a really good track. I dug that one a lot.

  6. I second the Quasi suggestion. That album is great.

    As for Home, they are without a doubt one of the hardest bands to search for. I used to try to get updates on them and could never find anything. The only link that got me close was some site called “Screw Music Forever”, and that was a pretty disjointed, confusing site. (This was before MySpace, though I’m not sure they have a MySpace page now even.) They title their albums by numbers, and because their early releases were essentially cassette demos their first official release was “IX”. My picks would be, in order: “XIV” (easily their crowning achievement), “XI”(which is also awkwardly titled “Elf: Gulf Bore Waltz”), and “IX” (a little more spastic and all over the place than their later efforts…one patience-testing track is 23 minutes and has them playing in a car, but it’s still catchy).

    Amazingly, I just looked at iTunes and just last week they released all their early demos (I-VIII). I doubt I’ll get it but 95 Tracks (!) for $15.99 is quite a bargain.

  7. That’s lucky. I initially searched on the iTunes store and saw that they have XIV. I wasn’t sure though because it appeared that there were a couple bands called Home lumped together and none of the tracks from the mix were on it.

    Thanks again for all the help. I’ve been in a mood to start seeking out some new stuff for the library over the last few months particularly. This has all been really great.


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