New Romantics

  1. Bettie Serveert, “Hands Off” (Palomine). iTunes
  2. Sick Bees, “God Will Stop Yer Party” (Up). iTunes
  3. Barbara Manning and the Go-Luckys!, “Deep Sea Diver” (Dark Beloved Cloud).
  4. Stephen Malkmus, “No More Shoes” (Matador). iTunes
  5. The Decemberists, “We Both Go Down Together” (Kill Rock Stars). iTunes
  6. Ida, “Wait” (Dark Beloved Cloud).
  7. The Ponys, “I’m with You” (In the Red). iTunes
  8. Toms, “House of Horrors” (The Numero Group; originally released c. 1978-82).
  9. Sinema, “In Your Eyes (Playgroup Remix)” (Peacefrog; originally released 2002).
  10. Caro, “My Little Castle” (Orac). Kompakt
  11. Anders Ilar, “Endast” (
  12. Edan, “Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme” (Lewis).
  13. Common ft. Kanye West & the Last Poets, “Corners” (G.O.O.D./Geffen).
  14. The Perceptionists, “Black Dialogue” (Definitive Jux). iTunes
  15. The Whitefield Brothers, “Weiya (Serengeti Beat)” (Truth & Soul; originally released 2001) iTunes 16. Amerie, “1 Thing” (Sony). iTunes
  16. G Unit ft. 50 Cent, “Hate It or Love It (Remix)” (Aftermath/Shady).
  17. Platinum Pied Pipers, “Act Like You Know” (Ubiquity). iTunes

Irony of the month: New York folkies Ida usually whisper their songs—for example, “Late Blues,” from their new Heart Like a River, mentioned in this space three weeks ago, which features the group whispering. And yet, their song “Wait” is not a cover of the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (the Whisper Song)”! (It is taken from a 3-inch CD-single on SW music columnist Douglas Wolk’s Dark Beloved Cloud label; a different 3-inch is the source of the Barbara Manning & the Go-Luckys! track. See for details.) Thanks, we’ll be here all week.

Still there? Then you’ve probably noticed that this mix looks really odds-and-ends-ish. Your suspicions are correct: Many of these songs are near misses from earlier mixes (Ponys, Sinema, Ilar, Amerie, 50), while others are from records I was either on the fence about (Bettie Serveert) or didn’t get to until recently for whatever reason (Decemberists, Perceptionists, Edan). Credit this to the general new-releases doldrums that usually hit around this time of year, or my own busyness, or the fact that I’m a tin-eared moron—whatever the reason, this one feels somewhat placeholderlike even if I guarantee from experience that it works (and sounds) just fine.

Finally, a few words on track five. “We Both Go Down Together” is an odd single, out of time not just due to Colin Meloy’s deliberate archaicisms (“Meet me on my vast veranda/My sweet, untouched Miranda”) and junk-shop orchestrations, but because he makes them sound like the most natural resources for pop material in the world. (In case you haven’t been paying attention, they’re not.) Two thoughts occurred to me: Along with the Arcade Fire, Antony & the Johnsons, even the dreaded Xiu Xiu, are the Decemberists proof that indie rock has entered its Romantic—capital R—period? (Or maybe I just mean New Romantic, as in all the crap being revived right now by kids whose bad haircuts are less artful than the early-’80s Brit fops they’re aping.) And since their Picaresque is one of the year’s best albums so far, as are Kiki & Herb’s and, to a lesser degree, Antony & the Johnsons’, will 2005 be the year cabaret broke? Will either development lead to anything? Does either development even exist? As always—cough, cough—watch this space.