This past week some fellow WPGU music staff kiddos and I embarked on a road trip to Indiana to see a shared idol—Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel. To kill time there were of course many iPod battles and music shares, so I figured this Monday Mixer would serve as an homage to our excursion as well as a mini road trip playlist for all to enjoy. Sometimes good music and an experience are worth the drive.
1. “Hot Cheetos & Takis” – Y.N.RichKids
Although I’ve since learned this is a lowkey YouTube hit, our own Joe Winner introduced us to “Hot Cheetos & Takis,” one of his personal favorites. Apparently these kids did this track/video as part of entering a contest for after school programs, but damn if it isn’t catchy. Check a favorite line, “got like three or four dollars and a couple odd cents / bout to cop me some hot cheetos and a lemonade brisk.”
2. “Glenn Tipton” – Sun Kil Moon
Music staff cohort Eric Holmes requested this song, and it was my first experience with Sun Kil Moon, project of Mark Kozelek, singer/songwriter formerly of Red House Painters. Named after the guitarist from Judas Priest, “Glenn Tipton” is just one of those calming songs you don’t want to skip; it’ll keep your soul going.
3. “I Never Learnt to Share” – James Blake
James Blake is one of my personal top five-do no wrong-musical Christ figures, and luckily, there were some other enthusiasts along for our ride. This song off James Blake’s self-titled debut LP will blow your mind if you let it. His velvety vocals and expanding creation of R&B/dubstep hybrid beats could put you in a dangerous trance if driving alone at night, so keep a friend in the seat next to you for safety purposes.
4. – Kanye West
Obligatory Kanye West song. I’m sorry, but if I’m in the car for more than an hour, he’s going to get played. That’s about all I have to say about that.
5. “Feel It All Around” – Washed Out
“Feel It All Around” has to be one of the greatest songs to simply cruise around to. The electronic maestro, otherwise known as Ernest Greene, released this song on his 2009 debut EP, Life of Leisure, but you may recognize it more familiarly from the intro to Portlandia. Its fluid haze will make you feel weak at the knees.
6. “1Train” – A$AP Rocky
This is off A$AP’s recently released second album, LONG.LIVE.A$AP. It’s a pretty heavy collaboration track, putting Rocky on with hot colleagues such as Action Bronson, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, & Big K.R.I.T., just to name a few. Since it was freshly added to nearly every one of our iPods we had to bump to it, and you should too.
7. “Manchester” – Kishi Bashi
If you are a sucker for doubtlessly beautiful, ethereal music, then you will be fast friends with Kishi Bashi. This guy is a true artist—he’s a renowned violinist who has toured and recorded with artists such as Sondre Lerche, Regina Spektor, and of Montreal. Listening to his first full length album, 151a, is like breathing: effortless and necessary.
8. “Plasticities”- Andrew Bird
Over the course of our 5 hours of driving I heard the term “Andrew Birdophile” for the first time, and realized: I am exactly that. I have and always will be devoted to this man. He is definitely another of my personal top five-do no wrong-musical Christ figures; almost every setting is made better by an Andrew Bird piece, and a long drive through the majestic farmlands he so beautifully sings from is certainly one of them.
9. “Impregnable Question” – Dirty Projectors
What I would dub as one of the sweetest songs off of Dirty P’s latest LP, Swing Lo Magellan, “Impregnable Question” confronts the turmoil of deciding whether or not to let people go. You get to experience a more emotionally accessible side from the band, which makes this acoustic number quite pleasant for a road trip through the Midwest’s vast flatness.
10. “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” – Neutral Milk Hotel
Only fitting to conclude this mixer the way Jeff Mangum himself concluded the show we attended. A one song encore has never been better received. Truth be told there may have been some tears, and they may have been mine. Filled with plenty of incredulously perfect lyrics (“how strange it is to be anything at all”), this song will move you every time you listen. Even if Mangum looked somewhat like a Minnesotan mixed with a yeti, he will forever be the original personal top five-do no wrong-musical Christ figure.