Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mike Mix 2013

Well, it's a few weeks late, but Mike Mix 2013 is finally compiled.  I usually link to videos of each song, but I'm feeling fancy today, and I'll actually embed them in the article.

1. "Don't Count on the Wicked" by Billy Talent

Billy Talent are no strangers to Mike Mixes.  (That isn't a subject/verb grammatical mistake; Billy Talent is the name of the band, not a single person.)  In fact, 2013 marks the ten-year anniversary of Billy Talent's debut album and subsequent debut in Mike Mix 2003.  I still like their first album the best.  Dead Silence is their fourth album (and first with an actual title, breaking tradition of Billy Talent, Billy Talent II, and Billy Talent III), and I think it's their strongest since that first album.  It scratches my itch for heavy alternative music that doesn't manifest itself as often as it did in my teens and twenties.

2. "Crystallize" by Lindsey Stirling

This is technically breaking the MiKenzie Inc. rules for Mike Mix compilations, as Mike Mix 2012 included "Transcendence", which is from the same album as "Crystallize."  Here's the thing, though.  Last year, I just bought "Transcendence" on its own.  Later, in 2013, Avril bought a bunch of other Lindsey Stirling songs, so I count them separately.  Lindsey has had a pretty big year, too, so kudos to her.  Yay for Mormons!  (She's not the only one to make it this year.)

3. "How" by The Neighbourhood

Here's a first.  The Neighbourhood is in the R&B category of iTunes.  I didn't know that when I bought this album.  I'm not known for my fondness of R&B.  This isn't typical R&B, though.  This is one of the rare physical albums that I bought on CD in 2013.  I don't like it as much as I did that day I listened to it in HMV, but it's still pretty good, especially when I'm craving something different than my usual fare of alternative rock and mellow adult alternative.

4. "Holes" by Passenger

This is the single version of the song.  The album version, which is what made it to Mike Mix, is a little different.  This video sensors out the "motherf-__er," though, so you're welcome, I guess.  I bought this album at the same time that I bought The Neighbourhood, and it's much more in line with my usual taste in music.  As you can tell from his voice, I'm sure, he's not from North America.  He's British.

5. "Coffee Girl" by The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip used to be one of my favourite bands, especially in the early '00s.  I stopped following them as time went on.  This song is actually from 2009, but I never bought the album it comes from.  I heard it on the radio a few months ago and decided to buy it off of iTunes.  And now here it is on a Mike Mix.  It's been almost a decade since the Hip made an appearance on one of these things.

6. "Reflecktor" by Arcade Fire

Another Canadian band.  Arcade Fire came out with a new album in 2013, and I bought the physical (double) CD.  This is the best song off of the album, and probably the most commercially accessible one.  For reasons I won't go into detail over, this album will always remind me of hemorrhoids.

7. "Guns of Carolina" by Matthew Good

Despite being my favourite solo musician, Matt Good always seems to surprise me with his new albums.  As in, one day, I'll just stumble across his new album after it has already come out.  This is the fourth of the four physical CDs I bought this year.  I'm a huge Matt Good fan.  Weezer, my long-time favourite band,  exemplifies the music of my youth.  Matt Good exemplifies the music of my adulthood.  (This Mike Mix is nicely heavy on the Canadian content, I'm just noticing.)

8. "Ways To Go" by Grouplove

If you only watch one of the videos I'm posting here, watch this one.  It's a nice homage to Kim Jong-Un.  This song was introduced to me by Noah, who was a big influence on Mike Mixes when I was a single adult.  It's a good, catchy, alternative song with a bit of electronica in it for good measure.

9. "Wild Country" by Wake Owl

This is the mellowest song on this year's mix.  I don't know much about Wake Owl.  I discovered them listening to the indie station on Grooveshark.  It's a very pretty song.  Hauntingly beautiful, even.

10. "Wake Me Up" by Avicii

I just noticed that I have three songs in a row that start with W.  This song is quite different than what I usually listen to.  The story of how I found out about it is kind of funny in a "Mike's a nerd" sort of way.  This year, Avril and I started playing a D&D-esque tabletop RPG called Pathfinder with our friends, Jared and Susan Aldridge.  One of the other players (Susan's brother) used a character that he named Avicii, and he explained to me that it's the name of a DJ that he likes.  So I looked him up, and decided that this is a cool song.

11. "Sail" by AWOLNATION

I forget where I first heard this song.  I'm pretty sure it was in a YouTube video, but I forget which one.  Oh well.  I was reminded of it today when I was looking at iTune's top ten most popular alternative songs, so I bought it.  True story, I swear.

12. "Pompeii" by Bastille

I had no idea who Bastille was before an hour ago, but now I want their entire album.  Another discovery from iTune's top ten alternative songs.  I sampled the whole album, and it was all good, but I chose this one because it was the first one I heard.

13. "Only the Young" by Brandon Flowers

More Mormon music.  You may recognize Brandon Flowers as the lead singer of The Killers.  This is from his 2010 solo album, Flamingo.  Noah pointed this song out to me, so that's two for this mix.  Well, actually, he pointed it out to Jake, but I overheard it on Facebook.

14. "Recover" by CHVRCHES

This is another band I hadn't heard of before today.  I needed some more music, so I googled "best indie music 2013" and this was one of the results.  CHVRCHES kind of reminds me of Purity Ring, who appeared on either Mike Mix 2011 or 2012.  I can't be bothered to go back and check.  This one is a little more upbeat and catchy than Fineshrine.

15. "I've Got Your Fire" by Jenn Grant

For a while there I was driving my in-law's '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which didn't have a CD player or functional tape deck, so I could only listen to the radio.  Lethbridge radio sucks, so I only ever listened to CBC radio.  That's where I heard this song.  It's not the greatest song, but I like singing along to the "Oooo-oo-oooo"s.

16. "Say Something" by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera

What?!?!  Christina Aguilera on a Mike Mix?!  What is this?!  What's happening?!  I know, I know.  I never thought it would happen, yet here we are.  To be fair to myself and my musical sensibilities, this isn't a Christina Aguilera song.  It's a Great Big World song, featuring Christina Aguilera.  I came close to buying the version of the song without Christina, but that harmony is just too pretty to pass up.  I'm a sucker for male/female harmony.  I know this is a popular song--it was number one on iTune's regular page, not the alternative page--but I had never heard of this song before today.

17. "Here With Me" by The Killers

Mormon song #3.  Haven't had enough Brandon Flowers yet?  Have a song by The Killers!  The Killers are no strangers to Mike Mix Productions, but it has been a while.  And that's all I have to say about that, I guess.  Next!

18. "Paris" by Magic Man

This is another song I found from my google search of 2013 indie music.  I don't really have all that much to say about it, because I know next to nothing about Magic Man.  Very catchy, upbeat song.

19. "Dubstep Solves Everything 3" by Jack Douglass

You should watch this video, too.  I've been a fan of Jack Douglass for a while, mostly because of his Your Grammar Sucks videos, but the first video I ever saw of his was the original Dubstep Solves Everything, which is hilarious.  Dubstep Solves Everything 2 was disappointing, but he hit it out of the park with Dubstep Solves Everything 3, thanks to a little help from Autotune Jesus.

So there you have it.  Mike Mix 2013.  19 tracks this year, so consider yourselves lucky.

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