This year’s mixtape is ready for you to download. The two disc set is packed with 2008 favourites from all of our writers.

Download: The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2008 – Disc 1

01. She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
02. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
03. Chad VanGaalen – TMNT Mask
04. Bloc Party – Signs
05. Mystery Jets – Young Love feat. Laura Marling
06. TV on the Radio – Family Tree
07. DeVotchKa – Transliterator
08. Wilco w/ Fleet Foxes – I Shall Be Released
09. Wolf Parade – Soldier’s Grin
10. M83 – Graveyard Girl
11. Albert Hammond, Jr. – GfC
12. Vampire Weekend – Walcott
13. Brendan Canning – Churches Under the Stairs
14. Cut Copy – Lights and Music
15. Los Campesinos! – This Is How You Spell…

Download: The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2008 – Disc 2

01. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
02. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
03. Born Ruffians – Little Garçon
04. The Clips – Space Kidz
05. The Radio Dept. – Freddie and the Trojan Horse
06. Bon Iver – Re: Stacks
07. Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance
08. Portishead – Machine Gun
09. No Age – Eraser
10. Plants and Animals – New Kind of Love
11. Bodies of Water – Gold, Tan, Peach, and Grey
12. Fleet Foxes – Oliver James
13. Deerhunter – Never Stops
14. Santogold – Creator
15. Beast – Ashtray

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— , December 24, 2008    4 Comments

Wild Beasts

At the end of each year I delight in reading a ton of “best albums of the year” lists on blogs and in magazines to find everything that I’ve missed over the year. I think I listened to quite a bit over the last 11 and a half months, so I’ve decided to publish my own best of 2008 this time around. It was a hard to choose, but I finally got it down to 20.

20 | Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto

I’m starting off my top 20 list with some fauve British guitars. I’ve been following Wild Beasts from their early EPs and singles and what’s great is that they didn’t lose their raw sound on their debut album, Limbo, Panto. Angular guitars, falsetto vocals, and unconventional percussion make this a weird but rewarding listen. Matisse would be proud.

(more…)

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— , December 16, 2008    10 Comments

She & Him

Has anyone been feeling a particular lack of sweet summer tunes this season? Quite a letdown after I spent months last year with Miracle Fortress‘ “Five Roses” on repeat, and 2006 was a tie with Phoenix‘s “It’s Never Been Like That” and “Puzzles Like You” by Mojave 3. Maybe it’s just me living in relative isolation from pop music and hipster culture, but I’m not feeling any particular surge of interest toward one artist.

Since it’s not looking like I’m going to find my summer musical blockbuster analogous to The Dark Knight, I’ve taken to sampling artists fervently and settling quickly one a decent song or two. It’s not the love affair I would like, but it’s a love-’em-and-leave-’em world sometimes. Here’s a few decent tracks:

She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

I hemmed and hawed about this track back when it was available as a live video, and I finally decided I like it. You got me, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Well, M. Ward had me at End of Amnesia….

Hilotrons – Emergency Street [Happymatic, 2008]

I find this album is a bit hollow and fluffy (as Nigel would say from So You Think You Can Dance, “like cotton candy: sweet, but no substance”), but this track is slick. Yes, I quoted SYTYCD. And yes, I just used the acronym. Wanna fight?

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed

Now, this CD with the extended moniker holds some potential for me. Soulful, dense, unique, lovely. Check his myspace.

Madrid – Reply (to Everyone) [Madrid EP, 2008]

Madrid have been described as a cross between Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Kraftwerk. Wonderful musical offspring.

Veda Hille – Luckyluck [This Riot Life, 2008]

This year’s Canadian answer to St. Vincent (although Veda‘s been around for a while).

So, I issue a challenge to any readers/fellow contributors: do YOU have an album for summer 2008?

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— , July 29, 2008    7 Comments