Back 2 School Music Guide
BYT at large | Sep 2, 2010 | 6:00AM |

We would like to use this opportunity to thank our interns: without you, we’d be lost (or at least completely out of our minds).

It has been a phenomenal summer (minus that brief bout where everyone kept icing each other, that we could barely handle) and now as some of you leave to pursue higher education NOT IN DC (how dare you?!) and new ones arrive, we figured it would be a great thing to do a “Back to School” music guide written by our awesome cross-section of America’s finest can-do kids ever who are ACTUALLY STILL IN SCHOOL and not entirely jaded yet (not to mention most of whom were born in the 90s).

HOW AMAZING OF AN IDEA IS THAT? (pretty amazing, in our opinion)
And they don’t disappoint: from the hits to old school hip hop to mid tempo electronica to proggy rock to 70s Spanish ballads to anything Jenny Lewis ever made, there truly is something for everyone.
Facebook links on the side.

MEGAN (freshly out of Denison) – facebook her

This is the very first time in twenty years that I will not be going back to school. That means no embarrassing first day photo, no report cards, no syllabi, no college professors to ruin my life, no nothin’. Let the brain melting begin, my friends. Let the brain melting begin. The math skills that were barely ever there to begin with will slowly slide out my ears, leaving trails of orphan numbers and multiplication signs littered on the pavement behind me. I will begin to confuse fictional television show plots with historical events, claiming that Martin Sheen was the best president we ever had. Pretty soon I won’t even be able to formulate sentences. But while I still retain some of my brain cells and semi-understanding of how to use my iTunes library, I’d like to share a playlist with you that contains 10 songs my Toyota Camry and I (and Svetlana, in the case of ‘Porque Te Vas’) have quite enjoyed listening to as of late:

Cool World-Dream Shake
School of Seven Bells-Face to Face on High Places
Brothertiger-Wind at My Back
Pomegranates-This Land Used To Be My Land, But Now I Hate This Land
Teen Daze-Neon
Foxes in Fiction-Lately (Memoryhouse cover)
Deastro-Orange Swimmer
Small-Sunshine Lover
Jeanette-Porque Te Vas

There are, of course, many other things that I’ve enjoyed listening to recently, and making this playlist made me want to tear my hair out. But alas, this is not the Megan Burns show. Yet. THE END. Oh, and I may or may not have listened to that new Katy Perry song ‘Teenage Dream’ an embarrassing number of times in the last two weeks. I’m only human. I mean, as far as I know, anyway. NOW THE END.

GAN (BROWN ’11) –facebook him

Onra’s 90’s radio pastiche has been really good to me all summer, and as seasonal transition starts, I’m sure it’s just going to get all the sweeter.

Major Lazer’s Good Enuff (Cash Flow Dub) off their latest EP makes me consistently happy and homesick (for Hawaii).

In smokey midtempo electronic news, Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts will put a definitive pop in your step with their undeniably sexy Breaking the Fourth Wall.

Tiga’s remix of LCD Soundsystem’s I Can Change is pretty nice. The fragility of the vocals plays well against the hard edge of the bass.

House record label Kompakt’s latest compilation will bring you up to speed on the latest in quality minimal (spoiler: not much has changed). Essential study music that holds up just as well under close inspection.

I’ve admired Mock & Toof for years for their top notch remixes, but with Tuning Echoes, they transform their rambling, funky house sound into a brand of their own.

of Montreal is back with False Priest. For me, it’s the most enjoyable oM album of the past few years. Kevin Barnes, you’re still a genius.

JULIA (Corcoran ’13) –facebook her

Here are my four favorite songs right now:
-California Gurls/Katy Perry
-Baby/Justin Bieber
-Fifteen/Taylor Swift.

Uh, not really.

These are 4 real ones:

– The Naked and Famous – Young Blood  I think they’re from New Zealand. That alone is definitely good enough for me.

– Jenny and Johnny – Big Wave  Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley with boyfriend Johnathan Rice. Their newest album “I’m Having Fun Now” was just released earlier this week.

– Wavves – Post Acid I’m still not exactly sure if this song is good or not, but it definitely does grow on you. Some of Wavves’ songs sound a little like experimental noise but only in the best way possible.

– Geographer – Kites (Limousines Remix)  This San Francisco based indie band creates poppy, electro-synth melodies. They were recently voted one of Spin Magazine’s “Undiscovered Bands You Need to Hear Now.

HTTP://[youtube]</p><h3 style="text-align: center;">SUSAN (Hampshire College ’13) – <a href="" target="_blank">facebook her</a></h3><p style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-106953 alignnone" title="47953_1437720538326_1092360332_31080638_600072_n" src="" alt="" width="289" height="432" srcset=" 482w, 200w" sizes="(max-width: 289px) 100vw, 289px"></a></p><p>David Bowie is always on the top of my musical heap, and Yassassin is my song of choice for studying Arabic.<br> [youtube]

The other day I heard an NPR piece on a company that will press the result of a cremation into a vinyl record. I immediately considered what song I would choose for my own remains and it didn’t take to long to settle on I Was Never Young by Of Montreal

Ian Mckellen on a Scissor Sisters track? Yes please.

JESSICA (Temple ’13) –facebook her

I’m back in Philly! And it’s the shit. A new apartment, new classes, those nastily delicious cheesesteaks, and of course reconnection with sick underground Philly music. What am I listening to right now? Let me introduce you to two young Philly artists:
Attia Taylor: This girl is making moves. She just released her EP Short Stories and Small Glories this past week, and it’s already creating a buzz in Philly’s music scene. She’s a graduate of Girls Rock Philly and constantly performing with her solid band. Check out my two favorite tracks from her recent EP:
Make Me A Mixtape & She’s A Mad Scientist (in the bandcamp download)
Paris Artelli: Paris Artelli is a monster! He produces tracks on the daily, spreading his talent between electro and hip hop, DJing and performing. He’s constantly creating, and the youngest radio personality in the US (DJ Damage on Philly’s 100.3 The Beat) tweets his support often. He’s coming out with an EP entitled Space Camp this fall so watch out for that. Here’s a little taste of the damage he does:

And finally, my late nights have been full of sexy zebra patterned pillows, lava lamps, the Pharcyde and Outkast (basically everything you need). If you don’t know these two groups, then what the hell? They’re the trippiest, most fun hip hop groups of ALL TIME. Get with it.


SHANNON (Marymount ’14) – facebook her

Michael Jordan Touchdown Pass
Michael Jordan Touchdown Pass is an upbeat folk punk band from Battleboro, Vermont. Signed to Plan-it-X Records. That I just can’t get enough of. If you are a fan of the Max Levine Ensemble you should defintley check out Michael Jordan Touchdown Pass.

Wiz Khalifa
Wiz Khalifa spent the summer performing on the Rock the Bells tour and will soon be heading back on the road again for ‘The Waken Baken’ Fall Tour. Listening to his mixtape Kush & Orange juice always brings some feel good vibes into my life.

NINA (Macalester College ’14)-facebook her

I’ll be using these awesome jams to befriend/woo all the cool musician boys on my floor.

Dolly Parton’s Greatest Hits- She’s just the best.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is dead wrong.

I’m still hooked on Arcade Fire’s new album.  So much suburban angst.  Perfect for a suburban gal like myself.  “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” is a definite stand-out track.  I don’t even care that it mostly sounds like “Heart of Glass.”
Sufjan Stevens’s new EP, “All Delighted People,” is amazing, duh.  While I think it’s a great album start to finish, I’d be fine listening to the 11-minute title track over and over.
Other songs I’m loving right now: “Scissor Runner,” from Jenny Lewis’s new project, Jenny & Johnny; Cee-Lo’s “Fuck You;” and everything that the New Pornographers have ever recorded.

MARE (Emerson ’14) –facebook her

The two bands/artists I’m completely digging right now are Cillie Barnes and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister.  Barnes has only four songs up on her Facebook/ MySpace but I’m fully blown in love.  Her voice is really eclectic and fun to dance to.  She’s what you want to first listen to when waking up as she puts you in a cheerful, happy-go-lucky mood even if you have to catch a bus at 6:30 AM.  Regarding He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, they remind me of Edward Sharpe but much better.  In fact, their about to be opening up some shows for the Magnetic Zeroes.  They have that old-timey folk feeling to them and no matter what horrible mood I’m in, just listening to them helps me lift my spirits and makes me want to twirl around in the streets and dance.
Hope I helped!
This is youtube link to He’s My Brother She’s My Sister.

Michelle (George Mason ’11) photo with Mare-facebook her

Michelle’s List (no theme.. and no new tunes, I’m currently recycling)

1. “I Do” Gin Wigmore
2. “Vegabond” Wolfmother
3. “Little Sister” Sliimy
4. “Let Your Love Grow Tail” “The Reeling” Passion Pit
5. “The Greatest” Cat Power
6 “Pop Song” “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” Starfucker
7. “Electric Feel” MGMT
8. “Here Comes Your Man”
9.  “Breathing Fire” Red Wire Black Wire
10. “Lo Boob Oscillator” Stereolab
11. “The Sun” Portugal. The Man
12. “Oh Horatio” Tiger Lou
13. “She Moves in Her Own Way” The Kooks
14. “Belle” Alif Tree
15. “Lollipop” MIKA
16. “Next Best Thing” Nikki & Rich
17. “This Will be our Year” The Zombies

Here’s a sick list of sweet underground rap tunes for the kids.

“Breathing” “Flesh” Atmosphere
“A to G” Blackalicious
“5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO” The COUP
“DirtyGirl” Felt
“Make Your Move” Hieroglyphics
“Days Go By” Living Legends
“Raid” Madvillian
“Decapitation Fee” The Micranots
“D.S.W.G. (Dark Skinned White Girl” Murs
“Mood for Love” Prince Paul
“Ooh-La-La-La” Refugees
“The Seed (2.0)” “Ain’t Saying’ Nothin’ New” The Roots
“Get By” Talib Kweli

KATRINA (not on facebook-take that)

Jenny Lewis will never do anything I can’t get into – and believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. When I thought I hated folk, I discovered Rilo Kiley. When I thought I would never have room in my heart for any other twins besides Tegan and Sara, she introduced me to the Watson Twins. And when I finally loved her enough to stand on her own, she did, releasing 2007’s Acid Tongue. Now she’s back to breaking my heart with her latest project, Jenny and Johnny, a collaboration with boyfriend/fellow musician Jonathan Rice. Despite being a jaded, pining homosexual hardened by winters of the Northeast, I still can’t help having a strange affinity for pop-y boy/girl retro beach music, and She & Him just hasn’t been cutting it lately (it’s okay Zooey, you can still be my wife). Jenny and Johnny’s release is called I’m Having Fun Now, and despite being a little too four-chordy at times, it’s a nice way to ease out of summer. Plus it never hurts to see two genuinely talented musicians working together without duking it out, nor does it hurt to see a romantically involved duo singing about love without making you look for an excuse to leave the room. Admittedly though, despite feeling somewhat tied over by her various dabblings, I can’t help but hope that, in the end, she’ll still be Jenny from the Block. And when by “Block,” of course I mean “Rilo Kiley.”

+youtube link

also, i want to have some thoughts about the arcade fire, but i have to go run to my second work shift (i’m sorry, i know it seems totally ridiculous, but i guess it kind of has been), and i wont’ be out til ten. thanks!

ROBB (Maryland-’13)-facebook him

Dirty Projectors are a five-piece Brookyln-based experimental band, led by Dave Longstreth, who can best be described as an inspired drum-circle. Download: Stillness Is The Move, Cannibal Resource, Two Doves
Theophilus London, also from Brookyln, has made quite a name for himself, and he hasn’t even released an album yet. Mixing the sounds and tempo of his native Trinidad with a New York swag, he brings a fresh perspective on hip-hop. Download: Cold Pillow, Blindfolded, Crazy Cousins
Major Lazer / La Roux are both names that everyone should already be familiar with, but if not, or if their individual albums are leaving you wanting more, the guys behind the former have released a mix-tape entitled Lazerproof. Mashing up the best of both albums with one another, as well as other popular songs you’ll be familiar with–and as an added bonus, BYT darling Matt Hemerlein is featured on one of the tracks (surprised me too, lol). Download: Lazerproof
Amy Winehouse… I’ll allow you a moment to roll down the laundry list of saucy memories of the fallen songstress… Done? Great. If you’re like me, you unfortunately slept on her first album, Frank. Big Mistake. Download: You Sent Me Flying, Mr Magic (Through the Smoke), Take The Box

SEPIE (Freshly out of VCU) –facebook him

Every year around this time, I partake in a shopping spree to jump start the school year. This splurge includes, but is not limited to, the following: fresh kicks, new threads, Lisa Frank folders, Ticonderoga pencils and a few CD purchases. Luckily, this year has been filled with great LPs from all of the indie greats. Here’s a glimpse of what’s on heavy rotation on my iPod:

  1. Arcade Fire – Suburbs
  2. XX – XX*
  3. The National – High Violet
  4. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
  5. Black Keys – Brothers
  6. Sleigh Bells – Treats
  7. Broken Bells – Broken Bells
  8. Wolf Parade – Expo 86
  9. Spoon – Transference
  10. Interpol – Interpol**

* Released in 2009 but still one of my favorites

** Not out until next week but “Lights” is just that good

Honorable mention: Hot Chip – One Life Stand and She & Him – Volume 2

The following are just some majorily BA vids from the aforementioned artists:

Arcade Fire – “Ready to Start”

Interpol – “Lights”

LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”

The Black Keys – “Tighten Up”

So grab your teach an apple and discretely jam out in the back of classroom with your hoodie covered headphones and mp3 player – enjoy the tunes, kids!