Since I’ve started forcing myself out of this self-imposed 3 year stint of writer’s block, I’ve rediscovered my electronica library, and will now give to you as a Yuletide present Bonobo.
Bonobo is the stage name of a wonderful British man named Simon Green. He’s been creating music since 2000, and if he stops any time soon, I will resent him acutely for sullying the name of my favorite primate. “Nothing Owed” is from his 2003 release Dial “M” for Monkey, and the album is fantastic if you need some relaxing instrumentals to help you block out the world and focus on a task. I don’t know about you, but electronica is the only thing outside of copious amounts of Adderall that can get me to focus on anything at all for longer than five minutes…
The Presets are an electronic group from Australia formed in 2003. The duo have created a veritable cornucopia of excellent electronica for nearly a decade (I feel so old saying that, by the way), and from the looks of it, they’ll keep on churning out the awesome.
"Girl and the Sea" is from their 2005 debut release, Beams, and if it doesn’t make you want to get up and dance like Ellen, you should maybe just cut off your legs for as much use as they are to you. Just saying.
Bonnie Raitt can suck my strap-on.
The Magnetic Fields have been a staple in my music library since 2005, but they’ve been around since 1989. Since I mark the beginning of humanity at the age of 5, they’ve been around longer than I’ve existed as more than a nebulous, recently un-diapered parasite. While their most famous song is generally accepted as the 1991 single “100,000 Fireflies”, their #1 song in my book is “Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits”, from their 1999 release 69 Love Songs, Vol. 1. If you don’t own 69 Love Songs, you need to get it now, because if you ever attempt to make a mix tape/CD/iTunes playlist for your love/crush/insane stalker obsession without it, you’ll have to work twice as hard to get the desired effect (affection, sex, and a possible relaxation of that restraining order).
That said, The Magnetic Fields have provided for us on a (woefully not platinum) vinyl platter the quintessential guide to all things love song. Their three volume set runs the gamut of love, from delightful crush to absolutely cuckoo to madly in love to deep, abiding hatred and bitterness. If you love 69 Love Songs, be sure to check out their other albums, and their other projects, as they have many.
The winter holidays always bring to mind so many things for me; food, capitalism, hypoglycemia, and delighted satiation being just a few. One thing that tends to negate all of these positive aspects of the holiday season, are fucking Christmas songs. When I hear a Christmas song, I turn into a raging, hulked-out Scrooge. Unlike Scrooge, though, who just wanted to keep his shop open to improve his profit margins and ended up having a life-altering schizophrenic episode because of it, my holiday anger management issues come from being vehemently, violently opposed to hearing Christmas songs. Every year, I go to such lengths to avoid being inundated with Christmas cheer that I almost forget it’s Christmastime.
Not this year, though. This year, I’m filling my ears with shiny holiday cheer, because after craving Zooey Deschanel’s voice singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, I found She & Him’s holiday 2011 release, A Very She & Him Christmas, and lo and behold, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was featured on the album, along with 11 other excellent songs (I’m qualifying “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” as excellent only because I never fail to pull up the image of Macaulay Culkin dancing to the song with an animated Michael Jordan standie). If you hate holiday music as much as I do, but you’re craving it for some reason or another (I live in Asia; what’s your excuse?), this album is your best bet to maintain your sanity and satiate your sick, sick desires.
Happy Holidays, everyone!