Posts Tagged ‘music’


soundtracking with Robert Szkolnicki: The Mix Tape

April 11, 2014

Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”

Rob (John Cusack) from High Fidelity

Even though mixtapes do not physically exist anymore, the internet is doing its best to keep this form of expression alive. Or rather. It’s trying.

Sites like The Line of Best Fit, Portals Music, and The Maroon Cafe post many mixes. The results are however not always satisfying as the playlists are more of a music feature rather than an “expression of how you feel”. Even the new term “curated playlist” seems to have been invented to have mixtapes taken more seriously.

The current mixtapes that I enjoy are by other musicians. Not only is it music that they like but perhaps music that inspires them.
Here are three recent good ones.

Julianna Barwick on Fact Magazine …

Titled See You, it’s a lilting collection of soupy new age, rolling Americana, Arthur Russell, and the odd canonical classic too – it’s certainly been a while since we heard Dylan in a FACT mix.

And keep browsing the mixes on Fact and you’ll also find something by Damon Albarn

Titled Waves in Suyian and made in collaboration with Remi Kabaka and Suzi Winstanley, it spans US­-Cambodian psych-­rockers Dengue Fever to West Indian soul group The Guinness Casanovas, with Mulatu Astatke, Erykah Badu and Holly Golightly in between, plus a pair of unreleased tracks from Albarn himself.

Carmen Villain via Self­-Titled has a nice mix of tracks called Winter Ease.


soundtracking with Robert Szkolnicki: The Weekly Music Fix

December 11, 2013

Ed note: Special thanks to Robert, for casually sending this along, when I probably would have slumped into another month of “hiatus” for 11th ave.  Even more thanks for more music tips. My bookmarks and music library are a little more crammed over the past couple of years, thanks to Robert’s suggestions here and there.
Music sites on the internet tend to come and go. There are a few good sites that are quite reliable. Since it is the season for gifts, here are some music links that fill my ears with new music every week.


Sound Opinions

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is Sound Opinions — the world’s only rock and roll talk show.

Sound Opinions is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. These guys know music. This is more talk show, topic based, instead of a dive into new music. The episodes where I feel I may not enjoy usually turn out to be quite enjoyable. Each podcast is one hour which is a good length.


All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered is home to the best new music and a community of fans always ready to share their opinions on the current music scene.

All Songs Considered is hosted by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton. This show is about new music however the content is sometimes pre­releases which means they will feature music that is not actually available for purchase possibly for a few months. The podcast has recently stretched out to include different categories of music which is a great idea.

KEXP Out This Week

Seattle radio station KEXP has a great internet presence. One of my favourite blog categories on is the weekly feature of new music called Out This Week. This is not a podcast but rather a collection of new music releases from YouTube, Soundcloud, and MP3. The downside is that you have to be internet connected.


KEXP Music That Matters

A KEXP DJ records a podcast of their favourite new music from independent artists. Like a radio station, the categories vary between DJs so this one can be hit or miss.


… a bonus link … sort of on a weekly schedule … Headphone Commute

Headphone Commute is an independent resource of candid words on electronic, experimental and instrumental music.

In 2009 we launched our somewhat weekly Podcast, featuring free mixes by our favorite artists and DJs created exclusively for Headphone Commute!

Since there are different DJs creating each podcast, the enjoyment can vary depending on what you like. The episodes that I do enjoy I will listen to repeatedly.


Finally, do not forget to buy music from the artists you might have discovered with one of these links. It is better to give than receive.

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