The Dunce Cap: Week of Feb. 21, 2012

The Dunce Cap, Vol. 43: I should find someone better for me, but Mom says we’re born this way. (click on link to listen to mix via 8tracks or play above)

1. “Holland 1945” – Neutral Milk Hotel
2. “Dawned on Me” – Wilco
3. “Star Wars” – Ryan Adams
4. “Rubber Lover” – Marmaduke Duke
5. “Sweethearts” – Butch Walker & the Black Widows
6. “Girls and Boys in Love” – The Rumble Strips
7. “Range Life” – Pavement
8. “Holiday” – The Get Up Kids
9. “Glendora” – Rilo Kiley
10. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bon Iver

I’m sorry for the delay with this post, folks. I made the mix some time ago, but I’d forgotten to post the accompanying WordPress post. I’m sure you all were eagerly awaiting my return.

I’m stationed currently in one of the journalism labs at Northwestern, and I’m looking out the giant glass window, positively dismayed to find snow flurrying outside. What is this nonsense? Chicago weather is utterly fickle, and we’ll go from sunshine (see Wednesday’s love-for-global-warming-inducing midday 60s) to driving rain to snow. It’s days like this I revel in the idea of approaching Florida warmth.

For now, this playlist ought to rev up your desire, too, for something resembling spring. These ten tracks are fairly representative of what I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately. I’m sans iPod – and, really, reliable technology in general – but spending 40 hours a week in a moving vehicle, so I’ve started to slowly rebuild my music collection. Reckless Records and Second Hand Tunes, two local Chicago record stores, offer much in the way of cheap used CDs, and I’ve spent hours on end picking through their selections. The result is a car trip full of 90s nostalgia, from Pavement to the Get Up Kids to Jawbreaker to the Gin Blossoms, and, while Pavement’s getting quite a bit of play on my radio these days, it’s Neutral Milk Hotel which has really stolen my heart. I had the unique pleasure of catching NMH’s Jeff Mangum in Milwaukee last month, and it was truly transcendental. Both of the group’s full lengths have been in regular rotation as of late, and “Holland 1945” – rumored to be about Anne Frank – is likely my favorite tune from both releases.

The Pavement track here (“Range Life,” from their seminal album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain) is one of my favorites, with, it seems, frontman Stephen Malkmus cleverly employing a thesaurus to detail the comforts of laziness. The Get Up Kids’ “Holiday,” the lead track from their 1999 album Something to Write Home About, remains one of my very favorites, and I was thrilled to find a copy of the album after losing mine so many years ago. This mix also has a sweet Butch Walker track from his newest album, The Spade, and an excellent Bon Iver B-side, his haunting cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” as well as two of the catchiest tracks I’ve heard in some time, Marmaduke Duke‘s totally filthy “Rubber Lover” and the Rumble Strips‘ “Girls and Boys in Love.” These are ten I’m really loving, which, I suppose, has been my m.o. with these for a while now. Alas, alack.

Happy listening.

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