The first time I saw Mother Mother perform I was struck by the sharpness of their sound—a mix of three distinctive voices, you might call them quirky, you might call them pop rock on crack, you might call them beautiful. Set to re-release their original self-titled album under the name Touch Up on Last Gang Records at the end of the month, the band is quickly garnering acclaim for their energetic live show and eccentric cultural commentary that comes with a twist of irony. While their name may be a nod to the chorus of “Spacelord” by Monster Magnet (“spacelord, mother mother!”), a Freudian reference seems just as likely. Since their inception as Mother, the band has recently doubled up on the Oedipal moniker, highlighting their music’s ability to awaken our hidden desires. As a band composed of two girls and three guys, Mother Mother are no strangers to sexual tension. Check out their CD release party on February 22nd at the Plaza before they head off to CMW in Toronto and SXSW in Austin, Texas, packed up nice and cozy in the tour van.
Idiots! – “Lies and Secrets”
They are a duo from Toronto. Awesome live show. Dead sexy. Check them out at iloveidiots.com and be one of the cool people to spread the love. I love Idiots!
Okkervil River – “For Real”
Don’t you hate it when you go to make a mixtape and you know for certain what band to include, but you can’t choose a tune? Do ya like to waltz?
Eric Dolphy – “Hat and Beard”
This was my first introduction to non-sucky jazz. Unfortunately for me, it was recorded in 1964.
Chopin – “Nocturne in E flat Major”
This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. I have put it on many a mixtape, and it is never out of place.
Joy Division – “Transmission”
Why be happy when being depressed sounds so good?
Daniel Johnston – “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances”
Do yourself a favour, become your own savior and listen to the song.
John Coltrane – “Alabama”
A super-heavy mournful intro and a swing section that makes me think, “fuck you”.
Emily Haines – “Crowd Surf Off a Cliff”
Summing it up with an edgy brilliance. It’s depressing, she’s right.
Burnt by the Sun – “It’s Mathematical”
It’s fast. It’s kinda scary. These guys have chops. What up, cookie monster?
The Smalls – “Toughest Times”
After seeing the The Smalls play the rec center auditorium of my hometown, Vernon, BC, this song became something of an anthem for me and my pubescent girl posse. Mike Caldwell’s searing vocals were regularly heard in the background, and often screamed along to, while we consumed questionable amounts of Wiser’s whiskey in Jennifer Goertzen’s basement.
Joanna Newsom – “Peach, Plum, Pear”
I really like to listen to this song when I’m wallowing in self-pity.
Metric – “Combat Baby”
This is my new favourite sit-up song. Emily Haines has no idea that she is the sole reason that I may soon feel comfortable in low rider jeans.
Jeff Buckley – “So Real”
I first heard this song on a mixtape my sister, Molly, made for my father. I was too young to cry for real, so I didn’t. I just sat there feeling very awful and terrific until after it was finished and asked, “Who is this? She’s amazing!” I rushed out to buy the album, rushed back home to listen to it and after I did, was quite disappointed.
Jon Middleton – “After A Trip”
This song is beautiful, and really has no place on a mixtape, but only on the album by this wonderful fellow from Victoria. It’s great because you really can’t understand what he’s saying, so they’re really good lyrics. It’s kind of like Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”, but with better lyrics. It’s really good in the morning. I eat it while I listen to oatmeal.
Gillian Welch – “Elvis Presley Blues”
This song is the perfect last song for every incongruous mixtape, such as this one. It reminds me of the end of a long pointless night at a bar when the lights get thrown on and you see how pale and awful everyone is and you think, “I’m never going to do this again. I know exactly what I’ve got to do.”