BlackBook Tracks #9: Summertime Sadness

What’s your summertime sadness, fellow member of the first world reading this article? Lana Del Rey? Not drinking enough frozen margaritas outdoors? Your best prospect for a potential summer fling not panning out? Your awkward farmer’s tan? Never working up the confidence to wear a crop top? Ryan Lochte? The Teen Wolf season finale introducing too many new ideas? Never finding the perfect pair of sandals? The new Taylor Swift song? Well, it’s mid-August. We’re in the home stretch, so either go out and get it or make this playlist the soundtrack to your wallowing.

Slow Club – “Giving Up On Love”

Oscillate between optimism and pessimism with one of Britain’s finest folk-pop duos. At this point in the summer 2012 game, it’s time to give up on a lot of things, and love is probably #1 on the list.
 

Beat Connection – “The Palace Garden, 4am”

Seattle quartet Beat Connection’s debut LP The Palace Garden has already proved to be one of this summer’s most pleasant releases. Loaded with smooth harmonies, the title track is simultaneously soothing and super catchy.

Ladyhawke – “Anxiety”

The title says it all, but the effervescent production lightens up the eponymous track from the Ladyhawke’s recently-released Anxiety. The electro-pop artist doesn’t shy away from getting personal, and she’s all the better for it.

Discovery – “Carby” (ft. Ezra Koenig)

Rejection hurts! Dance the pain away!

Kisses – “Funny Heartbeat”

Hard-to-Google L.A. synth-pop duo Kisses made a splash with their 2010 debut The Heart Of The Nightlife, and they’re back with “Funny Heartbeat.” It’s already setting the bar high for their follow-up album.

Efterklang – “Hollow Mountain”

The Danish band is back with more stunning orchestral sounds. Here’s a glimpse at their bleak and lovely new album Piramida, out next month.

Air – “You Make It Easy”

Legendary French duo Air excels at the atmospherics, and “You Make It Easy” is no exception. Nothing restores sanity like a listen to Moon Safari.

The Antlers – “French Exit”

Get tranquil and let some of Brooklyn’s brighter sons help you deal with that sense of lingering shame and regret.

Timber Timbre – “I Get Low”

Haunting vocals make this 2010 track from the Canadian folk trio totally captivating. Listen to this any time the sun isn’t out.

Chad Valley – “I Want Your Love”

Under the moniker Chad Valley, Hugo Manuel makes immersive, glimmering electronic music. The Oxford, UK-based artist is also gifted with a preternaturally earnest-sounding voice that’s hard to not fall for. This song will go great with your pining for someone who has a water filter and non-leather couch.

Cloud Nothings – “Wasted Days”

There’s something both triumphant and crushingly defeating about this nearly nine-minute track from the Ohio rockers with the raw refrain “I thought I would be more than this.” It’s simple, but effective—who doesn’t?

BlackBook Tracks #6: Is Your Summer Weird Yet?

It’s mid-July, and by now your summer’s probably getting really good or really weird. (My vote’s for weird, I don’t know about you.) Whatever’s going on, round out your soundtrack with this week’s musical picks.

JEFF the Brotherhood – “Six Pack”

Get to know another side of Nashville with JEFF the Brotherhood. The lead single from their new Dan Auerbach-produced album Hypnotic Nights shows how to stay optimistic about summer, even when it is too hot to live, also known as right now.

The Soft Pack – “Saratoga”

San Diego garage rockers the Soft Pack are getting ready to release their next album Strapped on Mexican Summer. First single “Saratoga” hints at the vibes to come.

Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

Remember when you first heard Vampire Weekend? Brooklyn’s finest have been keeping quiet while working on their third album, but they resurfaced at the Pitchfork Music Festival last weekend to remind everyone of just how great they are.

The Bewitched Hands – “Thank You, Goodbye, It’s Over”

The charming French indie pop band jangles its way through two and a half minutes of pure pleasantness.

Alt-J – “Tessellate”

See things in a slightly different way with these fast-rising Brits.

Lana Del Rey – “National Anthem” (Das Racist remix)

Nothing like a good remix to make Lana Del Rey more palatable, and Das Racist don’t disappoint.

MNDR – “Faster Horses”

MNDR knows her way around a slick electro-pop tune, and “Faster Horses” is no exception. Keep an eye out for her debut LP Feed Me Diamonds next month.

Discovery – “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” (ft. Deradoorian)

The blend of efficiency and pop production on Discovery’s LP make it a summer record with lasting power.

Bear In Heaven – “World Of Freakout”

Bear In Heaven bring the fuzzy, washed-out synths for a song that’s more complex than it initially lets on.

Poolside – “Just Fall In Love”

A record called Pacific Standard Time is irresistable by default, and the California duo Poolside have the disco-inflected chops to back it up.

Kindness – “Anyone Can Fall In Love”

A slow jam for summer nights, British up-and-comer Kindness has a knack for universal pop appeal.

Moonlight Matters – “Come For Me” (ft. Gustaph)

Getting people to dance to songs they’ve never heard before can be a challenge, but this track, assisted by Hercules and Love Affair’s Gustaph, is probably a good place to start.

Brides Murdered On Their Honeymoons Is Focus Of Classy New Reality Show

Move over, Say Yes To The Dress. Happily Never After is the new reality TV show about that marital problem on the top of every bride’s list. No, not getting an UTI — death on the honeymoon. 

This "part wedding show and part police drama," TV By The Numbers reports, will feature the surviving newlywed looking back on a honeymoon that went horribly, horribly wrong. Upcoming episodes of the Discovery show include The Bride Wore Blood, about a groom murdered on his wedding night; Set Sail For Murder, in which a newlywed bride is thrown overboard a honeymoon yacht; and Ice Cold Heart, in which a bride goes for a walk by herself and never returns. Marlo Thomas, of all people, will narrate the series. Are you sure this show is not on Lifetime?

Frankly, I think Happily Never After is doing an important service to newlyweds. You thought your honeymoon was going to be all about the backwards cowgirl and fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them, did you? You should really be worrying about … murder.

Sarah Palin Finds a Home, Maybe with Oprah

The end is near. After much back and forth, it looks like the Sarah Palin reality show has found its channel. Variety reports that Sarah Palin’s realtiy show has found a home/train-wreck-setting in the Discovery Channel, reportedly for a cool $1 million an episode. And, here’s the fun part: Since Discovery Channel owns the soonish-to-launch Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), there’s a chance that Palin’s show could air on the Oprah channel, if Discovery spreads its pricey new baby across multiple networks.

Sure, Palin and the Queen got along swimmingly post-election when they sat down last fall to chat about Palin’s book, Going Rogue, but it would still be pretty ironic for the show to air on OWN. It’s sure to be a train wreck and one that viewers will flock to for one of two reasons: A) they’re tea-partying fans of Palin or B) they hate Palin and they’re indulging in some TV schadenfreude. Either way, it’s not quite the “live your best life” stream, we (and probably big O), imagined for her channel. But, with Oprah quitting her talk show in 2011, and according to a recent NY Mag piece her soon-to-launch channel’s programming only “vaguely defined,” the Palin family dramas just might end up on Oprah’s channel.