Not All Beer and Skittles: Chillin’ with My Peeps and My Main Man The Monarch

Johnny Ketchum here with another mix for you! We’re gonna take a break from the emo for just a moment while I talk about some other great artists, but first, a little back story. I named all these first mixes I made after song titles from my early college life band. If you hadn’t noticed, they’re all quotes from TV shows, movies, or games that I loved. The band itself was not fitting to our titles, but that was the way of Emo/Hardcore bands of the early 2000’s. The band itself even was a reference; The Bride in the Blood Splattered Dress. Once we got a little popular we decided to change that name to something more simple- Dead Paris. We were a two piece band composed of vocals, drums, a NES for most songs, and an Amiga for others. Not All Beer and Skittles is a term I liked to use, kinda like “all that jazz”, I’m old at heart people. Alright enough about me lets get straight to it as this is a old mix from Not All Beer and Skittles!

01. Blue Hawaii – Blue Gowns
I made this mix in the tail end of 2010, a time I look back fondly at as one of my favorite years for music. One of the bands that was my favorite of the time was Blue Hawaii, which was brought to my attention by the band I called my favorite band at the time, BRAiDS (not to be confused with emo band Braid). BRAiDS was something amazing, while their style has grown and changed since that time it was that time period that made me think of them as a favorite. What does this have to do with Blue Hawaii you may be asking, but it’s the fact that Raphaelle Standell-Preston brings her amazing vocals to both these bands. At this time they were two completely different bands with completely different sounds. As the years have passed there was a messy time period in 2012 where they sounded very similar, to now BRAiDS once again finding their sound, and Blue Hawaii becoming an entirely different band all together.

02. Jeans Wilder – In My Dreams
Jeans Wilder ruled my world in 2009-2010, beginning his career in 2007 and ending Jeans Wilder in 2014 to work on other projects like Spirit Club with Sweet Valley/WAVVES members the Williams Brothers. Something about Andrew Caddick’s vocals with these very hazy/dreamy songs always made me feel tons of different emotions. In My Dreams feels like being in a dream, then you have tracks like Don’t Wanna Live Forever that has a beat that always reminds me of something from Mario Kart. Still awaiting his final record, but I’m sure when it comes it will be just as great.

03./04. The Growlers – Tijuana/Swallowed Whole
The kings of “beach goth”, whether the term was coined by The Growlers, or WAVVES, it really doesn’t matter, because now The Growlers just flat out own it. They personify the feeling you’d think when you hear the term, and they’ve created a music festival to back that up. I was lucky enough to see this band in their beginnings and never forgot it. They were absolutely amazing, how bored they seemed while playing so chill, and still having fun with the crowd as much as possible. Seriously this band is still one I’ll see time and time again, and will probably attend their annual Beach Goth Festival again. I had to add to tracks from them because, well, with Tijuana you can’t have that track without Swallowed Whole. It’s that simple.

05. Julian Lynch – Travelers
Julian Lynch is a musician who is known for his bedroom recorded records, his experimental songs incorporate lyrics too hard to really understand. I like artists like this because it makes it so their voice is just another instrument, you’re not focused on lyrics you’re focused on the sound of the song as a whole. Between him, Jeans Wilder, and a few other artists I’ll touch on in this mix it was a great year for lo-fi bedroom musicians.

06. BRAiDS – She Brave Soul
BRAiDS, while I talked a little about them during the Blue Hawaii Track, I don’t think I got across how much I adore this band. From their beginning I was hooked, they reminded me of Animal Collective in their “freak folk” days. Something so sporadic, and beautiful. Their songs always culminated into this grander sound. As my significant other would put it – “the layers”. She’s completely right too, the layers of their songs and how they grow is what makes them amazing. While they no longer sound this way, they’ve grown into something still amazing. This band is the reason why I made this mix, and they restarted my love affair with Canada, and Canadian bands.

07. Ducktails – Sprinter
Alright, Ducktails is one i got into solely based on the name, then when I actually listened to his records I was amazed at how great it was. While it had nothing to do with Duck Tales, I still cogitated the name to that. The easiest way to describe Ducktails is, Matt Mondanile of Real Estate went to a college house party and busted out a guitar and drum machine and just jammed. Honestly it feels like his songs just come so easily to him, they’re simplistic yet beautiful. Again back to the bedroom recordings that ruled 2010. Fun Fact: I got into Ducktails before I even realized Real Estate was, one a band, and two Pitchfork indie favorites. Yeah, I was pretty cool..

08. Dirty Beaches – Lord Knows Best
Dirty Beaches was the other band that made me want to make this mix, when I first discovered I was unaware of what I was getting into. I was instantly in love, He sounds like an old crooner, like a lo-fi Elvis Presley. His songs range from the simply beautiful, to chaotically messy. I’m still amazed I was able to see him, and sad he’s done with this project now. This is a song I would have played at my wedding, which I’m not sure what that says about me but, it’s absolutely beautiful to me.

09. Kurt Vile – Baby’s Arm
When I first was introduced to Kurt Vile he only had one record, I learned about him where I learned about a lot of artists I consider to be some of my favorites from this now defunct blog that did what I’m doing here. Talked about not well known artists, or artists they appreciated. I really loved that blog, and miss it dearly. This record came out early 2010 and instantly became a favorite to me, not trumping my other favorite record “God Is Saying This To You…” and my favorite song by him “Can’t Come“. Baby’s Arm since has become tainted to me unfortunately. During Occupy Kurt Vile had just sold Baby’s Arm to Bank of America to use for a commercial, which was a bit disappointing. I got his reasoning for it as the song helped him take care of his baby, but, horrible timing man.

10. Pocahaunted – Touch You
Did I seriously just send you to a MySpace page? Why yes, yes I did. I could have also with Ducktails, but eh. Before Bethany Consentino was Best Coast, her, Amanda Brown, Bobb Bruno, and Cameron Stallones of Sun Araw had Pocahaunted. They were a psychedelic drone band out of LA reminiscent of psych bands of the past. Especially psych bands from California. They rocked, but Sun Araw came out to be the band I appreciate most from this band. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Best Coasts first few EPs, but they quickly fell off for me.

11. Toro y Moi – 109
Before Toro y Moi became a “chillwaver” Chaz Bundick made songs like 109. They were a bit beachy, but again just this lo-fi sound I completely adored at the time. Like BRAiDS his sounds has changed so much, it’s gone from synthpop, electronic, to a bit of R&B. He’s a damn talented artist that definitely does deserve the attention he has received, and while I’m pleased that I got to see him around this time period and his “Causers of This” album cycle, I’m stoked I’ll be able to see him again during his What For? cycle. If some how you’ve never listened to Toro y Moi, I highly suggest going through his catalog as it’s very eclectic.

12. Beach Fossils – Youth
While I recently have gotten pretty exhausted with these type of bands, I’ll still say Youth by Beach Fossils is one of my favorite songs. I still have this record on my phone because it reminds me of being young. They’re fantastic, their catalog isn’t bad either. It may get exhausting and sound vaguely familiar to each song, but they have a few really good gems on each record.

13. Abe Vigoda – House
While Abe Vigoda is long gone (the band that is) I still adore them as if they’re still very active. They’re a band I regretfully missed twice, once while waiting in line, the other by just not being aware of the show until a day later. I’ll remember hearing the song I’ve linked to while waiting to get into my first FYF Fest, and being so damn disappointed. House was one of the first tracks I ever heard from them, but Skeleton, the song I’ve linked to is my all time favorite by them. Their catalog is small, and worth finding, especially “Skeleton”, that record is still in heavy rotation for me. They represented Chino Well. Juan Velasquez went on to form Roses, which is very different, but it’s nice to see the members starting to float around in other bands.

14. All Leather – Babe, Does This Band Make My Butt Look Big?
I’m pretty sure I mentioned in my First Wave Emo Mix that Justin Pearson is a personal hero of mine, and all of his bands are some of my favorite bands ever. I literally own everything from this man. All Leather was the most pleasant surprise, it was so different from everything else he was doing before and so welcomed. I was lucky enough to see All Leather three different times in a two month period. Twice in smaller venues (Rhinoceropolis, and Hi-Dive in Denver) and a larger venue in Denver with a dj duo called “Faux Punk” a Daft Punk.. cover band? Yeah, to say the least I chatted with the band a bit, bought my merch, found out about the other two shows and left. If you’re lucky enough to get ahold of their records, do it. They’re fantastic.

15. Anamanaguchi – Rainbow in the Dark (Das Racist Remix)
So, I’m not quite sure who to link you to here, Anamanaguchi, or Das Racist.. To be honest, I like Anamanaguchi a ton more, and this was one of the handful of Das Racist songs I liked, but I learned about it and them from Anamanaguchi. I have to go with the Guchi.. Das Racist are worth checking out too though.

16. Washed Out – Olivia
Before Washed Out was most notably known for Portlandia, I knew him as a very dream pop, electronic artist named Ernest. His music has changed a lot and like Toro y Moi, BRAiDS, and others I have mentioned here, his sound has changed immensely. It’s all for the greater good.

17. Surprise!
I can’t ruin this, it was unlisted in the cd’s I sent to friends when I first made this, so, I’m still going to keep it a secret. Just listen to the mix, you’ll be surprised. I loved doing this and it makes me miss the whole “mix tape/mix cd” medium. You just can’t get away with this kinda thing digitally. Ah well, let me know if you do listen to the mix in whole and get to this and enjoy it, make sure to let me know on twitter @johnnyketchum.

18. Childish Gambino – Freaks and Geeks
Ah, yeah, this song really dates this mix in my opinion. I mean, it’s fine, but, not great. I could have gone back and removed it, but then I ruin what I created 5 years ago. Name dropping Ariel Pink was cool then, now, ehhh.. It’s alright. Also makes you think Donald Glover ruined himself by trying to be hard. He definitely didn’t seem like the type of guy to write raps that were so, typical backpack rap song. Ah man, so.. Whatever.

19. Minks – Ophelia
Okay, phew, back to stuff I’m still into. Minks, listen, they’re straight up goth. While you may not be able to tell that fully from their new look, or their latest tracks. Trust me, they’re goth. If you can I highly suggest finding their record “By the Hedge” as it’s an amazing “The Cure” like record filled with beautifully tragic songs. My favorite song is “Funeral Song” which is definitely a “summer is a bummer” track.. Fun fact: that’s the name of another mix I made, where that song definitely makes an appearance.

20. WAVVES – Horse Shoes
Here we are at the end of the mix with WAVVES. WAVVES was literally my favorite band from 2008 to 2012, I honestly couldn’t get enough of Nathan Williams records. Once he released King of the Beach it was strange for me, I had fell in love with his first two records which were recorded in his bedroom and were very lo-fi. Then I found some videos of him playing songs off those records acoustically and I lost it. I was in love with these songs. There was nothing wrong with King of the Beach, it was just so weird to hear these pop songs no longer hidden underneath all this fuzz. I first got to see WAVVES in late 2008 or early 2009 when he was touring with Zach Hill, which made me love his music even more. Hearing songs without the fuzz live was fantastic, and made me more open to King of the Beach when it was released. Fun fact: I own every WAVVES shirt possible from 2008 to 2012 as I’ve seen WAVVES 9-12 times. Roughly.. I also own a WAVVES “tobacco” grinder because yeah, I’m a dork. Fun fact 2: the song Summer Goth is a song I sing to my significant other all the time.

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