Podcast 82: East Bay to Back Bay

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You may have surmised, from the title of this mix, that Boy in Static's contribution to the XLR8R Podcast has a little something to do with the Bay Area, but the S.F.-based indie-pop duo of Alexander Chen and Kenji Ross was nice enough to pass along a few words on each track in East Bay to Back Bay. "Kenji and I have been fortunate to become friends with some very talented folks over the past few years," explains Chen. "There's a personal story behind each track here."

With that in mind, we'll cease to ramble on as we sometimes do, and let the boys explain the track selection themselves. Hell, you might even want to hit the "preview" button while reading about each track.

East Bay to Back Bay:

01 Mint Julep - "To The Sea" – (Self-Released)
From a self-released CDR album by Hollie and Keith (who also record as Helios). They make shimmering pop songs suited for winter nights and keep the front porch of their cozy Portland home available for a stray cat named Emiline. (Hollie also sings on our new album.) AC

02 Her Space Holiday – “Sleeping Pills” – (Tiger Style)
Marc's albums have kept me company over the years. I think my HSH-fanboy-nerdiness scared him when we spoke for the first time. He played accordion and Rhodes on our new album. AC

03 Boy in Static - "Young San Francisco (Montag Remix)" – (Fake Four/Circle into Square)
After I did a remix for him, Antoine responded with this ’80s electro, Soft Cell-inspired mix of "Young San Francisco." We've met only once, accidently. It was in the lobby of a hotel in Tokyo. AC

04 Freezepop - "Thought Balloon" – (Rykodisc)
In 2003, I met Liz and Sean at a random birthday party in Allston, MA. Since then, we have seen many places together: Europe (Sean played keys for our tour with 13 & God), the frozen Midwest (we supported Freezepop last year), and most of Boston (we hang out a lot). Freezepop makes sugary sweet synth-pop like none other. Highly addictive. AC

05 Birds & Batteries – “I’ll Never Sleep Again” – (Self-Released)
My old college roommate from UMass recently joined this Bay Area band, playing pedal steel and slide guitars. They write sad Americana-tinged rock, drawing heavily from country and electronic music. KR

06 Cars & Trains - "The Wires From My Broken Record Player" – (Circle into Square)
On a visit to his Portland home last year, Tom saved my girlfriend and I from a threatening raccoon. He writes eloquent lyrics over beats that are somehow both frail and head-nodding. AC

07 4 Bonjour's Parties - "Magpie Will Peck A Hole In My Plaster Cast" - (Mush)
4 Bonjour's Parties are Japanese labelmates of ours and did the tour with Lymbyc Systym. Probably the nicest people ever - they even came to the airport at the end of tour to see us off! Reminiscent of a Japanese Broken Social Scene, if there were one. KR

08 Future Bible Heroes - "Losing Your Affection" – (Instinct)
I often bumped into Chris at friends' bands' shows in Boston. He is an inspiring, talented individual with an intimidating musical resume. (Google him.) AC

09 Misha - "We're Gonna Have It Out (Modern Love)" – (Unreleased)
Tomlab artists Misha did a remix for our new album. John sent this nice exclusive just for this podcast, a quirky unreleased instrumental demo that will probably find its way onto the next Misha album. AC

10 Themselves - "Rapping4Money (featuring cLOUDDEAD)" – (anticon.)
Doseone and Jel, besides writing an insane amount of music (Dose told me the next Themselves LP will be his 20th album in 10 years), are also excellent human beings. We toured with them twice, and I watched nearly every set they played. Fucking magic, seriously. KR

11 Lymbic System – “Processed Spirits” – (Magic Bullet)
Tourmates and fast friends for a short jaunt around Japan a couple years back. They make wonderful, dramatic instrumental post-rock music, without sounding like Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky (for my money, they sound better). KR

12 The Notwist – “One With The Freaks” – (Domino)
I would not be making music if not for The Notwist. I mailed my demo to Markus Acher in 2003 on a whim, and am still flattered that he released the debut Boy in Static album. Since then, we have shared book recommendations (he enjoys Adrian Tomine), watched a Metallica documentary in the back of a tour bus, and killed time at a Midwest bowling ally. KR

13 Helios – “Fourteen Drawings” – (Type)
Keith Kenniff and I shared a practice space when we both lived in Boston. We played in the live Boy in Static band together for shows around Boston in 2007. His main work as Helios is hypnotic, meticulous, and simply gorgeous. AC

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