Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oh You're So Dreamy Jens

I've had a bit of a school girl, music nerd crush on Jens Lekman ever since I saw him live and subsequently fell in love with his Oh You're So Silent Jens last year. He's a charming, attractive Swede who creates some amazing pop music. How can a pop-addicted music snob with a soft spot for nerds like me resist? Seriously?

Well, my fondness grew just a little more today when I discovered his talent for making mixes. As Pitchfork noted, to commemorate the passing of summer, Jens has made a mix/remix compilation of some of his favorite summer songs. Download the 26-odd minute bundle of fun--entitled "The Death of This Summer"-- here [via Pitchfork] or here [via Jens' site]. A list of included tracks and Jens' personal notes can be found on Jens' discussion board.

I wasn't familiar with any of the songs used and had never heard of several of the artists either , but I enjoyed all of them. They're definitely fun, playful summer pop songs, and it makes a lot of sense that these are among the Swede's summer listenings. I'm still debating if 26 minutes of bubbly pop in a row is too much. It is certainly a possibility, but this mix seems to avoid that unfortunate fate. It's wonderfully paced, with just enough hidden surprises, changes of mood and rhythm to keep things delightful throughout.

Chalk up "excellent DJ" on the Things To Love About Jens Lekman list. Right next to "He plays the ukulele".

Post Script: The riff around 18 minutes sounds exactly like that of the Janet Jackson single "Someone To Call My Lover" [I actually sought out the song just to confirm my suspicions]. Since I'm not familiar with the songs, I don't know if he sampled the riff or if it's actually from the particular song. Or does the mix song sampled Janet, or vise versa? Someone must be sampling someone. Any ideas? I would be incredibly amused if he sampled Janet Jackson. Granted, it is a pretty nice riff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, time to dust off my old Definitive Source persona and drop some musical knowledge. The tantalizing little guitar hook Amy recognizes is about the only redeeming aspect of "Ventura Highway", America(the band)'s 1973 musical shitstain comprised largely of mind-deadeningly smooth playing and arrangements, coupled with greeting card platitude lyrics, elements which are expertly tweaked into something palatable in Lekman's excellent mix. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis skillfully sampled the hook for Janet Jackson's 2001 summer jam that Amy mentions, continuing their knack for appropriating early-1970's folk rock to their own considerably funkier ends (Janet's 1997 album The Velvet Rope dips into Joni Mitchell's back catalog, and 2001's All For You lifts from Carly Simon in addition to America). Everyone should marvel at how having no life to speak of serves me so well when it comes to the nitty gritty of trivia, and then take pity on my miserable soul. ;)


9:31 PM, September 06, 2006  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you for the answer. I figured I could probably find out if I wanted to, but I was feeling rather lazy [pretty common lately] and knew that some music buff such as yourself would know.

And the massive trivia knowledge might just pay off, Mr. I Might Be On Jeopardy!

9:36 PM, September 06, 2006  

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