Update: I added "Shop Vac" by Jonathon Coulton.
It was looking like MiKenzie, Inc. wasn't going to release a Mike Mix for 2011, but they farted one out in the last week of the year. This is also the first Mike Mix to be released in an exclusively digital format. I suppose that's okay, considering that I can hook my iPod up to my new car. Also, I'm pretty sure Mike Mix 2011 breaks a record for the most songs falling under the rule 34.iv(c) ammendement ("if MiKenzie Incorporated acquires two separate albums by the same source artist/band, one song from each album may be used." So, let's get to it, shall we. Once again, I've provided links to videos of each song.
(Note: you'll recognize a few of these tracks from my last entry about indie rock.)
Track 1: "Midnight City" by M83
Or, as I like to call it, "Strength of Thought With Children." A bit of a departure for Mike Mix Productions. The song reminds me of "Silent Running" by Mike & the Mechanics, but I can't really say why. Silent Running doesn't even have a saxophone in it! Brains are weird.
Track 2: "I'm a Robot" by Weezer
The obligatory Weezer track. Not that I'm complaining. This is from Weezer's "Death to False Metal" CD, which is basically a compilation of songs that never made the cut for the final versions of actual Weezer albums. "I'm a Robot" is a bouncy, happy song about an alcoholic white collar suburban family man. My five-year-old son loves to sing along with the chorus.
Track 3: "The Devil & The Dove" by Sarah Slean
Sarah Slean released a double album in 2011 called "Land & Sea." Land featured your basic Sarah Slean music. Sea featured Sarah being backed up by an orchestra. "The Devil & The Dove" is from Sea, and it's a very beautiful song. My apologies for a complete lack of humour for this entry. I also apologize for the lack of video. Couldn't find one.
Track 4: "Shallow's Low" by Matthew Good
(The link is for a crappy recording of a live performance, but it gets the idea across.) While Weezer is my favourite band, Matthew Good is my favourite solo artist. That's pretty odd when you think about it, considering how different the two are. Let me tell you the biggest difference between Weezer and Matt Good. They both debuted in the '90s, when I was a teenager. Weezer remaind the same solid band for a decade, and then started getting a little silly and juvenile. Matt Good, on the other hand, has been maturing artistically as I've gotten older. His music has been changing to suit my aging taste in music over the years. "Shallow's Low" is an excellent example of this. 19-year-old me (I first heard of Matt Good in 1997) wouldn't really like this song.
Track 5: "Know Your Quarry" by Biffy Clyro
This isn't Scottish band Biffy Clyro's first appearance on a Mike Mix, but it's been a few years. This song is another example of how old I'm getting. There were a lot of songs on "Only Revolutions" that were pretty fast and heavy, and I went for the soulful ballad. And my second choice from the album would have been "Many of Horror."
Track 6: "Rows of Houses" by Dan Mangan
This is probably my favourite song right now. I wrote about it plenty in my Indie Rock Quest post, so I won't go into great detail about it hear. I need to buy more of his music.
Track 7: "Amen" by Sarah Slean
From Sea to Land. It's more pop than the orchestral "The Devil & The Dove," but it's still a very beautiful, melodic song. But still, MiKenzie missed a golden opportunity by neglecting to put on the Sarah Slean/Tupac Shakur duet version of "Amen."
Track 8: "Hang On" by Weezer
The second Weezer song on the album comes from their latest album, "Hurley." As in Hurley from the TV show Lost. It's a pretty song that stood out early for me when I first heard the album. And, if the album liner is to be believe, Michael Cera provided back-up vocals and mandolin on this song.
Track 9: "Never Listen To Me" by The Thermals
You've probably never heard of The Thermals, but you should probably check them out. I discovered them by chance at a listening station at HMV when I went to buy "Hurley." Go check them out now. I'll wait. (The bassist is a woman, if you like that sort of thing. Yeah, she uses a pick instead of the two-finger strum, but so did I for the brief period of my life when I played bass, so who am I to judge?)
Track 10: "Kissing Families" by Silversun Pickups
Mike Mix 2010 included a song from Silversun Pickups' most recent album, so of course MiKenzie puts on a song from their 2005 EP on Mike Mix 2011. It's a pretty song, though. Soft by Silversun Pickups standards. There's even a cello in it. And another female bassist! Her back-up vocals are used nicely in this song, too. She's also the star of this particular video.
Track 11: "I Am Disappeared" by Frank Turner
Another one from my Indie Rock Quest. One of the heaviest songs on Mike Mix 2011, which isn't really saying much. This is probably the mellowist Mike Mix to date.
Track 12: "Follow Me Down" by Ladies of the Canyon
You'll recognize this song from last year's Chick Mix III. It's about as country as I get. It's a good song, but it sticks out like a sore thumb with the other songs of MM11.
Track 13: "Rusted Wheel" by Silversun Pickups
This is from 2006's "Carnavas" album. I think that exhausts Silversun Pickups library, so unless they release a new album in 2012, they shouldn't show up on Mike Mix 2012.
Track 14: "Lazy" by Freezepop
Freezepop makes their second appearance on a Mike Mix after appearing on MM08 with their song "Less Talk More Rokk," made famous by Guitar Hero 2. It's a song about sleeping in and reminds me of my teens.
Track 15: "A Darkness Rises Up" by Broken Records
Another Scottish band. That's two for this Mike Mix. Not bad. I spoke in length about this one with my Indie Rock Quest entry about how this song adds piano and violin nicely to a rock band. Enjoy it.
Track 16: "The Sprawl II" by Arcade Fire
Yes, this is an Arcade Fire song. I know the lead singer is usually a man, but this is still a great song. Arcade Fire is one of those bands that I've always known I would like if I paid more attention to them, but for some reason, I haven't paid much attention to them. Why haven't I paid them more attention? Why?
So that's it. 17 tracks this time, now that I added "Shop Vac."