Saturday, October 3, 2009

Playlist: The Raveonettes

[Playlist is an attempt to distill my favorite artists to 80-minute compilations. If someone asked me to burn them a mix of the bands featured here, I would give them this collection.]

There are few artists I've had a love/hate relationship with more than the Raveonettes; so much so that I almost don't want to call it a "love/hate relationship." When the band band debuted back in 2002 with the Whip It On EP, I was pretty underwhelmed. Their video for "Attack of the Ghostriders" didn't do much for me, and a factoid that made the music news rounds about how the entire album was in B-flat minor (as of opposed to their full-length debut, Chain Gang of Love, which was in B-flat major) further turned me off from the group.

Fast-forward to college: Paul Tsikitas swooped in on a chariot of fire (FIRE!) and told me to buy Pretty in Black. There are very few times people have point-blank forced me to buy albums (Nate Adams - Separation Sunday; Eric Crack - Maybe I'll Catch Fire), and it's always paid off for me. Pretty in Black was a great record, blending elements of goth, bubblegum, '50s rock 'n' roll, and shoegaze into a potent cocktail. And they wrote songs in different keys.

But when the droning follow-up Lust Lust Lust came to the states last year, I found myself again let down by the Ravers. Now, I'm not saying I hate Lust; it's definitely more interesting than the band's early material mentioned above. It just doesn't pop like Pretty in Black. And I'll admit, it's not supposed to. Lust is definitely their heaviest, murkiest release to date, and it is a good record. But it's also not something I can listen to on a regular basis. I'm not getting anything out of the depths, unlike with, say, Loveless, and so Lust is a "sometimes" record. It's not my first choice when I put on the Raveonettes, but I'm still glad that I own it.

Disappointed, I still gave the band another whirl when they release three online-only EPs at the end of 2008. I'm glad I did. Beauty Dies, Sometimes They Drop By, and, to a much lesser extent, Wishing You a Rave Christmas, were all stellar bursts electronic drone. The band really piled on the layers here, shedding their Velvet Underground garage rock of old for something still lyrically dark but also more ambient, which extends to the group's upcoming new album, In and Out of Control [SPOILER ALERT: this puppy is one of my favorite albums of 2009]. As the decade comes to a close, I find myself more in love with the Raveonettes more than ever.

Admittedly, this playlist began as an excuse to have the online EPs coupled with "The Christmas Song," a compilation track the band released back in 2003 that I've always loved, even when I wasn't a Raves fan. I tacked on some of my favorite tracks from Pretty in Black and In and Out of Control, with a single song from Lust Lust Lust, which I feel stands better on its own as this monolithic slab of noise. So, the track list might be a little too focused on the band's recent output for some fans' taste. But then again, I didn't make this list for the hardcore.

Vintage Future
1. "The Christmas Song," The OC: Mix 3 - Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah
2. "Aly, Walk With Me," Lust Lust Lust
3. "Young and Beautiful," Beauty Dies
4. "Black/White," Beauty Dies
5. "The Thief," Beauty Dies
6. "Here Comes the End," Beauty Dies
7. "Way Out There," Sometimes They Drop By
8. "Blood Red Leis," Sometimes They Drop By
9. "Sometimes They Drop By," Sometimes They Drop By
10. "Vintage Future," Sometimes They Drop By
11. "The Heavens," Pretty in Black
12. "Seductress of Bums," Pretty in Black
13. "Love in a Trashcan," Pretty in Black
14. "Sleepwalking," Pretty in Black
15. "My Boyfriend's Back," Pretty in Black
16. "Bang!", In and Out of Control
17. "Gone Forever," In and Out of Control
18. "Last Dance," In and Out of Control
19. "Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)," In and Out of Control
20. "Break Up Girls!", In and Out of Control
21. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," Wishing You a Rave Christmas
22. "Wine," In and Out of Control

Hey, I made it through the entire post without mentioning the Jesus and Mary Chain! Oh crap...

1 comment:

Paul Tsikitas said...

I am quite impressed by this playlist. Sad to see "Bowels of the Beast," the most redeeming track from "Whip It On", omitted, but alas. The Raveonettes will find it hard to top "Pretty in Black"'s amazing sound. Glad to have enabled that. Just picked up the new record and will be spinning it soon.