Makeup For The Silence

The digital home of music writer Jesse Richman

Makeup For The Silence

Tag: the limousines

Makeup for the Silence - Best of 2013 Mix

Makeup for the Silence – Best of 2013 Mixtape

Makeup for the Silence - Best of 2013 Mix

Though I’ve done an annual mix each of the past three years*, this year was the first time I actually compiled an ongoing list of my favorite songs throughout the year. You’d think that would make this process easier; instead, I wound up with a glut of sincere favorites, and a lot of hard choices to make. For some reason, I insist on keeping this thing to a >80 minute playtime, i.e. the length of an actual CD. I’m not under the pretense anyone is actually burning this to a disc (I’m certainly not), but there’s something to be said for this mix being digestible in a single sitting, for it being something I can listen to on repeat and actually get familiar with – I like the way albums ebb and flow and tell stories through sequencing and pacing, and it’s something I’ve always put a lot of care into when making mixes. That gets unwieldy in a lengthy playlist. I enjoy getting to the point where I feel unsettled if I hear a song in my mix and it’s not followed immediately by the track that’s supposed to come next.

As always, I’ve elected to leave off any sort of big radio hits (well…kinda. You’ll see what I mean in a second). That’s a challenge in any year – for a guy who mostly writes about punk and other music of that ilk, I’m really a pop fan at heart. But this year was especially challenging. 2013 was the biggest year in recent memory for Superstar Pop – if you’re a musician people call by just their first name, odds are good you put out an album this year. A lot of those albums were genuinely great, and even when they albums were merely OK, or weren’t particularly pop-radio friendly, each seemed to contain at least one or two killer singles.

Not only that, but two artists who I normally would have found room for here, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, came back in such a big way this year that I couldn’t justify squeezing them in – both “My Songs Know What You DId In The Dark (Light Em Up)” and “Still Into You” found Top 40 radio ubiquity, and nobody’s going to be overlooking those acts just because I didn’t squeeze them onto my list. (Unlike, say, in 2011 when Patrick Stump made it onto my mix with a track from his criminally underappreciated solo album).

Finally, this year’s mix wound up especially upbeat; there’s a lot of bright, synthy, dancey pop that really hit home this year (and some moody, synthy, dancey pop to go with it). There were a number of songs I really loved – Defeater’s “Bastards”; View From An Airplane’s “Stayed Awake”; Sparks The Rescue’s “Ceara Belle”; many others – that just didn’t fit here stylistically, and even more – anything by The 1975, for one – that felt too similar to other tracks on here to make the final cut.

That said I’m really happy with how the final mix came out. Download**, listen, enjoy!

Makeup For The Silence – Best of 2013

  1. Feeling In The Night – The Reign Of Kindo
  2. Paper Royals (Lorde vs M.I.A.) – Mashed Pot8er
  3. In For The Kill – Kelsey Chaos
  4. Waste My Time – Tilian
  5. Dresden – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  6. Baby Shakes – Shone
  7. I’ve Been Waiting For This – Butch Walker
  8. Sad And Blue – Jimmie Deeghan
  9. Keep Me In Your Heart – The Here And Now
  10. Take A Picture – Carly Rae Jepsen
  11. Dreaming – Smallpools
  12. Excalibur – TEAM
  13. Supernatural – roboteyes
  14. Love Is A Dog From Hell – The Limousines
  15. Forget You – Cady Groves
  16. Hanging On A Honeymoon – William Beckett
  17. All I Know – Washed Out
  18. The Way Back – Whitewaits
  19. True Trans Soul Rebel – Against Me!
  20. Au Revoir (Adios) – The Front Bottoms
  21. Etc. – Francis and the Lights

click image to download

Stay tuned; the yearly Top Ten will begin tomorrow!

*you can always find the complete collection of mixes which have appeared on Makeup For The Silence, as well as all the playlists I’ve contributed to elsewhere, right over here.

**just like last year, there’s a Spotify version of 2013’s mix available, but also like last year, there were a handful of tracks on the final mix which aren’t available on the service. I totally understand Spotify’s convenience – after dabbling with it for a couple years, in 2013 I really converted to using it as my primary listening spot, ahead of iTunes – but I recommend downloading if you want the real deal.


(feat. track – “Internet Killed The Video Star”)

I’m not sure if there’s a German word for “the joy in resignation.”  It seems like the sort of term Germans would come up with.  If there isn’t one, that’s a shame, because it would apply perfectly to The Limousines’ debut electropop masterpiece “Get Sharp.”

Where Radiohead, Grandaddy and their ilk once found (as Tricky dubbed it) “pre-millenial tension,” The Limousines have partied at the end of the world and come away with nothing but a lingering hangover and a serious case of post-millenial ennui.  The future is here, and it’s nothing special, but what can you do? Might as well make the best of it.

So what’s left to do when it’s all been done? Create stuff? Eh, who will remember it. Fall in love?  Sure, love would be nice, but a fuck now and then ain’t so bad, right?  What, she’s dead? Oh, that sucks, let’s dance. I’ve got a full iPod.  Who really cares what’s on it? The Limousines find themselves in a brave new world, adrift on a sea of cheerful whatever.  It’s nihilism without the willfulness, hedonism without the guilty intent.  It’s giving up and giving in.

With lyricist Eric Victorino pulling lyrical references from sources as broad ranging as traditional spirituals, The Smiths, and Sam Cooke, and instrumentalist Giovanni Giusti pairing them with musical tropes that call to mind New Order and OMD as frequently as anything current, they exemplify the iGeneration, with the entirety of popular music at their fingertips but no particular reason to find that special. The Limousines know their history, even as they dismiss it with a lazy over-the-shoulder toss.  It’s not that they don’t know better, they’re just not sure if they care.

For as frequently as they refer backward, The Limousines live in the now, and they’re deftly capable of that great post-post-modern trick, being ironically distanced and sincerely invested all at the same time.“Get Sharp” is nothing so much as a knowing nod to a hopeless generation, hopelessly aware.

Makeup For The Silence Best Of 2010 Mix cover art

Makeup For The Silence Best Of 2010 Mix

Makeup For The Silence Best Of 2010 Mix cover art

I’m a subscriber to an internet mailing list, Skyway, based on discussion of the band The Replacements. I’ve been on there since I was in high school, back when that really was the way you had discussions about bands on the internet.  (Well there and Usenet, but that was mostly an unmoderated cesspool).  One fun part of the list is that every year around Christmastime, they run a mixtape exchange.  (Or at least it was tapes back in the day; it later moved mostly to CD, and now I wouldn’t be surprised if people are just transferring files online and skipping the post altogether).  Typically I would try and come up with some sort of theme; this year, I just opted for a collection of the year’s highlights.

Which is a long way of saying that I’m posting my Best Of 2010 mix here for anyone who feels like downloading it.

A couple ground rules – I decided I wanted to try and get one song from each of my top 10 albums* on here, maybe not my absolute favorite track on each album but one that fit with the ebb and flow of the mix.  I rounded it out with some of my favorite songs of the year.  I tried to avoid anything that was a big pop single (hence no Cee Lo Green – Fuck You for example) and stuck to stuff that maybe people missed or overlooked.

So download, listen, enjoy! Consider it my [insert any holiday you might celebrate here] present to you :]


  1. Intro / Bombs Away – Foxy Shazam
  2. Don’t Stop Now – The Maine
  3. Bullet – Steel Train
  4. The Pleasure Of Your Company – My Favorite Highway
  5. Internet Killed The Video Star – The Limousines
  6. Outta Time – Mercy Mercedes
  7. I’ve Been Thinking – The Narrative
  8. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind – The Reign Of Kindo
  9. Imaginary Enemy – Circa Survive
  10. Siren – The Graduate
  11. Riot Rhythm – Sleigh Bells
  12. Thinkin ‘Bout Her – What’s Eating Gilbert
  13. Darkness, Everybody – Man Overboard
  14. The Magician – Old 97’s
  15. She’s My Kinda Girl – Runner Runner
  16. Actors (Demo) – All Time Low
  17. Skin And Bones – Motion City Soundtrack
  18. I Cannot Speak – My Favorite Highway

click image to download

*if you know me, you know I do a big detailed Top 10 every year, and that I don’t post it until January.  This year, I was asked to compile my favorites for PoZ’s staff lists.  I’ll post a link to them here when they run on the site, but rest assured I’ll be doing a big long post about each record on the list, one a day in the new year, just like I did last year.


what does the phrase “passion before fashion” mean to you in the context of music? and how do you feel about the recent trend of bands forming who know nothing about music (and often care even less about it) and play simply to become popular guys in cool bands?

I don’t think anyone who doesn’t like music or care about being in a band could manage to get to the point where you’ve even heard of them if they were just doing it to be cool or whatever. Writing songs and rehearsals and promoting, driving all over the country constantly, the interviews, designing stuff, moving gear, setting up, tearing down, night after night – it’s fun but it is also really hard work. So on one hand, I could see how if you don’t like a particular genre or style of band it’s easy to sit around and point fingers and make assumptions about a band’s motives, but you’re just off base looking in from the outside.

Styles change quickly and it would be impossible for a band to form, write and record, get signed and busy their asses for years just to make you think they’re cool for a

We all love music first, otherwise we’d be politicians or movie stars…

Ask me anything, i won’t answer everything.

I don’t usually reblog other peoples’ stuff here, especially if it’s not an audio post, since this is supposed to be a place for me to formulate my own thoughts.  But this is a topic I’ve been ruminating on for a while, and before I had a chance to try and figure out a way to write it all out, Eric Victorino came along and said it all (or at least a whole lot of it) more succinctly and precisely than I could have managed.

(PS Eric’s a pretty awesome musician too, you should check out his band The Limousines)

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