The Music Guide To Mad Men

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“When did music become so important?”
– Don Draper

Creating the soundtrack to a period piece about the 1960s, especially one that takes itself incredibly seriously, is a daunting task. Around every corner are songs that tempt you with nostalgia or personal connection, but if those songs are used in even slightly the wrong context it can destroy the dynamic you were hoping for. “American Pie” is one of my favorite songs, and it was released in 1971; a year that could be the last we see at Sterling Cooper & Partners. That said, if the final credits of Mad Men roll by to the sweet melody and soothing timbre of that Don McLean classic I will toss my TV out the window and promptly run Matthew Weiner over with a John Deere riding mower. Then I’ll come home, drink 10 Old Fashioneds and brood in the dark wondering if he had wronged me or I had wronged myself.

David Chase ended the Sopranos in such a fashion musically, using Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” as either a fill in for his middle finger or a statement on American culture (or both); apparently we get to decide. Matthew Weiner, a Chase protégé, will hopefully take a different course. The music he has already used suggests he will.

Here are the defining musical moments of the first six seasons of Mad Men.

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#TBT: Hoodlem – Girlfriend (NSYNC Cover)

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For this week’s #TBT we’re serving up a cover of NSYNC’s “Girlfriend” for your musical digestion, courtesy of Hoodlem. Hoodlem is another one of these new artists operating under the guise of anonymity, so information on them is lacking. What we do know is that they hail from Melbourne and identify themselves as “an anonymous project blending pulsing experimental beats, soulful vocals and crisp production.” That approach apparently fits very well with their take on NSYNC’s final single. Give it a listen below.

DOWNLOAD: Hoodlem – “Girlfriend (NSYNC Cover)”

Mix: Danger Village

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In need of a mix for your ride to Coachella tomorrow? Danger Village‘s Beth Martinez has got you covered. Head below for some top-down festival road tunes — featuring ATG favorites Magic Man, Fickle Friends, Khushi and more — and some words on each one. And make sure to stay in the know on all the rad artists Beth and co. work with by visiting Danger Village online.

STREAM: Danger Village Springtime Flingtime Mix

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The Good Times Are Killing Me

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For the longest time, “indie” meant exactly what it was supposed to: “independent.” That changed in 2004. Enter Modest Mouse’s Good News For People Who Love Bad News, a shining beacon of weird pop that charted the course for the vague but mass-consumed object that “indie” is today. Chances are this site would not exist without Isaac Brock’s pièce de résistance, and we think it’s a safe bet to say the same about our readers’ music tastes. So we thought it only fitting to devote a track-by-track retrospective to the album on the week of its ten year anniversary. Hit the jump and take a stroll down memory lane.

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Premiere: Safia – Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds (Young Franco Remix)

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Some of Australia’s finest music minds meet on Young Franco‘s remix of SAFIA‘s “Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds.” The 19-year-old Brisbane producer proved himself a certified party starter a month ago with “Brooklyn,” an extra-funky sample-heavy house original. The magic continues on this remix, a driving tropical take on his compatriots’ 2014 breakout track. Give it a listen below.

STREAM: SAFIA – “Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds (Young Franco Rmx)” [PREMIERE]

PREMIERE: Tiny Victories – Drinking With Your Ghost

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After a long 2012 filled with shows across the country (including a successful ATG New Noise), Tiny Victories spent all of last year putting together their debut album. The Brooklyn-based duo — comprised of Greg Walters and Cason Kelly — recruited the help of producer Alex Aldi (Passion Pit, Holy Ghost!) to craft Haunts, due out June 10th on The Sleepover Party.

Today, we’re fortunate enough to premiere “Drinking With Your Ghost,” the lead single off Haunts. The track evokes traces of The National while staying true to the Tiny Victories signature sound — heavy on the moody synths, and even heavier on Walter’s haunting vocals. Have a listen to “Drinking With Your Ghost” below, and check out Tiny Victories live when they hit the stage with Big Data at our Baby’s All Right show on Thursday, May 8th.

TICKETS: Ticketfly
RSVP: Facebook

STREAM: Tiny Victories – “Drinking With Your Ghost” [PREMIERE]

Premiere: Young Liars – Night Window (Great Good Fine OK Remix)

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Meet Young Liars. Hot off a record deal with Nettwerk, these Vancouver indie-poppers are getting ready to take over with their upcoming Night Window EP. Leading the charge on this release is the title track, an uplifting ode to teenage romance. In case you’re still not hooked, the band has also packaged it with an explosive synth-filled remix from ATG favorites Great Good Fine OK. Check it out below, and make sure to grab Young Liars Night Window EP when it drops April 29th. In the meantime, grab a copy of the original “Night Window” on iTunes.

STREAM: Young Liars – “Night Window (Great Good Fine OK Remix)” [PREMIERE]

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Phantogram – Fall In Love (Until The Ribbon Breaks Reimagination)

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Phantogram‘s powerhouse single “Fall In Love,” already a masterpiece in itself, gets an almost impossibly delicate reimagination from Until The Ribbon Breaks. This is one of those songs you don’t notice is happening to you until you’re already in orbit, miles above the earth, suspended in this gradual, ethereal rework. Whoever said the best things in life are worth the wait was probably waiting for this song for proof. Stream it below or take a Phantogram-inspired trip to outer space with our friend Sandy Bullock.

STREAM: Phantogram – “Fall In Love (Until The Ribbon Breaks Reimagination)”

The Hood Internet – Honest Season (Future x Future Islands)

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At this point, a new track from The Hood Internet is not a matter of suspense. Spending the better part of a decade making consistently entertaining mashups of hip hop and everything else can create that kind of faith in listeners. So it’s no surprise that “Honest Season,” which takes Future’s “Honest” and the suddenly buzzing “Seasons (Waiting On You)” by Future Islands, makes a fun, unexpected marriage. Future takes over vocal duties from Samuel Herring, and while it would be blasphemous to say he’s improved on what was there, the switch isn’t nearly as jarring as it might seem. Really, Future Islands’ instrumentation is a game changer in place of the somewhat forgettable keyboard and synth beat from “Honest.” The two songs end up on a similar tonal wavelength, and once again we get to thank The Hood Internet for giving us a mashup we didn’t even know we needed. Check it out below.

The Hood Internet will playing the next edition of All Things Gold this Thursday, April 10th at U Street Music Hall. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Get to it!

Tickets: All Things Gold
RSVP: Facebook

STREAM: The Hood Internet – “Honest Seasons (Future x Future Islands)”

Festival Fever: Surfer Blood

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With SXSW in our rearview mirrors, Festival Fever rages on towards Coachella. The mega-festival kicks off its first week on Friday. One act that will be playing in Indio this weekend are indie-rock mainstays Surfer Blood. Diffuser.fm recently caught up with the West Palm Beach outfit to talk about the upcoming, their influences and more. Hit the jump for the interview along with performances of “Demon Dance” and “Drinking Problem.”

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