Friday, December 28, 2012

Hot Mix 2012: #80 to 71

For those who have been following along so far, you may have notice that we've decided to only embed songs that are on Bandcamp, because they're the only streaming audio website that loads very quickly, as opposed to Soundcloud or Youtube. Exciting stuff. Time for page 3...

Hot Mix 2012 on Spotify

| #100 - 91 | #90 - 81 | #80 - 71 | #70 - 61 | #60 - 51 |
| #50 - 41 | #40 - 31 | #30 - 21 | #20 - 11 | #10 - 1 |

80. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti “Baby”
Similar to Ariel Pink's 2010 album, the most straight-faced and least warped song turned out to be a faithful cover. "Baby" is originally by a band called Joe and Donnie Emerson. Who knew? (Apparently a lot of people knew right away, but we're not as cool as them.) Like Pink's previous LP's cover "Bright Lit Blue Skies," it's another lost relic revived from the AM Gold subgenre. We think the original "Baby" is still the definitive version, despite Ariel Pink's soulful vox-job. The singing is really what makes this one special.
| Youtube | Hype Machine |

79. Kanye West featuring Big Sean & Pusha T “Mercy”
The odds are very good that Hot 97 is playing either this song or "Clique" right now, since they play one of these two songs every 10 minutes or so. Which makes sense. The build in the bridge section does sound pretty great on the radio. And "white girls politickin' that's that Sarah Palin." But seriously, why so much hype? More than half of Watch The Throne is better than this song. Clearly we won't be doing it any justice by discussing it here. Read these instead:
- SPIN's #1 Song of 2012
- Pitchfork's 30th best song of 2012
- Rolling Stone's 6th best song of the year.
Yeah, we don't get it.
| Youtube |

78. Mykki Blanco “Mendocino, California”
We figured the “hiphop-song-poem” genre was dead and gone forever. “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” has aged horribly, and we’re apparently the only fans of Sagat’s “Funk Dat.” However, we found it striking that “Mendocino, California” descends most directly from Meryn Cadell’s horrendously obnoxious 1993 minor-hit “The Sweater Song” (partially striking us because both Meryn Cadell and Mykki Blanco are transsexuals). Regardless, we’re not even sure if this is actually Mykki’s voice sped-up from how she normally raps, but we’re assuming it’s her. SPIN's Brandon Soderberg cites 90's indie-film directors like Gregg Araki. And yes, we could easily hear this fitting perfectly on the soundtrack to Nowhere or Ka-Boom, or a lost Grand Royal 12-inch. (And the Roy Orbison reference reminds us of Gummo.) The world needs more enormous drum samples.
| Soundcloud | Youtube |

77. FNU Ronnies “Cut to Ribons”
Projectile-vomit scream-singing at its finest. The first song on this album is fittingly titled “You Don’t Look So Good,” which really sets the tone for the "all things vomit" that follows, with "Cut to Ribons" as track 2. It sounds like all the stuff that happens after "one too many." Do you ever find buttons in your vomit when you know you haven’t eaten any buttons?
| Myspace |

76. Kendrick Lamar “Cartoon and Cereal”
Few people might care about this, but we love how many non-album tracks are appearing in Hot Mix 2012. It's something like one-third non-album-tracks (maybe more), which is a lot. In the case of "Cartoon and Cereal," we're assuming it was intended to be included on Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, but they were unable to clear the cartoon samples, and had no interest in changing the song after it was finished. It's perfect as it is - enough that we're able to ignore our bias against "conscious hiphop" - so good call Kendrick!
| Soundcloud | Youtube |

75. Hospitality “Monkey”
When Paul Simon was on The Dick Cavett Show, he spoke about the psychology of key changes and why they subconsciously seem refreshing for listeners of pop music. He played two verses of a then-unfinished (now very famous) song that may seem effortless to casual listeners but includes no shortage of texture and detail. When the B-Side “Monkey” was briefly reviewed among Pitchfork’s "Best New Tracks," the writer referred to their approach as “somewhat proggy,” even though the songwriting in “Monkey” is no more progressive than Of Montreal or Stars or Spoon, bands who would have never been labeled “proggy” 7 or 8 years ago. As opposed to “prog,” “Monkey” comes a lot closer to displaying the delicate pop-writing technique explained by Paul Simon. We also like the super-dreamy jangle guitars framing the vocal melody, and the nostalgic instrumental coda.
| Soundcloud | Hype Machine |

74. Hooking Up “Bitter”
2012 was the year we kept discovering our new favorite bands who ended up splitting by the year’s end. Free Lunch, Bat Cave, Red Dwarf, Graph, Thank You Mr. Keating... It doesn't end there. Hooking Up’s split was especially frustrating after hearing their near-perfect Groin Pains EP from January of this year. “Bitter” recalls a young Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein yelling distorted obscenities into a 4-track recorder on Sebadoh III, captured in essence by the cover image of the dude on skates.

73. Fat History Month “There Goes The Sun”
While "Bad History Demos" continues floating around on cassette and online as we anticipate the proper version of this album, its lofi sludge still cut deeper than almost any other rock record of 2012. It’s not “Blues” in the classic sense, but at the moment we’re having trouble thinking of a better sonic comparison than Leadbelly, whose recordings were mostly just one guy singing in a room by himself taped with primitive 1930’s recording technology. Sean’s voice is clearly not anything like Leadbelly (closer to the guy from Helvetia) but the aura of this particular recording is such a blow to the gut that we can’t think of anything closer at the moment. We’re hearing its kickoff track “There Goes the Sun” (possibly the sequel to 2011’s “Here Comes the Sun”) as deep meandering transience. The sun possibly returns in the second half of the song, but either way it’s just gonna disappear in a few more hours.

72. Action Bronson & Party Supplies “9-24-11”
And speaking of fat history... (Cool transitions today.) Well we looked it up on Wikipedia, and it turns out that nothing significant at all happened on 9-24-11. Although that might not be the case for Action Bronson. Perhaps it was the day he recorded this song? It's possible he doesn't remember himself, since he appears to be baked out of his mind, fucking up the lyrics 4 or 5 times. But they left it in anyway, because fuck it. Who needs perfectionism these days? It still ended up among the highlights of the grittiest hiphop release since Wu-Tang’s mid-90’s run of solo releases. (Grittier than Madvilliany.) No joke.
| Soundcloud | Youtube |

71. Broken Water “Underground”
Muddy weighty overdrive distortion tries to sink us into quicksand, but the song's momentum is too intense, propelling us straight into orbit, blasting across lightyears of stars in under three minutes. Joe "Weirdo" Rockcrit sez: "I liked this band better when they were called Sonic Youth." PFF. We scoff in Joe's face. The production suggests far more than this, and the girl singer sounds closer to Belinda from My Bloody Valentine than Kim Gordon. And more importantly, these songs are killer. Broken Water are our new Olympia heroes. Tempest is solid as fuck. Don't sleep on this one!
| Soundcloud | Youtube |

| Continue to Page 4 |

Hot Mix 2012 on Spotify

| #100 - 91 | #90 - 81 | #80 - 71 | #70 - 61 | #60 - 51 |
| #50 - 41 | #40 - 31 | #30 - 21 | #20 - 11 | #10 - 1 |

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