Monday, December 30, 2013

Hot Mix 2013: #90 to 81

| Hot Mix 2013 on Spotify |

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

90. Yo La Tengo “Well You Better”
YLT got surprisingly efficient this year on record, although their live shows are still somewhat sprawling (still closing with epic bangers like "Pass The Hatchet I Think I'm Goodkind"), suggesting that Fade (at only 46 minutes) might have simply been a one-off. “Well You Better” is 2013's “Mr. Tough,” meaning it's the catchy 60s soul number. “You better make up your mind before it's too late.” Fun singalongs with Ira.

89. Good Throb “Culture Vulture”
In the hypothetical scenario where John Peel is given five guesses to correctly identify the year this record was released, we'd wager he probably would not have nailed it. “Culture Vulture” is ass-kicking authentic UK punk rock from actual punks who are so cool that they don't even have to tune their guitars (or learn how). The B-side reveals two more songs that are just as good. Probably the best punk release of the year. They should tour with Bat Cave.

88. Travis Porter featuring Jeremih “Err Damn Day”
The chorus takes a minute to get through, and it simply reeks of summertime stoner lethargy. One time the sun turned around and gave me a thumbs up. And then a car flipped over, but not sure if it really flipped over or if I just saw it flip, ya know. Puff puff pass. Learn it, live it, lovin' in the summertime, ridin' with the top down. Too lazy to get up. Call out sick again. Fuck all night, smoke all day. Roll it and pass it, here's another classic...

87. Kanye West “Guilt Trip”

Yeezus's sequencing places this song as a barrier, closing out the dark and emotionally destructive middle section, appearing after “Blood on the Leaves,” just as the emotional wall topples. The swirly ascending keyboard patches in “Guilt Trip” show the remnants of these crumbling walls floating away while Kid Cudi (still one of the worst singing voices in popular music, but used tastefully in this context) repeats “If you loved me so much, then why'd you let me go, whoa whoa? Let me go, whoa whoa whoa?”

86. Robert Pollard “I Killed a Man Who Looks Like You”
English Little League marked what appears to be the end for the reunited “classic” Guided lineup (R.I.P. 2011-2013). Four albums, an EP and a decent string of 12 or 16 non-album b-sides were definitely enough to satisfy the diehards. But when the boys began to dissipate, Bob wasted no time returning right back to solo material with Honey Locust Honky Tonk, arguably his most satisfying solo record of the 2010s so far. We agree with the comprehensive “best of” list that placed the curiously country-sounding 1-minute-53-second “I Killed a Man” within his 10 best solo tracks. We also agree that it kinda sounds like R.E.M. (in a good way).

85. Lady Gaga featuring R Kelly “Do What U Want”

The logical sequel and conclusion to "Paparazzi" arrives with Gaga's all too brief (1-song) return to strong hooks. It sounds like she cherry-picked an instrumental from the Drive soundtrack and wrote a dope vocal melody over it. Also congrats to R. Kelly for always peein' on people. NEVER FORGET.

84. Ty Segall “Sleeper”
The compression mics generate such a loud acoustic guitar strum, and suddenly we understand this guy better than ever. 1970s UK rock from the likes of T.Rex, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie have actually been informing his songwriting far greater than the 90s throwbacks the initial reviewers had assumed. We're not typically impressed by Ty Segall's varieties of vanilla, but we want to be. He's shown so much potential, and he might be at that point, so close to hitting his stride. “Sleeper” is his “Space Odyssey.” It's the Ty Segall song we've been waiting for. 2014, here we come...

83. Connections “Stuck Lung”
2013 was the year unadventurous bloggers and rock writers collectively decided to get lazy as fuck and focus on the degree of 90s-ness, asking amazing interview questions such as “Do you sound 90s?” “How 90s you sound?” “What is 90s rock bands you sound like?” Ohio's Connections got stuck with the “descendents of Guided By Voices” tag mostly due to location, even though both bands pull generous influence from 60s UK garage and 70s power pop. “Stuck Lung” sounds like Cheap Trick. We're into it.

82. True Widow “Four Teeth”
Anyone who was missing dreamy, female-fronted, reverb-laden fuzz-pop didn't have to look far in 2013. It was tough to swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a Widowspeak or a Waxahatchee or a Mazzy Star reunion album. We decided to run with “Four Teeth” as our choice for 2013's best example, since it's often kinda tough to get that vocal melody unstuck from one's auditory cortex. (Also Relapse Records must be diversifying. Interesting choice for a signing from a label primarily concerned with deathmetal.)

81. Omar Souleyman “Warni Warni”
We have no idea what he's singing about, but one reviewer on the Singles Jukebox called this song “an ode to romantic obsession.” Omar doesn't get enough credit for releasing one of the druggiest, most psychedelic sound experiences in recent memory, likely without the assistance of any narcotic consumption. On our end, we're hearing The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy (believe it or not) fused with a series of bizarre hypnotic trances, like 4 or 5 simultaneous iDoser tones recorded 20 times as loud. His 2013 LP has raised our curiosity about his earlier lofi stuff, which is supposedly even better.

| Hot Mix 2013 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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