Monday, January 5, 2015

Hot Mix 2014: #100 - 91

It's time for everyone's least favorite year end list, described by some as "the biggest longest," and "kinda long." Rock kids are all like "not enough rock" and "why are there songs that aren't rock?" Poptimists hate it because there's more than like 2 rock bands so they don't bother with it at all. It's gonna be great. We embedded as many bandcamp links as we could find.

Here's everything so far on Spotify. We'll add 10 songs every time there's a new page. And some songs from the other 2014 top 10s are here also (reissues, videos), and some bonus Jock Jams:
| Hot Mix 2014 on Spotify |

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

100. sELf “Splitting Atoms”
Matt Mahaffey must have been hoarding all kinds of crazy ideas and unreleased sELf jams since the Gizmodgery days. Bring on that full length already. In the meantime, we would like to thank sELf for teasing our genitalia with the best "'90s reunion" release (EP or otherwise) of 2014 and the true follow-up to Breakfast With Girls, comfortably and refreshingly in character. (P.S. The whole “'90s reunion” concept somewhat inevitably hit the wall this year. Expectations were justifiably high for Pixies' Indy Cindy, a disappointing album, yes, but certainly undeserving of its most scathing reviews. Those 2 stray Failure tracks were kinda predictably shite though. And there was no new Polvo or Dinosaur stuff. But at least Will Smith didn't attempt a comeback album. Unless he did? Whatever.)

99. Azealia Banks “Chasing Time”
Speaking of Fresh Prince, we never expected to see Carlton, Hillary and Ashley's OTHER long-lost cousin Azealia placing on a Hot Mix ever again. And yet here we are. As far as segmented pop gems are concerned, "Chasing Time" suggests ambitions on par with the masterfully woven (and ultimately dated) "Bad Romance," released almost exactly 5 years prior alongside a similarly flashy and fashion-y promo vid. While "Bad Romance" was a puzzle where every piece perfectly congealed, "Chasing Time" exposes too many square pegs, possibly due to multiple elements intended to be sung at wildly different tempos. And yet, it's somehow grown into something of an earworm over the past few weeks. It's still structured less awkwardly than Ariana Grande's "Problem," one of pop's biggest cash-flow generators of 2014, so who knows. With enough time, awkwardness can start to sound normal or even awesome. How could we say no?

98. Pay the Rent “Master of Emotion”

Two of the dudes from the Pittsburgh punk band Slices and a third dude who lent a hand in producing the majority of Wiz Khalifa's Blacc Hollywood (or so we've been told) collaborated on this dark '80s-gothwave influenced side project. "Master of Emotion" is the song that plays while the creepy stalker with scars who wears all black pulls the car to the side of the road at 4AM to watch his unsuspecting victims enter the abode. He possibly masturbates from afar but probably not.

97. Childish Gambino “3005”
There were so many good songs in 2014 that it didn't seem so strange to exclude "0 to 100." And while we were proud of ourselves for putting together a Drake-less Hot Mix for the first time since "Best I Ever Had," we kinda blew it with this one. We don't really know much about Childish Gambino, but we woke up with this song stuck in our heads at least 3 or 4 times in 2014 without knowing what it was. Turns out that it's another singing rapper who used to act on a TV show. Oh joy. Another awesome pop song disguised in hiphop clothing and sunglasses. Hey, it happens. We don't do a "guilty pleasure" list anymore, but this one woulda placed. So this is apparently what hiphop will sound like 5 years after Dr. Octagon's prediction "rap moves on to the year 3000." He possibly says "don't let the penis come between us" but maybe we heard that wrong.

96. Black Pus "Blood Will Run"
So basic, so primal, so minimal, and yet somehow it's also probably the poppiest and catchiest song Brian Chippendale has ever played on. We're lol'ing pretty quietly at that concept right now. Try it out though, preferably while driving around with friends, singing along and punching the car's ceiling. We're guessing Andrew WK probably loves this song. Maybe Garth Algar can have this cassette in his mirthmobile collection ready for a headbanging scene when they finally get around to shooting Wayne's World 3. Also check out Chippendale's recently posted thoughts on 2014 turning to 2015 right over here:

95. Torn Hawk “To Overthrow”
Appropriating B-movie content for videos often puts you in the position of making fun of people, but I hope that the context I deploy it in sets me apart from that kind of crippling ironic distance. My videos aim to be statements of deep sincerity.

Wait a sec... we're kinda confused here. This is the same guy that did this? And he's dead serious? I mean, that's cool n stuff but we just kinda didn't expect these to be the promo pics of a sincere cassette-label chillwave artist. Right on. Keep the hits coming. The Torn Hawk album rules. No joke.

94. Aphex Twin “fz pseudotimestretch+e+3 [138.85]”

Oh God, it's finally here: Rubber Johnny Part 2 (The Sequel): The Return of Rubber Johnny. Our only problem with this hot jam is pretty obvious: Where the fuck's the rest of it? Hopefully there's a 10 minute version of this somewhere on RDJ's laptop ready to be included on the deluxe expanded Syro. We need it, man.

93. Grass Is Green "B-Kind"
So we were way off in our initial impression, because we thought this song was about a fancy absinthe bar where everyone is super focused but also stumbling around and knocking over tables, surrounded by candlelight. We wanted to see how far off we were, so we contacted Vacation Vinny engineer Julian Fader who recalls, "They did all those songs in like 1 or 2 days." This didn't explain what we were hoping for, so we asked guitarist Devin McKnight, who admits, "I didn't write that song. 'B-Kind' is a song I wish we would play more, but we can't without the double vocals. I understand. Andy's got a vision." So based on this, we figured out that Andy Chervenak was the songwriter, who we tracked down at a Two Inch Astronaut show a few nights ago. Andy explains, "'B-Kind' is a song about people getting really rude and being unhappy with them afterwards." Fair enough. We still think it's about fancy people with a brain full of absinthe whippin' off the towel and showin' off the goods. And we know we're wrong. We accept this.

92. Geronimo! “Future Home”
A big day for big big exclusives. Here's the good word from Kelly and Ben from Geronimo!

Ben: "'Future Home' is the only recorded Geronimo! song to have a real bass guitar on it. Kelly threw down a sweet harmony bass part."
TMK: I was wondering about that. You usually make the keyboard sound like a bass guitar, and with this song I was thinking "wow, they got it to sound very close to the real thing."
Kelly: "Oh yea! The main part is Ben's keyboard, and I do a line on the real bass to complement it towards the end."
Ben: "It was recorded in the garage of the studio to get some real reverb. There's no effect on it."
TMK: I think it sounds proto-goth, like Joy Division or The Cure. Was that on purpose?
Ben: "Haha, interesting. Never thought of it that way."
Kelly: "Yea, definitely not intentional. I actually wanted it to originally be more of a groovy Queens of the Stone Age kind of jam but [drummer] Matt flipped it around and gave it that easy jazz feel that was cool and different."

91. Electric Wizard “I Am Nothing”
There's this song from Floor's 2004 album called “Nothing I Remember.” The entire song is literally two notes - a low C (downtuned from an E-string) ringing out with tons of feedback for four measures followed by a B (12 frets higher) for four measures - back and forth for 15 minutes while the drummer plays this really simple, slow, loud pattern that only consists of snare and kick drum. Aside from Dopesmoker, it's probably the definitive stoner metal jam, and there was a moment when it finally made sense for us. The devastating, crushing, hopeless drone exudes nothing more than “fuck literally everything and everyone ever and bury me in a cloud of grav rips for the rest of eternity.” This is basically the standard by which all other stoner metal is judged.

“Fuck everything.” We can only assume this is the mantra by which every stoner metal band lives and exists. Electric Wizard's Y2K magnum opus Dopethrone still places within the 5 most definitive stoner metal releases not only because of how closely it follows this ethos, but because of its unmatched crushing volcanic explosion. Since then, EW has remained so lost in a haze of weed that they have yet to make it back to the United States for any shows (with the exception of 2012's Maryland Death Fest). Rumors circulated that they had been banned from the U.S. when actually they were just too burnt from years of hourly grav rips to commit to an international tour. And those couches are so comfortable and inviting, and pizza's so good, and TV's been pretty decent lately. The cancellation of ATP London's Jabberwocky Festival back in August 2014 was mostly a blow to those who were pumped to see them finally set up the wall of amps again for one enormously huge face fuck. However, it was not to be. Whatever, fuck it. Pass that bong right over here.

While their touring is less than dependable, their epics haven't disappeared. "I Am Nothing" is the closest they've come to Dopethrone-level sludge since at least 2007. NOTE: We were told that we should leave the blurb like this even though it most of it talks about Floor - specifically a song Floor released 10 years ago, and not one of the songs from Floor's 2014 album - and barely addresses "I Am Nothing."

| Hot Mix 2014 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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