Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hot Mix 2014: #80 - 71

The first real week of the year might be the toughest. Page 3 of Hot Mix will help you get over the hump. Maybe.

| 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 |

80. Rae Sremmurd “No Type”
Adolescent-sounding voices + "going viral" = one way ticket to one hit wonder (usually). It's not like Y.N.Rich Kids, California Swag District or New Boyz weren't fun and awesome. The world of pop craves ephemeral, while hiphop heads value authentic (or like "the next Illmatic" or whatever). So it was no big surprise when hiphop writers assumed Rae Sremmurd would earn a similarly brief shelf life, even though they sang one of the most addictive songs of 2014. We were hooked on "No Flex Zone" for months, pining for more Rae. This was no "Hot Cheetos & Takis." And then one day, "No Type" just showed up on Spotify without warning. It was time to see what the Sremmurd had up their sleeves. Catchy hook? Check. Playful fun singalong lyrics? "I ain't livin' right (yup)." That's a double check. Sounds good while driving around with the windows down? Fuck yeah it does. "I be livin' life (ye) like I live twice."

79. Mac Demarco "Chamber of Reflection"

Dreamy slow-moving mist surrounds meditations within solitude. Levitation is optional.

78. Sloan “You've Got a Lot On Your Mind/Three Sisters”
We had to combine these because #1 they flow together within the album context, and because #2 both songs sound like composites of about a half-dozen '70s AM Gold hits. Some might scoff at us for suggesting where sounds might have been borrowed, but Sloan are no plagiarists. Plus, cracking the code yields fun puzzle times. Our case begins as we skim through about 10 reviews of Commonwealth, ultimately revealing two interviews with Jay Ferguson regarding the former. He cites Phoenix, Wings, ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. From our end, we're also hearing ELO, "The Night Chicago Died," and the "wooo-hoo" from "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart." “Three Sisters” is a bit tougher to nail though, seeming to mesh “The Great Gig In The Sky” with solo McCartney and Harrison (with a hint of Ween's White Pepper). There's probably more. We'll figure it out later.

77. Ex Hex “New Kid”
The thrashing garage-rock energy of "New Kid" immediately struck us as one of the standout jams on Ex Hex's Rips LP. We simply had to know more, and so we tracked down everyone in the band for our wild n' crazy TMK exclusive:
Laura Harris (drums): "'New Kid' is real fun to play. It's my favorite one. And it's fast!"
Betsy Wright (bass): "Yeah, it's my favorite one. It's a fast punk-rocker."
Mary Timony (guitar/vox/writer): "It's about bullies and fighting back. It's like Revenge of the Nerds, basically. Getting revenge against the bullies."
So now we're envisioning this song playing during the moments of anticipation leading up to the final brawl. The big bully walks up to the nerd and is all like, "Shut up, punk. I'm gonna love kickin' your ass." And then the nerd just fucks him up without any warning.

76. Big Ups “Wool”
Meeting somewhere between Damaged and End Hits, "Wool's" ominous guitars and near-whispered sing-speak vocals exemplify the monotony and boredom of after-school detention. "Daylight savings and pencil shavings." Damn yo, that's fuckin' bored. All the while, buried tension is building, ultimately surfacing for an appropriately brief climactic explosion. Seeing it live and in person is even better. Highly recommended. Note: "Wool" also placed on Hot Mix 2013 (past #100 due to late-discovery) because at the time we hadn't realized that the album was pushed back to a Jan 2014 release. Fair game, yo!

75. Swans “Oxygen”
Consider this one sort of an unofficial three-way-tying of the 8-minute To Be Kind jams. (We weren't really into the rest of this album nearly as much. Sorry.) "A Little God In My Hands" is the cartoonish nightmare that reminds us of the haunted mansion at Disneyworld. Its sister jam "Screen Shot" seems to be commenting on all the paranoia in the wake of the Snapchat scare. It's not like people didn't already have the ability to screen cap all those the dick pics and nip slips. However, "Oxygen" beat out both of these, coming closest to resembling a warped and mentally unstable ass-kicking expected from Nick Cave or Flipper. It's the one that "rocks" the most out of these three.

74. Priests "Right Wing" / Priests "Doctor"
Damnit, we really didn't want this one to be a tie. But we would have been kicking ourselves hard had we neglected "Doctor," a punk moment so authentic that it might be tough to decipher whether or not it's a lost relic from the early '80s. "You put your fingers in other people's mouths all day." Priests' cathartic blasts make up the majority of their live set, but it was the invitingly catchy refrain of "Right Wing" that perplexed us most, playing in our heads as we woke up at least a dozen times this past year. Maybe it's the beer talking, but this kinda beats Sleater-Kinney's new stuff.

73. Nicki Minaj “Four Door Aventador”
Thank you to whoever correctly noted how uncannily she aligns with Biggie on this one. To whoever said she was going for a Lil' Kim impersonation, keep in mind that Biggie spent 2 years ghostwriting for Kim. Better luck next time.

72. Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks "Strange Colores"

A natural extension from Animal Collective's Centipede Hz, "Strange Colores" is centered around a tight enough drum loop that any adventurous rappers might still be able to benefit on future mixtapes. Awesome chorus too. Prolly the best AC-related party jam since "Brother Sport."

71. Schoolboy Q featuring BJ The Chicago Kid "Studio"
"I'm just sittin' in the studio just tryna get to you, baby / But this song so fuckin' dope, girl, it's harder not for me to blaze it / To tell the truth, wish it was you in this booth that I was blazin." Alright, we're confused. This could mean "The faster I'm done with this dope track, the faster I'll get back to you." Or possibly, "Sitting in the studio trying to get everything down and solid so that you can understand me." Or wait, we thought of another possibility too, but we just lost it. Fuck. The tape slows down in the last 10-seconds, sort of suggesting defeat. Schoolboy Q was unable to reach his lady baby, and we're left witnessing the song collapse onto itself despite his best efforts. We're actually kind of feelin' this ambiguity and would rather not consult Rap Genius with this one.

| 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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