Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Specials & The Muppets

This was the most Christmas-y December we've experienced in a while. We enjoy Christmas specials. We like old ones that we haven't seen in a while, and also more recent ones if they're weird enough. This is a more recent tradition that developed over the past 4 years. Last year, a few good ones included He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special and an old X-Files episode called "How The Ghosts Stole Christmas" where these old ghosts try to convince Mulder and Scully that they should bone.

We enjoy the nostalgia, so we might consider indulging more specials throughout future Decembers.

Here's what we saw this year:

1. Eyes Wide Shut
"Die Hard is the best Christmas movie." Okay, we get it. No one who tweets this is being original. Maybe we'll watch it next year. Eyes Wide Shut is not as heavy as we remembered, but it's a good one for sure.

2. A Muppet Family Christmas
This might be our favorite Christmas special. We've watched it on Youtube for the past 3 Decembers, and it just had its 30 year anniversary. We read into it a bit just now in the Jim Henson biography; shot very quickly in Toronto three months before it aired, this show was the first time The Muppet Show gang had been on TV or in movies in nearly 4 years. Frank Oz returned to puppeteering after a long absence, and the characters from Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show all partied in one house during a Christmas snowstorm. The Fraggles' song "Pass It On" is one of our new favorite Christmas songs. Show lit.

3. A Garfield Christmas
Also celebrating its 30 year anniversary. Haven't seen this since we were about 10, and it was one of those moments when we realized we must have had some of the dialogue memorized at one point, which is an eerily bizarre experience.

4. Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas Celebration
1987 must have been the dopest year in the history of Christmas special premieres since this one also just turned 30.

5. "Mary, Joseph and Larry"
2002 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry gets caught checking out one of the ladies in the nativity scene or something.

6. Christmas Eve On Sesame Street
Curiously structured 1978 special. The main story with Big Bird waiting on the roof for Santa during a snowstorm was kinda sad. Cookie eats the Christmas tree and Oscar sings "I Hate Christmas."

7. "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
We have watched this for the past 3 years on Hulu, and it gets better every year. We are not fans of Community (at all) but this is essentially a stand-alone holiday special that doesn't require context from the rest of the series.

8. "Anatomy Park"
Earlier this year, we heard mild speculation about a possible Rick & Morty long-form Christmas special or a contained holiday serial comprising 2-4 original episodes. It was not meant to be, but "Anatomy Park" is still the shit. "Pearl Harbor."

9. "Sabrina's Christmas Wish"
We're guessing many fans of Bojack Horseman don't realize this episode exists since it was a Netflix bonus between seasons 1 & 2. It's essentially an old episode of Horsin' Around that gives some context into how bad the show actually got. There's a really good off-camera audience member who repeatedly shouts his reactions instead of laughing.

10. "Twas The Night Before Christening"
Everyone in the Fresh Prince house buys extravagant presents for the baby's Christening except for Will who buys him a "king" hand puppet, and he does this really cool pantomime record scratching beat boxing thing with the puppet. And we felt kinda bad for him since we thought that was a really good present. Will somehow figures out where Boyz II Men are recording and they kick his ass twice because he stole one of their girlfriends when they all lived in West Philly. Fun times.

11. Friday After Next
This is a terrible movie.

12. Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
We haven't seen this since the late '80s on HBO, and there were no free streams on Youtube or anywhere else. And even if we did cough up the cash for an Amazon rental stream, HBO and ABC had different edits so we wouldn't have seen the entire show. (Apparently, the ABC version removes all of Kermit The Frog's narration.) However, someone on a torrent website was kind enough to throw together a fan version that combined everything from the two separate edits.

The juxtaposition of the River Bottom Gang might have felt more extreme had we been seeing this for the first time. It's such a jarringly surreal element taking a dump all over this sweet heartwarming Christmas story. Again, we felt compelled to read into this in the Jim Henson biography earlier tonight; sure enough, Jim's favorite song in this was the River Bottom Nightmare Band's proto-metal jam. The Jug Bang's version of "Barbecue" is also pretty lit.

13. "Christmas Caroling" and "Searching For Santa"
It wouldn't be Christmas without a couple Stella shorts.


After reading into A Muppet Family Christmas and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, we started to dig deeper and found a holy grail type of project that began as early as 1985. It seems like the project would have gone into production sooner had Disney not interfered with Jim Henson's affairs. Jim wanted to wait until the Disney deal was completed before starting the film, which gave his creative team nearly three years to brainstorm, throw around jokes and discuss the extent of this project's potential absurdity.

The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made actually had multiple completed screenplay drafts. Gonzo is granted permission to direct his own film, and he blows almost the entire budget on an elaborate opening sequence. The rest of his film progressively gets lower in quality until finally the last few scenes are comprised of drawings, slides and storyboards.

More info here:!

Monday, December 18, 2017

There's A New MTVZ (YAY!) And we Forgot To Post it like 2 weeks ago (BOO) And it includes King Crimson On That show Fridays (WAT!)

Youtube is trying to make it difficult to embed playlists for some fucking reason so fuck them.

We forgot to mention the new MTVZ. Highlights include:
- Multiple holiday messages from Michael Boyd and David Leibe Hart
- Junior Mafia on The Grind in 1995
- Tim Heidecker murder trial highlights
- George Corpsegrinder being interviewed by a 9-year-old kid
- WWE wrestlers in the '90s doing Chef Boyardee ads
- King Crimson on Fridays (also embedded below)

It's a Blue Christmas for Elvis Nostalgia in 2017

Woodstock nostalgia was a commodity in 1989. Boomers and young 20-something potheads could bond on something. It was great.

Elvis nostalgia was most certainly a thing during this era as well. It was considered a normal question to ask whether someone was more of an Elvis fan or a Beatles fan.

Around this time, Elvis sightings became a thing. He was spotted several times in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Elvis allegedly appeared in the background of an airport scene in the 1990 film Home Alone.

The Elvis Files was broadcast live on August 14, 1991. They take several live calls including a Captain Janks prank call on behalf of Howard Stern. The show presented substantial evidence that Elvis was probably alive. The production value and creepy images of Elvis scared the shit out of me.

Uncle Jesse was probably the most prominent mainstream anchor for Elvis-nostalgia. Here he is in 1988 on the Full House show...

That band Dread Zeppelin did Elvis / Zeppelin nostalgia hybrid jokes in the late '80s. A few years ago, ILX attempted to throw together a list of 100 Songs mentioning Elvis all from the year 1989. They did not hit 100, but 20 or 30 songs is still a lot:
3rd Bass "Brooklyn-Queens"
Alannah Myles "Black Velvet"
Beastie Boys "Johnny Ryall"
Billy Joel "We Didn't Start The Fire"
Cowboy Junkies "Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis)"
Dead Milkmen "Smokin' Banana Peels"
Eurythmics "Angel"
Living Colour "Elvis Is Dead"
Marc Cohn "Walking in Memphis"
Mojo Nixon And Skid Roper "(619) 239-KING"
Paul Simon "Graceland"
Pop Will Eat Itself "Not Now James, We're Busy"
Prefab Sprout "Jordan: The Comeback"
Public Enemy "Fight The Power"
Ray Stevens "I Saw Elvis in a UFO"
Robyn Hitchcock "Queen Elvis"
The Ex "Elvis & I"
The KLF "Elvis on the Radio, Steel Guitar in My Soul"
The Wonder Stuff "Never Loved Elvis"
Tom Petty "Free Fallin'"
U2 "A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel"
Was (Not Was) "Walk the Dinosaur"
Weird Al Yankovic "Velvet Elvis"

1989-1991 also saw teeny bopper magazines prioritizing dudes who look like Elvis or James Dean like Johnny Depp in Crybaby or Jason Priestly and Luke Perry on 90210. Jim Jarmusch's 1989 film Mystery Train began with a 30 minute story about a couple travelling to visit Graceland. David Lynch's Wild At Heart starred a young Nicolas Cage as an Elvis obsessive.

There's more. We made our point though.

The point is that no one gives a fuck about Elvis nostalgia in 2017. And tbh we don't think it has anything to do with anti-boomer/pro-millennial Trump-era resentment, since Beatles-nostalgia is still big BIG business. At least one popular 2017 podcast series starred 3 millennials with discussing easily Googleable Beatles-related factoids and very insightful Beatles-related discourse such as "that song is so amazing." Beatle-clone cover bands celebrated the 50th anniversaries of both Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour over the past year.

In stark contrast, Elvis nostalgia is simply not the cash cow it once was.

With this in mind, we'd like to present "A BLUE CHRISTMAS," a passage stolen from the now long out-of-print State By State With The State (written and published in 1997) from the section about visiting Mississippi. (The passage is not attributed to any specific writer, but it feels like it was probably written by Thomas Lennon or possibly Michael Ian Black.)

A Blue Christmas
If you stray too far south from Interstate 20 into some of the more remote stretches of Mississippi, you'll notice a curious local phenomenon. Over the past several decades, Santa Claus (a Christmas icon still popular in other areas of the United States) has been gradually replaced. In this region (as well as in some parts of Europe and South America), Christmas carols, decorations, soda ads, and TV specials now impart their Yuletide tidings from a fat jolly, Vegas-era Elvis Presley (a native of Tupelo, Mississippi).

He rings silver bells on every street corner for charity, and a festive plastic King lights every snowy rooftop - his sequined jumpsuit lined with jingle bells, his red Cadillac convertible lined with presents and teenage girls and driven by eight members of the Memphis mafia.

The following is an except of a conversation we overheard in a mall between the child in front of us as we waited in line to have our photo taken on Elvis's lap and the Mall Elvis himself.

MALL ELVIS: Huaka, Huaka little boy. What's your name? Is it Cledis? I'm gonna call you Cledis. I can remember Cledis.
LITTLE BOY: My friends say you're not the real Elvis.
M.E.: Suspicious minds . . . Well, why don't you give a tug on Elvis's sideburns?
(Does. They're real.) Gosh!
M.E.: Now, have you been good to your momma?
L.B.: Uhuh.
M.E.: What's the deal with that jelly donut? Can I have it?
L.B.: Uhuh.
M.E.: Thank you. Now, you look like a good boy. Take these keys. There's a brand-new Cadillac right outside for ya!
L.B.: Thank you, Elvis! (Runs off.)
M.E.: You don't be cruel now!

Then Elvis passed out and was led away by some of Elvis's little helpers, who explained that it was time for the King to take a 15 hour medicine break.

Elvis would be 83 as of this forthcoming January 8th, which means that he is probably definitely dead. Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bod Goals 2018

Tom Petty thing

The first 3 LPs that were ever gifted to me were The Police Zenyatta Mondatta, Rick Springfield Working Class Dog and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Hard Promises. I was 3 or 4, probably sometime around Winter 1984. I barely knew how to put on a pair of headphones, but for the first time, I was a fan of modern rock bands. I examined and stared at the artwork a lot trying to understand what was happening...

Damn The Torpedoes was handed to me not long afterwards. As a youngin', both albums initially felt like showcases for "The Waiting" and "Refugee." I rarely made it past "Here Comes My Girl" on DTT, but curiosity led me further down Side A of Hard Promises through "Nightwatchman," "Something Big" and "Kings Road." Tom Petty helped me learn to love one side of an LP.

It seems like my entire family always loved Tom Petty and especially "The Waiting." Grandpa loved to flip through channels, but he never touched the remote when a Tom Petty video came on.

I was initially scared by this picture. Once that wore off, the narrative my 4-year-old self invented was that The Heartbreakers were in a classroom. Tom Petty was their teacher and has his finger up to his mouth to shush any whispering students who might be disrupting. The goofy disguise glasses used to scare me.

"Event jam" hits = when a song's popularity surpasses its artist's name. "Free Fallin'" was Tom's post-Wilburies event. It seemed larger than radio and larger than MTV. He knew how to write the kinds of songs where kids could memorize all the words without owning a physical copy of his albums. The animated video for "Runnin' Down A Dream" felt mad trippy. I was also unaware that he had co-written "You Got It" within this era until years later.

VH1 did a "Tom Petty Weekend" on a Sunday in June 1991. There was an annual town carnival and fireworks within walking distance from my grandparents house, who had no problem with leaving on VH1 for so that I could let it fill a 6 hours VHS tape. "Learning To Fly" had premiered only a week or 2 prior and aired about once per hour. His MTV Rockumentary was also shown and included the story of how he broke his hand and the segment with Eddie Murphy's reaction to the shout-out in "Jammin' Me."

No other classic rock artist (not even Neil Young) was able to unwittingly capitalize on the grunge era as properly as Tom Petty. MTV played the shit out of "Mary Jane's Last Dance" (in which Kim Basinger miraculously comes back to life within the song's final 5 seconds after being buried at sea). A few months later when "You Don't Know How It Feels" dropped, the kids on the bus were intrigued: "Tom Petty smokes mad weed now." He was officially as cool as Cypress Hill and Snoop Doggy Dogg. This mid-'90s moment might have been the pinnacle of his popularity as a rock star - enough that he received the Michael Jackson Vanguard award at the '94 VMAs (just after playing a lengthy noise-coda to close "Mary Jane's Last Dance").

And he seemed so chill and humble about the whole thing. "I never expected an award."

Weirdly, the success of Wildflowers didn't generate enough momentum to turn his 1996 soundtrack of She's The One into nearly as big of a record as anything since Full Moon Fever. But it was a huge hit for me, and the second time in my life that I immersed myself in one of his albums thoroughly. She's The One and STP's Tiny Music (both borrowed from my dad) were my Fall 1996 go-to albums while playing Myst, Wolfenstein 3D, Lemmings and various other PC games.

My first ever attempt at a "Top 900 Songs Of The '90s" list (which would be re-written 15 or 20 times in the coming years) included "Mary Jane's Last Dance" at #17. (#1 was "Maze" by Phish. #900 was "Epic" by Faith No More.)

Howard Stern's first Sirius broadcast in January included "The Last DJ" played in its entirety.

At The Middle East Upstairs, my band opened for another band that spontaneously covered "Yer So Bad," a song that I had not heard in over 10 years. In 2016, it was the only Tom Petty song to place on the 500 Hottest Jams list at #483. I'm pretty sure this is now tied with "A Thing About You" as my favorite Tom Petty song.

I woke up on October 2nd, and the first thing I thought was that something bad had happened. Within 5 minutes, Twitter had confirmed the Las Vegas shooting. A few hours later, Tom Petty was trending with no other context. I threw together a radio show that night and played all deep cuts from 6:30PM until 8PM, hours before any confirmation was announced from his family.

Country bros, grunge kids, metal shredders, little kids, old homies. Everyone fucks with TP. The story's not over. "Time to move on."

Friday, December 15, 2017

Tommy Wiseau's "The Room"

Has anyone seen this? OMg


The Holidays Are GOnna be GREAT!

When we put ourselves out there despite rejection-induced anxiety and ask kindly multiple times if your corporate blog run by writers who have had face-to-face IRL conversations with us would kindly carve out a hint of space for us alongside the legit garbage that they normally plug on the daily, what we were really asking for was to be completely ignored and to have you never respond to our email.



Saturday, September 9, 2017

The New MTVZ Is Here!!

The first ever edition of MTVZ was exactly one year ago in September 2016. We don't remember why it started, but it was before our Chromecast broke. This is definitely the longest MTVZ playlist we've ever assembled, probably because we won't be able to throw together another fresh playlist until at least December. We hope you love it!

Edit: This is the first case when we realized that Youtube does not allow playlists to embed more than 200 videos. There are about 240 vids in this one, but the last 40 are kinda boring so nbd.

Friday, September 8, 2017

TV Is The Only Solid Medium of 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post is fucking awful and was only written because we're having trouble coming up with content.

iHeartRadio killed radio.

SiriusXM was never supposed to be good to begin with, so we can't really blame them for hurting the state of radio.

Spotify and streaming services don't help either. But we sorely miss the days when Top 40 stations were at least 40% listenable. It's incredible thinking back to how angry people got over pop's dominance during the TRL era ('98-'01). It's possible that Top 40 stations never sounded better than during this 3-year span.

Top 40 in 2017 is unlistenable. We don't get how anyone listens to this. And here's the thing: You can say this in 2017 without making it sound like you're old and unhip, because the mid-2010s mark an unprecedented era of promotional oversaturation that enables fans of any genre to quickly and easily access whatever new music they find most interesting. It's not that tough.

iHeartRadio has Ryan Seacrest on every day. They insist on avoiding crossover hits whenever possible, even though they allow Imagine Dragons because post-civil-war-wave is still considered ok. When Kendrick or Lil Uzi Vert were charting top 5, they were nowhere to be found on Top 40, even though their presence would have given the format an exciting boost of variety that listeners desperately crave. Instead, it's 20 songs that all sound like Meghan Trainor: American Idol-style vibrato-crooning over depressingly bland un-memorable faux-empowerment anthems with no discernible hooks. The exceptions are rare and equally unexciting: "Despacito" is apparently ubiquitous, even though we would not be able to hum a single bar from this song. Bruno Mars' "That's What I Like" is not his hottest song, but at least it's vaguely memorable. For a song as painfully boring as Harry Styles' "Sign Of The Times," at least it stood out as something different. Taylor Swift's equally bland new singles should snugly fit throughout the next 12-15 months (the typical chart-life of her hits).

MTV has the ability to change all of this, but they're incapable of understanding their audience. There's no way in hell that the re-launch of TRL won't be cancelled by mid-November because they've completely lost all sense of how to properly engage actual music fans.

Even worse is the Modern Rock Radio format, which sounds exactly the same as Top 40 in 2017.

The only way this will ever change is with a competing alternative radio platform who insists on ignoring existing chart success. Radio playlists should always be chosen by music nerds.

Same goes for MTV. Without any real competition, the channel has no way to understand what its viewers really want.

Yeah anyway, Hollywood really sucks now also. Comic book movies suck. Disney sucks. Star Wars sucks. Franchises suck. Re-makes all suck. Legos suck. Emojis suck.

And despite all of this, the world of television has somehow grown to be more amazing than it has ever been. It's the only major big-money medium that's down to take risks.

This is all we really wanted to talk about. Here is every show we currently watch and every show we're currently excited to see:

Twin Peaks
The season just ended, and we forgot to watch all of it. No spoilers please.

Rick & Morty
Best show on television. They're not even halfway through season 3 yet. We hope it never ends.

Wet Hot American Summer
This went up on Netflix about a month ago. Need to review this.

Norm MacDonald Live
"The full hour." Norm loves Larry King.

WWE Monday Night Raw
WWE Tuesday Night SmackDown

This is a surprise. We did not expect to get into professional wrestling in late-summer 2017, and yet here we are...

Bojack Horseman
Season 4 went up today.

Adventure Time
The last episode of this season so far (apparently their last) aired on July 21, and it could return without warning at any time. There is typically no fanfare or large announcements regarding the beginning or end of their seasons, so it wouldn't surprise us if the show's final episode arrived without warning within the next six months.

South Park
Broad City

Was it NBC who used to designate Thursday night as "Must See TV?" We like that Comedy Central has been making an effort to bring this back. It's been a while since the world was offered a solid block of multi-show dopeness. Our hopes are up that South Park avoids political commentary for the remainder of their entire existence. Based on "The End of Serialization as We Know It," this seems to be the case. It was just barely a year ago when Bill Hader went to bat for Trey & Matt, ensuring fans that they still view every episode as if their entire reputation rests on its success or failure. Similarly, we're hoping Broad City understands why the Hillary episode bummed out so many people and consider shitting on Trump instead.

Nathan For You
Returning around late-September.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Returning early October.

Stranger Things
How many music blogs will post about this when it returns in late October (not coincidentally just-in-time for Halloween)?

Cash Cab
Game Show Network has been airing re-runs every night at 11PM and 11:30PM. And apparently the show is returning later this year.

Lil Yachty "Lady In Yellow"

A summer jam by nature, "Lady In Yellow" implies sunshine, sundresses and some Sunny D.

But now with slightly less than two weeks until Sept 21 and the fall semester very much back in session (not to mention a somewhat-predictably devastating hurricane season), the underlining bittersweetness in the most melancholy summer jams changes from green-to-yellow alongside the leaves.

This song includes our favorite misheard lyric of the year: "Little miss lady in the yellow / Hello / Would you like to push the petal to the metal with me?" These are not the real words.

Lil Yachty is also a huge Coldplay fan (no, really) so we'd like to guess there's some "Yellow" reference in here as well. We'll discuss this song a little more in two years when we finally get around to "Lit Mix 2017."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We Watched the 2004 VMAs

There was a boring party at our house on Sunday, and we were looking for something to do. So we dug through our big crate of tapes once again. With all the 2017 VMA announcements throughout August, we decided to settle on one that said "2004 VMAs" in big red letters. The tape begins in the middle of a Real World re-run that aired just prior to the red carpet pre-show and continued with the original commercials for the next six hours.

As the show progressed, we recalled when the Geocities version of TMK thoroughly covered this show, originally aired on August 29th of that year. Have our opinions changed over the past 13 years?

#1 The Death Count

The death count was way less devastating than in '95 or '99.

- Adam Yauch presented an award with the Beastie Boys.
- Although Proof didn't say anything, he presented an award with the rest of D12 (minus Eminem) along with Benji and Joel from Good Charlotte.
- Linkin Park unexpectedly won the Viewers' Choice award for "Breaking The Habit." Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn accepted the award and seemed very surprised, although Chester Bennington was not present.

#2 Highlights

All the highlights were frustratingly fleeting compared to those within the VMA shows we watched last summer.

- None of the musical performances were thoroughly dope. Kanye West came closest, although poor Chaka Khan's cameo sounded like she had zero access to a proper monitor mix and was just rolling with it. Her singing is so gratingly off-pitch that it's actually pretty funny:

- Beastie Boys' last two VMAs appearances were in '98 and '99 when they bravely spoke at length about uncharacteristically un-fun topics. Although the shows had grown joylessly contrived and less spontaneous since '99, B-Boys seemed to be having a fun time. Ad Rock briefly said something to the effect of "There's something we need to let you guys know about," and a lot of people might have thought they were due for another heavy-handed lecture. But instead he said, "We wanna introduce the newest member of the band. Sasquatch, come on out here!" And then a Sasquatch came out and stood behind them while they presented the MTV2 Award to Yellowcard whose acceptance speech was basically upstaged by Sasquatch and the Beasties.

The Sasquatch moment wasn't necessarily spontaneous, but at least it was unexpected to the viewers at home. MTV tried out a few other similar "surprise" moments: Wayne Coyne approached the podium above the crowd in a giant transparent bubble; Matt Lillard literally crowd-surfed to the podium on an actual surfboard. Good effort on MTV's part, but it was a lot more fun during the '90s shows when the biggest surprises were unrehearsed.

#3 Other Notes

- It wasn't a bad VMAs, but it was pretty boring compared to '97 or '99. It sucks that the spontaneity and excitement from only five years earlier had diminished so rapidly. The atmosphere felt comparatively desperate to hold the viewers' attention with A.D.D. tactics - way more exhausting than fun. Camera shots were rarely held for longer than a full second. Every performance consisted of shortened songs, medleys, collaborations and multiple guest appearances. The only exception to this was a 3-minute performance from The Polyphonic Spree (satisfying the show's final oddball/WTF performance in the tradition of Fatboy Slim, The Edge lipsyncing to "Numb," and The Leningrad Cowboys).

- There were many noticeable issues with audio-mix and more live-TV mistakes than in previous shows.

- This might have been the first host-less VMAs. Dave Chappelle turned down their offer but had two brief monologues in the show's 2nd half. More Chappelle presence could have easily saved the entire show.

- We were bugged by the introduction to Alicia Keys' performance. Christina Milian and LL Cool J read from a teleprompter that she was prepped to be this generation's Marvin Gaye (lmao). Equally annoying, Sway loudly announced "You just witnessed history" after the special guest for her set was revealed as Stevie Wonder. Chappelle would have nailed moments like these.

- The emphasis on hiphop and r&b was appreciated and properly reflected the singles charts of that summer. The three rock performances of the night (Jet, Hoobastank and Yellowcard's trifecta of suck) were stuffed into a 7-minute rapid-fire rock block within the show's first 40 minutes. The Darkness or Slipknot would have been much better choices. (Later in the night, Jet won the "Best Rock Video" for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" and no one cared.)

- It was the first show without Eminem or Britney Spears since 1998 even though "My Band" and "Toxic" were both nominated for "Best Video."

- Marilyn Manson and Mandy Moore were a great match. If they got married and swapped names, they would be Marilyn Moore and Mandy Manson.

- "Pieces Of Me" by Ashlee Simpson is one of the all time greats. Sung without lip sync, the pre-show's version sounded less than desirable. Two months later, her lip sync performance on SNL made headlines. By January, she was getting boo'd during the Orange Bowl. Poor Ashlee just can't get a break.

- Outkast's grand finale performance suffered the most from MTV's ADD-restrictions. It began amazingly with only one verse and one chorus of "Prototype," an '04-nostalgia jam for sure. But after 60 seconds, the groove rudely and awkwardly transitioned to "The Way You Move." Within 45 seconds, Bentley Farnsworth upstaged Big Boi with very intense dance moves during about 60 seconds of "Ghettomusick." Andre then returned seeming un-enthused. During a 5-second pause, he says, "for the millionth time goddamnit, here's 'Hey Ya.' One, two, three, EH."

Surprisingly, the song "Hey Ya!" closed the show in its entirety, but not until after two really annoying things happened:

#1. Sway interrupted the song right around the "What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold" part to speak into the camera and say "Thanks for tuning into the VMAs" or some similar completely unnecessary farewell message that could have been saved until after the song was over. (This reminds us of a similar event 10 months later during MTV's Live 8 simulcast when VJ's were instructed to interrupt Pink Floyd's first reunion performance in over 20 years.)

#2. MTV's Gen Y pandering centered the event around unrelenting Choose Or Lose branding. This wasn't just a few innocent "get out and vote" PSAs. This was self-righhteous and grossly soulless market-tested condescension. By the time Outkast closed the show, it was probably the 19th time Choose Or Lose was getting stuffed down the viewers' throats. Red, white and blue balloons and huge "Choose Or Lose" posters covered the stage. The paid-audience members were handed picket signs covered in vague "vote" messages. And the grossest part of all, dancers were choreographed to dance their way in and out of voting booths that were placed on stage.

We were very bothered by all of this in 2004, and our take has clearly deepened with time.

As for "Hey Ya!" we agree with Andre that it had grown annoyingly inescapable by August 2004. But thirteen years later, it feels weirdly absent from recent pop canonization (despite receiving near-perfect scores when it came time for end-of-decade lists in 2009). Even in the bizarrely irritating VMAs context, "Hey Ya!" feels irresistible, and we totally miss it.

Previous entries from our VMAs Summer Series:
| We Watched The '95 VMAs |
| We Watched The '97 VMAs |
| Oh Shit We Watched The '99 VMAs |

For more 2004: 2000 Jams from the 2000s: Part 5 (2004)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Human Garbage

Wow, our blog is the worst it's ever been. LOL. We just got done posting the top 5000 songs of all time that came out during a year that feels like it happened about 7 years ago, so everything here is just great. The only other thing we've done here in 2017 is embedding MTVZ, but besides that it's a whole lotta nothin.

so Taste My Kids is fucking dead. Yeah, DEAD.

Well, as long as we're dead and as long as no one is reading, it's probably about time we started getting into some hot takes.

Hot Take #1: Calls us a buncha nutsos if you'd like, but we're starting to think this guy Trump might be a huge jerk. There's something off about him. Not sure what it is exactly, but we're not really into the cut of his jib. Nothing concrete yet, but it's possible the guy is a big jerk or at the very least a nazi apologist or something. The internet hasn't really been providing very much evidence to back this up, and it's tough to find info on this strangely uncovered media story, but we may provide more updates on this as they become available.

Hot Take #2: Go ahead and use the term "alt-left" as much as you want as long as you're ok with everyone knowing that you are a nazi apologist.

Hot Take #3: Jerkass doucheface fuckhead needs a zingier handle. As a nickname, "45" feels too forced. Why not choose a nickname with some sexy zing to it like "President Human Garbage?"

Hot Take #4: Eeeewwww poor people. So gross, right? Like I can't even. When I see them, I'm just like, "I can't even right now." I dunno, like, why don't they just ask their dad for a job or something? Or I don't know, just like go to Starbucks and fill out an application. I mean, it's not that hard. Or maybe try like Quicken Loans or Cheesecake Factory. Just like, I dunno, just get a life, right? lmao

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lit As Fuck 2016 (The Big List)

| Follow "LIT AF 2016" on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | | #165 - 131 | | #130 - 101 | | #100 -71 | | #70 - 41 | | #40 - 21 | | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

200. Votaries "Trick Tomorrow"
199. Bear Hands "2AM"
198. Rihanna "Desperado"
197. No Age "Separation"
196. The Dean Ween Group "Mercedes Benz"
195. Satin Jackets featuring Scavenger Hunt "Feel Good"
194. Ariana Grande "Dangerous Woman"
193. The Spirit Of The Beehive "Natural Devotion"
192. Cavern of Anti-Matter featuring Bradford Cox "Liquid Gate"
191. Kvelertak "Nattesferd"
190. ScHoolboy Q featuring SZA "Neva Change"
189. Czarface "Two in the Chest"
188. Dinosaur Jr. "Goin' Down"
187. Tony Molina "No One Told He"
186. Consequence featuring Ty Dolla $ign "Ask Somebody"
185. Ben Grigg "Complications"
184. Mannequin Pussy "Denial"
183. Carl Sagan's Skate Shoes "(1)"
182. Left & Right "Mouse Drum"
181. Nick Jonas featuring Ty Dolla $ign "Bacon"
180. Kevin Morby "I Have Been to the Mountain"
179. YG "Police Get Away Wit Murder" / YG featuring Nipsey Hussle "FDT"
178. Total Slacker "Turn on the Lights"
177. Homeboy Sandman "Talking (Bleep)"
176. Dark Mtns "Wake to Dream"
175. No Age "Serf to Serf"
174. ScHoolboy Q featuring Miguel & Justine Skye "Overtime"
173. Weaves "Birds & Bees"
172. Horse Jumper of Love "Spaceman"
171. Omegas "Drug Zoo"
170. 2 Chainz "Felt Like Cappin'"
169. Underworld "If Rah"
168. Dowager "Sleep Paralysis"
167. Gucci Mane "At Least a M"
166. Pusha T featuring Jay-Z "Drug Dealers Anonymous"

165. Weezer "L.A. Girlz"
164. Flat Swamp "Don't Count On Me"
163. Two Inch Astronaut "Personal Life"
162. A Giant Dog "Sex & Drugs"
161. Solange "Junie"
160. Gary Young "Spit"
159. Frank Ocean "Ivy"
158. A Tribe Called Quest "Black Spasmodic"
157. Swim Team "I’m Fine"
156. Jackal Onasis "The New Ron"
155. Halfsour "Fake Sandwich"
154. Kamaiyah "Mo Money Mo Problems"
153. Lumpy & The Dumpers "I'm Gonna Move to New York"
152. Gucci Mane "Waybach"
151. Joey Purp "Photobooth"
150. N.O.R.E. "Queens"
149. PJ Harvey "The Wheel"
148. Frank Ocean "Pink + White"
147. Angel Olsen "Sister"
146. Nocturnal Habits "Echophilia"
145. Wrong "Mucilage"
144. Foodman "Otonarabi"
143. Horse Lords "Truthers"
142. Röyksopp featuring Susanne Sundfør "Never Ever"
141. Field Mouse "Out Of Context"
140. Chavez "The Bully Boys"
139. Kitty "Asari Love Song"
138. Jute Gyte "Palimpsest"
137. Kyle Forester "Won't Go Crazy"
136. Vince Staples "Prima Donna"
135. ScHoolboy Q "Black THougHts"
134. The Lemon Twigs "These Words"
133. KING "The Greatest"
132. Ruby Haunt "Honey"
131. Oranssi Pazuzu "Vasemman käden hierarkia"

130. David Bowie "Girl Loves Me"
129. Charly Bliss "Turd" / Charly Bliss "Ruby"
128. Melkbelly "Elk Mountain"
127. Wormed "Computronium Pulsar Nanarchy"
126. DJ Luke Nasty "OTW"
125. Witch Hair "Somewhere High"
124. Cloakroom "Big World"
123. Aphex Twin "CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]"
122. BJ The Chicago Kid "Turnin' Me Up"
121. Stove "Graduate and Congratulate"
120. Future Biff "Redline"
119. Good Willsmith "A Disease You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Is Killing Kids"
118. Palberta "Ode to Honey"
117. Total Slacker "Olympus Hills"
116. Wolf Parade "Floating World"
115. Weaves "Sentence"
114. Lea "The Lorax"
113. CupcakKe "Jesus"
112. Rihanna "Woo" / Rihanna "Pose"
111. Vince Staples "War Ready"
110. Quttinirpaaq "Dead Birds"
109. The Avalanches "Colours"
108. Exploded View "No More Parties in the Attic"
107. Two Inch Astronaut "At Risk Student"
106. Soft Fangs "The Air"
105. Lil Yachty "Shoot Out the Roof"
104. Stove "Mrs. Robertson"
103. 75 Dollar Bill "Beni Said"
102. Flasher "Destroy"
101. Autolux "Brainwasher"

100. Mitski "Once More to See You"
99. Nails "You Will Never Be One Of Us"
98. Weaves "Shithole"
97. Chance The Rapper featuring Knox Fortune "All Night"
96. Bruno Mars "24k Magic"
95. Skateboard "Cowboy"
94. YG featuring Kamaiyah & Drake "Why You Always Hatin'"
93. Pinback "Thought Experiment"
92. Peaer "I.H.S.Y.A."
91. Rihanna "Close To You"
90. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats "Remember Tomorrow"
89. Margaret Glaspy "Emotions and Math"
88. Wilco "If I Ever Was a Child"
87. Chance The Rapper featuring 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne "No Problem"
86. Brujeria "Viva Presidente Trump!"
85. YG "Who Shot Me?"
84. Jake Tobin "Around"
83. Stove "Tiny Gaze"
82. Potty Mouth "Smash Hit"
81. Weezer "King of the World"
80. Deerhoof "Model Behavior"
79. Gucci Mane "1st Day Out Tha Feds"
78. DNCE "Cake By the Ocean"
77. A Tribe Called Quest "Solid Wall of Sound"
76. Surface to Air Missive "Please No More"
75. Nocturnal Habits "Good Grief"
74. Lil B "I Was Born Poor"
73. Radiohead "Burn the Witch"
72. Wormed "Eukaryotic Hex Swarm"
71. Tweet featuring Missy Elliott "Somebody Else Will"

70. Swim Team "Dirty Work"
69. Noname "Yesterday"
68. Kanye West "Fade"
67. Radiohead "Identikit"
66. Big Ups "Meet Where We Are"
65. Surface to Air Missive "Time Being"
64. Kvelertak "1985"
63. Young Thug "Wyclef Jean"
62. YG "Still Brazy"
61. Weaves "Two Oceans"
60. Palm "Shadow Expert"
59. ScHoolboy Q featuring Jadakiss "Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane"
58. Ariana Grande "Into You"
57. Miguel "Cadillac"
56. Exploded View "Lost Illusion"
55. Goblin Cock "Your Watch"
54. Sumerlands "Haunted Forever"
53. Ty Dolla $ign "Stealing"
52. PJ Harvey "Guilty"
51. Rihanna "Love on the Brain"
50. Death’s Dynamic Shroud.wmv "Do U Like Me?"
49. Eric Copeland "Honorable Mentions"
48. Animal Collective "FloriDada"
47. Grandaddy "Way We Won’t"
46. A Tribe Called Quest "Kids..."
45. The Shins "Dead Alive"
44. Surface To Air Missive "Morning Thought"
43. Kanye West "Ultralight Beam"
42. Rihanna "Sex With Me"
41. Beak> "Timeshare"

40. Kamaiyah "How Does It Feel"
39. Domo Genesis featuring Anderson .Paak "Dapper"
38. Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert "Bad and Boujee"
37. Carly Rae Jepsen "Higher"
36. Sad13 "Devil In U"
35. D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty "Broccoli" / Young Thug featuring Travis Scott "Pick Up the Phone" / Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma & French Montana "All the Way Up"
34. Two Inch Astronaut "Andy's Progress Report"
33. Ty Dolla $ign "Zaddy" / Jeremih "oui"
32. Joey Purp featuring Chance The Rapper "Girls @"
31. Kanye West "Famous" / Kanye West "Feedback"
30. YG "Gimmie Got Shot"
29. Deerhoof "Learning to Apologize Effectively"
28. Margaret Glaspy "You and I"
27. A Tribe Called Quest "Whateva Will Be"
26. Rihanna "Yeah I Said It"
25. Kanye West "30 Hours"
24. Chris Weisman "The Paradox Of Thrift"
23. Autolux "Change My Head"
22. David Bowie "Killing a Little Time"
21. Miguel "Come Through and Chill"

20. Desiigner "Panda"
19. Angel Olsen "Shut Up Kiss Me"
18. Rihanna "Same Ol' Mistakes"
17. Big Thief "Masterpiece"
16. Tweet "I Was Created for This"
15. Rihanna featuring SZA "Consideration" / Rihanna "James Joint"
14. Animal Collective "Golden Gal"
13. A Tribe Called Quest "We The People"
12. Rihanna featuring Drake "Work"
11. David Bowie "Lazarus"
10. Good Morning "Cab Deg"
9. Solange "Cranes in the Sky"
8. Surface to Air Missive "Full Love Wonder"
7. Rihanna "Kiss It Better"
6. CCR Headcleaner "Tear Down The Wall"
5. Strange Relations "Ceremonies"
4. A Tribe Called Quest "Conrad Tokyo"
3. Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane "Black Beatles" / Nicki Minaj "Black Barbies"
2. Kanye West featuring Kendrick Lamar "No More Parties In L.A."
1. Rihanna "Needed Me"

--Lit As Fuck Mix 2016 By The Numbers--

Artists with the most appearances (ties broken by album placements)
1. Rihanna (14 jams)
2. A Tribe Called Quest (6 jams)
3. YG (6 jams)
4. Kanye West (6 jams)
5. Ty Dolla $ign (6 jams)
6. Stove Hartlett (5 jams)
7. Alex Molini (5 jams)
8. Weaves (4 jams)
9. Surface To Air Missive (4 jams)
10. ScHoolboy Q (4 jams)
11. Gucci Mane (4 jams)
12. Jordyn Blakely (4 jams)
13. Chance The Rapper (4 jams)
14. Andre 3000 (4 jams)
15. David Bowie (3 jams)
16. Two Inch Astronaut (3 jams)
17. Boner (3 jams)
18. Miguel (3 jams)
19. Kamaiyah (3 jams)

The 3 songs from Anti (Deluxe) that did not make the Lit:
"Never Ending," "Higher" & "Goodnight Gotham"

Highest ranking songs that did not appear on "Best Albums of 2016"
1. Strange Relations "Ceremonies"
2. Angel Olsen "Shut Up Kiss Me"
3. Desiigner "Panda"
4. Miguel "Come Through and Chill"
5. Jeremih "oui"

Highest ranking albums with no songs in Lit Mix
1. Various Artists Sky Girl: Compiled by Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae
2. CupcakKe Cum Cake ("Jesus" from Audacious was #113)
3. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein Stranger Things, Vol. 1
4. Sun Organ People In The Distance In The Dark
5. Brujeria Pocho Aztlan (non-album track "Viva Presidente Trump!" was #86)

Top 10 by Genre without repeating artists

1. Rihanna "Needed Me"
2. Solange "Cranes in the Sky"
3. Tweet "I Was Created for This"
4. Miguel "Come Through and Chill"
5. Ty Dolla $ign "Zaddy"
6. BJ The Chicago Kid "Turnin' Me Up"
7. DJ Luke Nasty "OTW"
8. KING "The Greatest"
9. Frank Ocean "Pink + White"
10. Kamaiyah "Mo Money Mo Problems"

1. Kanye West featuring Kendrick Lamar "No More Parties In L.A."
2. Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane "Black Beatles"
3. A Tribe Called Quest "Conrad Tokyo"
4. Desiigner "Panda"
5. YG "Gimmie Got Shot"
6. Joey Purp featuring Chance The Rapper "Girls @"
7. D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty "Broccoli"
8. Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert "Bad and Boujee"
9. Domo Genesis featuring Anderson .Paak "Dapper"
10. ScHoolboy Q featuring Jadakiss "Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane"

1. Rihanna "Kiss It Better"
2. Carly Rae Jepsen "Higher"
3. Kamaiyah "How Does It Feel"
4. Ariana Grande "Into You"
5. DNCE "Cake By the Ocean"
6. Bruno Mars "24k Magic"
7. Kitty "Asari Love Song"
8. Röyksopp featuring Susanne Sundfør "Never Ever"
9. Nick Jonas featuring Ty Dolla $ign "Bacon"
10. Satin Jackets featuring Scavenger Hunt "Feel Good"

Heavy Rock / Metal
1. CCR Headcleaner "Tear Down The Wall"
2. Sumerlands "Haunted Forever"
3. Goblin Cock "Your Watch"
4. Kvelertak "1985"
5. Wormed "Eukaryotic Hex Swarm"
6. Brujeria "Viva Presidente Trump!"
7. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats "Remember Tomorrow"
8. Nails "You Will Never Be One Of Us"
9. Cloakroom "Big World"
10. Wrong "Mucilage"

Light Rock / Indie
1. Strange Relations "Ceremonies"
2. Surface to Air Missive "Full Love Wonder"
3. Good Morning "Cab Deg"
4. Animal Collective "Golden Gal"
5. Big Thief "Masterpiece"
6. Rihanna "Same Ol' Mistakes"
7. Angel Olsen "Shut Up Kiss Me"
8. Autolux "Change My Head"
9. Chris Weisman "The Paradox Of Thrift"
10. Margaret Glaspy "You and I"

Avant / Experimental
1. David Bowie "Lazarus"
2. Beak> "Timeshare"
3. Eric Copeland "Honorable Mentions"
4. Death’s Dynamic Shroud.wmv "Do U Like Me?"
5. Exploded View "Lost Illusion"
6. Palm "Shadow Expert"
7. 75 Dollar Bill "Beni Said"
8. Palberta "Ode to Honey"
9. Good Willsmith "A Disease You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Is Killing Kids"
10. Oranssi Pazuzu "Vasemman käden hierarkia"

Glory Days
1. A Tribe Called Quest "We The People"
2. Tweet "I Was Created for This"
3. Grandaddy "Way We Won’t"
4. PJ Harvey "Guilty"
5. Radiohead "Identikit"
6. Nocturnal Habits "Good Grief"
7. Weezer "King of the World"
8. Wilco "If I Ever Was a Child"
9. The Avalanches "Colours"
10. Aphex Twin "CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]"

| Follow "LIT AF 2016" on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | | #165 - 131 | | #130 - 101 | | #100 -71 | | #70 - 41 | | #40 - 21 | | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

Friday, August 11, 2017

LIT AF 2016: #20 - 1

We are sad that this took so long to finish.

| Follow "LIT AF 2016" on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | | #165 - 131 | | #130 - 101 | | #100 -71 | | #70 - 41 | | #40 - 21 | | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

20. Desiigner "Panda"

Thiis duude ruules. Wee reegreet miissiing hiis Tooaad's Plaace shoow. The significance of the Panda may refer to animal t-shirts. Desiigner might be more stoked on his blessed life and success than any other one-hit-wonder artist of this decade so far. Desiigner is for the children. In a world full of fake goofs, his realness and positivity feel so crucial right now. P.S. We felt compelled to tie this with Kanye's "Pt. 2" - the preview for "Panda"'s eventual rap radio domination - but Kanye is already in this list enough, and it was essentially an album interlude.

19. Angel Olsen "Shut Up Kiss Me"
Angel: We'll never have your voice or your songs or your melodies the way you sing them. We'll never have your heart or your soul, but you have our skates. We know you took our skates, and we're coming for you. Everything we loved about this song is also in its video which we already wrote about. Also stress bangs.

18. Rihanna "Same Ol' Mistakes"
The last dope track Tame Impala ever recorded on their own was their "Stranger In Moscow" cover from 2014. While the fan base generally approved on their 2015 album, we felt something missing. Perhaps that something was remedied the following January. Perhaps that something was Rihanna, unleashing arguably her most polarizing musical moment. "It's literally a karaoke song," spoke the Twitter haters less than six hours after Anti first dropped on Tidal. 18 months later, it's the one Rihanna album track that we've heard most frequently at parties, blaring from cars or at the neighbors' backyard BBQs. Album-track longevity ftw.

This definitive version is also among the album's most crucial decisions. Within the album sequence (appearing after "Yeah I Said It"), it's the moment when the planets align. It's when Anti eclipses itself and swallows the sum of its parts. Two minutes longer than the second-longest track, it sugar-coats Anti's own legacy with a protective sealant. Rihanna achieves this with her patented, often-imitated, never-duplicated gaze of DGAF. She is the undefeated heavyweight world champion of not giving one single fuck. She's aware of the critique, and it shouldn't surprise anyone if she responds by including two more 7-minute Tame Impala covers on her next record just to prove how little she cares about what anyone thinks. Preparing ourselves for 2018: Rihanna joins the band Tame Impala as their permanent lead singer.

17. Big Thief "Masterpiece"
Little known fact: All of the '60s country kids secretly wanted to start indie-rock bands, even though indie-rock had not been invented yet. The Flying Burrito Brothers were like "gee whiz, I wish indie-rock existed." Same thing with The Byrds, except they would have said "shit god damn" instead of "gee whiz." And when Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle and Linda Rondstadt formed the band Trio, their unreleased bizarro split-paradox LP probably would have contained a couple jams that resembled Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels On The Gravel Road" and a handful of bangers that weren't too far off from "Masterpiece" and its sister-jams on the Big Thief album of the same name. The Thief's wise-crack antics and their weirdly dank snare drum tone won us over super hard. [We're not sure why, but our notes for this blurb included the URL for the Bernie Sanders image displayed here, perhaps suggesting that Bernie's 1987 debut album was a true masterpiece.]

16. Tweet “I Was Created for This”
Tweet's first album in 14 years was sadly swept under rugs and failed to generate any hits as big as "Oops (Oh My)." "Somebody Else Will" (our #71) could have easily fit on WBLS's playlists, but the album was basically intended for diehard fans of Tweet and Missy Elliott who were equally psyched about their reunion. Among the year's best ASMR jams, "I Was Created For This" generates a weirdly dreamy and meditative aura. We use the word "weirdly" as a synonym for "unexpectedly" because of its inventively bizarre yet seamlessly unawkward time signature alternating between 10/8 and 12/8.

15. Rihanna f/ SZA “Consideration” / “James Joint”
A little while back, "Consideration" placed at #425 on our 500 Hottest Jams Ever thing, while "James Joint" also placed at #191. The songs had only been around for 3 months, but it felt like there was no way in hell we would ever not adore either of these. For Lit Mix, we got stuck tying them up here for a couple reasons:

#1 Contrary to popular belief, "James Joint" is technically not a 2016 song. It was first released on 4/20 of 2015 via Rihanna's soundcloud account as an album preview around the same time as "Bitch Better Have My Money," "American Oxygen" and "FourFiveSeconds." Possibly due to its "interlude" designation, "James Joint" was way less of a 2015 event than the other three songs. Despite this, it's the only one of these four that wound up on Anti.

#2 Album reviews rarely place emphasis on "memorable album segues" or "flawless sequencing." We considered blaming "kids these days" in the age of playlisting, although these are among the aspects of a truly classic album that only become more obvious upon the 20th or 30th listen - not necessarily obvious to those who need to turn in a full album critique in under 48 hours. Anti is full of song transitions that we're incapable of describing as anything short of "beautiful" or "breathtaking" or any other super-heavy terms to describe an exceptional work of art. "Consideration" into "James Joint" is the very first of these - a cold, abrupt outro into a Fender Rhodes jazz-chord separated by a full 1-second silence. The outro of "Consideration" starts to feel too heavy too quickly again. So instead of treading into the same old shit, she opens her purse (which only contains pre-rolled joints and a Zippo) and lights up in the studio.

"Consideration" seems universally beloved within our extended friend-circle, and it's weird that it wasn't pitched to radio. Rihanna and SZA's voices seem oddly interchangeable and unified. It's almost tough to tell who's who. As a grand entrance, it gets most legit right around "Oh darling, would you mind giving my reflection a break from the face it's seeing now?" She can still sing "Pon de Replay" but it must be strange thinking back to all she's seen and done since then.

"How you livin' love/like/fuck rules." They could have made it less obvious that "James Joint" was a Stevie Wonder homage, but why hide it? Cue the harmonica solo.

14. Animal Collective "Golden Gal"

13. A Tribe Called Quest “We The People”

12. Rihanna f/ Drake "Work"
There have been many unfortunate instances in the past decade where a guest verse actually did spoil what could have been an otherwise perfect pop song. The most egregious to us is probably Schoolboy Q's verse in "2 On."

"Work" is not one of these instances. It's kind of annoying how many online haters immediately shit on Drake's verse upon first listen and refused to budge on their opinion even after an entire year of ubiquity allowed the song's nuances to settle. "Work, work, work, work, work" over and over. Again and again. And it never once felt grating, even after Funkmaster Flex spun it for the 100th time in a row. Drake is obviously a flawed and often annoying celebrity presence, but none of this makes "Work" any less compelling. And we feel so strongly about this take that we're gonna break down his verse in an effort to prove its lack of suckiness:

- "Long distance / I need you / When I see potential / I just gotta see it through." Super unoffensive. So far, he's done a good job with sticking with the "work" theme. Nothing shitty found here. Nothing amazing either, but we're not trying to prove that it's amazing - just that it doesn't suck.

- "If you had a twin / I would still choose you." This is the most widely polarizing lyric of Drake's verse. The lyric is probably addressing Rihanna and suggests that his attraction to her goes beyond skin-deep superficiality, although this also suggests that he's previously faced a situation where he considered (or possibly chose) to bone someone's identical twin due to having no genuine attraction to her heart or her brain. And if faced with similar circumstances, he would rather work through it with Rihanna since her heart and brain are just as alluring to him as dat ass.

- "Sorry if I'm way less friendly / I got ****** tryna end me." Drake is paranoid for no discernible reason, perhaps as a brief glance down the same alley from Geto Boys' "My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me."

- "Rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin' / How many more shots until you're rollin'?" Obvious Limp Bizkit reference.

So there you have it. In our estimation, Drake does not taint any of the song's dopeness, and anyone still suggesting otherwise needs to chill the fuck out. We're assuming he wrote the vocal melody that he sings, and it's a refreshing aside from Rihanna's playfulness. "You took my heart and my keys and my patience." She had such a fun time during this vocal session that she continues singing "Work, work, work, work, work" during the fade out. It's an imperfect song, but working through the imperfections is what makes shit WORK. IT FUCKING FITS. [Note: "Work" placed at #441 on our 500 Hottest Jams of All Time back in April 2016. It's one of the GOATs.]

11. David Bowie “Lazarus”
We can only think of a few other complete records by artists who knew it would very likely become their last. Warren Zevon's 2003 album comes to mind; Queen's Innuendo arguably fits, although it's debatable whether Freddie Mercury knew he would pass away only months later. However, Blackstar is an anomaly. Bowie seized his responsibility with grace, acceptance and dopeness, appropriately closing his reign as The Greatest Rock Star Of All Time. Aside from Prince, it's tough to narrow down another pop culture icon whose 2010s passing had more global impact and even tougher to find another whose final chapter felt so complete. It would understate Blackstar to merely suggest that he made the most of unfortunate circumstances. The film closes with our hero sacrificing himself for the greater good, rescuing the world from certain doom while also causing a minor explosion that adds his head to Mount Rushmore.

10. Good Morning “Cab Deg”
Despite our resistance, we're very much down with the mid-2010s lofi-analog druggy-love-song subgenre that seems to have taken off ever since the success of Mac Demarco 2. Surprisingly, we're relieved that music blogs have yet to brand this style with a single word or phrase. Rubber Soul-core fits well enough since we know no one else would ever actually speak that phrase in public. (Many of these bands have since received fan videos on Alejandro Tafurth's Youtube channel.) Good Morning's "Warned You" from 2014 slipped far under our radar at the time, but now deserves serious canonization. "Cab Deg" was as good of a sequel as anyone could have anticipated. Innocent 4-chord weed-induced childhood-indie-pop.

9. Solange “Cranes in the Sky”
Free and floating above it all. "Away, away, away..." We're unsure if any bloggers have yet to point this out, but "Cranes in the Sky" sounds exactly like its song title. We haven't heard any other modern R&B vocalists nail the Minnie Ripperton impression as well as Solange in the outro. But even after such a triumphant record, it's unfortunate that Solange still might forever receive comparisons to her sister and their contemporaries. Lemonade is good, but it's an album that relied on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, brand, hype, memes, and an army of stans in the year 2016 in order to become an instant phenomenon, whereas none of this context was applied to Solange's art and thus it felt far more genuine, timeless and universal.

8. Surface to Air Missive “Full Love Wonder”
"Sorry guys. I know we had a big recording session scheduled for today, but I seem to have misplaced all of the other drums besides the hi-hat and hi-hat stand." "Hey, no worries man. Set it up. We're going live in 10." "Hey, I have an idea. I'll just go fucking crazy on the hi-hat." "That's the spirit." "Yeah, and then maybe I could close out the song with a dope 16th-note picked bass solo during the fade-out." "Holy fucking shit dude. That sounds like heaven." [Note: The members of Surface To Air Missive don't actually talk like this, and their records are basically only recorded by one dude. Sorry, we couldn't think of anything good.]

7. Rihanna “Kiss It Better”
"Man, fuck your pride." Human perception. Why is Anti the most beautiful record of the 2010s? "Kiss It Better" may include the answer. Any pleasure or satisfaction derived at any point throughout Anti has a direct link to this song. Throughout most of the reviews and promo campaign, we heard very little praise for Rihanna's vocal perfomances - confidently exuding pure soul and wisdom more now than ever before. Any bratty Mouseketeer can fuck around with vocal gymnastics until they're blue in the face. But Rihanna's strengths have been learned through experience and are so second nature that she barely needs to try.

6. CCR Headcleaner “Tear Down The Wall”
Without getting too politically overt, "Tear Down The Wall" as a song title and as a repeated shouted phrase has a different ring to it now than when the song first debuted. Even if the border wall never gets built (which it won't), the suggestion of its feasible reality is what the wall could metaphorically represent. But the title phrase's 2nd un-shouted, psychotic-sounding utterance is what really pushes this over the top. Drunken absurdity destroys reality. Prepare for the public crucifixion. About 20 years ago, Marilyn Manson premiered a video for "Man That You Fear" where Manson prepares for a public stoning not unlike in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." The last 2 minutes of both songs have brutally ugly noise outros - the actual tearing-down part. "The Wall" could also be a metaphor for everything that is blocking us from making any progress. If extremes are what it takes to get people to listen, then tear it down already.

5. Strange Relations “Ceremonies”
Heaven throws a rave. Jesus pumps up the volume and headbangs in slow motion. Teenagers make out far in the distance. The video for "Ceremonies" might be projected onto a huge brick building somewhere. The antisocial home-demo vibe feels incredibly summery, despite that the video was reported shot in the Winter (in Buenos Aries). Capturing the song's essence, the video displays blurriness, disconnection, the confluence of laziness and restlessness, and lots of daydreaming out of windows (after dark). There's a lot more public transport than in the "1979" video (when a handful of 17-year-olds were piled into 1 tiny car to alleviate adolescent boredom), and the Casiotone drums (a curiously absent element of 2010s indie rock) echo Smashing Pumpkins' "right of passage" textures just the same. Despite all of this, it's tough to pinpoint how a song with '80s Casiotone drums feels so distinctly of its time. But it's not a throwback at all. Strange Relations have constructed an area of extreme softness. Perhaps the rave includes an area designated for "ballet only."

4. A Tribe Called Quest “Conrad Tokyo”
A huge part of the magic that made We Got It From Here so special derives from its ability to rest within the same atmosphere of ATCQ's earlier discography while effortlessly reflecting the present day, current events, modern hiphop trends. Among the record's best examples is "Conrad Tokyo." The melancholy A- and bittersweet B-sections go back-and-forth under Phife's Dawg's calm yet urgent demeanor. He discusses the broadening economic divide and sounds well-matched alongside Kendrick Lamar. But the beat sounds like it should be Phife's final send-off. He has so much more to say and simply isn't ready to go, but the beat suggests otherwise: "Sorry, time's up. We gotta head out." This record was such a huge gift to the world, and it's a miracle that Tribe & co. were able to pull it all together one last time.

3. Rae Sremmurd f/ Gucci Mane “Black Beatles” / Nicki Minaj “Black Barbies”
We think Sremmurd might represent the quintessential modern rap group that really bothers old man Chuck D. "Respect the legacy," he'd say, while unable to get why Soulja Boy, Chief Keef or Rae Sremmurd could win over hiphop critics, despite that Kanye rep'd for all three very loudly. Nicki Minaj clearly loves them: She's on the "No Flex Zone" remix, helped out with "Throw Some Mo," and made her own version of "Black Beatles" her most memorable jam since "Truffle Butter." We incorrectly predicted Rae Sremmurd's one-hit-wonder status, then upgraded to two-hit-wonder, then one-album-wonder. Did the Mannequin Challenge save their career? It definitely didn't hurt its slow ascent from debuting at #90 all the way to eventually becoming their first #1 hit song. But also if the song was wack, no one would have cared nearly as much. Mike Will's beat might be the best and catchiest he's ever laid to tape. The kids on the playground sung along to that chorus for hours. Technically, it might not even be Hiphop, but it's proof that charting pop is alive and well.

2. Kanye West f/ Kendrick Lamar "No More Parties In LA"
Swish was a better album title. We're (probably) completely off-base, but fuck it: "No More Parties In LA" is about "Art vs. Status." Kanye isn't THAT crazy. He's begging Kim Kardashian to stop forcing him to associate with snobby, aristocrat-types who make him sick. There's no point in suggesting that Kim nor Kanye agreed to tie the knot at least partially to help solidify their brand. That much should be obvious. But Kim's motive was entirely status driven, while Kanye's incomprehensible complexities have convinced him that his marriage contributes to his struggle as a living, breathing artistic statement of a person. There's a lot going on within these six minutes - probably not too far off from his thoughts when being dragged to some shitty gala. Kanye's brain moves so quickly in so many different directions that it's often tough to keep up, whereas Kim's brain stays dormant and mostly concerns Instagram ("the best way to promote some pussy").

Kendrick is as sharp as he's ever been, enough that Kanye calls it "scary" and suddenly finds himself in a position to hone his best rap verse in nearly a decade. Hiphop critics have been shitting on Kanye's rap chops all throughout the 2010s, but "No More Parties" proves he can turn it on and off like a faucet anytime he wants. Content-wise, it's not too far off from what he explored in "Bound 2," as confusingly wild and intricate as in his interviews.

The deepest moment might be "My psychiatrist got kids that I inspired / First song they played for me was 'bout their friend that just died." The entire verse sounds like 3 months worth of therapy sessions crammed into 3 minutes. Artistic creation might be the only thing he has left to keep him from completely falling off a dramatically unbalanced tightrope of sanity. And of course, his session wouldn't be complete without getting in yet another mention of a laptop-stealing incident mentioned elsewhere on The Life Of Pablo at least twice. Kanye West is insane because being Kanye West makes him fucking insane because he is Kanye.

1. Rihanna “Needed Me”
It was too tough to decide which of the Anti jams from this page to place at #1. So when in doubt, go with the most disturbed option. The most popular hiphop singles of 2016 highlight an era of murk - often spacey and occasionally slimey. Somehow, the pack of "Panda," "Black Beatles" and "Work" were among the most inescapable songs of the year. (All three were #1 hits.) Harnessing this darkness while infusing the same organic raunch that once unexpectedly flooded early 2010s chart-pop, "Needed Me" effectively propels her DGAF-brand by sneaking a lyrical undercurrent metaphorically staring down the media and her haters. They need her WAY more than she needs them.

On March 30th, this song was released as a single alongside "Kiss It Better" - the Anti single intended to overtake Top 40 stations all summer while "Needed Me" racked up some spins on Hot 97. Ultimately, "Kiss It Better" earned 149 million Youtube views earning longevity thanks to fan support, but only peaked at #62 and didn't chart past late-June. Meanwhile, "Needed Me" hit #7 and charted into December. The double-single turned out to be a great decision for maintaining the album's radio presence but inadvertently preventing yet another brilliant single from radio domination thanks to grossly misguided music direction from the likes of iHeartRadio. (She also missed an opportunity to issue the best double a-side 7-inch of the decade.)

Within Anti's myriad wonders rests its tastefully inventive use of dance production's most tired and overused techniques. Most listeners wouldn't hear "Work" as reggaeton, even though it's probably the best reggaeton song of all time. Just the same, neither wubby dubstep beats nor Migos' triplet-rap swag have ever felt more compelling than in "Needed Me."

| Follow "LIT AF 2016" on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | | #165 - 131 | | #130 - 101 | | #100 -71 | | #70 - 41 | | #40 - 21 | | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

LIT AF 2016: #40 - 21

We did manage to throw together a "worst songs" for the first time since 2012, although it's mostly just stuff cherry picked from other people's lists. We haven't actively hunted for vomit music in almost 5 years. (lmao)

Not-Fire Of 2016
20. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "White Privilege II"
19. Mike Posner "I Took A Pill In Ibiza"
18. Local Natives "Fountain Of Youth"
17. Meghan Trainor "Like I'm Gonna Lose You"
16. Meghan Trainor "No"
15. Natalie La Rose f/ Jeremih "Somebody"
14. Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"
13. Twenty One Pilots "Stressed Out"
12. Disturbed "The Sounds Of Silence"
11. Meghan Trainor "Watch Me Do"
10. Steven Tyler "Red White & You"
9. Meghan Trainor "Me Too"
8. Lukas Graham "Mama Said"
7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Spoons"
6. Unkle Adams "The 90s"
5. Fall Out Boy f/ Missy Elliot "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)"
4. The Chainsmokers f/ Halsey "Closer"
3. Lukas Graham "7 Years"
2. Le Tigre "I'm With Her"
1. Train "Play That Song"

With more research, the list could have been even worse, but our stamina for vomit is not as hot as it used to be. Also bad songs used to be fun. Sadly, almost none of these songs are fun or "funny bad," except of course for Disturbed's "The Sounds Of Silence."

And now for a change of direction, here are some very lit jams. We are nervous that our friends will see us writing about their bands and think we suck so go easy on us.

| Follow "LIT AF 2016" on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | | #165 - 131 | | #130 - 101 | | #100 -71 | | #70 - 41 | | #40 - 21 | | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

40. Kamaiyah “How Does It Feel”

If songs like "Pump Up The Jam" still charted, we suppose "How Does It Feel" would have been a much bigger song. Hannibal Burress tweeted about it at some point, but we forget what he said because we can't find the tweet.

39. Domo Genesis f/ Anderson .Paak "Dapper"
Where can we buy those "DO YOUR CHORES / SMOKE BEER" shirts? Odd Future figured out how to rip off Earth Wind & Fire. One sweep of the Fender Rhodes from "Dapper" is like an instant time machine back to the breezy frustrations of Summer 2016 - a bummer summer for sure, but the music was dope, and at least Bojack S3 and Stranger Things were sick. Coulda been a lot worse. "I could turn a pussy to a kiddie pool" might be our guilty pleasure lyric of the year.

38. Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert “Bad and Boujee”

Last minute addition. Amazing chorus. We had to.

37. Carly Rae Jepsen "Higher"
The journey through Carly Rae's various hair excursions began early in the promo-cycle for E•MO•TION. The red hair from her album cover was dyed black early enough to not appear in any videos. But these adventures wouldn't have grabbed our attention had it not been for our official 2016 "Mullet Of The Year" award. We're having trouble remembering when the mullet debuted, but it appeared on her socials in a round of photos that were intended to showcase things that were not her mullet. Unless we're mistaken, she never attempted to engage fans with a mullet announcement, almost as if she didn't give a shit and was like "yea, I dunno. I guess I have a mullet. Who the fuck cares" and then just continued on with her life. This made both Carly Rae and her possibly accidental mullet even more endearing. And also, "Higher" is a really good song.

36. Sad13 “Devil In U”
The devil is on one shoulder growling, "La Croix is the best. Buy lots of La Croix right now. Fuck all that other shit." Devil tempts you to think with your dick only. The angel is on the other shoulder gently whispering, "Dude, go for Schweppes. It's a good choice, and it's on sale." The angel wants you to think with your heart and do the right thing. At the last minute, you impulsively choose some weird brand like IZZE. Devil and Angel are both facepalming like "omg you idiot" and are very disappointed in you.

35. D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty "Broccoli" / Young Thug feat. Travis Scott "Pick Up The Phone" / Fat Joe feat. Remy Ma & French Montana "All The Way Up"
Now That's What I Call Vape Vol. 1.

34. Two Inch Astronaut "Andy's Progress Report"
Spotlight on Andy Cherv. The phrase "Progress Report" and the song title "At Risk Student" incorrectly places our heads in a high school setting throughout most of the Personal Life LP. No, it's not a concept album. But our heads always envision high school music videos anyway because it feels like an experience when human dignity is at its most vulnerable. "Andy's" sounds like disillusionment and isolation while watching the slow dances at senior prom. After crushing on some babe for four years, you get to see whoever it is making out with someone else from the other side of the room and you're just like "oh cool" and knock over some tables on your way out. "Done learning my lesson."

33. Ty Dolla $ign “Zaddy” / Jeremih “oui”
"Oui" was technically 2015 but we saw it show up on many 2016 lists, so it's fair game. And we tied it to "Zaddy" because both songs are great examples of why we should never hope to live in a world without smooth R&B crooners charismatically boasting their natural heat. We're pretty sure that 107.5 WBLS has yet to fully embrace Ty Dolla $ign, but we remain hopeful for his eventual dominance over R&B airwaves. WBLS is gonna get renamed WBL$ by the time this is over.

32. Joey Purp f/ Chance The Rapper "Girls @”
Joey & Chance went for the tongue-in-cheek approach: "Where the girls at with the credit cards?" Seriously. It's 2017. Musicians are broke and can't afford luxurious dates (although Chance probably still has some leftover Kitkat money). Pitchfork sneakily snuck this song into the curiously high #43 position on their end-of-year feature - a surprising choice since they usually don't rep for fake-Neptunes summer party jams. The differences between this song and 2013's "Get Like Me" are anything but textural. Chance and Joey are hot right now. That's basically it. In the future, Pitchfork SHOULD rep for these types of songs. The world needs party jams more than ever. But anyway, back to the subject of broke musicians: "With the 'why'd I let him drag me here?' look in the club." Special shout-out to tall girls, small girls and of course, who could forget mid-size girls? The video captures it all pretty nicely: Low budget, extremely Chicago, no beaches, summery fun, chillin' on the hoods of cars.

31. Kanye West "Famous" / Kanye West "Feedback"
We recently read through the chapter in Klosterman's I Wear The Black Hat about how fun it might be to witness Kanye failing at something just one time: "I believe a cataclysmic Kanye West collapse might be the most dramatic thing he'd ever create. It would be the musical event of the decade."

This got us thinking about the true current value of music, regardless of its commercial or critical merits. 2017's attention-based musical economy rewards the music that is discussed most frequently. Within this universe, West currently releases the most valuable records. One could also make a good argument for lone-competitor Beyonce, except that her self-titled and Lemonade sparked far more conversation than her first four solo releases, whereas Kanye has consistently stimulated widespread discussion since at least Graduation in 2007, if not earlier. He's the MVP every season because he makes the records that everyone discusses.

Within the hours and weeks of its release, The Life Of Pablo was labelled by a few people as his inevitable trainwreck album even though it appeared on almost every major EOY list ten months later. It's his least immediately impressive record (with 808s and Heartbreak coming in 2nd place), but hiphop and pop fans tend to be unforgiving of growers. The saddest aspect of Klosterman's "failure" discussion is the lack of forgiveness this failure-record would receive from social media and bloggers. No matter how endearingly human of a moment, this would not prevent The Pitch or some equally exhausting thinkpiece medium to fill itself with approved pitches from writers desperate to get paid for headlines like "The End Of Kanye, and That's Okay" or "Should We Care About Kanye West Anymore?"

Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz had no effect on Miley's current chart success. She did not "bounce back" into the Top 40 because she never went away. An artist at Kanye's current level of success would easily survive a trainwreck, especially for someone who could throw together a totally redeeming forward-thinking summer-banger mixtape within six months. Post-millennial critics in the 2020s might even label the trainwreck LP as a "brave attempt" when viewed within the span of his entire discography. The Life Of Pablo was not this moment, no matter how much anyone wanted it to be.

30. YG “Gimmie Got Shot”

A cautionary story. If Gimmie doesn't watch himself, Gimmie's gonna get shot. And then some back-up singers will arrive without warning and start singing "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie..."

29. Deerhoof “Learning To Apologize Effectively”

28. Margaret Glaspy “You and I”

27. A Tribe Called Quest “Whateva Will Be”

26. Rihanna "Yeah I Said It"
A lot of what we wanted to say about "Yeah I Said It" was relying on "I want you to homicide it" being a misheard lyric, which it is not. Those are the real words. However, we did just discover a huge shocker: The producer responsible for the introspective-sounding beat is none other than Timbaland, who has been sadly absent from our Hot/Lit Mixes since at least 5 years ago, if not longer. But this is also kinda sad since Timbaland now just immediately makes us wonder about what Aaliyah might have been up to in 2016/2017. It's very likely she would be pumping out hit records that sound like Anti.

25. Kanye West "30 Hours"
Kanye's last-minute extra credit assignment totally suckered people like us who want a hotass beat and the type of energy that only stream-of-consciousness can deliver. The dopeness establishes itself within seconds, allowing Kanye to ride it out and speak his mind about whatever was happening that day."Check it out. This the bonus track. My favorite albums used to have bonus joints like this." In the first 2 minutes, it sounds like he's building to a point. "You had me drivin' far enough to switch the time zone / You was the best of all time at the time tho / You wasn't mine tho / But I still drove 30 hours." Relating to "common people" emotion is beneath Kanye West, although it seems like he's oddly shooting for this within a few lyrical passages.

"Chicago to St. Louis / St. Louis to Chicago." So what's going on in St. Louis? I hit the gym / All chest, no legs. He then refers to Andre 3000 as "Three Stacks," a nickname that no one has used since "Int'l Players Anthem" in 2007. Kanye hypes Andre's contribution with a nickname, even though it amounts to little more than the titular phrase sung once and copy-and-pasted 18 times. (We counted to see if maybe he pasted it 30 times.) It might also be noteworthy that 30:00 (30 hours & zero seconds) spells out "3000" with the colon removed.

Me and Wifey make a movie. It's all spoken adlibs for the last 3 minutes, sounding hastily recorded, mixed and mastered the day before the album dropped. And then Gabe calls. Is that Kanye's real ringtone? And even if it was, why would he be holding his phone so close to the vocal mic? "That's Gabe calling. Yo Gabe. I'm just doing an adlib track. What's up?" We never find out what was up. The odds are not tremendously great that this was a genuine phonecall.

24. Chris Weisman “The Paradox Of Thrift”
While searching for the Bandcamp stream of "The Paradox Of Thrift," we came across this cover version that appeared on a tribute comp from 2014, leading us to believe the original version of this song is not the one from 2016's Hi LP, or that Hi is either an OSR reissue or a collection of previously released songs. He might have over 1000 recorded songs by now; plus, OSR Tapes (R.I.P.) has packaged them up in a few different ways, making it difficult to tell when these albums were first issued; plus, the history of his work is not meticulously detailed or easily available online (which is actually way cooler and adds to the mystique - not complaining at all). Does it technically fit into a "Best Of 2016" feature? Yes, it probably does. We still think Tina Belcher would connect with Chris's music, and we anxiously await the episode when she discovers C30 tape culture. For some reason, this song reminds us of Nillson Schmillson.

23. Autolux "Change My Head"
We're as shocked as anyone. Failure and Autolux released mid-2010s LPs only nine months apart from each other. Many people would have lost that bet.

And now that the smoke's cleared, forgive us as we indulge in yet another exciting edition of "Nerdy Fanfic Bizarro Discography." This time, we'll be examining a topic we briefly discussed in Hot Mix 2015: "What If" Failure hadn't split into separate projects and continued into the early 2000s?

In our bizarro universe, we will designate May 15, 2001 as the release date of Failure's 4th album. This coincides with the date when Tool and Weezer both coincidentally dropped Lateralus and "The Green Album," respectively. (Both were long-awaited follow-ups to records released in September 1996, one month after Failure's Fantastic Planet). This record might have collected many of the songs and ideas that were spread over 7 or 8 releases in bands like On, Year Of The Rabbit and Autolux. It would also include "Future Perfect," a song that was available in two different demo versions until finally appearing on Autolux's Pussy's Dead 15 years later as "Change My Head."

Hot Album by Failure
1. "Hunted"
2. "Petting The Carpet"
3. "Segue 4"
4. "If I Get To Feel You"
5. "Underorbit"
6. "Burn"
7. "Your Sister Says John"
8. "C'Mon Collapse"
9. "Segue 5"
10. "Wake Up"
11. "Future Perfect"
12. "I Can See Houses"
[Bonus Track: "Enjoy The Silence"] Did bonus tracks still happen in those days?

22. David Bowie “Killing a Little Time”
There aren't nearly as many songs with crazy drums anymore. Bowie's Earthling LP from '97 stretched into this a bit with the drum-and-bass freak-outs on "Little Wonder," but a song like "Killing A Little Time" required similar frantic, maddening urgency to a pair of late '90s jams: Nine Inch Nails "The Perfect Drug" and Fiona Apple's "Fast As You Can." He knows it's a losing battle no matter what, and it's tough to hear him cope: "I'm falling, man ... I'm fading, man..." But he wants it to end on his terms. By maintaining desperation to keep his momentum as wild as possible, he then maximizes as much stolen borrowed time as he's capable of collecting. It's also remarkable how great his voice sounds - arguably among the very best voices of any recent legacy artist, since so many of them experienced drastic vocal changes after years of abuse from cigarette smoke or worse. Bowie's voice is among the great treasures of rock history.

[Regarding Bowie's voice: We talk about Rick & Morty way too much here. But in the Season 2 commentary, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon revealed that they tried to get David Bowie to voice the Fart-cloud who sings "Goodnight Moonmen." Sadly, they found out why he was unavailable to help a few months later.]

21. Miguel “Come Through and Chill”
There are ONLY two ways to interpret the lyric "Put your sweats on for me."
#1 Miguel wants to "____ all night" in sweats to satisfy his sweats fetish.
#2 Miguel is busting out ALL of his most classic lines, suggesting You're beautiful, no matter what, even when you have your sweats on. He knows damn-well what's happening by the time the song is over. The sweats are coming off either way. Miguel - you little sneak.
Also of note: We're bummed there wasn't a 2016 volume of the Art Dealer Chic series, which normally drops between Miguel's album promo cycles. But the summer 2016 roll-out of non-album jams did include 3 fully formed songs. So it was basically the same amount of material released over 3 months, which isn't so bad. "Come Through and Chill" was the most underrated of the summer singles.

| Follow "LIT AF 2016" on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | | #165 - 131 | | #130 - 101 | | #100 -71 | | #70 - 41 | | #40 - 21 | | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |