Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Is Boring: Running 2009 Songs List

Yeah, this is pretty boring, but it's probably a good idea for me to keep a running list of the songs released this year that I really liked, since I'll probably have to turn in a list of these at the end of the year anyways.

Also, I am aware of the fact that there's a certain hater(s) who is under the impression that I spend all of my time searching Hype Machine for remixes. This is not the case.

I'll probably keep updating this list.

In no particular order.

Annie: "Songs Remind Me of You"
Annie: "Anthonio" (Fred Falke Remix)
Summer Camp: "Ghost Train"
Museum of Bellas Artes: "Who Do You Love"
Drake: "Best I Ever Had"
R. Kelly: "Every Girl" (Skeemix ft. Lil Wayne)
Best Coast: "Sun Was High (So Was I)"
Plies: "Becky" (Yeah, not really sure where this one came from, but whatever.)
The Big Pink: "Velvet"
The Big Pink: "Dominos"
Florence + the Machine: "Drumming Song"
Classixx: "I'll Get You"
Name the Pet: "Get on the Bus" (Not a Destiny's Child cover, maybe unfortunately.)
Sean Kingston: "Fire Burning" (*sigh*)
Metronomy: "Not Made for Love"
Le Kid: "Mercy, Mercy"
The Juan Maclean: "Tonight"
Peaches: "I Feel Cream"
The Smith Westerns: "Girl in Love"
Fear of Tigers: "The Rich Cry Too"
Simian Mobile Disco: "Cruel Intentions" (ft. Beth Ditto)
Röyksopp: "The Girl and the Robot"
Röyksopp: "Vision One"
Girls: "Lust for Life"
Saint Etienne: "Spring" (Air France Remix)
Saint Etienne: "Method of Modern Love"
jj: "From Africa to Malaga"
The xx: "Basic Space" (Pariah Remix)
Harlem: "Beautiful and Very Smart"
Fan Death: "Jealousy"
Lady Gaga: "Bad Romance"
Destroyer: "Bay of Pigs"
Teengirl Fantasy: "Ass Klapz"
The American Dream Team: "My Boo" (Ghost Town DJs Cover)
Fever Ray: "Here Before" (Vashti Bunyan Cover)
The Field: "The More That I Do"
Rainbow Bridge: "Big Wave Rider"
Neon Indian: "Deadbeat Summer"
Neon Indian: "6669 (I Don't Know If You Know)"
Toro y Moi: "Blessa"
Gatekeeper: "Optimus Maximus"
Mariah Carey: "H.A.T.E.U."
Mariah Carey: "Ribbon"
Basement Jaxx: "Raindrops"
Jenny Wilson: "The Wooden Chair"
El Perro Del Mar: "Change of Heart"
Calvin Harris: "Flashback"
Duck Sauce: "aNYway"
Little Dragon: "Blinking Pigs"
Sally Shapiro: "Miracle" (Bogdan Irkuk Remix)
Micachu: "Turn Me Well"
Wildbirds and Peacedrums: "My Heart"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Things I Do Astound Me

In September of 1996 a terribly unhappy 21-year-old man named Ricardo Lopez mailed Björk an acid-spraying bomb and killed himself shortly thereafter. Because he recorded his suicide, authorities were able to intercept the bomb before it reached Björk (or whoever opened her mail in 1996), but you can still absolutely see the video of Ricardo Lopez killing himself, and needless to say, that shit is BLEAK. Literally, it's the worst thing I've ever seen on the internet.

Most terrible internet shit is just physiologically disgusting, but the worst part of Ricardo Lopez's suicide is the visible despair before he puts the gun in his mouth. For the duration of the recording, before he actually commits the act, it feels as if he's actually dead, but just searching for the courage to physically parallel what he already knows is true.

He also chooses one of the loveliest Björk songs as the soundtrack for his death: "Like Someone in Love" is an Ella Fitzgerald cover, and while I can't speak for Björk's performance relative to Ella's, I can say with confidence that Björk's version is corrosively beautiful; it feels so good that it makes you feel bad because of course, of fucking course you don't feel this goddamn good. There's not some fucking harpist soundtracking your wistful ass infatuation unless you live in Rivendell or some shit.

Björk's version is so good that it allows me to forget that I once watched several minutes of a dead man preparing to kill himself, set to the same song. Her performance comes across as so earnest and sonically tangible that it wipes the worst shit I've ever seen on the internet from my head for about four and a half minutes. That is really the best any of us can hope for.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When You Wish Upon a Star

I got a text message from a friend today, thanking me for introducing him to his favorite book. The book in question was The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. If you've ever read Kundera, you know that the narratives in his novels are just excuses for him to say all of the deep ass shit that he walks around mulling over all the time, which sounds like a pretty pretentious read, but it's not. Dude is every bit as populist as Lil Wayne and R. Kelly.

I have listened to R. Kelly's "Every Girl," at least once a day ever since I got it in June. It actually isn't an R. Kelly song; it is a Lil Wayne song which appears on R. Kelly's The Demo Tape, where every verse in the original but Lil Wayne's is lopped off to make room for Kelly's carnal ambitions, which push the meter all the way into the red.

There's nothing more Kellzian than a song about wanting to have sex with every girl in the world, so it was really only a matter of time before he hopped on this song in some form or another (I take that back; there is another moment on The Demo Tape in which Kellz hops on The-Dream's "Kelly's 12 Play," a song about having sex to R. Kelly's 1993 album 12 Play, where he seizes the rare opportunity to sing about having sex while listening to himself sing about having sex, which is at least as Kellzian as singing about wanting to have sex with every girl in the world, if not more so). On the surface it seems like this is par for the course for the most female-preoccupied recording artist in pop music. It's a great reminder of how awesome it is that Kelly got past that dark period where all of his songs were about embracing thugs, being the greatest, and getting saved. Fuck that.

There are about 6 billion people on the planet, and a little over half of them are female. We can exclude girls who are too young and too old, and girls who aren't fuckable, for reasons aesthetic and practical, and there's still at least one billion girls that Kelly and Weezy are singing to on the track (a very conservative estimate). Without considering the average duration of intercourse, birth rates, and travel times, it's clearly impossible for Wayne and Kelly to complete the quest, even if we let them split the whole lot half and half (though it's clear that they each would like to fuck every girl in the world).

This is pretty weird: in mainstream hip-hop/R&B, male artists almost never ever admit to some kind of sexual limitation, even if it's just logistical. It's far more believable that R. Kelly or Lil Wayne would pen a track called "I'ma Fuck Every Girl in the World" than to come out and admit this is something that they cannot do. It is even weirder that this track's tone is straight up joyous. They are both celebrating the fact that their dreams are limited by the sheer enormity of their own appetites and the unimaginable number of exquisite creatures who, by the simple force of fate will escape their Patrón guzzling, rain-making, Auto-tuned grasps. A shame, really.

The central story in Unbearable Lightness of Being is about lovers Tereza and Tomas. Tomas is habitually unfaithful to Tereza, and at some point decides thusly: "Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself known in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman)."

Tomas uses that idea to justify his philandering (it doesn't), and real talk: Eric Benet probably said some very similar shit to Halle Berry after he hit her up with the sex addiction bullshit; however, there's likely a lot of truth in Kundera's words, and though it definitely seems like Kellz and Weezy's wish list fits in with Kundera's assertion, I feel like there's something in the tone of "Every Girl" that Unbearable Lightness misses.

There's something sublime about that kind of effusive, overwhelming desire. Of course, it runs directly counter to the type of stupid monogamous idealism that dominates pop music, and that most people (including myself) usually prefer, but it just feels dreamy. If there are any two people who are reasonably well positioned to fuck a lot of girls, they're Lil Wayne and R. Kelly (Wayne more than R. Kelly, for obvious reasons), but here they are, admitting defeat; not throwing down their arms, but definitely fighting a losing battle, and happily. They're sorta like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, rushing at the Bolivian cavalry, guns-a-blazin'.

I'm not trying to argue that "Every Girl" is a love song, but isn't the best pop love all about hope in the face of defeat? There's even the slightest note of sadness in the song's central idea; just imagine Lil Wayne at 90, wizened with very neat, well kept dreadlocks hanging all the way down his back. His physique has very gracefully gone to seed, but you can barely tell because his patchwork skin is literally covered in tattoos. An exceptionally satisfied young woman is collecting herself in his sunny, open room, and kisses Lil Wayne, seated on the bed, briefly before she leaves. He raises a half-smoked blunt to his lips, relights it, and takes a hit.

He hears footsteps and turns around. A new girl has entered the room. He sees her and immediately thinks, "Goddamn, she the finest one yet." He gets up to meet her, but takes two steps and falls down. The new girl runs over to Weezy and drops to her knees. He's still coherent, but it's obvious that something is wrong. She screams for help, and he half-whispers, "Nah, nah, nah, don't even."

She wraps him up in her arms, and he manages to push his torso into her lap. He asks her,

"What's yo name?"


Wayne smiles, and she can see all of the tiny monitors in his grill flickering out, one by one. "I'm a gangsta, Miss Eva," he coos before he dies.

Talk about having a fucking dream.

Lil Wayne - Every Girl (R. Kelly Remix)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Like a Horse and Carriage

One of the worst things that I'm guilty of is whining about other people not liking the music I like. Of course, that's not something that anyone really has the right to whine about, but it's disappointing to see all of these blogs and websites-- organizations that are supposed to be ferreting through the mass of shit and separating the wheat from the chaff-- re-reporting on the same vanilla, soulless music over and over again. By the way, I'm sure that if anyone looked through the posts I've written for Prefix, I've probably been guilty of this at some point. Oh hey, there you go.

At any rate, Wildbirds & Peacedrums' The Snake is one of the most soulful, honest, sonically interesting albums I've heard all year, and when I saw them open for Lykke Li in February, I found myself a lot more involved in their performance than Lykke's. To just go onstage with nothing but drums and vocals and turn out the performance they did is a real feat. Singer Mariam Wallentin's voice is incredibly gorgeous (so is she, real talk one of the most attractive people I've ever seen in real life, too bad she's married to the drummer), and it just don't make sense for folks to be jumping all over the Vampire Weekends and Islands of the world when folks like Wildbirds & Peacedrums are being brave and mining real shit. Now someone burp me, and spoon those peas into my mouth.

Buy The Snake

Wildbirds and Peacedrums - "Doubt/Hope"
Wildbirds and Peacedrums - "My Heart"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Two Songs Enter, One Song Leaves: 2

5 Years - Bjork


I've already written something about how strongly I feel about the Bjork track, but the other day I said to some people that when I hear "five years," my mind immediately goes to Bjork and not Bowie, and they looked at me like some kind of crazy philistine. Wuteva, they can't take my love away from me.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Two Songs Enter, One Song Leaves


Personally, I think I'ma have to go with the Brothers Gibb, but I give Dru Hill their credit.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Beat's Alive

Glass Candy's playing Darkroom on May 7. Yeah, Dan Deacon's also playing that day but Glass Candy > Dan Deacon all day, every day.

I was watching Glass Candy's video for Digital Versicolor the other day, and realized that Rose Byrne is the girl who stars in it. I was pretty surprised that Glass Candy had enough pull to get Rose Byrne in a music video and then I found this:


Glass Candy - Animal Imagination

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Wedding List

Kate Bush is absolute fucking boner party.

I know it lowers my journalistic credibility when I use terms like "boner party," but I just don't know any phrasing that would more accurately describe Kate's affect on the male condition. Just look at her up there, sneering her marvelously oddball story into the microphone like that shit actually happened, two random braids in her hair, and dressed as if she could've just rolled out of bed.

She is like the unreasonably magnificent English teacher you wished for in high school, who got you to read Beowulf in the original middle english in exchange for the possiblity of a quick smile, or a slightly less quick bone while your cousin drove you guys around in her car (I'm just saying guys, that shit happens in our brave new America, except with Kate, that 14-year-old wuss wouldn't have said shit).

And good God, if you've ever wondered what kind of swag you might need to get Pete Townsend and Phil Collins to just be two dudes in your back-up band, the answer is that you need Kate Bush swag, which you simply don't got.

Oh Kate, you crazy, perfect, bonerific thing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Be My Crush

I maybe should've posted this before Valentine's Day, but as I sorta resent the holiday, I'm glad I didn't.

The other day my friend Justin and I were waiting for the blue line, bullshitting, and Justin said something along the lines of, "Once you realize that you have power, girls become a lot easier to handle." My immediate thinking was, "Power? If we get powers, then I want to be able to stop time like the Japanese guy from Heroes."

But in the spirit of the good ol' fashion adolescent pining, here are two remixes of The Twelves' "Be My Crush": one by London's Cicada, and the other by DFA golden boy The Juan Maclean (pictured above with collaborator Nancy Whang), whose forthcoming full-length The Future Will Come I am really looking forward to.

Both remixes are radically different, and absolutely worth downloading. Cicada's mix is a more dance-friendly, slick, innuendo-filled ode to hormones, while The Juan Maclean's effort is a full, throbbing piece of deep disco with a bass line so indulgent you could probably use it to frost a cake. Shit is for serious fucked up.

Unfortunately, for all my searching I couldn't find the original version of "Be My Crush." Could these be the first remixes produced by virgin birth?

The Twelves - "Be My Crush" (Cicada's B-LIVE Rio Mix)
The Twelves - "Be My Crush" (The Juan Maclean's B- Live Rio Mix)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Name The Pet

I saw Lykke Li the other day, and according to the looks of her band, and opener Wildbirds and Peacedrums (who were incredible by the way, about as good as Lykke Li), everyone from Sweden, if not all of Scandinavia, is about as tall and perfect as the stereotype tells us.

So it's official, that's one place that I'm just never going to fucking go. I will stick with the good ol' U.S.A., land of the short and shitty, thank you very much.

Name The Pet makes solid negative distance as far as disproving the stereotype goes. From what I have gleaned from her Myspace and Youtube accounts, she is tall, magnificent, and at this point seems to also make her own beats? She also spends her spare time taking footage of her other fabulous Swedish friends playing around being fabulous.

Whatever, I don't care. America is a city on a hill and all that jazz. Just close your eyes and think about Obama. Whisper his name. Just go ahead and do it. Obama. That felt better, didn't it?

Anyway, here's a video of her dancing to her own shit like she knows the world is her oyster.

This is the shit I fucks wit'.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Night Live

I remember back in the day, when I was a little Matthew, there was this one time I was sitting in my room, playing with my Batman action figures, and my Mom walked in looking really upset. She told me to come over to her, and I climbed on to her lap, and she said this to me:

"Matthew, if you ever live-blog something, you have to blog it hard. Blog it harder than you thought you could blog. Blog it so fucking hard that you piss blood for the next week. Do not go quiet into that gentle goodnight, but blog, blog against the dying of the light."

And then she held me for some time after that, weeping. Then I too began to weep. I still don't know how, in the early 90s, my mother precepitated blogging, much less live-blogging; however, she did figure out that Snape was in love with Lily Potter about 4 pages into HPATDH (oops, spoiler alert), so I don't put it past her.

So in about 20 minutes, I am going to start blogging harder than I've ever blogged before. Click that shit, because the more traffic it gets, the more money they will pay me. Your click could be the difference between 10 or 15 dollars. I need that extra five dollars to keep me in Subway.

It's right here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kanye Likes Land of Talk?

Hahaha, Kanye likes Land of Talk? That's pretty cool, I think.

IMO, "Some Are Lakes" was definitely one of the bestest, saddest tracks of 2008, so I guess this just goes to show that 808s & Heartbreak is just really, uh, real.

In that case, Kanye you should just go ahead and download the whole album, it's pretty decent.

I would host the track here, but it's up at the link above, and when I use firefox I have to type in all of the html to do hyperlinks.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

School of Seven Bells

I interviewed another band forever and ever ago. I did manage to end the interview without insulting them though, which was cool in a different kind of way. You can read the interview here.

This is a little awkward

Gee Guys, long time no blog. Sorry. I feel really bad about ignoring nothin but cuts, but recently someone told me that I was "king of the blogs" so apparently I'm getting along fine without her.

But that's nowhere near true. I need nothin but cuts, there's not really any other place where I can write about all of the weird ass random shit I like.

For instance, I heard this song way back in 2008 when Ryan "Schwatever" threw it in his set at Justin's pahaarroooty. As far as I can tell, I'm the only person who heard it and instantly thought it was amazing, but ya'll need to be learned about this Fonda Rae.

So good. The beginning is nasty cheesy, but then a synth that sounds like an electronic steel drum comes in, and it quickly becomes ridonk (is that something people say? I will have to retire it if it is) in an incredibly wondrous, hazy pastel-lit way . I read a Youtube comment along the lines of "This used to be the jam when it came on at the skating rink," thus this track has singlehandedly convinced me that roller disco needs to come back. Yes, I know that Youtube comments are the devil's tongue, yes I know that I can't roller skate and when attempting to learn I take on the same attitude as a small child, frustrated with the fact that his sloppy joes won't stay inside the bun, but that doesn't matter. It's not about the reality, it's about the dream.

I'm also gonna upload this track by Wham!, because I like it for a lot of the same reasons as the Fonda Rae track. The reactions I've gotten from it this far range from, "I don't like this," to "It makes me nauseous," but if this is just a weird personal thing, I'm cool with that.

In addition to thinking it sounds awesome, I just love lyrics like, "Some people work for a living/some people work for fun/girl I just work for you," and "And now you tell me that you're having my baby/I'll tell you that I'm happy if you want me to/but once step further and my back will break/if my best isn't good enough then how can it be good enough for two?" Just the image of George Michael as this beleaguered working class heterosexual lad caught in a relationship that's killing him is kind of hilarious.