tagged w/ Heavy Cross
So everyone knows that I am totally hilarious, as well as a brilliant writer. Not everyone is aware that I'm also one of the coolest dudes who works for the internet. How does one measure coolness? Aside from impeccable style (I can assure you that I do wear Chuck Taylors and ironic sweaters) you are cool based on what music you listen to.
I've visited Brooklyn Vegan and I listen to Morning Becomes Eclectic. I've heard tons of cool dude jams. So this is my playlist of great songs from this year.
1. The Gossip - Heavy Cross
I saw naked posters of Beth Ditto on the streets of London, when I was doing a quick stint at the offices of Current UK. I was all like "wow they are much more tolerant in England to let her be a sex symbol." I realized that statement made me seem like a sexist body fascist, so when someone handed The Gossip's album to me, I gave an earnest listen. Then I was all like "I now understand why she's a sex symbol." It's a disco album played with punk rock instruments. Plus it's produced by Rick Rubin. I liked it so much that I tweeted about it.
2. Baaba Maal - Television
Baaba Maal is a Senegalese superstar, who has crafted this beautiful song. It packs a simple guitar riff with lots of percussive shakers, and the women singing things in French that I can almost understand. I believe "Télévision" translates to "TV" in anglais. I wonder if all Senegalese TV is as surreal as this.
3. IMS - Yo Digo Baila
I love this Instituto Mexicano del Sonido track. Techno basslines accented by tuba samples, kills it every time. A few months ago I wrote about rebajadas, a genre of slowed-down Cumbias in Northern Mexico. I emailed IMS to ask if he thought my correlation to Houton's Chopp'd and Screwed was accurate. He wrote back saying that I was totally wrong. He was really nice about it though.
4. Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind
So here's the part of my cool dude list, where I laud mainstream rap music, as if to tell my compatriots that hip hop is cool for hipsters to like. But you already knew that this is one of the best tracks of the year. Perhaps you don't have those same nostalgic feelings that I have for New York, but surely you can agree that this is the best anthem for the piano since Bennie and The Jets. If that doesn't get you, did you know there are allegations that Jay-Z is a freemason planning a New World Order?
5. Chairlift - Bruises
6. Matt & Kim - Daylight
Okay so I put both these songs on my 2009 list, but I feel like a real jerk because they both came out in 2008. As a consolation I did listen to them in 2009 also.
7. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home
Maybe it's just because I live in Los Angeles, but this is the most buzzed about band in these parts. There are like nine hundred members in this band. This song sounds like a party at my parent's non-existent cabin in the foothills of Mount Shasta. Everyone showed up in a great mood with instruments, and whiskey. I tried to see these guys on Halloween, but we ended up waiting too long for Macaroni and Cheese sandwiches, and missed 95% of their set. There's always 2010.
8. Sleigh Bells - Ring Ring
Dude, you're clipping. That's what happens when you record louder than the recording device can record. Sleigh Bells doesn't give a shit. The lady-part of this duo was a teen popstar-turned-teacher. The dude was in a hardcore band. This song is so addictive. I guess its those rappy vocals over that Funkadelic sample. I think this band will get huge in 2010. I mean they were able to get industry bigwigs watch them perform late at night in Bushwick.
9. Fanfarlo - Harold T. Wilkins, Or How To Wait For A Very Long Time
Oh snap upon further research this jam came out in 2008 too. I'm beginning to look like a not very cool dude.
10. Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Clearly Brian Wilson cloned himself, and sent this clone to infiltrate the Brooklyn music scene. Grizzly Bear is the result. Thank you for this track, science.
11. SALEM x Gucci Mane - Round One
This dark ethereal remix of dope rap, is sublime. I listened to it so many times. If I were writing a dramatic promo for this track this would be the copy: “In 1999 people used to make jokes about electroclash/gangsta rap remixes. In 2009 people stopped joking.”
12. Phoenix - 1901
I know that Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is on everyone's "best of list." To make this "best of list" different I made sure to put their second most popular song, so as to increase my indie credibility. But this song is still really good.
13. The xx - Islands
This is one of those songs that was playing everywhere I went, and it took me months to realize that it was the xx. Now that I figured it out, I know why they will become superstars.
14. Woods - Rain On
This is cinematic music, even if you aren't making a movie. You can listen to this song on your iPod walking down a rainy street, and feel like your life is somehow more meaningful. I mean it's not any more meaningful, it'll just seem that way, and perception is 9/10ths of the law.
15. Fool’s Gold - Surprise Hotel
Which white band performing African pop do you like the best? My answer is LA based Fool's Gold, because they know how to party a lot better than those stuffy Columbia grads, Vampire Weekend.
16. Dan Deacon - Snookered
I used to say that Dan Deacon is what would happen to me if I let myself go. That's not entirely true. Though I would be more fat and bald, I still wouldn't be able to make beautiful music from broken children's instruments. This eight-minute behemoth builds in a way you wouldn't necessarily expect from the man behind Crystal Cat.
17. Kid British - Sunny Days
This song sounds like it was recorded by Electric Light Orchestra, if they knew how to rap. The lyrics are about a dude who is sad, but you wouldn't know that by the upbeat nature of this jam. Why not get the whole album, and impress all your stateside friends.
That's my list. I'd like to wish a happy new year to cool dudes and ladies everywhere.So everyone knows that I am totally hilarious, as well as a brilliant writer. Not... more