Tag Archives: singles

favorite 2016 music

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favorite singles of 2014

Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now — McFadden & Whitehead
All the Sun That Shines — Peaking Lights
Another Heartbreak— Peter Gordon
At Last I Am Free — Robert Wyatt
Blind — Frankie Knuckles
Coastin’ — Cities Aviv
Everybody Wants to Rule the World — Tears for Fears
Frontin’ — Pharell
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! — ABBA
Got to Give It Up — Marvin Gaye
Guitars, Cadillacs — Dwight Yoakam
Happy — Pharrell
High Hopes — Mawkus
I Ain’t Got Nobody (And Nobody Cares for Me) — Louis Prima
Jack — Breach
Life Is Something Special — New York Citi Peech Boys
Lord of the Dance — The Dubliners
Never Catch Me — Flying Lotus
One in a Million — Aaliyah
One Two — Sister Nancy
Rapture — Blondie
Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) — Diana Ross
Royals — Lorde
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
Shake That — Eminem
Single Girl, Married Girl — The Haden Triplets
Situation — Yazoo
Spacer — Sheila & B. Devotion
Tell Me That I’m Dreaming — Was (Not Was)
Together — Disclosure

American Beauty
Breaking Bad
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Godzilla: 50th Anniversary Edition — Akira Ifukube

blue danube
american in paris
appalachian spring
lux aeterna
also sprach Zarathustra
Má Vlast Continue reading

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Get Lucky

less than a year late to this dank ass hip hop. not bad.

i’ve not good about staying up with new music. probably the funniest most recent example is how my mom got me super into “Call Me Maybe” once the summer was already ending (ended?). i got into the song of the summer at the end of the summer. for some reason it takes me months or years to hear what everyone else hears online, in the clubs, in their cars. oh well, i thoroughly enjoy being late as hell to the 70s. anytime i walk past 1979, i’m like, damn, so good to see your 34-year-old ass.

the first time i listened to Daft Punk was in the 90s. my mom controlled the radio every morning and every afternoon to and from school, and i pretty distinctly remember hearing “Around the World” get serious airplay for a period. and i don’t remember my mom changing the station. and i do remember not liking what i was hearing. those were definitely my formative years, listening to whatever my parents thought would be a good idea to play. my dad would load up his reel-to-reel on weekend mornings, to my madness, blasting folk and rock & roll. on the school commutes, my mom played a lot of CDs (often latin music) and radio (often oldies). all this added up to my–through my teens–valuing musicianship most, from guitar playing to singing to drumming. i had a (small)love-hate(large) relationship w that first Daft Punk composition, still one of their biggest singles of all time. it hooked me, hooked me as well as if not better than any Supremes or Temptations track just a few frequencies away. but it just wasn’t… music.

over a decade later, i’m in my 20s and i only see my parents once maybe twice a week, not every day. they still influence me musically, but so does everyone and everything else. i’m a massive matrix of sponges and straws. over a decade later, i smoke weed. i love pop music, old and new. i love repetitious, robotic music. i live in a house i pay for. i know what vinyl sounds like, i know what V0 sounds like, i know what KRKs sound like, i know what Funktion-One sounds like, i know what Nile Rodgers sounds like, i know what Larry Levan sounds like, i even know what i sound like, somewhat. and so, because of all these facts, ii does not surprise my 24-year-old self that i am hourly announcing to somebody, anybody any number of variations on the phrase “i am going to kill myself” just because aforementioned Daft Punk is a month and a week from releasing their most pop album ever.

and it is a joyous suicide, i’m suggesting.

what i’m wondering is… what would elementary school ronny think? would he be surprised? maybe after hearing Pharrell coo like a modern-day Michael Jackson or watching Nile strum like a boss, he wouldn’t think of anything of it. but robots on the drums and bass? how absurd! Continue reading

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favorite “new” singles of 2010

Donna Summer – “I Feel Love” (1977)

ooh… i feel love i feel love i feel love i feel love i feel love….. consider me an official convert of the Church of Bellotte, Moroder, and Summer, because this shit is seriously the meaning of life and death right here. singing, moaning lovely, simple poetry over a repetitive, thumping synth line that could have come out yesterday, Donna Summer proved to me in just under six minutes why she is called the Queen of Disco. said David Bowie in 1989: “One day in Berlin … Eno came running in and said, ‘I have heard the sound of the future.’ … he puts on ‘I Feel Love’, by Donna Summer … He said, ‘This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.’ Which was more or less right.”

Carly Simon – “Why” (1982)

before 2010, all i knew about Carly Simon was that she was some alright white chick from my parent’s time that made one popular song which my favorite band from high school managed to incorporate pretty interestingly into my least favorite song by them. oh, but now, she is so much more. i think during the summer, Stalker posted a YouTube link to this song on his Facebook, and i am so fucking glad i caught it. it’s eight minutes of Simon singing “why. does your love. hurt so much. don’t know why.” over the most bombastic drum and bassline of all fucking time, highlighted by colorful keys in dub rhythm. what. the. fuck. it goes on forever, it sounds the same the whole song through, but it never gets old. fucking blast it.

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – “The Message” (1982)

this track needs no introduction. well, it shouldn’t. but it took me until january 2010 to discover this musical gold. “don’t push me ’cause i’m close to the edge, i’m trying not to to lose my head. it’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how i keep from going under.” and quite possibly the most superb beat ever produced. or at least the first (this shit preceded Dr. Dre’s chronic tunes by a decade!) i hardly give a shit that he’s rapping about something “real” because i’m too busy bobbing my head in sonic ecstasy. i think i’m seeing a trend here. i like my singles to be BASSY.

Boney M. – “Rasputin” (1978)

god look at all those sparkles on that album art; Music & Lights, that’s where it’s at. so where Grandmaster Flash sung about the hard-knock street life, Boney M. sings about… a Russian mystical legend named Rasputin, in the silliest way possible. i’m really not sure if these guys had any other hits, but it doesn’t really matter because “Rasputin” has everything: delicious disco beat (based on a Turkish folk song), male and female duet, a chorus that you can’t not sing along to, and motherfucking handclaps. hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! let’s fucking rebel against the system! and fucking dance at the same time!

Thieves Like Us – “Drugs in My Body” (2007)

okay, i’ll just throw this out there. maybe, just maybe, i wouldn’t love this song so much if Jacob hadn’t thrown it on while i was on the peak of my very first roll. oh god i’m so glad he did though. i was a free-floating space effigy, representing everything horrible in the world, and i was fucking burning. burning burning burning burning and dancing like a desert phantom with mind-altering ice cubes melting at a million miles per second in the palms of my hands. “go downtown with the drugs in my body, step back up i’m the life of the party, come back home and we’ll get something started, stay up late put some heat in my heartache.” yup.

Panda Bear – “Drone” (2010)

i’m starting to think that singles even more than albums draw their power from nostalgia. this was the very first song i heard Panda Bear perform live. Andrew D. mailed me his Pitchfork ticket, i hopped on a plane for free with my mom’s passes, flew to Ontario (a nice place to potentially get “stranded”), flew to Chicago, took the L downtown, walked into Union Park with a backpack carrying a couple days of clothes and sunglasses hiding yesterday’s ophthalmologist attack on my eyes, walked up to Noah’s stage (after securing an actual roof to sleep under [love you, Nora & Erin]), bummed a puff from some kids, and bowed to the awesome unintelligible sublimity that is “Drone.”

Donna Summer – “Love to Love You Baby” (1975)

ohh… love to love you baby… sound familiar? yes, it’s Miss Summer singing about how lovely love is, but this time she does it for seventeen minutes (the version above is a ridiculous three minutes, so unfortunate), and instead of doing it over a track that is the future of music, she does it over the music that fits the era better–smooth, funky disco perfection. half the time you can’t tell whether she’s singing or orgasming. (Wikipedia said the idea at first made her uncomfortable, naturally enough.) half the time you can’t tell whether you’re listening to music or orgasming. i wonder what it’s like to have sex to this song…

Four Tet – “Love Cry” (2009)

nine minutes of crying, “Love Cry.” i played this for a friend who knew and enjoyed Four Tet’s older material, but to this he said something like, “what is this dancy house bullshit?” oh yes, all electronic musicians must bow down to the Great Disco Ball in the sky at some point in their careers, it is inevitable. i first downloaded this when it was released at the end of 2009, was reminded of it at senior week in San Diego, and it cemented itself in my soul at Treasure Island, when Kieran Hebden performed it as the San Francisco sun set behind the city, leaving only cold and clouds. Love Cry… Love Cry.. Love Cry.. Love Cry..

Panda Bear – “Tomboy” (2010)

i’ve come to realize that i am (at least) a complete sucker for two qualities in music. one, music about music. two, Minimalism. now, “Tomboy” is probably even closer to just plain old rock than the ~Minimalist work i mentioned in my last post, Fly Pan Am, but if you just focus on the guitar portion of the song, you might see what i’m seeing. first chord first measure, second chord second measure, third chord strum for four measures. repeat. it’s as if the first two chords are flight preparation and the third chord is the spiral into infinity. listen to it loud on headphones. i’m a stoner and i can’t fucking wait for Panda Bear’s LP to come out this year.

The Toyes – “Smoke Two Joints” (1983)

you didn’t really think Sublime wrote their own music, did you? just kidding. i’m going to spare you the WHICH IS BETTER THE COVER OR THE ORIGINAL? argument (though, for the record, i ordinarily prefer the original), but this version of probably the best stupidest smoking anthem ever is just undeniable reggay goodness. gone is the Reefer Madness sample, gone are the endless bong rips, gone are the turntable scratches, all that’s left is sincere stoned singing and a rocking band burning happily for a few minutes. now i just want someone to tell me why Sublime cut quite possibly the greatest lyric from their cover: “i smoke two joints when i play video games and at every 10,000 points (i smoke two joints).” Continue reading

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singles by the Beach Boys

surfing! parties! fast cars! pretty girls! love! sex! California pride! the Beach Boys! inhuman harmonies! perfect pop constructions in two-and-a-half minutes or less! good, good, good, good vibrations!

Surfin’ / Luau (1961)

Surfin’ Safari / 409 (1962)

Surfin’ USA / Shut Down (1963)

Surfer Girl / Little Deuce Coupe (1963)

Be True to Your School / In My Room (1963)

Fun, Fun, Fun / Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1964)

I Get Around / Don’t Worry Baby (1964)

California Girls / Let Him Run Wild (1965)

Barbara Ann / Girl Don’t Tell Me (1965)

though “Barbara Ann” wasn’t the last great Beach Boys single, it directly preceded the release of Pet Sounds, a whole ‘nother monster. Continue reading

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