Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In which I show off my musical ignorance

I only rarely write about music, but since I participated in The Factual Opinion's "Best songs of 2010" poll (read part one, two, and three, where I make meager contributions, writing about cool tracks like B.o.B's "Airplanes part II", The Dead Weather's "Die By the Drop", and Janelle Monae's "Tightrope"), I figure that's a good opportunity to point out some other songs that I really dug this year.  So, here's an inaugural annual Warren Peace feature:

Some songs that I thought were good in 2010!

Reflection Eternal - Midnight Hour ft. Estelle

There was no more danceable track for me this year than this one from Talib Kweli's group, and I love the sentiment, which does seem to be leaning towards "let's have some sex" but also conveys how good it is to go home to the one you love at the end of the day.  That gets me excited too.

Other Talib Kweli (or related?) songs that I dug:  Trunk Muzic ft. Strong Arm Steady and The GameStick Up Dance ft. Jean Grae

STS - What She Say

Sugar Tongue Slim was one of my big discoveries this year; he's a pretty awesome rapper, and this song was my favorite, winding a beautiful tribute to his mother around the haunting chorus of a song that was previously best known as being in an SNL Digital Short where everybody kept shooting each other for no reason.  It's lovely, sad, and hopeful all at once, a great example of how compelling rap can be when artists drop their tough guy personas.

Other STS songs that I dug: Broad and LocustSole Music ft. MingTake Me to Hadley Street, Dec 5 (download as part of the Demand More 2 mixtape)

The Like - He's Not a Boy

This is another great dance track, of the "girl singer with guitars" variety.  Tons of fun.

Another The Like song I dug: Release Me

Dead Confederate - Run from the Gun

This might be the one that stuck in my head the most this year.  Haunting and fascinating.

The Constellations - Felicia

Another dancer, a real dirty groove, some 70s funk and British 80s style, or something (I generally don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to music, so take that with a grain of salt).

Slaughterhouse - Beamer Benz Bentley Shady Megamix

Lloyd Banks' original version of this song was inescapable on the radio for a few months in mid-2010, and it got remixed several times over, probably due to its great beat, but this one is my favorite, from the rap supergroup consisting of Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, and Royce da 5'9".  It takes that repetition of three things and spins it into endless variations, starting with "New York, Jersey, Philly" and "Nissan, Honda, Chevy", but eventually turning into a list of drinks ("tequila, vodka, Henney"), denominations ("nickels, dimes, and pennies"), women's names ("Felicia, Shauna, Cindy"), sexual results ("gushy, gooey, sticky"), and who knows what else.  It's exhilarating and dizzying, a hell of a listen and an example of how comparably lame the original was.  Awesome.

White Sea - Mountaineer

Another haunting soundscape; I really dig this one.

Lost in the Trees - Walk Around the Lake

This is a really cool indie jam, alternating between emphatic and peaceful.

Chiddy Bang - Opposite of Adults

I love the video of this one; I wish my childhood had been this fun.

I think this was my favorite of Donald Glover's raps over various indie songs, but most of them were pretty great.  I think the line "get more pussy than recycled sanitary napkins" is hilarious, but my wife finds it horribly disgusting.  Mars and Venus, am I right?

Guster - Do You Love Me

Another really enjoyable video.  And since my "commentary" seems to be dissipating, here are simple links/embeds for the rest of these recommendations, or whatever they are:

Samuel - I Heart NY ft. Joell Ortiz
The Chap - We Work in Bars
Pill - On Da Korner
The Suzan - Home
Lonely Drifter Karen - A Roof Somewhere
Lupe Fiasco - Go to Sleep

Wale - New Soul ft Yael Naim

(Another mixtape recommendation: Wale's Back to the Feature)
The Drums - Let's Go Surfing (Raveonettes Remix)

Holy Hail - Feels Like Forever

Big K.R.I.T. - Hometown Hero ft. Yelawolf

Lykke Li - Get Some
Anamanaguchi - Airbrushed

Jasmine Solano - Poetic Justice

Fang Island - Life Coach (another good video)

Hmm, that's probably more links than necessary, but it's all stuff I like, and all rejected by my other musical criticism outlet, so here we go.  Feel free to critique my terrible taste, but don't think it will make me care.  Now let's have more in 2011, and maybe more music writing around these parts.  That should be interesting.

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