14 December 2013

Best of 2013 Mix

I've been working on this blog post (and this mix) for a few weeks now. Every time I listen to it, I wonder if there's some sort of theme - melodical or lyrical - tying all these songs together.

Zanna, a good friend of mine, got a quasi-preview. She says it has all the hallmarks of a Madhapa mix: handclaps, horns, a song in Spanish (you know how I do). But what do all these songs have to say about the musical year that was 2013?

I guess if anything, music from 2013 reminds me a smidge of 1993 - that sparkling post hairband / pre-grunge moment in time that gave us Whump! (There it Is), Informer, Mr Wendel, Two Princes and That's the Way Love Goes. Also like '93 we had a lot of female artists on the top of the charts in 2013. Check out the Billboard Top 100 from 1993.

This year's mix includes an above-average number of danceable tunes and virtually nothing that could have been released by 4AD.* I even have a tune on here that pretty much falls into the baby-makin' music category (Rhye's Open). Sorry, there's no Robin Thicke here (figured you've pretty much heard that one). But if you like twerking, boy do I have a song for you (NSFW).

Alright, let's get to it. Below there should be an embedded mix from 8tracks, the cover art is Buzz Aldren's head. If you can't see it below, click through to themadhapa.com or listen to the mix on 8tracks.

Here are the tunes in playlist order:

1. Moon Hooch - Number 9
(this band is only two sax players and a drummer; you will be amazed)

2. Ebony Bones - I See I Say
(Ebony Bones studied w/ Amy Winehouse and recorded her album with the Symphony Orchestra of India. How 'bout that?)

3. Kobo Town - Joe the Paranoiac

4. Major Lazer - Bubble Butt

5. Iron & Wine - Grace for Saints and Ramblers

6. Stealing Sheep - Shut Eye

7. Mean Lady - Bop Bop

8. Daft Punk feat. Panda Bear - Doin' It Right

9. Haim - Forever

10. CHUVRCHES - The Mother We Share

11. Neko Case - Man
(was there any doubt this would make the best of mix?)

12. Phosphorescence - Song for Zula
(Zula was the stand out for both people who got the preview mix)

13. Los Master Plus - El Extraño
(cover of Radiohead's Creep)

14. Rhye - Open
(possibly the first slow jam ever to appear on a best of mix)

15. Augustines - Cruel City
(reminds me of U2 from 20 years ago, plus a little somethin' extra)

* I'm still digesting the new Throwing Muses album and reserve the right to go back and add a tune from Purgatory / Paradise.

I'd also like to sneak in a tune from 2012. A couple weeks after I published my Best Music of 2012 post I was in Portland (of course) and heard Fitzpleasure (another great track from Alt-J's excellent album An Awesome Wave). My favorite track ended up being Dissolve Me, which you can hear in the first 1min 30 sec of this year's diving video.

A few years ago I started calling out my favorite new artist of the year. For 2013 it's Haim (the pronunciation rhymes with "time"). Three sisters plus a (male, non-relative) drummer you never see =  Haim. Mary at  Rats Off has my undying love for a lot of reasons, but especially for the great music she finds.

Haim definitely has a '90s thing going that I can't exactly put my finger on. Mary accurately predicted that there would be lots of quirky vintage hats at their show - right on as always, Miss Mary.

Best Cover Song: El Extraño
(Radiohead's Creep in Español)

Officially, my favorite cover song of 2013 is El Extrano. Unofficially, it's Brian Williams rapping Warren G's RegulatePeace out...


Unknown said...

Bravo! Excellent list. Song for Zulu is haunting and is on my list of best songs of all time. (does it remind you of "Kiss" by Scout Niblett ?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDlvl7jNn8 )

Unknown said...

Maybe I'll actually find some new music for once...well, besides Neko Case. I just bought that album and am loving it.