It’s always fun to set the charges, push the big red button and watch the horizon turn to ash- but how about creating? Inspiring? We can sling shit with the best of ’em, sure, but I’d like to think it’s just as important that we make some musical recommendations along the way, if only to bring balance to the force.
As a shorthand way of doing that, I’ve put together a little mixtape of my favorite tracks lately; some are old, some are new, some are entirely uncalled for. But they all kick ass.
We’ve covered the low end of the spectrum, so it only seems fair to bestow you with the gifts of our aural pleasures. Can’t have one without the other, now can we? That would defeat our entire purpose, which is to call bullshit, right wrongs, be a beaming lighthouse in a fog of repugnant hackery and crap- but most of all, to inspire. To help point out the diamonds in the coal.
1. Puscifer: The Mission
I largely dismissed Puscifer after hearing a few songs sometime last year, but Maynard’s not totally wasting his time on this little project. This is the latest single, and it features Milla Jovovich (yeah, the chick from The Fifth Element and Resident Evil) on split vocal duty. Dark, minimalist, slithery and oozing sex- that’s Puscifer. If you dig this track, check out Momma Sed. Good jam.
2. 8mm: No Way Back
This is the song that hooked me on Juliette and Sean Beavan, better known to the world as 8mm. Hypnotic trip-hop slow jams dripping with sensuality is the name of their game, as Juliette’s silky, breathless vocals glide above the dark wave of Sean’s post-industrial instrumental backdrop; their target audience could probably be found where Massive Attack and Tricky intersect- and that’s a damn good place to find yourself.
If you haven’t seen the details yet, 8mm is headlining our Valentine’s party on Feb 7th (if you’re free and in or around LA on the 7th, head on down, we wanna meet you, feed you, get you drunk and rock you out).
3. Kings Of Leon: Crawl
We’re not above admitting our mistakes here, and I’ve gotta cop to feeling more than a twinge of regret when I look at our Best Albums of 2008 lists and don’t see Kings Of Leon there. Only By The Night is one of the most consistently solid albums to come out in recent memory, and it’s a big step up for the brothers Followill, who seem to have found a clear direction in their sound. It’s a fantastic record, and it probably should have been as high as #2 on the list. Live and learn, I suppose.
4. Pop Levi: Dita Dimoné
Pop Levi is one of the most fascinating live acts I’ve seen, because he indisputably marches to his own beat, mixing rock with electro-synth weirdness in an irresistibly refreshing way. His uncanny ability to inject fun pop sensibility into avant-garde jams from another dimension is precisely why we’re thrilled that he’s on the bill for our first show (again, Feb 7th, come on down).
5. Jack Conte: The Greatest Hoax
Jack Conte never ceases to amaze me with his versatility, hyperactive creativity and overall genuine humanity. While most artists typically revel in the hyperbolic affections of fans, Conte seems genuinely concerned with making a true connection, touching spirits while pulling you upwards with an Incubus-meets-Radiohead-in-the-future kind of sound. This is my favorite track off his new Sleep In Color EP, which you should definitely check out.
Fight Like Apes: Do You Karate?
I don’t know as much as I’d like to about these guys beyond that they’re from Dublin, and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of singer Maykay’s bad days. But the energy is high, the melody shines and the frantic delivery and melodic gravity leave me trying to decide whether I’ve got a crush on the girl or I’m afraid of her. Those are the worst kind.
7. Busta Rhymes: Don’t Touch Me (Remix w/ Nas, Lil’ Wayne, Big Daddy Kane, The Game and a bunch of other fuckers)
This track single-handedly re-sparked my love for Busta- There’s about 35 guest vocalists, but it’s neck-snappingly relentless, like running up a mountain on an 8-ball of speed. A favorite around here, for sure.
8. Ludacris: One More Drink (w/ T-Pain)
Never in hell did I think T-Pain would ever, ever be a presence on this site, but I was too high on some kind of Hollywood sunshine vibe the other day to notice what was going on with the radio in the car, or the fact that I was rockin’ the hell out to a Ludacris song. Ever since Indie 103.1fm in Los Angeles went to Taco Town, radio listening has been about as fulfilling as a liquid-fiberglass enema. I already said my piece on that particular topic, but essentially shit is all fucked up on the radio in LA these days, and I’ve found myself listening to some weird sounds lately as a result. But really, I may have hit my head somewhere, cause this song is kicking my ass tonight.
9. Electric Six: Take Me To Your Leader
I think I’ve already made my case for the splintery ball of awesome that is Electric Six. This track’s about as deep as you can get in the E6 catalogue- it’s a demo from the days when they were known as Wildbunch. Love it. Fear it.
10. Fleet Foxes: Mykonos
Sure, the first 30 seconds or so will most likely have you wondering what the hell kind of Celtic folk song this is, but the CSNY changeup around two and a half minutes in is the kind of high-powered, beautiful soul-folk harmony we haven’t seen in more than 30 years. And it’s fucking fantastic. Give ’em a shot.
11. Crowded House: Weather With You
Another house favorite here at Antiquiet. If your parents had good taste in music in the ’80s (a goddamn musical minefield if there ever was one), chances are you’re familiar with a couple songs by Neil Finn and Co. This song- about the impact a person’s attitude can have on the people and area around them- actually hit in 1991, but I didn’t discover it until many years later- having been distracted by a bunch of flannel-wearing long-haired hippies at the time. But it’s a true classic, something I’d love to cover someday.
Side Note: Neil’s kid, Liam Finn, has developed into quite the musician himself. He opened Eddie Vedder’s solo tours last year, and puts on a hell of a live show. Check him out if you get a chance.
12. Kanye West: Streetlights
This understated big-beat ballad is a leap forward into prog-pop, with building percussion, female backups and a pulsing central melody featuring some of Kanye’s most refreshingly humbled lyrics to date. Fuck what you heard- 808s And Heartbreak is a damn good record.
13. Mark Ronson: Tomorrow (w/ Debi Nova & Q-Tip)
I’m always concerned that the last song of a mix will be a weak exit or uninteresting. I’ve got nothing to worry about with this one. It’s a track off the Here Comes The Fuzz compilation. Debi Nova’s glorious, Q-Tip is butter as ever, and Mark Ronson works his white-boy-genius magic all up in these guts. Rock it loud and proud. Thanks for listening.