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2014 Listicles: Sound Edition

I’ve been on a steady march towards becoming the next Editor-in-Chief of Dad, so we can drop any pretense of these lists being models of cool journalistic research. They’re simply things the few things I glommed on to over the course of the year.

Catchy tunes from this year
Metro Boomin “Chanel Vintage” (Feat. Future and Young Thug)

Migos “Ounces
2008 greatness (Zaytoven) + 2013 greatness (Metro Boomin) = 2014 greatness.

Lil Durk “Party” (Feat. Young Thug)
Ladies and gentlemen, here’s your 2014 Wedding anthem.

Shy Glizzy “Awwsome
Captures the last couple years pretty well.

Future “Benz Friend” (Feat. Andre 3000)
“Move That Dope” and “My Momma” should be on this list, if it weren’t for those fucking horrible guestlist. I’m still lukewarm on “Benz Friend” as a whole, but still hard for Stacks’ verse. And over Organized Noize? Can’t front.

Michael Jackson “Love Never Felt So Good
Remember this record? Sure, Paul Anka is on it. And it doesn’t break any new ground. But it sure beats Akon and Kanye West “duets” or any of that garbage.

DJ Quik “Trapped on the Tracks
Keeping alive the lineage of great train tracks.

Run the Jewels “Jeopardy
Killer Mike’s juiced-up opening (“I’m going to bang this bitch the fuck out!”) is my favorite part. I’m not as excited about this LP as most -- doesn’t Cover different sonic ground the first LP didn’t already cover, and, welp, didn’t need El-P to convince me of Killa’s talent -- but I appreciate any song that gives Mike Bigga nearly 2 minutes to just go off.

De La Soul “Goes With The Word
Not even my favorite song off the Smell the D.A.I.S.Y. torrent LP, but probably best current example of why Dave and Pos remain in my Top 5. Very few MCs dance around the beat with such command. Sure, there’s little sonic novelty to their laid-back approach, but it’s like listening to an old hand blow something wonderful while leaning back at the end of a cutting session.

Future Islands “Seasons (Waiting On You)
Eh, it’s the current generation’s New Order. And it’s catchy even without the GIFs.

See, Ariana Grande isn’t the only one who has handlers with a firm grasp on that nostalgia aesthetic. 

Solid albums from this year you'll see on other lists
Theo Parrish American Intelligence
I’m getting older, Theo’s getting older. Hence, there’re joints for the club, as well as the headphones.

D’Angelo And The Vanguard Black Messiah
Plays real well alongside Voodoo. Lots of lovely harmonic ideas and effects. Mostly a wonder for simply existing. We wanted it for so long, it actually exists, and it’s damn fonky.

Azealia Banks Broke With Expensive Taste
As much as that Hot 97 interview brought back a necessary conversation that we never seem to complete, the ridiculous fallout is a distraction. Broke is a beast of a record. Best Beastie-esque mixtape record in a minute.

Flying Lotus You’re Dead!
Not a big departure from Until the Quiet Comes. Actually, not a big departure from Thundercat’s Apocalypse. Can’t front b/c I’m more into the proggy shit than the light-show shit he has to do in concert these days. Perfect for keeping kids off my lawn. 

St. Vincent St. Vincent
Been a while since I’ve encountered an artists where I like each new Album more than the last. Constantly challenging herself to balance pushing boundaries and fitting within popular norms. And one of the best live acts out now. Annie, Prince is still alive, please stop gunning for his seat.

Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness
I'm a sucker for dirty guitars playing along with little else.

Todd Barry The Crowd Work Tour
Aziz’s crowd work in the lead up to his most recent tour was a great reminder of the wealth of material that can be dug up from an audience. However, Aziz sells humor constantly with his delivery. Barry is a master to watch as he patiently and confidently allows broken psyches to gradually unfold. 

My Brightest Diamond This Is My Hand
Any working parent should aspire to this level of quality productivity. 

Solid albums from this year you may not see on other lists
Hari Kondabolu Waiting for 2042
All killer, no filler. 

Altered Tapes reworks
Ok, they're not an album. But, I’m that age. 

Old tunes I bumped
Underdog Edits Box Set
Jesus, Trident, I’m still going through all these. May we open up our own Paradise Garage Redux?

Cool Breeze “Watch for the Hook”
Couldn’t stop listening to this after hearing about the OutKast reunion show in Atlanta. A boy can wish, right?

Eightball and MJG “Listen to the Lyrics”
I was really determined to include them in my Duos setlist. Wrong crowd.

Mantronix and Just-Ice
Drum machines and lyric lickin’.

Malcolm’s 1963 Debate With James Baldwin
They weren’t that far from each other, in the end.

Spice 1 AmeriKKKa's Nightmare
Forgot about the ragga influence. 

Public Enemy b-sides, c. It Takes a Nation… and Fear of Black Planet
Yes, I’m happy about the reissues.

Low Profile We’re In This Together
Brutal cuts. And WC sounds nice.

Tuff Crew Phanjam
After spending time in Philly, had to dust this off.

Daft Punk will never make pop as cool as Yasutaka Nakata.

Tony! Toni! Toné! House of Music
My grown and sexy shit.

Bumpy Knuckles “Part of My Life”
My college radio shit. 

Arrested Development soundtrack
Shit for my kid and me.

A Janet Jackson compilation
Solid bangers. Reminder to play her out more often.

Tracy + The Plastics
It’s been 10 years??

Faye Wong’s “Random Thoughts” and “Know Oneself and Each Other”
The influence of the Cocteau Twins is all over her Random Thoughts album, but the covers are really something else.

Tim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972 
I think I wrote a capsule review of this, but I came back around to his shit when he did that Red Bull thing.

The Apples in Stereo - first three albums
Prepping for a wedding reminded to dig into this band. What a wonder. Though I think I’m on team Hilarie.

CCR “Suzie Q”
Those drums kick so lovely... 

Anita O’Day At Mister Kelly’s
One wedding kicked up a lot of memories. I saw O’Day at the Derby shortly before she passed with this same friend. Late career O’Day obviously had a very different voice and range, but her charm and command was intact. I still swoon thinking about that night.

Rick Springfield’s “Comic Book Heroes”
Rivers Cuomo wishes he could write angsty nerd shit on this level.

Cannonball Adderley Country Preacher
Best rap album.

Steve Reich “Six Marimbas” and Susumu Yokota’s Symbol
Yet another instrument to learn.

Anna Calvi One Breath
I think Eno mentioned this in an interview, so I picked it up. Good, heavy rock.

Aldo Ciccolini’s Erik Satie albums
A classical gateway.

The Krzysztof Penderecki pieces from The Shining soundtrack
Pairs nicely with Mica Levi.

Gary Numan I, Assassin
While waiting for that new D’Angelo, I got down with some vintage Pino.

Montana Orchestra “It Looks Like Love (Feat. Goody Goody) (Club 89 Remix)”
I used to play out the original Goody Goody version a lot, so I had forgotten how much I loved this joint. I still prefer the original, but this was a novel way to revisit it.

The unreleased shit on Eddie Murphy’s 1997 Greatest Comedy Hits
Not great or essential, but this is a sign how much I’m fiending for new Eddie Murphy stand-up. The bit about being buried in platforms is pretty great visually.

Andre Nickatina Conversation With A Devil - CR 3 (Cocaine Raps 3) 
Solid slangin’ shit.

Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus Carry The Day
My NPR shit.

Jimmy Giuffre The Jimmy Giuffre 3
Thanks, Pops.

Most tolerable wedding songs
Pharrell “Happy (Cousin Cole Reggae Version)”
2NE1 “Happy”
Mark Ronson “Uptown Funk"

Best Digs
Saafir’s The Hit List (and two armfulls of hip-hop) for 50 cents
Because CDs are the new tapes. But better.

Claudine Longet’s Claudine 
Not a great record, but priceless for a cover that quickly became the kid’s first crush.

Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan’s The Complete Pacific Jazz and Capitol Recordings
Copped this set at a steal. And in perfect condition, too. Gotta thank Pops for turning me on to this, because this level of chill is not my norm. I’ll always have a soft spot for Gerry, though; he was my first professional concert introduction to jazz.

Ramnad Krishnan’s Vidwan 
A random browse through NYPL’s catalogs turned up this seminal Carnatic recording. What takes this over-the-top is that my buddy’s pops, Jon “Higgins Bhagavatar” Higgins, wrote the liners. Not even a couple weeks later, I found the original LP, along with another Krishnan joint (also with liners from Higgins). 

Most Redundant Dig
Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia (Deluxe Edition) 
I have this record, but due in part to a high school memory of not being able to afford this album, in addition to a vague feeling that it would be nice to have the instrumentals on CD, I picked this up. I know. 

The Kid’s Top SpinsCat Stevens Harold and Maude Soundtrack
Bob Dylan “Little Sadie”
Crayon Pop “빠빠빠 2.0 (Bar Bar Bar 2.0)”
Ocean 11 “Housewive’s Choice”
Keith Hudson
Lee Perry 
Redbone “Come and Get Your Love” 
Arrested Development soundtrack 
Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack
Kate Bush Hounds of Love
Dusty Springfield

Shows that I went to
Cibo Matto @ Brooklyn Bowl (March 8)
Strangely not as nostalgic as I thought it would be. They played a fair amount of new material. And the old stuff sounded tweaked with the current line-up and gear. Almost forgot: Buffalo Daughter opened! And they burned! 

Chappelle @ Radio City Music Hall (June 22)
Pretty different than seeing him at the Punchline or those small spots in Oakland in the ‘90s, but what a well-deserved house for DC. Caught him on a night with Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings. I could have done without them. Slight preference for one of the music nights, but got tickets before those shows were announced. And the focus was tightly on Chappelle. Really beautiful, gifted comedian. 

OOIOO @ Rough Trade (July 18)
Second-best show, hands down. Tore up their new LP, Gamel, along with some older nuggets. 

My Brightest Diamond @ Bowery Ballroom (September 25)
Best show. Also, the most music-packed concert I’d been to in quite a while. As soon as Doe Paoro finished her opening set, Batala NYC took the floor for about 45 minutes of rump shakin’ and drum routines. The drum corp also helped Shara & co. kick off the MBD portion of the evening by providing the percussive meat behind This Is My Hand lead single, “Pressure.” What’s more impressive is that Worden kept up the energy and momentum. 

Shows that should be on the above list, but I either got sick or fell asleep and missed 
Bill Callahan @ some Bowery Presents venue
Totally forgot I had these tickets.

Paradise Garage block party

Mahmoud Ahmed in Red Hook
Kid got me sick, dog ate my homework…

Angel Olsen @ Roulette
I tried calling and couldn’t get through. Visited Roulette, only to find out the tickets were being handled through Bowery Presents. Promptly forgot to follow-up and shit sold out.

This post first appeared on Sintalentos, please read the originial post: here

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2014 Listicles: Sound Edition


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