#219 - Skee-Lo - I Wish
Music blog. Throughout 2011 I'll be posting one song a day from the 90s, counting down the 'best' 365 with #1 being posted on December 31st. One song per artist. Also posted will be little features on new music and bands, as well as mixtapes made by myself and guests. During 2010 posted my favourite 365 tracks of 2000-2009, you can read that list here
#340 - Ten In The Swear Jar - Sad Girl
Early version of what would become one of my favourite Xiu Xiu tracks. Has the melodrama intact in a totally different way.
#364 - Ariel Pink - I Disguise You
First artist of a fair few to be featured in both the best of 00s and 90s, this perhaps being for the completists only, but giving an interesting insight into one of today’s best oddball pop geniuses. Recorded and self-released in 1998 but officially seeing the light of day in 2006 on a compilation called Ariel Rosenberg’s Thrash & Burn, it’s perhaps only recommended for those who are into Worn Copy / House Arrest / Doledrums era Pink rather than 2010’s Before Today.
If I were to tell you this track is the most accessible poppy on that compilation, it should give you a rough idea of what to expect. Gives quite a nice and cohesive image of Rosenberg climbing a mountain of fidelity throughout his career. Maybe in 2016 he’ll release something approaching “conventional production”.
#6 - BARR - Half Of Two Times Two (Newer Version)
Lyrically, I can’t think of any better records over the past decade than BARR’s Summary. This is the closest thing the record has to a pop song I suppose, and i’m pretty sure i’ve heard this a thousand times now.
eyes closed eyes open eyes closed eyes open eyes closed eyes open eyes closed eyes open eyes closed eyes open
#8 - Wives - Wives Hate Police
As much as I love the more sonically experimental work evident on this year’s Everything In Between and 2008’s Nouns, I think Randy Randall and Dean Spunt are at their best doing ridiculously tight, angry, 2 minute punk blasts which are more evident on their early tracks compiled on Weirdo Rippers, and their earlier pre-No Age band, the 3-piece Wives.
This is one of the many excellent ridiculously tight, angry, 2 minute punk blasts on Wives were responsible for. When I said Jay Dee’s Fuck The Police is a not-far-behind modern day equivalent of the NWA classic, you could perhaps say Wives Hate Police is the same to Black Flag’s Police Story; honest, brutal and succinct fuck-yous to the LA Police.
AND I DEFINITELY. DON’T NEED. SOME MAN, COMING INTO MY ROOM. FUCKING WITH MY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT. NOOOOOO! PIIIIGS! IIIIIIN! OUR HOUSE.
#18 - Best Coast - When I’m With You
Feels really bizarre posting about this track a year after deciding to include it, with it since become the indie hit of whenever and snackstwitterbacklashzeitgeisthipsterrunoffwhat happening but if anything a summer of playing this non-stop re-affirmed my belief that When I’m With You is probably one of the best indie-pop tracks in the world, as much as I can take or leave the rest.
#22 - Former Ghosts - The Bull And The Ram
Without a doubt the musical project that excites me more than any others right now. Take one of the best modern performers going in Freddy Ruppert, add contributions from the beautiful vocals of Zola Jesus (third track in the top 50 for her, this one) and the most important figure indie-rock has seen in a good ten years in Jamie Stewart and you’ve got yourself an amalgamation of ridiculously talented individuals. And that’s without mentioning the more recent addition of Yasmine Kittles whose fragile singing helped make Winter’s Year one of the best tracks across two near-perfect records.
The difference between Former Ghosts and most (every?) supergroups though is that the talent is used to it’s full potential, and I think in part that is due to Freddy Ruppert’s ability to write perfectly for those that are contributing, as well as excelling, himself; I find it a real shame that Pitchfork has such influence with its reviews and that many will be put off because of their recent lukewarm review of New Love - and subjectivity, innit - but to use his vocals as a particular point of criticism I couldn’t disagree with more, in particular on Fleurs his vocal takes on This Is My Last Goodbye and Mother being two of the most heartbreaking and powerful put to tape. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing Freddy perform three times this year including one for a gig I booked myself, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they’ve accounted for some of the most incredible performances I’ve ever seen.
I actually think of Former Ghosts being something of a modern This Mortal Coil in set-up, with Freddy Ruppert effectively being a modern day (and more prominent) Ivor Watts-Russell; Kittles, Danilova and Stewart being a smaller group of contributors. This Mortal Coil feels especially like a fitting analogy because on The Bull & The Ram, Danilova gives a devastating vocal turn that makes the song all about her in the same way that Elizabeth Fraser made Song To The Siren hers all those years ago - the only, hugely impressive, difference being that a song this beautiful was made from scratch, and not reinterpreted.