Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Macromix 11

Same rules as last year. The unveiling happened here.

Track/ Rank

1/ 20 Wild Beasts, “Loop The Loop”
2/ 19 St. Vincent, “Cruel”
3/ 18 Destroyer, “Chinatown”
4/ 17 Lykke Li, “Sadness Is A Blessing”
5/ 16 Minks, “Kusmi”
6/ 15 Big Troubles, “Misery”
7/ 14 Exlovers, “Blowing Kisses”
8/ 13 Girls, “Alex”
9/ 12 Yuck, “Georgia”
10/ 11 Crystal Stilts, “Shake The Shackles”
11/ 10 Holcombe Waller, “Hardliners”
12/ 9 R.E.M., “Oh My Heart”
13/ 8 Real Estate, “Green Aisles”
14/ 7 Jeremy Jay, “Shayla”
15/ 6 Atlas Sound, “Doldrums”
16/ 5 Cut Copy, “Need You Now”
17/ 4 Patrick Wolf, “Together”
18/ 3 Julianna Barwick, “Prizewinning”
19/ 2 EMA, “Anteroom”
20/ 1 PJ Harvey, “The Last Living Rose”

The only very notable omission is Lady Gaga's "Marry The Night," a totally gorgeous song that wore off some of its urgency over the course of the year and which I'll relegate to the "radio pleasure" category now that they've finally made it an inescapable single. The problem, as always, is whether I think of the macromix as a careful sequencing of 20 songs in under 80 minutes, or as a careful ranking of the year's best moments. I originally envisioned a mix that starts with "Marry The Night," moves into more impressionistic night and the city seductions (M83's "Midnight City"), scales back the synths to a minimum (Big K.R.I.T.'s "The Vent"), and then, from the deep silence that follows a man's musings, fades back in with intricate, powerhouse drumming (The Joy Formidable's "I Don't Want To See You Like This"). But those songs just missed the list. After settling on the final, less blatantly narrative permutation of the macromix, above, I also considered switching St. Vincent's "Cruel" for "Northern Lights," because gosh, what a blast that would be after the hush of "Loop The Loop." But it doesn't really matter, since no one (besides me: I have it as an iTunes playlist and it's awesome) is likely to hear the macromix in its proper sequencing, anyway, and I don't know which St. Vincent song is actually "best."

Also, I increased my beats and rhymes quotient too late for this undertaking, but any of the shorter, stranger songs I've recently heard by Danny Brown or Shabazz Palaces would make for great additions, pockets of unprecedented sound.

Lessons this year: I long ago accepted the fact that I won't read every book I want to read before I die, but I have yet to reconcile myself to the same re: music. Entering my twenties, I thought "real life" would eventually get in the way of my ability to keep up with new music, but clearly that was a flawed premise. Any gap in my listening is mostly my own fault, or money's, but not time's.

Albums list, wherein I "spread the wealth" a bit (sometimes great albums lack clear standout tracks, so I don't bother trying to choose a favorite), arrives in the next few days.

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