2012 was the year of hip hop. Or certainly that’s how it seemed to me. I have been thinking about my top tracks of 2012 over the past few days. Look out for a few tasty hip hop numbers to slip in there (I’ll post the list tomorrow). My admiration for the genre has certainly been reignited over the past 12 months after a long spell of disillusionment.
As such, it seems appropriate to end my second year of blogging with two titans of the scene. Also, I ended year one with Otis and there is a nice symmetry to ending year two with him also.
The track is filled with clever rhymes, it’s like Jay-Z and Kanye are trying to get one over on each other with each passing verse.
Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses. Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive…
An added bonus is a cameo in the video of Aziz Ansari (AKA the hillatious Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation).
I don’t know about these ladies – look how hard they’re trying. They’re 3 sisters from California and the band name is their surname. I’m switching off already. They’re booked to support Florence on her tour next year and have played with Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I’ve pretty much walked away by now.
But then, this song. Oh man, this song is just right up my street. The melody is pure ’90s pop presented in beautiful wrapping paper that you don’t want to tear. Most likely, what you’ll find inside is that the song borrows too much to be very original and the lyrics are a bit weak. I’m ignoring all that though and singing along, at the top of my voice. This is going on all of my morning playlists for the foreseeable future – it makes me feel bouncy. I rarely feel bouncy.
From John Talabot to Gene Kelly! I would like to think that is a pretty neat summary of the journey this blog has taken me on and of the variable music that grabs my attention (however fleetingly in some cases).
My mother was watching a program yesterday about Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire which focused on their choreography and I found myself, much to my surprise, transfixed by this. Both the music and his dancing. I am not a big fan of musicals by any stretch of the imagination but this just filled me with joy. What talent those guys had!
It is fitting in one regard I suppose as I reflect on 2012 and what it meant to me. One thing about moving to Dublin is that I have had to deal with a lot more precipitation! I should learn to cope with it like Gene!
Let the stormy clouds chase everyone from the place. Come on with the rain I’ve a smile on my face. I’ll walk down the lane with a happy refrain. Just singing, singing in the rain…
Barcelona DJ John Talabot isn’t someone I know a lot about but I have noted that he has been getting a lot of love in Best of 2012 lists that I have been reading in the past month or so. This prompted me to check out some of his stuff, particularly his album fIN from which this track is taken. Pretty enjoyable stuff.
If it has to be a Christmas song (and at this time of year unfortunately they seem to be unavoidable) it might as well be The Ronettes, Phil Spector and The Wall of Sound (or perhaps Wham!). Music doesn’t get much better than that magical combination.
I have to give it up to the S//S//N blog for introducing me to LA band FIDLAR. The youthful vigour here is really refreshing, it’s been stuck in my head for the past few days (helpfully drowning out all the Christmas tunes that seem to be inescapable).
I came across an amazing photo of James Brown with The Rolling Stones on the ever enjoyable Awesome people hanging out together Tumblr recently (see pic below). It made realise (shamefully) that I hadn’t posted the legendary JB yet, nearly two years into my blogging odyssey. So it’s about time I righted this wrong.
James Brown has one of the most arresting voices I have ever heard and the opening 30 seconds of this track still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end every time I hear it.