PHILTHY MAG’s Top 5 of 2012

top5

Here it is in all it’s glory. Philthy’s Top 5 of 2012 by our featured writers:

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izzy
Izzy is the Music Department & Features Editor of Philthy Mag.He probably has listened to more hours of music and gone to more live shows than a Rolling Stones Roadie. He is 108 lbs. and condescending. Izzy is an adjunct professor.  He teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University.
Here are Izzy’s Top 5 “Most Dopesauce Jams” of 2012

 

1

These United States – “Vince”Sometimes the most profound sounds seem to be those that were the most playfully constructed. This sounds as if it were recorded in one take, after being written in a half-drunken haze, from the back seat of a van traveling through America’s heartland in the pitch black.

2

Jessie Baylin – “Love is Wasted on Lovers”With Morrissey and Belle & Sebastian on hiatus from writing a recording, the year’s most poignant assessment of the existential goes to… a blonde country girl who is far too wise for her years.

3

Swans – “Song For a Warrior”This collaboration with Karen O proves that it may be only the maddest of geniuses that are capable of capturing the potential of a beautiful soul who too often seems to take the easy way out.

4

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Suburban Space Invader”Give me a space age cabaret lounge act and a platinum Dane with a thing for Primal Scream and Blaxploitation films and I’m set for the year.

5

First Aid Kit – “Emmylou”A gospel song from two brilliant young sisters to the giants on whose shoulders they are currently standing.
lizz
LZ RN – Style Department & Features Editor.

With visible signs of aging in my skin, realizing how ridiculous I am beginning to look in Forever 21 clothing, and coming to terms with the idea of the world ending amidst a warming planet where people and polar bears are losing their homes, a divisive presidential election, rising credit card debt and zero light coming out of the student loan tunnel–in my experience, 2012 was the year to dance myself shitless. Hyper raging the year away was a definitive pacification to the urban-hipster blues and a cathartic middle finger to the rest of the world. My Top 5 list, in a very particular order, is a testament to my dance party.

 

1

The Flaming Lips – “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)” (featuring Ke$ha, Biz Markie, and Hour of the Time Majesty 12) What better way to reel in the Apocalypse than to accept that we’re all going to hell? (Also, what better way to market Ke$ha? If I discovered her through this and NOT Tik-tok, I might actually be a fan of the little glitter slut.) This song is the first track on the band’s 2012 Record Store Day album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. Listening and dancing to this while visiting my mother in Oklahoma made my search for Wayne Coyne’s house a serious (and incomplete) mission.

2

Sleigh Bells – Comeback KidThank you Alexis Krauss for inspiring me to resurrect my red lipstick and tattered denim vest–you also totally got me into the spirit of splurging on YSL lipstick without a single ounce of guilt. Out of their album Reign of Terror, this song, was the anthem to my summer. Having celebrated my birthday at the Making Time Summer Hyper Rager, a little bit of rain and a whole lot of jumping made me realize how totally impressed 11-year-old me would be with 2?-year-old me.

3

Simian Mobile Disco – Put Your Hands Together This comparison has been made many times: as a kid, house music was the scene to be in, and little me wanted desperately to be ten years older just so I could hang out with James St. James. Every beat of Put Your Hands Together re-ignites that desire and reinvents my context within genre.  In collaboration with electronic genius Jamie Lidell and from the album Unpatterns, this track makes my heart palpitate with an anxiety very similar to one’s first bump of coke.

4

Natalia Kills – Controversy It’s a simple question: Drink the Kool Aid? Don’t drink the Kool Aid? From her upcoming album, Trouble, the video to this song has a double-effect on me: A) just. keep. dancing. B) Natalia helps me gently put my credit card back into the wallet. Read between the lines: credit is our own personal Jim Jones–promising us so much, and slowing killing us at the same time. Although surely it may be done in irony, this song reminds that it is absolutely fine to be blissfully ignorant and glutinous–yet a little awareness of the issues wouldn’t hurt.

5

 LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean (Live performance at Madison Square Garden from Shut Up and Play The Hits) Late-twenties, I love you–but you’re bringing me down. Okay, this song obviously is not from 2012, nor is the performance at Madison Square Garden. But the release of the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits is. I like to call it the Stop Making Sense of our generation. This is Happening came out one year after I had graduated college and had remedied my (then) unemployment (because dancing clearly solves everything). Two years later–employed–yet still feeling jaded. Listening to it all again–that three-minute intro, which I used to fast-forward through, but now am sharing with an enormous crowd of my very own youth, waiting with baited breath for (in my opinion) the best synth sounds ever made. It reminds me that it may be too soon, and I may still be too young, to be totally over it all. With that said, 2013 give me what you got.
jcrary Jonathan Crary – Music Department & Features Journalist.

1

Tame Impala “Lonerism” Swirling guitar and synthesizer reverb layered on melodic vocals. This is a modern day classic psychedelic gem, a powerful and exciting work of art.

2

Wild Nothing “Nocturne”With more production and a dreamier guitar from the 1st record’s low-fi sound, “Nocturne” is a great post-chillwave gem. Long journeys are welcome as “Norturne” is a catalog of great travel songs reminiscent of Simple Minds or Ocean Blue.

3

Jessie Ware “Devotion”This is not just another British pop/ and R&B act. Jessie has a beautifully incredible voice, dreamy and super sensual (ie like Sade and Lisa Stansfield) but with an updated and creative musical backdrop, a club beat and a captive guitar.

4

Twin Shadow “Confess”80’s new wave returns packaged more like “Prince” rather than like “Echo & the Bunnymen” from Twin Shadow’s first album “Forget,” yet the songs are finely crafted and still hit with George Lewis, Jr.’s voice and guitar work with a bit over produced sound but no doubt very satisfying.

5

Chairlift -“Something”This album is a completely different collection of songs from the first album. This one is much more interesting having an 80’s dream pop feel and interesting songs, one after the next. It surprised me how good this record sounded upon first and second listen.  Caroline Polachek’s voice is hypnotically beautiful.  Each of the songs flows together perfectly. This is my surprise record of the year!
Jon’s Honorable mentions:The Men -“Open Your Heart”
Beach House -“Bloom”
Chromatics- “Kill For Love”
DIIV -“Oshin”
alex150
Alex Fiorentino – Style Department & Features Columnist.

So many albums were worthy of praise this year, but some of the best music I have listened to have been from mixtapes by emerging acts, especially those who are challenging not only the conventions of a given musical genre, but aesthetics as well.  The physical appearance of these artists are varied, but each embrace androgyny and artifice, utilizing references to millennial style  and internet-age design to accentuate their striving to embody the future of music.  While I am certainly not bold enough to rock iridescent circle shades or a giant Tommy Hilfiger puffy jacket, I can say that this style is more than refreshing; it is truly the new punk, the leather biker jacket and ripped clothing left to be the uniform of the bourgeois. In this New Year, I am inspired to challenge what personal style is, and question the labels in which music, fashion and art in general are so often boxed into with much debt due to these artists and the soundtrack they have provided for 2012.

 

1

Azealia Banks – FantaseaTo give a really unbiased review of this mixtape is impossible, because for me, it’s EVERYTHING.  Banks has provided more than an album’s worth of material (each track better than the next) and she has proved herself as as not only a rapper but an overall artist in every sense of the word.  A loose conceptual work steeped in high feminine alter-egos, Harlem ballroom culture and 90s rave vibes, Banks manages to connects beat, lyric and flow with such intent and vision that every other rapper ceases to matter, exist even!  Her slick uncompromising braggadocio and bravado are a spoken testament to her place in the game, swimming through genre and counterculture like the mermaid she is represented as on the cover of the mixtape. And speaking of mermaid, I have also been dying over her look: her long brightly-hued weaves, stilettos nails and body-hugging cut-out ensembles putting her in the ranks of powerful taste-challenging style mavens like Lady Gaga and Cher, giving the fashion-obsessed a reason to get up in the morning!

2

Le1f -Dark YorkIf you have even seen Le1f’s interview with FaderTV on the definition of twink, you know this rapper does not mince his words.  In this mixtape, Le1f provides an arsenal of menacing beats and sizzling rhymes, his deep voice sinister even when being comical.  The highlight is definitely “Wut,” danceable with the craziest spitfire verses I have ever heard and a true affirmation of his cockiness. It also helps that Le1f looks a bit like Dennis Rodman, from the colored cropped hair to the athletic wear, a true punk for always being so frequently placed on the worst-dressed list.  In this day and age, beauty is boring, and I think Le1f knows that in order to create something new and subversive, you have to rub boring people the wrong way while the freaks get their life!

3

Mykki Blanco – Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ssIf you thought Le1f’s vibe was witchy, Mykki Blanco’s is straight-up satanic.  Why, the first words uttered in the mixtape’s “single” “Wavvy” are “Welcome to hell, bitches”!  He’s the real deal, his dismissal of everyone’s pre-conceived notions for a cross-dressing, queer rapper demolished with every smack-down from his silver tongue.  Mykki is not the “new rap”, but what punk was meant to be along, more Wayne County than Kanye.  His personal style is as gender-scrambled as his chameleon voice, a butch queen in the truest sense and the anti-Rupaul’s-Drag-Race contestant, going from wearing a blond wig and a black bustier to camos and Jeremy Scott.  To me, this is further proof of his staying power, an ability to obliterate stagnancy in sound and image.

4

Maluca Mala -China FoodMaluca is a tough Latina, but with slow jamz like “Flourescent Beige” (a reference to perhaps the only funny scene in Lee Daniels’ “Precious”) she shows her versatility on this mix. An eclectic blend of rock-n-roll, electronica and trance peppered with straight-up (bilingual) rap, this mix is as seductive as it is fierce. Her image as well is an assemblage of sartorial semiotics, a “round-the-way girl”-cum-bejeweled goddess who is not afraid to tell it like it is, is an extension of her sound’s bold blend.

5

AB SOTO – FAG OUT Vol. 1 I saw AB Soto before I heard him, but this neon-hued banjee boy’s mixtape is just as cheeky and club-ready as his character.  With some highlights are a track that samples the omnipresent pop culture entity known as Honey Boo Boo Chile, and remixes by the likes of B. Ames and Lifepartner, AB Soto provides a campy collection soaked with queenspeak that is ABsolutely divine!  His music makes me want to dress in acid clubwear and a snapback, if that is an indicator of how deliciously homosexual this mixtape is.

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Paul runs PHILTHY MAG. He is a artist that resides in Philadelphia PA. Philthy has been a publication dedicated to the documentation and support of musicians and artists world-wide since 2007.