Mixtapes for Hookers

The Ten Best Movies (Of The Ten I Saw This Year), Part 2


The better half of the ten movies I actually saw in 2012…

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My Ten Favorite Songs of 2012

10. Ke$ha, “Die Young”
The first, I don’t know, twenty times I heard this song on the radio I expected it to be Flo Rida. Which is to be expected, since the opening of this Dr. Luke/Benny Blanco song is pretty much the exactly the same thing they used for “Good Feeling” a few months earlier. But maybe that shouldn’t be surprising. We first heard Ke$ha, after all, when she and Flo crucified a Dead Or Alive song together.

This is the first song of Ke$ha’s that I’ve actually liked—well, okay, “Blow” grew on me after a few months but not like this—and I’m hesitant to buy into the promotional angling for her new album (which involves a soul-seeking journey to the Galapogos Islands, and The Atlantic calling her new tie-in memoir the new Feminine Mystique.)

The fifth co-writer of “Die Young” is that whiny singer from fun., and if his own dumb band’s songs were remotely this fun maybe I wouldn’t turn the radio off every fucking time “Some Nights” comes on.

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The Best of 2012, Part 6
December 6, 2012, 10:59 pm
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16. One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”

Until a couple of weeks ago this was a shoo-in for my favorite song of the year, the kind of hokey but perfect “hey girl! I like you for being you!” song that was, I think, most recently done well by Jimmy Eat World in 2001. Speaking of the early part of the last decade, this song is the first boyband song I’ve been truly into since the last *Nsync album. (Well, there was “Lovestruck,” but I never even heard that one on the radio.)

Then I reached my breaking point with “Live While We’re Young,” the skeezy, hormonal follow-up song that’s completely gross despite reprising roughly 97% of this song. How is this song so good while that one is so bad? I don’t get it.

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The Best of 2012, Part 4


24. Paper Diamond, “Can We Go Up” [listen]
Boulder, Colorado-based producer Alex B first released “Can We Go Up” online in September of 2011, but I didn’t hear it until a new version appeared on the Wavesight EP, which came out this spring on Mad Decent. One line repeated for three minutes by an anonymous lady, it’s fairly mindless dance music—the internet tells me that it’s not dubstep but that it resembles dubstep. I don’t think about people from Colorado very often, but his website claims that his next big show is going to be in Aspen.

The Best of 2012, Part 3

32. Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
I heard this song in the car, I don’t know, maybe ten times before I realized that everyone’s favorite Canadian moppet now sounds like a grown man. The talk-rapping about fondue reminds me of nothing so much as American Life-era Madonna, and the acoustic guitars also channel latter-day Madonna. American Life is actually my favorite album of hers as a whole, so I like this direction. (I wish the follow-up singles were better, though; “As Long As You Love Me” has that overly stoned guest rap in the middle, and “Beauty and a Beat” just sounds like a silly mess.)

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The Best of 2012, Part 2

40. Charli XCX, “You’re The One”
Slightly gothy twenty-year old pop singer Charli XCX came out with a bang late last year, though her basically perfect single “Stay Away” escaped my attention completely until it showed up on other people’s year-end best-of lists. Oh well. “You’re The One” is a slight (slight) step down from that song: a little bit of The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” but with gospel-ish R&B influences and the sort of slow, spoken talk-rap that the British have excelled at ever since “West End Girls.” (It’s the kind of song that’s a lot better when you’re not dissecting its influences, though.)

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The Best of 2012, Part 1

50. Grimes, Oblivion
Lisping and noodly, I can see how this outwardly precious song might drive people nuts. Even more so since Grimes became something of a critical phenomenon this year, in that way where she was beloved by bloggers and largely ignored by anyone who doesn’t read music blogs. Nevertheless, I like how catchy it is, and I’ll always hold a candle for dance music recorded in people’s bedrooms.

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