2016 Mix


2016 can best be summed up in the words of a gay Black man.

I’ve debated on whether or not to publish a favorite song list for the year. In regards to elections here and all over the world, I knew that keeping the status quo in power meant keeping things easy/hidden for another 20 years (which I was willing to play along with), but it at least would’ve bought us some time. Instead, the difficult realities I’ve foreseen intuitively for years will have to be faced much sooner than we’re prepared to deal with them. It feels like America is a runaway train about to fall off a cliff and we are powerless to stop it.

So let’s get on with it… [DOWNLOAD]

  1. My Love Is – Little Wille John [1961]
    Via Left of the Dial on KUTX.
  2. Sally Free and Easy – Marianne Faithfull [1966]
    Trees and Pentangle (two of my fave English folk bands) have done covers of this song, I’m including this one because it’s the best thing I’ve found to fill a musical gap for me. I spent a ton of time this summer researching a soundtrack to go with my Redneck Goth project because my visual art concepts are heavily musically influenced. I have a soundtrack in my head whenever I’m producing something, and I looked all over for good music to connect with my project – what I feel are the roots of country and goth – and that’s folk music. Depressing stories dealing with love and loss. The two diverged somewhere along the way about 40 years ago, and the artists that combined both either took themselves too seriously or were too campy. You either sound like a bad country radio hit or lame/gritty background music from a premium TV drama. The aesthetic of my zine just doesn’t exist and yet I can hear it in my head – take pop country songs and reinterpret them as shoegaze, and vice versa, or something like Air’s City Reading. This is about the closest I can get for now.
  3. Choke, Thirst, Die – Coven [1969]
    This one goes out to the GOP.
  4. Fire and Rain – The Isley Brothers [1971]
    I’ve always had an appreciation for James Taylor’s songwriting, but not much so for his vocals and production. The Isley Brothers put forth a different effect on their covers of white songwriters on their album Givin’ It Back. I feel like I finally “get” this song for the first time in my life.
  5. Sortilegio – Silvano D’Auria [1974]
    My love affair with library and soundtrack music continues. No particular reason for choosing this one except to mention that I found it on Instagram via @twoheadeddogmusic. @texasvinyl is another one of my favorite feeds.
  6. 6.4 = Make Out – Gary Wilson [1977]
    I forget how I found Gary Wilson’s music, but the first things that came to mind were: 1) Is he still alive? and 2) He should come to Austin! #2 has happened already – Wilson played SXSW in 2011.
  7. If We Took the Time – Ted Coleman Band [1980]
    I didn’t get a ton of new music this year from sources other than my usual radio shows, programs, and podcasts – when I wasn’t listening to house music at the gym, which comprised the vast majority of my music consumption. Simon Harrison of Basic Soul provided several jams as usual, including this one. I’m making this one my motto for 2017.
  8. (Just) Tell Me Pretty Lies – Lee Ritenour [1981]
    More Basic Soul goodness.
  9. (We don’t need this) Fascist Groove Thang – Heaven 17 [1981]
    Graphic design guru Michael Bierut tweeted this song earlier this week. Couldn’t be more appropriate.
  10. Paris – Taxi-Girl [1984]
    French post-punk.
  11. Faces – Clio [1985]
    “Faces” and its B-side “Feel the Fear” have become some of my favorite Italo tracks ever.
  12. Nexus On the Beach – Roberto Musci & Giovanni Venosta [1987]
    In case you didn’t know it, all the cool kidz have been listening to vintage New Age music for the last couple of years. I first got into this genre last year and recently came back for more. Prediction: more shamanistic vibes to come in 2017, for we’re really going to have to center ourselves to deal with what’s coming.
  13. Ahead the Ship Sleeps – FaltyDL [2014]
    Via Groove Salad.
  14. Sea Bering – Bill Converse [2016]
    I had a chance to catch a couple of Bill Converse sets around town this year and it was a lot of fun.
  15. Cerulean – Chambray [2016]
    I discovered Jimmy Edgar and the ULTRAMAJIC label a couple of years ago on Instagram and have been a big fan of the label’s reinterpretation of 90s electro/rave/house music.

Finally, lest we forget, 2016 was the year that also gave us S I M P S O N W A V E.