Dr Roddy’s Top Songs Of 2012

MM's Top Tunes Of 2012: Dr Roddy

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. It is the turn of Dr Roddy…

This years music has been a many varied kaleidoscope of sounds, moods and timing. I have moved house, set up home with my girlfriend and found myself a new job. Because music is my coping method all of these things have found themselves with their own soundtrack. When I looked back over my playlists of the year all of these songs feature in them as if they are the cornerstone of the tunes I’ve loved over the year. If you know them I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. If not, grab yourself a good fuckin’ listen.

20 Wake Up Lucid – Feel It

19 Delta Spirit – Tear It Up

Download Delta Spirit – Tear It Up mp3

18 Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental

17 Well Hung Heart – Devil

16 Michael Ainsley – Rainy Lonely Day

15 Her Parents – Don’t Know

Download Her Parents – Don’t Know mp3

a

14 Lost Brothers – Not Now Warden

13 Daughn Gibson – All Hell

12 WHY? – Sod In The Seed

Download WHY? – Sod In The Seed mp3

11 Justin Townes Earle – Lower East Side

10 Jake Bugg – Two Fingers

a

9 Aesop Rock  – Zero Dark Thirty

This is one of two survivors from my mid-year list. This still tune still excites and enthrals me, a hectic delivery of lyrics that seem to tumble at a relentless rate. The rolling beat that is the backing track to this vocal prowess is relentless in its nature. Almost falling over itself to get to the next Bar. This song deserves a place in any list.

a

8 Houndmouth – Penitentiary

Such a great intro to this song. The melody picked out on the guitar and a Hammond organ providing the chords that pull you into this tale of a man who much like Fletcher from Porridge “Accepts arrest as a occupational hazard”. Throughout what is not to beezer a time, the song never once turns melancholy, if anything it rouses the spirit with it’s beautiful harmonies and soporific melody. A sort of Country, I Fought The Law?

7 The Growl – With The Sharp End Of A Trowel

What’s that you say? Grimy, dirty rock, half sang half drawled. Yeah, OK. Where do I sign? It seems that this year The Growl can do no wrong. Supporting the mighty Tame Impala on a Aussie tour and producing some of the best tunes I’ve heard this year. It was a tuff choice between this song and Cleaver Lever. Really I would have liked to put them in a paddling pool full of Nutella and watched them fight it out, but in the end this song wins through. For it’s dirt rock purity.

6 King Krule – Rock Bottom

Smitten with this song right from the get go. A Johnny Marr-esque guitar riff is the lead in, then from nowhere comes this fantastical delivery of words half sung half spoken, that leave you in no doubt that King Krule has been Rock Bottom. Despite looking like the kid you would steal lunch money from, the lyrics are delivered with passion and a sense of a life lived. The drums in this song are off-kilter and almost sound out of place when first heard. This off beat style works perfectly when the song comes together and leaves the head nodding and the feet tapping. Perfect.

5 Mountain Goats – Cry for Judas

Such a great feel to this. A truly outrageous pop arrangement to this song acts as a perfect optimistic backdrop to a song about surviving the worst and adding that experience to your armoury. These opposites work in perfect harmony. The Mountain Goats have long been a favourite of mine, their output is prolific and never diluted, and lyrically sharp as a tack.

4 The Janice Graham Band – Murder

The Specials got the Arctic Monkeys drunk one night and roofied them. The child that came from this unholy union is The Janice Graham Band. I loved this band from my first listen to It’s Not Me and bought the album on the strength of that one song. Murder quickly became my standout tune on the album. It has a knowledgeable lived in feel to it. As we step over the half way mark it breaks, not becoming faster just fuller with some great sounding horns – I compared them to The Specials and the Arctic Monkeys, but these boys have their own sound and swagger.

3 Patterson Hood – 12:01

Another great story song from Patterson Hood (Daddy’s Cup being one of my faves) about a guy going across the border to buy liquor instead of going home to his shell of a relationship. So maybe not the most upbeat of subjects, but nonetheless you hang on his every line. The tune picked out on the guitar and the drums have that metronomic sound that reminds me of being in a car late at night with no music, say, around “12:01, the rain and the wipers play a spooky song”. The cello sounds like other vehicles morbidly passing, heading to where you have come from or maybe where you should be heading??

2 Hopsin – Ill Mind Of Hopsin V

If your not a fan of rap then you are in good company with Hopsin. The latest voyage into the ill mind of Hopsin sees him apply a damn good coat of learning to all things that are the caricature of modern day Hip Hop. Everybody from the white boy loser, female groupie Ho, black, street gangster and the artists that dilute the power back this modern day social commentary and poetry. On top of this there is a monumental beat, that is the engine to this behemoth of a song. Please take the time to listen to this tune and I mean LISTEN!!!

a

1 Monument Valley – The Very First Alarm

The second of my survivors from my mid-year faves. I adore the hopeless feel to this song. I could write endlessly about my love for this song but honestly it’s simplicity, beauty, deftness of lyric and the mesmerizing sound of Ned Younger’s voice that coats the lyrics of this bitter song with a sweet syprupy glaze (for the Masterchef fans out there), that keeps pulling me back to it over and over again.

You can find downloads, streams, or videos for all the other tracks above by checking out MM’s Top 100 tunes here: 100 – 8180 – 6160 – 4140 – 21 and 20 – 1.

Chris T Popper’s Top Songs Of 2012

MM's Top Songs Of 2012: Chris T Popper

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Next on the oche is Chris T Popper…

20 Menomena – Heavy Is As Heavy Does

a

19 Future Of The Left – City Of Exploded Children

18 Richard Buckner – Willow

17 Steakhouse – Spider Bite

16 Lumineers – Ho Hey

15 Lost Brothers – Not Now Warden

14 Pines – Cry, Cry Crow

13 Imagination Head – Sand Castles

12 Lord Huron – Time To Run

11 Freedom Fry – Summer In The City

10 Django Django – Default
Sounds like no other song on my top 10 it crackles along with all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds. A viciously catchy and erratic tune it never stops surprising me a little more with each listen.

It’s fun goddamnit… and as you can see from some of my other selections I could obviously do with a bit more of that.

9 Tom Williams & The Boat – Too Young
I’m still a little perplexed why I like this song so much. Certainly the most mainstream sounding of my selections it has a guitar riff which burrows in to the brain like an old News of the World reporter in a celebrity’s wheelie bin.

It took a while but now I understand that it’s utterly useless to resist any longer. Probably the most hummed tune of the year, which I think you’ll agree, is one hell of an accolade.

8 Team Genius – Seven Years 
Although flirting dangerously close to novelty Seven Years certainly helped put a smile on my face with its blatantly narcissistic lyrics and thumping beat.

This may be a bit of an indulgence on my part, but I have to be true to what I like. And boy I like this song – anything that begins with the line “I’m half drunk again, full of words, full of piss and wind’ was bound to become my eighth favourite song of the year.

7 Kyle Adem – Brother Follow
Certainly original and wonderfully disturbing I picked this cheery number from Kyle Adem for the mid year Mad Mac list. He really has created a brute of a song; it seems to throb with the wretchedness of the whole thing.

I like music that takes you out of your comfort zone and it uses some alarmingly savage imagery to remind us just how nasty our society has become. Backed up with a fearsome delivery that makes this a real ‘sit bolt upright and ask what the hell was that’ on first listen, thankfully it doesn’t dilute with time.

6 Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive
From the opening beats and distinctive guitar I’m happy…  we’re in proper Chris T Popper territory here! Mason’s distinctive vocals compliment the somniferous atmosphere perfectly. I missed him playing in my own backyard at the Wilderness festival, which is undoubtedly my musical regret of the year. Swaying along to this beauty in a large field clasping an overpriced (but comfortingly strong) cider is what summer is all about.

5 Lower Dens – Brains
When I picked this song out in June I said it was like a child pulling at your sleeve after it’s seen the ice cream van. Incessant and under no circumstance will it be ignored.

There is also a sense of chaos, which I always find agreeable – a feeling it‘s not entirely sure where it’s going but doesn’t actually care too much. A stalwart of the year’s playlists for me and still listened to as often as it was six months ago. Can’t give it a bigger tribute really.

4 Wake Up Lucid – Feel It
Loud, brash and all the better for it. Considering my changing (or is that evolving…) taste in music it genuinely fills me with joy that I still love a proper hard as nails guitar frenzy. The feedback is utterly magnificent, as is the drawled out vocals snarling over the fuzz.

Sort of song I would listen to before I had to have a fight.

3 Michael Ainsley – Rainy Lonely Day
Despite the air of melancholy I found this a strangely uplifting song, reminiscent vocally of the great Ray Davies (although it does not suffer by comparison). Piano and guitar combine with the haunting voice of Michael Ainsley to produce the most heartfelt tune I’ve heard all year. I’m in awe of the lyrics – yes I know you’ve got to gofrom my group of friends, you’re the best one that I know… I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the wonderfully awkward nature of this song and to showcase the genuine talent of Mr Ainsley.

2 Strand Of Oaks – Trap Door
I’ve fallen through the Trap Door that Tim Showelter sings about many, many times. I’m getting home late again, been looking for old friends, been looking for anything… He obviously has too.

It builds to a fabulous vocal performance leaving me a bit spellbound every time I hear it. The repeated cries of ‘giving it all away’ at the end can find me with eyes screwed tightly shut while mouthing along in a ‘we’re brothers in arms’ kind of way! And that’s when I’m sober!

I try not to take a drink and listen to this… way too much regret in my life and the song is just too powerful – handle with care.

1 Emil Friis  – Sand In Your Eyes
I nicknamed this song ‘momentum’ when Dr Roddy and I were discussing a Mad Mackerel podcast in the autumn (coming soon… honest), and this track by Emil Friis was top of the list because it’s a belter. It possesses a rhythmic simplicity that always manages to pick me up and transport me off somewhere else, and that’s a fairly big plus in my life.

Throughout Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when I stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention.

My song of the year by some distance, no one else got a look in. Thanks Emil.

And to finish, my Guilty Pleasure for 2012 is…

Insane Clown Posse feat Geto Boys – Forever

a

You can find downloads, streams, or videos for all the other tracks above by checking out MM’s Top 100 tunes here: 100 – 8180 – 6160 – 4140 – 21 and 20 – 1.

Round Up Time

Round Up Time.

Time to catch up with all that’s new, good, interesting, oddball, and plain strange. You can sift for the nuggets of gold yourself, or take our advice and try them all…after all it is the weekend.

We have a new track from longstanding favourite Amen Dunes, Sixteen comes from the forthcoming arts and literary project The Unified Field, and we also have a second taste of Why?’s new album in the shape of Strawberries.

Your Youth is a loud alternative band from Brooklyn that doesn’t totally exist, a two-person crash-course in celebrating and subverting pop: lyrics under mountains of guitars, a grip of gigantic hooks, and the slick bombast of “major-label sound”. Try the two and a half minute chainsaw guitars of Thick Gold (Bodied) from new EP Battery. Meanwhile, Now You Are One Of Us is Taken from the forthcoming album, The Corner Man, by The Cairo Gang, the outfit of wunderkind Emmett Kelly, long time conspirator in the Bonnie “Prince” Billy band.

Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, is a new album from unusual folk singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, this cut, Appalachia, bodes extremely well for the album as a whole, while the Zolas deal in modern, bouncy, left field, indie-pop. Knot In My Heart comes from their debut album Ancient Mars which is due for a UK release on 3rd December.

Pete Fijalkowski (ex Adorable and Polak) and Terry Bickers (ex House of Love and Levitation) have recorded an album, Broken Heart Surgery, it is a late-night introspective affair that they plan to release in spring of 2013, but to get the ball rolling they’re releasing a free download of I Don’t Give A Shit About You. As the title suggests, those who are profanity-averse might wish to avoid, but underneath the sweary surface is actually a love song of sorts. Not only that, it is brilliant.

Download Amen Dunes – Sixteen mp3 (from The Unified Field)

Dqownload Your Youth – Thick Gold (Bodied) mp3 (from Battery EP)

a

a

a

a

a

Mega Video Round Up

We’ve been trawling through a whole mass of videos recently and here are some of our favourites assembled for your viewing and listening pleasure.

First up is Crybaby’s video for excellent debut I Cherish The Heartbreak More Than The Love That I Lost, shot in the gloomy surrounds of Bristol hospital and is a noirish loveletter to the exquisite pain of a broken heart.

a

Hotly tipped Essex 4-piece The Milk’s new single Broke Up The Family is a stormer of an anthem.

a

Death Hawk are new to us, and it isn’t the greatest video to be fair, but the pounding psychedelia and Sabbath like riffs of new song Shining has been a real treat and makes it worth sharing.

a

By Contrast, Saint Motel’s At Least I Have Nothing is a introspective work made up of a combination of 16mm, Super 8, Flip-Cam, Video, Cell Phone, and still photography that they’ve accumulated throughout the years. It fits the upbeat nostalgia of the song perfectly.

a

Describing her sound as ‘Doom Soul’, Cold Specks’ music is steeped in the musical traditions of the Deep South. With influences from the Lomax Field Recordings and James Carr to Bill Callahan and Tom Waits, her sparse arrangements and chain gang rhythms stop you dead in your tracks.

a

Hindershot make unusual, complex, catchy indie-pop that calls to mind everything from Soft Cell to T-Rex. The video for Curse Us All is a colourful one of wanton destruction.

a

Brother Gruesome have featured a few times on MM and are established faves of ours. This is the video for the pounding Cut It Out, a song off their cassette tape that was released by Slanty Shanty Records in 2010.  A little late coming, but it is a great song with a cool video featuring street artists from Oklahoma.

a

You & I Belong is the first single from Simone Felice’s debut solo album. Another great song, fun video.

a

Danish sextet Alcoholic Faith Mission has debuted a new video for Running With Insanity from new album Ask Me This. Watch it and download it.

a

a

We take a considerably more rustic turn with Max & The Wild Things video for the excellent Wind Through The Window. Just the feel of a barn-dance stomp and that banjo lead was enough to remind me of the halcyon days of the Cropdusters.

a

Popstrangers hail from New Zealand and make a most edifying racket from a cauldron of grunge, shoegaze, psychedelia and noise pop. The video for What Else Could They Do comes heartily recommended.

a

We’re hoping for big things for Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny this year. This is a live session recording for the new single Sweet Tooth Bird. Like sherbert filled with razor blades.

a

Beirut have just posted a new video for Vagabond from last year’s excellent The Rip Tide.

a

Sweet Lights have this beautifully animated video for Endless Town – the new single out on March 5th via Highline.

a

The Skints are about as close to rap as we get, but this hybrid of rap, ragga, rock and ska beats on Ratatat is undeniably infectious. Like the Selecter crossed with Senser…maybe.

s

Short is sweet, with this 90 second video for Pillow Talk’s rootsy Faux Fur, the lead track from their new EP of the same name.

a

Gently harmonious five-piece Good Dangers feature a stripped back version of their song Abigail, filmed in a skate park. Download the full version too.

s

a

And lastly, new MM faves Town Hall have produced their own unique take on Ja Rule & Ashanti’s Always on Time. Watch it and download it.

d

Download Town Hall – Always On Time mp3 (Ja Rule & Ashanti Cover)

Mad Mackerel Recommends…Goldishack Guerillas

Goldishack Guerrillas is a break from the usual fare on MM (but in a wholly good way) and reminds us nostalgically of our youth and barrelling around in Oxford’s Zodiac to rap metal bands like  Senser, RATM et al.

Like all the best rap metal, this is a band on a mission:  the Guerrillas are fighting back with a raucous mix of hip hop, guitars and political will to bring a message louder than any television.

Organic in its nature and sound, Goldishack had long been a headquarters for freestyle emcees and musicians. But when a holiday vacation turned into a war zone in 2006, things at the shack would never be the same. Lebanon was up in flames, and Goldi and his family were on the run from an Israeli bombing campaign. After a few harrowing weeks and a high-profile military evacuation, Goldi found himself in the hotseat of American news and a target of politicians and pundits.

Back at the Shack, rage was building and the Guerrillas were born.

Fast forward and GG is on a roll with the release of War in 2009, and two more albums are nearing completion, Goldishack is now headquarters for the musicians who seek more from their country, leaders and media. So without further ado, we present the Goldishack Guerrillas: your antidote to the war on justice.

Visit their Bandcamp here where you can buy the digital album for $5 or a physical copy for $10.

Download Goldishack Guerillas – Lazy Fat Stupid American featuring Rush Limbaugh mp3 (from War)

Download Goldishack Guerillas – Bulldozer mp3 (from War)

Introducing…Lexicon

We’ve already posted one superb Ramones cover recently (by Port O’Brien), but there is always room for another. And it might not be quite the usual MM fare either.

After releasing two successful indie hiphop records and becoming one of the bigger names in the LA underground hiphop scene, Lexicon became frustrated. At first they were content in simply being a part of the scene they grew up admiring and idolizing — they were more concerned with impressing the discerning underground heads than blowing up. But as the scene grew stale Lexicon knew that something needed to change. So instead of building on the props they’d achieved in the underground scene, they tore it all down, in order to build something different.

Calling upon for inspiration all of the rock and new wave music that blared from their parents speakers while they were growing up, Lexicon realized that by combining these elements with their deep knowledge of hiphop they could finally express themselves the way they wanted to.

Mixing their broad range of influences from A Tribe Called Quest to The Strokes to N.E.R.D. to Roxy Music…the duo flawlessly flow their way through this new sound with an appealing confidence and an ever-present sense of humor. Their inherent knack for wordplay and songwriting results in vivid imagery and enjoyable slice-of-life stories that are relatable to anyone.

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating though, and their Ramones cover comes up trumps. Check it out below, together with an equally entertaining track from the album.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Lexicon – I Wanna Be Sedated mp3 (Ramones Cover)

Download Lexicon – Junk Food mp3 (from Rapstars)

Buffetlibre & Amnesty’s Peace Project – 180 tracks for not very much

We may be late in coming across Buffetlibre and Amnesty International Catalunya’s Peace Project, but that’s no reason not to give it a bit more publicity.

Basically, for a donation of anything upwards of five Euro’s (that’s about £4 or $6) you get to download 180 tracks from artists all around the world. It covers all the continents and features artists from more than fifty countries. And there are some very well known names amongst them offering exclusive tracks, covers and remixes. They include The Antlers (offering a remix of Two), Port O’Brien’s own superb take on the Ramones, Voxtrot, a remix from Ra Ra Riot, Asobi Seksu, Dan Deacon, Dent May, A Place To Bury Strangers, Micah P HinsonSic Alps and many, many, many more.

You can buy quickly and easily from the website here – and it includes a pop up radio so you can even try before you buy. However, at that price, for those tracks and for that cause, it seems pretty much a no brainer to us.

Download a couple of tasters below and then go and get the other 178 tracks…

Download Voxtrot – Whiskey And Water mp3 (from Peace)

Download The Crocodiles – Nothing To Be Done mp3 (from Peace) – Pastel’s cover.