January 2009 Mix


January’s that wonderful time of the year when I waste untold hours listening to crap that made other people’s “best of the year” lists.  I hardly ever find anything that really wows me.  Among the critically acclaimed albums I listened to in January, I found them fairly good, but over-hyped (Bon Iver), boring (Fleet Foxes) and borderline unlistenable (No Age).  That said, there were still a couple of gems that hit my iPod this month.

  • The Morning Benders – Talking Through Tin Cans:  You like the Shins?  Then you’ll like these guys.  They aren’t going to be your favorite band, but they made a nice little indie-pop album that’s hard to dislike.  
  • G-Side – Starshipz & Rocketz: The first thing you’ll notice is is Block Beataz’ production.  There isn’t a weak beat on the whole album.  But repeated listens will reveal G-Side as Alabama’s answer to UGK.  ST is the more technical, introspective rapper (Bun B), while Clova’s gets by on more style and personality (Pimp C).  End result: a shockingly consistent album – the likes of which you don’t see too often in hip-hop these days.

As always, let me know if there’s anything good I missed this month.

1) Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes
I debated putting Merriweather Post Pavilion in the “good albums” list above.  I like it much more than any other Animal Collective albums.  But their barely-there drums still bother me.  Am I the only one who thinks Animal Collective would be well served by sending their albums to someone like Black Milk to put some drums in their songs? 
2) Del the Funky Homosapien – Everytime
Imagine how good the 13th Hour would have been if Del didn’t try to produce it himself, and instead got beats from guys like Mike Relm.
3) Royce Da 5′ 9″ – Shake This
Royce has been on a roll of late.  He’s dropped incredible guest verses on the latest Elzhi and Black Milk albums.  I’m starting to get excited for a solo.
4) Super Smoky Soul (ft. Guilty Simpson) – Knockout Kings
Guilty doing what he does best – sounding like a badass and dropping awkwardly funny punchlines over dope beats.  
5) Co$$ (ft. Blu) – Angelic
(ft. Blu) is a good way to get your song on my monthly mixes.
6) Spirit – The Other Song
This song has totally captivated me.  It sounds kind of demo-ish.  But it has this awesome drugged-out haziness that pretty much rules.  And if it’s old, weird, amazing, and showing up on a monthly mix, then you be pretty much assured that it’s something dug up by the good brothers at Captain’s Crate (now Mixtape Riot…update those bookmarks).
7) Americans in France – Liking You
Speaking of drugged-out haziness that rules.  I almost skipped and deleted this song after the first 35 seconds or so failed to do anything for me.  But let this one build and you won’t be disappointed.  
8) The Van Dykes – Hey Mr. Lonesome
I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for a good falsetto.  Thanks O-Dub.
9) The Morning Benders – I Was Wrong
If only great pop songs like this were actually played on “pop” radio…
10) Portastic – I Was a Boy From School
Something about Hot Chip kind of bothers me, but this cover from Chapel Hill’s Portastic reveals that there’s a pretty good little song underneath Hot Chip’s synth-cheese.
11) The Morning Benders – Patient Patient
Pretty psyched to catch these guys at Local 506 next weekend.
12) Flying Lotus – Rickshaw
At times, Flying Lotus can get a little too out there for me.  I think it’s his more conventional beats where his talent shines through.
13) Killer Mike – Dope Boyz
My favorite rapper.  I can’t think of another rapper who’s flow is so precussive.  He’d have you bobbing your head to the beat even on an acapella.  His voice is harder than the hardest drums.
14) G-Side – G-SIDER
Yung Clova pulls a little Killer Mike on the second verse to this one.  No drums, but “Range Rova Clova” will get your head noddin’.  
15) Clipse (ft. Pharrell) – Still Got It 4 Cheap
It’s the 2009 version of “Grindin'”.  Mal and Pusha are among the few rappers who won’t get lost beneath drums that bang this hard.
16) Lil’ Wayne (ft. Swizz Beatz) – Up In This Club
It’s time for us hip-hop snobs to admit it: Swizz Beatz has become really fucking good.  
17) G-Side – Run Thingz
If they don’t play this song at Crimson Tide basketball games, then someone is dropping the ball.
18) Southeast Slim (ft. Wale) – The Bomb
(ft. Wale) is a good way to get your song on a monthly mix.  
19) Camp Lo (ft. Tyler Woods) – Gotcha
Yeah, it’s really just a re-hash of Doom’s “Red and Gold“, but I’m not mad at ’em.  Anything that makes me bust out Operation: Doomsday is good for me.
20) Erykah Badu – Honey (DJ Day Remix)
It’s the rare remix that threatens to make one of my favorite songs sound even better.  Props to Soul Sides.
21) Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – Keep On Looking (live on the Interface)
I can’t tell you how excited I am to see Sharon Jones on Valentine’s night.  That’ll just leave Chromeo and Broken Social Scene on my “bands I really like but still haven’t seen live” list.
22) The Doves – I Shall Be Free
It’s been a while since Hydrant Sippin has featured some 70’s Nigerian pop music.  Luckily With Comb & Razor has been on its game lately.

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