This is the second part. Cleverly titled, you’ll notice. First part is here. It’s probably worth saying again, no real order, no real schedule. Just a lot of things I liked in 2013. Four things today.
Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap
I didn’t get this at first. At all. First few times through I just hated it.
But when it hit, it HIT. I went from skepticism to seriously listening to NOTHING ELSE for over a month. I’d love to articulate why, but I don’t know if I really can/am up to it. It’s all just so purposeful, and all so real and somehow both cool and decidedly uncool all at the same time. I mean, for god’s sake, the album ends with him thanking his dad/step-dad/not sure for a computer, and this older man tells him he’s just so proud, that Chance is doing what he’s doing. Juice has been one of my favorite songs for months now. It’s so so simple, beat is barely there, so Chance has to step the fuck up. And he’s got the juice.
Deafheaven - Sunbather
I will start by saying, I do not care if you do not like this record or think it is not metal enough. I mean it. Even if I like you personally, if your response to Deafheaven is “UGH FAKE BLACK METAL POSEURS” then fuck you because that is a BORING OPINION. This record was made by people who like black metal, screamo, my bloody valentine, and post-rock records from the late 90’s early 00’s. I don’t think they’ve ever claimed otherwise. And given that mix of things? Of fucking course I like it. It takes those things and smashes them together in a melodramatic mess that works for me more than a lot of other records have this year. See that part in The Pecan Tree where it gets all woozy and my brain just goes guh and I’m done. (first one is 1:22 or so into it, I mean come the fuck on)
Taste is not monolithic. We like different things for different reasons. This is not in any way meant to be profound, or posited as a unique observation. But it does seem to get forgotten far too often. We like things for all sorts of reasons. And some of those reasons don’t give a shit about trve kvlt.
Single Mothers - S/T 7” (this was released in 2012, but I do not care. I loved it this year.)
Let’s not get autobiographical, but hardcore was important to me, is still.
Single Mothers are from Canada. They remind me of Touche Amore sometimes (for good reason), but everything here is blown out all to hell. These are songs about religion and parties and sex and sadness and cynicism and every sound is twice as loud as it needs to be, and the screaming is somehow both not screaming and not singing, some nowhere vocalization.
"All the girls at this party
They’re into drama and Ginsburg and lemon lime Bacardi
They’re into Elliot Smith
And trying to get to know everybody”
It was just four songs, and I missed the first 7” pressing so I only have the digital version, but I listened to these songs so often this year. Nostalgia is the wrong word, I feel like I know what Single Mothers are, and that, precisely, is why I love them so.
Now baby wants a baby, baby.
Casey Anderson - Mothlight
I don’t actually know Casey, but I internet know him, so this continues the trend that my favorite music from the non song oriented world is made by people I like, even if I don’t know know them. I grabbed this based solely on that tenuous connection. I knew some school history, affiliations, he likes good coffee, etc, but I didn’t know what Mothlight would be.
Mothlight announces itself and then patiently sits with you. If I were forced to choose, I’d say side B is possibly the more interesting but side A is my favorite. Even when it gets all riled up on the b-side, there’s still this quiet insistence, this patience, not that it’s calm, to be clear, but it’s patient. Some of my favorite music has this sense. Plodding has such negative connotations, but I mean it in the best way, this steady movement, thoughtful and insistent. Mothlight feels like the outcome of very particular processes, very particular desires, and over the course of these two sides I feel like I can start to sense when these processes break down, when what was planned is interrupted, changed, broken.
The sounds are murky, static and hum and glimpses of other things here and there, but like the Brakhage film which shares its name, this murk ends up being quite beautiful. These two sides were the last thing I heard most nights the past couple of months.