nate patrin.


DON’T BLAME ME, I VOTED FOR…
October 2, 2009, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Criticism, Music | Tags: ,

So: Pitchfork posted their complete list of the top 200 albums of the 2000s. I’m neither overjoyed nor underwhelmed with the final results — I mean, Kid A/Funeral isn’t the most exciting 1-2 no matter where it shows up — but it is a pretty clear indicator of what happens when you get an aggregate of a couple dozen critics with somewhat divergent tastes: the mid-ranking consensus picks outrank the high-ranking individual favorites. I mean, I voted in this thing and I’ve got reason to be disappointed about the way some rankings panned out, even if at the end of the day it’s not really a granite-etched validation/invalidation of my taste or anyone else’s — at its core it’s really just a staff poll with some interesting blurbs. (Which, in my opinion, are worth more attention than the rankings themselves.) Anyhow, my ballot is reproduced after the jump, with the final rankings denoted in parentheses (“DNP” stands for “Did Not Place”, meaning the album in question didn’t show up in the top 200).

Continue reading



2007 – THE YEAR IN SOMETHING, PART 1: INTRO/07×100
December 17, 2007, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Criticism, Music | Tags: , ,

2007 was a good year cleverly disguised as a shitty one. Genre specialists stressed over cheeseball YouTube gimmickry, here-and-gone trends, crossover interlopers, and any advance that, good or otherwise, was a problem in that it replaced their own comfortable familiarity with someone else’s — and damn if that someone else wasn’t invariably a dirty opportunistic self-absorbed hipster. Popists and industry-watchers worried, rightfully so, about the record biz’s stagnant sales; as Idolator pointed out recently, the best-selling albums of 2007 were ones that dropped in 2006 or even 2005 (and not Late Registration 2005 – All the Right Reasons 2005). And trendspotters largely spent a bunch of time adjusting their rearviews, tossing grime and dance-punk and hyphy casually over their shoulders before cracking their knuckles in preparation of the inevitable early-to-mid-’08 declaration that dubstep is over. There’s probably more depressing, cynicism-stoking areas to cover (like Congressional politics or the Minnesota Timberwolves), but being a music geek isn’t as fun as it could be.

Unless you adapt. Five years ago I was fairly comfortable where I was, somewhere in this weird indie rap/semi-indie-mainstreamish-rock continuum that didn’t have much room for current pop or mainstream hip hop, and I wasted untold hours and brain cells and reputation points trying to justify this to people on the internet. Music seemed like something to draw borders around, and once you got inside your niche there wasn’t much point trying too hard to look past it – it’s not like there’s a chance you’d be missing something while your area of interest gets stagnant and complacent, right? (I know nobody really wants to admit that they were uncool or underdeveloped taste-wise at such a relatively recent point in time, especially if they’ve just hit their thirties, but if this makes me a new jack, at least now I’m a pretty fucking happy new jack.) Eventually I got the notion that something didn’t feel quite right, and I found a way to come to terms with it. Sometime around the end of 2002 I bought a portable CD player that could read CD-Rs of MP3s, and I put it to use by assembling a playlist of what I thought were the best tracks from 2002. Thanks to the storage capacity of the CD-R format and my impulse to cram as much into it as I could, I eventually wound up with 106 tracks, and to get to that point I wound up drawing from enough disparate sources, some of which I’d previously written off, that I grew to believe there was something to this whole eclecticism/popism thing and eventually that led to the conclusion that reactionary purism could go piss up a rope.

So to start my 2007 wrap-up, here’s the 2007 edition of what was once colloquially known on I Love Music as “CD-R Go!” and, thanks to an impulse for round-number tidiness, is now known as “x100”. (As 1950s sci-fi nomenclature has taught us, “x” = “the future”.) Since this is a playlist, it foregoes ranking and hierarchy in favor of assembling a sort of semi-continuous, logically-segueing thread that ties everything together. The #1 and #100 positions are a bit symbolic (favorite single of the year and first great single I heard this year, respectively – and what better way to end a 2007 mix than with a tongue-in-cheek ode to bourgeois ennui), and I front-loaded the first five tracks with huge epic blockbuster stuff to build some early momentum, but other than that this is largely just a way to put Earthless, Turf Talk and Kylie Minogue on the same list and still have it make sense somehow.

(Also, Pfork’s 100 top singles of the year are up. Three of my four blurbs are about tracks on this list, with the fourth being the remix of “Paper Planes” – which I decided to omit in favor of the original version for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. Also note that I changed my mind a bit between submitting my ballot and assembling this mix: “Over” is a better Kathy Diamond track than “On & On”, and I plan on submitting my Pazz & Jop/Idolator poll ballots with “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” – remembered at the time I filled out my Pfork ballot as “not too bad” and, since then, a serious grower — in place of the Nicole Willis track, which originally came out in 2005 anyways, good as it is.)

1. UGK – Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose U) (ft. OutKast) (4:17)
2. Kanye West – Can’t Tell Me Nothing (
4:31)
3. Rihanna – Umbrella (
ft. Jay-Z) (4:35)
4. Jay-Z – Ignorant Shit (
ft. Beanie Sigel) (3:42)
5. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great (
6:25)
6. Kathy Diamond – Over (
5:49)
7. Sugar & Gold – Do It Well (
4:09)
8. Chromatics – In the City (
7:08)
9.
Quiet Village – Desperate Hours (7:09)
10. Kalabrese – Hide (
ft. Guillermo Sohrya) (6:02)
11. Pantha du Prince – Saturn Strobe (
7:27)
12. Gui Boratto – Beautiful Life (
8:30)
13. Fleetwood Mac – You Make Lovin’ Fun (Trailmix Remix) (
6:24)
14. Air – Mer du Japon (Kris Menace Remix) (
4:51)
15. Daft Punk – Too Long / Steam Machine (
7:01)
16. Escort – All Through the Night (
5:26)
17. Felix Da Housecat – Like Something 4 Porno! (
3:22)
18. Diddy – Tell Me (
ft. Christina Aguilera) (DFA Club Mix) (8:17)
19. !!! – Heart of Hearts (
7:03)
20. Justice – D.A.N.C.E. (
4:34)
21. Róisín Murphy – Overpowered (
5:08)
22. Ne-Yo – Sex With My Ex (
3:39)
23. Justin Timberlake – LoveStoned (Justice Remix) (
4:45)
24. Kavinsky – Wayfarer (
4:29)
25. Digitalism – Anything New (
4:59)
26. Bonde Do Role – Dança Do Zumbi (
2:51)
27. Kylie Minogue – In My Arms (
3:32)
28. The Long Blondes –
Five Ways to End It (12″ Erol Alkan Mix) (6:07)
29. Simian
Mobile Disco – I Got This Down (4:09)
30. Beck – Timebomb (
2:52)
31. Miss Derringer – Black Tears (
3:16)
32. King Khan & the Shrines – I Wanna Be a Girl (
2:34)
33. The White Stripes – Conquest (
2:48)
34. Dungen – Mon Amour (
8:42)
35. Liars – Plaster Casts of Everything (
3:56)
36. Dan Deacon – The
Crystal Cat (3:53)
37. Radiohead – Bodysnatchers (
4:02)
38. Trans Am – 4,738 Regrets (
3:50)
39. Kelly Clarkson – Never Again (
3:37)
40.
Midnight Juggernauts – Twenty Thousand Leagues (4:26)
41. Sophie Ellis-Bextor –
China Heart (3:44)
42. Franz Ferdinand – All My Friends (
5:52)
43. Les Savy Fav – What Would Wolves Do? (
2:56)
44. Shitdisco – Disco Blood (
4:30)
45. Modest Mouse – Dashboard (
4:08)
46. The Clientele – Bookshop Casanova (
3:53)
47. Spoon – Finer Feelings (
4:54)
48. Rilo Kiley – Dreamworld (
4:45)
49. The Go – Help You Out (
3:49)
50. Gogol Bordello – Your Country (
4:15)
51. Miranda Lambert – Gunpowder & Lead (
3:11)
52. Buck 65 – Dang (
2:38)
53. Wu-Tang Clan – Take It Back (
4:12)
54. Brother Ali – Whatcha Got (
4:33)
55. Freeway – It’s Over (
3:40)
56. Rhymefest – Angry Black Man on a Elevator (ft. Lil Jon) (
4:08)
57. Dizzee Rascal – Sirens (
3:30)
58. El-P – Smithereens (Stop Cryin’) (
ft. Hangar 18) (4:32)
59. Oh No – Heavy (
1:54)
60. Prodigy – Nickel and a Nail (
2:57)
61. The Budos Band –
Chicago Falcon (2:53)
62. Ghostface Killah – Shakey Dog Starring Lolita (
ft. Raekwon) (3:09)
63. The Dynamites – Way Down South (
7:21)
64. Amerie – Hate2LoveU (
3:13)
65. Mark Ronson – Valerie (
ft. Amy Winehouse) (3:39)
66. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – I’m Not Gonna Cry (
3:27)
67. The New Mastersounds – Witness (
5:27)
68. Sean Price – Oops Upside Your Head (
ft. Steele) (2:37)
69. The Heliocentrics – Before I Die (
3:37)
70. Black Milk – Insane (
2:54)
71. Turf Talk – Back in the Day (
4:19)
72. Scarface – Never (
3:00)
73. Witchdoctor – Suicide Bomber (
4:17)
74. Devin the Dude – What a Job (
ft. Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000) (5:32)
75. M.I.A. – Paper Planes (
3:24)
76. MIMS – This Is Why I’m Hot (Remix) (ft. Junior Reid & Cham) (
3:37)
77. Messy Marv – Get on My Hype (
3:26)
78. Eve – Tambourine (
3:14)
79. Federation – Scraper 2 a Benz (ft. E-40) (
4:50)
80. Lil’
Wayne – Upgrade U (4:12)
81. Dude ‘N Nem – Watch My Feet (Radio) (
3:31)
82. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Flow Motion (
3:09)
83. Lethal Bizzle – Police on My Back (
3:19)
84. Durrty Goodz – Switching Songs Pt. 2 (The Good Ol’ Days) (
6:45)
85. Skepta – Rockstar (Poomplex Edit) (
2:34)
86. Boxcutter – Foxy (
5:02)
87. Burial – Ghost Hardware (
4:53)
88. The Bug – Skeng (Kode9 Remix) (
5:51)
89. Neil Landstrumm – Assassin Master (
5:52)
90. Plastician – Walk in the Carpark (
5:03)
91. Distance – My Demons (
4:51)
92. Nine Inch Nails – The Great Destroyer (
3:17)
93. The Field – From Here We Go Sublime (
4:09)
94. Earthless – Sonic Prayer (
21:12)
95. The Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound – The Corner Zombies (
3:44)
96. The Dynamics – Music (
3:56)
97. Built to Spill – They Got Away (
6:50)
98. The Raveonettes – Aly, Walk With Me (
5:00)
99. Blonde Redhead – My Impure Hair (
4:52)
100. The Pierces – Boring (
3:28)



30 THINGS TO DO BEFORE I CAN START BLOGGING MORE FREQUENTLY
November 20, 2007, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous | Tags: , ,

1: Rip off one of Leonard’s jokes without improving on it.
2: Finish my review of Distance’s My Demons, the best dubstep record of last late winter/early spring, for Pitchfork
3: Also review that new Common best-of, as attempted penance for mildly savaging Finding Forever (which is still terrible, sorry)
4: Somehow procure, listen to and dissect 8 Diagrams
5: Play and finish Mass Effect
6: Play and finish Super Mario Galaxy
7: Bring friends/beer over to play/finish Rock Band
8: Watch the DVD of Diva I bought in Seattle back in April
9: All kinds of crazy year-end music critic list crap
10: Get on the guest list to see M.I.A. at First Avenue
11: Come to think of it, I haven’t really finished Project Gotham Racing 4, either
12: Mull over the sad fact that I am a thirty year old man, one who considers himself somewhat worldly in a cultural sense, that still gets excited about video games
13: Finish reading the Charles Schulz book
14: Also The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
15: Also The Crying of Lot 49
16: Go through the knee-high stack of CDs I have yet to rip to my hard drive
17: Hem
18: Haw
19: Overuse strikethrough tag-assisted “most things on list crossed off are superficial/comedic tasks” gag
20: Find some way to clarify that putting a strikethrough through #10 means I actually already did get on the guest list for M.I.A. instead of meaning that I decided that I suddenly have crippling hipsterphobia and that I should stay home and listen to Real Proper Sincere Music instead, like the Smiths
21: Make fun of Smiths fans for overzealously liking a band with one good song
22: Piss off Smiths fans
23: Envy Christopher Weingarten
24: Remember that I write for him, albeit more sporadically than I should
25: Do google search for Firefox plugin that will prevent any and all “Family Guy” and “South Park”-related clips from showing up in the “Videos being watched right now” menu on YouTube
26: Listen to at least another three or four archived episodes of the Best Show on WFMU, preferably ones centered around the Gorch
27: Listen to that new Burial album front-to-back
28: Assemble all-time team of washed-up baseball players who were the shit when I was in junior high/high school*
29: Drink some beer
30: Overcome aversion to churning out pointless filler

*THE STARTING LINEUP:

C: Benito Santiago
1B: Kevin Maas
2B: Chuck Knoblauch
3B: Howard Johnson
SS: Walt Weiss
LF: Kevin Mitchell
CF: Roberto Kelly
RF: Darryl Strawberry
DH: Cecil Fielder

SP: Dwight Gooden
SP: Scott Erickson
SP: Pat Hentgen
SP: Jack McDowell
CL: Bobby Thigpen

MGR: Cito Gaston