“I’m sooo sad. I don’t even think I can go to Spencer’s party…” Frisky and Mannish
So, 2012. What were the really neat things that were cause for a reel around the kitchen with my shirt off with the windows open while cooking up something spicy on a hot day? Well… I went to New York. Twice. (Thanks to Michael. Shout outs to Sam and to Koos.) I went to the Olympics (thanks, Mike). I turned 40. I got a bit depressed. (Sorry to M, M, I, J and J – all of whom put up with me when I have been mean.) Some friends of mine had kids. The Queen celebrated something. Blah blah blee blee bloo bloo. Who cares about all of that? What was I WEARING?
ARGUABLY THE BEST T-SHIRT OF 2012: well, the Perfume Genius super-cute, curious-looking cat pic was pretty much a shoo-in until I got a Lovely Eggs T-shirt featuring a picture of Holly and David standing in a bin. I’ll just repeat that in screaming caps: STANDING IN A BIN. Best. Band. T-Shirt. Ever. (This week.)
ARGUABLY BEST BOOK I READ IN 2012: When I Was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten. Don’t be put off by the title (as I was, for ages). This is so funny and truthful and I was a wreck towards the end of it. (Thanks, Andrew, for the recommend!)
ARGUABLY BEST GIGS OF 2012: Chain and the Gang and Trash Kit on the same bill at Kraak, Frisky and Mannish at the Lowry made me feel weirdly like I was celebrating my birthday six months after it had happened and every Lovely Eggs gig that happened anywhere in the country was undoubtedly the best for everyone that saw it. *air punch*
ARGUABLY MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2013: It’s a Manchester International Festival year so let’s hope that’s good (again), I’ve got Ian Svenonius’s new book on pre-order (YES!)… and Trash Kit are back, back, BACK… *explodes leaving a pair of smoking, Mallard-green Underground creepers and a cloud of purple glitter*
1. Octan Hudson Mohawke
2. Telescope (Submerse Remix) Yoshino Yoshikawa feat. Karin
3. Bacon Pancakes Song (Gunter the Evil Penguin Remix) Jake the Dog
4. Katy On A Mission (Captain Planet Remix) Katy B
5. A La Modeliste (Bonobo Remix) Zigaboo Modeliste feat. Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Mark Ronson, Trombone Shorty and members of The Dap Kings
6. A Thing Like This Friends
7. Daylight Sky Frankie Rose
8. Crystalized Melody’s Echo Chamber
9. Dies in 55 Trailer Trash Tracys
10. Got To Let Go Charlotte Gainsbourg
11. Bad Religion Frank Ocean
12. Hood Perfume Genius
13. How Are You?? Soko
14. Made In Chelsea 1 Frisky and Mannish
15. If I Only Had A Brain Chain and The Gang
16. Do You Remember Being a Roller? Hunx
17. Number 10 Giuda
18. Purple Rain Big Daddy
19. Watermelons The Lovely Eggs
20. I Don’t Know What To Do (Fabian Remix, Magic Edit) The Magician feat. Jeppe
21. You Can’t Run From My Love Munk feat. Peaches
22. Put Your Collar Up Magic Arm
23. Sunshine Shonen Knife
24. Colours Ashley Eriksson
[1. Octan Hudson Mohawke] It’s weird now I’ve been doing these mixtapes for a few years now and there’s beginning to be a little bit of a narrative. Who knew that HudMo (who made his first appeared in a Things… To Disagree About in 2009) would end up working with Kanye and that last year’s pop crush The Death Set would end up flogging Google’s Chromebook.
[2. Telescope (Submerse Remix) Yoshino Yoshikawa feat. Karin] Runcorn to Tokyo! Submerse is this year’s HudMo. I’m sure he’ll be doing something incredible in two years. He’s, like, 24 and he’s created a whole new genre of music – J-Garage – by putting loops of speeded up J-Pop over British 2-step beats. Sounds a bit rubbish when I read it but, when I hear it, I feel like I’ve got sunshine coming out of my eyes. I have to wear sunglasses to stop other people getting burnt.
[3. Bacon Pancakes Song (Gunter the Evil Penguin Remix) Jake the Dog] This is 1 of only 2 Adventure Time-themed tracks included here. If you hate housey-housey music then count yourselves double dog lucky that I didn’t pick Ancient Tandem Psychic War Elephant by Cold Blank (YouTube it, Adventure Time fans – by which I mean everyone). For anyone still watching boring live action shows about cop procedurals and would-be terrorists, there’s this wonderfully imaginative show on Cartoon Network from which some people take bits of dialogue and mix them into songs. One of my favourite things about this mix (apart from the way everything just looks a little brighter to me when I hear those opening piano chords) is one of the comments on this video on YouTube. Stabz McGee says, “I am aÒ 65 year old man. This is the best thing I have heard in my life.” (A 65-year-old man called “Stabz” who loves Adventure Time? He sounds ber-rilliant!) One last thing before I get off the subject but how bad can a show be when one of the characters speaks as though he is reading out the sleeve notes from a lost Frankie Goes To Hollywood record? The old Royal Tart Toter says, “This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively but, if sweetness can win – and it can – then I will still be here tomorrow to high five you yesterday my friend. Peace.” *swoons with joy*
[4. Katy On A Mission (Captain Planet Remix) Katy B] I’m not too proud to admit that I was way late in boarding the Katy B train. I was probably sitting in a “value” café listening to Kreayshawn when it left. The great thing about this remix is that it’s just as good as the original yet completely different. I love the words though. They are evocative and clever.
[5. A La Modeliste (Bonobo Remix) Zigaboo Modeliste feat. Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Mark Ronson, Trombone Shorty and members of The Dap Kings] Another year, another Erykah Badu song. She’s been all over the place lately. I can leave her Rocket Juice and the Moon and The Flaming Lips hook ups but I will very much take her work with Robert Gasper as well as this song – which you can download free, completely legally, thanks to a car manufacturer. Altogether now, “Yo’ mama don’t wear no drawers-uh, we was there when she took ‘em off-uh…” – that’s my gurl right there!
[6. A Thing Like This Friends] Friends is a great, droll name for a band from Brooklyn. How vexing that I was in New York when they were in Manchester. Thanks, “Friends”.
[7. Daylight Sky Frankie Rose] Also from Brooklyn, a former Dum Dum and Vivian Girl, signed to Slumberland Records. Do I have to say more? If Frank Ocean was Summer and The Lovely Eggs were Autumn and Winter then Frankie was Spring. I was so excited to see her at the two greatest music venues in the World – The Deaf Institute and The Brudenell Social Club. At Leeds I got a song dedicated to me (I don’t care if that sounds like bragging, Frankie is the Queen of Indie and I got knighted) and learnt a new and oh-so-useful word – hangry. You can work it out.
[8. Crystalized Melody’s Echo Chamber] Melody Prochet is the girlfriend of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker (a former star of Things… To Disagree About, playing a second-best Gig of the Year back in 2009 – pipped to the post by The xx supporting Micachu and the Shapes). Melody’s album basically sounds like Tame Impala but with a better singer.
[9. Dies in 55 Trailer Trash Tracys] Worst band name ever? Still like this, though, and enjoyed seeing them at an embryonic Kraak – no stage! Crap sound! Only one toilet! (It’s better now. Trust.) This is the now legendary (in my small book of legends) five-pounds-to-get-in-or-free-if-you-like-us-on-Face-Book night when me and Simon made the promoters’ jaws drop by saying we were happy to pay because, we’re not on FaceBook!
[10. Got To Let Go Charlotte Gainsbourg] I have a crush on Charlotte’s voice. It’s a strange mix of comforting and unsettling – like the dusty clag at the bottom of a cup of hot chocolate. I include this because I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a bit of Charlotte sometimes. Heh.
[11. Bad Religion Frank Ocean] Honestly, I know y’all think I’m indier-than-thou but I am so not. It’s a really nice feeling to like something that is actually popular. It gives me hope. Makes me feel like I’m living in the right times. It hasn’t happened for a while, though. The last time was with the first Arctic Monkeys album and the second Amy Winehouse album… in 2006! I started to write something about Frank Ocean and ended up writing two and a half pages – so let me tell you in four words how and why I like him: the new Amy Winehouse. His (and her) lyrics deal with youthful drug-taking, ill-starred relationships, morality and mortality with a sense of irony, smart pop-culture references, a neat line in visceral images in relation to heart break and a humbling sense of perspective (being laughed at by the fates in Amy’s case, disappearing into the ocean in Frank’s). Sheesh, what a patoot! Pretentious much?
[12. Hood Perfume Genius] Here in 2010 and back again in 2012. Short and perfectly formed. The song is too. “I tick like a bomb…” [13. How Are You?? Soko] Like many good pop stars Soko sounds like a difficult person – sophisticated yet adolescent at the same time (those two teenage-angst-y question marks). But, also like a good pop star, she can express a universal truth with total originality. What a great idea to write a song about how difficult it is, sometimes, to answer the simple question, “How are you??” I love it when the music drops out, as though she is thinking about whether or not to answer honestly, and then she says, “I am fine.”
[14. Made In Chelsea 1 Frisky and Mannish] Every. Line. Of. This. Makes. Me. Laugh. So. So. Much. “Millie! Niii!” I want so much to include more Frisky and Mannish here but you’ll just have to go and see them. Their Lana del Ray spoof almost made me throw up with laughter.
[15. If I Only Had A Brain Chain and The Gang] Hey! It’s Things… to Disagree About regulars Chain and the Gang with their best album yet! I would start quoting the lyrics to this only I’d end up writing out the whole song. Their latest record In Cool Blood is steeped in drollery (from the title down) at the same time as being indefinably funky. To be so smart and make it look this spontaneous and fun is true genius.
[16. Do You Remember Being a Roller? Hunx] What’s this? Classic Brix-era The Fall? No, wait a minute! It’s Things… to Disagree about regular Hunx with his best album yet! How can anyone not love an album called Hairdresser Blues? Do I even need to say that it comes with a FREE COMB?! Hunx is an idol to me. I can’t even think of him without seeing something like gold cardboard stars through Top of the Pops starburst filters circa 1979 turning in my head. [Number 10 Giuda] It’s not what you think. They’re Italian and the singer’s black. The idea of being from a European style capital that isn’t exactly famous for it’s pubs and then wearing ugly clothes and playing pub rock is just so fun. The album finally gets released in the UK on Christmas Day-ish. On Damaged Goods. Have I sold it to you yet? (FYI: it’s pronounced ‘jew-da’.)
[17. Purple Rain Big Daddy] I am visualising my imaginary early-Prince-fan-club-membership-card burning as I confide to you that Purple Rain is one of my least favourite Prince songs. It’s certainly my least favourite song on that album. It’s probably all you need to know if I tell you my favourite part is when someone goes “Ow!” at 2’45. For ages I thought it would be amazing to make a documentary that tracked down the person who “Ow”s on Purple Rain until I realised (dur) that it’s probably just someone in the band. “Oh, boy!” Aside from being fantastically amusing, this cover only lasts two and a half minutes. So it’s short, sweet and never gets to the “Ow”.
[18. Watermelons The Lovely Eggs] So hard to choose one Eggs’ song! Many of them are so brilliantly funny while others are curiously profound and all are catchier than Fuzzy Felt. But I worry if I choose a funny song then you will think of them as a joke band. But they are not. They are simply. The. Band. Of. The. Year. The band of forever-now. I could happily watch them play live every night of the week. You just know during the first few seconds of this song that it is going to be mufftotally fuzztastic. Like a giggle bubbling up. Like falling without hurting yourself. The way you can hear the smile in the corners of Holly’s mouth. And, sorry, but… kazoo solo! KAZOO SOLO!!! I love them so hard that it almost goes to opposite of love and I feel like crying. I’m not even exaggerating!
[19. I Don’t Know What To Do (Fabian Remix, Magic Edit) The Magician feat. Jeppe]
[20. You Can’t Run From My Love Munk feat. Peaches] For goodness sake, I have to write less or the font size is going to be so small only ants will be able to read this. And so I’m conflating Peaches and Jeppe. It just wouldn’t be a mixtape from me without one or both of these artists. I don’t know anything about Munk or The Magician but what’s amazing is the huge, 80s-sounding voices that both Jeppe and Peaches have pulled out of their lungs lately! When Peaches starts singing it’s like a Finn punch to the solar plexus – boof!
[21. Put Your Collar Up Magic Arm] Lovely bedroom music from Manchester. Album out soon on Switchflicker!
[22. Sunshine Shonen Knife] The inclusion of this is my attempt to make up for the fact that I didn’t pay full attention to it when hearing them play it live this year. As soon as I got the new record I was, like, “Aw. That’s my favourite song on the album!” It’s not like I went for a wee during it, but I might have been thinking, “I hope they play Cookie Day!” *Looks down, bites lower lip, looks back up again*
[23. Colours Ashley Eriksson] Here’s your other Adventure-Time-themed song. Nothing to do with the show except Ashley sings the song that plays over closing credits. This is from her latest solo album on K Records – also home to Chain and the Gang. You should deffers take a look at their website! Just sayin’!
With love from Bunny aka the Pop Police – finding it impossible to choose favourites since 1972
The rules I set for myself when making my Things… To Disagree About compilations are, fairly obviously, only as many tracks as I can fit on one CD as AAC files in iTunes (this does mean some quality stuff gets left off). And the ‘sleeve notes’ have to fit on two sides of A4 and still be legible-ish. I try for 10 point font size and usually end up at about 8.5. I don’t make a rule that ALL the songs have to have been released in the corresponding year as, sometimes, songs get released at the end of the previous year and so only make it onto the next year’s compilation – but I do try and include as much new stuff as possible. The Lovely Eggs song was from 2010 but the reason for that was timing. I needed a short-ish song and my favourite songs off Wildlife are all a bit longer (e.g. Allergies) or just bonkers (i.e. Don’t Patent That Shoe). Much as I LOVE Don’t Patent That Shoe, I couldn’t help but think I might win more people over to the Egg-side with the more… ahem… conventional Watermelons.
Bunny is a kids’ TV writer who has produced scrips for shows ranging from Octonauts and Rastamouse to House of Anubis and a brief stint on the briefly reanimated Crossroads where his references to Daphne and Celeste were not appreciated. His favourite TV show ever is The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack. He also loves jelly sweets, LEGO, Harris Tweed and rolling around on the floor and calling it dancing.