One Hundred Seventy-Six.
Monday, 2013.12.30, 10:02 AM CST.
soundtrack of 2012.
Current Mood: Not quite sure I'm
ready for 2013 to be over.
Current Scent: Sentiment by Escada.
I know what you're probably thinking: If it's the end of December
2013, why the hell am I posting something called "the soundtrack
That's a good question. Basically, I meant to do this last December,
then I held off until January... then I kept holding off and holding
off, and now I find myself with a "Soundtrack of 2013" post
that I want to put up as well, but I didn't want to post it until writing
the 2012 post... ARRRRGH.
Procrastication sucks sometimes.
Anyway, I've been getting into the habit of putting together a "soundtrack"
for each year of my life as I go through them. So, if I find myself
absolutely loving a song - even if the song happens to be an
older track that I just discovered, or an older track that somehow achieves
a really special significance - then it is likely to go onto my soundtrack
for that year. Currently, I limit my soundtracks to fifteen songs...
so even some of the songs I really, really like won't make it.
then arrange the songs in the order that I think would be most appropriate.
If there were people watching my life play out the entire year round,
and they listened to the CD, would they remember why each track made
a very special, personal thing... but each year, I plan on sharing a
new "soundtrack" with you, and explaining why each song made
without further ado, here's my personal soundtrack of 2012:
Lana Del Rey - "Summertime Sadness."
2. Depeche Mode - "Angel."
3. Chrome Pony + Crystal Vision - "Carry the Load."
4. Bruno Mars - "Grenade."
5. Tim Berg - "Seek Bromance."
6. Florence + the Machine - "Dog Days are Over."
7. Joey Fehrenbach - "Edison Cylinder."
Purity Ring - "Obedear."
9. Black Grass - "Don't Leave Me This Way."
10. Taio Cruz - "Hangover."
11. Phaeleh + Soundmouse - "Afterglow."
12. Christina Aguilera - "Your Body."
13. VNV Nation - "Gratitude."
14. Radiohead - "Videotape."
Lana Del Rey - "Cola."
here's why each track was so darned special...
Lana Del Rey - "Summertime Sadness."
could almost just as easily have been her debut single, "Born To
Die." As I posted
way back in January, I chose the Born To Die album as my
"album of the year" for 2012 - a choice that I figured would
probably shock and/or appall some of my fans.
first heard the title track on the first day of January of that year,
and I was immediately captivated. Once I heard the full album,
though... "Summertime Sadness" quickly became my favourite
LDR track. (This was before the track was ever announced as a
single, and long before any of the commercial remixes of the
track were released. I fell in love with the original verison.)
Depeche Mode - "Angel."
October 2012, Depeche Mode let loose this monster of a track to their
fans... playing it at a press conference, then putting a video online
of what many of their followers (including myself) believed was probably
a raw, early version. DM didn't even give the title for it at
As it turned out, that was the finished product, and as revealed
in the tracklist of their spectacular March 2013 album Deltra Machine,
the song was indeed simply called "Angel."
The track really got me excited about Depeche Mode again after the enormous
disappointments of the Sounds of the Universe album and its
of the Universe." Plus, I had discussions about the track
with my estranged friend Tiff from TU, which (almost a year later!)
led to us amazingly reuniting
to attend a DM concert.
Chrome Pony + Crystal Vision - "Carry the Load."
late night while driving, I had the radio on and I stumbled onto a broadcast
from "The Spy" radio,
which we couldn't usually catch in Tulsa. They were playing lots
of great stuff, but one song that really grabbed me was this track that
I had never heard before called "Carry the Load." As
it ended up, it was a collaboration between two Oklahoma-based musical
acts - Chrome Pony and Crystal Vision. I still get the song stuck
in my head these days. I would love to produce a remix of it someday.
05/08/2014: This journal entry was written a few months before
I found out that Steven "Chrome Pony" Battles was a culturally-insensitive
douchebag. Although I won't change this tracklisting, I want to
make it clear that I no longer support Chrome Pony nor any other Steven
Battles project. Incidentally, this is the only really good Chrome
Pony track that I've ever heard... and that's most likely due to Crystal
Vision's involvement. I have nothing against Crystal Vision.
However, as far as I'm concerned, Chrome Pony blows. Thanks.]
Bruno Mars - "Grenade."
admit... even though I'm a DJ, I have, over the past several years,
had a tendency to avoid a lot of "current" pop music because
so much of it is just crap. However, when I watched the
"Grenade" video for the first time (and at that time heard
the track for the first time, even though the track was fairly old at
that point), I loved it. I think I cried a bit. It was an
absolutely gorgeous pop ballad, and it hit a chord because I had been
in that "Grenade" frame of mind before - willing to suffer
practically any pain for someone who would never carry me in the same
Tim Berg - "Seek Bromance."
kind of this unspoken rule in the DJ community: If you're a DJ,
you're supposed to hate Avicii (Tim Berg), and you're especially supposed
to hate his song "Levels." The funny thing is that I
had been out of the "modern music" loop for so long, I had
MISSED it when "Levels" was overplayed all over the place,
so I didn't get burned out on it like so many other DJs did.
So, when I finally got around to hearing "Levels,"
I was nuts about it. I then checked out Berg's other work, and
found his incredible "Bromance," then "Seek Bromance,"
which was essentially a combination of "Bromance' with Amanda Wilson's
vocals from the Samuele Sartini track "Love U Seek."
I absolutely loved both "Bromance" and "Seek Bromance."
The "Seek Bromance" video was fun, but bittersweet.
It reminded me a lot of the youth that I missed... except that (SPOILER
ALERT!) I never went into the desert and did drugs, nor did I ever have
a threesome with another dude.
Incidentally, if you ever look up the video... make sure to track down
the director's cut! Also, track down the video for the instrumental
"Bromance," with the running guy. I won't say anything
further about it here... but it's AWESOME. Completely different
from the "Seek Bromance" video and a blast to watch.
Florence + the Machine - "Dog Days are Over."
Florence, Florence, Florence... I can never really decide if I
like Florence + the Machine or not, on an overall basis. I don't
have anything against them, but a lott of their work just leaves me
I got all kinds of wacky about "The Dog Days Are Over" - especially
once I got my hands on an amazing club remix of it. The track
is just so much more driving than a lot of the other Florence
almost included my other Florence favourite "My Boy Builds Coffins"
instead... but decided that "Dog Days Are Over" was a more
worthy part of 2012.
Joey Fehrenbach - "Edison Cylinder."
researching music for my downtempo event "The Great Gypsy Chillout
2," I found the album Don't Wake Me by Joey Fehrenbach,
listened to a preview of the instrumental masterwork "Edison Cylinder,"
and then went on afterward to forget exactly what it sounded like.
week or two later, in my head, I kept hearing a portion of a song repeating
in my head... but couldn't figure out what song it was. I just
knew that it was beautiful and somewhat haunting.
ended up revisiting the "Don't Wake Me" album, checking out
the preview of "Edison Cylinder" once again, and realizing
where I'd heard this melody that I kept hearing in my brain. I
bought the album shortly thereafter and played the track as part of
my set at the "Chillout." :)
Purity Ring - "Obedear."
remember looking at music on Amazon one day and stumbling onto the Purity
Ring album Shrines. I thought the cover looked intriguing,
so I went ahead and listened to a couple of tracks on it. I just
melted - especially when I heard "Obedear," a gorgeous, multi-layered
slab of downtempo electronica awesomeness. I ended up buying the
album on turquoise vinyl and playing two Shrines tracks at
"The Great Gypsy Chillout 2."
Black Grass + Dominique Noiret - "Don't Leave Me This Way."
even further of "The Great Gypsy Chillout 2," I discovered
this one while researching new music to buy for the event as well.
I wouldn't have thought of taking the classic disco track (popularized
by Thelma Houston, then later by the Communards) and converting it into
a dark, somber, plaintive downtempo number. That's what Black
Grass managed to do... and they did a remarkable job.
Taio Cruz + Flo Rida - "Hangover."
did a LOT of pop music research in the early part of the year for my
performance at Tulsa Pride 2012. I didn't know much about Taio
Cruz, but I found that I really enjoyed a lot of his tracks, including
"Dirty Picture" (with Ke$ha, for whom I have found an unusual
amount of respect), "Dynamite," and this one, "Hangover."
The song got stuck in my head repeatedly and infectiously. The
music video, while an obvious ripoff of the feature film The Hangover,
was still rather fun, mainly due to hilarious ex-"Mad TV"
comedian Bobby Lee.
Phaeleh + Soundmouse - "Afterglow."
ago, my esteemed colleague DJ TMJ told me about this song called "Afterglow,"
and he probably gave me a link to the video, and I probably watched
it and thought it was great.
Then, I moved it somewhere in the back of my consciousness. Okay,
I might have forgotten it.
Later, I was doing research for "The Great Gypsy Chillout 2"
and stumbled onto this amazing song called "Afterglow" by
Phaeleh and Soundmouse. :) Around the same time, Tim suggested
the track as a recommendation for the event... and I basically had to
admit to myself that I'd somehow forgotten it at some point.
Christina Aguilera - "Your Body."
not usually a huge Christina Aguilera fan. I like her a lot better
than Britney Spears (with whom she is often compared), and I don't particularly
dislike anything that Aguilera has done... but I've never really
been all geeked about her.
Well, one day in 2012, I was on YouTube and Aguilera's "Your Body"
was suggested as a recommended video. I had a tiny bit of curiosity
and clicked the video... and I was surprisingly impressed. It
was one of the best pop/dance tracks I'd heard in a long, long time
- and it got stuck in my head like mad!
revisited the track while writing this blog post, and indeed, I found
that I was still crazy about the song.
VNV Nation - "Gratitude."
a completely different note... In early 2012, I was fortunate
enough to see VNV Nation perform live for my second time in Tulsa,
at the IDL Ballroom. I was fortunate enough to meet Ronan
Harris of VNV Nation for the second time, and he was incredibly
was one of my favourite tracks from their latest album at the
time - an almost joyous ode to the miserable people who had made
things difficult for Harris over the years and forced him to persevere.
Radiohead - "Videotape."
yet another one that I found out about while doing research for "The
Great Gypsy Chillout 2." I'd been a casual fan of Radiohead
for years, and I had a few of their albums, but I had never done a lot
of really in-depth research about their music. I started checking
into tracks from their In Rainbows album, and I listened to
It was quite possibly the saddest song that I'd heard in over five years,
and definitely one of the saddest songs I'd ever heard in my life.
I seriously wept. I listened to it again a little bit later and
had the same reaction. It took me a few times before I finally
could listen to the song without at least a tear or two.
its incredible degree of sadness... it's beautiful, in a raw, unpolished
kind of way. Really, really beautiful.
Lana Del Rey - "Cola."
will always remind me of November/December 2012, hanging out with my
old friend Pennsy (aka "Little
Miss 80s"), who has since moved far away.
though Del Rey released her major-label debut Born To Die in
January, she had enough material by the fall to release a shorter collection
of new music, Paradise. "Cola" was one of the
more controversial tracks, mainly due to the content of the first line
of the song which I won't repeat here. :)
figured that if my 2012 had a soundtrack, it would be great if it had
Lana Del Rey like "bookends" around the other tracks.
Much like "Summertime Sadness" at the beginning, this one
had other LDR tracks that almost could have replaced it. "Gods
+ Monsters" was another Paradise track that easily could
have filled this #15 spot.
right, there you have it... I'll post the 2013 soundtrack momentarily.
[Edited 2014-02-07 10:39 AM: Somehow, I originally published this
list and completely left off #7, "Edison Cylinder."