Tag Archives: playlist

RIP 2016 Retrospective Dance Mix: David Bowie, George Michael Prince and More

I didn’t want to celebrate 2016, nor was I excited to ring in 2017. The future looks bleak, and we lost so many greats. Especially the loss of David Bowie, which hit me harder than any celebrity death ever has, or likely ever will. So this year, instead of bringing you the best dance music of 2016, I’m offering up a retrospective dance mix comprised of musicians who died in 2016.

Honestly, I wasn’t all that hip to new music this year. I had David Bowie on repeat after his death in January, and with every unarmed black man shot by police, I put Louis Armstrong on repeat. It was a year for listening to Nina Simone and a lot more Louis Armstrong. With so many celebrity deaths, it felt like a year for looking back, not only to those who died, but to those living we might not be honoring because they have the nerve to keep breathing without releasing new albums.

If you’re looking for a retrospective mix, this one touches on most of the notable musical deaths of 2016. Download or stream it right here.

I think this tweeter put it best:


NOTE: If you are throw this on at a party, make sure you stop it on the next to the last track. The final track is a Leonard Cohen song read as a poem. It’s not remotely dance-able, and it’s grim enough to suck the cheer out of any room. But I felt it was the right tone to wrap up 2016 (on that note, lots of posts coming up about American fascism).

RIP 2016 Retrospective Dance Mix

(right-click, “save as” to download mp3)

Playlist of songs below.

cover image for 2016 retrospective playlist, shows me dancing to Too Funky by George Michael

RIP 2016: Retrospective Playlist of Artists Who Died in 2016

  1. Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
  2. Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
  3. Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
  4. David Bowie – Modern Love
  5. Prince – Seven
  6. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Natural Born Lover
  7. George Michael – Freedom 90
  8. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie cover)
  9. George Michael – Faith
  10. Leonard Cohen – Partisan (Melle Kuil deep house mix)
  11. David Bowie – Young Americans (Impeach the President remix)
  12. George Michael – Too Funky
  13. Parliament – Flashlight
  14. Prince – Kiss
  15. Vanity 7 – Nasty Girl
  16. Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (Fuzzion remix)
  17. David Bowie vs Eric Prydz – Dunproofin’ (Let’s Dance)
  18. Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows (Tiger Tooth Rerub)
  19. David Bowie – Space Oddity (Munk Machine remix)
  20. Wham! – Everything She Wants (’97 version)
  21. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Paul Kalkbrenner remix)
  22. Leonard Cohen – Democracy (as a poem, Neil Gaiman with Amanda Palmer on piano)

Dance Along to RIP 2016 with Me

Staying home on New Year’s Eve was a big deal for me. I always go dancing, mostly because its’ the one day of the year I can rally my homebody pals into going out. Like David Bowie says in “Modern Love,” “I don’t want to go out, I want to stay in, get things done.” Since I’d been meaning to try out live-streaming, I decided to ring in the new year dancing to my retrospective playlist. It’s pretty silly, and yes, I’m three sheets to the wind in this video. But if you want some company, or if you just want to have a laugh, you can dance along with me.

This playlist is a little different than the one above. I made a second draft with a few artists I’d left out the first time (Phife Dawg of Tribe Called Quest, Signe Anderson of Jefferson Airplane and Vanity of Vanity 6). Also after the first song it stopped, so I started it anew from where we left off. I am hoping to upload a dancing video with the new edit over it, but LightWorks crashes whenever I open it so it seems unlikely.

Google flagged one of the Prince songs in the video for copyright, so that section is muted, and due to the other tracks, it forces the video to have commercials…I’m beginning to see why people prefer Vevo.

Watch it on Facebook to avoid ads, muted Prince.

Post Script: No Comments

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Fan Mail for Evan Peterson: Dark Songs With Pretty Words

Evan J PetersenThis is my friend Evan Peterson. Isn’t he handsome? He runs this nifty press in Seattle, and he writes zombie poetry and other things horrific, queer and clever. He has a timid greyhound rescue dog named after a character in an Oscar Wilde story.

This is a mix tape for Evan. So the songs are a little dark or a little queer, or well-stated, just like Evan and the stuff he writes. I’ve also focused on songs that are new wave, electro, or dark wave as I know those are genres Mr. Petersen and I both favor. In honing the list, I’ve favored songs that embrace big topics like God while fearlessly examining our shadow selves, because I know Evan Petersen thinks about the heavy shit.

And this is the part where I explain the choices. Because what fun is a mix if you don’t overthink it? Continue reading Fan Mail for Evan Peterson: Dark Songs With Pretty Words

Top Ten Indie Songs of 2012: Rock

Here they are at least, the Top Ten Indie Rock Songs of 2012.

While this is a list of songs, in some ways this is also the Top Albums of 2012. Most of these bands put out more than one great song this year. But if I included more than one song by each band there would have been less bands overall, and each of these bands deserves recognition. But I swore I would never do another Best Albums list so this is what you get: the best song by my top artists of the year. It is hard to rank songs this good, so as part of weighing them, I sometimes ranked a song higher if their album had many songs that were just as worthy of being on a Best Songs List.

“Vexed” by Lord Blakely

As mentioned previously, I’ve used the phrase “indie rock” very loosely here. This blog is focused on underplayed gems, so you will find we keep it all indie here, whether it’s rock, pop, dance, hip-hop, or some genre that’s yet to be named. If you want to check out the top indie songs from other categories, they’re listed at the bottom of this post.

There’s a ton of bargains on this list; some of these full albums are selling on Amazon right now for less than four dollars.

As usual, to download the song, right-click on it and choose “Save as.”

Continue reading Top Ten Indie Songs of 2012: Rock

Top Ten Dance Songs of 2012

The Best Dance Songs of the Year

fanning my vagina for these hot dance songs

With joy I present the hottest dance songs of 2012. These have been tested on random samples of teenage girls, drag queens, and punk rock kittens. Well, actually just on me, but those folks all live in my heart. And deep within my heart, when they hear these tracks they dance.

Top Dance Songs of 2012

  1. Azealia Banks – 212
    From the June 2012 EP 1991
    This properly belongs on my hip-hop list, and you’ll find it there, but it deserves the top spot on my Best Dance Songs list. I tried to avoid duplication, but it truly deserves a high-ranking spot on both lists. I only DJed a few times in 2012, but every time I did, this was the song that people came up to me and asked who the artist was. The beat is positively primal and her fast simple rhyme scheme will have you trying to rap along. You’ll find Azealia is too fast for your tongue, so you may as well give in and let the rhythm move you.
  2. Brodinski (feat. Louisahhh!!!) – Nobody Rules The Streets
    Released June 12, 2012 on the single Bromance #3
    Those who turn their noses up at dance music often complain about the repetition. “Nobody Rules These Streets” is a perfect example of how repetition in dance music succeeds. Louisahhh!!! only has one sentence in this song, and she sings it many times, but I don’t think a single time is identical to any other time. With every measure, Brodinski brings takes the song somewhere new. This is the hottest drop of the year, for dark sexy moments where the ladies bend their legs and dip as low and slow as they can. Even though the song only has one line, “Nobody Rules These Streets” still tells a story: Louisahhh!!! is a big fish in a big, dirty, nasty pond.
    If you like this one, also check out “Tonight’s the Night” on the Top Dance Music of 2012 11-20 list.
  3. Lisa Mitchell – Neopolitan Dreams (Sound Remedy Remix)
    First posted May 24th, 2012 on Indie Shuffle
    You may have noticed that I don’t put a lot of dubstep on YNFB/FIF. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s that I like it in small, exceptional doses. I prefer it to change the mood, not to set the mood for the whole night. Whether you’re hesitant to get on board with dubstep or a longtime fan, check out Sound Remedy’s remix, as it is truly exceptional. He somehow manages to take this light and pretty pop song and make it both dubstep and glitchy 8-bit. Positively a gorgeous remix that’s bringing something new and unique to the dubstep genre.
  4. Robert DeLong – Global Concepts
    From the October 2012 EP Global Concepts
    Robert DeLong is the electronic musician I am most excited about for 2013. He makes electro with percussion that gives a nod to the Jamaican sound popularized by artists like Diplo and MIA. Maybe it’s because of the unexpected two-step pulse, or maybe it’s because he uses, like, REAL drums. “Global Concepts” is filled out with effects that sound like a rain stick. As a bonus, DeLong’s lyrics aren’t the same crap you usually get with dance music. Sure, the refrain “Did I make you fucking dance” is as good an anthem as any, but the rest of the song is filled out with lines like “After I die, I’ll re-awake / redefine what was at stake / from the hindsight of a god.” And who uses words like “entropy” in a dance song? It’s nice touches like this that make Robert Delong one of my favorite discoveries of 2012.

    NPH and Grover like the Top Ten Dance Songs of 2012
    Five More: Bring It!

    Continue reading Top Ten Dance Songs of 2012