The Smoking Cupcake presents…Volume 16 (2012)
1. Midnight City – M83: M83 have been making killer records for some time now – having just recently released the audacious (yet completely awesome) double album Hurry Up, We’re Waiting. I thought those were extinct…and if you think “Midnight City” sounds vaguely like it belongs on a John Hughes film soundtrack, that’s because everything they do sounds like it belongs on a John Hughes film soundtrack.
2. Journal of Ardency – Class Actress: I know nothing about Class Actress other than this is a slice of the purest electro-funk I’ve heard in a long time.
3. Avalon (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Mix) – Roxy Music: The Cupcake has been listening to almost nothing other than Roxy Music for weeks now. I love it all – from their early 1970’s art-glam-proto-punk beginning, to their muzak-fueled end. This remix, taken from their swan song album of the same name, adds a nice element of creepiness to what orginally sounded like an outtake from a Christopher Cross recording session (which, I suppose, is creepy in its own right, just not intentionally creepy…)
4. Solid Gold – The Golden Filter: More electro-funk, it’s just about foxes this time. And it sounds like Blondie.
5. Circles – The Soft Moon: This track is otherworldly (and, frankly, a little on the scary side of the spectrum). It could have easily been featured on John Carpenter’s masterful soundtrack to Escape from New York…
6. Bicycle – Memory Tapes: Dayve Hawk is Memory Tapes (and was formerly Memory Cassette, Weird Tapes and, probably most famously, Hail Social). On “Bicycle,” Hawk weaves in and out of several different loops, only to cap it off in its third minute with a superb, shimmering guitar creshendo. Also otherworldly, but for dramatically different reasons.
7. Love Fade – Tamaryn: Tamaryn sounds a lot like Mazzy Star. Thankfully, she also apparently likes RIDE and My Bloody Valentine. Regardless, this is an achingly (and I mean achingly) beautiful song.
8. Dead Like You – Wax Idols: Girl pop-punk a la Vivian Girls…
9. Cloudbusting – Wild Nothing: Good music to chill out to…
10. Looking In – L.A. Vampires & Zola Jesus: Avant garde would be one way to describe L.A. Vampires & Zola Jesus. Frightening would be another. Adjectives aside, this is, without a doubt, the most badass music I’ve listened to in a long, long time. Consider me a lifelong fan.
10. The Grand Deception – OMD: Yes, that OMD, but don’t be nervous…For the unitiated, before OMD started their “parade of crap” (which I carbon date as anything after, say, 1983’s Dazzle Ships), they could have easily been confused as experimental. “The Grand Deception” illustrates OMD at their artistic best.
12. Chinatown – Destroyer: I haven’t listened to any of Destroyer’s other output, but from what I understand, he’s something of a shapeshifter, changing styles with successive records. This caught my ear because of the obvious nod to Roxy Music’s elevator music period (see: Flesh + Blood, Avalon). “Chinatown” is one of those rare tracks that is so phony and throw away, it’s nothing less than superb.