We’ve covered a lot of music ground in 2012. And you loved all of it. But you read some stories more than others. Here now, our 20 most popular posts of the year, from 10 – 1. (20 – 11 here.)
A diagnosed manic-depressive, Brad Jordan has mentioned in interviews how weed helped him deal with his illness. Here then is a tribute to his “girl” Mary Jane, whose name alone makes him happy. In his rap, ‘Face highlights how she’s better than cigarettes and alcohol for relieving stress.
One of the many things experimenting with acid taught me was how to listen to music differently. Long before I heard Merzbow or Wolf Eyes, I tripped and listened closely to the droning ovens and hissing dishwashers at the Pizza Hut where I worked as a lunch cook. Six years later, when a friend turned me on to proper “noise,” it wasn’t too shocking. I also learned that some albums and some songs contain particular moments that can totally shatter and terrify; my whole world can be flipped upside down, turned inside out and burnt down to the ground with a single lyric or guitar squall or cymbal crash.
Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid Hoe” is supposed to be a diss track aimed at Lil Kim, but in the tradition of diss tracks, it’s pretty weak. Something like Jay-Z’s “Takeover” uses specific, personal information about the people involved, going so far as to propose a mathematical equation at one point. Even Lil Kim’s diss of Nicki, “Black Friday,” gathers together evidence about Nicki (she is weird, she has a large butt) and Kim (she is real, she has been around for a long time) to make its case. The diss track is a lawyerly form, accumulating exhibits and summarizing with a killer closing statement to produce a unanimous jury decision.
But anyways, as for the New York scene, there are a handful of bands that I have liked over the years. I like Warzone, Agnostic Front, the Cro-Mags. I’ve just only recently gotten into the Cro-Mags. Another thing that you have to take into consideration here is that we live in a time where you stand on the corner and all of a sudden there’s twenty other people on the corner standing there waiting to cross the street with you and they’re all in bands! Or they’re all gonna start a band. And then you gotta cross that corner to the next corner and there’s gonna be another twenty people waiting at that corner. So everybody is in a band or everybody’s playing music or waiting on tables and bussing tables to become the next Brad Pitt or the next George Clooney or what have you. So we have more and more and it’s just difficult to keep up with everybody.
7. The little running dance the kid who follows Dame does on the playground in the video at the end of Dame’s verse is perfect.
Maybe it’s all that misguided Year of the Woman chatter that dominated year-end roundups, or the slow, agonizing creep of Fashion Week, or the coming apocalypse, but hoo boy has there been a lot of terrible writing about female musicians in the past few weeks. The latest offender is the New York Times style magazine T’s cover-worthy profile of Lana Del Rey, which manages to be offensive from its first sentence and somehow gets worse from there. (There are even photos by the terminally icky Terry Richardson.) This piece inspired me to put forth four questions that writers, whether they’re male or female, whether they’re people with Tumblrs or those important enough to score offices at the New York Times building, should ask themselves before hitting “send” on their next piece about a woman making music.