The Best Music of 2023

Yes, late October might be a bit early to sum the year in music, but I feel like doing it today anyway so you’ll take what you’re given!

Georgia – Thomas Headon
I absolutely hated this the first time I heard it, but it somehow managed to worm its way into my head. Maybe it’s the baseline?

Renaissance (The White Lotus) – Tiësto
I’ve never watched even a single episode of The White Lotus – I barely even know what it’s about and have very little interest in finding out – but this remix of the theme is amazing (even if it does remind me of Age of Empires memes…).

Fall At Your Feet – Peking Duk featuring Julia Stone
I think Peking Duk missed a trick leaving out the “finger of blame” bit, but that aside this is a great dance version of the Crowded House classic.

Hollywood Baby – 100 Gecs
The outright insanity of 100 Gecs was my musical revelation of the year. I could probably put every track from 10,000 Gecs on this list, but I will restrain myself to Hollywood Baby, the crunchy guitar and distorted vocals of which do weird but highly enjoyable things to my autistic brain. It could easily be my top track of the year.

Coming of Age – Maisie Peters
Maisie Peters has been hitting it out of the park this year to the extent that I could probably do the same for The Good Witch as for 10,000 Gecs, but I’ll pick out Coming of Age, for the Iliad line.

Bad Idea Right? – Olivia Rodrigo
Very catchy and more fun than Vampire (which is also one of the year’s best).

1×1 – Ninajirachi & Ravenna Golden
There’s nowhere enough ominous dance music these days.

Gila Monster – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Trying to categorise King Giz is an exercise in futility. This is probably metal of some kind, although it also quite resembles whatever the hell Darkey and the Keys were up to a few years back.

Kill[h]er – Stand Atlantic
And staying on the heavier side, here’s Stand Atlantic

Great Southern Land – Mitch Tambo
Icehouse’s Great Southern Land is one of the greatest Australian tracks of all time. Mitch’s version in Gamilaraay puts it in the shade. If things had gone differently on October 14th this could have been the party track of the year.

Ray of Solar – Swedish House Mafia
I have no idea what Swedish House Mafia are on about, but I like it!

Hot To Go – Chappell Roan
80s style synths, catchy tune, great vocals, spelling – what’s not to like about this song? Although I do tend to find myself singing “H O T T O-T-O” which I fully blame on Ross and Carrie.

I might add some more songs to this over the next few months, or I might not. Stay tuned!

Hottest and Warmest 100 Round Up

Well, I didn’t do a complete, song-by-song analysis of the Hottest 100 this year, but I did tally up the results, compare them to the Warmest 100 and worked out some numbers – mostly because I’m a terrible nerd and can’t help myself.

OK, so there were 15 songs that the Warmest 100 predicted to get into the countdown, but didn’t. The highest numbered failed prediction was Red Light Green Light by Dune Rats, which was predicted for number 70, but actually turned up at 133, 63 places lower.

This was the second worst prediction of the Warmest 100. The worst was No Waves by Fidlar, which was predicted for 81 and actually came in at 113 places lower at 194. Wow. Now that’s what you call a statistical anomaly!

The worst performance of a song that ended up in the countdown was Without You by Dillon Francis which was predicted for 37 and came in at 99, 62 places lower.

Of the 15 songs that weren’t predicted to come in, but did, the highest rated was Lanterns by Birds of Tokyo which ended up at position 22.

The average difference between predicted position and actual position was 18.32 places. If the songs that fell outside of the top 100 are excluded, this falls to 14.59. For the top twenty the average was 8.4 places, for the top ten 4.8 places, and the top five 4.4 places.

The song that most exceeded its prediction was Southern Son by Boy and Bear. Predicted for 92 it came in at 41, a full 51 places ahead.

Four songs came in exactly where predicted. White Noise by Disclosure (69), Arabella by the Arctic Monkeys (18), Strong by London Grammar (10) and Riptide by Vance Joy – taking out the countdown at number 1.

The songs I voted for came in as follows…

* Hey Geronimo – Lazer Gun Show Failed to Show
* Major Lazer – Jessica – 74
* Touch Sensitive – Pizza Guy – 38
* Chvrches – Gun – 37
* The Wombats – Your Body is a Weapon – 25
* Birds of Tokyo – Lanterns – 22
* Lorde – Tennis Court – 12
* Haim – The Wire – 11
* Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful – 7
* Daft Punk – Get Lucky – 3

Overall pretty good, and the Arctic Monkeys didn’t take out the top spot, so even better! 😀

Happy New Annual Cycle!

No musical Tuesday this week, it’s New Year’s Eve for cryin’ out loud!

(And you should have got your fix of music with my last post)

I’m tired out after a week of Christmas festivities and so will most likely be having an early night, but the rest of you bright young things have a fun and safe night!

Roll on 2014!

(If you have a minute or two to spare, visit Wikipedia’s 1914 page to see what happened a century ago.)

Hottest 100 – 2013

It’s that time of the year again when I vainly try and hold on to both any kind of musical relevance and my rapidly vanishing youth by voting in Triple J’s Hottest 100.

I went into assembling my shortlist without any great enthusiasm. Looking back, 2013 seemed like a rather flat year for music – I couldn’t think of any real standout songs. But once I trawled through the lists I discovered a surprising number of sleepers that – while not mind-blowingly awesome – were good, solid tracks. There were enough of these that I had some real trouble winnowing them down to only 10. Nonetheless after much girding of loins and grinding of teeth I produced the following list which has been duly submitted as of this morning…

Tennis Courts – Lorde

There’s an excellent chance that Royals by New Zealand’s own Lorde is going to take the number one spot, which is annoying as I can’t stand it. Tennis Courts though is a great song, and popular enough that may well come in at around the 20-30 mark (shame the video clip is so rubbish).

Young & Beautiful – Lana Del Rey

Does anyone actually like Lana Del Rey anymore? I’m certainly not a fan, apart from this song, and I can’t even explain why I like it so much. It’s certainly nothing to do with it’s association with The Great Gatsby, a movie that I haven’t bothered to see.

Lanterns – Birds of Tokyo

Lanterns is kind of embarrassing because its sounds like something written to capture the “Class of 2013” demographic. You know, like Friends Forever or Good Riddance. Sadly I’m a sucker for that kind of rubbish.

Jessica – Major Lazer

This song is a real sleeper. It didn’t do anything for me the first time I heard it, but then couldn’t get it out of my head. Smoothly insidious.

The Wire – HAIM

Oh Lord, how to pick just one HAIM track? They’re all so good! After much torment I narrowed it down to either The Wire or Don’t Save Me and The Wire got through by a hair’s breadth. Go and listen to HAIM everyone! Now!

Your Body Is A Weapon – The Wombats

The Wombats just keep on delivering – presumably via their backwards facing pouches. Who’d have ever thought that a bunch of cubic-poo producers would make such great music?

Lazer Gun Show – Hey Geronimo

This makes me think of good old Bill Shakespeare and his full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But it’s really good sound and fury!

Pizza Guy – Touch Sensitive

A laid back electronic track that sounds like it escaped from the set of Miami Vice. The TV series that is, not the movie.

Get Lucky – Daft Punk

I really didn’t want to vote for Daft Punk, because everyone will be voting for them. But Get Lucky is fun and catchy, and as such I had no choice.

Gun – Chvrches

Chvrches were another group where I had problems choosing a track. Gun won my vote for no apparent reason – If I’d put my votes together tomorrow I may well have voted for Recover instead. Lots of twinkly electronic sounds to tickle the ears.

So there we are. Artists that just missed out on a place include Bliss N Eso, Horrorshow, Owl Eyes and Tiger Town. Better luck next year guys!

For the Emperor! Supanova 2013

Headed over to the Supanova Con on Saturday with Ryan, Paula, Bek and Bek’s daughter who’s name I can never actually remember. It was a pretty good day overall. I didn’t get any autographs or photos – I’m always starstruck to the point of imbecility when meeting celebrities, so there’s really not much point, but I did enjoy the panels with Karl Urban, Alan Tudyk and (of all people) David Hasselhoff.

Yes, I went to see the Hoff. Mainly just so I could say that I saw the Hoff. I actually enjoyed his panel, mostly I suspect because I expected him to be a complete train wreck, and he wasn’t. He could in no way be said to be a humble man, but he had some interesting stories, and I was surprised to discover that he can actually sing pretty well – perhaps those Germans aren’t quite as crazy as we all thought.

Karl Urban was fun. He started off his talk by awarding Judge Dredd badges to audience members who could identify movie quotes. This didn’t go terribly well at first, until he clarified that they weren’t specifically quotes from his movies. After that he answered audience questions in a highly entertaining fashion, did a Batman voice, and threw in some good natured trash talk about the Wallabies 🙂

The final panel we went to was Alan Tudyk, who was a complete riot. The hall was completely packed out – standing room only – happily Paula and Bek had got a place in line while I was seeing the Hoff, so we got seats halfway up. Notable incidents included someone asking him to say his “leaf on the wind” quote – which he delivered as “I’m a leaf on the wind, watch me GHURK!” – a self admitted fangirl asking him if he were her and he were still him what he as her would ask him as him – which completely threw him in a most entertaining manner – and a story which he reckoned he’d never told before about how he found himself identifying with a Billy Joel song while working in a racist bar before he got in Juilliard (he knew it was a racist bar because he threw a customer out for saying abominably racist things, then got told off by management).

He also did some Karaoke at Deville’s earlier in the week. Awesome! 🙂

Apart from the guests we had a good look around the stalls. I had finally given in to the inevitable and dipped my toe into the waters of cosplay by wearing my Commissar hat (a few people even requested photographs!) and found an amazing replica chainsword for sale. Unfortunately it was priced at $215 which seemed a bit excessive for a piece of painted foam, so I had to leave it. Bek got a friend’s block mounted Star Wars poster signed by Carrie Fisher, and just about died of excitement at meeting her. We also did a lot of sitting around watching cosplayers.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to Supanova, but I was quite surprised by the quantity of Adventure Time cosplayers. You couldn’t have throw a rock without hitting four or five Finns. A bit of aiming would have easily brained several Fionas and Princess Bubblegums. There were at least two Ice Kings doing the rounds, one Flame Princess and a Marceline and Marshall Lee with actual guitars. On the 40k front there were some generic guardsman and at least two other Commissars, but they had much better uniforms than me, so I stayed out of their way lest I be accused of Heresy ;D

All in all, an excellent day out!

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