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STEVIE NICKS / WILD HEART (DRESSING ROOM UNDRESS) - Happy New Year Everybody! Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to accomplish at least one goal in 2012, watch The Sitter, and consider giving money to someone who isn’t an iPod or a Transformer, liquor store, etc. Thank you for a great 2011.

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THE BLACK-EYED PEAS / THE TIME (DIRTY BIT) Sometimes these days you still run into people who say they don’t like Beyoncé, Katy Perry Gaga, Sugar Ray, RHCP, whatever, and these are my favorite type of people to argue (not argue) with because the conversation is over at “there is no point in not liking these artists.” If you don’t like them then you might as well never go to Target or be in an elevator or car or toy store anywhere ever. I guess you don’t like getting good deals on furniture, food, clothing, and appliances either. That’s cool, just stay at home and keep hating and never have new life experiences and don’t get near me, which you can’t, because you’re outside the club (reality) and you can’t even get in (outside of your man-cave).

LLOYD BANKS f/ JIM JONES - FLY LIKE THE WIND Sometimes these songs sneak in and out of consciousness so quickly it’s a shame, some babies are too precious for this world, especially the ones that ride on the wind and spit lines like “they beefin’ on the internet / I ain’t a big typer” and this song came and went so fast that even you Lloyd forgot to not make a Twitter like all rappers should usually do. TRIVIA BONUS: which international human rights violation must be enacted for Banknote to be released in the USA on iTunes?

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ORBITAL - NEVER / Orbital is the best band that ever walked the earth, and hearing this new track, their first in ten years, shoves them right back to the front of my mind, and with quotes like “When I’m writing music, if it doesn’t move you emotionally, it’s not working. It has to give me butterflies. I have to make myself cry in the studio” it would be rude / unemotional to not let them in there. What do you think would happen if Skrillex said that? Do you think he would be tumbld into oblivion? Music without words is still the best music, and, have you seen this video, which doesn’t have any people in it [so to speak], so stunning in its unimpressive editing and lackluster effects that it would probably make me cry even without the music? Who makes this kind of shit anymore? Orbital, the best band in the universe, proving that there is emotion in other dimensions while everyone else in the world was playing in the dirt.

POLE - WURZEL (excerpt): Every time a new Pole record comes out I feel myself in the middle of any icy castle in an ice field, much like the album cover of “Steingarten.”  Then I remember how when I saw him IRL at a loft party somewhere he is this big beefy dude who looks like he might be a bodybuilder, but also warm and gentle, like a teddy bear you’d want to hold close and read you long words in this ice field.  A new series of twelve inches on his own new Pole Original label called “Waldgechichten” is in the process of coming out now.

ENDLESS ANNIHILATION OF THE PLASTIC NOW / NEW three-hour mixtape about the present.  To download, and for lots more mixtapes (including one about PRESENTS) you can always go here.

PLAYLIST

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GWEN STEFANI - EARLY WINTER / Can I tell you a little story? Not to get weird on you, but some friends and I were walking through an open-air mall in Las Vegas, drunk off Holiday Yogurtland and Holiday Starbucks. The sun was setting, bleeding orange and red from behind a classic Hollywood-style row of perfectly aligned palm trees. Could you imagine what was coming out of the palm trees? It was this song. Like a lot of otherworldly desert-based moments, it was something that was too transcendent to try to explain in a blog or a website or a line drawing or oil painting. From far away, I could have sworn it was Nina Persson, flying through space and time to sing hello to us from the roof of the Abercrombie. That would have been fine, but it was Gwen, so perfectly in tune with the emotions the modern retail experience elicits. We Shazam’d it, and the rest is history. You can find me most days driving around the Target parking lot, crying, my ears bleeding from playing this song far past “11” on repeat, the blood and tears mixing together and flowing out the window in a pink ribbon that I hope can be in some way evocative of Gwen Stefani’s contribution to the universe.

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WAX STAG - AND HOW I love Wax Stag. Him and µ-Ziq and probably some old Warp Records stuff (some classic Aphex maybe a little Squarepusher, you know whatever) are some of the songs that make me feel this way that no song with words would ever make me feel.  Is there such thing as a spirit genre?  My spirit genre is IDM.  What is YOUR spirit genre?  Here is a DJ set Wax Stag did on my WFMU show way back in the day.  Did you know Wax Stag was Chris Clark’s drummer?  One time Chris Clark burned me some Jeffrey Lewis songs.  Thanks for the tip Chris!  What a weird world.

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LONDON ELEKTRICITY - METEORITES f/ ELSA ESMERELDA Hospital Records is one of those things that makes me regret the gigantic mistake I made of not being born in the 70’s in the UK.  But, like Bette Midler, I can rave from a distance, temporal and spatial, and appreciate the massive following that this high-octane drum n’ bass label has built for itself over 15 years on the backs of consistently stunning productions (podcasts, gigantic raves, records). This hot little number from label head Tony Colman AKA London Elektricity (WHAT’S IN A NAME) is no exception, and this video, did you ever did see a woman like that since 1998 or so?  The Amen Break is the electric guitar for so many different kinds of people in Europe and Hospital has renewed my faith in drum n’ bass’ perpetual positive presence in society now and for ever more amen (get it).

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NERO / REACHING OUT - I don’t know who these guys are really besides the fact they’re from the UK.  This is my new thing, not knowing about a band, knowing the band or wanting to at all; I found out some stuff about Daft Punk the other day that made me disgusted / turn on the windshield wipers and de-fog on my robo helmet [and I know from excessive documentary viewing I would not enjoy spending time with my other faves Katy P. or Lindsey B. or Stevie N. so going to make sure to keep myself far away from favorite musicians, not like that will be a challenge]. But I am so so so happy with Nero’s entire new album “Welcome Reality” as they are taking good ol’ Skrillex’s game of breaking dubstep down into its most dramatic parts and re-presenting it as a new consumer-driven package but are doing it about 10 notches classier than Skrillz.  It’s probably the British accent.  You can also catch Nero in a Beats commercial where they’re throwing kethcup at each other and Dr. Dre throws a blueberry at a blonde girl’s head.

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CAPSULE - JUMPER / An oldie but goodie, but you wouldn’t know that from the landscaping that Capsule found in a present place to piece together for this, one of many perfect executions of stabbing harmonic post-rave that point to an F-Zero existence (if F-Zero’s ROM-based soundtrack had gotten on that Wipeout 2097 CD-ROM tip) on their Yamaha Music release More!MoreMore!.  Sometimes you see some pictures of Japan and you think, that’s the 80’s version of the future, and then you realize you were looking at like a Japanese 7-11, where the 80’s version of the future actually tastes better than the present taquito on a roller we have in the USA. Then you morph into a wireframe, or something.

LOS WENDYS / I ONLY HAVE MY HEART - Los Wendys, my favorite Wendys, are finally back with a new mexindie-cumbia-tronica-delica track on the really really great new Discos Tormentos Compilado Wow 2011 compilation available for free download now.  I take that back; the first half of that compilation is limp-wristed indie bullshit; the second half is amazing mostly-electronic killers with people singing in Mexican or in English with a Mexican accent.  Have I ever told you how much I love Mexicans?  Check out other notables on that comp by Dreamers, Nairobi, Bear in Heaven, and Sonido Trucha. ¡Feliz navidad!  ¡Me encantan esas Wendys!

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T-PAIN: DEFAULT PICTURE I disagree with most modern technology journalism wholesale.  So it’s nice when T-pain puts out a piece of poetry that perfectly describes a moment in time that isn’t about the future but about the present and how he uses technology he has to just get all juicy about a girl in his timeline on his iPhone5, wishing she would DM him back (S/O to DMing vs @ing), wondering if he should unfollow her.  He probably should, but he already knew that.  Damn!  The most potent observations about technology always come from people who are content to think about the way things are now as opposed to how things might be if they buy ANOTHER cell phone.

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“ฉันตายโดยหาม่ายคนที่รักฉัน แต่ฉันก็บายใจ ที่ฉันมีคนที่ฉันรัก” - WE FOUND LOVE (BANGKOK VERSION) / I don’t speak Thai or nothin but I can tell you that “You don’t know anything about anything, no one knows anything about anything, so just stop worrying about it and just do what comes naturally to you and take that thing to its logical extreme as quickly as possible” is what this video says.

Relevent Partners asked me to design a workstation where visitors to the Fader Fort could produce their own beats using actual FIAT parts to control the sound: hammer out a beat on the drum pad, use the steering wheel to add effects, hit the gas or brakes to layer in synth instruments as headlights flashed along to the sound.  Creations were uploaded to Soundcloud and shared with the producers’ friends online.  Served up in less than a week!  Fabrication work by Bednark Studios, hardware programming by Matt Davis, Scott Peterman, and Liza Stark, production by Sachar Mathias.

Some familiar faces from the technology media world got together to form the amazing new website The Verge, and later, a new TV-Style show called On The Verge.   Each month I will be providing music services for the show to make it feel like it is truly On The Verge: sad robot voices, Vangelis re-cast in a 2012 news show music, and biting tech commentary via walk-on music a la The Roots vs. Michelle Bachman.  The first episode is available for viewing now; the second episode tapes this Friday in New York City.