This year at Behind the Hype, we wanted to come at you with something new for our end of the year favorites. Behold the 2012 Behind the Hype Awards; an awards ceremony filled with picks you're used to seeing, mixed into our own choice categories. What were your favorites?
Best Album Best Concert Best Music Video Pick for Breakout Act in 2013 Best Song for Dealing with Horrible LA Traffic Best Catchy New song you never got tired of in 2012 Best song to cook naked to Best song to replace the Rocky theme Best song to turn up when starting a bar fight Best two part song Best I hate my boss song Personal Theme song of the year Best guilty pleasure album Best album to listen to on vinyl Best Group Sing-Along of the Year Guilty Pleasure of the Year Overrated Song of the Year
Flak: I kept finding myself surprised by how many good albums were being released this year, but above all, Frank Ocean's Channel ORANGE was my pick for album of the year. I could go on about him, but when you change the R&B game while also being part of the might collective known as Odd Future, I realize it could take a while.
Smoking Barrel: Grimes-Visions. Visions, the third album from Canadian electropop goddess Grimes, takes you on an ambient journey that ranges from surreal to jubilant. The standout tracks on the record, "Oblivion," "Vowels = Space and Time" and "Eight" are ideal to listen to if you want to be on drugs without actually taking them.
Ohio: Blunderbus - Jack White. It's a beautiful blend of blues, rock and Jack White with his amazing collaborations. This album though has been on repeat on my spotify playlist since it came out. I'm Shaking is one of those songs that just paints a picture in my head. It's like a big band took over a underground bar and the people dancing are having the time of their lives! I cannot pass putting on my list. Love interruption is one of my top songs of the year. It gives emotion actions and a personification in a dark and absolutely gorgeous way. Everyone has a time in their lives when they could say "I want love to walk right up and bite me." Who doesn't!? (provided Jack White is involved.) Maybe that's just me. The duet on the song is just lovely and just so perfectly melancholy. The other songs on the album each deserve an explanation for why I love them, but I'll let you listen for yourself, because damn it, you deserve nice things! http://jackwhiteiii.com/
Soot-Case Murphy: You'll see this one show up a few times in my selections. I'm so late in following new music that only a few things come under my radar. The Music Tapes, headed by former Neutral Milk Hotel minstrel Julian Koster, finally outdid himself. It's just quirky and adventurous enough to earn "experimental" as an adjective, but it's pure pop.
Flak: I've wanted to see Circa Survive for years, and this year's performance at Club Nokia was easily the best time I had all year at a concert. The best concerts are always the ones you know the words to. The love from the crowd, the crowd singing Stop the Fuckin Car a Capella, sent chills down my spine at its complacency and awe.
Cheese Sandwich: Hard, considering I see a ton. I'll go with Radiohead at Coachella. Having never seen them live (I'm a recent convert to all things Thom Yorke), it was a revelation. I was up close in the pit, and all the noises, blips, Yorke-isms and keyboard-driven mood music washed over me. It was excellent, well worth the wait, and I want more. Soundgarden at the Fonda was a blast too.
Smoking Barrel: The MDNA Tour. Madonna once again proved Aaliyah's adage that age ain't nothin' but a number by going on a tour that spanned 66 cities throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America. While the album M was promoting, MDNA, did not receive half as much attention as the MDNA Tour, she continued to showcase her knack for attracting controversy and outrage, most notably after placing a swastika on Marine Le Pen's head, speaking out against the imprisonment of Pussy Riot in Russia and scolding fans in Santiago for smoking during her soundcheck.
Ohio: Coldplay. They are not usually on my playlist, but their live show is amazing! It's everything that a massive stadium show can be with a production value that is mind blowing. Taking over the entire venue with their setup they take a break for the lighter songs. Even with the larger than life feel, the intimate feel of the quiet piano solo by Chris Martin on Fix You nearly brought me to tears.
Soot-Case Murphy: Dick Dale at Brooklyn Bowl. I saw H2O play a free show with 7 Seconds this year at House of Vans, which was a beacon of hope for old dudes rocking out. It couldn't hold a candle to Dick Dale. Best known for wailing out "Misirlou" in 1962, which became "the Pulp Fiction theme" (and, tragically, this), the man still makes shredding look easy. At 75, he's never not entertaining.
Best Music Video
Flak: M.I.A. - Bad Girls The song and video was already amazing on its own, and after learning that the car tricks done in the video is a craze overseas, and that M.I.A. choose to take it to the streets, well, there you have it. Romain Gavras (who also directed Born Free) killed it again.
Cheese Sandwich: Ben Folds Five - Do It Anyway. Ben Folds, his quirky piano rock and Fraggle Rock? Yes please.
Smoking Barrel: "Ride" by Lana Del Rey. Old man fetishes never looked so sexy.
Ohio: NO - Stay With Me. There were a lot of great videos that I kept playing this year and I had trouble picking one. I loved the simple romance in the video. It's very cute and somehow they manage to give a stonefaced dummy an emotional face. BTH Review Soot-Case Murphy: Gangum Style- It's all in the dance.
Pick for Breakout Act in 2013
Flak: Without a doubt, Allen Stone. I loved his album, and his live show at Outside Lands had my jaw on the floor. Call him goofy looking, but that boy can sing his ass off.
Cheese Sandwich: The Joy Formidable. They had a big 2011, their upcoming album Wolf's Law is great, they've already toured with the Foo Fighters & Muse, and there's no reason they shouldn't be bigger than they are. Based on their live show alone, they deserve to be huge.
Smoking Barrel: Kendrick Lamar. He's definitely due for some more recognition--and "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" clearly illustrates why.
Ohio: I cheer for the local bands! Listen for Vanaprasta and NO (Toured the US with Electric Guest who Everyone should also get to know if they haven't already) in the coming year. Their tours this year have given them both a lot of new support and with LA radio play, I'm hoping they can keep and gain more momentum!
Soot-Case Murphy: Fun. Seeing how Fueled By Ramen is responsible for bringing us such musical headscratchers as Panic! At the Disco, it's a surprise and a blessing that something so traditional would come forward.
Best Song for Dealing with Horrible LA Traffic
Flak: Kendrick Lamar - Money Trees. For those times when you sit and dream of the next mission with the homies. Whether it be traffic or performing a B&E, I think this song is the one.
Cheese Sandwich: P.O.S. - Fuck Your Stuff. Angsty, pissed-off, groove-laden hip-hop with soul and some goddamn spirit. You, too, can feel a cathartic release if blasting this in your car while stuck in bumper-to-bumper annoyingness on Santa Monica Blvd.
Smoking Barrel: "Go Hard (La.La.La)" by Kreayshawn. 1) It has the words "La.La.La" in the title and 2) It's a challenge to other drivers.
Ohio: M.I.A. Bad Girls. It is just the right amount of moody challenge to get you through the traffic. Also, if you haven't already, watch the video. If the 405 just won't get going, I imagine I can drive like them. I'd get anywhere in 20 minutes!
Soot-Case Murphy: I don't live in L.A., and I don't drive either. But if I did, I'd listen to a song to drive me so crazy that my road rage cells would be fit to burst. That song is LMFAO's "Sorry for Party Rocking." Not sorry enough, guys.
Best Catchy New song you never got tired of in 2012
Flak: G.O.O.D. Music - Mercy I don't care what you say, "Lamborghini Mercy, your chick, she so thirsty" repeated over a dozen times never got old.
Cheese Sandwich: Green Day - X-Kid. Arguably the finest song from their trio of (middle-of-the-road) albums in 2012, X-Kid is just great. Think Warning meets Nimrod.
Smoking Barrel: "Girl Gone Wild" by Madonna. Because it is an excuse to justify deviant behavior.
Ohio: I will Wait for You - Mumford and Sons. I am the girl that rocks out in the car and everyone else at the stoplight looks at here like she's crazy. The thing is, with this song, I get a little bit of an Irish dance thing going. So really when this song comes on, people in other cars may or may not fear for their lives.
Best song to cook naked to
Flak: It's weird, but the only song I can think of cooking even remotely close to naked in, is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. No idea.
Cheese Sandwich: Um...Gangnam Style? Imagine the rhythmic capabilities!
Smoking Barrel: "Diamonds" by Rihanna. Because it's sensual.
Ohio: God, Oil, Rock and Roll - The Street Drum Corps - It gives you a good chopping beat and has a built in warning about oil. Protect a couple necessary bits and get cooking, my friends!
Best song to replace the Rocky theme
Flak: The Memorials - Mr. Entitled A song about defeating evil misers, and general assholes. This song was motivational metal at it's best.
Cheese Sandwich: The Sword - Cloak of Feathers. Few hard rock/metal bands whip out as much groove and snarly guitar power as these dudes, and the relentless rhythm of this jam is tailor-made for pump-up montages.
Smoking Barrel: "C'Mon" by Ke$ha. Except instead of motivating you to work out, it motivates you to drink.
Ohio: Take a Walk - Passion Pitt. Let's be honest, I work out, I like to, but I will not be running up those steps. I'll just, you know, take a brisk walk up the steps.
Soot-Case Murphy: Japandroids' "The House That Heaven Built." When you listen to it, it sounds like it's already the soundtrack to a person in a sweaty grey sweatsuit, feeling free as can be.
Best song to turn up when starting a bar fight
Flak: Circa Survive - The Lottery This one kicks off a bar fight in my head, with lyrics of social collapse. Perfection.
Cheese Sandwich: Every Time I Die - Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow. Everything about ETID is tailor-made for barroom brawls (not that I'd ever find myself involved in one), and this song would be my choice soundtrack.
Smoking Barrel: "Ain't Nobody's Business" by Rihanna and Chris Brown. Because the Rihanna/Chris Brown is synonymous with a beat down.
Ohio: Fitzpleasure - Alt J - I'm thinking I am in a very cinematic and maybe slow motion bar brawl. About twenty seconds in, shit gets real and the slo-mo fight ensues! (while you're here, hit up my BTH interview with them too!)
Soot-Case Murphy: Ditto with SB on this one. Topical!
Best two part song
Flak: Electric Guest - Troubleman. Asa Taccone and his writing capability are proved to be more than dance anthems. This two part love song gets me every time.
Cheese Sandwich: Waves & Waves Again by Local H. From Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, one of my top albums of the year, the opening and closing of Local H's 2-disc concept album bookended the record very well.
Smoking Barrel: "Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary" by Rihanna. Because the juxtaposition between sinning and seeking redemption is extremely on point. And, as you may have noticed, I just love Rihanna.
Ohio: Frank Ocean - Pyramids. Channel Orange is actually on one of my top albums this year. Frank Ocean's voice is like a lullaby but is perfect for songs with a longer story. Pyramids manages to tell two stories and in just under 10 minutes, it's my favorite 2 parter this year.
Best I hate my boss song
Flak: Rebelution - Sky is the Limit. Haters worldwide have never heard of this grinder's anthem. Get your mind right.
Cheese Sandwich: Ben Folds Five - Draw a Crowd. Not explicitly about bosses and all that, but it does concern itself with 'drawing dicks on the wall' in order to get attention.
Smoking Barrel: Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe." It's not really about an employer. But it is about hating people who kill your vibe, which obviously goes hand in hand with having a job.
Ohio: Thriftshop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It's not about hating bosses, it's my shopping on a budget anthem though.
Personal Theme song of the year
Flak: Allen Stone - Sleep. If I could have a montage of video clips showing my days and nighs for a week straight, you'd understand.
Cheese Sandwich: Nada Surf - When I Was Young. Nostalgic, melancholy, and filled with "looking back on my younger days", which I've been doing a lot lately.
Smoking Barrel: "Die Young." Because I only have a handful of more years to do so.
Soot-Case Murphy: Japandoids' "Nights of Wine and Roses." Being a twentysomething in Brooklyn has its expectations. Not just from yourself, but from others. You expect yourself to prosper, but you'll hold off on that when there's nightlife to endure. As for others, they just see you as a wastoid with expensive taste. This song looks at both with startling realism. I'm an enormous procrastinator and have a lot to live for. But until then, I'm drinking and smoking. Judge away.
Best guilty pleasure album
Flak: G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer. "I'd rather buy 80 gold chains and go ig'nant\I know Spike Lee 'gon kill me, but let me finish." What more do I need to say?
Cheese Sandwich: I don't believe in 'guilty pleasures' when it comes to music - I listen to what I like, "guilt" be damned. But if I had to pick, I suppose it'd be Robbie Williams's Take the Crown (only released in Europe). Perhaps inexplicably, I've been a fan of his since 1998, and I always find something I enjoy on his (admittedly mediocre) recent output. Honorable mention: Green Day's new trio of records - they're all pretty bland compared to their older material, but since the new material isn't bloated political concept albums, it seems better (especially as an ever-nostalgic 1990s kid).
Smoking Barrel: Ke$ha-Warrior. You know you can't resist the dance floor when you hear any of the songs from Ke$ha's latest album, Warrior. From "Die Young" to "Supernatural," every theme from mortality to ephemeral love is addressed in the brevity of a dance pop beat.
Ohio: I'm with Cheese Sandwich on this one. If you like it, listen to it. I'll say that Babel by Mumford and Sons is my guilty pleasure. I know, it made it onto every best album list but I choose it as a guilty pleasure because I tend to agree that their songs sound the same. I hate to admit that to be true, and I listen to them with love. I'll fully own my love for the Sons.
Best album to listen to on vinyl
Flak: If I owned it on vinyl, PINES by A Fine Frenzy. The first track alone deserves the best possible sound treatment, to accompany that sultry feel.
Cheese Sandwich: Local H - Hallelujah, I'm a Bum - a dynamic statement from the band some casual music enthusiasts may only remember for the 1990s’ radio hit Bound for the Floor. But they’re much, much more than that – and this near-flawless double-LP really puts you under its spell while spinning on a turntable.
Smoking Barrel: Lana Del Rey-Paradise. Sultry, melancholic and oozing with moodiness, Lana Del Rey's EP, Paradise, is an obvious album to own on vinyl. "Ride" and "Gods and Monsters" are taken to new heights when you hear them on your record player--and you won't want to miss her hypnotizing cover of "Blue Velvet," a remake that's perfect for transporting you back to the bygone era of a Victrola.
Ohio: Mondo Electric Guest. My Vinyl collection is lacking and sadly does not have this album, but I would love to sit and listen to the record in a more organic way than spotify. Their show at The El Rey earlier this year was one of my favorites and their sound can take over my living room anytime!
Soot-Case Murphy: Music Tapes, "Mary's Voice" - it's beyond pretentious to say that you cannot understand a band until you've heard it on vinyl. You can understand Music Tapes easily when you see them live or hear their fantastic new album digitally. However, nearly every musical saw note, pitchy banjo hum, and bass percussion ushered in by the 7-Ft. Metronome is filtered through archaic recording equipment. When played through a dusty turntable, the album sounds like a lost, long out-of-print oddity.
Best Group Sing-Along of the Year
Flak: Minus the Bear - Cold Company. Minus the Bear has always been a band that you can't help but scream the lyrics to. If Jake Snider gets to scream, so can the rest of us, and I'm sure they wouldn't have it any other way.
Cheese Sandwich: Any of those whimsical indie radio hits along the lines of the Lumineers, Grouplove, Of Monsters & Men, and the like. I'm not knocking them, but they're all kind of same-ish...and that 'same' is perfectly suited for singalongs.
Smoking Barrel: "Va Va Voom" by Nicki Minaj. Because onomatopoeia is where it's at for sing-a-longs.
Ohio: Little Talks - Of monsters and Men. Actually the video is kinda cool too. I like the song but its upbeat and happy sound seems to hide the very sad story that is being told.
Soot-Case Murphy: Fun. - "We Are Young." Though it feels like Mika lite, it's great to see Queen/ELO worship back in full gear. And if you are bowing to those two bands, sing-alongs are in order. This one has an infectious beat and if you can't get behind the message it tattoos in its forehead, I don't wish to know you.
Guilty Pleasure of the Year
Flak: Kimbra - Come Into My Head. How can you not love everything this girl does? And have you seen her moves?
Cheese Sandwich: Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe. WAIT - I know that makes you lose faith in me, but...some of the YouTube dance videos corresponding to the song are hilarious, and my favorite baseball team (the Oakland A's) even used it for most of the season at key moments in home games. So...yeah. Deal with it. Honorable Mention: Pink ft. Lily Allen - True Love. I've always admired the snappy delivery of both of these ladies, and combined, they're just deadly.
Smoking Barrel: Probably anything by Nicki Minaj. Perfume included.
Ohio: Anna Son - Walk The Moon. The band is from very close to where I grew up and Ohioans must stick together! This song wakes me up in the morning and the video makes me believe that I am not in fact the worst dancer. I have saved myself from the fate of the hipsterdance and that, my friends gives me hope.
Soot-Case Murphy: Call Me Maybe" After being pulverized into pop-culture dust by the meme machine, not to mention it being on the stereo of every place you're trying to get a sandwich, it's a song that's pretty hard to ignore. I'm not one to always use "guilty pleasure" to describe my interests, but this song is such a blend of Valley Girl and stalker tendencies that it's hard to not be alarmed by the lyrics. However, it's very catchy. And the strings! The strings!
Overrated Song of the Year
Flak: Basically, anything by Rick Ross. The only reason I showed him love this year was because of his perfectly timed song on the Django unchained soundtrack.
Cheese Sandwich: Anything by Rihanna or Chris Brown, because obviously.
Smoking Barrel: "Call Me Maybe." Because Carly Rae Jepsen has the name of a Wal-Mart employee.
Ohio: Gangnam Style by Psy. Not that I think it was really rated well or anyone thought t was ground breaking music, but because it blows my mind that it was the most watch video ever on youtube. Really guys?
Soot-Case Murphy: I'm with Ohio on this one. I loved Psy's video, but "Gangnam Style" just didn't stick to me the way it did to others. It took me a long time before I actually heard that song/saw the video for the first time, and it really wasn't worth the wait. Except the video.
But what about you friends? What did we miss? What were your favorites?