Music in 2012: Justin D Burton

by justindburton on January 4, 2013

Year-end music lists are everywhere, for better and worse. Here at IASPM-US, we like popular music, too, so a few of us have sorted out what we listened to and enjoyed a lot in 2012 and are sharing it with you. There’s no pretension that anything here was the best of the year or even that it’s good. We just really liked it, that’s all.

Today’s music comes from Justin D Burton (that’s me).

A list of superlatives, key moments, and heavy realizations that reflect my musical world in 2012:

The Music I Play Slightly Louder Each Day in My Office to Test My Neighbors’ Breaking Points: Gaslamp Killer

So far, no complaints…that I know of.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8iQ07KT-UA

 

Really, Janet Jackson is Back in My Life? Not Sure How We Got Here: Kendrick Lamar

Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City didn’t disappoint, and this song took me back to junior high, when I didn’t understand anything Janet Jackson was talking about but thought it might be nice to know some day.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwqSuEEn4vI

 

Guy I Would Least Like to Spend a Weekend With: The Weeknd

I just don’t think I’d make it out alive. From what I can parse in this song, “Initiation” is what Nelly’s “Tip Drill” would have sounded like if it had been born to a drugged out neo-R&B producer. The Weeknd released three mixtapes in 2011, then remastered them all for an official release in November 2012. It’s like a giant sonic contact high, and I don’t want to come down.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDFEQyx7o4k

 

Self-Descant is Cliche, but When You Do It, Do It Like This: Fiona Apple

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5hO8UF9FJ4

Completely Delightful Cover with a High Degree of Difficulty: Easy Star All Stars

Easy Star likes to mess with the classics, and while Thrillah didn’t quite hit on every track, “Billie Jean” grooves hard.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCZ9X2zYSfs

 

The House Band You Can’t Miss: The Roots

Every night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, there are the Roots, a legendary hip hop crew goofing off and burning up the set all at once. It seems every week something musically fantastic happens on the show, whether they’re backing Big K.R.I.T. as he rips through “I Got This,” performing as Black Simon and Garfunkel, or using office supplies to accompany Christina Aguilera.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/420939

 

And Did I Mention Big K.R.I.T?

Live from the Underground was as smart and enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. K.R.I.T. completely tore it up with “I Got This,” but “Praying Man” was my favorite cut.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kPP6vyRlJM

 

Ooooh, That’s Why Everybody Loves Frank Ocean

I don’t know why it took me so long, but it finally clicked when Frank Ocean did this down tempo version of “Thinkin Bout You,” complete with John Mayer making John Mayer faces in the background.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNBD4OFF8cc

 

Sharpest Analysis of a Juicy J Song: Ratchetpiece Theatre with Issa Rae

Issa Rae, the Awkward Black Girl and oncoming media mogul, leads us down the rabbit hole that is Juicy J’s brain.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PmxNHqshVQ&t=48s

 

Bambu is High on Literacy

I teach, so I like it when rappers support reading.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_OtBpFQQmE

 

Die Antwoord Continues to Elude

It’s obvious that Die Antwoord is doing some multi-layered encoding in everything they do, but beyond that, nothing’s terribly obvious. They continued their absurdist journey with Ten$ion in 2012, and the video for “Fatty Boom Boom” feels like a personal challenge: Parse this, cultural theorist.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIXUgtNC4Kc

 

Most Unexpected Collaboration: Childish Gambino with Bun B

Sure, Bun B gets around – I just didn’t know he was hangin with Donald Glover, who also pulled in RZA and Ghostface Killah, among others, for his Royalty mixtape. Bun B’s voice is like butter, melting all over Kavinsky’s “Nightcall.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRsbsXjgIHQ

 

If the US Is Ever in Need of a New National Anthem, Might I Suggest Something from Ke$Ha?

“Gold Trans Am” just sounds like the American dream, you know?

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JnKoRX7j70

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