In honor of tonight’s dinner with two friends who actually really dig MEGAPOP (well, T at least), I’m doing another update before the weekend. It’s finally over 100 hours: I could program a JACK-FM station for a whole week at this point. We’re going in:
Aaliyah, AC/DC, Adina Howard, Air, Antony & the Johnsons, Aqua, Argent, Ariana Grande, the Babys, Becky G, The Biddu Orchestra, Big Mello, Black Sabbath, BLACKstreet, Burning Flames, Cave In, Chairmen of the Board, Chase & Status ft. Liam Bailey and Yolanda Quartey, C.O.B., Collective Soul, Dee Dee Ramone ft. Joey Ramone, Deftones, DMX, Doug E. Fresh ft. Slick Rick, Erasure, Fancy, Fox the Fox, the Gants, the Grateful Dead, Grizzly Bear, Harry J Allstars, Henry Thomas, H.O.T. (like a few of these cuts, it’s an MP3, and Spotify’s positive it’s actually “Candy Man” by Hot Tuna, not "Candy" by H.O.T., so let’s just hold off on that one for now), Howard Jones, the Intensions, Jacques Brel, Johnny Nash, Joy Division, Juelz Santana, Jumpin’ Gene Simmons, Juvenile, Katy B, Kira Isabella, Kirk Franklin, LaTour, Lee Dorsey, Ma$e ft. Puff Daddy, Mayer Hawthorne, Mazzy Star, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Monarchy, New Musik, Of Montreal, Ricki-Lee, RJD2, Roky Erickson, Rush, Sanford Clark, Sparklehorse, Tiësto ft. Matthew Koma, Tina Arena, Tove Lo, Trillville, the Verve, Whiskeytown, Wolf Parade, Yung Joc, Zoe Badwi.
Replacements for Utah Saints and the Velvet Underground: we’ll get this right eventually.
Next update will attempt to bring in more non-Anglophonic songs and more pre-Elvis stuff. It will also have a better Ramones song.
Y’all have a good weekend, and best of luck on your own insane projects.
This was supposed to go up Friday, but Pitchfork Festival intervened. It’s pretty long, so it’s behind a cut. It’s also a first draft; I welcome pushback on any of it, or suggestions for further research. It will likely be revised with that in mind, because it’s my blog and I can do that.
Many people believe the failure state of pop is B-list. They don’t usually say it, but it’s implied. They are wrong. If this was ever true, it’s certainly not true now. The pop economy works like the normal economy does: slicing away the middle class, middle management, the midlist authors, the middle-class clergy (I literally just saw that posted to Twitter while doing a final copy edit on this; examples are everywhere, and emerge so often) and the midlist pop stars. There is no narrative for sliced-away midlisters; regardless of how much you’ve accomplished in what span of time or what span of time awaits you, society and posterity will plop you down on one side of a binary: success or failure. It’s perverse, but the failure state of pop is obscurity.
I’ve wanted to write a little something about list-making for a while now, but someone on Prince.org called my writing “turgid,” so I’ll make this short. Comparing rankings is the lowest form of conversation about music; consensus is largely idiotic; only one time has my editor — to my knowledge — boosted an album in one of my Counting Down series entries (Yoshimi or The Soft Bulletin, I can’t remember which), and even then he asked permission and kept my text intact, so I didn’t give a shit. Getting commenters slightly more disgruntled than usual is nobody’s idea of a successful business practice, I should give my writeups a read-through before emailing them, I spend weeks on the writing and minutes on the rankings, I’m grateful for the excuse to listen to Prince for two solid months.
I said I’d do an all-female update last month, and while I’d love to dump 100 new entries on you, it’s a long weekend and I’ve got some time now. So, welcome the following to MEGAPOP: Alice DJ, Amy Winehouse, Angel Haze, Ann Peebles, Annie, Avril Lavigne, Bella Thorne, Belle Epoque, Black Box, Blue Lu Barker, Blümchen, the Breeders, Carly Rae Jepsen, Cash Cash with Bebe Rexha, Cassie, Chilly, Cyndi Lauper, Demi Lovato, Dragonette, Elastica, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Exposé, f(x), Gossip, Jenny Lewis, Julia Holter, the Julie Ruin, Karen Young, the Knife, Ladyhawke, LaVern Baker (misspelt on Spotify, yay), Linda Lewis, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Najat Aatabou, Nicki Minaj, No Doubt ft. Lady Saw, Norma Jean Wright, Ottawan, Pearl Bailey, Raffaella Carra, Rebecca & Fiona, Roxanne Shanté, Saint Etienne, Sandy Denny, Santana ft. Michelle Branch, Sheila, Sheila E., Sia, Silver Convention, the Slits, Solange, Sylvie Vartan, Tanya Stephens, Tasha, Teach In, Tennis, Tina Charles, Tove Styrke, U.S.U.R.A., Vainica Doble, and Whitney Houston. Two replacements, for Belle & Sebastian and the New Pornographers.
Not that this makes this project any less ridiculous, but I recently received a very complimentary tweet from a BuzzFeed editor about Megapop, and a friend of mine used the playlist while training for a 10K, which was… probably not helpful for him. I can only fantasize about what slow jam tripped him up.
Anyway, this thing’s over 1,650 songs now. Once I clear 2K I’ll start a final culling. (My Velvet Underground pick is seriously perverse, and has to go.) I have dreams about a self-published e-book, so if you know a good psychiatrist within half a day’s driving distance from Austin, hook a guy up.
Gonna roll out an all-female Megapop update next month. Then a general update that includes Smash Mouth because who am I kidding who am I fooling
About 90 new additions (including a new New Edition!) to good old MEGAPOP. Consciously scouting more non-English tunes (as well as stuff from the back half of the alphabet); Iain may be interested to know that I’m using a spreadsheet with goals per genre. Five big beat tracks, 10 Philly soul songs, 10 North African tunes from the ’00s and ’10s. When a cell is all filled up, we keep going, because you can never have too many adult alternative jams.
Today’s debuts: 2NE1, 808 State, Aimee Mann, All of Thus, Antena, Baaba Maal, Beatrice Eli, BiS, Blaque, the Blow, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bunji Garlin, Candyland ft. Zak Waters, Cascada, Chuck Wood, Clifton Chenier, Coldplay, Crass, D4L, DJ Rashad, Dr. Spec’s Optical Illusion, Dude ‘n Nem, Fear, Future Islands, the Gaylettes, Genesis, JC Chasez, Karmin, Kiesza, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Leon Thomas III and Victoria Justice, the Lijadu Sisters, Lip Service, Louisa Marks, Luke Vibert, Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Matt Wertz, McCarthy, MKTO, MNEK, the Muffs, Nejo ft. Tego Calderón, *NSYNC, Patra, Patti Page, the Promise Ring, the Queers, Regulo Caro, the Research, the Ripoffs, Rodney Crowell, Rosendo Amparano, Ruby Andrews, Savoir Adore, S.E. Rogie, Selena, Shakira, the Stingers, Surkin ft. Kevin Irving, Thalia, Third World, the Three Tops, Thumpers, Tito Simon, Toni Braxton, the Upsetters, the Versatiles, Vieux Farka Touré, Villa ft. the New Sins, We Are Standard, Wings, Xuman, Yandel, Yelle, Yolanda Pérez, Yukmouth, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zedd ft. Matthew Koma, Zion I.
Today’s replacements: ABBA, Billy Ocean, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Brad Paisley, Daft Punk, George Strait, John Fred and His Playboy Band, Men at Work, New Edition, Rod Stewart.
As always, I aim to be your destination for gigantic mixes that don’t flow at all and will crash your smartphone when you try to load it. A smaller version will likely debut this week, as I got engaged yesterday and we’ve got a house to clean and friends to host in like five days. The beer’s more important than the music, but everything has its place. Until the next update! Or half-formed thinkpiece!