Friday, December 30, 2016

Pop Candy Arcade Playlist: The 125 Songs of 2016, 101-125

We've reached the end of this list, and while the contents have managed to stay mostly stable for most of the posting this week, there has still been a fair amount of shuffling and indecision on my end. This whole thing is an exercise in a kind of pointless obsession, building up something that will mostly be for my own records that I can go back to time and again and listen to and track my own tastes and the shifts in sounds and larger music trends. Much has changed between my first list (in 2009) and now. Bands and artists have all but disappeared, songs were included that I would never think to put in now, and it's obvious that each year since then I've devoted a little more time to actually tracking down new music, collecting it throughout the year, and trying things beyond initial first impressions.

All that's to say, I'm still making these for myself, but I hope that the readers who browse through them enjoy doing so and that you find a song or two that you might not have heard but wind up liking.  The playlist itself is still to come, but here's the final section of this bloated list...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pop Candy Arcade Playlist: The 125 Songs of 2016, 76-100

Let's try getting one of these out during daylight hours, shall we? This is the penultimate chapter of the annual year-end list, and I'm hoping not to have anymore moments of sudden correction between today and tomorrow.  In the meantime, I continue to seat the newcomers next to the veterans, the bubblegum next to electronic discord and distorted guitars, the questionable next to the obvious.

Beginning with...

Pop Candy Arcade Playlist: The 125 Songs of 2016, 51-75

Guess what? I'm afraid that in this section of the list, we are going to have to succumb to some inevitable housekeeping. Namely: the problem with making this thing mostly sort-of alphabetical has occurred. Specifically: I was listening to some of the songs from later on down the line in the car today and I was like, really? Do I want this on here? Why did I take this other thing off? Surely that thing was better than this thing? Even more specifically: I am giving in to the Fifth Harmony exclusion you likely didn't notice in the last post. I have moved them on and off the list so many times that at this point it almost feels like the thing deserves to be there just for constantly showing up. You win, Fifth Harmony. You win.

Here we go. Part III. Late additions first.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pop Candy Arcade Playlist: The 125 Songs of 2016, 26-50

And now for the second part of the end of year music roundup. We will continue with the alphabetical order kicked up in the latter half of part one.

As noted, a complete playlist will be made available at the conclusion of the list.  We're pushing through this before we figure out how best to assemble music scattered across a dozen platforms, basically.

Moving on...

Pop Candy Arcade Playlist: The 125 Songs of 2016, 1-25


This is one of those nights upon which a bout of insomnia find me jolting from my bed, firing up a laptop, and saying - with great determination - alright, let's just fucking do this.  This year has been rough from start to finish, with any number of incomprehensible shifts to our political climate that seem to make the cultural losses resonate all the more.  2016 has been a terrible piece of garbage, if we're acknowledging the obvious. We knew it would be as soon as it kicked in with the loss of David Bowie (or, at least, that was a devastating week for me), and it has continued to pummel us with blow after blow.  As we move forward into the total uncertainty of our collective, dystopian future, it seems all the more important to make a fuss about the small things that do succeed, and, well, there was an awful lot of good music released in 2016.  

In a moment where everyone I know is struggling with anxieties and shaking themselves out of a constant cycle of existential crises, I have decided - selfishly, maybe, though it's almost more work for me - to extend the year-end music round up in an unconventional way.  As someone who uses music in part as a means of regulating their brain chemicals, I'm of the opinion that we just need more songs this year, so, why not expand?  

So it is that this will be a song list, but not the usual collection of 100, and not always as concretely oriented as in past years.  There are a couple major changes here.  

First: there will be points that feel like "cheating" or inflation because multiple songs by an artist will be listed under a single number. You can hate on this if you want, but in a year marked by so many major artists releasing album or concept-centric works, the fluidity of these individual songs is sometimes bettered via a pairing or clustering of their kin.  Deal with it.

Second: In past years I had made a separate "Pop Capsule" for the pure pop songs that I loved - at times guiltily - but didn't feel warranted a place on the official chart.  We're done with that. The purest pop has been integrated in here, and while there are certainly tons of honorable mentions in all categories, I stand by its value.  Pop music is healthy for you, people. Get over your weird pretensions and embrace the power of the earworms.

Without further ado, let us begin with getting the heavy-hitters out of the way. This part may seem a little homogeneous and boring at first, but so it is, presented in no particular order and with minimal commentary, Part I of the 125 tracks of 2016. 

At the list's conclusion I will include a playlist with as many of these songs as possible. 

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