2012, let’s not even get into it. You are over and we are really fine with that. Barack Obama got re-elected and, hopefully, we’ll never have to think about Mitt Romney again, but other than that, you really didn’t live up to the hype. But it’s cool. Despite all the noise about you being the end all be all, life goes on. 2013 is coming. And we’re already way into it.
Readers, forget the rest of this month and consider ten of the biggest reasons why we want to skip ahead to New Years.
10. The 3ball MTY/K-pop collab that will bring about the end of world six or so months after people thought it would end. (Because no one actually understands Mayan cosmology): “Gangnam Style” is like the beast of the apocalypse for K-pop’s eventual rise to global dominance. Call this year Psy2k. (Or, actually, don’t and please forget you read that.) Nevermind Diplo and 2 Chainz’s putative collaboration with Psy. Sheeqo Beat’s remix of the mega-hit is like that first terrifying fissure you see in the dam. You know simultaneously in the moment that you see it that it has begun and that it is too late to escape.
The thing is, the track is great. It makes total sense when you listen to it. It’s like it was meant to be. And that’s why surely there is going to be a full-on collaboration between the worlds of K-pop and tribal guarachero, something along the lines of a remix EP with vocals from HyunA.
After all, Psy is winning a million awards including best video from MTV Europe and 3Ball MTY won a surprise Latin Grammy this year for “Inténtalo,” which was almost as ubiquitous as “Gangnam Style” this year. You see where this is going? It’s going to happen and then we are going out in a blaze of glory.
9. Some very anticipated releases: In no particular order, we have been promised substantial amounts of music from Sampha, Kavinsky, Sin Fang, And So I Watch You From Afar, The Knife, The History of Apple Pie, Morcheeba, Purple Ferdinand, Zuzuka Poderosa, Alpine, and The Very Best, among many others, in 2013. So, 2012, what have you done for us lately? Because we’re feeling pretty over you right now.
You hear this? There’s more where that came from.
8. Tecnobrega taking over: Talk about trap and drill all you want. And baile funk is so 2000 and whenevs. We’re all going to be dancing to tecnobrega this time next year. You can start getting used to the idea now.
7. People realizing that Johannesburg or possibly all of South Africa is basically New York City in the ’80s: Plenty of people are in Brooklyn right now trying to pretend that it’s the Village in 1982, but they’re in the wrong hemisphere entirely. That moment of uncontainable creativity born of unique cultural circumstances and urban pressure? That’s South Africa right now. Some folks just haven’t realized it yet. Probably, because they’re too stunned by what they’ve seen and heard so far to make sense of it.
Grotesque dystopian visions, intense cultural collisions, flashes of genius from anxious young minds, new dance forms. It’s all happening there. BLK JKS, Spoek Mathambo, Petite Noir, Die Antwoord. Art, fashion, music, whatever. You’ll see. Oh, and this ridiculous video from The Frown.
6. Major Lazer: For real though, I personally try so hard to hate on Diplo. and. all. his. ways. But it isn’t working right now. I was completely sold by the end of the official video for “Jah No Partial.” In all honesty, the forthcoming Major Lazer album Free the Universe might do just that. And Mad Decent will become so rich that it will be headquartered on a private island in the Caribbean outfitted with a state-of-the-art lab for performing highly unethical cultural vivisection experiments, if it isn’t already.
5. On a related note, holy crap, Snoop Lion: Did you listen to “Lighters Up”? Listen to it again. We figured Snoop’s forthcoming reggae album Reincarnated (with production from Major Lazer and Dre Skull) was going to be interesting, but the dream-team angle of all of this didn’t really sink in until this single was revealed. This is the kind of material that made his previous incarnation an unlikely household name.
4. Rock making one more mainstream comeback: A lot of the bands that have been occupying the rock star space are braised in the cloying sauce of weakness. (We love you The xx, but sometimes we yearn for something more.) Sometimes it seems like Screaming Females are the only rockers actually pushing things forward. There are amazing bands raging in the underground (yes, it exists), but the last five years of hype have belonged to other sounds.
EDM isn’t going anywhere, but we do think rock is going to make a comeback in 2013. The guitar, like all the classic vices, just has a deathless allure. But the last few years musicians and music fans collectively opened their ears. Indie rockers got into everything from synthpop, to afropop and dubstep. Hip-hop embarked on a love affair with dance music while dance music morphed as rapidly as advancements in production technology would allow. And pop borrowed from other genres more shamelessly than ever before.
It follows that when the rock resurgence comes (likely fueled by still-burgeoning ’90s nostalgia, or more likely, single-handedly by Gary Clark Jr.), it is going to be a many-headed drug-resistant hybrid monster with no strain of false rockist purism to check it. It’s going to be great, like Seattle but everywhere all at once and bonkers. Get a helmet. No, just listen to Helmet.
4. On a related note, punk and metal becoming one: Metal has been the most fun lately of all guitar based music. And while it was kind of cute (read: not that cute at all) to see FIT students getting off at the Bedford Ave. L stop in Burzum t-shirts, the hipster black metal thing has simply got to end this year. Those UNIF “Hell is so hot right now” t-shirts that were in Urban Outfitters should never have happened.
What is going to happen is that we are all about to get amped on bands that unapologetically bring together the noise and chaos of punk and hardcore with the technical prowess, low-end aural pleasure, and sheer heft of metal. This has been going on for a long time but it’s been getting really interesting lately, with bands like Kvelertak and Okkultokrati are making glorious “blackened” punk/rock ‘n’ roll/metal messes, The Secret and others are melding crust punk, grindcore and black metal, Baroness is going practically post-rock and more and more bands like Downfall of Gaia are forcing us to describe them as post-metal.
Essentially, genres are increasingly meaningless, metal, like everything else is hybridizing more than ever, and you are going to like it.
3. Kilo Kish getting up to some stuff: What we saw this year was nothing. She’s making music and movies and art. She told us all about it and we can’t wait. It’ll be like this but more of it.
2. Das Racist reuniting to play Coachella: Dapwell totally said it could happen.
1. Psy’s next full-length, his US tour, and the planet eventually getting over “Gangnam Style”: With any luck this will happen all at once in a sort of logical progression. Everyone and Ai Wei Wei has done the dance by now and Psy does have other songs. The world will eventually figure it out and either get into those too or move on to the next largely inexplicable obsession. Let’s watch the video one more time.