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My normal course of action around this time of year is to wait until the Hottest 100 results are in, then bitch about how the mostly-twentysomethings who no doubt comprise the bulk of vote don’t have my musical tastes.

To do something just that tiny bit different, I’m going to see how well I’ve got my ear to the ground. Let’s see if I can read the zeitgeist and pick the top ten, rather than my top ten. Here we go:

Phoenix – Lisztomania
Vampire Weekend – Cousins
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man
Hilltop Hoods – Chase That Feeling
Art vs Science – Parlez-Vous Francais
Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
Muse – Uprising
Dizzee Rascal – Dirtee Cash
Eskiimo Joe – Inshalla
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll

Okay, I promise no more ‘world’s largest music poll’ ramblings once I’ve had a chance to bitch about this year’s results.  After that, we’re back to the usual programming for another eleven months. Hey – eleven is a number! I’m going to tell you all sorts of wonderful things about numbers once I’m done obsessing about the Hottest 100.


I have discovered something so all-mighty and powerful that it defies, nay consumes, the boundaries of what can be embedded in this simple pneumatic blogification system.

Your brain melts here.

MC Lars – Download This Song

I’ve got something more substantial in the pipe, but I’ve had a research fail, so you’ll have to settle for a music video for now.

I’ve been to see MC Lars in concert, so he’s still scoring coin off me even if I have downloaded this song for free (which I haven’t). The system works!

How could a film that falls halfway between The Watchmen and The Tick possibly be anything other than retardedly awesome? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

(Longer & more trailers for Kick Ass here.)

Greetings, troops.  This briefing will consist of a tight-beam encryption packet from field agent Atomique. In it, she details her top ten for the 2009 Hottest 100.

Of interest is the significant correlation between her choices and mine. Without conferring ahead of time, we’ve ended up with half of our choices matching. Upon seeing this, I did comment to her how pleased I was that she never plays Whitney Houston in our orbital habitat. “In fact,” I said, quite matter-of-factly, “I can’t imagine how anyone manages to live with someone who plays Whitney Houston.”

Without any further ado, Atomique selects:

Art vs Science – Parlex-Vous Francais?

Datarock – Give it Up

The Eels – Fresh Blood

Deep Sea Arcade – Don’t Be Sorry

Tame Impala – Remember Me

Future Of The Left – Arming Eritrea

Infusion – 2 Player Game

Tiga – Beep Beep Beep

Kasabian – Fire

Peter, Bjorn and John – It Don’t Move Me

I have no idea how on earth it’s already time for voting for another year of everyone’s favourite tracks, but here we are.

Once again I’m participating in the world’s largest music poll and bragging about my choices via this blog (see my selections for 2007 and 2008).

In no particular order, here are Viper Pilot’s top ten tracks for 2009, now enhanced with the power of YouTube!

Art vs Science – Parlex-Vous Francais?

Datarock – Give it Up

The Eels – Fresh Blood

Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension

Tame Impala – Remember Me

NASA – Gifted

Bloody Beetroots – Awesome

The Editors – Papillon

Chromeo – Night by Night

Peter, Bjorn and John – It Don’t Move Me

Tomorrow: Atomique’s picks!

At GMT +10 (72 minutes from when this was posted), LCD Soundsystem and Soulwax will be on radio station Triple J doing a special three-hour set of the best records in their collections. They’ve never done anything like this before; this will kick out an asston of awesomeness.

If you’re stuck at home with nothing else to do this Friday evening (now, for some people) or early Thursday morning (also now, for some of the other people) catch it live on regular old wireless or streaming radio – you ought to be able to catch it via download later on, too.

Triple J – Radio Soulwax:

Go watch the trailer for the Acceptable in the 80s podcast now. NOW.  Go do it. Now. Really. Seriously.

(C’mon, a podcast with a trailer? Nice.)

I can’t do enough justice to this series.  Culture savant Craig Schuftan examines why everything that was only ever acceptable in the 80s is suddenly coming around again. We all know that trends in music are cyclical, but it turns out that it’s really cyclical, and The Schuf is just the guy to break it all down.

It’s full of very clever writing; here’s what the podcast has to say about how Nirvana was a reaction to the showbiz look of the new wave and hair-metal laden 80s (which is suspiciously how a lot of bands today look…):

In the 90s, Kurt Cobain signalled his disdain for showbusiness by wearing clothes which said “I don’t care how my clothes look.” Well, Cobain’s anti-style was perfect for a decade during which musicians and fans were deeply suspicious of promotion and packaging. But the no-style eventually became a style, and then a habit, and then a bore.

I won’t spoil any more of it, as there are only six episodes (as of today), all clocking in under three minutes. Go treat yourself to some bite-sized entermataining edumacation!

A while back I wrote about the sports of the future (some real, some fictional). Here’s the first addendum to that list: chessboxing!

Wu-Tang Clan – Da Mystery of Chessboxing

Chessboxing is a mindbogglingly simple yet amazing idea: take the brutally punishing and physically demanding sport of boxing and mix it with the ego-punishing and cerebrally demanding mental challenge of chess.  I’m not saying boxing doesn’t require a certain kind of smarts, but I’m pretty sure Jessica Simpson could take Mike Tyson in a chess match.

Chessboxing World Heavyweight Championship Berlin 2008

A chessboxing bout starts with four minutes of speed chess, then a round of boxing, then back to the chess, then another round of boxing… you get the idea. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to switch from one mode to the other.

The sport seems to be limited to Europe, but I’ll so pay to see a bout if it takes off here on prison moon 42.

When I’m rear admiral (the best kind of admiral) of the space fleet, chessboxing will be required training for all midshipmen.

Chessboxing Documentary (Part 1)

Chessboxing Documentary (Part 2)

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