Summing it all up.
Even though we’ve all been talking about how 2016 is the worst year ever, this year did see a lot of good coming out of it. Don’t get me wrong, 2016 sucked, but it does seem like the arts flourished. We got Stranger Things this year! I’ve heard the new Star Wars is pretty good, and I don’t even like Star Wars. I saw Brand New, The Front Bottoms, and Modern Baseball twice each! Those aren’t bad things. Since music is where my passion lies (and I’m not that original), I wanted to post BurgerADay’s official standings on Pitchfork’s normal and bizarre year end lists.
1.Best Lyric of 2016: The Front Bottoms-“Joanie”
“I finally am what I am, a fucking bag of bags”
Although The Front Bottoms are stealing a page from Katy Perry’s book here, Needy When I’m Needy provided some of the most refreshing, fun songs of the year. When Brian Sella sings that he’s just “a fucking bag of bags,” it’s absurdist but enticing. It’s a line that you can’t help but to sing along to. Unlike Perry, I’ve never “felt like a plastic bag/drifting through the wind,” but I’ve totally felt like “a fucking bag of bags.”
2.Best Rap Album of 2016: Kanye West-The Life of Pablo
Kanye may have shit the bed in the last few weeks and gone to the dark side, but The Life of Pablo is a testament to what a strong artist he’s continued to be.
3.Best Rock Album of 2016: Mitski-Puberty 2
Mitski is always a breath of fresh air, and she released a truly memorable album. Even my dad liked it.
- Best Electronic Album of 2016: Bon Iver-22, A Million
Justin Vernon opted for something completely off the wall for the third Bon Iver album, and goddamn, it’s great he did.
- Best Sleeper Album from 2015: The Cast of Hamilton-Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recordings)
I slept on Hamilton. I’m not proud to admit it, but I gave this a thorough listen during the tale end of the year and loved it. My Lin-Manuel Miranda obsession may be late, but this is a great listen, and I intend to listen for years to come.
- Best Music Meme: Jarrod Alonge-“Suck My 401Kanye” by Amidst the Grave’s Demons
Jarrod Alonge’s remix of “I Love Kanye” is a good laugh at one of The Life of Pablo’s most fun numbers. To be honest, I’m pretty sure ‘Ye stole some movies during the Saint Pablo tour.
- Biggest Disappointment: Kanye West
Everything that was great about Kanye’s year was shattered by one photo.
- Biggest purely musical disappointment: AJJ-The Bible 2
This wasn’t a bad album, but it wasn’t nearly as funny as it should have been.
- Best Single: Run the Jewels-“2100”
Run the Jewels gave us a Christmas fuckin’ Miracle with their fantastic third album, but they gave us all hope when they put out this song on election night. Even though the year’s been gray, El-P and Killer Mike have been refreshing through and through.
- Best Cover: Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties-“My Favourite Chords” (by The Weakerthans)
Dan Campbell opted to give a new cover as one of many artists who donated to charities this fourth quarter. His take on this Weakerthans song is faithful enough to the Left and Leaving original, but it’s refreshing enough to warrant a listen.
- Best Television Performance: PWR BTTM-The Chris Gethard Show
In all fairness, this was going to go to The Weeknd’s “False Alarm” on SNL, but there isn’t a video readily available, so PWR BTTM are a close second. TCGS features some pretty great artists performing short sets, and the audience dances making for a different kind of TV performance, unlike the usual late night BS.
- Best EP: The World is a Beautiful Place-Long Live Happy Birthday
Technically a continuation of last year’s Death to New Years, but Long Live Happy Birthday sees TWIABP at some of their finest tuned work yet. “Even More Forever” is the sort of twinkly emo that fans had come to expect three years ago. “Katamari Duquette” crosses the band into metal-territory, and it’s unbelievable. When listened in conjunction with the first part, it’s well worth the listen.
- Most affective music in a TV Show: Stranger Things
The score for Stranger Things is fantastic enough on its own. Along with the creepy, theremin-like synthesizers, there’s also a smattering of pop and alternative hits that set the show in the 80’s. This show made me like “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” Joy Division, Modern English, Tangerine Dream and so many more help set both the mood and time period for an excellent show.
- Best Live Show: Brand New’s Devil and God Anniversary Tour with Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms
This tour would have won had Brand New not been playing The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me in whole, but the full album was an additional treat. Having the freshest faces in pop-punk opening made this a must see tour from the start, and seeing the show in Wallingford, CT, it was unreal how incredible a song like “Your Graduation” sounds in such a large room.
- Best Music Video: AJJ-“Goodbye, Oh Goodbye”
Even though AJJ’s latest album may not be their best, this music video that pokes fun at Ok Go was certainly good for a laugh, and the song ain’t half bad either.
- Song of the Year: Kanye West-“Ultralight Beam”
No matter how pessimistic you are, this song will surge you with hope. Even though Kanye may have betrayed us, this is a song that we needed this year, and it’s a song that we’ll need next year.