Hot as grits: It ain't hot if it ain't Al.
By Sara Bir
When you invite the public to send you the sexiest 13-song make-out mix possible, you learn a few things. Sadness is hot. Romance is hotter. And, discounting Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," which I personally don't find hot or even vaguely appealing, funk is the hottest of all. Yes, vox populi has spoken, and "In Your Eyes," the king of the Hot 13, appeared on the most mixes, with songs by Chris Isaak, Al Green and Marvin Gaye not far behind. Trumping all artists in sheer volume of songs was the ever-popular 1963 Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto collaboration that gave us "The Girl from Ipanema." Ah, the suave bossa nova sounds of Getz/Gilberto, a titan among make-out albums!
The competition was stiff; a few entries went head to head. But in the end, there was one winner of the Hot 13 Challenge. Selecting one winning entry was tough because so much notable action went on within each Hot 13. Slowly, there emerged several distinct categories:
Best Marching to the Beat of His Own Drummer Nielzine's Hot 13 was by far the most rambunctious and rollicking. It rocked--and it was the only Hot 13 to contain country music like Willie Nelson and Hank III. (What, folks, is country music not sexy?) Featuring favorites from Iggy Pop, Elvis, Motörhead and AC/CD, this is the tape--yes, cassette tape--you want with you if you want to park your Impala down by the lake after 11pm on a school night with hopes of making it all the way to home plate.
Best Intro Mike Adamski excerpted the scene in Spinal Tap where Nigel Tufnel plays a melancholy instrumental on the piano called "Lick My Love Pump." Letting your special someone know you are in the cult of the Tap is a brilliant way to get things started; you establish a sense of humor, which all sane people find sexy.
Most Backfired Intro Robin Williams doing "Elmer Fudd Sings Bruce Springsteen." Sorry, Jimmy Aquino, but what worked for Mike did not work on your otherwise solid entry; Robin Williams just does not get our juices flowing the same way a be-mulleted Nigel does, for some reason.
Best Title Jimmy Aquino redeems his Fudd misstep by naming his disc "You So Fine I Wanna Smack Myself."
Most Universally Loathed Entry Em Pee's, whose audacity won few fans. Ween's "Put the Coke on My Dick" and E-Rotic's "Fritz Love My Tits" moved no loins.
Most Creative Use of Loophole An anonymous reader noticed that, unlike last year's Sad 13 Challenge--in which no artist could be represented more than three times--there were no such limits this year. So they entered the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, which is 13 songs long. Smart, yes, but standing Brian Wilson's creativity in for your own won't win you this contest.
Foxiest Presentation petitsbijoux, whose rose-bedecked Hot 13 included red glitter heats and chocolate-flavored condoms upon heart-shaped doilies.
Most Repetitive Entry The one with the Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe" on it 13 times. As one judge charitably pointed out, "There's not a bad song on there."
Best Narrative Arc Kate Wilson's Hot 13 traced a scenario of wining and dining, then foreplay, with the love act taking place during Pink Floyd's "Great Gig in the Sky." The hypothetical couple marries, discovers "You Can't Always Get What You Want," and things take a downward turn with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "Sorrowful Wife." Kate's disc concludes with Tom Waits' "It's Over." "So much for romance," she notes.
Greatest Devotion to R. Kelly Moteo, who included four R. Kelly tracks on his Hot 13. Props to Moteo: none of those songs was "Ignition."
Best Musical Viagra Long songs, extended singles and remixes--a strategy many Hot 13-ers seized.
We are happy to announce the Hot 13 Challenge winner, David Gross. We chose David's entry because of the sheer greatness of its songs, plain and simple. Here they are:
"You Sure Love to Ball," Marvin Gaye
"Rock Me Easy Baby (Part I)," IsaacHayes
"Fever," Little Willie John
"Work with Me Annie," Hank Ballard & the Midnighters
"Nuki Suki," Little Richard
"It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Nextto Me," Barry White
"Go Slow," Julie London
"The Look of Love," Dusty Springfield
"Let's Get It On," Marvin Gaye
"Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) SexMachine," James Brown
"Girl Talk," Howard Roberts
"The Girl from Ipanema," Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto
"Let's Stay Together," Al Green
Can you believe David's was the only Hot 13 to include "Fever"? Lyrically, almost all of the songs adhere to the actions of a make-out session--one session that went well, since it ends with "Let's Stay Together." Both "Nuki Suki" and "Sex Machine" are long songs that repeat themselves, which can be boring for casual listening, but in the context of coupling, may be very well-suited to sustaining a groove without impeding on the more important matters at hand. Judges objected to the placement of "The Girl from Ipanema" so late in the disc, although it could be argued that by that point the imaginary pair was basking in a relaxed afterglow, smoking cigarettes and holding each other contentedly.
David wins a gift certificate for a $200 "pleasure party" for himself and, like, lots of his friends, to Pleasure of the Heart in San Rafael. Congrats, David!
The rest of those who answered the clarion call of the Hot 13 get our hearty thanks. You introduced us to many a sexy song, and we've posted your track lists on www.myspace.com/hot13challenge.
This was just so hot.