The Artists Pick the Best of 2012, Part 1

by Arnold Pan

25 December 2012

Rockstar playing solo on guitar © Vlasov Volodymyr. Image via 

Paul Buchanan and more...


Paul Buchanan (formerly of the Blue Nile)

  • Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
  • Lana Del Rey, Born to Die
  • Frank Ocean, channel Orange
  • The Maccabees, Given to the Wild
  • Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas
  • Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace (Book)
  • David Byrne, How Music Works (Book)
  • Rod Stewart, The Autobiography (Book)
  • Bob Dylan, Tempest
  • The xx, Coexist

    One-time Blue Nile frontman Paul Buchanan released his solo debut Mid Air (Newsroom) in November 2012.


    Sera Cahoone

    1. Breaking Bad, Season 5
    2. Denver Broncos
    3. Thee Satisfaction, Awe Natural
    4. Kathleen Edwards, Voyageur
    5. Toy poodles
    6. Music for marriage equality
    7. Bulleit Rye
    8. Father John Misty, Fear Fun
    9. Shovels and Ropes, Oh Be Joyful
    10. Raquetball resurgence

    Sera Cahoone released her third album Deer Creek Canyon via Sub Pop in September 2012.



  • Lower Dens, Nootropics
  • Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes
  • Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan
  • Antony and the Johnsons, Cut the World
  • Doldrums, Egypt EP
  • DJ Rashad, Teklife Vol. 1—Welcome to the Chi
  • Here We Go Magic, A Different Ship
  • Actress, R.I.P.
  • Brian Eno, LUX
  • Mac DeMarco, Rock and Roll Nightclub

    Callers released their third album, Reviver (Partisan), in October 2012.


    Cannibal Ox’s Vast Aire

    1. Nas, Life Is Good
    2. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city
    3. Meek Mill, Dreams and Nightmares
    4. Curren$y, The Stoned Immaculate
    5. Double A.B., Media Shower
    6. Billy Woods, History Will Absolve Me
    7. Devin the Dude, Seriously Trippin
    8. Danny Brown, Bruiser Brigade
    9. Iron Solomon, Monster
    10. MHZ, Legacy

    Vast Aire will be releasing his Space Iliad EP on Man Bites Dog in early 2013. Cannibal Ox’s December 2012 reunion show was sold out, and the group is touring and planning a new record.


    Chaos Chaos

    Top 10 songs of 2012:

    1. TV on the Radio, “Second Song” and “Will Do” (XXXChange Dancehall Mix)
    2. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
    3. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, “Bag of Bones”
    4. Deerhoof , “Flower”
    5. Death Grips, “I’ve Seen Footage”
    6. Tegan and Sara, “Closer”
    7. Tyga, “Faded”
    8. Bloc Party, “Kettling”
    9. Alice and Michi, “Cairo”
    10. Cat Power, “3, 6, 9”

    Chaos Chaos, the new project of Asy and Chloe formerly of the band Smoosh, released a new EP S in October 2012.


    Cinema Cinema’s Ev Gold

    1. Swans, The Seer
    2. Swans, We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head (live)
    3. John Frusciante, PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone
    4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
    5. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill
    6. The Mars Volta, Noctourniquet
    7. Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes
    8. Killing Joke, MMXII
    9. Yva Las Vegass, I Was Born in a Place of Sunshine and the Smell of Ripe Mangoes
    10. Sir Richard Bishop, Intermezzo
    11. Rush, Clockwork Angels
    12. The Evens, The Odds
    13. John Frusciante, Letur-Lefr
    14. Dr. John, Locked Down
    15. Tenacious D, Rize of the Fenix
    16. The Mountain Goats, Transcendental Youth
    17. Melvins Lite, Freak Puke
    18. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana
    19. Lightning Bolt, Oblivion Hunter
    20. Soundgarden, King Animal

    Cinema Cinema’s latest full-length, Manic Children and the Slow Aggression, came out on Lumiere in July 2012.


    Todd Clouser

    1. David Byrne & St. Vincent, Love This Giant
    2. Ron Miles, Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, Quiver
    3. Melvins Lite, Freak Puke
    4. Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser, Jim Thomas, Weasel Walter, & Allen Whitman, Jazz Free (A Connective Improvisation)
    5. John Zorn, Templars in Sacred Blood
    6. Jack White, Blunderbuss
    7. Eddie Vedder & Natalie Maines, “Golden State” (Live)
    8. Bill Laswell, Mean of Deliverance
    9. Matt Chamberlain, Company 23
    10. Medeski Martin & Wood, Free Magic

    Todd Clouser is in the midst of releasing three albums over the course of 12 months, beginning with 20th Century Folk Selections in February 2012 and ending on February 19, 2013 with The Naked Beat.


    Chris Cohen

  • Blanche Blanche Blanche, Open Session Rock
  • APHG, Mature Themes
  • Howling Hex, Navajo Rag
  • Mac DeMarco, 2
  • Deerhoof, Breakup Song

    After playing with the likes of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti and Deerhoof, Chris Cohen released his solo debut Overgrown Path (Captured Tracks) in September 2012.




  • Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE: channel ORANGE just totally rocked me. The melodies and lyrics are incredibly compelling, it’s a super fresh take on culture and love. Sometimes I think he’s the genius Joanna Newsom of R&B.

  • Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city: Kendrick Lamar’s, good kid M.A.A.D city blows me away. I listen to it on repeat. It’s musically and sonically captivating, lyrically powerful, and just a solid, thoroughly considered listen from start to finish.


  • Here We Go Magic, A Different Ship: I think every song on that record is a complete idea fully thought out. Each song has its own feel that it sticks too and fully explores.


  • Grimes, Visions: The melodies on this record are absolutely captivating. I love Grimes’ voice because I can really feel the honesty she’s projecting. It’s beautiful, it’s raw, and it never sacrifices the fragility that makes each of these tracks so entrancing. Grimes is writing great, nuanced songs, and she has the talent and the artistry to make those songs relevant and danceable.

  • TEEN, In Limbo: I love listening to this record because while many of its ‘50s/‘60s throwback sounds are surely tongue-in-cheek and are more than likely a play on the drastic changes in societal expectations of women between the days of Motown and today, In Limbo is never derivative and always catchy. This record is catchy enough to blow up, but sonically interesting enough to listen to over and over.


  • Goat, World Music
  • Tame Impala, Lonerism
  • Cat Power, Sun
  • Death Grips, The Money Store
  • Shintaro Sakamoto, How to Live with a Phantom
  • Ty Segall, Twins

    Companion, the new chamber-pop group headed by Pepi Ginsberg, releases its self-titled debut on February 5, 2013.



    1. MHz Legacy, MHz Legacy
    2. Copywrite, God Save the King
    3. Copywrite, God Save the King: Proper English Version
    4. KIller Mike, R.A.P. Music
    5. Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
    6. Nas, Life Is Good
    7. Parvis Fekrat, Now That I’m Rich…How Much Are You?
    8. Trinidad James, Don’t Be S.A.F.E.
    9. The Beach Boys, That’s Why God Made the Radio
    10. Eshon Burgundy, Blood Rushing to My Head

    Copywrite released a new solo album God Save the King in February 2012, in addition to a full-length project with MHz Legacy, out in October 2012.

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