The Artists Pick the Best of 2012, Part 3

by Arnold Pan

1 January 2013

Six-string acoustic guitar © Zadorozhnyi Viktor. Image via 

Seapony and more...



  • Daniel Bachman, Seven Pines: Daniel is our good friend and an incredible musician. His mom is a psychic, his dad is a paleontologist, and his sister is the friendliest person in the world. I’m in a band with Daniel and my Dad called “Drunk Uncle” and sometimes I think my Dad likes him more than he likes me.

  • MMOSS, Only Children: These dudes live in an old 1800s farm house in New Hampshire and we like to hang out with them late at night, have séances, and do Madlibs together. This album is too good.

  • Mike Bruno & the Black Magic Family Band: A magical world of animals and spirits. The Family Band loves Halloween. So do I. Psych folk at its finest.

  • Happy Jawbone Family Band, The Silk Pistol: The Jawbones are sorta like if Lou Reed ate more junk food than drugs. This is just another one of their amazing albums. They have hundreds of songs and every one is killer.

  • Cate Le Bon, CYRK: We played with Cate in September and we got this album from her. I listened to it a lot while going apple picking and cooking pancakes in the mornings.

  • The Music Tapes, Mary’s Voice: I wanna listen to this album when the polar axis shifts and it snows in Disneyworld.

  • Angel Olsen, Half Way Home: The most beautiful voice in contemporary music.

  • Woods, Bend Beyond: I like these dudes. One time Jarvis saved my basketball from being stolen by some crazy dude with a three-foot long wrench in NYC.

  • Fresh and Onlys, Long Slow Dance: I just got home from tour with these dudes so I had the pleasure of hearing this album every night. I already miss shooting hoops with them and hearing Tim’s stage banter.

  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill: Actually, I haven’t even heard this album, but like, it’s probably sick.


  • Tame Impala: I enjoy these Australian fellows and their washy, cloudlike, deep-seated sorrowful, and yet strangely joyous sounds.

  • Shintaro Sakamoto: His album is like bouncing through the dead’s “shakedown street” album while wearing snowshoes. (Here’s an interview I did with him for AdHoc.)

  • MMOSS: These are our friends from New Hampshire who make amazing tunes and keep us warm with their wood stove when we visit.

  • The Migs: These are also our friends from New Hampshire, who make garage-y surf soul music, and whose live shows are among the coolest I’ve seen all year, because they cause a total ruckus and let it all completely loose in the most refreshing way ever.

  • Jacco Gardner: I just found out about this overseas jangly-pop chap, and I’m really excited for what the future holds.

  • Allah-Las: I have fun listening to the immaculate tightness of the songwriting and their execution. It’s like the first day of Groovy Pop Sensibilities 101.

  • Fresh and Onlys: We toured with these tigers for two weeks this fall and had a blast. This was my favorite song of their set.

  • Wymond Miles: I met this fellow on that same tour and This amazing tune makes me feel like a young rocket scientist in training about to do something earth-shattering.

  • Bombino: Easily had the best performance at Austin Psych Fest this year. One of my favorite albums I’ve heard in a long time.

  • Paperhead: I went to get my organ fixed earlier this year and my repairman friend was jamming this record in the shop. This band is so good that we all stopped dead in our tracks with an audible “Screeech!”

  • Davila 666: A really cool Puerto Rican garage rock band that just barely squeezed into my life this year. I only have this one 7-inch of theirs, but this here is a song they did in 2012 on a split with the Coathangers. I want these dudes to come play in Boston!

  • Lastly, I want to put St Vincent on here, but I don’t think she had a 2012 release. Let’s hand it to the lady, though, for being so damn good.

    Quilt just wrapped up our their last tour of 2012 with the Fresh and Onlys. This winter, Quilt will be recording their second full-length album and are also wrapping up recording for a split 10” single with their friends MMOSS.


    Chelle Rose

    A few of my favorite records from 2012 in no particular order:

  • World Famous Headliners, World Famous Headliners
  • Various Artists, This One’s For Him: Tribute to Guy Clark
  • Elizabeth Cook, Gospel Plow
  • Patterson Hood, Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance
  • Chris Knight, Little Victories
  • Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Grifter’s Hymnal

    Chelle Rose released Ghost of Browder Holler (Lil’ Damsel) in May 2012.


    The Ruby Suns’ Ryan McPhun

    Ten tubular tunes of 2012:

  • Todd Terje, “Inspector Norse”
  • Bear in Heaven, “The Reflection of You”
  • El Perro del Mar, “Walk on By”
  • Ice Choir, “Teletrips”
  • When Saints Go Machine, “Church and Law”
  • Opossom, “Blue Meanies”
  • Lawrence Arabia, “Early Kneecappings”
  • Boycrush, “Everybody All the Time”
  • Björk, “Mutual Core”
  • Hot Chip, “Don’t Deny Your Heart”

    The Ruby Suns’ fourth album, Christopher, is due for release on January 29, 2013 on Sub Pop.


    Sad Baby Wolf

  • DIIV, Oshin
  • Grizzly Bear, Shields
  • Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again
  • Tame Impala, Lonerism
  • Beach House, Bloom
  • Moonface, With Sinaii: Heartbreaking Bravery
  • The Walkmen, Heaven
  • Father John Misty, Fear Fun
  • Dan Deacon, America
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor, ‘Alleujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

    ABQ-based indie rock band Sad Baby Wolf is the new project led by former Shins keyboardist Marty Crandall.



    Ten cool albums

    1. Rufus Wainwright, Out of the Game
    2. Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool
    3. La Sera, Sees the Light
    4. Wild Nothing, Nocturne
    5. Perfume Genius, Put Your Back N 2 It
    6. Father John Misty, Fear Fun
    7. Chairlift, Something
    8. Frankie Rose, Interstellar
    9. Sea Lions, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask
    10. Purity Ring, Shrines

    Seapony released its sophomore full-length, Falling, on Hardly Art in September 2012.


    Secret Colours’ Tommy Evans

    Top 10 of 2012

    1. Tame Impala, Lonerism
    2. Graham Coxon, A&E
    3. Ty Segall Band, Slaughterhouse
    4. Thee Oh Sees, Putrifiers ll
    5. Jack White, Blunderbuss
    6. Spiritulized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light
    7. Brian Jonestown Massacre, Aufheben
    8. Disappears, Pre Language
    9. Ty Segall and White Fence, Hair
    10. White Fence, Family Perfume, Vol. 2

    Secret Colours self-released EP3 in 2012.


    John River Shannon

    1. Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
    2. Sleigh Bells, Reign of Terror
    3. Andrew Bird, Break It Yourself
    4. The Mars Volta, Noctourniquet
    5. Rufus Wainwright, Out of the Game
    6. Sun Kil Moon, Among the Leaves
    7. Metric, Synthetica
    8. Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
    9. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city
    10. John River Shannon, Time Was a Lie

    John River Shannon came out with a new full-length Time Was a Lie on Obliqsound in October 2012.



    1. Simon Lott ‘Simon Lott’s Things’
    1. Death Grips
    1. Death Grips
    1. Death Grips
    1. Brownout ‘Oozy’
    1. The Melvins
    1. Diminished Men
    1. Eyvind Kang
    1. Specs One
    1. Sublime Frequencies record label

    Skerik had a busy 2012, releasing a 12” EP, Gorelick, with the Dead Kenny G’s and a debut record with his Bandalabra project.


    Slim Twig

    Favourite old album: Rockin’ Horse, Yes It Is
    Favourite new album: Zacht Automaat, Bags Inside of Bags

    Favourite old song: R. Stevie Moore, “Pink Litmus Paper Shirt”
    Favourite new song: Tame Impala, “Apocalypse Dreams”

    Favourite concert: Onakabazien at Double Double Land

    Favourite old movie: Loves of a Blonde by Milos Forman
    Favourite new movie: Paranormal Activity 4 by some guys

    Favourite old books: Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession by Janet Malcolm & Moneyball by Michael Lewis (tie)
    Favourite new book: A Wilderness of Error by Errol Morris

    Favourite art exhibitions: ‘The Clock’ by Christian Marclay & Rineke Dijkstra at the Guggenheim

    Favourite sports team: Toronto Blue Jays

    Favourite album I produced: U.S. Girls, GEM
    Favourite album I wrote: Slim Twig, A Hound at the Hem

    Toronto’s Slim Twig came out with A Hound at the Hem (Calico Corp./Pleasance) in November 2012.


    The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez

  • Dave Rata, Hallucigenia
  • Can, The Lost Tapes
  • Ninos Du Brasil, Muito N.D.B.
  • Roxy Music, The Complete Studio Records 1972-1982
  • John Maus, A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material

    The Soft Moon released its sophomore effort Zeros (Captured Tracks) in October 2012. The album is featured on PopMatters’ best noise-rock and atmospheric music lists.


    Stu Bangas & Vanderslice

    Stu Bangas
    1. Sean Price, Mic Tyson
    2. Roc Marciano, Reloaded
    3. Vinnie Paz, God of the Serengeti
    4. La Coka Nostra, Master of the Dark Arts
    5. Chino XL, Ricanstructian
    6. Copywrite, God Save the King
    7. Alchemist, Yacht Rock
    8. Gangrene, Vodka and Ayahuasca
    9. Madlib Medicine Show #13
    10. El-P, Cancer 4 Cure

    1. AWAR, The Laws of Nature
    2. Gangrene, Vodka & Ayahuasca
    3. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Shame EP
    4. The Alchemist, Russian Roulette
    5. Sean Price, Mic Tyson
    6. Stu Bangas & Vanderslice, Diggaz with Attitude
    7. Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
    8. Twin Gambino, Still Cookin’ EP
    9. Gangrene, Odditorium
    10. Action Bronson & the Alchemist, Rare Chandeliers

    Stu Bangas & Vanderslice combined on the album Diggaz with Attitude (Man Bites Dog), released in August 2012.


    Sondra Sun-Odeon

    Some of the things that have really moved me /inspired me from 2012 are:

  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s new album, ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

  • CC Carana’s album Maybe Because: What a voice!

  • The film Beyond the Black Rainbow: I can’t say enough how unnerving this film is. Exquisite.

  • Sun Moon’s live cover of Robbie Basho’s “Blue Crystal Fire” at Zebulon, and all his music really.

  • Ilyas Ahmed’s intimate performance in a friend’s Brooklyn loft

  • The immersive theater experience, Sleep No More: Words cannot describe.

  • Dead Can Dance at the Beacon Theatre: It was so exciting to see these guys, and damn, they still got it!

  • Selda Bagdan at Lincoln Center outdoors, dancing with a heavily Turkish crowd, waving flags and singing along.

  • Antony and the Johnson’s Swanlights at Radio City Music Hall: Made me cry.

  • Björk’s performance at the New York Hall of Science: Hands down, the most inspiring performance I have ever seen in my entire life. It was intelligent, poignant, beautifully transcendental, rousing, and life-affirming in a way that few artists have achieved.

    Sondra Sun-Odeon self-released her solo debut, Ætherea, in November 2012.

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