Telekinesis and more...
Lil Meebles top 10 for 2012 (in no particular order)
Favorite Reissues of 2012:
My favorite television shows watched in 2012, some not actually from 2012:
Homeland: I watched almost all of season one on a trip to New York City recently, and I couldn’t believe how each episode kept my interest. It’s no wonder this show has been awarded so many accolades as of late. And MANDY PATINKIN. Come on.
Dexter: I’m so entrenched in this show, even though it sometimes verges on really super cheesy and predictable. I have sipped the Dexter Kool Aid, and now I am hooked in deep.
Breaking Bad: Similar to Dexter, I started watching Breaking Bad, and felt like it was pretty cheesy, and predictable. That all changed after the first and second season. This show makes me have so much wonderful anxiety, and the last episode of season five was such a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see the next season.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: This might be a controversial choice, but I downloaded all of season one, and literally watched all of the episodes over the course of the day. Say what you will about this family, but they have FUN. Like, capital F FUN. I think they are a charmingly normal family, and the ‘sketti episode is absolutely amazing. There are some serious unintentional comedic gems in some of these episodes.
Battlestar Galactica: Just like it is depicted in the Portlandia episode, my girlfriend and I got SO obsessed with this. It’s SO good.
Freaks & Geeks: I had never watched this, but it recently became available on Netflix. What an incredible show, with some incredible people that were destined to become famous movie stars and directors. I have no idea why this only went for one season. It’s one of the best coming of age shows ever made.
Six Feet Under: My girlfriend had seen all of these, but they were on HBO Go, so we watched them together. What an absolute achievement of a show. The last episode made me cry my eyes out, and that’s hard to get me to do!
Girls: I think Lena Dunham is awesome, and she is taking crazy risks, and that’s so refreshing. I really enjoy this show.
Telekinesis is preparing a new album for release in 2013 on Merge.
Touché‘s Bram Inscore
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city: I listened to a lot of rap music growing up, especially west coast rap music and this album is the first that I have heard since the 90s that feels like a legit continuation of that genre without feeling like it is copying anything. The writing and storytelling is captivating, and there is enough detail that it took me several listens through to really appreciate the depth of the concept and of the production. I love the way he creates so many different textures with his voice through the course of a song, as well as strings together different pieces of music to create a sense of theatre. And I am not usually a fan of socially conscious rap music, but I’m glad someone made a good rap album that questions social norms instead of glorifying them.
Sebastian Tellier, My God Is Blue: Few people nowadays can evoke so much emotion from chords and harmony as Sebastien Tellier. It sometimes seems as if this is a lost art, although it is something I have always admired about French music. And it is refreshing to hear an artist that is not afraid to combine many different styles and still retain a singular voice in an age where homogeny seems to be the norm. This album is beautiful, sad, grandiose, cheeky, absurd, cinematic and sexy… all the things I love about the French.
Paradise, “I Love Thousands Every Summer” 7”: Our friend Nedelle Torrisi made a beautiful album of dreamy, intracitely-woven, synth-R&B-pop songs under the Paradise moniker (Although, she just has a 7” single out now). With links to early Sade and some musical theatre flourishes, these songs feel like Paradise is about searching for a lost sense of beauty from the past, and creating an oasis from the harsh reality of the present. And they have been stuck in my head since the first time I heard them.
Die Antwoord, “I Fink U Freeky” music video: This video actually freaked me out enough to make me want to watch it over and over. I love how playful this is and how it showcases the band’s personality by bluring the line between the real and the manufactured in a kind of Andy Kaufman-esque way. It’s dark, visceral and ignorant (or at least faux-ignorant) and retains the tongue-in-cheek humor and that made me love Die Antwoord in the first place.
I just wrote about a music book. There’s enough music here! Did you ever wish that David Byrne was your college professor? Well, I got a taste of what that would be like with his new book How Music Works. It’s an accessible but illuminating romp through anthropology, music history and some juicy Talking Heads tidbits. I guess we all knew he was kind of a genius, but man he really is!
Touché recently released its “I Am a Man Not a Machine” single, as well as a cover of Prefab Sprout’s “Wild Horses”.
Triple Hex will be dropping a new EP (Mon Amie) to celebrate 2013 on January 1 at 12:01 AM.
1. Tame Impala, Lonerism
2. Diamond Rugs, Diamond Rugs
3. JEFF The Brotherhood, Hypnotic Nights
4. PUJOL, United States of Being
5. The Black Keys, El Camino
6. Guided by Voices, The Bears For Lunch
7. The Walkmen, Heaven
8. Ty Segall & White Fence, Hair
9. Ty Segall, Twins
10. Thee Oh Sees, Putrifiers II
Turbo Fruits released their third full-length Butter (Serpents & Snakes) in September 2012.
My top ten favorite things of 2012:
1. There were two Cy Young winners (R.A. Dickey and David Price) from middle Tennessee
2. We will never have to hear the phrase “Vice President Paul Ryan”
3. Daniel Bachman, Seven Pines
4. Tasty Kakes will outlive Twinkies
6. Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
9. Listening to Josh Turner in the van with Megafaun
10. Kay Larson, Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
William Tyler’s sophomore solo album, Impossible Truth, will be released by Merge on March 29, 2013.
Videotape’s Ian McDuffie
1. Swans, The Seer: Watching the sun rise on the last day of Earth. A grim and grizzled coyote watches you with a grin. There are worse people to ride out the apocalypse with than Michael Gira.
2. The Smashing Pumpkins, Oceania: Zeitgeist wasn’t a “bad” album so much as it was just misguided. Billy Corgan proves that he can keep up with his legacy if he listens to himself, and not the “fans” that just want him to “rock”. He’ll “rock” if he wants to.
3. The Walkmen, Heaven: “The Walkmen are getting old!” they say. Who gives a shit if they still crank out the most beautiful album of the year with infuriating consistency? This is coming from a guy who prefers “Woe Is Me” to “Angela Surf City”, though.
4. Naughty Spells, Under Our…: Garage Power Psych Hour. The best album of the year you’ve never heard.
5. Bob Dylan, Tempest: Yes, Bob may be insane. He probably is. But who isn’t, sometimes? Now you can thank him for making an album to soundtrack your lunacy. Bonus Points for “Roll On John”, the only time anyone has made me care about John Lennon.
6. Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill: “I don’t want my MP3!” Yeah, we figured. The very limits of length. It’s like the end of 2001 in slow-motion anger. “I might be a pagan” is maybe the most satisfying end to a 30-minute song ever committed to tape.
7. Ono, Albino: Ono has become such an integral part of Chicago’s art-rock scene as to be almost mythical. A part of the lore. Albino contains the only version of “All Tomorrow’s Parties” you’ll ever need.
8. Scott Walker, Bish Bosch: This album hasn’t even come out yet as I write this. But “Epizootics!” is the best song of the year, and any album that contains it is an immediate shoe-in for “best”. Out of the shadows, the old man’s back again.
9. Peter Buck, Peter Buck: Peter Buck was probably really quite inebriated when he made this. Which makes for the loosest, booziest R.E.M. album you’ve ever heard. Bonus points for making me really miss Corin Tucker.
10. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die: She’s in on the joke. Get over it. This album is the best pop album of 1998.
Chicago’s Videotape released the full-length This Is Disconnect in September 2012.
Wagons’ Henry Wagons
1. Grizzly Bear, “Sleeping Ute”: My most loved of the year! A song so delicate and drama filled. Its like a weird Chinese Orchestra, in a good way.
2. David Byrne & St Vincent, “Who”: Incredible sage-like woodwind/brass based production. Charm overdose.
3. Donny Benet, “Gimme Your Heat”: An amazing song from this this Australian cross between Prince and the guy that sells you parma ham at the local deli.
4. The Rolling Stones, “Doom and Gloom”: Those atrophied limbs have still got it. Who knew?
5. Tame Impala, “Elephant”: These Perth natives have got an amazing throwback sound that seems to be making the world take notice. I am also taking notice pumping this track out from my micro-hi-fi in my lounge room.
6. Willie Nelson, “Breathe”: Also featuring his son, this song is a delicate gem. His son sounds very much like Willie. I’m not sure if he’d be proud of his son, or feel as though he was ripping daddy off.
7. Jack White, “Missing Pieces”: An amazing opening statement to a fascinating and bold solo debut. Lots of pressure on a solo release for Jack, after his amazing bands, and he somehow managed to deliver in spades.
8. Hot Chip, “How Do You Do?”: Best music coming out of this over-the-top bunch of dead-set and proud nerds. Encore!
9. Animal Collective, “Today’s Supernatural”: This song reminds me of an updated “Golden Brown”. Love the harpsichord. No one has played it as well since Lurch from the Munsters.
10. Grimes, “Oblivion”: Such a slight and dainty woman, yet somehow so ominous. An epic achievement considering I hear the album came together on GarageBand on her Apple laptop. How she was not distracted by Photo Booth and checking the web I will never know.
Wagons frontman Henry Wagons is releasing his solo EP Expecting Company? (Thirty Tigers), with guest spots by the Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster and the Kills’ Allison Mossheart, in the U.S. on January 22, 2013.
We Were Promised Jetpacks’ Darren Lackie
In 2012 We Were Promised Jetpacks toured the U.S. extensively in support of their sophomore release In the Pit of the Stomach (2011) out on FatCat.
After a decade of playing in Nashville’s punk scene, Justin Landis brought together Bad Cop’s Adam Moult and Kevin Kilpatrick, and Alycia Wahn from Useless Eaters, and molded a refreshing southern take on post-punk—Western Medication.
Writer released its debut Brotherface (3 Syllables) in October 2012.
Yellow Red Sparks
Father John Misty, Fear Fun: The first time I listened to this record, it drew me in. There are so many rich layers going on in every song and the vocal melodies seem to ease any pains.
Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again: A beautiful record. So nice to hear great new music that sounds so classic.
Regina Spektor, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats: I’ve been a longtime fan of Regina and I definitely think this is one of her best records. The writing has the same amount of quirkiness, but a little more refined and mature.
The Lumineers, The Lumineers: The kind of record that makes you feel like you’re in a comfortable living room listening to great stories from your favorite uncle. Raw and melodious.
Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is an Animal: Every time I listen to this record, the blood rushes back into my head. With such a plethora of sound, you can’t help but feel completely drawn in to every song.
Beach House, Bloom: I got in a little late on this band, but they amaze me. Not only are they fantastic musicians, but their entire outlook on the music business is inspiring. The songwriting is so solid and I think the lyrics fit the music perfectly…mysterious, intriguing, and beautiful.
Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough?: I was lucky enough to see Lianne perform a short stripped down set for a lunchtime performance at her label and she really captivated me. She has the kind of voice that can carry a room and stop you in your tracks. I love her quiet intensity and fierceness, which somehow comes off as very endearing.
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do: One of my all time favorite songwriters. Fiona has way with words and the album title alone should compel people to listen to what she has to say.
Rufus Wainwright, Out of the Game: One of the most underappreciated songwriters of our time. I feel like Rufus won’t be considered a genius on a global scale until long after he has retired from his craft. He rules.
Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas: I am grateful for the opportunity to include this man in a top ten during my lifetime. Some of the instrumentation on this record is insane and Leonard is by far one of the best lyricists of all time.
Yellow Red Sparks’ self-titled album (Org) will be released in January 2013.
You Won’t's Josh Arnoudse
The Most Ultimate Top Ten Best Tracks of 2012:
You Won’t released its debut full-length Skeptic Goodbye (Old Flame) in February 2012.