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The Artists Pick the Best of 2012, Part 2

Young guitar player with instrument performing in night club © Sergey Nivens. Image via

PopMatters is giving the artists a chance to play critic, asking them to let us in on the albums, songs, musical moments, and whatever else struck their fancy in 2012.

Jellyfish and more...

Jellyfish's Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.

1. Father John Misty, Fear Fun: This is the only new thing I have been impressed by in 2012. And this is no small offering. Every track is a songwriting and production masterpiece. Forward thinking and classic all at the same time. Piles of talent coming from Josh Tilman here. He and his band are the real deal. If there were actually another nine new releases that impressed me enough to include in a best-of list, I would assume I was on another planet and this would be the best year for music in a long, long time. Thanks for asking for my opinion.

Alt-rock pioneers Jellyfish dig into their archives for a pair of 2012 releases, with Live at Bogarts and Stack-a-Tracks, both on Omnivore.


Jemez Mountain Hawkz

1. Various Artists, Country Funk 1969-1975

2. Bill Wilson, Ever Changing Minstrel reissue

3. Allah-Las, Allah-Las

4. Andrew Bird, Break It Yourself

5. Arron Embry, Tiny Prayer

6. Beachwood Sparks, The Tarnished Gold

7. Don and Joe Emerson, Dreamin' Wild

8. Sad Baby Wolf, "Everything Is"

9. Black Apples "Cover Up/ Morning Song"

10. Whispering Pines, Whispering Pines

Jemez Mountain Hawkz released their Hey-Mez EP in October 2012.


J*DaVeY's Jack Davey

1. 2 Chainz, "No Lie"

2. Gary Clark Jr., "You Saved Me"

3. Miguel, "Adorn"

4. The Knux, "Animal"

5. Kid Cudi, featuring King Chip, "Just What I Am"

6. Allah-Las, "Tell Me (What's on Your Mind)"

7. Cash Out, "Cashin' Out"

8. Pyyramids, "That Ain't Right"

9. Hanni El Khatib, "Come Alive"

10. Defsound, "Look Like Me"

Electro-soul group J*DaVeY recently came out with a double EP LO-F!.


Steve Kalinich & Jon Tiven

Steve Kalinich

1. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, M.A.A.D. city

2. Lady Gaga, Born This Way

3. Jay -Z & Kanye West, Watch The Throne

4. Adele, 21

5. Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas

6. Taylor Swift, Red

7. Kid Rock, Rebel Soul

8. Jack White, Blunderbuss

9. Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls

10. Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe

11. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...

12. Bob Dylan, Tempest

13. YO MA MA, Shortcuts to Infinity/Symptomology

Jon Tiven

1. Kalinich/Tiven aka YO MA MA, Shortcuts To Inifinity/Symptomology

2. Van Morrison, Born To Sing

3. Dorothy Moore, Blues Heart

4. Debbie Davies, After the Fall

5. Ruthie Foster, Let It Burn

6. Bob Dylan, Tempest

7. King Mob, Force 9

8. Leslie West, Unusual Suspects

9. Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe

10. Michael Burks, Show of Strength

(All over the age of 50)

11. Dylan LeBlanc, Cast the Same Old Shadow

12. Andreas Werner, Good Side of Crazy

13. Bottletree, Bottletree EP

Songwriters whose work has been performed by artists from the Beach Boys to B.B. King to Alex Chilton, Steve Kalinich and Jon Tiven worked together as YO MA MA, releasing Shortcuts to Infinity/Symptomology (MsMusic) in 2012.


King Tuff's Kyle Thomas

1. Audacity, Mellow Cruisers

2. Gap Dream, Gap Dream

3. Chris Weisman, Beatleboro

4. White Fang, High Expectations

5. Natural Child, For the Love of the Game

6. The Memories, The Memories

7. Tame Impala, Lonerism

8. Hector’s Pets

9. Fletcher C. Johnson, Salutations

10. The Babies, Our House on the Hill

King Tuff released a self-titled album on Sub Pop in May 2012.


Kishi Bashi

1. Gangnam Style

2. Gangnam Style

3. Gangnam Style

4. Gangnam Style

5. Gangnam Style

Gangnam Style kind of sums up my year in music.

K Ishibashi, performing as Kishi Bashi, released his first LP, 151a, on Joyful Noise in April 2012.


Kount Fif

1. MHz, Legacy

2. Copywrite, God Save the King

3 Copywrite , God Save the King UK

4. Stu Bangas & Vanderslice, D.W.A.

5. Double AB & Dub Sonata, Media Shower

6. Nas, Life Is Good

7. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.D. city

8. Schoolboy Q, Habits and Contradictions

9. Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes

10. RZA, Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack

Along with RML, Kount Fif released The Swashbuckler Vol. 1: The Viking Wars on Man Bites Dog in March 2012.


Kylesa's Laura Pleasants

1. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction

2. Torche, Harmonicraft

3. Witchcraft, Legend

4. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned

5. Killing Joke, MMXII

6. Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind

7. Krakow, Diin

8. Unsane, Wreck

9. Gojira, L'Enfant Sauvage

10. Baroness, Yellow (only)

Kylesa issued From the Vaults, Vol. 1 (Season of Mist), a collection of rare and unreleased tracks, in November 2012.


Lavender Diamond

  • ESP/UFO, 2012 split 10"
  • Diva, Moon Moods
  • Entrance Band, Fone Flow
  • Eleni Mandell, I Can See the Future
  • Lucky Dragons, Existers
  • Taylor Swift, Red
  • Neil Young, Psychedelic Pill and Americana: Two great albums from Neil in one year!
  • Michael Tilson Thomas, conducting San Francisco Symphony, American Mavericks: Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, and Edgard Varese
  • Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...

  • Lavender Diamond released its second album Incorruptible Heart via Paracadute in September 2012.



  • Kimbra, Vows
  • Beach House, Bloom
  • The Walkmen, Heaven
  • The Bad Plus, Made Possible
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hysterical
  • Tame Impala, Lonerism
  • Wild Nothing, Nocturne
  • Merchandise, Children of Desire
  • Metric, Synthetica
  • Father John Misty, Fear Fun

  • Brooklyn-based fuzz-rock band Lightouts released two singles, The Big Picture and The Cure for Shyness, in 2012

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