Entries tagged with: best of 2012
Cadence Weapon @ MHOW, June 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Some of you may recall that before he became known as Cadence Weapon, Rollie Pemberton spent time as a music critic, having penned a number of reviews for Pitchfork in the early '00s. So chances are he knows his way around making year end lists, and we've got his best of 2012 list right here in this post. While it includes year-end regulars Kendrick Lamar and Jermih (and fellow Canadians Mac DeMarco and TOPS), his top spot is a bit of a surprise.
Rollie's pick for #1 release of 2012 is Captured Tracks' reissues of '80s low-fi indie cult band Cleaners from Venus whose cassette-only Blow Away Your Troubles (1981), On Any Normal Monday (1982), and Midnight Cleaners (1982) saw the light of day via Captured Tracks. The vinyl sold out but you can still get them on CD and digital, and stream them via Spotify.Captured Tracks will reissue Cleaners from Venus' next three albums (1983's The Golden Autumn, 1984's Under Wartime Conditions, and 1985's Songs for a Fallow Land) plus a disc's worth of rarites in February 2013.
Meanwhile, if you haven't heard Cadence Weapon's 2012 Polaris Prize-nominated album, Hope in Dirt City, you can stream that below too. Rollie's Best of 2012 LP list is below...
Nashville's PUJOL got their start with the Nashville garage scene but this year's United States of Being (the band's first for Saddle Creek) is a crunchy, big-sounding record that, like the new JEFF the Brotherhood, owes more to early-'90s alterna-rock than anything else. You can stream the whole thing below (via Rolling Stone). Maybe you saw them at one of our Hotel Vegan day parties in Austin this year during SXSW? Main man Daniel Pujol was kind enough to send us a list of his favorite LPs of 2012 which includes records from fellow Tennesseans Natural Child, Heavy Cream and Turbo Fruits. Check out his complete list below...
Small Black at Brooklyn Museum in June (more by Jessica Amaya)
Today we've posted year-end lists by Andy from Cake Shop, Mark Eitzel, and James from Veronica Falls. Now we've got one from Josh Kolenik of Brooklyn chillwavers Small Black giving us a rundown of 12 singles he loved in 2012.
Based on Small Black's own sound, it's got an unsurprising amount of indie pop, R&B, electronics, and Young Chop-produced hip hop. But he also sneaks in the inclusion of some vintage-sounding psych folk courtesy of Jessica Pratt. Check out his full list of songs, along with streams and/or videos for each track, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: BLURRY BITTERS - A CAKE SHOP BEST OF 2012 MIXTAPE (MP3)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring @ Cake Shop, June 2010 (more by Diana Wong)
One of the biggest, most genuine music fans I know is Andy from Ludlow Street indie rock club Cake Shop. He's an indefatigable listener and always turns me onto new stuff. Here we've got his "best of 2012 and live from cakeshop and recorded" which is topped by Parquet Courts' fantastic debut album, Light Up Gold. You can check out the full list of "21 AMAZING EXPERIENCES" below.
Andy is also a great maker of mixes, and I stil put in one he made for the Cake Shop/Slumberland 2009 SXSW showcase from time to time. Over at the Cake Shop blog, he posted a 2012 mix loaded with great stuff that you can download above and see the tracklist below. Highly recommend. Cake Shop had a successful Pledge Music campaign this year, signed a new 10-year lease, survived the Great Sandy Blackout, and I can't wait to see more bands there in 2013 (like maybe Obits on January 19) and beyond.
Andy from Cake Shop's Best of 2012 list and mixtape tracklist are below...
American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel released a solo album, Don't Be A Stranger, earlier this year via Merge and recently finished up a a tour in support of it which hit NYC earlier this month (12/3) at Highline Ballroom. A video of Mark playing "Firefly" at that show is below.
Mark gave us a list of his favorite music and films that he "saw/heard this year that might have been from any year." The whole list, in no particular order, is below.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
One Tail One Head at Inferno Festival, April 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
2012 was a year of considerable personal growth for me, as a person, a photographer and a music fan. As I recounted in my favorite photos of 2012, I got to shoot some of my favorite bands of all time and travel the globe in search of new ones. The beginning of the year was spent dealing with personal drama, and if it werent for key records in my life I shudder to think at where I would be right now. To every band on this list and many who aren't, I cant thank you enough.
First order of business, my musical pallette is much much larger than just a series of metal records. This is NOT a list of my favorite records of the year, because that would surely include other entries from across many different genres. This is, however, a list of some of my favorite heavier records.
To me, the term "heavy" can be defined in many ways, from the elongated riff on a doom record to a noise squall to a particularly punishing punk-rock beatdown. While most of the following records are "heavy" in the traditional "distortion and loud guitars" sense, a few are not. You'll see metal, you'll see deathrock, you'll see raw punk, you'll see hardcore, and many spots in between in the numbered list below. And to answer your question, yes you'll see Swans... right beside D-Clone and Asphyx.
My favorite records of 2012 are below. Hopefully you'll see a connection in favorites or maybe discover something new. Regardless, I hope you found your own favorites of the year whether in this list or outside of it.
Veronica Falls at South Street Seaport in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
UK indie pop outfit Veronica Falls, who are touring in 2013 with great new band Cheatahs, just spoke to us about their ten favorite things of 2012 music, film, and TV-wise. It was singer/guitarist James Hoare, specifically, who sent his list over, and he really likes Girls. He's got the single for "My Ma" by the now-defunct band, the solo album by frontman Christopher Owens (which actually comes out next year, but we'll let it slide), AND the television show of the same name all in his top 10 list. He's also got fellow indie poppers Mac DeMarco and Woods, and reveals his classic rock soft spot by including the new Rolling Stones song.
James' full list is below...
by Andrew Sacher
Today, we finally get the much anticipated list of Pitchfork's Top 20 Albums of 2012. They revealed Nos. 30-50 yesterday and spent the rest of this week posting Honorable Mentions and tracks. None of the albums that made the top 20 are surprising to see there (which doesn't mean they aren't deserving), but the surprises come from the albums that missed the list all together. Passion Pit got ROBBED! Twin Shadow too! And Wild Nothing! If you're looking for Converge or Baroness, you'll have to redirect yourself to Pitchfork's Metal list (though Pallbearer was in the main top 50). And we could've guessed that Nos. 1 and 2 would be Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar... but who took the No. 1 spot? Head below to find out and you can check out individual writer's votes too...
The Roots at ATP NYC 2012 (more by Adela Loconte)
Earlier this month, Rolling Stone published their list of the 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time (which was mainly golden era stuff, Eminem, and Jay-Z), which Questlove wrote the intro for, and now Rolling Stone had Quest publish his own list of his top 50 hip-hop songs of all time. HIs list also focuses on the older stuff, but probably for different reasons. He writes:
For this top 50 list, I decided to concentrate on 1979-1995, the former being the year I got my first taste of hip-hop, the latter being the year my major-label debut with the Roots made its mark. I wanted to concentrate on the period that I was not professionally involved in the art form. I wanted to celebrate the period that built and led to the influence that got me a record deal.You can check out the whole list with commentary at Rolling Stone and stream 47 of the tracks via Rdio below.
In related news, Okayplayer/The Roots are throwing their annual holiday party (check out pictures from last year) at Brooklyn Bowl tonight (12/20), which is invite only and will likely have many special guests, including Joey Bada$$, who just revealed the cover art for the new Pro Era mixtape, Peep The Apocalypse, which drops this Friday (12/21) aka the apocalypse. The flyer for tonight's holiday party is also below.
Questlove, who DJs at Brooklyn Bowl almost every Thursday night, is also throwing another annual holiday party, which isn't invite only, on January 1 at SOB's with special guest DJ Herbert Holler. Tickets for that party are on sale now.
Streams, flyer, and album art below...
King Louie tops the list with "Val Venis"
Chicago-based hip hop site Fake Shore Drive have listed their picks for the 100 best Chicago rap songs of 2012. King Louie tops the list with his track "Val Venis," and Lil Durk, Chief Keef, Lil Reese, Chance the Rapper, Giftz, Kanye West, and L.E.P. Bogus Boys are all in the top 10.
There are a few very interesting things about this top 10. Young Chop produced four of the 10 tracks, two of which are Chief Keef's "I Don't Like" and "Love Sosa." Lil Reese is featured on Keef's "I Don't Like" and also makes the list with his own "Us," which was produced by none other than Young Chop. Tree co-produced Chance the Rapper's "Hey Ma," and handled full production and was featured on Giftz' "Nino. Lil Durk is featured on King Louie's "Want It All," which is the fourth track on the list that Young Chop produced, and also made the cut with his own "L's Anthem." (It's a lot to take in at once, huh?)
Check out Fake Shore Drive's entire 100-song list HERE.
photos by Gretchen Robinette
Gretchen Robinette has contritued her thoughts on favorite photos that she took in 2012, leaving us with shots of Ghostface, Janelle Monae, The Walkmen and more. Check out more shots from the uber-talented Robinette below.
Her set of favorite contributions joins fellow photographers Caroline Harrison, Dominick Mastrangelo, Dana (distortion) Yavin, Amanda Hatfield, David Andrako, Jessica Amaya, Fred Pessaro // BBG, Chris La Putt and Ryan Muir.
More photos are below.
Nite Jewel at LPR in August (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Nite Jewel (aka Ramona Gonazalez) is a bit of a musical shapeshifter, having previously recorded lo-fi experimental pieces, performed with Linda Perhacs (along with Julia Holter), and performed a Kraftwerk album in its entirety, among other things. Just recently, she recorded a piano cover of Stevie Wonder's "Visions," which you can watch a video of below.
But on this year's One Second of Love, Ramona went for more of an overtly pop approach than her earlier work, and that interest comes across pretty strongly in her top ten songs of 2012 list, which you can check out below. Half of the list is made up of this year's big rap/R&B faves, and it also includes collaborator Julia Holter, Zebra Katz (whose video we just posted), and more.
Check out her full list and the "Visions" video below...
The Cribs @ MHOW, April 2012 (more by Guy Eppel)
After a stint with legendary guitar-slinger Johnny Marr joining the group, The Cribs slimmed back to their all-Jarman power trio line-up for this year's In the Belly of the Brazen Bull, their best album in a while which made Best of 2012 lists from NME and The Fly. Currently residing here in Brooklyn (where he's working on an album with Jen Turner), frontman Ryan Jarman was nice enough to give us his Top 10 Tracks of the year. He prefaces his list with this:
I tend to see end of year lists as like homework or something so it always gets done at the very last minute. However, now I live in Brooklyn I thought it was good form to make the effort for the local rag so here is my quickly thrown together top 10 tracks of the year.Ryan and Jen's band, Exclamation Pony were added as an opener to the previously discussed Mission of Burma show in NYC on January 18 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show are still available.
Ryan's top 10 picks are below, complete with commentary and streams...
Today Pitchfork posted the first half (well, first 30 albums) of their Top 50 Albums of 2012 list. There are some surprises on it, like Peaking Lights and Sharon Van Etten, who seemed more likely to end up on their Honorable Mentions list due to their relatively lower scores and the fact that most of the albums on this list were awarded Best New Music throughout the year. Cat Power and Hot Chip also make it, both of whose new albums seemed to have received less love from Pitchfork than previous releases by those artists. A Rustie Essential Mix also makes the list even though his actual album which came out last year didn't make their 2011 list. And of course the expected ones end up there too like Purity Ring, Julia Holter, Schoolboy Q, Miguel, and more. The remaining 20 will be revealed tomorrow (Friday, 12/21).
Check out their 50-30 picks below...
"Thank you, Brisbane!" - Obits Instagram
Like we've done with a lot of bands this year, we asked Brooklyn's Obits for a list of their favorite albums of 2012. Guitarist Sohrab Habibion wrote back saying, "It usually takes some time to figure out if a record is really going to stick with me, so even though I liked what I heard from Beak, Disappears, Oneida, Pontiak, Royal Baths and Zomes, I'll submit my best of 2012 in a few years," and instead said, "since Obits is working on a new record, here are the Top 10 songs we will do our best not to directly rip off." You can check out that list, complete with YouTube clips for each one, below. Drummer (and onetime Girls Against Boys member) Alexis Fleisig also submitted "Top Ten Things I Completely Took For Granted This Year" which is below as well.
Sohrab, who also reformed his old band Edsel for a couple shows this year, also gave a rundown of Obits 2012 activity and what's in store for 2013:
Despite not putting out a full LP, we kept pretty busy. We released two 7"s - one on Sub Pop with 2 covers and another on a Spanish label called La Castanya with 2 originals on it.Sorhab and Alexis' Top 10 lists are below...
And along with some east coast shows, Austin and Denver (a new US city for us), we went to Europe twice this year, getting to play in Greece, Portugal, Italy and Sweden for the first time. We also went to Australia, which was truly as cool as every band that goes there says it is.
On the horizon ... a couple NYC shows.
1. January 18 = Obits at Rock Shop with Browns & Wrong Dots (tickets).
3. Finishing our next album. We have bunches and bunches of song fragments in various stages. The next few months we will be deciding what's worth keeping or working on or tossing in the trash.
4. Going back to Europe in June. It'll be a combination of places we've been and haven't been, including Poland and Ukraine, which we're looking forward to.
Also, this year there were some Hot Snakes shows and an Edsel reunion & re-issues (http://www.comedyminusone.com/023.php), which was kind of unexpected. Next year there might be a handful more Hot Snakes shows, maybe an Edsel appearance or two (along with additional re-issues and tunes from the vault), as well as some Girls Against Boys activity.
Pitchfork just posted their Honorable Mention Albums of 2012, which they consider "20 records didn't make [their] Top 50 but they're not necessarily just Nos. 51-70." There are some similarities to their Overlooked Records of 2012 list that they posted halfway through the year. It also includes Frankie Rose's Interstellar, which did actually get Best New Music upon its release, unlike the other albums here. And it's got Waxahatchee's American Weekend and Jeremih's Late Nights with Jeremih, neither of which were reviewed throughout the year. Though they did review Waxhatachee (Katie Crutchfield)'s sister Allison's band Swearin', who also makes this list, and who (along with Jeremih) made Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks list.
Full list below...
One of the end-of-year lists we most look forward to each year is the one Matador chief and Austin resident Gerard Cosloy submits. Without further ado, check out what albums, singles and shows he loved this year....
Neil Young & Crazy Horse @ ACL 2012 (more by Glen Brown)
Kyle compiled a list of food while his bandmate Hans compiled a list of his favorite shows of 2012, most of them in Austin. See the whole list, which has some crossover with his booking agent Timmy Hefner's list, below...
Vegan Fried Chicken Dinner
Yes, "hot dogs" and "Braised Beef Poutine" made the list too, but we were happy to see "Vegan Fried Chicken Dinner" top Kyle's list at Matablog, not to mention a shoutout to our favorite vegan-friendly pizza place in Brooklyn (Vinnie's). See the list in full below...
Night Birds at House of Vans, August 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Night Birds join Lemuria & Parquet Courts in supporting Fucked Up at Warsaw on Friday (12/21, tickets), and as such we cornered Brian Gorsegner to ask about his 2012. The Night Birds frontman's journey through music in 2012 in handy list format is below.
Jenks Miller with Horseback, March 2011 (more by Markus Shaffer)
Mount Moriah / Horseback mastermind Jenks Miller stopped in BV's virtual HQ to offer his thoughts on 2012, dropping off a thoughtful piece on Scott Walker, Swans, Bobby Womack, metal and a few stops in between. Check out Miller's thoughts on 2012 below.
Jenks Miller's thoughts on 2012, as well as some streaming audio and video, below...
by Bill Pearis
Doldrums @ MHOW, September 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Airick Woodhead has come a long in the last 12 months with Doldrums, having started as a one-man elecronics project and quickly expanding it into an actual band that gained more form as the months went on. By the time CMJ rolled around, Doldrums was a fully realized endeavor on stage and one of the more entertaining sets I saw that week. As mentioned before, Doldrums' debut album, Lesser Evil, will be out February 26 on Montreal label Arbutus Records. It's a terrific record that I think is gonna turn a lot of heads. You may remember that Grimes jumped the gun and named it her favorite album of this year. You can check out the video for Lesser Evil's "She is the Wave," below and stream "Egypt," the first official single from the album, as well which is available in EP form right now.
Meanwhile, we got Airick to give us his Top 10 of 2012. He prefaces his list with this:
Driving alone at night is the best time to listen to music. Me and my car, Sheeba, have been through alot, and here are the records that have soundtracked our year; some good stuff coming out of the neighbourhood and from across the pond. Of course, i should be giving a honorable mention to my FAVORITE driving records of all time : Robyn, Sean Nicholas Savage, Elvis Presley, Yo! Majesty, Nancy Sinatra - but just for the sake of this being a year end list lets go with the new shit.Will he give props back to Grimes? Or perhaps his brother Daniel's band Moon King? Check out his list below, along with the "She is the Wave" video.
Free Energy @ BOMB Fest (more by Eric Townsend)
Previously on DFA Records, Free Energy's new album Love Sign will be out Jan. 15 via their own imprint, Free Energy Records. You can listen to two tracks now below, and pre-order the entire album at their website.
No NYC dates at the moment, but the band will head out on the road right after the album's release, hitting Tomorrow Never Knows in Chicago and FRZN Fest in Madison along the way. All dates are listed, along with Free Energy's Top 10 of 2012 list, below.
by Bill Pearis
Prince Rama @ Cake Shop, CMJ 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As you may be aware, Friday is December 21 aka 12/21/12, aka the day that the world is supposed to end according to the Mayan calendar. (Many people don't believe the world will actually end, or they probably wouldn't finished up Breaking Bad already.) There are a lot of Apocalypse parties happening, one of which will be at 285 Kent headlined by Prince Rama, which is entirely appropriate given their new album is called Top Ten Hits Of The End Of The World. You can check out the new video for that album's "So Destroyed" below. I bet they'll throw a good Ragnarök event which will double as a holiday party too in case you want to wear your Santa suit. Also on the bill is Dickpic (DJ Dog Dick and Pictureplane) and Ami Dang. Tickets are $8 at the door, but if you'd like to go for free we're giving away a pair. Details on how to enter are below.
Speaking of Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, we asked Prince Rama for their Top 10 albums of 2012. Instead, they gave us their Top 10 "Top 10 Lists of 2012" which you can check out below.
by Bill Pearis
Pitchfork just posted their much anticipated list of the top 100 tracks of 2012. The #1 slot went to... Grimes! Whether you thought the whole of her album Visions was good or not, it was hard to deny the charms of "Oblivion." (Having that great video didn't hurt either.) Do you think it deserved to top the list? If not then what song should've?
You can check out P4K's entire hot 100 of 2012 below.