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Friday, December 14, 2012

Best of 2012, Part 1

The Rolling Stones played Newark, NJ last night.  Most of the legends of Rock and Roll were at MSG supporting Sandy victims a few nights ago.  God Bless Them All!!!

I am a NJ guy.  "Born to Run" and "Livin on Prayer" are hallmarks of my childhood, and in some sense my life as a whole.  And if you like music as I do, The Stones, The Who, McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Michael Stipe, et al (ok maybe not Kanye-him I don't get.) are all woven into the fabric that is my musical quilt.

The thing is, that very quilt is infinite.  Thankfully, the spectrum of music is rich and abundant these days.  And if we are going to live in one of the most expensive areas in America we are going down with a fight.  From Jack White at Webster Hall to Gotye at Terminal 5, 2012 will be fondly remembered.

Alt music continues to find itself on the pop dial and lots of those artists are talked about here.  Gotye, Dawes, Fun, Of Monsters and Men, are a few acts that started left of the dial.  Good songs are good songs.  Today's artists are scratching and clawing to be heard.  They are on your VW or Expedia ads.  They are on opening title sequences.  And they are most certainly in concert halls, eager to please and ready to rock.

If you cannot make it to shows check back here regularly.  The following list comprises of notable songs and the artists that perform them.  No particular order and no meaning at all, other than leaving a lasting impression.  You can subscribe and/or share the list on Spotify here:  Best of 2012 Part 1

Diiv "Doused"  The debut record is great and their live act is something of a departure from what you hear here.  Good, no nonsense rock and roll (and I like it)

Django Django "Default"  The first, but not the last of the 80s inspired Synth songs that will define my 2012.  Simple and effective beats with a infectious vocal.  "Take One For The Team/You're a Cog in the Machine/It's Like a Default."  Indeed.

Matt and Kim "Let's Go"  Another Brooklyn act (Diiv) on the list and with good reason.  For years now they have gone about their business making people smile and kicking a little ass.  It's high school house music for the Ipad set.  Cue the montage scene now.  Better yet, watch this hysterical video (also one of 2012's best.)

Haim "Forever"  California sisters who clearly had some Go-Go's for breakfast.  Just about the happiest tune of the year, that's all.  That is, if you are not listening for the lyrics.

Grizzly Bear "Yet Again"  1) Another Brooklyn band.  Ugh, that is annoying right??!!!  2) The video is awful and overrated.  3)  The song dominates.

Passion Pit "Take A Walk"  A synth anthem about the American Dream or lack thereof.  More happy go lucky beats and grooves here.

Grimes "Oblivion"  Maybe the story of Alt Music 2012.  Clare Boucher is Grimes.  Grimes is a Canadian techno project who blew up this year.  This is her calling card.

Japandroids "House That Heaven Built"  Another Canadian act but there is not a keyboard anywhere to be found.  Hard charging guitar and drums from their brilliant sophomore album Celebration Rock.  Celebrate indeed!

Chappo "Come Home"  Sears used this track for their mindless commercial featuring folks running into appliances.  One of the better live acts I was lucky to witness this year.  Unsure why this album has not caught on like I expected.  Let's call them this years Caveman.  I am rooting for them!

The Head and The Heart "Down in The Valley"  The Lumineers will get all the love, but these mountain hipsters put out a great record and this is the highlight!

Part 2 next week.

Happy listening and enjoy the weekend.  Please share your favorites!!!!  We love to hear from you.

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