I’m nearly 30 and no closer to understanding what attracts to me one piece of music more than another. In fact, I’ve started work on a year-long series about 30 musical experiences that changed my life — not as something to look back upon, but as a way to understand how music has shaped me as a person, for better and, honestly, for worse. But that’s not until March. Our arbitrary means of making lists of the “best” music at the end of each year is something I admittedly enjoy more for discovery than needless bickering (see: every comment section ever), but this is the one list I particularly enjoy compiling and writing: the albums, performances, installations, individual artists and other such musical ephemera that formed 2012 for me.
Some of these blurbs (after the jump, for those of you in the Tumblr dashboard) have previously appeared at NPR Music for my top 10 metal and top 10 outer sound year-end lists, plus DC Heavy Metal’s Most Metal Moments of 2012, but more than half of it is new and completely unedited. I like to keep these things at a tidy 25 entries, but I just could not squeeze one out of this list. So 30 it is.
(I also made a 7-hour Spotify playlist featuring tracks from my favorite albums, songs, and other odds and ends, for the stream-inclined.)
Lars’s weird list is worth reading and listening to.
If you were wondering why more women didn’t vote for the pitchfork poll, it’s probably because even successful, respected female music critics are still treated like dumb girls who wandered into a record store on accident because they thought it was a Claire’s boutique.
Imagine if every unorthodox opinion about music you had, every time you tried to deviate from the party line, people attributed it not to your personal taste or even your trollish personality, but to sheer ignorance.
This is hardly limited to women, but it’s a lot more virulent when women write about this stuff. Ugh.
(For those viewing on the dashboard, click on through for a debate between myself and End of Year’s Patrick Kindlon RE: Ann Powers’ recent NPR Piece on Taylor Swift and punk.)
When Paris is Burning came out I was just a kid in the local choir in my church in New Orleans. I remember how much I loved everything about it — the characters, the costumes, the music. I couldn’t believe there were gay Black and Latino men being portrayed like that on screen. It meant a lot to me and in many ways inspired me to do something different and follow my dream, no matter what others said.
I loved working on this piece.
DC public art at sunset. Doug Aitkin’s “SONG 1,” a 360 degree projection onto the Hirshhorn Gallery, with sound. That’s Tilda Swinton lip-syncing to “I Only Have Eyes For You.”
Call it in the air: when fun. wins the Grammy for best new artist next year, will the Bon-Iver tracking trend link be (A) long-time industry strivers made good via Kanye-orbit collaborations or (B) the influence of 1980s adult-contemporary artists through a modern lens?
The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do.
Idler? Driver? Drive ft. Ryan Gosling?
It breaks my heart that this is one foot short of being in perfect iambic pentameter
It’s iambic heptameter! You know, like Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” or the theme from Gilligan’s Island.
This really wants a metal cover, doesn’t it?
This is the best.