30 Albums, Artists, Installations, And Other Such Ephemera That Meant Something To Me In 2012

totalvibration:

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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.)

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Lars’s weird list is worth reading and listening to. 

thediscography:

theremixbaby:

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.

thediscography:

theremixbaby:

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.

totalvibration:

(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.)

VICE: “Spotify’s generous royalty rate of $0.003 per stream has made some...

vicemag:

Spotify’s generous royalty rate of $0.003 per stream has made some lucky independent artists overnight hundredaires. For every 100,000 times a band’s song is streamed, the band gets $300; split four ways between bandmates, that’s $75 each. Let’s say in a year, the song pulls down 2,000,000…

I definitely don’t think that Spotify’s royalty rates are a good deal for musicians, but this is an annoyingly reductive/exaggerated argument that has two major flaws, both of which have to do with basic economics. One: streaming and purchasing a song are not the same thing. Those 200,000 listens were almost certainly not done by 200,000 different individuals. Arguing that the royalties per listen should be the same as the royalties per download is exactly the same as arguing that customers should who buy a song should have to pay 99 cents every time they listen to it. Two: it assumes that Spotify is the only source of income that will replace sales of albums and songs. The fact that this isn’t the case is the reason you’ve never heard anyone suggest the ridiculous contingency at the end of reason 1. If there were no other options besides Spotify, we’d all get gouged for streaming our favorite songs on a per click basis. Also, if you look around, this is so obviously not the case that it feels absurd to even have to type the “words” Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, Vevo, etc etc etc forever. Bonus: I never hear people who make this complaint offer the obvious solution, which is that Spotify is too cheap. If we want musicians to make more money every time you stream their songs, at some point we’re going to have to volunteer more cash.

nprmusic:

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.

Read how the music and fashion of Paris is Burning, now available on Netflix streaming and iTunes, affected Big Freedia and others influenced by the late ’80s/early ’90s ball scene

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.”

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?

How are we going to refer to the new Fiona album

rawkblog:

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.

(via rawkblog-deactivated20131111)

This really wants a metal cover, doesn’t it?

This is the best.