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.