Forget those Best Of / Top 20 / Hot Lists, here’s my year’s worth of musings:
The best music snap of the year (above). Comes from a Berlin disco. Found on the Twitter page of Stana Katic, who’s one-half of the TV show, Castle, which my family can tell you I’m senselessly, annoyingly addicted to. It’s Moonlighting with Canadians! It’s awesome. And, yes, this does make me realize that the internet is high school. Now, if someone would just remake Remington Steele…
My Fleet Foxes fixation continues unabated. Old stuff, new stuff, it doesn’t matter. It’s like I’ve become oddly attracted to Crosby or Stills or Nash (which one’s which?). In one of my favorite movies of the year, “Your Sister’s Sister”, Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass name drop the Foxes. I was so excited, I squealed on the inside and thought about them for the rest of the movie.
Fiona Apple is a bonafide torch singer, and if you cross her she will light that torch and stick it up your sorry a**! Unstable, brilliant, painfully vivid, awesome. ‘Hot Knife’ is just crazy good. Makes me dream of Alvin Ailey dancers in motion across a shiny black stage.
With his upswept ‘do, baby skin and wife beaters, Justin Bieber’s lesbian-chic androgyny is strangely fascinating.
If Cat Power battled Feist, who would win the chance to drop kick Lana Del Rey’s ass?
On iTunes, what’s the difference between Alternative and Indie?
The most wonderful Angry White Man is back! I’m so glad to see you, Bob Mould!
Frank Ocean – meandering, unfinished, falsetto doodles… yawn. What am I missing here???
Since everyone – Fun, The Belle Brigade, Best Coast – seems to be channeling Fleetwood Mac these days, it was inevitable. A Fleetwood Mac reunion tour 2013! Yes! Worship at the sky high heels of Stevie. We’re getting the band back together!
Lumineers? Decemberists? Lumineers? Decemberists? Can’t tell the difference. Like ’em both.
Green Day appearing on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn OST surely is the final nail in their coffin, n’est pas? Now go away until some kind of reunion in 2018.
Singles I enjoyed this year, even though some of them are old:
‘I Know What I Am’ by Band of Skulls
‘Solitude is Bliss’ by Tame Impala
‘Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster the People
‘Mykonos’ by Fleet Foxes, xxxxx, call me 😉
‘Satan’ by Beast
‘Nightlight’ by Little Dragon
‘UMI Says’ by Mos Def
‘Gangnam Style’ by Psy (come on, it is irresistible)
Favorite albums 2012:
Jack White’s Blunderbuss
Fiona Apple’s Idler Wheel…
The Black Keys’ El Camino (technically released at end of 2011 but hey)
Texans of the Year:
San Saba County
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – follow Joe on Twitter, he tweets entire Cowboys’ games. Hilarious!
So call me mainstream, I’m still not tired of Adele and I keep the new Taylor Swift on even after I’ve dropped off EO and YO at swim training.
Rihanna just bugs me. They say she does it her way but I’m seeing no self respect.
When I dip a toe in to dance music I enjoy Morgan Page and the gloomy glam of The Presets, who are so deliciously Depeche Mode, it hurts in a sweet, angsty way.
The guy I’m digging & rediscovering at the moment: Willie Nelson. He sounds fantastic on “Live & Kickin”. Makes me homesick.
In this digital day and age is it really necessary to deny Hong Kong Spotify and Pandora? There is a border between us and the Communists, but I can’t do anything about the pirates.
So many folk-pop, California mellow, girl-boy duos – Tennis, Best Coast, Teen Dream – so little time. Or interest.
Rufus Wainwright’s “Out of the Game” doesn’t hit the highs of “Release The Stars” but I’ll take it all the same.
Mumford & Sons = The Pogues x Coldplay – Elvis Costello with even more points deducted because Jake Gyllenhaal joined you guys on tour.
Saint Etienne are either celebrating pure pop like Kylie or subverting the genre in some kind of Pet Shop-Blondie mash-up. This kind of thing works really well in the UK. Too fey for the US I’m afraid.
I want to write like a Radiohead song: compact, intense, perfect.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from therockmom x
It’s almost September and I haven’t filed on therockmom in over two months! What have I been doing? What have I been listening to?
Well, aside from entertaining the girls these eight weeks of school holiday, I’ve mainly been paralyzed with fear at the prospect of Rick Perry becoming the next President of the U.S.
Don’t laugh! And don’t underestimate this guy. He’s currently the longest continuously-serving governor around (of my home state, Texas). He can boast, fairly legitimately, of state job growth and low taxes. He’s never lost an election, going 10 for 10 since the mid-‘80s, and he has great hair.
But he’s no powder-puff. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at ‘Dear Yankee’, by Paul Burka. That’ll clear things up for you.
So in the midst of all of this Perry-Bachmann anti-evolution, anti-climate change, anti-intellectual regression, thank God I’ve got another West Texas son to lift my spirits.
“Rave On” is the new Buddy Holly tribute album, and what a comfort it has been. Released this year in honor of what would be Holly’s 75th birthday (September 9), it’s chock full of Holly songs covered by some of my favorite musicians: Cee Lo Green, Fiona Apple (where have you been?), The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, etc.
The album is a mixture of traditional and revisionist takes on Holly’s work. On the traditional side, Fiona Apple’s sweet duet with Jon Brion on ‘Everyday’, Karen Elson’s modest ‘Crying, Waiting, Hoping’ (is she singing about her ex, Jack White?) and She & Him’s (aka Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward) ‘All My Loving’ sound like you’re sitting in a malt shop in your poodle skirt and letter sweater. On the revisionist side, I can totally do without Lou Reed’s grungy, feedback-heavy ‘Peggy Sue’. Man, this guy could bring down a Doris Day song! To that weirdness I’d also add Paul McCartney’s version of ‘It’s So Easy’, which sounds promising enough but then deteriorates in the last 20 seconds as McCartney blabbers on free form about a juke joint or some such nonsense. He’s so square.
Amidst the senior citizen rockers (John Doe, Graham Nash, Patti Smith) and hipster representatives (Modest Mouse, The Detroit Cobras, Julian Casablancas), the biggest surprise on the album – prepare yourself for this – is Kid Rock. With hand claps and horns, his version of ‘Well All Right’ strikes a groovy balance between ‘50s soul and meat-and-potatoes rock. Just like what John Mellancamp used to do.Buddy Holly grew up in Lubbock, Texas – about a three-hour drive from Rick Perry’s hometown of Paint Creek. If you know West Texas, a three-hour drive means they were practically neighbors. When I was in college, my Mom and stepdad lived in a little town southeast of Lubbock called Sweetwater. I’d drive five hours up from Austin on weekends to visit, and from about the town of Brownwood I’d play a game where I’d count how many miles I’d drive before I saw another car.
When Buddy Holly died in 1959, Perry was only nine years’ old, living on a vast cotton farm and spending, as he’s described it, “a lot of time just alone with my dog. A lot.”
Unfortunately, Perry’s early isolation didn’t breed a thoughtful, introspective gentleman. He’s more the flip side to Buddy Holly’s tender meditation. While Holly wrote and sang about a romantic world of love and loss – all by the age of 22, mind you – Perry cut $4 billion from Texas public schools.
I know it’s easy for me to look at the U.S. from afar, to read the NY Times online and pass judgment on a whole group of people who don’t believe that dinosaurs existed, or that greenhouse gases are bad for the planet. But, you know, at some point, Perry, Bachmann and those crazy junior Republican reps are going to have to accept that, for the next year or so, Obama is our President and they should just get on with building the healthiest, best-educated country they can – no matter what state you were born in, who your parents are, or what God you believe in.
That’ll be the day!