This blog was conceived on the heels of an all-knowing “End of Year List”. I tried to chart everything I had heard throughout the year on a fluid Google doc, and retrace my steps come mid-Decemeber. My affinity for this habit dates back to late elementary school, where I would meticulously rank arbitrary facts in order of how pleasurable I found them. I did this well into high school, and it absolutely weirded some people out. I get people asking to this day if I still do that shit, so you know it left an impact. I’ll even bet they remember “More Than a Feeling” and Meghan Buckmaster dominating most of my lists (for entirely different catagories) freshman year. In fact, I’d often ask for input on these things. What high school freshman can name 10 Nic Cage movies….let alone an entire pool of “Best of” candidates.
Now I was proud of this list when it dropped, and staying true to form, I employed some help. But inevitably, some gems slipped through the cracks. Although I have this strange (& false) impression that nobody wants to hear the forgotten sounds of 2012 anymore, I feel compelled to share them. Some of these would have most definitely made the cut on a second draft of the Best 50 tracks (Don’t dare me).
Beak> : “Mono”
Beak>’s not exactly the most accessible band on the planet, but they’re definitely my go-to from this point forward when needing a pretentious music reference. Their 2012 album (Which sounds nothing like “Mono””) pretty much opened the door for me in terms of Kraut Rock, so I’m forever indebted. I’ve also learned that I need to keep musical tabs on whatever Geoff Barrow is involved in. Right now he’s working with Anika, and shit is quickly getting brilliant.
Oh yeah, and this video? Extraordinary on so many levels, but I’m going to say the animation is my favorite. It’s sort of like if the creators of “Schoolhouse Rock!” took a whole bunch of drugs. It’s obviously intended to be a recap of Darwinism — and the general principle is accurate, but do bits of it seem hauntingly off to anybody else? I do not remember reading about starfish bitch slapping giant sea centipedes and consequently creating timid trilobites. But maybe I skipped that day.
Read my interview with Beak> HERE
Robert Glasper : “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
It turns out this guy was nominated for, and might have even won a Grammy? How could I possibly miss that? Probably because the Grammy’s are a puppet show put on by advertisers and labels. I’m really salty about “Adorn” getting condensed to a minute and a half, by the way. I’ll admit, much of my admiration for this track stems from the drummer in me. This dude is absolutely destroying it for 5 minutes. If you thought this sounded like elevator music, I’ll give you a pass on this one. You should give it a listen anyways though. As is the case with all music recommended on this site, you should really be listening with good headphones on to appreciate the nuances. For instance, keep your ears open for some really extraneous double bass drum throughout the intro.
Miss Bee : “Weak Knees”(Bronx RMX)
In my defense, this dropped in Mid-December. You can’t possibly expect me to be that on top of shit, especially considering I’d never heard of either of these musicians. Seriously man, tone down that sense of entitlement and understand that I play like…4 hours of pick-up basketball every day — and another hour just sitting outside a coffee shop watching people and smiling at dogs.
The Sea and Cake : “On and On”
Easily my favorite pretentious indie band name. The word “cake” just always sounded nice to me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I ate myself to the brink of diabetes around 11. My lunch in high school every day were these and this. Take a second to imagine that. It’s fucked up.
Anything John McEntire is involved in you can count on being exquisitely mixed and produced, “On and On” being a fine example. Speaking of Geoff Barrow, John McEntire might be the American version. They’re post-rock drummers whose bands totally defined genres, not to mention everything they produce is fucking gold. Also, they’re both involved with Stones Throw. Internet rabbit hole, here I come.