2012 In Fifty Songs

December 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm (Best-of lists, Music Mixes)


There are many things I am not good at doing.  One of them is telling people how much I appreciate the posting links to videos and songs and whatnot in twitter and facebook posts, or just dropping me a line about something they’ve heard.  What you all may not realize is that I make a point of listening to each and every piece of music I’m hepped to in those ways.  No really, I do!  I figure if someone is moved enough by a song or an artist to post about it that there’s probably something there worth my five minutes to listen to.  I’ve heard a lot of music that didn’t click with me by doing that.  The great thing is, I’ve also heard a lot that did move me.

What this is is a summary of 50 songs from 2012 that moved me enough to want to hear more.  They’ve become representative of my favorite records and artists of 2012.

I could spend days telling you about the music so many of you have told me about this year (in what was a rich and amazing year for great tunes), but instead I’d like to show you.  Better yet, I’ll let you listen to them!

I won’t use the same words and phrases you’re used to hearing from me to say how much I liked certain stuffs in 2012.  Rather, I figured I’d get back to my roots and just do a music mix of my favorite songs and artists from the past year. Been about six or seven years since I’ve done this, but I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out.  Additionally, thanks to Spotify, Turntable.fm, and Twitter I feel like I heard so much good music by so many great artists in 2012 that trying to pare things down to just 20 records would be an impossible chore.

So what’s all this then?  Let me try to explain.

1. I broke the 50 tracks down into two separate mixes of 25 songs each.  The mixes are interchangeable. I just separated things by how the flow goes. Each one is about 90 minutes. Each is crossfaded and normalized and one big mp3 file. The idea is, listen to all of it or come back to it, do whatever. That said, the object isn’t “Hey, how can I grab these songs?!?!” If you try, you’ll be stuck with the crossfaded bits and bytes from the beginning and end to each song.  Instead of going to that trouble, throw some worthy artists some money, huh?

2. These go in order. That order has nothing to do with chronology or perceived quality. The order is: these mixes need to flow, one song into the next. Each one is autonomous.  There should be a beginning, a middle, a few peaks, a few valleys, and then a wrap up. When you get to the end of one of the mixes, it should feel like you’re at the end, y’know?

3. Finally, thanks are in order: everyone who contributed to the “What are you listening to” 2012 thread at Quarter To Three, anyone who’s ever pm’d me or emailed me with a song or record or artist to listen to, anyone who’s ever posted a music video on my Facebook timeline,  anyone who’s ever DJ’d in a room in Turntable, anyone who’s contributed a record to our Bitches Brew Spotify playlist….THANKS!!!!! This mix is as much all of you, and a tribute to all your good taste, not mine. I just manage to occasionally shut up long enough to listen when someone says that they like a song and then find the time to go see if I like that song, too.

These are the songs I liked off records I liked by artists I liked this year. They’re probably not the “best” of 2012; there’s probably not much crossover in the venn diagram of “stuff I really liked” and “stuff that sits on most critics’ lists”. I didn’t always choose the “best” song off a record I liked, either, necessarily. I picked songs in a lot of cases that I thought were representative of an album I liked a lot, and gave special consideration to songs that fit with a mix better, too. At any rate, I hope y’all will hear a few tunes you like, too!

“50 Smash Hits From 2012!”

Gangnam Style:

  (Right click and “save as”…or just click to stream)
1. Japandroids “The Nights Of Wine And Roses”
2. Ty Segall and White Fence “Easy Ryder”
3. The Brian Jonestown Massacre “Viholliseni Maalla”
4. CaveofswordS “Ghryme”
5. Disappears “Replicate”
6. Weird Dreams “666.66”
7. A. C. Newman “I’m Not Talking”
8. The dB’s “Send Me Something Real”
9. Frank Ocean “Bad Religion”
10.Lee Fields “You’re The Kind Of Girl”
11.The Bamboos (Feat. Tim Rogers) “I Got Burned”
12.Rodriguez “Can’t Get Away”
13.The Dum Dum Girls”Season In Hell”
14.The Human Eyes “Born To Die”
15.Diiv “How Long Have You Known”
16.The Delta Spirit “California”
17.The Blakes “Narwhal”
18.Sharon Van Etten “Serpents”
19.The Cheatahs “The Swan”
20.I Was A King “Indiana”
21.The Mark Lanegan Blues Band “Leviathan”
22.The Cloud Nothings “Wasted Days”
23.Jack White “Hypocritical Kiss”
24.Euros Childs “These Dreams Of You”
25.George Harrison “All Things Must Pass (Demo)”

Call Me Maybe:

1. The Men “Open Your Heart”
2. Ex Cops “The Millionaire”
3. Lotus Plaza “Eveningness”
4. Sinead O’Connor “The Wolf Is Getting Married”
5. The Resonars “Sit Right Down”
6. Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullit Band “Black Egg”
7. Randy Michael & The Well Dressed Lads “The Face”
8. Sleepy Kitty “Don’t You Start”
9. Toys That Kill “Stye”
10. Giuda “Number 10”
11.Nada Surf “Jules And Jim”
12.Tame Impala “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
13.The Allah Las “Don’t You Forget It”
14.Twelve Thousand Armies “Darling Let’s Breathe”
15.Nude Beach “Some Kinda Love”
16.Redd Kross “Stay Away From Downtown”
17.The Mountain Goats “Cry For Judas”
18.The Amazing “Flashlight”
19.Lightships “Silver And Gold”
20.The Royal Headache “Down The Lane”
21.Bob Mould “The Descent”
22.Richard Hawley “Down In The Woods”
23.Aimee Mann “Soon Enough”
24.Woods “Is It Honest?”
25.Spiritualized “So Long You Pretty Thing”

1 Comment

  1. stumania said,

    Terrific selections, as always – some overlapping but many I missed during the course of the year. Since limit my annual Yuletide Mix to one CD-R, I only had 24 tracks I could squeeze in. Had to leave off some great songs (a few of which you included in your lists: Allah-Las, Tame Impala, Spirtualized, Bob Mould, Royal Headaches, Redd Kross, BJM, A.C. Newman, and the Ty Segall/White Fence collaboration). BTW, I agree the “flow” is crucial. Here’s my 2012 MIx:

    1. The Well Wishers “Free? No”
    2. Paul Weller “Around The Lake”
    3. Guided by Voices “Tyson’s High School”
    4. Jack White “Missing Pieces”
    5. La Sera “Please Be My Third Eye”
    6. JEFF The Brotherhood “Mystic Portal II”
    7. Sleigh Bells “Crush”
    8. Secret Colours “Blackbird (Only One)”
    9. Moon Duo “Circles”
    10. The Men “Open Your Heart”
    11. The Spyrals “Lonely Eyes”
    12. Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Psychedelic Pill”
    13. Baby Woodrose “Bullshit Detector”
    14. The UFO Club “July”
    15. Ty Segall “Thank God For Sinners”
    16. The Sufis “Where Did She Go?”
    17. Woods “Is It Honest?”
    18. Beaulieu Porch “Laminations Are Loaded”
    19. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives “Busy Land”
    20. MMOSS “Okay”
    21. Robert Pollard “No Tools”
    22. The Apricot “Too Far Behind” (2011, Norway – still hasn’t made it to US)
    23. The Galileo 7 “Not Gonna Miss You”
    24. Kontiki Suite “See You In The Morning”

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