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My listening year, 2012
Here’s a bunch of good new-to-me music I listened to in 2012. I’m stealing my friend Mark Larson’s format for this post — it struck me this year that when I think about the music that hits me, it always comes with a context, it’s always the soundtrack to some moment. Follow me on Rdio to hear more of what I like…
January is the month I catch up with 2011 music, and everyone I know seemed to love this Yuck record. It’s good “drowning out” music, perfect for the bus.
I have a friend who’s recommended Lambchop to me for a few years, but Mr. M turned out to be the gateway drug. Love, love, love this record, and it wound up putting me to sleep in a lot of hotel rooms on book tour.
Lee Fields’ Faithful Man was my Rocky music — the album I played to feel good, to get psyched up in my hotel room while I was getting ready to give a talk. I think I played “You’re The Kind of Girl” more than any other song this year.
My buddy sent me one of the singles off Grimes’ Visions about a year ago and I loved it. The album’s pretty great, too.
My wife and I listened to Andrew Bird’s Break It Yourself a lot while cooking dinner.
Somehow, despite being a Beatles nut, I’d somehow failed to hear Paul McCartney’s Ram. When I did, half of indie music suddenly made sense.
Speaking of not making bad albums, Jack White’s Blunderbuss is another notch in his belt.
Okay, so Bobby Womack wasn’t new to me, but I got to see him live in June, and I listened to most of his back catalog this year. (I wore out the wonderful single, “Please Forgive My Heart,” but found the rest of Bravest Man In The Universe pretty boring.) If you need a place to start with him, look no further than his Anthology.
July I was finally home from book tour, but I then spent most of the month traveling in the car with my wife. We listened to Norah Jones’ Broken Little Hearts and then I listened to a bunch of her old stuff — I like her one before BLH, The Fall, a lot too.
Caught up on Adele’s 21.
Dirty Projector’s Swing Lo Magellan is great, saw them in Austin when they came to town.
Surprised how much I liked Dwight Yoakum’s 3 Pears, especially the two Beck-produced tracks.
We spent most of October trying to get my wife to go into labor, so there were a lot of candle-lit evenings with Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours playing while she soaked in the tub.
My kiddo was born in late October, so when we brought him home, I tried to play Gonzales’ Solo Piano II to chill him out, but it turned out that what really worked was My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, which I thought I knew in-and-out, but I listened to so much with him that it started to sound new. He also really likes reggae, so we listened to the soundtrack for Marley a lot.
Bonnie Raitt’s Slipstream is actually really great and well-produced.
OK! Lemme know your favorite album of 2012 here or over on Twitter: @austinkleon
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- unwordinglanguage said: Lots of good stuff here. Always looking forward to this time of year when I can glance at what other people have been listening to/watching/reading. Good year in music. Some of our faves parallel: bit.ly/102hhKy
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- toddbotblog said: the year’s not over yet! listen to the new seamonster album “baldessari” - it’s all about art! seamonster dot bandcamp dot com :-) PS thoroughly enjoyed your book, and have been reading your blog for a few weeks, great stuff sir!
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- ianfitzgerald said: Blunderbuss, Fiona Apple’s ‘Idler Wheel…’ and ‘White Lighter’ by Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons.
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- listofnow said: I have yet to make my list, but Beach House’s “Bloom” was a big one for me this year. “Myth” is probably my favorite song this year. and I listened to both First Aid Kit albums a lot.
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- virtualdespot said: I have great affection for Yuck.
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