Category Archives: Best Of ’12

Best Of 2012: Close Calls

Here are some artists/albums/songs that grabbed my attention in 2012, but didn’t quite make my Top 10 list…

First, my 5 favorite singles of 2012:

The Shins – “Simple Song”

Michael Kiwanuka – “I’m Getting Ready”

Ben Taylor – “Oh Brother”

Norah Jones – “Happy Pills”

Willie & Lukas Nelson – “Just Breathe”

And some other music I really enjoyed…

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
Two of my favorite artists got together to put out a very creative and experimental album in 2012:

Charlie Mars – “Let The Meter Run”

This contagiously feel good song was my earworm for a while:

Dr. John – Locked Down
This album, produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, is pretty dynamite. Here’s “Revolution”:

Dave Matthews Band – Away From The World
I liked a lot of what I heard from the new Dave Matthews Band album, especially this single:

Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

I pretty much love anything Regina Spektor does, and her 2012 album has a wide range of solid songs on it…just check out how different the these two tracks are (both have gorgeous music videos!):

Jesse Harris – Sub Rosa

This album has a wonderfully relaxing vibe to it…I think Jesse Harris has a Donovan/Nick Drake feel:

Andrew Bird – “Danse Caribe”
Far and away my favorite track on Andrew Bird’s 2012 release, Break It Yourself:

I’m sure I’ll think of more, but this, along with my Top Ten list, pretty much wraps up favorite music of 2012! Thanks so much for reading and listening…here’s to a lot more great music in 2013!



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VIDEO: Mumford & Sons

“Lover Of the Light”

A friend of mine posted this video today and he wrote — “Remember when they made videos that actually made you think?”

Here Mumford & Sons take their gorgeous song to another level by showing us a compelling character in a beautiful setting and making us feel something.

Mumford & Sons

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My Top 10 Albums: 2012

There was a ton of great music this year, but as I mentioned before, I wasn’t as adventurous musically as I have been in the past. I decided to keep the list short, and these 10 albums were clear standouts. I can think of some other artists/songs/albums that did catch my attention this year, so I’ll talk close calls later this week…

1. Dr. Dog – Be the Void

2. Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls

3. Bahamas – Barchords

4. Mumford & Sons – Babel

5. Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit

6. The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

7. John Mayer – Born and Raised

8. JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers

9. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…

10. Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind

Happy New Year!


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Best Of 2012: Dr. Dog

Be the Void

As I post my 10 favorite albums of 2012, I want to talk about my #1! I will say, the #2 album is a VERY close second…and they were both acts I saw live in concert this year. I’ve been a big fan of Dr. Dog since college, but finally seeing them live really changed the game! These guys have so much energy on stage and somehow their harmonies come off brilliantly in the live setting. Honestly they’re close to the top of my list for my favorite live acts ever.

The contagious, feel-good vibes of Dr. Dog’s music don’t seem to be lost on anyone. I can think of countless times this year when I put on this album in a social setting and people have loved the sound and asked who it was. At the same time, I’ve found that anyone who’s familiar with their music can instantly recognize any song and be psyched to hear it. Be the Void is an outstanding album from one of my favorite bands. Somehow, over the years, Dr. Dog has kept what makes them unique and universally appealing while progressing and evolving…

“Do the Trick”

“That Old Black Hole” [LIVE]

“Lonesome” [LIVE]

Dr. Dog

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Best Of 2012: Bahamas


On January 1st, 2012, the year kicked off with one of my favorite releases – Barchords. Afie Jurvanen is Bahamas and he’s by far my favorite musical discovery of the year. This Canadian musician has previously worked with Feist and this is his sophomore solo release. The first track, “Lost In The Light” particularly grabs me — the beauty of it still has me completely in awe even after listening hundreds of times (no exaggeration there). Can’t wait to hear more from him…

“Lost In The Light”

“Caught Me Thinking”

“Ok Alright I’m Alive”


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Best Of 2012: JD McPherson

Signs and Signifiers

I think anyone who has heard one track from this album can tell it’s something special. Over the last few years, MANY artists and bands have gone for the old vintage soul sound, but there’s something about JD McPherson’s debut album that shines a little brighter than the rest. A trio produces the main sounds of this album…that simplicity combined with McPherson’s raw vocal stylings make a dynamite sound. Vintage equipment recorded on quarter-inch tape create an authentic throwback vibe. Definitely one of my favorite releases this year!

“North Side Gal”


“Signs and Signifiers” [LIVE]

JD McPherson

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Best Of 2012: John Mayer

Born And Raised

I hope you had happy holidays! I’ve been thinking about all the music that came out over the course of the year. Due to a few factors, I definitely didn’t have my normal musical appetite in 2012, so my list will be short…but I still really enjoy choosing my favorites!

This first album is probably the one that surprised me the most. I wouldn’t call myself a huge John Mayer fan, and the first single from this album (“Shadow Days”) really didn’t do anything for me. But, when I heard the other singles, I was pulled right in.

From start to finish, the album is beautifully produced (Don Was is co-producer with Mayer). The guitar work is sensational and John Mayer’s voice and presence has a certain warm and relaxed vibe to it. The album was completed and released after Mayer had surgery and a long rest last year to repair granuloma in his throat. Unfortunately the condition returned this year and more tour dates were canceled. I can imagine Mayer is facing some seriously dark times with all of this as an artist unable to perform. He wrote,  “the only thing that stops me from devolving into a puddle of tears is knowing that it’s a long life, and the greatest gift in the world is being able to create music no matter what the circumstances”.

“Something Like Olivia” [LIVE]

“Queen Of California”

“The Age Of Worry”

“Speak For Me” [LIVE]

John Mayer

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