I usually do a year-end music recap, but a lot happened this year, so I’m not really up on what I need to be up on. Sure, I reviewed some records, but I also dropped my posting frequency from twice to once a week, with a few scattered absenteeisms thrown in there. So it’s really not fair to anyone to do a top 10 music countdown or whatever. I mean, I listened to a ton of good music this year, but I just didn’t have a chance to write about it.
In the spirit of potpourri, the trivia category everyone hates, we’ll take a wide assortment of stuff that I want to reminisce about, all fondly. (Well, mostly fondly.) And of course, because I write the music column here, I’m still going to point out some of my favorites that I reviewed, in a totally random fashion, just so you have some background. It’s where I pour my effort, so bear with me in its regurgitation. Hopefully you like the records I’ve liked as well.
Without further ado, the potpourri … can’t you just smell it?:
Craziest thing I did this year, or any year (well, except 2008): Moved 900 miles from Pennsylvania to Florida. Hence my mid-2012 reshuffling of priorities, and the main reason I didn’t write as much this summer and fall. I don’t feel bad about it. It was an awesome move, and my first permanent one outside of PA. (In 2008, I moved to London, but that was only for a year.)
A record that I wrote about that I liked: Wreck and Reference – No Youth
“What separates Wreck and Reference from a run-of-the-mill band is their willingness to incorporate all kinds of influences into their overall style, and processing those influences into a refreshing and innovative package. No Youth, despite its relative bleakness of sound and vision, struck a weird harmonius chord in both the metal lover and experimental enthusiast in me, and I’m invigorated as a result. Wreck and Reference have done in me the opposite of what they likely intended: gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.”
Record I can’t wait until 2013 for: Foot Village – Make Memories
Drums and shouting! How the hell is this so catchy? I don’t get it. The band is even looking to top themselves for Best Song Title Ever (single “Let Bebongs Be Bebongs, Idiot”) with “This Song Is a Drug Deal” off the new album. And looky here – I even did an interview (my first!) with drummer/shouter and Deathbomb Arc label head Brian Miller!
A record that I wrote about that I liked: Aaron Freeman – Marvelous Clouds
“So whether or not there’s a parody here, or a parody of a parody, or a parody of a parody of a parody … (isn’t there some double negative law in play here?), the bizarre concept really does fit Freeman’s persona, as well as the Ween ethos, Boognish be damned. (OK, OK, I take it back! Thou shalt not take Boognish’s name in vain…) The soft rock template is rife with lyrical themes that, when taken out of context, could really pass for Ween lyrics. In fact, it took me a couple listens before I did some research and realized Freeman hadn’t actually written the songs, the connection was that close.”
And because MORE WEEN ALWAYS: Mickey’s Guide Service and Home of Archangel Sportfishing
“I can’t vouch for the tour, so this isn’t a ‘review’ per se, like I normally do. Maybe one day it will be – I’m not a fisherman, but the chance to get out on a boat with Captain Deaner the self-proclaimed Pretty Good Conversationalist is highly intriguing. I wonder how much he discusses Ween with his patrons, or even if they have a clue who Ween is (and let’s face it, you know at least some of them do).”
A record that I wrote about that I liked: Passenger Peru – Passenger Peru
“I’m trying to find the heart of this record, the span of tunes where Passenger Peru really lets loose and gets dangerous, the ‘sweet spot’ if you will, but I can’t seem to do it. Every time I try, I ask myself, ‘But what about this run? Isn’t that equally important?’ It’s true. Passenger Peru, the album, is a complete full-throttle masterpiece, from minute one to fifty.”
Song I forgot (and Merry Christmas!): The Dandy Warhols – “Little Drummer Boy”
How on earth did the Dandys make a traditional Christmas song sound just like one of their own? Try to differentiate it from anything on …Come Down. Doubt you’ll be able to.
A record that I wrote about that I liked: Moonface – Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped
“Enjoyment does not hinge on whether or not you buy the self-loathing as genuine. It does not matter whether or not you’re familiar with Krug’s discography (although take it from me, it really helps). Moonface is a unique artistic expression of a true visionary musician, and there’s a lot here to dig in to. Fortunately, the music is pretty good too.”
You should check out this record label, part 1: Carpi Records
A self-described “CASSETTE LABEL FROM FRANCE,” is home to some of the prettiest ambient music you’re bound to hear. My favorite release is their first, a split between Les Halles and Magnétophonique, but check out the Albino Deers tape here as well. In fact, there are only four releases so far, why not try them all?