It’s that time again – time to look back on all the great albums released this past year. 2012 has been filled with fantastic albums, and as a result, I’ve come up with a doozy of a list. You’ll find a variety of genres here ranging from rap to folk to metal to punk. No matter what type of music you enjoy (minus country) you’ll find something on here that you’ve either already been enjoying or music you should be enjoying. Whatever the case, enjoy!
The Amazing “Gentle Stream”
Bison B.C. “Lovelessness”
Crystal Castles “(III)”
The Evens “The Odds”
Lambchop “Mr. M”
Mind Spiders “Meltdown”
Pilgrim “Misery Wizard”
Lee Renaldo “Between the Times & the Tides”
Twin Shadow “Confess”
Over the past couple weeks, both political parties gave us their vision for Amerca’s future at their respective conventions, and the difference couldn’t have been starker. At the Republican National Convention, conservatives took to the stage to wax ecstatic about the America that once existed before the evil Obama came along and ruined it all. Jon Stewart said it best, “The message of this convention is that apparently up until about November of 2008, Americans lived in a utopian ideal born of our own gumption and individual hard work.” The Democrats, on the other hand, presented a vision for the future, begging Americans to give Barrack Obama another four years to make it happen. Basically, one party looks to the past while another aims for the future.
In Dan Deacon’s latest opus “America,” this same clash of views can be found in his blend of classic orchestration and in your face futuristic electronic blips and hisses. But this dichotomy of sound goes beyond the political landscape – it forces these two beasts to face off – an audio battle royale where the grand American landscape goes nine rounds with the technological progress that dares to spit into the wind. It’s Cowboys vs. Indians, North vs. South, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant, all wrapped into one ambitiously, epic album.
I should probably call this the “Video Clip of the Month” since it has been so long since I’ve posted anything. I also intended to post this video on Friday as a 4th of July themed post (Callahan is playing “America!”) but again, I didn’t get it posted. I apologize for this. Without Wi-Fi in my current location, my opportunities to post is varied, so bear with me the next few weeks.
Enough groveling; here’s a clip I filmed of Bill Callahan performing “America!” in Iowa City last week. He put on a great performance, but even more impressive was the work of his guitarist. With what looked to be 30 pedals at his feet, he created one strange guitar sound after another.