REVENGE OF THE WRITERS: Best & Worst of 2012


Was it the end of the music world as we know it, or another stellar annum? The folks who work in the trenches here are gonna tell ya. Coming soon: our “appreciation” of 2013.


 As part of our ongoing year-end wrap-up – go here to view BLURT’s Top 75 Albums of 2012, and for features on our Artists of the Year, check out both the Ty Segall interview and the Grimes interview – we now yield the podium to the staffers and writers and their personal picks for 2012. Guarantee: all dialogue reported verbatim.




Top 10 New Releases

Malcolm Holcombe – Down the River (Gypsy Eyes)

Maldives – Muscle for the Wing (Spark & Shine)

Susanna Hoffs – Someday (Baroque Folk)

Glen Hansard -Rhythm & Repose (Anti-)

Charlie Peacock – No Man’s Land (Twenty Ten)

Hayley Reardon – Where the Artists Go (Kingswood)

Scott Miller/Rayna Gellert – CoDependents (Fay)

Jason Collett — Reckon (Arts & Crafts)

Steve Almaas – Trailer Songs (Lonesome Whippoorwill)

Kevin Bowe & The Okemah Prophets – Natchez Trace (Applause)

Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Rolling Stones – Charlie is My Darling (ABCKO)

Who – Quadrophenia (Universal)

Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day (Swan Song/Atlantic)

Elvis Presley – Prince from Another Planet (Sony/RCA)

World Party – Arkeology (Seaview)

Top 5 DVDs

Chris Isaak – Beyond the Sun: Live (Vanguard)

Doors – Live at the Bowl ’68 (Eagle Vision)

Replacements – Color Me Obsessed (MVD)

Grateful Dead – All the Years Combine (Rhino)

Queen – Live in Budapest (Eagle Vision)

Top 5 Music Books

Rod Stewart – Rod, The Autobiography (Crown)

Pete Townshend – Who I Am (Harper)

Mike Scott – Adventures of a Waterboy (Jawbone)

Ingrid Croce – I Got a Name, The Jim Croce Story (DaCapo)

Ann & Nancy Wilson – Kicking & Dreaming (Harper Collins)

Top 5 Concerts

Bonnaroo — June 7-10/Manchester,Tennessee

Newport Folk Festival – July 31/Newport, RI

The Who — November 1/Fort Lauderdale Florida

Chris Isaak – September 14/Miami Beach

Ian Anderson — September 18/Miami Beach

Top 5 Films

The Hobbit





Best Record Label

Yep Roc

In Memoriam – Most Lamented Death

The children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary

Best New Artist

Jonathan Wilson

Worst New Artist

Lana Del Rey

Dumbest Band Name


Sex Object of the Year

Madonna (again)

Asshole of the Year

Whoever thought he/she could buy Lana Del Rey’s way to stardom

Best Hair or Facial Hair

The Avett Brothers

2013 release I am most anticipating

Civil Wars

Coolest trend or whatever

The newfound appreciation for all things retro – music, film and fashion

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend of Whatever

The publicists’ continuing efforts to get away from offering physical CDs and insistence on sending downloads – or worse – streams!

Wildcard: 50 Words From or About Me

I still celebrate new music, new artists and the sounds that circulate below the radar and under the surface. While some may complain that music isn’t as good as it used to be, I fervently dispute that notion and continue to do my best to celebrate great tunes and the great artists that provide them. Long live Rock!

Favorite Blurt Article

Peter Himmelman: “The Man, The Muse, the Mystery”





Top 10 New Releases

Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (PIAS)

Tift Merritt –  Traveling Alone (Yep Roc)

Swans – Seer (Young God)

.Shovels & Rope – O Be Joyful (Dualtone)

The Raveonettes – Observator (Vice)

Lost In The Trees – Church That Fits Our Needs (Anti)

Sharon Van Etten –  Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

Matthew E White –  Big Inner (Hometapes)

Spider Bags – Shake My Head (Odessa)

Lower Dens: Nootropics (Ribbon Music)




Top 10 New Releases

1.        Shearwater, Animal Joy (Sub Pop)

2.        Sharon van Etten, Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

3.        Mark Lanegan, Blues Funeral (4AD)

4.        Dan Melchior, The Backward Path (Northern Spy)

5.        Calexico, Algiers (Anti-)

6.        Damian Jurado, Maraqopa (Secretly Canadian)

7.        TheeSatisfaction, Awe Natural (Sub Pop)

8.        Dirty Three, Towards the Low Sun (Drag City)

9.        Various Artists, Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done (Tompkins Square)

10.        Spider Bags, Shake My Head (Odessa)

Honorable Mentions:

11. Ty Segall and White Fence, Wet Hair (Drag City)

12. Grass Widow, Internal Logic (HLR)

13. Red River Dialect, Awellupontheway (Lono)

14.  Japandroids, Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

15. Sic Alps, Sic Alps (Drag City)

16. Rangda, Formerly Extinct (Drag City)

17. Easter Island, Frightened (Self-Released)

18. Cheap Time, Wallpaper Music (In the Red)

19.  Six Organs of Admittance, Ascent, (Drag City)

20. Bob Mould, Silver Age (Merge)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Shearwater, “Breaking the Yearlings”

Damien Jurado, “Nothing Is the News”

Sharon van Etten, “Serpents”

Mark Lanegan, “Ode to Sad Disco”

Mind Spiders, “Beat”

Gravenhurst, “The Foundry”

Moon Duo, “Circles”

Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, “Rats”

Spider Bags, “Quetzcoatl Love Song”

Cheap Time, “Night to Night”

Top 5 Archival/Reissues

1. Cleaners from Venus, Blow Away Your Troubles/On Any Normal

Monday/Midnight Cleaners (Captured Tracks)

2. Royal Trux, Accelerator (Drag City)

3. Cravats, Double Volume: Cravats in Toyland (Overground)

4. Charles Mingus, Jazz Workshop Concerts: 1965-1966 (Mosaic)

5. Annette Peacock, I’m the One (Light in the Attic)

Top 5 Concerts

Feelies, May 11, Northampton, MA

Jon Spencer BlueS explosion, Nov. 1, Northampton , MA

Man Forever/Gary Higgins, June 19, Easthampton, MA

Debo Band/Grupo Fantasmo, July 12, Northampton, MA

Magic Trick/Sonny Smith, August 13,Easthampton, MA

Best Record Label

Drag City

Best Music-related Website


Best New Artist

Angel Olsen

Red River Dialect

Easter Island

Asshole of the Year

Amanda Palmer

Fave Internet Meme of 2012

Gangnam Style

2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Something I don’t even know exists yet

Coolest Trend or Whatever

The death of the Tea Party

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever

Lying as a campaign tactic

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

Silliest story I’ve ever written: “How NOT to Review a Divine Fits Concert!”




Top 10 New Releases

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas    (Columbia)

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die (Paradise Edition) (Interscope)

Jherek Bischoff – Composed  (Brassland)

Meshell Ndegeocello – Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone (Naïve)

Dave Douglas – Be Still (Greenleaf)

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (Def Jam)

Swans – The Seer (Young God)

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid: M.A.A.D City(Aftermath)

Scott Walker – Bish Bosch (4 AD)

Death Grips – The Money Store (Epic)


FRED MILLS fmills123 (at)


Top 10 New Releases

Patti Smith – Banga (Columbia)

Grimes – Visions (Arbutus/4AD)

Matthew E. White – Big Inner (Hometapes/Spacebomb)

Raveonettes – Observator (Vice) Twin Shadow – Confess (4AD)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill (Reprise)

Peter Buck – Peter Buck (Mississippi)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Live From Alabama (Lightning Rod)

Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes (Warp)

Dan Melchior, The Backward Path (Northern Spy)

Lower Dens – Nootropics (Ribbon)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (Interscope)

Aimee Mann – Labrador (SuperEgo)

Jack White I’m Shakin’ (Columbia/Third Man)

Alabama Shakes – Hold On  (ATO)

Tame Impala – Be Above It (Modular People)

We Take Care of Our Own – Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)

A Brokeheart Pro – Bullets Ain’t Brakes (Kitten Next Door)

Grimes – Genesis (4AD)

Major Lazer– Get Free (Mad Decent)

Spiritualized– Hey Jane (Fat Possum)

Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts… (Rhino)

Paul McCartney – Ram (Capitol)

V/A – Twin Cities Funk & Soul 1964-79 (Secret Stash)

Can – The Lost Tapes (Spoon)

The Cramps – File Under Sacred Music: Early Singles 1978-1981 (Munster)

Loop – reissues (Reactor/Revolver USA)

Cotton Mather – Kontiki: Deluxe Edition (The Star Apple Kingdom)

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – The Hellcat Years (Hellcat)

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (Sony UK)

Sonic Youth – Smart Bar – Chicago (Goofin’)

Tim Maia – Nobody Can Live Forever (World Psychedelic Classics 4) (Luaka Bop)

Top5 Music DVDs

Color Me Obsessed: A Film About the Replacements

Patti Smith – Live At Montreux

LCD Soundsystem: Shut Up and Play the Hits

Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine

Top 5 Music Books

Peter Hook – Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division (Simon & Schuster)

Sylvie Simmons – I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen (Ecco Books)

Peter Townshend – Who Am I: A Memoir (Harper Collins)

David Menconi – Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown (Univ. of Texas)

Mike Scott – Adventures of a Waterboy (Jawbone)

Top 5 Concerts

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band   Moody Theater, Austin TX 3/15

Lower Dens – Kings Barcade, Raleigh NC 6/21

Quantic & Alice Russell – The Parish, Austin TX 3/16

Jane Jane Pollock – The Pour House, Raleigh NC (Hopscotch Festival) 9/8

Hiss Golden Messenger – Schoolkids Records, Raleigh NC 11/17

Top 5 Films

Searching For Sugar Man

The Dark Knight Rises

Hunger Games


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Terminator (okay, okay… watched it on Netflix, w/my son)

Top 5 Music Videos

Sufjan Stevens – Mr. Frosty Man

Grimes – Genesis

Calexico – Splitter

Grizzly Bear – Yet Again

Kendra Morris – Concrete Waves

Best Record Label

Stones Throw

Best Music-related Website

Perfect Sound Forever

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

Beastie Boys’ MCA (Adam Yauch) 5/4/12

Best New Artist

Lord Huron

Worst New Artist

The Beach Boys

Dumbest Band Name

My Bloody Valentine

Worst Album Sleeve Art

Titus Andronicus – Local Business (XL)

Sex Object of the Year

Josephine the Outlaw King (aka A Brokeheart Pro, aka Jeannette Kantzalis)

Asshole of the Year

Rihanna (for pushing feminism to the back of the bus)

Fave Internet Meme of 2012

Still stickin’ w/Rick-roll…

Best Hair or Facial Hair

(… or lack thereof). C’mon, guys, shave that ridiculous shit off. Y’all look like underpaid extras in Spielberg’s Lincoln movie.

2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.)

Coolest Trend or Whatever

Kids and parents coming into the record store where I work and buying vinyl.

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever


Wildcard: 50 Words (or less) From or About Me

My goal here at Blurt is to spotlight great music, talented artists, and even on occasion smart writers who “get” those first two notions. I’ve been writing about rock ‘n’ roll since 1977 and long ago jettisoned my ego; it’s not about me, it’s about YOU.

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

(Recused. I edit or write everything in the magazine or on the site.)




Top 10 New Releases

Barry Adamson – I Will Set You Free (Central Control International)

Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE (Def Jam)

Cat Power – Sun (Matador)

Scott Walker – Bish Bosch (4AD)

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas (Columbia)

Emily Wells – Mama (Partisan)

Orcas (Morr Music)

Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL Recordings)

Grizzly Bear – Shields (Warp)

Sean Rowe – The Salesman and the Shark (Anti-)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Cat Power – Manhattan (Matador)

Jens Lekman – The World Moves On (Secretly Canadian)

The Beach Boys – Summer’s Gone (Capitol)

Giant Giant Sand – Love Comes Over You (Fire)

Dr. John – Revolution (Nonesuch)

Alabama Shakes – Hold On  (ATO)

Bettye LaVette – Dirty Old Town (Anti-)

PSY – Gagnam Style (Universal Republic)

Bob Dylan – Duquesne Whistle (Columbia)

Frank Ocean – Thinkin’ About You (Def Jam)

Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Rodriguez – Searching for Sugar Man (Legacy)

Country Funk 1969-1975 (Light in the Attic)

The Flatlanders – The Odessa Tapes (New West)

The Bailes Brothers – Standing Somewhere in the Shadows: The Legendary King Sessions 1953, Plus (Bear Family)

Lou Ragland – I Travel Alone (The Numero Group)

Top 5 Music Books

Ben Sandmel – Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans (Historic New Orleans)

Sylvie Simmons – I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen (Ecco)

Bettye LaVette w/David Ritz – A Woman Like Me (Blue Rider Press)

       (That’s all I’ve read)

Best Music-Related Website


2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.)

Favorite Story I Wrote for Blurt in 2012

Karen Dalton: “Desperately Seeking Karen Dalton”




Top 10 New Releases

Giant Giant Sand/Tucson: A Country Rock Opera (Fire)

Bo White/Same Deal, New Patrones (Kinnikinnik)

Sonoi/Tropics of Holland (Meno Mosso)

Andre Williams & the Sadies/Night & Day (Yep Roc)

Dirty Three/Toward the Low Sun (Drag City)

Ravi Coltrane/Spirit Fiction (Blue Note)

Matthew E. White/Big Inner (Spacebomb)

Various Artists/Aimer Et Perdre… (Tompkins Square)

Andrew Bird/Break It Yourself (Fat Possum)

Eleni Mandell/I Can See the Future (Yep Roc)

Honorable mentions: Antlers/Undersea (EP), Beachwood Sparks/Tarnished Gold, Takka Takka/A.M. Landscapes, JKutchma & the Five-Fifths/Pastoral, Carpet of Horses/It’s Only Light, Jimmy Cliff/Rebirth, Alabama Shakes/Boys & Girls, Lee Fields/Faithful Man, Screaming Females/Ugly, Bob Mould/Silver Age, King Mez/My Everlasting Zeal, Beach House/Bloom, Temperance League/Temperance League, Calexico/Algiers.

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Temperance League—“Pursuits of the Past”

Wood Ear—”Leave My Walls”


Cat Power—“Cherokee”

Carpet of Horses—”Oblomov”

Bo White—”Sinaloa”

Giant Giant Sand—”Wind-blown Waltz”

Andrew Bird—“Break It Yourself”

Matthew E. White—“Big Love”

Azita—“Something That Happened”

Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Can/The Lost Tapes (Mute)

V/A – The Inner Flame, A Tribute to Rainer Ptacek (Fire Records)

Dan Penn/The Fame Recordings (Ace)

Codeine/When I See the Sun (Numero)

Lee Perry & the Sufferers/The Sound Doctor (Pressure)

Top 5 Concerts

Hiss Golden Messenger @ Hopscotch Festival, Raleigh

Nick Lowe @ McGlohon Theatre, Charlotte

Andrew Bird @ Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte

The Sadies @ Yep Roc 15 Fest, Chapel Hill

Mount Moriah @ the Evening Muse, Charlotte

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

Rodney Lanier, Sea of Cortez/Pyramid

Worst New Artist


Dumbest Band Name

Too many to list – if your band name is longer than two words, it’s too long

Asshole of the Year

Me or my editors.

Fave Internet Meme of 2012

Internet? Meme?

Best Hair or Facial Hair

Andy the Doorbum

Coolest Trend or Whatever


Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever

Everything I don’t care for.





Top 10 New Releases

Gypsyphonic Disko – Nolaphonic Vol. 2 (
Guided by Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory (GBV)
Corin Tucker Band – Kill My Blues (Kill Rock Stars)
Jessie Baylin – Little Spark (Blonde Rat)
Wiley – Evolve or Be Extinct (Big Dada)
Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting (Polydor)
The Men – Open Your Heart (Sacred Bones)
Hospitality – Hospitality (Merge)
Howler – America Give Up (Rough Trade)
Big Krit – 4Eva N A Day (
Top 10 Tracks/Singles

A Brokeheart Pro – Bullets Ain’t Brakes (Kitten Next Door)
Mysdiggi – Cadoodledoo (no label)
Chappo – Come Home (Shout! Factory)
Guided by Voices – The Unsinkable Fats Domino (GBV)
Serengeti – Shazam (Anticon)
Wrinkle Neck Mules – Central Daylight Time (Lower 40)
Cadence Weapon – 88 (
Die Antwoord – I Fink U Freaky (Downtown)
Ray Wylie Hubbard – New Year’s Eve at the Gates of Hell (Bordello)
Nicki Minaj – Roman Holiday (Cash Money)
Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard (Concord)
The English Beat – The Complete Beat (Shout! Factory)
Bobby Bland – The Best of Bobby Bland (Verve)
Various Artists – Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology (Sony Music Club)
Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing: The Best Of Hot Chocolate (Music Club Deluxe)
Top 5 Music DVDs

The Replacements- Color Me Obsessed
Something from Nothing- The Art of Rap
Shut Up and Play the Hits
Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge
Punk Revolution NYC: The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls And The CBGBs Set
Top 5 Music Books

Jesse Jarnow “Big Day Coming- Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock”
Bruce Russell (editor) “Erewhon Calling- Experimental Sound In New Zealand”
Pete Townshend “Who Am I”
Michael Chabon “Telegraph Avenue”
Gil Scott-Heron “The Last Holiday”

Top 5 Concerts

All Tomorrow’s Parties- September 21st/New York City
Madonna – September 8th/Bronx
Wild Flag/Mission of Burma/Ted Leo – August 3rd/Brooklyn
The Who – December 5th/New York City
Bob Mould- September 7th/Brooklyn
Top 5 Films

The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Seven Psychopaths
Top 5 Music Videos

Cody Critcheloe- “Sometimes I Think About You Every Day”
Kate Nash- “Fri-end?”
Pussy Riot “Light Up the Fires”
Mystery Guitar Man “Stop Motion Excel”
YN Rich Kids – “Hot Cheetos & Takis”
Best Record Label

Sony/Legacy- great reissues this year, including My Bloody Valentine (UK only), Profile Records, Taj Mahal, Louis Armstrong, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and “Death Might Be Your Santa Claus”
Best Music-related Website

Perfect Sound Forever, natch!
In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

Tie: Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys & Etta James
Best New Artist

The Milk- great neo-soul UK band
Worst New Artist

Lana Del Rey should be enough to shake your faith in any kind of divine force in the universe.
Dumbest Band Name

Worst Album Sleeve Art

Alabama Shakes “Boys and Girls” (really good album though)
Sex Object of the Year

FM3 Buddha Machine, version 4- it’s the ultimate fetish object for music geeks
Asshole of the Year

Tie- Bob Lefsetz and whoever heads the RIAA
Fave Internet Meme of 2012

‘90s Problems (“My TV Guide Didn’t Come This Month So I Don’t Know What’s On TV Right Now!”)
Best Hair or Facial Hair

Dan Deacon
2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Tie- V.V. Brown (under-rated dance/R&B singer) and MIA (who will get her mojo back, guaranteed).  I’ll hope for a new Wrens record but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Coolest Trend or Whatever

Cassettes are now joining vinyl as retro objects of worship
Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever

Continuing decline of journalism as a feasible career
Wildcard: 50 Words From or About Me

Grateful as always to all of the readers of Blurt and PSF and any music pub in general out there now, and of course to the wonderful Robin Cook who’s seen fit to stay with and tolerate me for several years now.
Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

“Trust Yourself… And Get A Good Lawyer- Musicians’ Advice for Musicians”




Top 10 New Releases

Todd Snider – Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables (Aimless)

Lucero – Women & Work (ATO)

Cory Branan – Mutt (Bloodshot)

Willie Nelson – Heroes (Legacy)

Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball (Columbia)

Jukebox the Ghost – Safe Travels (Yep Rock)

Hostage Calm – Please Remain Calm (Run for Cover)

Archie Powell & The Exports – Great Ideas in Action (Good Land)

Dr. Dog – Be the Void (Anti-)

fun. – Some Nights (Fueled By Ramen)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

“Wrecking Ball” – Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)

 “Live and Die” – The Avett Brothers (Universal Republic)

“In C” – Loudin Wainwright III (StorySound)

“Stray Heart” – Green Day (Reprise)

“At Last” – Jukebox The Ghost (Yep Rock)

“Vampire” – Dr. Dog (Anti)

“Fuck You” – Bad Religion (Epitaph)

“Classy Girls” – The Lumineers (DualTone Music Group)

“Babel – Mumford & Sons (Glass Note)

“We Are Young” – fun. (Fueled By Ramen

Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – The Hellcat Years (Hellcat)

Frank Turner – Last Minutes & Lost Evenings (Epitaph)

Smoking Popes – Born to Quit (SideOneDummy)

Paul Simon – Graceland 25th Anniversary (Legacy)

Johnny Cash – The Greatest: Duets (Legacy)

Top 5 Music Books

Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin (Touchstone)

The Book of Drugs: A Memoir by Mike Doughty (Da Capo Press)

I Got a Name: The Jim Croce Story by Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock (Da Capo Press)

Rock ‘n’ Roll Myths: The True Stories Behind the Most Infamous Legends by Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz (Voyageur Press)

Mercury – An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury  by Lesley-Ann Jones (Touchstone)

Best Record Label


 Best New Artist

Masked Intruder

 Dumbest Band Name

Destiny Potato

  Asshole of the Year

Mike Huckabee who said God didn’t save the kids and teachers at the CT school shooting because we kept prayer out of school. Mike Huckabee: former preacher; current right-wing talk show host; future head of the Westboro Baptist Church.

 2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Bad Religion’s True North

 Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever

Grassroots political groups getting behind a solid cause and then fucking it up with no clear plans, aside from plenty of drum circles (looking at you, Occupy Wall Street).

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

Redd Kross





Top 10 New Releases

The Coffee Sergeants – Purple Martin Sanctuary (self-released)

Dawnbringer – In the Lair of the Sun God (Profound Lore)

Matthew Edwards & the Unfortunates – The Fates (Last Tape/Vollwert)

Mark Eitzel – Don’t Be a Stranger (Merge)

Gallon Drunk – The Road Gets Darker From Here (Clouds Hill)

Richard Hawley – Standing at the Sky’s Edge (Mute)

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band – When I’m President (Slimstyle)

Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

Bob Mould – Silver Age (Merge)

Three Minute Tease – s/t (Idiot)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

The Black Keys – “Gold On the Ceiling”

Gary Clark Jr. – “Ain’t Messin’ Round”

The dB’s – “Before You Were Born”

Matthew Edwards & the Unfortunates – “No More Songs”

Gallon Drunk – “You Made Me”

Richard Hawley – “Leave Your Body Behind You”

Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”

Bob Mould – “The Descent”/”Keep Believing” (tie)

Redd Kross – “Stay Away From Downtown”

Tenacious D – “Rize of the Fenix”

 Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Blue Oyster Cult – The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Columbia/Legacy)

Cotton Mather – Kon Tiki (Deluxe Edition) (The Star Apple Kingdom)

Dave Kusworth – The Bounty Hunters (Troubadour/Easy Action)

Mink DeVille – Cabretta/Return to Magenta/ Le Chat Bleu (Capitol/Culture Factory USA)

Epic Soundtracks – Wild Smile: An Anthology (Troubadour/Easy Action)

Top 5 Music Books

There is a Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths by Tony Fletcher

Who I Am by Pete Townshend

Top 5 Concerts

The Afghan Whigs – Austin City Limits Music Festival, 10/12/12, Austin, TX

The dB’s – BD Riley’s, 3/16/12, Austin, TX

Grulkefest: A Celebration of Brent (w/ True Believers, Doctors’ Mob, Glass Eye, the Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Sixteen Deluxe, Fastball, Wannabes) – ACL Live at the Moody Theater, 9/8/12, Austin, TX

Japandroids – Fun Fun Fun Fest, 11/4/12, Austin, TX

Bob Mould – Austin City Limits TV taping, 11/1/12, Austin, TX

 Best Record Label


 Best Music-related Website

Blurt, of course

 In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

Perry Baggs (Jason & the Scorchers)

 Best New Artist(s)

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Matthew Edwards & the Unfortunates, the Mastersons, Radiana, Three Minute Tease

 Worst New Artist

Daughn Gibson

 Dumbest Band Name

How to Dress Well

 Sex Object of the Year

Esperanza Spalding

 Asshole of the Year

So many assholes, so little toilet tissue.

 2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seeds Ltd.)

 Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT (include URL)

“The Boy With the Wild Smile: Epic Soundtracks”




Top Ten Albums of 2012

1. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city (Interscope/Top Dawg)

2. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart, Sweet Light (Fat Possum)

3. Tame Impala – Lonerism (Modular)

4. Matthew E. White – Big Inner (Hometapes/Spacebomb)

5. John Talabot – ƒIN (Permanent Vacation)

6. Andy Stott – Luxury Problems (Modern Love)

7. Chairlift – Something (Columbia)

8. Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy (Rad Cult)

9. Grizzly Bear – Shields (Warp)

10. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams (IAMSOUND)

Top Reissues
1. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
2. Rodriguez – Searching for Sugar Man
3. Massive Attack – Blue Lines
4. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
5. Paul & Linda McCartney – RAM
6. William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops
7. The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness
8. Blur – Parklife
9. Sleep – Dopesmoker
10. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
Top 10 Tracks/Singles (in no particular order)
Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Frank Ocean – “Thinking Bout You”
Grimes – “Genesis”
Bat for Lashes – “Laura”
Usher – “Climax”
Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Mladic”
Black Moth Super Rainbow – “Hairspray Heart”
Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”
Chairlift – “I Belong in Your Arms”
Top 5 Films
1. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master
2. Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty
3. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln
4. Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild
5a. Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s The Kid with a Bike
5b. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom





2012 New Releases

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (Def Jam)

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls (ATO)

Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

Beach House – Bloom (SubPop)

Tame Impala – Lonerism (Modular)

Lucero – Women & Work (ATO)

Bob Mould – Silver Age (Merge)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill (Reprise)

Matthew E. White – Big Inner (Spacebomb)

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas (Columbia)

Honorable Mention: Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth (Merge); Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory (CarPark); Jack White – Blunderbuss (Third Man/Columbia); Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel (Epic); King Tuff (SubPop); Spoek Mathambo – Father Keeper (SubPop)

Best Reissues

Various Artists – Country Funk 1969-75 (Light in the Attic)

Sugar – Copper Blue/File Under Easy Listening (Merge)

David Ruffin – David (Hip-O Select)

Jerry Lee Lewis, The Killer Live 1964-70 (Hip-O Select/Mercury)

Tim Maia, World Psychedelic Classics 4: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia (Luaka Bop)

Archers of Loaf – Icky Mettle/Vee Vee (Merge)

Top Shows

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band  – Austin, TX, 3/15

Bob Mould – Brooklyn, NY, 9/7

Wild Flag/Mission of Burma/Ted Leo – Brooklyn, NY, 8/3

Gary Clark Jr./Blitzen Trapper/The Roots – Austin, TX, 3/17

Jack White – NY, NY, 4/27

Bon Iver – NY, NY, 9/20

Dinosaur Jr./Lucero – Austin, TX, 3/16

Fiona Apple/Sharon Van Etten/Alabama Shakes – Austin, TX, 3/14

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Brooklyn, NY, 12/3

Jimmy Cliff – Brooklyn, NY, 6/5

Top Songs

Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built (Polyvinyl)

Gary Clark Jr. – When My Train Pulls In (Warner Bros.)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Ramada Inn (Reprise)

Thee Satisfaction – Queens (SubPop)

Divine Fits – Shivers (Merge)

Miguel – Adorn (RCA)

Bob Mould – The Descent (Merge)

Bob Dylan – Pay in Blood (Columbia)

Alabama Shakes – I Ain’t The Same (ATO)

Bruce Springsteen – Rocky Ground (Columbia)




Top 10 New Releases

1.  Bob Dylan — Tempest (Columbia)

2.  Patti Smith — Banga  (Columbia)

3.  Martha Wainwright — Come Home to Mama (Cooperative Music/V2)

4.  Shoes — Ignition (Black Vinyl)

5.  Girlyman — Supernova (Girlyman, Inc.)

6.  Graham Parker & the Rumour — Three Chords Good (Primary Wave)

7.  Mary Gauthier — Live at Blue Rock (Proper Records)

8.  Aimee Mann — Charmer (Superego Records)

9.  Stuart Davis — Music for Mortals (SDM)

10.  SHEL — self-titled (Moraine Records)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

1.  Girlyman — “Nothing Left”

2.  Aimee Mann — “Labrador”

3.  Stuart Davis — “Beautiful Place”

4.  Shoes — “Hot Mess”

5.  Martha Wainwright — “All Your Clothes”

6.  Bob Dylan — “Narrow Way”

7.  Susan Justice — “Born Bob Dylan”

8.  Graham Parker & the Rumour — “Coathangers”

9.  Kanisha K. — “I Found Love (Just in Time for Christmas)”

10.  Steve Forbert — “All I Need to Do”

 Top 5 Archival/Reissues

1.  The English Beat — The Complete Beat (Shout Factory!)

2.  Paul Simon — Graceland: 25th Anniversary Edition  (Sony Legacy)

3.  Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago (Numero Group)

4.  20/20 — 20/20 and Look Out! (Real Gone Music)

5.  War — The World is a Ghetto: 40th Anniversary Edition (Xenon)

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

Bob Welch

 Best New Artist


 Asshole of the Year

Chris Brown

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend

Jon Bon Jovi continues to make albums and tour

 Wildcard: 50 Words From or About Me

Music obsessive and Anglophile, originally from suburban Connecticut, presently based in New York City. As has become the norm, my work has help keep me sane in an otherwise difficult year, personally and globally. And my work for Blurt is no exception. This year, it was especially nice to interview bands like Shoes and The Distractions, both of whom I thought would never release new music again!

 Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

“The Distractions: Time Goes By So Quickly”




Top 10 New Releases

Gentleman Jesse – Leaving Atlanta (Douchemaster)

King Tuff – S/T (Sub Pop)

Ty Segall – Slaughterhouse (In the Red)

The Babies – Our House on the Hill (Woodsist)

Terry Malts – Killing Time (Slumberland)

Paint Fumes – Uck Life (Slovenly)

Hunx – Hairdresser Blues (Hardly Art)

Natural Child – For the Love of the Game (Burger)

Fletcher C. Johnson – Salutations (Burger)

Peach Kelli Pop – S/T (Burger)

Best Label

Burger Records




Top 10 New Releases

Scott Walker – Bish Bosch (4AD)

Jason Lescalleet – Songs About Nothing (Erstwhile)

Holly Herndon – Movement (RVNG Intl.)

X-TG – Desertshore/The Final Report (Industrial)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill (Warner Bros.)

Wadada Leo Smith – Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform)

Florian Hecker – Chimerization (Farsi Language Version) (Editions Mego)

Fushitsusha – Hikari To Nazukeyo (Heartfast)

Matmos – The Ganzfield EP (Thrill Jockey)

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes (4AD)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Matthew Bourne, “Infinitude”

Spiritualized, “Hey Jane”

Dan Deacon, “Call Me Maybe Acapella 147 Times Exponentially Layered”

Chelsea Light Moving, “Frank O’ Hara Hit”

Swans, “The Seer”

Bob Dylan, “The Tempest”

Neneh Cherry & The Thing, “Dirt”

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, “Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps”

Leslie Keffer, “Finally, Caves! (Joy Dance)”

Sirvana, “Cut Me Some Slack”

Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Sonic Youth – Smart Bar – Chicago (Goofin’)

Pauline Oliveros – Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music, 1961-70 (Important)

Can – The Lost Tapes (Mute)

G. I. Gurdjieff – Improvisations (Mississippi)

Various Artists – Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio, 980-1980 (Dust-to-Digital)

 Top 5 Concerts

Jandek (Garfield Artworks, Pittsburgh PA 1/13)

Glenn Branca Ensemble (Sonic Circuits Festival, Washington DC 9/30)

Mx Justin Vivian Bond (Joe’s Pub, New York NY 3/25)

Thurston Moore (Naropa University, Boulder CO 6/5)

Morton Subotnick (University of Maryland, College Park MD 4/18)

Top 3 Music Books

Alan Licht – Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (Faber & Faber)

Bruce Russell – Erewhon Calling: Experimental Muisc in New Zealand (CMR)

Thurston Moore – By The Lightswitch (MONDO BUMMER)

Top 3 Films

The Master

The Bay

Liz & Dick

Top Music Video

The Flaming Lips & Amanda Palmer, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

Best Record Label

Mabson Enterprises

Best Music-related Website

Besides, of course?

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

Q4: Jonathan Harvey; Q3: Lol Coxhill; Q2: Chuck Brown; Q1: Gerre Hancock

Best New Artist


Worst New Artist

Tebow (in NYC)

Dumbest Band Name


Worst Album Sleeve Art

The Sacred Bones catalog

Sex Object of the Year

Fiona Apple

Asshole of the Year

Fiona Apple’s

Fave Internet Meme of 2012

Noise Park

Best Hair or Facial Hair

Fiona Apple (tie)

2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Coolest Trend or Whatever

CULTURE DEALER reviving theSong Poem genre

Most Fucked Up Thing I, Myself, Saw

Brah punching a woman at the Preakness (as The Darkness sang “She’s Just a Girl, Eddie”)

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

Report: Against Me!/Cult Live in Md.





New Releases

Allo Darlin’—Europe (Slumberland)

Andrew Bird—Break It Yourself (Mom + Pop)

Julia Holter—Ekstasis (Rvng Int’l)

Hot Chip—In Our Heads (Domino)

Jamey Johnson—Living For A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran (Mercury Nashville)

Japandroids—CelebrationRock (Polyvinyl)

Frank Ocean— channelORANGE (Def Jam)

Royal Headache—Royal Headache (What’s Your Rupture)

The Walkmen—Heaven (Fat Possum)

The xx—Coexist (XL)


Allo Darlin– Tallulah (Slumberland)

Best Coast– The Only Place (Mexican Summer)

The Fresh & Onlys — Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer)

Daughn Gibson– In The Beginning (White Denim)

Grimes– Genesis (4AD)

Kelly Hogan– Sleeper Awake (Anti)

Major Lazer– Get Free (Mad Decent)

Spiritualized– Hey Jane (Fat Possum)

Sharon Van Etten– Serpents (Jagjaguar)

The Very Best– Kondaine (Moshi Moshi)




Top 10 New Releases

Helvetia – Nothing in Rambling – Joyful Noise

Matt Bauer – No Shape Can Hold Me Now (Crossbill Records)

Tennis – Young & Old (Fat Possum)

Giant Giant Sand – Tucscon (Fire)

Dana Falconberry – Leelanau (Antenna Farm)

Swans – The Seer (Young God)

Mission of Burma – Unsound (Fire)

The Doc Marshalls – Look Out, Compadre (Twinpost)

Poor Moon – Poor Moon (Sub Pop)

Chrome Cranks – Ain’t No Lies In Blood (Thick Syrup)




Top 10 New Releases

Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)

Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man (Capitol)

Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

Moonface – Heartbreaking Bravery (Jagjaguwar)

The Walkmen – Heaven (Fat Possum)

Chromatics – Kill For Love (Italians Do It Bettet)

Wild Nothing – Nocturne (Captured Tracks)

Rocket Juice & The Moon – Rocket Juice & The Moon (Honest Jon’s)

Tanlines – Mixed Emotions (True Panther Sounds)

Antlers – Undersea (ANTI-)

Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built” (Polyvinyl)

Chromatics – “Kill For Love” (Italians Do It Bettet)
The Walkmen “We Can’t Be Beat” (Fat Possum)
Bat For Lashes – “Lilies” (Capitol)
Beach House – “Other People” (Sub Pop)
Rocket Juice & The Moon – “Hey, Shooter (feat. Erykah Badu)” (Honest Jon’s)
The Killers- “Runaways” (Island)
The Antlers – “Drift Drive” (ANTI-)
The Shins- “Simple Song” (Columbia)
Blur – “Under The Westway” (Parlophone)

 Dumbest Band Name

Rocket Juice & The Moon

 2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

The Knife – Shaking The Habitual




Top 10 Records

1. Calvin Harris ’18 Months’

2. Funeral Party ‘The Golden Age of Knowhere’

3. Vintage Trouble ‘The Bomb Shelter Sessions’

4. Jack White ‘Blunderbuss’

5. Dr. John ‘Locked Down’

6. Alabama Shakes ‘Boys & Girls’

7. Mumford & Sons ‘Babel’

8. Leonard Cohen ‘Old Ideas’

9. Stone Sour ‘House of Gold & Bones Pt. 1’

10. The Cult ‘Choice of Weapon’

Top 10 Singles

1. Calvin Harris ‘Feel So Close’

2. Adele ‘Set Fire to the Rain’

3. Vintage Trouble ‘Blues Hand Me Down’

4. Calvin Harris ‘We Found Love’

5. fun. ‘We Are Young’

6. Alicia Keys ‘Girl on Fire’

7. Elle Goulding ‘Lights’

8. Avicii ‘Levels’

9. Calvin Harris ‘Sweet Nothing’

10. Gaslight Anthem ’45’

Top 5 Films

1. Dark Knight Rises

2. Django Unchained

3. Cabin in the Woods

4. Lincoln

5. Zero Dark Thirty (just beat out ‘End of Watch’)

Top 5 Concerts

1. 12.12.12 Sandy Benefit at Madison Square Garden

2. Vintage Trouble 1/15/12 at The Troubadour

3. Outside Lands Music Festival Aug 10-12 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

4. Guns N’ Roses 3/9/12 at Hollywood Palladium

5. Mana 4/25/12 at Staples Center

Top 5 Music Books

1. ‘Inside a Bizzy Mind’ by Bizzy Bone

2. ‘It’s So Easy and Other Lies’ by Duff McKagan

3. ‘The One: The Life and Music of James Brown’ by RJ Smith

4. ‘Waging Heavy Peace’ by Neil Young

5. ‘How Music Works’ by David Byrne

Top 5 Music Videos

1. Calvin Harris ‘Drinking from the Bottle’

2. Marilyn Manson ‘Slow-Mo-Tion’

3. Psy ‘Gangnam Style’

4. Vintage Trouble ‘Blues Hand Me Down’

5. Marilyn Manson ‘Born Villain’




Top 10 albums

1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
2. Zammuto – Zammuto (Temporary Residence)
3. Father John Misty – Fear Fun  (Sub Pop)
4. El-P Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possum)
5. Diiv – Oshin (Captured Tracks)
6. Matthew E. White – Big Inner (Spacebomb/Hometapes)
7. Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t (Secretly Canadian)
8. Lambchop – Mr. M (Merge)
9. Titus Andronicus – Local Business (XL)
10. Tame Impala – Lonerism  (Modular)

Top 10 songs

1. Cat Power – “Nothin But Time”

2. Zammuto – “The Shape of Things to Come”

3. Father John Misty – “Fun Times in Babylon”

4. El-P -“$4 Vic/FTL (Me and You)

5. Titus Andronicus – “My Eating Disorder”

6. Chromatics – “Kill For Love”

7. Lambchop – “If Not I’ll Just Die”

8. Sharon Van Etten – “We Are Fine”

9. Frank Ocean – “Thinkin About You”

10. Patterson Hood – “Come Back Little Star”

Best Record Label


Best Music-related Website


Best New Artist

Father John Misty

Worst New Artist

Lana Del Rey or Chief Keef

Worst Album Sleeve Art

 Death Grips’ No Love Deep Web

2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating

Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

Coolest Trend or Whatever

Awesome bands putting about 3+ records in a year (i.e. Ty Segall, GbV)

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

Grizzly Bear: “Sense Of Place, Sense Of Purpose, Sense Of Self” (cover story, issue #13)




Top 10 New Releases

 Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

John K. Samson – Provincial

Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

The Coup – Sorry To Bother You

Tift Merritt – Traveling Alone

Dr. Dog – Be The Void

Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance

Kelly Hogan – I Like To Keep Myself In Pain

Lee Fields & The Expressions – Faithful Man

Archie Powell and the Exports – Great Ideas in Action

 Top 10 Tracks/Singles

  Hold On – Alabama Shakes

When I Write My Master’s Thesis – John K. Samson

Making Love To Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding

Wishing Well – Trapper Schoepp & The Shades

Just About Now – Matt Keating

 Top 5 Archival/Reissues


Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man soundtrack

The English Beat – The Complete Beat/ Shout Factory Records 5xcd Box

Old 97’s – Too Far To Care

Velvet Underground Boxset

Top 5 Films


Moonrise Kingdom

Searching For Sugar Man


Perks of Being a Wallflower

 Best Record Label

 Yep Roc

 In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death

 Sadly, there were a number of deaths of people from the music world that resonated with me in ways large and small. Davy Jones from one of my favorite childhood bands, the Monkees. Dick Clark and also Don Cornelius, who brought together TV and music for me and millions of others. Hal David, for his classic pop songwriting skills. Etta James, for singing “At Last.” Doc Watson and Levon Helm for their years of making great American music. But the most lamentable death was probably Adam Yauch. Not so much that I have been a big Beastie Boy fan, but because he has created so much in less than 50 years and left the promise of what was to come tragically unfulfilled. 

 Best New Artist

  Lord Huron

 Worst New Artist


 Dumbest Band Name

 Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

  Asshole of the Year

  The NRA Spokesperson Wayne LaPierre

 Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

 The dB’s: “21st Century Boys (Men)”




New Releases (in no order of Importance)

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Meat and Bone (Mom+Pop)

Japandroids Celebration Rock(Polyvinyl)

The Hives Lex Hives!(Disque Hives)

Heartless Bastards Arrow(Partisan Records)

Bob Mould Silver Age(Merge)

Dinosaur Jr I Bet on Sky(Jajaguwar)

Band of Skulls Sweet Sour(Vagrant)

North of Grand A Farewell to Rockets(Brolester Records)

Guided by Voices Bears for Lunch(Guided by Voices Inc.)

Top Five Tracks

Bad Books Forrest Whitaker

Black Keys Little Black Submarines

Bob Mould The Descent

Beck Looking for a Sign

Jack White I’m Shakin’

Top Five Archival/Reissues

Nirvana- Nevermind (4 LP set)

Lightin’ Hopkins- The Very Best of Lightin’ Hopkins (expanded edition)

Sugar- Entire Sugar Catalogue

Woody Guthrie- Woody at 100

The Velvet Underground and Nico

Music DVDs

Led Zeppelin- Celebration Day

Archers of Loaf What Did You Expect?- Live at Cat’s Cradle

Big Star- No One Can Hurt Me: The story of Big Star

Pearl Jam- Twenty

LCD Soundsystem Shut Up and Play the Hits

Best Label


Best Concerts

Stephen Egerton/Drag The River/Stiff Middle Fingers @ The Jackpot Lawrence, KS  7/5/2012

Guided By Voices @ The Granada Theater Lawrence, KS 9/28/2012

Melismatics/ Radkey @ The Rendezvous St. Joseph, MO 6/15/2012

The Lemonheads @ The Granada Theater Lawrence, KS 1/27/2012

Best Music Related Website

Chrome Waves

Worst New Artist


Best New Artist


Most Lamented Death

Adam “MCA” Yauch

Asshole of the Year

Billy Corgan

Worst Band Name

fun. (because it is false advertising; this band is,in no way, fun.)

Most Annoying Trend


About Me

For more than a decade, I have been writing about what makes music both great and intolerable.  My work has appeared in The Pitch, Skyscraper Magazine, Blurt (of Course), Hybrid, The Omaha Reader, Fader, Popshifter, Perfect Sound Forever and many others.  On the second Saturday of every month at 4pm central time, my podcast “Don’t Have a Clue”, airs on radio & reaches over 100,000 dedicated listeners per episode. Lastly, I believe that Bon Iver, Radiohead and Grouplove are currently battling it out for the title of most overrated band in the history of recorded sound.



2011 Best-Of coverage: Top 50 of 2011, our Writers’ Picks for 2011. 2010 Best-Of: Top 50 of 2010, our Writers’ Picks for 2010. 2009 Best-Of is here (Artists Top Tens), here (Writers), here (Top 50). 2008 Best-Of is here and here.

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