Happy 236th birthday, United States!
So, here are my faves of the first half of 2012… and outside of the Top 5, it’s all kind of random order on how I feel today… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end (click album art for sound samples):
Artist – Album (style)
- OSI – Fire Make Thunder (glitch prog)
- Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (jazzy pop)
- Peter Mulvey – The Good Stuff (indie songwriter playing standards with a band)
- Damien Jurado – Maraqopa (indie rock)
- Celldweller – Wish Upon A Blackstar (electronica)
- Sigur Rós – Valtari (ambient icelandic)
- Emily Wells – Mama (chamber hip-pop)
- Floratone – Floratone II (jazz)
- s/s/s (Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, Serengeti) – Beak & Claw -EP- (interesting)
- Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson & Mikael Akerfeldt) – Storm Corrosion (ethereal proggy departure)
- John Zorn – The Gnostic Preludes (jazzy experimental)
- John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & Joey Baron) with John Medeski – Templars (noise rock)
- Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2 (drone)
- The Chance Brothers – Growing Concern (indie rock)
- Regina Spektor – What We Saw From the Cheap Seats (pop)
- Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On? (folk pop songwriter)
- Buckethead – Electric Sea (gentler instrumental guitar)
- Bad Veins – The Mess We’ve Made (indie rock)
- Cosa Brava (Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, etc) – The Letter (rootsy jazz adventure)
- David Krakauer plays Masada Book Two – Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas) (klezmer jazz)
I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet) and whatever “et cetera” that the cool kids are listening to these days; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.
The 2nd half of 2012 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Mike Patton & Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II, Ben Folds Five’s reunion studio album, Ric Hordinski’s Arthurs Garden (physical CD, though the download came out a bit ago), the Dusted debut from Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt, Erin McKeown’s kickstarter, and I’ve heard rumors of a new Nellie McKay disc for the Fall.
Favorite concerts of 2012 (so far):
- Penn & Teller and Cirque’s Zumanity in Las Vegas, Jan 18th & 20th
- Secret Chiefs 3 in Eugene & Portland, Feb 6th & 7th
- Nellie McKay’s I Want To Live! in Eugene & Portland, Mar 2nd & 4th
- Puscifer in Portland, Mar 14th
- Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 in Eugene, Mar 18th
- Radiohead in Seattle, April 9th
- Roger Waters presents Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Portland, May 22nd
- Beck in Bend, May 27th
(click pictures below for review links)
From the self-titled debut album by Storm Corrosion featuring Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt and Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson hits record stores on May 8th, and their animated video for the epic 9+ minute “Drag Ropes” is here:
STORM CORROSION, the hugely-anticipated new project from Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt and Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, is releasing their debut album on May 7th. The self-titled album, which comprises six compositions, is available now for pre-order…
The first option includes a double LP set of the self-titled album with exclusive artwork, etched into 180g black virgin vinyl in gatefold jacket. You’ll also get a digital download of high quality FLAC files of the album and a tasty 24″ x 36″ fold-out poster of exclusive artwork.
They also have a DVD/Blu-ray version… things take a step up with this package. You get all the contents of the Collector’s Edition Double-LP Set (above), plus a digital download of the album the day BEFORE release, 5.1 audio mix of the album, two exclusive demo tracks and five instrumentals, and the full album on CD – all in a package containing over 2.5 hours of music!
You can click here to pre-order these packages now.
Click here to find Storm Corrosion on Facebook.