Friday, December 21, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Best of 2012

With a seemingly laundry list of things to direct my focus on for this year's essay (see: a contentious election year and government gridlock, unspeakable tragedies, weather related devastation and Gangnam style) - it's with my deepest sincerity, that I turn my attention... to you.  Thank you for taking time out of a day undoubtedly filled with countless other things in order to: support, inspire, encourage, challenge and humor me.  Somewhere along the trail, we've crossed paths and it's not often that I get to express my gratitude.

I had two life affirming happenings this past year.  Firstly, the addition of a puppy that most certainly flipped things upside down for a few months and secondly, the opportunity to travel to Paris this past fall.  I'll focus on the latter; as, aside from a new found appreciation for what parents must go through in the early stages - raising a puppy has little by way of a pop-cultural pursuit (though, Desmond does like to cuddle up to our record player and/or my guitar amp).  Back to Paris.  

It was inspiring to walk storied streets and explore the lifestyle of a city that is principally built upon art and culture...and what I was exposed to, turned out to be perfectly contagious. I'll share one particular moment that stood out for me. Whilst sitting in the Luxembourg Gardens, I witnessed an older gentleman literally smelling the roses.  He slowly made his way from bush to bush, growing an appreciative smile with every new flower he sniffed.  How profoundly simple and beautiful?  As a silly cliché it doesn't hold much weight; but in deliberate context - truly puts a daily routine in perspective.  In fact, I've noticed my wife has picked up the habit herself. 

Now, the fortunate opportunity to travel doesn't fall short on me - so I think it's important that I get back on track here.  What I found, is whether you express yourself through food, art, gardening, crafting, whatever... as a collective, we can all give the proverbial cliff notes of our own various passions.  In turn, affording opportunities and growth for the personal gain of those we come in contact with.  The older gentleman for example, displayed his appreciation for beautiful and simple pleasures...and it had a ripple effect.  

Albert Einstein famously said: "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”   How wonderful is that? Flipping the script - I'm going to take a bit of written freedom here and invert his thought to the idea of being curious about passions.  I happen to be extremely curious about what this world has to offer and I appreciate that you do too. I feel privileged that I've captivated a few of you to take interest in the music that I enjoy and love; and if there is any takeaway from all of the daily oddities that happen in our world - it's that there is a need to share all that you appreciate, enjoy and work tirelessly towards.  I promise you (no matter how trivial it may seem), you'll find someone that will be interested and engaged.  Maybe even inspired.  

As for the tunes, I didn't think this year offered great leaps and bounds by way of new and exciting music (save for a couple standouts).  As for the state of music in general - it seems to be at an interesting impasse. Musicians are finding inventive ways to release their material into the world...most certainly to their benefit but not necessarily their record label. On the flip side, the likes of Spotify allow ample exposure to artists but does more for the label (monetarily speaking) than it does the artist. Where it goes or what new music model are we heading towards - I can't say? For now, I'll just continue to listen and throw my two cents in every now and again.

I hope you have a lovely holiday season.  Tell the people who mean something to you - just that, and be safe.

Cheers and happiness in 2013.


Top 10 Songs of 2012

(in order 10 to 1)

Best Albums of 2012

10) Beach House - Bloom

9) Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits

8) Japandroids - Celebration Rock

7) Allah-Las - Allah-Las

6) Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself

5) Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan

4) Twin Shadow - Confess

3) Grizzly Bear - Shields

2) Tame Impala - Lonerism

1) Father John Misty - Fear Fun

Honorable Mentions

Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone
The Orwells - Remember When
Ty Segall - Twins
Diiv - Oshin
The Walkmen - Heaven

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Morning Soundtrack - Rhye Edition

New tunes have seemingly come to a halt as the year winds down. But, Rhye (the mysterious LA duo - now revealed as singer/producer Mike Milosh and Danish-electro master Quadron) have a full head of steam heading into 2013.

I love all that they've released thus far and pumped for their impending full length album via the cool kid label, Innovative Leisure.

Check out new(ish) track The Fall, below.