You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2012.
This year is shaping up to be musically notable:
- I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the LPs I’ve heard so far this year. Of the 12 albums I list here, I don’t consider any one of them to have more than two weak, filler-type songs. These albums make me appreciate the long-play recording again, instead of viewing the album as a commercial bucket that contains a few good songs and a bunch of bad songs, just because the good songs have to be contained somewhere. Full-album appreciation hasn’t been the norm for me in recent years.
- Hip-hop hasn’t sounded so good since the golden era, the ’90s. I think maybe that’s because the regional qualities of the music are blending, and the cream is rising to the top. Of course, in a house with two children younger than four, hip-hop is relegated to headphones and ear buds. But, my taste for it is as strong as ever. When I was a sophomore in high school, a wizened senior told me, “you’ll stop listening to rap when you get a little older.” 2012 is making a liar of him. Related reading: Hip-Hop And You Do Stop is a great summary of why the ’90s were special.
- My kids continue to be eager for jams. Jackie makes occasional requests, although she hasn’t latched on to any newer songs as tightly as she did last year. McLain is just starting to discover the dancey side of his alter ego, Party Boy, but the kid can flat-out do a soulful impression of Usher. I don’t have video of this yet, but imagine an almost-two-year-old singing high notes and pretending to strain, eyes closed, as he moves his head around in a Stevie Wonder kind of way.
Speaking of McLain, he also had his first genuine sing-along moment with a song. We were in the car, and I was playing Wordless Chorus by My Morning Jacket. Out of the blue, he chimed in with the chorus…”Ahhhh, Ahh Ahhhhhh Ahh Ahh”. I shouldn’t have been surprised — in addition to sharing the same initials as the band, his first concert (in utero) was My Morning Jacket.
I’ll never forget McLain singing along with an unfamiliar song for the first time, just as I never forgot that time I was changing Jackie’s diaper a couple of years ago. Grizzly Bear’s While You Wait for the Others was on the home stereo, and she jumped in on the refrain towards the end, when Droste or Rossen is wailing, “Oh Oh Oh Ohhhhhh”.
Back to the purpose of this post — here are my favorite LPs and tracks for the first half of 2012.
Note: Each track has a Spotify play button. You’ll need a Spotify account and the app installed to play the songs.
Hot Chip — In Our Heads
The Walkmen — Heaven
Killer Mike — R.A.P. Music
Royal Headache — Royal Headache
Bear In Heaven — I Love You, It’s Cool
Grimes — Visions
John Talabot — Fin
Schoolboy Q — Habits & Contradictions
The Men — Open Your Heart
Andrew Bird — Break It Yourself
Lower Dens — Nootropics
Cloud Nothings — Attack On Memory
Igoyh — Kwes.
Really In Love — Royal Headache
Stay Useless — Cloud Nothings
Inspector Norse — Todd Terje
Climax — Urrsher
Hurting (Tensnake Remix) — Friendly Fires
Brains — Lower Dens
Unless You Speak From Your Heart — Porcelain Raft
Lazuli — Beach House
Oblivion — Grimes
Know Me — Frankie Rose
Sinful Nature — Bear In Heaven
Lay Your Cards Out — POLICA
Gun Has No Trigger — Dirty Projectors
Every Single Night — Fiona Apple
The House That Heaven Built — Japandroids
Heaven — The Walkmen
Black Treacle — Arctic Monkeys
One Second of Love — Nite Jewel
Simple Song — The Shins
Monoliths — Lotus Plaza
Candy — The Men
Hood — Perfume Genius
Brodermordet — War
Give Out — Sharon Van Etten
Hole in the Ocean Floor — Andrew Bird
November Skies — Tomas Barfod, Nina Kinert
Betty Wang — Hospitality
Tiffany Lou — Daughn Gibson
Ashtray Wasp — Burial
I’ve Seen Footage — Death Grips
Untitled — Killer Mike (featuring Scar)
There He Go — Schoolboy Q
Oldie — OFWGKTA
The Full Retard — El-P