Hey! Year-end lists usually fill me with dread (how can I pick my favorites?!?! What if I leave something awesome out? AUUUGHHHG). But for whatever reason, this year it was easy to figure out.
So, I give you: the Top 5 musical things I was most exited about in 2012.
1) Aimee Mann’s “Labrador” video:
In addition to being a kick-ass song from one of my favorite songstresses, Mann made the “Labrador” video an almost shot-for-shot remake of “Voices Carry,” her mega-’80s hit with band ‘Til Tuesday. I love everything about Aimee Mann, and always have, but I especially loved this — including the faux “making of” intro with Jon Hamm as a ridiculous music video director.
2) The Sexy Accident: Ninja Ninja Fight Darth Vader
Listen up: Ninja Ninja Fight Darth Vader
I discovered The Sexy Accident completely by, well, accident (zing!). And it’s because Ninja Ninja Fight Darth Vader is the BEST ALBUM NAME EVER, and also a really endearing song featuring band member Jesse Kate’s 5-year-old son.
The rest of the album is poppy and fun and I really dug it, plus — you can name your price for the download and they’ll donate all proceeds from the sale to Operation Breakthrough, which makes it extra rad.
3) Mike Viola: Electro De Perfecto
Listen up: Here’s The Rub
I saw this joker open for Fountains of Wayne at The Crocodile earlier this year, and I was pretty damn impressed. Friends of mine had been fans of his 1990s band Candy Butchers, which I am not hip enough to have heard of, but I tell you what: Viola rocked my socks off solo.
His songs on Electro De Perfecto are packed full of angsty rejected love and dreaming, and I think he’s a damn fine songwriter. My favorite tune on this album is definitely “Here’s the Rub”:
Did you email? Did you text me?
I check ‘em both, I check ‘em obsessively
Don’t start, don’t stop — it’s over, it’s over — but it’s not
Listen up: Spectator
CANINES is a band I ran across through a SIFF film called I Am Not A Hipster, in which this gentleman named Joel P. West created an entire album for the fictional title character, and I loved the depressing songs so much that I tracked it down online and downloaded it.
If you’re into gut-wrenching guitar and vocals, the album is only $8, and you can grab it from bandcamp now.
5) Katie Kate: Flatland
My friend Chris is responsible for introducing me to Katie Kate, and I am now totally in love with her. Totally. Absolutely. Completely in love. She’s the most fun on stage, she has an awesome voice, she raps fierce and sings gorgeously, she dances all over the stage and OWNS it, and one of the highlights of my year was seeing her cover Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” at Bumbershoot.
OMG. So amazing.
Anyway! You can download Flatland for only $10 (it’s a 2011 release – shh!) and listen to her new single, Zombies, for only a buck.