2012 was a strong year for new music so I had to split my normal new & vintage mix into two CDs. Here's the first CD focused on recent releases. I found myself gravitating towards songs with interesting lyrics. Not that the music isn't on par with the lyrics. If you'd like a copy of this mix or the vintage (60s and 70s) mix, let me know. I'll post the liner notes for that next. I'll have copies of these mixes on me, each featuring orginal kid art and printed liner notes.
If you are an out-of-towner you are welcome to use my AddyMe.com account (a Jenny Banner production!) to send me your address. I will do my best to mail you copies of these two mixes (new and vintage). I realize I owe some of you CDs from last year and hope sending them this year will make up for missing you last year. addyme.com/jebbanner
Background: for about the last 10 years I have transfered (from vinyl) my favorite songs from the year (new or vintage). Although you lose some of the essence of vinyl when transferring to digital you still capture the overall warmth and experience.
Merry Christmas! Jeb
1. Here We Go Magic "Alone But Moving"- their new album took a while to get me. I resisted- it sounds like Radiohead, it's boring, it all sounds the same… but I kept coming back. Now it's one of my favorite releases from 2012. Funny how that works.
2. Divine Fits "Ice Cream"- this is basically Spoon with some new dudes backing Britt Daniels- on this track the result is about the same. At this point Daniels is almost mimicking himself. But damn if he isn't good at it.
3. Tame Impala "We Only Go Backwards"- dreamy pop from Australia. Roy from the Turntable Shoppe turned me on to this band and I will be forever in his debt. Equal parts John Lennon c.1967 and what the Flaming Lips used to sound like.
4. Damien Jurado "Working Title"- many of the songs on this comp have elliptical lyrics and this is a prime example. "In the end you're more like a journalist who turns what she's seen into business". Featuring Richard Swift on guitar and production- he shows up again later in this mix. Swift is having a great year and really makes this album. I just love this song and the whole album is excellent, probably my fav this year. My buddy Ben Jones turned me on to this album.
5. Sleeping Bag "Saturday Night"- Bloomington band on Joyful Noise. There have been many anthems for Saturday night. Heck, some friends of mine had a band called The Saturday Nights. It's the heart of the weekend, it's a frisky night, ripe for adventures. I present this song as the new official anthem. Try it out and see how it goes.
6. Dirty Projectors "Impregnable Question"- a sparse ode to imperfect love. Something sounds missing, right? The guitar is buried, strumming lightly, the bass drives the song, there is a tambourine solo and the beautiful background vocals pull it all together. A masterpiece of restraint. In the end he comes out with it- "You're my love and I want you in my life".
7. Kishi Bashi "It All Began With A Burst"- it's been great to see Kishi gain an ever growing audience and with songs like this it's no wonder. Like Sleeping Bag, Kishi Bashi is on Indy based Joyful Noise which is run by former SmallBox employee, and longtime friend, Karl Hofstetter. Full disclosure, I own a tiny sliver of the label so I may be a little biased. But this album stands on its own and worthy of your consideration.
8. The Shins "For A Fool"- about time The Shins put out another album! It has been way too long since the superb Wincing The Night Away came out. Although not as strong as that album, or really any of their other albums, it is still worthy of its pedigree. Again Richard Swift shows up to add tasty guitar licks.
9. Pravada "Someone Else"- Indy's own, they final released a follow up EP to their excellent first album Manus Plere and it is well worth the wait. This opening track captures all that I love about Pravada, great vocals, interesting changes, cryptic lyrics and excellent playing.
10. Gentleman Caller "The Youngest Kind Of Pain"- another Bloomington based band. Last track on their dark but beautiful album "Wake". This song is a heartbreaking account of the fallout from a very personal loss. It captures so much of what I love about Kenny Childers' songwriting and singing.
sorry, no video for this one yet...
11. Jack White "Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy"- Mr White's first solo album is another standout from 2012. I love this dense, autobiographical tune that quickly runs us through his relationship with the significant other Stripe and why he does what he does. Also, the vinyl pressing of this album is superb. I think it may be the best pressed album of 2012. Rich and dynamic, loud when it needs to be but not afraid to be quiet too. No "loudness wars" going on here, thank goodness.
12. Michael Kiwanuka "I'm Getting Ready"- I'm not usually one to go for Adult Contemporary but dammit, this works. Also, I usually don't care for faux vintage soul or gospel either but I just love this song.
13. Nada Surf "Let The Fight Do The Fighting"- I have become a bigger Nada Surf fan with every passing year. I love this guy's voice! Their lyrics often tip toe between randomness and profundity and I kinda enjoy figuring out when they land where.
14. Helvetia "Rybro"- another Joyful Noise band. Mid-fi pop that takes me back to early 90s Sebadoh or even some of the stuff I recorded around then. Rumor has it these guys are now in Built To Spill, makes total sense. Great little track with lots of interesting stuff going on. It's a grower.
15. Beach House "Out To Sea"- this may be their best song simply on the strength of the lyrics. "Wouldn't you like to know how far you've left to go?" I guess, I don't know, maybe? I find myself still sorting the words long after the music fades.