2012: A Year of Transition

Now’s the time of the year when people talk about everything that happened and what it means. Obama got re-elected, MCA and Whitney Houston died, some guy jumped from space and Red Bull paid him. We’re almost certainly going off the fiscal cliff. Taylor Swift is apparently a full-blown pop star now. Chik-Fil-A sold chicken sandwiches all while handling the daunting task of publicly hating gay people.  Breaking Bad is still the best show on television. Community is stil the second best show on television. Your mom likes Mumford and Sons now. SPIN Magazine the magazine is dead. George Lucas sold his light saber collection to Mickey Mouse. It’s been a fun year. A lot of things have happened. But music kind of sucks now.

I mean, let’s be honest. Do you guys remember the heydays of the burgeoning Internet? The blogs? The relevance of Pitchfork? All these awesome groups with buzz that seemed to be somewhat justified? Is it just me? Am I getting old and jaded? Probably. But it seems like good music is happening less.

And this is coming from a guy who really tries to keep up with this junk. I scour notable web zines every day for the hottest new band and track and tour date, etc. I don’t know, I guess I started feeling it around SXSW when I realized there really weren’t a lot of up-and-comers I was dying to see. Granted, there were a few, and there’s been a lot of newcomers that have been great. And a lot of my all-time favorites released new music this year. It’s been pretty good. Just not great. It could be better. I feel like 2012 isn’t memorable in the grand scheme of things. It’s just a stepping stone to the next big movement. Not just for music, either.

Granted, 2012 has probably been the busiest year of my life, as I (FINALLY) make the shift into this thing called “adulthood” and get a job and try to date people and take a more proactive approach to actually figuring out who I am and what I want. This year has been a big one for me. So naturally, I listened to less and less albums and went to less and less shows and bought less and less vinyl. I’ve been a bad music fan this year, guys. I mean, look at this damn blog. This is the most I’ve written here in months. I’ve officially kicked the addiction of regurgitating another website’s content just so I can get impressions here, simply because I’ve got so much more pressing things to do nowadays and I really would like to make this site more of a place where I go when I actually have something of substance to say. And of course, to run down the year and make lists. Which I still love to do. Like a lot.

So yeah, it’s probably an amalgam of things. First being I’m busy. But also because, when I run through new tracks and albums, which are now easily accessible and totally legal via Spotify, which has completely changed my life and many other people I know, …I find myself skipping through more than taking in and putting on repeat. And that’s because the output isn’t as great overall….right? People seem kind of lost. Musicians. Critics. Tastemakers. There’s some great stuff, sure. But overall, it’s underwhelming. But with years like this, there usually comes a moment of clarity, a renewed purpose, and a slew of awesome bands. It will happen. It happened in 2003. 2007. 2009. We’re due for another. It will happen again. Like I said, check the title….baby steps. We’re all taking them. Together.

So anywho, tomorrow you’ll get remixes, then tracks on Friday, then albums on Saturday. There’s less this year.  My albums are cut down to 30.  My remixes are cut down to 10.  My tracks….yeah, those are still 200.  Tracks are easy, and my favorite part.  I could’ve have done a 300, no sweat, but that’s a bit much, I figured.

I promise it will be unlike any other best-of list series you’ve seen. Because due to my schedule and the other reasons listed above and the feeling of “I like what I like and I don’t care” that comes with your late 20’s, that less cynical, less pretentious, more self-aware and honest, but increasingly jaded and crabby, vibe….my list is focused on favorites. Some made other lists. Some didn’t. And really the only person in the world who will like my lists the most will be me. But isn’t that the reason we make lists anyway? They’re more for ourselves. Sure, it’s fun to share. But at the end of the day, the process of seeking validation and gratification is tiresome. As a young rapper once said, and then everyone in the world proceeded to repeat all year long ad nauseam: YOLO.

I like what I like and I don’t care.

Happy New Year, kids!

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