2012 Pop I Drove Around To


Zeus – Busting Visions
Tame Impala – Lonerism
Cat Power – Sun
Ariel Pink – Mature Themes
David Hidalgo, Mato Nanji, Luther Dickinson – 3 Skulls And The Truth
Julia Holter – Ekstasis
Brendan Benson – What Kind of World
J.D. Souther – Midnight In Tokyo (Live)
The Belle Game – Ritual Tradition Habit
Rickie Lee Jones – The Devil You Know
Beach House – Bloom
Jamey Johnson – Living For A Song — A Tribute To Hank Cochran
Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Elizabeth Cook – Gospel Plow EP
Alejandro Escovedo – Big Station
Aimee Mann – Charmer
American Aquarium – Burn. Flicker. Die
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – The Lion The Beast The Beat
Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel
Norah Jones – Covers
Grateful Dead – Winterland 1971

Running through the Village Voice’s Pazz and Jopp poll for last year was enlightening to a modest extent. 1,361 records were voted on, and the end of the poll is more interesting to me than its–‘averaging’–top flight. My own limited exploration was not very exploratory because I concentrated on guilty pleasures, known qualities, and, a good batch of releases from old timers I always check out; such as tops-in-my-flight new records from J.D. Souther, Ricki lee Jones, Alejandro Escovedo, Aimee Mann, and prime era, (between 1966-1976) Grateful Dead at Winterland at the end of 1971.

Speaking of guilty pleasures, I am pleasantly taken back by most competent revivals of old fashioned psychedelic hippy music. So, even from my grizzled perspective I feel I get the appeal of Tame Impala–although Ariel Pink, Zeus and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals strike me as superior. As for virtuosity, Jamey Johnson remembers Hank Cochran, a titan of cowpoke balladry and rock and roll on a record every bit as soulful and heartfelt as, well, Frank Ocean.

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