Column: Best albums and concerts of 2012 (so far)

We’re halfway through 2012 already. Tons of great new music has been released already this year even though I feel like we’ve just begun.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the following releases.

Lucero, “Women & Work”

This is a real rock ‘n’ roll record with plenty of soul, blues-rock riffs and horns that tie the whole thing together. Lucero’s country-style punk has matured into solid rock and the results are wonderful.

Whipkey Three, “Two Truths”

When this album from the local rockers was released, I couldn’t stop listening to the song “Reagan Era.” This Americana-rock record is my favorite local album so far this year.

Bruce Springsteen, “Wrecking Ball”

Springsteen doesn’t ever slow down. With “Wrecking Ball,” he’s produced one of his best albums in recent memory. From “We Take Care of Our Own” to “American Land,” this is a patriotic record. And a great one.

Jack White, “Blunderbuss”

Forget the White Stripes. If this is what he’s going to produce, I’d rather have Jack White on his own. This record rocked my socks off and I can’t stop playing it.

Icky Blossoms, “Icky Blossoms”

Released locally this week, the album got into this column just under the wire. The band’s debut album is the best dance album released in recent memory.

The Shins, “Port of Morrow”

I initially didn’t give this album a stellar review, but it’s definitely grown on me. The band’s great Stir Cove concert certainly helped, but the album really is another step down The Shins’ already-solid path.

Worst album I’ve reviewed this year

Train, “California 37.” The band’s certainly popular, but I could barely get through this album when I reviewed it.

 

Best concerts of 2012 (so far)

South by Southwest in March was, as always, quite amazing.

Deer Tick’s May show at The Waiting Room was one of the best concerts I’ve seen in the last few years.

Lucero’s show earlier this week was incredible and featured a lot of their new songs as well as older material.

McCarthy Trenching’s first set in months was at O’Leaver’s in the spring and even featured a few old ragtime tunes. I loved it.

Finally, Desaparecidos made the biggest splash with a secret show at Slowdown where they debuted new material. How big of a splash? My review made international music news. Seriously. It was featured by Rolling Stone and by blogs and news sites in the UK, among other countries.

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3 Responses to Column: Best albums and concerts of 2012 (so far)

  1. mcforgs says:

    I feel like a hip badass because I actually own one of these albums (Wrecking Ball).

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  3. Zach says:

    Seems like this has been a hell of a year for music already, plus new stuff from Aesop Rock, The Mountain Goats, Fang Island, Kanye West, WHY? and another Death Grips album still to come.

    #1 by a mile: Death Grips – The Money Store

    The rest in no particular order
    Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
    Beach House – Bloom
    Killer Mike – R.A.P Music
    El-p – Cancer 4 Cure
    M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
    Spiritualized – Sweet Heart, Sweet Light
    Jack White – Blunderbuss

    I feel like there haven’t been too many good concerts around here this year, can’t even remember the last one I went to. Looking forward to Jack White, Beach House, WHY?, Yeasayer, Gruff Rhys and Built to Spill in the next few months.