Just Plain Good

(Mostly) Music Industry Poll – The Best Tracks of 2012

First, I just want to say a quick thank you to Steve over at the music blog Those Who Dig, who for some reason thought I was worthy of an interview, which ran on their site yesterday.  So if you’ve ever been interested in my background (or musical taste), or wanted to relive great moments in teen films of the 1990’s, here you go.

Now to business. Every year for the past six years I send out a call to a great many of my friends, a majority of whom work in music in some capacity (bloggers, artists, DJs, music licensing, music supervision, management, publicity, etc.) to send me their favorite song of the year.

As you can imagine, for music folks this is almost impossible – many simply refused and sent me between three and five tracks (or started with that and then just kept adding…)

I used to take these suggestions and create mix CDs as holiday gifts, complete with cute writing using colorful Sharpies and everything.  Eventually the list of recipients grew too large and number of songs too great.

And so I thought I would turn to Spotify.  And instead of only giving this gift to my personal friends, here it is for everyone to enjoy.
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Music + Entertaining / Inspiration (and Ideal Playlist) for Parties All About The Vino

With the holiday season upon us, tips and tricks for parties and entertaining are everywhere.  Hostess gifts you can make yourself.  The perfect party pumps or sparkling dress.  Affordable dinnerware.  The right way to set a table or create a festive centerpiece out of yarn.  If I had unlimited funds and an apartment three or four times bigger I would host a party every weekend.

But what actually happens at the party?  After you’ve donned the outfit most flattering for your curves, and set out an expensive-looking (but budget-friendly) cheese plate.  The guests arrive.  How do you get people really chatting?

One idea absolutely perfect for this time of year: a wine tasting.  And I don’t just mean sipping a selection of excellent wines and discussing the smells and tastes, there are plenty of opportunities to be more specific and learn something too!  Perfect for those of us (me included and especially) who can barely distinguish a Merlot from a Shiraz, and have no idea what a “tannen” is.
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TA Mixtape / An Ode to Autumn, from East to West (with Kan Wakan, Fossil Collective, Hurray for the Riff Raff and more…)

Godfrey Pond in Weston, CT
Godfrey Pond in Weston, CT

I find it pretty difficult to get into the holiday spirit here in Los Angeles.  I’m assuming this is because I was born and raised on the east coast, where the scenery at this time of year is not unlike what one would find on a postcard.  To be fair though I’ve never actually asked a native what defines Thanksgiving or Christmas to them.

Is Thanksgiving just a very large and specific meal, without the connotation of fall colors and a chill in the air?
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Neat Tracks / The Rubbish Zoo “I Don’t Know Where I Go”

Anyone who has attempted to email me in the past month has probably noticed that, well, they can’t.  This is because my Tadpole Audio email account is currently maxed out.  Which (naturally) is because I rarely go through the messages sent to that account.

Yes, it’s admittedly neglectful and I apologize, but the reason that so many emails remain there in purgatory is that I really do intend to listen to everything I submitted to me*.  I want to discover new music.  No matter what the venue or circumstance, it is always satisfying to stumble across a band I have never heard of and fall in love.  The same thing applies for my SoundCloud Dropbox.

Many moons ago, The Rubbish Zoo, a quintet from Wyoming (do you know any other bands from Wyoming?  I do not) sent me a track called “More Ink Than An Octopus.”  I dug the track and noted it in a Google Doc (my entire life is on Google Docs) but just never got around to writing about it.

The Rubbish Zoo “More Ink Than An Octopus”

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Neat Tracks / Conveyor “Woolgatherer”

DSC_5384color-loresI’m not exactly sure when, or what specifically did it, but I credit my awareness of this band to the blog, We Listen For You.  Perhaps because Zach has been such a champion of Conveyor for so long – and rightfully so.  The band delightfully eschews most genre definitions. Just when I think I’ve pinned them (indie folk? folk pop? experimental folk?) they release a new track that completely throws me (in the best way possible).  One of the big bummers of SXSW 2012 for me was having to leave the Wild Honey Pie party in the middle of this Brooklyn-based band’s jaunty, vibrant set.

If you live in New York City, make sure to catch them tonight on an awesome bill at Webster Hall with Freelance Whales and Geographer.  Can anyone tell me though, when can we expect this band back in Los Angeles?

Conveyor “Woolgatherer”

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