2012 Year End Review – Through the Hatley Looking Glass

And in the end, there was music. 2012 has drawn to an end, and the obligatory best-of lists were blinding during the final months of the year. Now that the dust has settled, here’s a look back at the entire year. I’m not going to pretend to know anything more than what I like, because that wouldn’t doesn’t serve a best-of list in any way. While giants in the music industry dusted off their boots and produced some great music, the year was also one of many new musical discoveries. The , , , and Bruce Springsteen all had new records out this year, many of which ended up on several best-of-2012 lists. They each had their moments, but they didn’t truly grab me. Of the masters that did put out new material this year, I was particularly fond of the new Leonard Cohen, and . Each artist showed a particular masterful grace to their craft with the works they produced. For instance, Cohen took us on a lyrical journey, reminiscent of many of his earlier works, while Jack gave me a better understanding of what music means to him, and Bob just rocked my face off with a straight up soul masterpiece.

I was fortunate enough this year to find some amazing discoveries. Albums from Of Monsters and Men, , All Will Be Quiet, 2:54, Kyte, Polica, Paper Route, Stumbleine, Whirr, DIIV, Saltillo, and Exitmusic may not have graced many best-of lists this the year, but nevertheless, all were in heavy rotation in my iPod. It was also nice to see new material from my decade of guilty pleasure, the 80s. Men Without Hats, Killing Joke, Pet Shop Boys, and Wang Chung all release new material this year, each having adapted to this new era of music in their own successful way.

Living in New Orleans means it would be silly of me not to mention some of the great Big Easy music that has come out this year. Dr. John, The Hot 8 Brass Band, and Papa Grows Funk each represented New Orleans well, preserving our musical history in their own way. Speaking of preservation, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s St. Peter and 57th St was an amazing live showcase of talent recorded in New York City. Givers, My Morning Jacket, and Trombone Shorty, and Allen Toussaint all lent their support to the effort, giving the recording a full and exciting feel. Other local music I enjoyed this year included releases from George Winston, the Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack, and a playful EP from Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue. My favorite local find of the year was from Au Ras Au Ras. The Great Nothing is Tess Brunet’s sophomore effort, and in many ways it embraces the marks made by her self-titled release and takes it to whole new places. It’s also great that Tess decided to release only vinyl and cassettes, maybe to tickle that nostalgic bone in every record collector (The release is now also available in digital format).

2012 was also a great year for live shows. Being able to take pictures and listen to music doesn’t get much better than that. Of the twenty or shows I was able to attend, my favorite had to be Godspeed! You Black Emperor at Tipitina’s, followed by The Jesus and Mary Chain at the House of Blues, Built to Spill at One Eyed Jacks, and The Afghan Whigs at Tipitina’s. Although I would’ve loved to seen the Exitmusic show at Circle Bar come to completion, but circumstances dictated otherwise.

January 8, 2013 |  by  |  Features
 
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