For our final countdown of the year before Xmas tomorrow (for Norgs), we present you with a Best of 2012 playlist from our writer Eirik Arlov. Between working long night shifts at Oslo’s Rikshospitalet, playing in the hxc band Giant, playing solo concerts AND recently entering fatherhood– it’s been astounding the wealth of in-depth articles he’s produced. As our festival go-to-man at Inferno 2012, Norwegian Wood, to covering the Refused reunion at Oya, we rely on him for cutting straight to the heart of punk rock. For some great reading, check out his formidable archives here!
So lastly, from Bad Sounds to you, wherever you are in the world– we wish you an excellent holidays! We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store for 2013!! xoxo -The Editors
2012: A year in between
There are good musical years, and there are good personal years. As we all know music means more to you when a good portion of trouble exists in your life. Be it trouble of love, work trouble, depression, or money problems. Somehow the music industry seems to catch onto your dark moods and suddenly your favorite old artist sweeps in with a massive comeback album to take you back to that passion pit of teenage angst (the good kind). Or you stumble upon a new record label with a massive back catalog of pure gold that’s yrs for the taking.
For me, 2012 was a great personal year. Though I may have failed to connect emotionally to new releases, luckily, on the live front, there have been some jaw-dropping shows. Aura Noir shook the room at Revolver with thrash metal so catchy it should be downgraded for the safety of the audience. One tail, one head redefined black metal and passion at the Inferno Festival. My hero Will Johnson came through with his massive voice and dry wit even if Craig Finn and Patterson Hood didn’t back him up with the same powerful material.
The lack of solid gold records is okay; we need years in between where we mostly go back to old classics, using new music like simple mood setters, easy pick-me-ups, and soundtracks to running. It can’t all be almighty and soul-crushing. The music I have gotten my hands on this year has been average in a positive sense, nothing horrible, but nothing magical either.
There are a few exceptions. Calexico just released Algiers, a geographical gem for all of us who long for soundtracks to Cormac McCarthy books and unreleased desert footage from Breaking Bad. From mellow to moving, the album can be played again and again without losing its hushed edge. Swans gave us The Seer, a heavy and difficult noise album with extreme pop song contrasts. When I listened to it- I actually shivered. Lastly, I want to namedrop Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, fully aware that this is way beyond the interests and tastes of our readership. Between the Ditches is a heartwarmingly simple old-time blues record, played with slide guitar, washboard, and drums. Very simple, but very effective. It sounds one hundred per cent more honest then music you hear on the charts. Yeehaw. Enjoy this playlist of my suggestions from 2012.
Have a great 2013. Y’all come back now y’hear.