Danny O’Bryan’s Best of 2012

Bruce BarthThree Things of Beauty (Savant)

Mary Stallings – Don’t Look Back (High Note)

Clifton Anderson – And So We Carry On (Daywood)

Wes Montgomery – Echos of Indiana Ave. (Resonance)

Sheila Jordan – Yesterdays (High Note)

Mike Tracy – Surf Board (Summit)

Tony Monaco – Celebration (Chicken Coup)

Esperanzo Spaulding – Radio Music Society (Montuna)

Houston Person – Give Me the Simple Life (High Note)

Robert Glasper – Afro Blue (EMI)

WFPK’s Top 100 Albums of 2012

We’re counting down WFPK’s biggest albums of 2012 all day leading into tonight’s big NYE bash at Headliners.  We’ll keep posting throughout the day, and feel free to play along at home.  Who will win?  Well, with all of this amazing music, I’d say you do.

100. Field Report – Field Report
99. Pajama Club – Pajama Club
98. Rolling Stones – Grrrr!
97. Cheyenne Marie Mize – We Don’t Need
96. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
95. Dirty Ghosts – Metal Moon
94. Bob Dylan – Tempest
93. Afghan Whigs – Lovecrimes
92. Bahamas – Barchords
91. Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth
90. Josh Ritter – Bringing In the Darlings
89. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now
88.Dr. John – Locked Down
87. Whitehorse – The Fate of the World Depends On This Kiss
86. Shawn Colvin – All Fall Down
85. Paul Weller – Sonik Kicks
84. Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird
83. Ponderosa – Pool Party
82. John Fullbright – From The Ground Up
81. Pinback – Information Retrieved
80. Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
79. Of Monsters & Men – My Head Is An Animal
78. Rebecca Ferguson – Heaven
77. Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind
76. Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
75. Silversun Pickups – Neck of the Woods
74. Stars – North
73. Paul Thorn – What The Hell Is Going On?
72. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Here
71. Lucero – Women & Work
70. Adam Cohen – Like A Man
69. Ben Sollee – Half-Made Man
68. Calexico – Algiers
67. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – The Lion The Beast The Beat
66. Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine
65. Beth Orton – Sugaring Season
64. Old Crow Medicine Show – Carry Me Back
63. The Tallest Man on Earth – Leading Me Now
62. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
61. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
60. Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs
59. Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts
58. Dry the River – Shallow Bed
57. Muse – The 2nd Law
56. Houndmouth – Houndmouth EP
55. Everest – Ownerless
54. Will Hoge – Number Seven
53. Langhorne Slim – The Way We Move
52. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
51. Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
50. Rufus Wainwright – Out Of the Game
49. John Mayer – Born & Raised
48. Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream
47. Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
46. Mumford & Sons – Babel
45. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
44. The Elders – Wanderin’ Life & Times
43. The Wallflowers – Glad All Over
42. Miike Snow – Happy To You
41. Chairlift – Something
40. Cory Chisel – Old Believers
39. Brenden Benson – What Kind of World
38. Shovels & Rope – O’ Be Joyful
37. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
36. Walkmen – Heaven
35. Glen Hansard – Rhythm & Repose
34. Trampled By Turtles – Stars & Satellites
33. Jack White – Blunderbuss
32. Ingrid Michelson – Human Again
31. Graffiti6 – Colours
30. David Mead – Dudes
29. Madi Diaz – Plastic Moon
28. JD McPherson – Signs & Signifiers
27. Gary Clark Jr. — Blak and Blu
26. Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
25. Snow Patrol – Fallen Empires
24. Jukebox the Ghost – Safe Travels
23. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound – Want More
22. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
21. Dave Matthews Band – Away From the World
20. Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again
19. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
18. Brandi Carlile – Bear Creek
17. Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
16. ALO – Sounds Like This
15. Whitehorse – Whitehorse EP
14. Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
13. Heartless Bastards – Arrow
12. Josh Rouse – Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations
11. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
10. Fun – Some Nights
9. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
8. Justin Townes Earles – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
7. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
6. Zeus – Busting Visions
5. The Black Keys – El Camino
4. Gotye – Making Mirrors
3. Dr. Dog – Be the Void
2. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
1. The Shins – Port of Morrow

Duke Meyer’s Best of 2012


I’ve really enjoyed a lot of individual songs this year. But there are eight full CDs that stand out to me. The first four had me at the first listen….

Jack White – Blunderbuss
The Black Keys – El Camino
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale – Buddy and Jim
Lucero – Women and Work

The next four took me a couple more listens. As I listened, individual songs started to catch my ear. Before I knew it, the CD was taking up residence in the player.

The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
Ben Sollee – Half Made Man
Dr. John – Locked Down
Mumford and Sons – Babel

Have an amazing and safe new year…and have fun.

Kevin Yazell’s Best of 2012

5. Garland Jeffreys – The King of in Between

A solid 11-song disc with a great band, this is Garland’s best effort in some time. One of the best overall records of the year.

4. Chuck Leavell – Back to the Woods

This is a heartfelt tribute to the pioneers of blues piano and songs made famous before the guitar became the prominent instrument of choice in the blues. Chuck was recruited by Ian Stewart to first play with the Rolling Stones in 1982 due to his Barrelhouse and Boogie Woogie prowess, and it shows brightly here. Chuck covers songs by Leroy Carr, Little Brother Montgomery, Otis Spann, Barrelhouse Buck McFarland and Memphis Slim with energetic style. Best blues record of the year!

3. The Rolling Stones & Muddy Waters – Live at the Checkerboard Lounge ’81

While in Chicago for a three-night stand during their 1981 US tour, the Stones snuck down to Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge for a show with one their earliest and biggest influences: Muddy Waters. This is a true gem, capturing authentic Chicago blues in its natural environment. Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Left Dizz and John Primer also show. This is a must-have document for any fans of Chicago blues or The Rolling Stones.

2. The Rolling Stones – Charlie Is My Darling

While it was great to finally see this early rock documentary clearly after decades of poor bootlegs, the real treat here is the bonus disc of the Stones recorded live in England in 1965. We typically associate the screaming and crying teenagers of the ’60s with The Beatles. However, the Stones worked their audiences into an uncontrollable frenzy often ending in riots that forced the band from the stage. Unlike The Beatles, the Stones thrived on the energy, forged through the storm and continued to make some of the greatest music of our time.

1. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

This is a disc full of topical and inspirational songs, perfect for trying times. Bruce departed from the sound of his previous recent efforts and even made the record without most of the E Street Band. Worthy of many repeated listenings. As with all great musicians, the record sounded even better live!

Kyle Meredith’s Best of 2012

It’s become customary to talk about what “an amazing year of music this has been,” and it usually is.  But while there were a ton of great songs, this was the first year in a while that I had trouble finding great albums. Still, that’s not to say that there were none for me, and here are five that really hit the spot.

5. Band of Horses – Mirage Rock

Their fourth LP threw a lot of fans for a loop, as it’s based more on acoustic guitars and classic rock leanings than what they’ve been known for in the past. But once you let that settle in, Mirage Rock opens up as a disc full of great stories and songs.  In fact, working with Glyn Johns was the perfect move to get this America inspired album to it’s prime sound.  I may not heave heard it on the first listen, but it quickly became a touchstone for the year.

4. Chairlift – Something

One of the few bands that’e been able to write something even better than the Apple iPod song that made them famous. Something is drenched in the sound of 80’s fantasy/sci-fi movies, but takes it all to an entire new place, and song by song, has more melody than I’ve ever heard crammed into one record.

3. Ben Sollee – Half-Made Man

I don’t think that Ben has ever written a bad record. I was instantly drawn to Get Off Your Knees, but the most jaw-dropping moment is the soloing in The Pursuit of Happiness. I’ve hit repeat on that moment more than any other this year.

2. Father John Misty – Fear Fun

Completely inventive in both sound and lyrics, J. Tillman’s resurrection as Father John Misty provided an album that can hold your attention whether you reply on story or melody. Plus, there is a “novel” included as the liner notes, and if you’d like to go even further down the rabbit hole, just go watch any interview the man gave this year. They are hilarious, insightful, and unlike anyone else on the planet.

1. Shearwater – Animal Joy

How do you describe a record like this? It’s sweeping, cinematic, smart, proggish at points (without being proggy), thematic, beautiful, tasteful but daring, and completely amazing. And awesome. It sounds like nothing else and still as fresh as my first listen. I play it when I’m running and chilling out. Is it perfect? Pretty damn close.

(a close runner up would have been Sean Rowe’s The Salesman and the Shark.  I think if I had more time with it, it may have been even higher.  Take it as an extra recommendation for originality, fans of Tom Waits, and other any type of music fanatic.  There is much to discover in that one.)

And if you’re interested, I’ve posted my favorite songs of the year over at The Weekly Feed.

Marion Dries’ Best of 2012

Since 2012 is about to become a musical memory for us, here are my top five albums of the year as well as a playlist with some of my favorite songs.

5. Workers – Both Hands

Let’s hear it for Louisville boys making good with their second release under the Workers moniker. Both Hands grabs you by the ears, nose and throat with, um…

4. The Helio Sequence – Negotiations

Bandmates Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel have been making warm, ethereal music together since 1999. This is their fifth release and includes hints of eighties synth pop.

3. Pinback – Information Retrieved

As a long time Pinback fan, I was delighted to see the band break a five-year recording drought. This album is great to spin at night while watching the stars drift by.

2. King Tuff – King Tuff

The sophomore release from King Tuff (aka Kyle Thomas), this came out in May and knocked Jack White’s Blunderbuss from the top of the CMJ chart. The song Keep On Movin’ will keep you movin’ for sure.

1. Django Django – Django Django

Coming out of left field (if you consider London left field) and claiming that their name has “absolutely nothing to do with Django Reinhart,” fun stuff is had on their debut album – especially the insanely catchy song Default.