Laura Shine’s Best of of 2012

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It’s been another great year for our dearly-beloved radio format known as Triple A (Adult Album Alternative), which mostly means great music presented to you by WFPK. It has not been easy to have to choose from so many fantastic albums. Please keep in mind that we are inundated with hundreds of records all year long, so for a few to get through the mazes of CDs that cover our desks at all is quite extraordinary! Here are my picks:

10. Landline – Greg Laswell

I have loved all of Greg’s albums so far but especially liked the female vocalists he employed for backup on this record including Sia, Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles.

9. Mirage Rock – Band of Horses

Check out A Little Biblical and Knock Knock. Aw heck, check out the whole thing!

8. Some Nights – fun.

The ever-inventive band fun. returned with another brilliant album this year with perhaps what could be the anthem for a generation We Are Young.

7. Maraqopa – Damien Jurado

The whole album is amazing but Museum of Flight steals the show.

6. Boys & Girls – Alabama Shakes

Great Southern rock and soul made this little young band one of the most talked about artists of the year. Check out Hold On.

5. Making Mirrors – Gotye

He’s from Belgium. No, wait, he’s from Australia. No, wait, he’s from both! Wally De Backer is his real name. Who cares?! His album is one of the best of the year with each song very different from the next and we played many of them many times! Check out Somebody That I Used to Know.

4. Half-Made Man – Ben Sollee

Our Kentucky boy on his bike pulling a Cello behind it has stolen our hearts once again on his best record to date. It’s raw and jam packed with emotional and thoughtful lyrics plus superb instrumentation. Check out Unfinished and The Healer.

3. Blak and Blu – Gary Clark, Jr.

Jimi who? Perhaps the next greatest guitarist of all time has emerged and is Gary Clark Jr. Don’t believe me? Listen to his version of Third Stone From the Sun then get back to me, okay?

2. Fear Fun – Father John Misty

Former drummer for Fleet Foxes goes virtually unnoticed by not only the public but the band itself to reveal pure genius on his solo debut. Everyone is shocked! J. Tillman is Father John Misty and he’s coming to town on Jan. 9th at Headliners. Don’t miss it!

1. Bear Creek – Brandi Carlile

What do you get when you cross folk, country, calypso, rock, reggae, classical, soul and disco? Either one heck of a mess or a beautiful hybrid like Bear Creek turned out to be. This album is perfect for the one with A.D.D. in your life who also loves great singing, harmony, gorgeous melodies and superb songwriting. Yes, it’s all over the map in terms of tempo, styles and arrangements but Brandi’s voice along with The Twins she co-writes and sings with keep it consistently entertaining from one song to the next. I’m not even going to recommend one song. Get the whole thing!

James Bickers’ Best of 2012

 
Hello my lovelies, and happy new year to you …

Bruce Springsteen – We Take Care of Our Own

Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital
A brief warning that this video might be disturbing to those who have experienced domestic violence – but the ending is so lovely and hopeful.

And now for something completely different:

One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
DON’T BE HATIN’. This is as perfect a bubblegum pop song as has ever been recorded.

Snow Patrol – This Isn’t Everything You Are
Wall-to-wall goosebumps…

Lake Dredge Appraisal
Not a song, but a sublime web series from the very innovative Onion video studios. Watch the entire series here.

Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
The Mumfordification of the world continues, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
Speaking of which…

Dear Esther original soundtrack
Dear Esther is an interactive storytelling experience, and it is amazing. A big part of that amazingness is the soundtrack by composer Jessica Curry.

Taylor Swift – State of Grace
Again, that old saying about books and covers…

fun. – Some Nights
On the whole I still prefer the previous album (Aim and Ignite) to this one, but this song is amazing, and I’m happy for their success.

Oh, and one last thing … this was the year I discovered that there is a thing called ICP Theater, in which everyone’s favorite clowns review things from popular culture. My belated holiday gift to you is this, in which the boys critique the ubiquitous Gangnam Style:

Michael Young’s Best Americana of 2012

 
Here are my top 20 Americana albums as featured on Roots ‘n’ Boots:

20. Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – Wreck and Ruin (Sugar Hill)
19. Darrell Scott – Long Ride Home (Full Light)
18. Kevin Gordon – Gloryland (Crowville)
17. Malcolm Holcombe – Down the River (self-released)
16. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Leaving Eden (Nonesuch)
15. Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot)
14. Sons Of Bill – Sirens (Thirty Tigers)
13. Iris DeMent – Sing the Delta (Flariella)
12. JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers (Rounder)
11. Catherine Irwin – Little Heater (Thrill Jockey)
10. Jon Byrd – Down at the Well of Wishes (Longleaf Pine)
9. Buford Pope – Matching Numbers (Unchained)
8. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires – There Is a Bomb in Gilead (Alive Naturalsound)
7. Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears (Warner Bros./Via)
6. Tommy Womack – Now What! (Cedar Creek)
5. Kelly Hogan – I Like to Keep Myself in Pain (Anti-)
4. Chris Knight – Little Victories (Drifter’s Church)
3. Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Grifter’s Hymnal (Bordello)
2. Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance (ATO)
1. The Carper Family – Back When (self-released)

Stacy Owen’s Best of 2012

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Here’s a list of five favorite albums from WFPK Program Director, Stacy Owen.

Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
I’m a big fan of Ben Bridwell’s vocals and every song tells a distinct story with beautiful arrangements.

Stars – The North
This makes the list mostly because “Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It” is my favorite song of the year.

Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Father John Misty is a quirky, fun, inspired project from a former Fleet Foxes member. Also one of my favorite live performances of the year. I saw him in Philly, and he’ll be at Headliners here in Louisville on Jan. 9!

Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
Another beautiful collaboration with producer Richard Swift from the godfather of Seattle folk/rock.

King Tuff – King Tuff
He’s known to the rock-nerd underworld as King Tuff, but songwriter Kyle Thomas crafted an instantly accessible and totally engaging release. My “put it on in the car and rock out” CD of the year.

Mark Bacon’s Best of 2012

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Accelerando – Vijay Iyer
Clean On The Corner – Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things
Bright Light In Winter – Jeff Parker Trio
Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – Godspeed You Black Emperor
The Jazz Workshop Concerts, 1964-65 – Charles Mingus
Book Of Mae’bul – Darius Jones Quartet
Love, Peace & Soul – Don Byron
Centennial–Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans – Ryan Truesdell
Cine Prive – Domenico
The Money Store – Death Grips

Sean Cannon’s Best Stand-Up of 2012

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Over the last couple of years, there’s been an explosion of comedy gold. From TV, to standup, to podcasts, there’s just to much hilarious stuff happening these days. Speaking of which, here are my top 10 stand-up comedy albums of 2012. It’s tough to put them in order, because each record is the funniest thing I’ve heard all year at the moment I’m listening to it.

Just for reference, some of these records aren’t for the faint of heart – and some of the tracks in the accompanying playlist aren’t safe for work.

Kyle Kinane – Whiskey Icarus
Jonah Ray – Hello, Mr. Magic Plane Person, Hello
Jim Gaffigan – Mr. Universe
James Adomian - Low Hangin Fruit
Tig Notaro - Live
Louis C.K. – Live at the Beacon Theater
Hannibal Buress – Animal Furnace
Derek Sheen – Holy Drivel
John Mulaney – New in Town
Todd Barry – Super Crazy