2012 is coming to an end (and maybe the world is too?) It’s been quite a stellar year here at Light In The Attic. We celebrated our 10 year Anniversary, embarked on a vinyl crazed road trip down the west coast, brought Shin Joong Hyun to America, saw Donnie & Joe perform together for the first time in twenty-five years, delved into the LHI vaults, saw our two sublabels blossom (Modern Classics Recordings & Future Days), watched Rodriguez perform on Letterman, and god knows what else. And we couldn’t have done any of it without a little help from our friends.
So here are some of our favorite things from 2012! Dig in! We’ll see ya next year.
Light In The Attic
- Sadie Pearl Sullivan – Debut (Light In The Attic)
- Father John Misty – Fear Fun (Sub Pop)
- Cody ChesnuTT – Landing On A Hundred (Vibration Vineyard)
- K-X-P – Live at The Soup Kitchen, Manchester, UK
- Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (Def Jam)
- Searching For Sugar Man – Sundance Premiere, January 19, Library Center Theatre, Park City, UT
- Sushi Ike, Los Angeles, CA
- Light In The Attic 10 Year Anniversary – El Rey, Los Angeles & Showbox at The Market, Seattle
- The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
- The Soundcarriers – Boiling Point/Eff.R b/w This Is Normal (Great Pop Supplement)
- Ghetto Brothers - Power/Fuerza (Truth & Soul)
- Mark Lanegan – Blues Funeral (4AD)
Light In The Attic
- Getting a tan with Matt Sullivan and Iggy Pop in Miami, Florida
- Getting wasted with Michael Chapman and Donnie & Joe Emerson in Seattle
- Austin trip, October 2012 (details forthcoming)
- Punk: An Aesthetic
- Pizza at Pizzanista!
Light In The Attic
- Dave Segal and The Stranger newspaper
- Jonathan Zwickel and City Arts magazine
- Greg Vandy and KEXP
- Gary, Jacq and Eric at Fantagraphics Books
- Bill’s Off Broadway (Seattle)
- Chris Estey‘s villa in the U-District
- Burbank, CA
- El Coyote Mexican Cafe (Los Angeles)
- Bent Sorensen and the Danish University System
- Gurbir “Bob” Dhillon and the BBC
Light In The Attic
- LITA Roadtrip 2012/10th Anniversary shows
- Burger Records – BRGRTV, Cleaners From Venus tapes, The Go reissues, etc.
- J.P. Donleavy – novels ’55-73
- OP zine – Olympia, ’79-84
- Blank Realm - Go Easy
- Lives of Angels – Elevator to Eden reissue (Dark Entries)
- Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique + singles (Urinal Cake records). Detroit rises again.
- Dream Salon live. Current incarnation of dudes behind the (secret) best bands in Seattle for over a decade.
- Survival Knife live. Unwound personnel back in the world blowing doors off hinges.
- Revel (Seattle) – Korean brunch.
Light In The Attic
- Christine McVie/Early Fleetwood Mac.
- Revisiting Freaks And Geeks on Netflix. Falling in love with Daniel Desario all over again.
- California Burritos in San Diego.
- Illuminati conspiracy theories.
- First two releases from Dark Entries. Lives of Angels - Elevator to Eden & ADN’ CKRYSTALL – Jazz’mad. Can’t wait to snatch up more releases from these dudes.
- India Sweets & Spices
- Online Diaries: The Lollapalooza Tour Journals. A collection of emailed diary entries compiled by Spin Magazine during Lollapalooza ’95. Featuring the likes of Beck, Courtney Love, Thurston Moore, Lee Ronaldo, David Yow, and Mike Watt. I don’t know how I missed this all these years. Lots of Courtney Love babble, classic Thurston Moore shit and so much more.
- Visiting the LHI tape archive & hanging out with Suzi Jane Hokom.
- Wendy Rene - After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965. Been obsessed with finding her jams since I first heard “Tearz“
- FIDLAR – No Waves/No Ass 7″
- Zig Zags!!!
#1 Record Encyclopedia on Planet Earth
- Guisado’s tacos. Finally a clear leader in best-taco-in-LA category.
- Go-Kart Mozart – On the Hot Dog Streets.
- Mark Lanegan – Blues Funeral. A record worthy of his always-amazing voice.
- Saint Etienne – Words and Music The best conceptual art middlebrow pop band in the world does it again.
- Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music. A great angry rap album with no filler.
- Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires – Southern punk literacy in an alternate universe.
- Moving Sidewalks – Complete. Brilliant ‘60’s garage rock, legitimately reissued against all odds.
- Bits of Shit – Cut Sleeves. There’s never enough punk tantrums for me.
- Jack White – Blunderbuss. Subtle, lyrical, occasionally hookless, which just seems to make me play it more.
- Tame Impala – Lonerism. Neo-psych that actually pulls off both.
- Demdike Stare, Cut Hands, and Andy Stott live at Decibel Festival.
- Three Legged Race – Persuasive Barrier (Spectrum Spools)
- Seeing krautrock gods Faust twice in successive days.
- Nick Edwards – Plekzationz (Editions Mego)
- Interviewing Faust bassist Jean-Hervé Peron.
- Finally visiting Light in the Attic’s office/warehouse.
- Seeing German electronic-music pioneer Dieter Moebius perform, albeit before a pathetically small crowd.
- Witnessing the fantastic critical reception of Donnie & Joe Emerson’s Dreamin’ Wild reissue.
- Moritz Von Oswald Trio – “Jam” (Honest Jon’s)
- DJing psych- and prog-rock records in various Seattle venues with Explorateur.
AKA DJ Turquoise Wisdom
- Daphni – Jiaolong LP and all the 12″s that proceeded it. By far my favorite *new* music being made.
- 80′s digi-dub 45′s DJ Fitz of the Doodcast set me off when he spun me ‘Tempo’ by Anthony Red Rose and I quickly researched/bought anything I could that’s like it. (thanks, Fitzy.)
- DJ Steef’s re-edits of ‘Planet Caravan’ by Sabz and ‘Triad’ by the Byrds– both from the Magic Wand 12″ series.
- Blue Nile – expanded editions of their first two LP’s… especially the extended mix of ‘Tinseltown In The Rain’. (thanks to Sunny for playing me that in the car last week.)
- Psychemagik: anything these dudes touch is pure gold.
- The L.I.E.S. label – I’ve been hooked since I first heard Suzanne Kraft spin the Bookworms 12″ at Mt Analog; either that one or the Trackman Lafonte one is my fave but so far everything i’ve bought has been KILLER.
- Animal Collective Radio for the creator’s project – this ruled and I was honored to be a part of it. All the bros killed it with their sets– it was the closest internet interpretation of just sitting around with friends and jamming each other the records that have been on your mind lately.
- Best DJ moment of 2012: spinning at Market Bar in Dalston with Elijah and Fitz
- Hot app: “The Nudifier” (thanks Jess.)
- Hot thing to obsess about 24/7: ancient alien theories.
- Most listened to thing of 2012: any Alice Coltrane recording.
- Best album – Bill Callahan – Apocalypse. Yeah I know, it came out in 2011, but nothing topped it this year (for me). Climb a mountain and listen!
- Best Show – Scott Biram. No artsy, indie stuff here, just good ol raunchy blues rock fun at it’s most radicalness! (Detroit bar)
- Best album art of the year – Lee Hazelwood – LHI Years (Love Lee, Love the Record, love the photo)
- Best Dining in Beautiful downtown City of Industry – Amor Ididio. chips, salsa, seafood enchilada and Grey Goose on the rocks… wonderful!
- Best place to be on 8/13/12 at 8:00am – Mount Whitney
Editor, Light In The Attic Zine
- Tame Impala – Lonerism. What a fucking heady mix of good times and modified psych-rock. Though I’m still an unabashed fan of the band’s first tripped out little nugget this one actually builds upon it. “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” makes me want to drop acid and go swimming in the buff.
- Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. So you know how are future as a planet is pretty much fucked because we keep pumping out children and dumping estrogen in to the water? And you know how we keep great-white-hoping it and searching for a planet that could actual hold our overflow? Well, this book posits that Mars is that planet and follows the first 100 settlers as they land, build, and promptly get to fucking up that planet as well. Stupidly well researched, dramatic and nerdy all at the same time, and featuring some major set pieces that got my nerd libido thrusting – this is amazing. Even better? There’s two more books in the trilogy.
- Comic Books. Yup. Comic books. I thought my inner-15-year-old had abandoned this deliciously dorky side of himself, but turns out the Public Library stocks more comic books than you can shake a stick at and I’ve been carving myself a path through the wide world of four-color printing ever since the discovery.
- Looper. Time travel time travel time travel. Guns guns guns guns. Mind-fuckery. Exploding houses! Psychic children! This movie has it all. Including nudity! A+
- Light In The Attic Subscription Service. Not to put my mouth on this fine label’s asses, but if you’re not receiving the beautiful vinyl that these gents and ladies are shoveling in to the world, you’re missing out. I am always, ALWAYS, pleasantly surprised to receive another gem from these talented fuckers. It’s a little bit of musical Christmas every month (or so).
Light In The Attic
- Nashville – I feel full of loss every time an episode ends. If only T Bone Burnett controlled all the music in the real Nashville.
- Echo Park Pottery splatter mugs
- JM Dry goods
- Father John Misty
- Nite Jewel
- 1-5 Being Sadie Pearl Sullivan’s mom
Death Waltz Recordings
- Pye Corner Audio
- Roly Porter & Cynthia Miller
- John Talabot
- Finally getting organized and offering Digital bundles of select Medical Records releases
- Album of the year – Trust – Trst. Wearing it out and seeing them twice in Seattle.
- Hanging out with Alexander Robotnick in Firenze, Italy with my lovely wife
- Seeing Moebius live at Barboza, Seattle. Living legend.
- Made a lot of wonderful friends in Seattle and worldwide though Medical
- Listened to a lot of Andy Stott records and saw his killer set at Decibel 2012 a long with Demdike Stare and Cut Hands (one of the most riveting shows of the year)
- After years of being obsessed, FINALLY saw the wonderful Sean McBride perform with Xeno & Oaklander in Brooklyn in early October
- Medicine and Codeine reissue box sets
- Fatoumata Diawara – Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL 9/24/12
- Karen Dalton – 1966
- Diana Darby – All Day Records, Carrboro, NC 7/11/12
- Diana Darby - l V (intravenous)
- Listen Whitey! The Sounds Of Black Power
- Dan Penn - The Fame Recordings
- Chris Anderson - Inverted Image / My Romance
- Spain – vinyl reissues sound great!
- Plant & See
- Bill Wilson – Ever Changing Minstrel
Writer and Massive part of our Lee Hazlewood reissues
- Tim Burgess – Oh No I Love You
- Patrick Watson – Adventures In Your Own Backyard
- Lee Hazlewood – A House Safe For Tigers
- Grizzly Bear – Shields
- Can – The Lost Tapes
- Leslie Winer aka (c) – &c
- Guillemots – Hello Land!
- Rebekka Karijord – We Become Ourselves
- Cody Chesnutt – Landing On A Hundred
- Peter Gabriel – So
Brendan Greaves & Chris Smith
Paradise of Bachelors
- Getting hitched to Coco Constance Joy. (CJS)
- So many lovers got hitched this year: highlights include officiating the Puh-tok wedding of Hammy & Coco; DJing, eating potato tacos, and chopping coconuts with a machete at the Lucky Dragons wedding; and the fine marriages of siblings, in sheep pastures and castles. (BG)
- Recorded: (new) Spacin’ – Deep Thuds, Willie Lane – Guitar Army Of One, Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos – Ikon Give Thanks, Gunn-Truscinski Duo- Ocean Parkway, Blues Control – Valley Tangents, Horseback – Half Blood, Lonnie Holley – Just Before Music, Hiss Golden Messenger – Lord I Love the Rain, Pelt –Effigy / (old): The Dead C – Harsh 70s Reality, Donnie & Joe – Dreamin Wild,Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music 1923-1936| Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984
- Live: Spacin’/Black Twig Pickers/Chris Forsyth/Quentin Stoltzfus/Steve Gunn/Hiss Golden Messenger/Deacon Greaves at my wedding, Neil Young & Crazy Horse in Philadelphia, Gunn/Truscinski at Vox Populi, Blues Control/Birds of Maya at Philly
MOCA, The Clean – Philly, Matthew E. White in Saxapahaw, drummers at Lumbee Homecoming, Cowboy Jack Clement in his office.
- Gear: NOS Valves VRD Monoblocks, rebuilt the crossovers on my Chorus IIs - wow. AIMS Personalized Producer with custom cab by Patrick Zung.
- Eat: Oyster po’boy at Frady’s (NOLA), Baked Oysters at Cochon (NOLA), Petak and Sambal at Sky Cafe (Philly), last pies at DeLorenzos (Trenton), fish tacos with Bobby Pinto and Peter (LA); chicken bog by Jefferson (Durham); hot fish sandwiches (Nashville); Black Friday potlikker w/ smoked trout and corn dodgers at home (Philly); white clam pies at Modern (New Haven); anything that Aaron Smithers feeds me (Chapel Hill.)
- Drink: Heady Topper – The Alchemist (VT), all Tired Hands saisons (Philly), mezcal cocktail at the Patterson House (Nashville), homebrew eggnog experiments (Chapel Hill); martinis at Peccadillo (Carrboro); bourbons with the Maynor family(RobCo, NC); cans of Lite with Chance (Nashville).
- Read: Gene Wolfe’s Soldier series. John Crowley’s early novels. Everything by Harry Mathews. Dave Robicheaux. Soldier of Fortune 1983-84.
- Movie: Holy Motors, James Bond
- Art: Jeremy Deller at ICA Philadelphia, Forest Bess at Whitney and Christies, Charles Ray at Matthew Marks, Sol Lewitt at Dia Beacon, Andrew Witkin at his NH home.
- Vibe: Smoking fish, fully baked cruisers, critters (Mr. Horatio and Terence the owl in our Chapel Hill woods), rolling with Chance Martin in his Maroon Unit past Smugglers Inn and out to the Dead End.
- R.I.P. Willie French Lowery.
Music Historian, Liner Notes Writer/Reissue Producer for half of the Light In The Attic catalog
- Thin Lizzy – Over 10 years ago, my dearly departed record guru, Ty Scammell (RIP), turned me on to Thin Lizzy’s debut Decca LP w/ Eric Bell-inspired air guitar antics and a tear in his eye from the emotive poetry of Phil Lynott. In 2012, I was fortunate to spearhead a LITA vinyl-only reissue of Thin Lizzy, mastered from the original tapes and featuring an extensive interview w/ none other than OG Thin Lizzy co-founder and guitarist, Eric Bell! @#$%!!! So honoured to be involved in this long overdue vinyl re-release. Thanks for the music Eric, Phil, and Brian (and Ty)!!!
- LITA 10th anniversary celebrations: I’ve been working w/ LITA for almost ten years now. Our initial collaboration was on a reissue of Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy, the first title in what became the 6-album Jamaica-Toronto series. I’ll never forget meeting Wayne (who had been “missing” for years) w/ LITA honcho Matt Sullivan in Toronto in 2003. The December weather was wicked and wild w/ enough snow and ice to remind this transplanted West Coaster of the sub zero winters of my Ontario youth. Playing vinyl records at L.A.’s The El Rey Theatre nine years later w/ Rodriguez, Shin Joong Hyun, Michael Chapman, and Stephen John Kalinich on stage was far from frigid, but equally heart-warming. It was incredible to see an eclectic mix of groovy people coming together for the love of music!!!
- Upcoming LITA projects: I’m super honoured to be assembling two more archival albums for LITA, the first, a long overdue look at folk and rock from a key selection of North America’s finest indigenous musicians. It’s been incredible working w/ spiritual artists like Canadian First Nations music, film, and cultural legend Willie Dunn, learning more about his life and digging deep down into the sound. Secondly, is another compilation we’ve been working on for a number of years now, Share The Land: Canada, the product of multiple cross-country research trips w/ my digging partner Birdapres, where we seek off-the-grid and little-known folk, psych, country, and soul, and most importantly, a greater understanding of the country we live in. Please keep your eyes peeled and ears open for these releases in 2013.
- Ladyhawk – No Can Do - No Can Do is Canadian rock group Ladyhawk’s third long player (released on vinyl and CD by Triple Crown Audio, home of Destroyer, Sports, and Duffy & The Doubters). Not to be confused w/ Kiwi chanteuse Ladyhawke, the ‘Hawk are hardcore rock and roll w/ an emotional melodic touch (hardcore like Crazy Horse, not hardcore like Black Flag, but hey, who am I to say! @#$%???) . Long time brethren born in the Kelowna, B.C., region, these musical brothers play in that special telekinetic way that so few musicians can. Seek No Can Do out!@#$%!!!
- HK BBQ Master: Found underneath a giant grocery store in Richmond, B.C., HK BBQ Master is just that, the spot for Chinese char siu and other barbecued delicacies. This is a no-frills joint, a handful of tables, lovely staff, take-away biz, and 2 mind, body, and soul altering variations of chili sauce (one red, and one w/ burnt chili flakes immersed in oil w/ peanuts). Order fat or lean on your next B.C. visit (hey, you’re overdue for another stay, aren’t you???), you won’t be disappointed!@#$%!!!
- Transmolecular – Offerations Vol. 1 and 1.2 Redemption Sessions: Hats off to my Transmolecular family Seekers International, WZRDRY A/V, ASTRX, and GALAXABURN. In December of 2012, we presented an evening of original art, music, and visuals unlike anything Vancouver has ever seen (well, at least since the Melodic Energy Commission’s early 1980s happening that advertised “original art, music, and visuals,” on a vintage concert poster Kamandi and I caught recently in a display of local punk-era artifacts!@#$%!!!). A reminder, that it’s all been done before??? Lol… Any which way, we tore it up for the heads and will continue to do so (this is just the beginning)! @#$%!!!
- 9.79*: To quote “Let Your Backbone Slide” rapper Maestro Fresh Wes, “Ben Johnson’s still the fastest brother in the world.” I will never forget the elation and national pride watching Jamaican-Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson during the Seoul Olympics in 1988, probably the only time I’ve felt such an overwhelming patriotic feeling in regards to my country (well, until LITA’s Share The Land: Canada get released! @#$%!!!) A few days later, we all know Ben’s dream came crashing down and the track and field star’s career was tarnished forever. Director Daniel Gordon’s 9.79* is a gripping sports documentary that incredibly interviews every participant that epic 100 meter final and while the end results of that fateful race will never change, it definitely makes you think about how it all went down and what was going on behind the scenes. Any which way, Carl Lewis is still an arrogant prick (*sorry US brothers and sisters, f#ck that dude! @#$%!!!).
- The Stone Roses: 2012 saw Manchester rock heroes, The Stone Roses (Mani, Ian, John, and Reni!@#$%!!!) overcome their differences and band up for a series of high profile reunion gigs. Over three days, they played to over 210,000 people at Heaton Park and while I couldn’t be there in person, I could certainly feel the positive vibrations all the way over here on the west coast of North America. I’ve wanted to see The Stone Roses live since the early 1990s after watching their “Fools Gold” video on late night CDN music TV. The next day, I raced to A&B Sound and bought The Stone Roses on cassette + repeated listens= life changed forever!@#$%!!! How bout a stand-alone 2013 date in Canada or the States, eh??? “One Love.”
- Holiday get together w/ Doug Randle: This one has yet to happen, but I’m very excited to meet w/ composer, arranger, and overall maestro Doug Randle this holiday season. He’ll be visiting Vancouver, B.C., to spend time w/ his daughter Joanne (w/ whom he’s just recorded a contemporary vocal jazz album w/) and it will be great to reconnect after a few years. Doug is an incredible visionary and deep music man rooted in Canada’s early jazz scene. His Songs For The New Industrial State (CBC, 1971/LITA, 2009) is a profoundly personal and timely socio-political masterpiece, a veritable What’s Goin On for open-minded heads who choose to dig (and listen) a little bit deeper than the rest. Not that you have to hear too hard to understand the still pertinent message Mr. Randle was laying down at the turn of the 1970s (inspired, at least in title, by Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith’s The New Industrial State).
- “Teoy Salab Pama” – Angkanang Kunchai
- “You are a wrong man” – Mehnaz + Ahmed Rushdi
- “Teoy Bump” – Soonthorn Chairungreng
- “Raga Rock” – The Braz Gonsalves 7 with Pam Crain
- “Seven wonders of the world” – Prince Buster
Mikey IQ Jones
- Moving to NYC’s East Village – After 12 years of lackluster Brooklyn living, I finally managed to find a good deal in the neighborhood where I truly belong. Work is a 15-minute walk through Tompkins Square and beyond, and if that weren’t good enough, I’m also just a few blocks from my favorite restaurant in all of NYC. Life is good, though I just learned that apparently David Schwimmer, of all people, allegedly just moved in across the street from me. Not even that can dim my rejuvenated spirits.
- Jessie Ware – Devotion. Easily my favorite album of the year, pop or otherwise. She’s got a fantastic voice, and the production here nods to classic UK soul with a throwback 80′s vibe, akin to Loose Ends, Soul II Soul, and even a bit of Sade, but infused with a hefty dose of contemporary British bass music and the sharp pop minimalism of The xx. I probably listened to this album more than anything else in 2012, and with the amount of shit that I hear on a daily basis, that’s a lot of spins.
- Scott Walker Bish Bosch Listening Party, McKibbin Hotel, NYC – My favorite music event of the year, where a small number of individuals had the opportunity to get an advance listen of Scott Walker’s brilliant new album about a month in advance at the infamous performance art playhouse Sleep No More. The vibe at Sleep No More is very similar to the “Fidelio” party scene in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and for the Bish Bosch listening party, they sequestered an area of the space from the rest of the labyrinthine space off, led us through blackened mazes looping some of the most brutal elements of the album, and into a heavily taxidermied room where they served us champagne and absinthe before we were subjected to the album at pummeling volume with the record’s lyrics printed on huge placards hung on the walls. It was by far the best, most appropriate, and most memorable environment one could first be introduced to Walker’s newest vision, and it will forever haunt my memories in the best possible way when listening to the album.
- Matthew E White – Big Inner. This was the biggest surprise of 2012 for my ears. White’s solo debut (after making a mark as guitarist in avant-jazz big band Fight The Big Bull) was a gorgeous platter of orchestrated pop that comes off like a Southern Soul take on Jim O’Rourke’s Eureka, blending gorgeous strings and robust horns straight out of a Bacharach hit with grooves the likes of which Allen Toussaint would be proud to hear, all anchored by White’s biting, low-key, Randy Newmanesque lyrics and his spirited, curmudgeonly mumble. Track a copy of this record down at any cost; it’s a stunner and deserves to be heard by many more people than most likely did.
- Leslie Winer – &c. Leslie is a brilliant woman with an interesting history and an even more intimidating intelligence. She also happens to be the creator of what is arguably my all-time favorite album, entitled Witch. Her silence after that album’s release in the early 1990s left just as big a mark, so this brilliant compilation of Witch highlights (many in previously unreleased alternate mixes), as well as select material from the two unreleased followups she made, excerpts from her limited edition Tapeworm cassette, and many private recordings that have occasionally surfaced and vanished from her excellent blog (one of the longest running and best ones on the web) was a veritable treasure trove of Winer’s razor-sharp dub poetry. Her voice is one of a kind, a combination of Burroughs, Annette Peacock, The Last Poets, and Public Image Limited, all held together by her nicotine-stained vocals; it’s a voice you never forget once it has entered your brain, and thanks to this LONG overdue collection, more people than ever can finally soak in her nonchalant brilliance.
- The Supreme Worker’s Jacket I purchased at the end of the summer – Easily the best, most versatile, and most comfortable piece of clothing I’ve bought all year.
- Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire De Melody Nelson Sessions Deluxe Box Set. The album’s remaster sounded great, but I was more excited about the album of unedited takes, alternate versions, and previously unreleased songs all recorded during the album’s sessions that was included in this gorgeous box set. You get both the original album and bonus material on CD AND vinyl, a lovely hardcover coffee table book with LOADS of unseen photos, stories, and essays on the making of the album, as well as Gainsbourg’s original handwritten lyric sheets, and a 45 minute DVD that contained a 5.1 Surround mix of the album and a brilliant documentary featuring interviews with everyone of importance. I don’t usually go for these crazy, bloated deluxe editions of albums that have been reissued many times over, but this was done with the care and mentality to appease both the casual fan AND the diehard obsessive. Plain and simply put, this is essential.
- Berberian Sound Studio – The best film I’ve seen not only in 2012, but probably in years. Sharp performances, gorgeous cinematography, and a wicked score by James Cargill and the late Trish Keenan, aka Broadcast. It only screened for two days here in New York, but should hopefully be getting a wider release in the USA in 2013. It’s also the best film about sound made since De Palma’s Blow Out, only here Italian Giallo horror and the concept of English haunted psychedelia is injected into the recipe. A fantastic film that deserved all of the four BIFA awards it recently won.
- Henri Guedon – Cosmozouk Percussion. A long-desired slice of rare wax that was FINALLY reissued this year in a high-quality repro pressing, saving me about $200. This Martinique percussionist is a longtime favorite whose work still hasn’t really escaped the clutches of the cult digger scene, but this fiery mix of Afro-Latin grooves, Caribbean jazz, and Tumbele chants is brutally flawless. Reissues are good for the health when done correctly… though as fans of Light In The Attic, you people all know this!
- Flipper’s Guitar – Doctor Head’s World Tower. This was the best rare LP find possibly of my entire life. This classic, hugely influential Japanese pop beast arguably set the tone for the sampledelic, cut’n'paste postmodern aesthetic pop music has taken not only in modern Japan, but in most of the world as well. Released in 1991 and never reissued predominently due to the massive licensing costs it’s take to clear all of the samples utilized throughout, Keigo Oyamada and Kenji Omura started Flipper’s as a Postcard Records/Orange Juice-inspired outfit, but by the time of this, there third album and swansong, they’d mutated into what amounts to a thick stew that weaves dense shoegaze guitars, heavy Madchester and acid jazz grooves, and the sort of spliced plunderphonia perfected on 3 Feet High & Rising and Paul’s Boutique. The melodies are gorgeous, the production is top-notch, and the vinyl pressing was so rare that it took me about ten years to be able to find a copy, and the only way I managed to afford one in the first place was via having friends in high places in Japan who were willing to trade for a few things that’d been sitting on my shelf for too long without love. I didn’t think it was possible to get so excited about getting a record in the mail anymore until this monster showed up. That’s beautiful thing.
Musical mastermind + the man who turned us onto Donnie & Joe Emerson’s Dreamin’ Wild
- Peter Hammill, PNO GTR VOX Box: 6CDs of solo live performances recorded in 2010. Indelible proof that Hammill is THE MAN.
- LA Mill Black Onyx coffee
- Spiritualized’s “Feel So Sad” 12-inch single played at 33 RPM instead of 45
- The Collected Writings Of Joe Brainard
- Finding a copy of the “Lou Rawls Sings For Cold Power Powder” EP after a 10 year search
- Breakfast at Stanley Baking Company
- Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Cavaliers: some of the most extravagantly pretentious music you will ever hear. (That’s a compliment.)
- Bill Drummond’s 100
- Rediscovering the first four Mott The Hoople records, especially Brain Capers.
- The continued awesomeness of every single thing associated with the Ghost Box label.
- 2 oz. Whistlepig rye, 3/4 oz Carpano Antica, 4 dashes Angostura bitters and a Luxardo cherry. On the rocks.
- Can, “Waiting For The Streetcar” from The Lost Tapes