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The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Modicums 2012

This was a pretty insane year in terms of music. Metal and prog rock hit a stride, hip-hop kinda lagged a little, but I rated a lot more records than I have in any year (over 400 by my estimation), so here's my list of greatest albums, songs and performances of the year. Worst album of the year was Future's Pluto.  As I'm still getting through a bit of albums from this year, expect the positions on this list to switch around over the next few weeks. But without further ado, here's 2012's Modicums.

The 50 Greatest Albums of 2012:

1. Swans - The Seer
2. iamamiwhoami - kin
3. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
4. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
5. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
6. Mala - Mala in Cuba
7. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
8. How to Dress Well - Total Loss
9. Stam1na - Nocebo
10. White Lung - Sorry
11. Titus Andronicus - Local Business
12. Mount Eerie - Ocean Roar
13. Crippled Black Phoenix - (Mankind) The Crafty Ape
14. Rush - Clockwork Angels
15. Vijay Iyer Trio - Accelerando
16. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
17. Grizzly Bear - Shields
18. Dawnbringer - In the Lair of the Sun God
19. Hilary Hahn & Hauschka - Silfra
20. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
21. Screaming Females - Ugly
22. High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
23. Torche - Haronicraft
24. Menomena - Moms
25. Jack White - Blunderbuss
26. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
27. Beach House - Bloom
28. Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It
29. Joey Bada$$ - 1999
30. Lone - Galaxy Garden
31. Mgla - With Hearts Toward None
32. Hot Chip - In Our Heads
33. Mount Eerie - Clear Moon
34. Huoratron - Cryptocracy
35. Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
36. Polica - Give You the Ghost
37. Krallice - Years Past Matter
38. The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth
39. Änglagård - Viljans öga
40. THEESatisfaction - awE naturalE
41. The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving Now
42. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
43. Orbital - Wonky
44. Action Bronson - Blue Chips
45. Moonface - With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
46. Cult of Youth - Love Will Prevail
47. Death Grips - The Money Store
48. Laetitia Sadier - Silencio
49. Fine Before You Came - Ormai
50. Ian Anderson - Thick as a Brick 2: Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock?

Albums I Have Yet to Rank:

The Alchemist - Russian Roulette
Antony and the Johnsons - Cut the World
Captain Murphy - Duality
Carter Tutti Void - Transverse
Death Grips - NO LOVE DEEP WEB
Florence + The Machine - MTV Unplugged
Peter Gabriel - Live Blood
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Live from Alabama
JK Flesh - Posthuman
Kandodo - Kandodo
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Motion Sickness of Time Travel
Oh No - Kali Tornado Funk
Race Horses - Furniture
Roxette - Travelling
Saint Vitus - Lillie: F-65
The Shrine - Primitive Blast
Paul Simon - Live in New York City
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin'
Sidi Touré - Koima

Albums I Ain't Ratin' No Way No How:

Addison Groove - Transistor Rhythm
Astra - The Blue Chord
Austin Cesear - Cruise Forever
Bell Witch - Longing
Blut aus Nord - What Once Was Liber II
Circle of Ouroborus - The Last Entrance for the Just
Gentleman Jessie and His Men - Leaving Atlanta
Ghostface Killah - 12 Reasons to Die
Gucci Mane - Gucci 3D
I:Cube - "M" Megamix
Iamsu - Suzy 6 Speed
Steve Lehman - Dialect Fluorescent
Lil B - Based Jam
Lil B - Basedprint 2
Lil B - Crime Fetish
Lil B - Halloween H20
Lil B - Obama Basedgod
Lil B - Rich After Taxes
Lil B - Task Force
Lil B - Trapped in Basedworld
Lil B - White Flame
Loops of Your Heart - And Never Ending Nights
Mors principium est - ...And Death Said Live
Prurient - Of the Memories of Friends
Prurient - Tiger Smells a Corpse
Rangda - Formerly Extinct
Smoke DZA - K.O.N.Y.
Sun Araw - The Inner Treaty
Richard Villalobos - Dependent and Happy
Waka Flocka Flame - Salute Me or Shoot Me 4: Banned from America
Steven Wilson - Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
Young Thug - I Came from Nothing 3

50 Greatest Songs of 2012:

1. Cloud Nothings - "Wasted Days"
2. Sigh - "The Transfiguration Fear"
3. Frank Ocean - "Pyramids"
4. Torche - "Kicking"
5. Swans - "Avatar"
6. The Shins - "Simple Song"
7. iamamiwhoami - "play"
8. Nicolas Jaar - "And I Say (featuring Scout LaRue and Will Epstein)"
9. Kendrick Lamar - "Backseat Freestyle"
10. Usher - "Climax"
11. Tame Impala - "Elephant"
12. High on Fire - "Fertile Green"
13. Kendrick Lamar - "Swimming Pools (Drank)"
14. TNGHT - "Higher Ground"
15. Perfume Genius - "Take Me Home"
16. How to Dress Well - "And It Was U"
17. Korallreven - "Sa Sa Samoa (Elite Gymnastics Remix)"
18. Dirty Projectors - "Gun Has No Trigger"
19. Death Grips - "I've Seen Footage"
20. Killer Mike - "Big Beast"
21. Titus Andronicus - "Food Fight! / My Eating Disorder"
22. Cloud Nothings - "Stay Useless"
23. Jessie Ware - "Wildest Moments"
24. The xx - "Angels"
25. Passion Pit - "Constant Conversations"
26. Joey Bada$$ - "Survival Tactics (featuring Capital STEEZ)"
27. Japandroids - "The House That Heaven Built"
28. Nicki Minaj - "Beez in the Trap (featuring 2 Chainz)"
29. Animal Collective - "Today's Supernatural"
30. Grizzly Bear - "Yet Again"
31. Miguel - "Don't Look Back"
32. Dirty Projectors - "The Socialites"
33. Kendrick Lamar - "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe"
34. Animal Collective - "Honeycomb"
35. Mister Lies - "Cleam"
36. Purity Ring - "Fineshrine"
37. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Baby"
38. Delicate Steve - "Afria Talk to You"
39. Flying Lotus - "Putty Boy Strut"
40. Jack White - "Sixteen Saltines"
41. Jessie Ware - "Running"
42. Bat for Lashes - "Oh Yeah"
43. Sleigh Bells - "Comeback Kid"
44. Death Grips - "@deathgripz"
45. Jessie Ware - "Night Light"
46. Passion Pit - "I'll Be Alright"
47. Orbital - "Stringy Acid"
48. MS MR - "Hurricane"
49. Scissor Sisters - "Shady Love"
50. Animal Collective - "Gotham"

Modicums 2012

Best Album:

Swans - The Seer

Honorable Mentions:
Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
How to Dress Well - Total Loss
iamamiwhomai - kin
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
Mala - Mala in Cuba
Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
Stam1na - Nocebo
White Lung - Sorry

Best Song:

Cloud Nothing - "Wasted Days"

Honorable Mentions:
iamamiwhoami - "play"
Nicolas Jaar - "And I Say (feat. Scout LaRue and Will Epstein)"
Kendrick Lamar - "Backseat Freestyle"
Frank Ocean - "Pyramids"
The Shins - "Simple Song"
Sigh - "The Transfiguration Fear"
Swans - "Avatar"
Torche - "Kicking"
Usher - "Climax"

Best Vocal Performance on an Album (Male):

Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Honorable Mentions:
Brett Campbell - Sorrow and Extinction (Pallbearer)
Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream 
Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
Tom Krell - Total Loss (How to Dress Well)
Lil B - #1 Bitch

Best Vocal Performance on an Album (Female):

Amber Coffman & Haley Dekle - Swing Lo Magellan (Dirty Projectors)

Honorable Mentions:
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever do
Holly Herndon - Movement
Jonna Lee - kin (iamamiwhoami)
Miny Parsonz - CVI (Royal Thunder)
Marissa Paternoster - Ugly (Screaming Females)

Best Vocal Performance in a Song (Male):

Usher - "Climax"

Honorable Mentions:
Michael Angelakos - "Constant Constellations" (Passion Pit)
Capital STEEZ - "Survival Tactics" (Joey Bada$$)
Tom Krell - "& It Was U" (How to Dress Well)
Kendrick Lamar - "m.A.A.d. city"
Frank Ocean - "Thinkin Bout You"

Best Vocal Performance in a Song (Female):

Amber Coffman - "The Socialites" (Dirty Projectors)

Honorable Mentions:
Fiona Apple - "Left Alone"
Amber Coffman & Haley Dekle - " Gun Has No Trigger" (Dirty Projectors)
Holly Herndon - "Breathe"
Miny Parsonz - "Whispering World" (Royal Thunder)
Alison Skidmore - "Hatch the Plan" (Andy Stott)

Best Guitar Performance on an Album:

Kenny McCorkell - Sorry (White Lung)

Honorable Mentions:
Joe Bonamassa - Afterglow (Black Country Communion)
Jonas Bryssling & Christian Münzer - Incurso (Spawn of Possession)
Matt Elliott - The Broken Man
Anti "Hyrde" Hyyrynen & Pekka "Pexi" Olkkonen - Nocebo (Stam1na)
David Longstreth - Swing Lo Magellan (Dirty Projectors)

Best Guitar Performance in a Song:

Ivar Bjørnson & Ice Dale - "Death in the Eyes of Dawn" (Enslaved)

Honorable Mentions:
Joe Bonamassa - "Crawl" (Black Country Communion)
Joe Bonamassa - "The Giver" (Black Country Communion)
Jonas Bryssling & Christian Münzer - "The Evangelist" (Spawn of Possession)
Paul Saulnier - "Red Quarter" (PS I Love You)
Guitarist in "Running" (Jessie Ware)

Best Bass Performance on an Album:

Geddy Lee - Clockwork Angels (Rush)

Honorable Mentions:
Brendan "Cygnus" Brown - Portal of I (Ne Obliviscaris)
Erland Caspersen - Incurso (Spawn of Possession)
Stephan Crump - Accelerando (Vijay Iyer Trio)
Johan Högberg - Viljans öga (Änglagård)
King Mike - Ugly (Screaming Females)

Best Bass Performance in a Song:

Johan Högberg - "Snårdom" (Änglagård)

Honorable Mentions:
Stephan Crump - "Optimism" (Vijay Iyer Trio)
Glenn Hughes - "Common Man" (Black Country Communion)
Paul Moore - "Going Down to Monte Carlo" (Van Morrison)
Kai-Pekka "Kaikka" Kangasmäki - "Arveton on arvoton" (Stam1na)
Alex Webster - "Strangulation Chair" (Cannibal Corpse)

Best Percussion Performance on an Album:

Teppo "Kake" Velin - Nocebo (Stam1na)

Honorable Mentions:
Drew Christophersen & Ben Ivascu - Give You the Ghost (Polica)
Jayson Gerycz - Attack on Memory (Cloud Nothings)
Marcus Gilmore - Accelerando (Vijay Iyer Trio)
Des Kensel - De Vermis Mysteriis (High on Fire)
Neil Peart - Clockwork Angels (Rush)

Best Percussion Performance in a Song:

Des Kensel - "Fertile Green" (High on Fire)

Honorable Mentions:
Chris Black - "VIII" (Dawnbringer)
Jayson Gerycz - "No Sentiment" (Cloud Nothings)
Marcus Gilmore - "Actions Speak" (Vijay Iyer Trio)
Kevin Parker - "Elephant" (Tame Impala)
Rick Smith - "Kicking" (Torche)

Best Other Instrument Performance on an Album:

Vijay Iyer - Accelerando (Vijay Iyer Trio) [Piano]

Honorable Mentions:
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do [Piano]
Tycho "L.T." Cohran, Jafar Baji "Yoshi" Graves, Tarik "Smoov" Graves, Gabriel "Hudah" Hubert, Amal Baji "June Body" Hubert & Uttama "Rocco" Hubert - Kelan Philip & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Kelan Philip & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble) [Trumpet, Sousaphone & Baritone]
Saif "Cid" Graves & Seba "Clef" Graves - Kelan Philip & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Kelan Philip & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble) [Trombone]
Hilary Hahn - Silfra (Hilary Hahn & Hauschka) [Violin]
Hauschka - Silfra (Hilary Hahn & Huaschka) [Piano]

Best Other Instrument Performance in a Song:

Vijay Iyer - "Actions Speak" (Vijay Iyer Trio)

Honorable Mentions:
Fiona Apple - "Left Alone" [Piano]
Matt Elliott - "If Anyone Tells Me 'It's Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Never Have Loved at All' I Will Stab Them in the Face" [Piano]
Lori Goldston - "A Multiplicity of Doors" (Earth) [Cello]
Dr. Mikkanibal - "The Transfiguration Fear" (Sigh) [Saxophone]
Derek Sherinian - "Crawl" (Black Country Communion) [Keyboard]

Oh, and also...

December 2012:

Other Stuff:

Lil B - Glassface: B+
Memory Tapes - Grace / Confusion: B+
Pro Era - PEEP: The aPROcalypse: B+
Starkey - Orbits: B+
Chief Keef - Finally Rich: B-
Scott Walker - Bish Bosch: C+
Green Day - ¡Tré!: F 


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