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Suddenly Everything Has Changed

Date December 27, 2012

I started Music For Kids Who Can’t Read Good on a whim back in 2005, based on a crazy idea to merge my love for the cult comedy Zoolander and my budding interest in indie rock music. At the time, I didn’t expect any more than a handful of people would care to read it, much less that I’d be still be writing seven years later. A lot has changed since then, I now have a full-time web content managing job, I got married in 2008 and we just learned that we have a young’un on the way.

Obviously, I’m going to have less time for blogging than I used to. While I’m not planning on giving it up anytime soon, I’ve decided to move to a microblogging (aka tumblelog) format. I’ll still be sharing my music recommendations, mixes, lists and whatever else tickles my fancy, just with more media-focused posts and less of my commentary (not like you read all that stuff anyway).

So beginning sometime next year, musicforants.com will direct to musicforants.tumblr.com. This blog will be archived at here, along with all of our old posts. I’ve already started posting at the new tumblr so feel free to head over there and subscribe to my updates / update your RSS feed. I’ll be posting the new Winter Or What We Mistake For December mix (update: it’s here!) there soon, so stay tuned!

MP3 The Flaming Lips – Suddenly Everything Has Changed

musicforants.com’s Best Albums of 2012

Date December 20, 2012


(photo by cubagallery)

We’re quickly approaching the end of 2012 and/or the world depending on your interpretation of Mayan prophecy, and that can only mean it’s time to reflect on the best albums of the year. For me, one record stood head and shoulders above the rest in 2012, so album of the year was an easy decision, but there was much deliberation for the other 24 positions (plus, honorable mentions). This was one of the most diverse years of music in recent memory, with pop, guitar-oriented rock, folk music, indie-pop and electronica all being represented just about equally. It was also a year where lots of debut albums and new favorites dominated my listening, with 3/5 of the artists making their first appearance on one of my year-end album lists.

I want to thank you guys for continuing to read and support this blog. Next year, musicforants.com will be making some changes / transitions. I’m dedicated to continue sharing my music recommendations, mixes, lists, musings and whatever else, but for a variety of reasons, that won’t look the same in 2013 as it does now (stay tuned for more info on that). As always, feel free to leave a comment if you like what you see on this list and let me know if you have any of your own favorite albums to add. Have a wonderful holidays!

25. Father John Misty – Fear Fun

MP3 Nancy From Now On
MP3 Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings


 

24. Hospitality – Hospitality

MP3 Eighth Avenue
MP3 Friends of Friends


 

23. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

MP3 Gun Has No Trigger
MP3 About To Die


 

22. Allo, Darlin’ – Europe

MP3 Capricornia
MP3 Tallulah


 

21. Jessie Ware – Devotion

MP3 Wildest Moments


 

20. Bowerbirds – The Clearing

MP3 Tuck The Darkness In
MP3 In The Yard


 

19. Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory

MP3 Stay Useless
MP3 Wasted Days


 

18. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

MP3 Emmylou
MP3 King of the World


 

17. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

MP3 Laura


 

16. Titus Andronicus – Local Business

MP3 Still Life With Hot Deuce On A Silver Platter
MP3 In A Big City


 

15. Shearwater – Animal Joy

MP3 You As You Were
MP3 Breaking The Yearlings


 

14. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

MP3 Time To Run
MP3 Brother


 

13. DIIV – Oshin

MP3 How Long Have You Known


 

12. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth

MP3 Cry For Judas
MP3 Harlem Roulette


 

11. Sigur Rós – Valatari

MP3 Ekki múkk


 

10. Twin Shadow – Confess

MP3 Five Seconds
MP3 When The Movie’s Over


 

9. Hot Chip – In Our Heads

MP3 Don’t Deny Your Heart
MP3 Flutes


 

8. Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

MP3 Eyeoneye
MP3 Danse Carribe


 

7. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart, Sweet Light

MP3 Hey Jane


 

6. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

MP3 The House That Heaven Built
MP3 Younger Us


 

5. Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t

MP3 I Know What Love Isn’t
MP3 The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love


 

4. Chromatics – Kill For Love

MP3 Kill For Love
MP3 Lady


 

3. Beach House – Bloom

MP3 Myth
MP3 Lazuli


 

2. Grizzly Bear – Shields

MP3 Speak In Rounds
MP3 Yet Again


 

1. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE

MP3 Pyramids
MP3 Thinking About You

Honorable Mentions:

Moonface – with Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
Grimes – Visions
The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Tame Impala – Lonerism
Chairlift – Something
Kindness – World, You Need A Change Of Mind
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Porcelain Raft – Strange Weekend

Spotify Playlist: musicforants.com’s Best Albums of 2012

Thanks again to everyone for reading! Stay tuned…

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musicforants.com’s Best Songs of 2012

Date December 18, 2012


(photo by cubagallery)

These are 50 tracks that delighted, inspired and fascinated us in 2012 and that we think are worthy of remembering long after the year is over. We present them here in highly unscientific ordered list form, with Matt’s songs marked with a “-MG” and my choices with a “-TJ” next to them. To better spread the love, we’ve stuck with the one song per artist rule. Click here to download all the tracks in a zip and subscribe to our Spotify Playlist to stream them all. Enjoy y’all!

50. Porcelain Raft – Unless You Speak From Your Heart MP3

Porcelain Raft’s Strange Weekend is one of my favorite debut albums of the year, and this swelling synth-pop anthem is the shining moment. -TJ

49. Sharon Van Etten – Give Out MP3

“Give Out” is Sharon Van Etten exploring the tension of exciting possibilities that she knows will inevitably lead to resentment. It exists in this weird space of breakups that haven’t actually happened yet. -MG

48. Moonface – Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips MP3

One of our generations’s most gifted songwriters delivers this soaring new-wave guitar anthem that sits as one of the best (and most explosive) tracks in Spencer Krug’s extensive catalog. -TJ

47. The xx – Chained [stream]

Even if “Chained” wasn’t really indicative of the rest of The xx’s new album, it proved that their first round wasn’t a fluke. They sound even more sure of themselves here, stripping away their sound until we’re left with something simple and pure. -MG

46. Hundred Waters – Me & Anodyne MP3

Hundred Waters have proved to be one of the most promising new bands of the year with tracks like this otherworldly gem, filled with layers of  vocals, synth textures and bubbling electronica. -TJ

45. Dirty Projectors – About To Die MP3

The best part of any Dirty Projectors song is trying to figure out why they put these particular sounds together, and “About to Die” provides plenty of puzzlers. It’s simultaneously weird and accessible, a combination few pull off as well.  -MG

44. Bobby Womack – Please Forgive My Heart MP3

Soul legend Bobby Womack delivers a passionate, heartfelt vocal performance in this electro-soul confessional produced with gorgeous sonic flourishes by Damon Albarn. -TJ

43. Nite Jewel – One Second Of Love MP3

“One Second of Love” sounds homemade, but not lo-fi. It’s intimate, but still gives off the vibe that it could pour out of speakers if it needed to. -MG

42. Eternal Summers – Millions MP3

The Virginian indie pop duo, Eternal Summers captivate with this dreamy, sunkissed power-pop tune that captures the very essence of summer in a brisk 2 minutes and thirty seconds. -TJ

41. Death Grips – I’ve Seen Footage MP3

“I’ve Seen Footage” was Death Grips’ shot across the bow of 2012, and by the end of the year the band had courted more than their share of controversy. It’s a reminder of a simpler time, when they were just assaulting eardrums instead of offending eyeballs. -MG

Follow the jump below to see the rest of the list!

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Favorite Live Shows of 2012

Date December 12, 2012

As a result of certain life events due to transpire next year, I may not be going to concerts / festivals at the same rate I used to, so it’s a good thing that I went all out this year. This was my first year I went to Bonnaroo in addition to my usual Pitchfork Fest / Pygmalion coverage, and I  got to see some of all-time favorite, bucket list artists for the first time like New Order, Jeff Mangum and the Beach Boys. Below are my 20 favorite live shows of the year. You can visit the musicforants.com flickr page to view all my concert pictures.

20. Santigold @ Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN)

MP3 Santigold – Lights Out

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19. Wild Flag @ Pitchfork Festival (Chicago)

MP3 Wild Flag – Romance

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18. The Head and the Heart @ Canopy Club (Urbana)

MP3 The Head and the Heart – Sounds Like Hallelujah

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17. Alabama Shakes @ Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN)

MP3 Alabama Shakes – Hold On

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16. Lord Huron @ Pygmalion Festival (Champaign/Urbana)

MP3 Lord Huron – The Stranger

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seenyourvideo.com’s Top 50 Music Videos of 2012

Date December 6, 2012

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Cover: Chromatics – “Ceremony” (New Order)

Date December 6, 2012

I’ve been in blog hibernation the last couple weeks (I’ll use the excuse that I’ve been working on year-end lists) but I’ve been snapped out by Chromatics‘ gorgeous cover of New Order‘s “Ceremony”, from Johnny Jewel’s Black & White mix.

Chromatics and New Order are a perfect match given both their affections for dreamy synth-pop with big hooks, and the Portland trio truly does the classic track justice, swapping out the original’s throbbing bassline and driving drumbeat with sweeping synths and minimalistic percussion, putting the focus on Ruth’s ethereal vocals and that iconic guitar line.

MP3 Chromatics – Ceremony (New Order Cover)

Listen to Johnny Jewel’s Black & White mix on Soundcloud.

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