Our best of the year coverage continues with our favorite rockers of the road, highlighting the ten best live shows we saw this year. This year LxL was able to get out to Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and the Pitchfork music festival, which many shows on this list stem from. So without further ado, here are our ten favorite live acts of the year.
So here we are, with our newest and shortest “End of 2012″ list. A list of what we at LxL consider to be the biggest musical disappointments, let-downs, blunders, and missteps of 2012. With all the goodness that resided in the world of music in 2012 (which we will get to later, in the next few weeks), there was also a fair amount of disappointment. For this list we really pulled at what killed our expectations this past year. Yes, Lana Del Rey didn’t fully live up to what we expected, but she still had a few good tunes and looked amazing throughout the year.
Yes, the Divine Fits weren’t as good as either Spoon nor Wolf Parade, but then again, how rare is it that a supergroup live up to the expectation anyways? You see, for this list, we chose what really cut us deep. Those artists or albums that we really thought were going to help define the year in music, or dig an artist out of the trenches, but instead fell totally flat. That is what this “Weak List” is really made up of … weakness. If you’d like to get a bit of a more in-depth analysis these blunders, each “disappointment” is linked with our review or write-up explaining exactly why the artist, album, or show didn’t live up to our expectations. Now, onto the list:
Sufjan Stevens’s Christmas Spectacular
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about indie singer/songwriter Sufjan Steven’s conflicted fascination with Christmas and how conflicted relationships fits with his persona in general taking on numerous subjects with views of both reverence and contempt. This split-personality is ever apparent on the wild live show Sufjan has put together to accompany his latest Christmas collection Silver & Gold, a tour he has coined in typical weird Sufjan fashion as the “Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice.” At the Metro show this past Saturday, Sufjan packed plenty of production and personalities into one show, resulting in a sometimes exhilarating sometimes frustrating mess.
Throughout the year, we at LxL try hard to stay up on the latest in music and especially the stuff that we here friends and the music community buzzing about. But still, there is always tons of great music that falls through the cracks, and every December and bleeding into the following year, I am always catching up with the wonderful albums I missed. Here are five songs from five albums I discovered this month that could land among my favorite of 2012.
‘Cmon, we all know she should be #1
Last year, EMA, Cults, Yuck, and A$AP Rocky headlined our list of best new artists. For the most part, the break out artists of 2011 toured to support their 2011 material in 2012, hitting the festival circuit particularly hard. And by the stipulations we determined this year, a couple of the artists wouldn’t have even been eligible (The Weeknd & A$AP). For this year’s list we explicitly only allowed artists who released their first proper studio album within the calendar year, unfortunately disqualifying artists such as Grimes, Ab-soul, and Schoolboy Q. In addition, previous mixtapes do not prohibit an artists eligibility, allowing Frank Ocean and Meek Mill to be eligible despite extensive previous exposure. These guidelines were not decided on lightly and may be changed for future lists, but we wanted to define this category as narrowly as possible.
Its debatable whether this year’s crop is as strong, but there have been plenty of new artists to break onto the scene. Several artists of note also missed the list, but you’ll just have to hit the jump to see who. Enjoy, and as always, let us know who we omitted, forgot, or shouldn’t have included.