John Book’s Best Music Videos Of 2016

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As promised or better late than never, here’s my list of what I feel are the best music videos of 2016. As with my albums list, I have not seen every single music video that came out this year, that would be impossible or at least I would not have time to do anything else. This list is a mixture of things I like/enjoy, along with a number of videos that surprised me in some fashion. As in previous years. what attracts me to these videos is the direction, the cinematography, the editing, and how it feels with the music. While humor isn’t a full factor, I do like it when an artist isn’t afraid to share their sense of humor, especially when it’s unexpected. Are videos becoming more exciting, or are albums becoming less powerful? Maybe on the former and I really hope not on the latter, I still want albums to be very strong but the means of promoting a song becomes stronger, even though we no longer consider MTV as a factor to get noticed. Here’s my list, a selection of 20 different music videos, a selection that is much more than Best Albums I came up with this year.

Brain Tentacles’ “Fruitcake”
Ciphurphace’s “Elbow Space”
Clipping. “Air ‘Em Out”
The Coathangers’ “Perfume”
The Evaporators’ “I Can Be Shaved”
Ill Poetic featuring Reggie B’s “Silhouette”
Kosha Dillz featuring MURS’ “We Are Different”
Jake Kost’s “Northwet”
The Lemons’ Ice Cream Shop
Lovely Bad Things’ “Teenage Grownups”
MoSS featuring Eternia’s “Day & Night”
Mother Feather’s “Mirror”
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White’s “Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)”
Phèdre’s “Zastroszy”
Risley’s “Time Was Slow”
Selector Dub Narcotic’s “Hotter Than Hott
Summer Cannibals’ “Say My Name”
Tanya Morgan’s “Stoops”
White Night’s “AI”
Rachael Yamagata’s “Over”

John Book’s Best Albums Of 2016


If you’re looking at the covers for hints or anything, there is one major hint: there is no hip-hop that I considered something worthy of being “my best”. That’s sad, considering all of the music that came out in 2016, especially Moka Only, who came out with an album a month throughout the year.

Another thing that is of interest, perhaps only to me: there’s a lot less albums in my “top” list. In the past, I’ve had everything from 40 to 50 albums a year, I’m sure I had a year where I had a lot more. Then it went down to 20 and now it’s down to ten. Trust me, there is no lack of music out there but a part of me almost wants to say there’s way too much. Then again, some of my favorite artists didn’t release music in 2016. Then again, Neil Young released an album this year and one of my all time favorite bands, Melvins, came out with two albums this year and neither are on this last so have I entered an alternate universe of sorts?

To be honest, I don’t know. I will say this: the following ten albums are those that stood out incredibly for me, getting repeat listens long after I played them for review, did a review, and casually put them on the side. These albums didn’t get a casual push to the side. They are albums that I feel are worth my time, worth the time of the artists, producers, and engineers and it is something I feel you should check out, for they could be worthy of your time. Check a few out or be faithful and buy them all. I did reviews of each one, so click the links and see what I originally thought of each release:

Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra’s “Holothuria” (Aut)
Bloody Knives’ “I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This” (Saint Marie)
Great Lakes’ “Wild Vision” (Loose Trucks)
halfsour’s “Tuesday Night Live” (Jigsaw)
The High Violets’ “Heroes And Halos” (Saint Marie)
Eloisa Manera Ensemble’s “Invisible Cities” (Aut)
Scary Little Friends’ “Silent Revolution” (Randm)
Silent People-s/t (Aut)
Steel Cranes’ “Tango” (Mister White Tights)
VA – Typical Girls (Emotional Rescue)


Does this mean this will be the end of my Best Of lists? No, not yet. Are these choices not enough for you? I’m so used to having an overwhelming amount of albums on my lists that it’s not enough even for me. I want a deeper and arguably better 2016.

With a “Best Of” list involving ten albums, what is my favorite pick of the year? I honestly don’t have one. All of the albums were good but none of them were mindblowing to the point I would be telling anyone and everyone what was incredible. I did not get a chance to listen to every albums released nor did I listen to everything I wanted to so it’s hard to say what went wrong, if anything went wrong. It just seems so… brief? Then again, as always, when the new year comes around, I’ll end up making discoveries I didn’t the year before and come up with things like “well damn, now THAT was a good album.”

This is also something I’ve been waiting for since I began making my Best Of lists years ago but there are no major label releases on here. It’s an all-indie list, it’s major free and this wasn’t intentional, I don’t fear anyone but as I began putting the list together, I realized there was nothing on any Universal, Sony, or Warner Bros. labels. By next year, there may be only two majors for all I know.

This is my list and it does represent my musical interests. I’m honestly saddened there aren’t any hip-hop on this and I don’t want that to be the future, nor is that an indication of the state of hip-hop in 2016, far from it. Nonetheless, my Best Of 2016 list is a Top 10, I present it to you.

This Is Book’s Music’s Best Albums Of 2015

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Years after I first started making lists of my favorite songs and albums, I still enjoy doing it. All it had taken was enjoying The Book Of Lists and it made me say “hey, I like making lists”, which is why I continue to do it year after year.

There are thousands of albums this year of a multitude of genres and I honestly wish I had the time to listen to most of them, especially genres I don’t follow closely. This list covers music on independents, self-released efforts, and a small handful of major labels. There isn’t much major label stuff I eagerly await anymore unless it’s an artist whose music I enjoy but I definitely do not hate something just because they’re on RCA, Columbia, Capitol, or Universal. As time goes on, I do wonder if I’ll do a list where it’s a 100% indie list but so far, not yet. There’s still good music coming from the majors, don’t deny the goodness from the self-proclaimed dictators.

Almost album listed have links to review except for two, including Kendrick Lamar’s album and why? I found myself listening to it a lot that by the time I felt ready to do a review, it had been a month or two since it’s release and it was already being called the best hip-hop album of the year by many. I decied to stay away from doing a review and let the music mature on its own as is, which at times had been rare for me. I like to do a review of something I like and not shy away from it but I don’t want to have to listen to everything and be “forced” in being critical. Just give me the music and allow me to listen. Then again, I guess I’ll always be critical but if you haven’t heard To Pimp a Butterfly yet, do so, as it is one of the strongest albums of 2015, of any genre.

I normally like to pick what I felt was the best album of the year, my ultimate solid choice but… it’s not really difficult to do but I just don’t want to come up with the “ultimate” pick anymore, I’m happy with coming up with a list, editing a few titles here and there and say “I’m done.” If forced to make a top 3, To Pimp a Butterfly would have to be there, along with Lightning Bolt’s Fantasy Empire, and Foreign Exchange’s Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey, perhaps throwing in Tyler, The Creator’s Cherry Bomb and Faith No More’s Sol Invictus as runner-ups. By doing so, it seems I’m forgetting everything else and I don’t want this to be a popularity contest, despite me saying “this is the best of the year.” Is it the absolute “best 25”, no. There are still many albums released this year I haven’t had time to listen to and digest, but I like that. It gives me time to catch up and enjoy without the pressure of having to add it into a list. I will give you a brief list of albums that still awaits:
Lieutenant’s If I Kill This Thing We’re All Gonna Eat For A Week
The Necks’ Vertigo
Uncommon Nasa’s Halfway
Wordburglar’s Rapplicable Skills
Neil Young & Promise Of The Real’s The Monsanto Years

I feel comfortable with what I’ve listed and it managed to come up with a nice number: 25. If you want to know why I felt they were exceptional, click to each link and it will lead to one of my reviews. Go ahead and stream these albums or take a chance to buy it on vinyl if available, compact disc, cassette, or the MP3’s. If these albums and artists move you, by all means check them out if they are performing near you. Here they are, This Is Book’s Music’s Best Albums Of 2015.:


  • Action Bronson’s “Mr. Wonderful”
  • ANCST/AST’s split album
  • Jeremy Bass’s “New York In Spring”
  • Blindness’ “Wrapped In Plastic”
  • Blueprint’s “King No Crown”
  • Demonic Possessor’s “Porous Chambers” (no review)
  • Bvdub’s “A Step In The Dark”
  • Faith No More’s “Sol Invictus”
  • Foreign Exchange’s “Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey”
  • Hidden In The Sun’s “Seven Seasons”
  • Kristofer Klarke’s self titled album
  • Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” (no review)
  • Lightning Bolt’s “Fantasy Empire”
  • Limb’s “Terminal”
  • Marshmallow Coast’s “Vangelis Rides Again”
  • Meanza&De’s “OU”
  • Motherfucker’s “Confetti”
  • Nicolay’s “City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto”
  • No Spill Blood’s “Heavy Electricity”
  • Presents For Sally’s “Colours & Changes”
  • SPC ECO’s “Dark Matter”
  • Thee Koukouvaya’s “This Is The Mythology Of Modern Death”
  • THEESatisfaction’s “EarthEE”
  • Tyler, The Creator’s “Cherry Bomb”
  • Zs’ “Xe”
  • This Is Book’s Music’s Best EP’s Of 2015

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    EP = Extended play.

    It is “extended” because it was considered more than just a 2-song single but less than an album that would generally have 10, 12, or 14 songs. In the old days, an EP was considered anything more than two songs but less than 26 minutes and 58 seconds. The moment your piece of work was 26:59 or 27 minutes even, that classified as an album. Fortunately, many artists these days still obey the old rules, even if some will say “that’s stupid.”

    Anyway, the EP is a way for an artist to release new music but without having to create something that functions as a “full length”. An album has often been stigmatizing because some feel an album should be an “event” of sorts. In fact, that’s how many musicians and songwriters used to design an album, as a substitute for not being able to go to their actual performance. An album was meant to be “since you can’t come to see and hear us, this is our audio presentation of that show.” An EP is a nice, content way to provide a few new songs without going overboard. In the 80’s, EP’s were often done as “in between” releases, giving fans something to “fill the void” before the next big event was to happen, a rest period during or after a tour for the album. In the last five to ten years, EP’s have become stronger and you’ll see more people release EP’s as nothing more than just a set of songs that’s “more than just an MP3” but “less than the occasional burden of hearing an album.”

    I got my share of EP’s throughout 2015 but oddly enough, I didn’t review a lot of them. I did post a handful for visitors to listen to but most I did not review them. I love the EP and perhaps I need to try to dedicate myself to more in 2016. This is the reason why this list is so brief: five titles. It’s unlike my album lists that can be jampacked with anything and everything but maybe this list is like the EP itself: nice and content. This is my list of what I feel were the Best “extended plays” of 2015.

  • Charlie Belle’s “I Don’t Want To Be Alone”
  • Chromadrift’s “Europa Mission”
  • The March Divide’s “+1”
  • Snow In Mexico’s “Juno Beach”
  • Tree Machines’ self-titled EP
  • OPINION: Budget music in 2015

    This is a thought that has been roaming my mind for the last few months. I’m a huge fan of music you can normally find at thrift stores and garage sales. I like to go thrifting when I can to find good music for cheap but through years of searching and sifting, I’ve also found my share of crap. It is within those limitations that I became familiar with artists, genres, or labels that were discarded in and/or by time. There was a time when easy listening music has its own Billboard album chart and there was a radio format in honor of the luxurious sounds of Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Bert Kaempfert. Call of lounge, call it exotica, call it rooted in jazz, call it the wonderful world of pop music that once was, some of it may sound cheesy to a few people but they offer a production and playing style that would slowly disappear with the changes in modern technology. You can arguably say easy listening was “of its time” but it is truly a timeless music. Dig into what you wanted to ignore and you’re sure to want to make your own 101 Strings T-shirts.

  • A good amount of this type of music (if you want to lump it all into one pile) came out on major labels but a healthy amount were released my indie labels, some of which managed to make a living by selling their brand of something familiar and popular while other labels were literally fly by night. On both major and indie labels, some of these artists were either one-offs or performing music under multiple named. There are collectors who will listen to an album on Crown or Coral Records, hear the piano or bass and immediately know who is on it, even if the album had little to no credits. With the budgets these labels had, they put it all into the creation of the music. As for the album cover artwork or photograph, or even the logo used for the cover, forget it. Maybe money was put into it but the whole point in budget music being released was to be able to fill a store, somehow being alluring enough to fill your void, leading to you buying a copy to fill your stereo cabinet or music room at home.
  • Fast forward to the 1990’s. Easy listening music had pretty much disappeared from the mainstream, although you may have heard its shadows in smooth jazz or some more adventurous electronic or hip-hop producers who liked to place a record on 33 at 45 and sample it in a new way to make it sound new. The format of choice for the first half of the 90’s was the cassingle, which originated in the early 1980’s. Whatever was the latest single, you may be able to find the same song performed by someone else. There were time when you knew that was not the version you wanted but occasionally, a label would make it appear like you were about to get the version you heard on the radio. This didn’t happen but let’s go back to when Madonna released her song “Vogue”. You see a cassingle at the store and it’s “Vogue”, there’s even a silhouette of a woman in a dancing position similar to Madonna’s but it’s by Maldawnha. You’d like to think most people would know the difference but these labels didn’t care, all they wanted/needed was one purchase and boom, it’s a copy sold. Some people might pop the tape in the car and realize immediately that that was not Madonna. Sometimes, it would be until they got home when it was discovered. Do you make the effort to drive back to the store/mall and return the tape or just deal with the “mistake”? The truth of the matter is these thinly-veiled covers had a minimal budget but they didn’t care. All they wanted to do was sell a few copies, enough for them to keep pressing them up, most likely under different names, most likely on labels you never heard of ever again. There is an industry-within-an-industry where an artist or a group of musicians recreate music specifically for the sake of having them in stores with covers of your favorite songs. Sometimes they were meant to fool people but it got to the point where people began to like the covers even more, and that goes back to the 1960’s. An example of this new budget music is the Kidz Bop compilation series, where you not only get new covers of the latest pop songs but they’re done in a way that is accessible/acceptable for younger listeners. Kidz Bop are a multi-million dollar company, all meant to suit your child’s fancy. It doesn’t matter if they may know the original song or not, they’re being entertained, they sing along, they’re happy.
  • Of course, I’m still talking about the compact disc and while Adele’s latest album has proven that there are millions of people still buying the CD, there are millions of others who aren’t. It leads me away from Adele and back into budget music. Who is making budget music in 2015 whose sole purpose is to fool or not to fool the buyer? With MP3’s, you don’t have to buy the cover just because the original has sold out. MP3’s do not sell out, a digital file is eternal. Yet who is making the budget music of today, creating new versions of Bruno Mars’ songs that are meant for someone to purchase for whatever random reason? This lead me to think of something else: with as many options of music out there today, are their any budget music artists that are actually getting hits, songs where the fan has absolutely no idea what they’re really listening to but come to find out it’s a guy whose regular job is a high school janitor and doubles his lawnmower shed as a recording studio? In 2015, no one has to be in a professional recording studio anymore. Some will say “what they will need is the equipment to make it happen” but anyone can just have the power and know how to make music and you can become a hit machine with a production crew that consists of no one but you. Is there someone ringing in the bucks for making music that may not cost as much as a major label artist but are bringing in the hits like a 3rd rate Rod McKuen? Post your answer below. This is not meant for a bigger article in the future, I’m just curious of budget-level music is still in power.
  • OPINION: A funny thing happened on the way to the hospital

    If you do not follow my social media accounts or just deal with the promotional means of ThisIsBooksMusic.com, you may not be aware of what happened last week. I had a T.I.A. last Sunday morning, or what is basically a “mini-stroke”. Fortunately I was able to contact someone when I realized something was feeling wrong, which lead me to the hospital. It’s not something I would’ve ever wanted, but it caused me to take a time out from things. In the last few years, I’ve been struggling to lose weight and have managed to lose 30 pounds. Sometimes the body chemistry says “not so fast, it’s time for a breakdown”. Anyway, I wrote a story for Medium.com about what happened and where I plan on going to next. It reconfirmed my fight to become more healthy, something I enjoy doing. You may read the article by clicking here.

    OPINION: Prince now owns publishing and master recordings of his Warner Bros. material

     photo PrinceHawaii_zps7243e64a.jpg
    In the words of Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, “everybody has their own opinion”, and here is mine. Word this morning is that not only has Prince obtained the publishing rights of his older music (previously owned by Universal), but he has now obtained the master recordings, something he has fought for for over twenty years. When he marked his face with the word “SLAVE”, it had to do with issues pertaining to Warner Bros., as he wanted to own his own music. You would think that would be a simple task to do, but when you’ve made your company millions of dollars, that company does not want to give up what is essentially a piece of their cash cow. Prince changed his name to a symbol, he released music independently, then he left Warner Bros. to find a new home first with EMI, then with Universal. This left some fans wondering if he was so fed up with the music industry, why is he still catering to them by being associated with a major label.

    Prince has showed he has a winning formula, but with every winner, there’s a miss. Prince has sold music independently, but the reason he has fought so hard for his older music is because not only does he want ownership of his own music, but because he will be able to earn as much from it. In a world where MP3’s are king and concert sales earn an artist much more than music sales, where does this leave Prince? If anything, it leaves him a much happier man.

  • This is what’s known. 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, both the album and the movie. Many fans are expecting for some good things to happen in commemoration of it, and the article reveals that there will be a 30th anniversary deluxe edition of the album. Contents haven’t been announced yet, but one hopes it will feature all of the B-sides (both 45 and 12″ versions), live performances, and alternate takes, outtakes, and demos that have been circulating amongst collectors for 25 years. Will a deluxe edition also feature a DVD featuring all the videos made, live videos, and TV performances? Ideally, it would be nice but that would require to pay a fee for the use of his performances from the American Music Awards and Grammy awards but this is Prince, so we’ll see.
  • In terms of his publishing, it is possible we will hear more Prince material in television commercials, along with TV shows, movies, video games, and apps. Signing the contract is all about exploitation, and with him having full ownership, he will be exploiting himself in his own way. Now, it doesn’t have to be a specific product, in fact one doesn’t even have to hear Prince sing. It can be a portion of “Little Red Corvette” behind an ad for a car. Maybe a portion of “Delirious” for Cialis. “America” heard for a store selling patriotic carpets. The sky is truly the limit, but it also depends on if he wants to do it that way, or if he plans on selling his music in that fashion.
  • With him owning his master recordings, I am sure the requests for how his music will be sold will be an issue. Fans have wanted all of his albums to be properly remastered, and while there is a Kevin Gray-remastered version of Purple Rain, it is said to have been done not from the actual master tape, but a safety copy. If there is a series of Prince vinyl remasters, will they be done on 180g/200g vinyl? Will it be just the albums, or all of his 12″ singles? How about compilations of nothing but high quality versions of unreleased goodies? Or how about a compilation of unreleased music videos, as Prince was known to shoot his own videos at Paisley Park, only to never show them again? He could release them on DVD or Blu-Ray, or keep it digital and have it shown on Netflix. Speaking of Netflix, how about director’s cuts of Under The Cherry Moon or Sign ‘O’ The Times, or are films excluded? How much of the foods are the public going to get? How free will Prince’s new form of freedom be? Will the door be wide open, or more selective than ever?

    I loved what Frank Zappa was able to do when he finally obtained the rights to his own music. He released some projects on his own Barking Pumpkin label, but also had a deal with Rykodisc who ended up releasing most of his albums and new compilations, in the way he wanted them to be heard. It did upset a number of Zappa fans, who wanted to hear certain albums as is and not fixed up/edited in the way Zappa felt was better, so I’m certain people on different Prince-related boards will nitpick about things.

    Of course, the focus of this article is to show how selfish we, as fans, can be about our favorite artist. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, the fact that he owns publishing and the master recordings is a huge plus for him. Part of this still has him attached with Warner Bros., who I am sure do not want to lose contact with someone who made them a healthy amount of money in the 1980’s. You can say that Prince is now on the same level as Neil Young, who Warner Bros. do not want to lose either. Young left Reprise records in order to find a new home with Geffen Records, where he ended up making five albums. While those albums were not big sellers as the work he did with Reprise, it proved to Reprise why Young was an asset to the label and why the label was an asset to him. Young was allowed to continue to explore, all while still earning a percentage of what he earns every year from “Heart Of Gold”, “Tonight’s The Night”, and “Long May You Run”. This could mean that Prince will be pulling some of Warner Bros.’ strings this time around, but who knows at this point. However, now that someone like Prince owns his work, where does that leave others who continue to fight for their rights to make a living from what they created in the first place? Will more artists continue to push forward or still earn an annual amount that continues to dwindle for the sake of another person’s livelihood?

    Also at hand: Prince samples. While not as heavily sampled as James Brown or Sly Stone, there’s a nice amount of Prince-related samples in hip-hop, electronica, and other forms of music. Will his people pursue those who have sampled him? Will he be open to more sample usage? How about Prince multi-tracks, how much of that will surface, if at all, outside of what already exists on bootlegs and file circulation?

    Until we hear “Starfish & Coffee” become the best part of waking up this morning, I say congratulations to Prince. We eagerly await to see and hear what’s next, and no doubt will be arguing when it doesn’t satisfy us because you know, we’re selfish when we don’t have to be.

  • DUST IT OFF: What’s to come in 2013

    2013. A new year like previous years, but for me it feels different. When it comes to music, looking back at specific anniversaries allows me to look back at my life, what I’ve achieved (and haven’t achieved) since I first heard something. Even if it’s music I did not listen to upon its initial release, I can look back and see how that music affected me.

    2013 marks 25 years that I ended my time in high school, and I look at that ending of one chapter of my life with the beginning of another with the release of an album by Public Enemy. In five years, I had felt that hip-hop was going through a few changes, some good, some not so good. Then a certain album was released in November 1993 which lead me to say “everything I ever wanted in hip-hop, I found in the Wu”. Public Enemy allowed me to look forward, while the Wu-Tang Clan allowed me to look back with its barrage of pop culture references and kung fu metaphors.

    2013 will mark the 30 year anniversary of a collection of sounds from England that would move me to want to become a music producer. Initially I had viewed these sounds as the creation of one spectacled man, but in truth it was his production team, or “theam”, that would help create a dominant style of production for the remainder of the 1980’s. While my production work has not been as prosperous or as influential, I found that what he and his production team were doing is what I wanted to hear in this music that would be called hip-hop, but also opened my interests in electronic and synthesized music.

    2013 marks the 40th anniversary of two albums that were and are not only hugely influential in electronic and synthesized music, but on pop music in its entirety. One begins and ends with a heartbeat, while the other could morph itself into a chameleon.

    2013 also marks a significant time in my life. On the positive side, some of my earliest memories happened 40 years ago. Ten years later, my father died. My parents’ love of music are essential to me, as my curiosity of their sounds lead to my interests in music, which was the seeds of a much greater curiosity which continues today. On my dad’s musical tastes, I’m left with a few voids but I realize he passed along some information in the time I got to know him.

    In 2013, I will honor many of the albums that made me the music numb nut I am today, and I hope you will come with me for the ride, as I feel it is an important part of my life’s journey so far.

    BEST OF 2012: My Favorite Things

    Best Of 2012: Favorite Things
    If you’ve browsed through this site in the last week, you may have seen lists of what I felt were the best things of the year. I put together five lists, or in truth: three lists, as two of them featured one item only. Below, I have compiled all five lists in one place so you can browse through them:

    My Favorite Albums Of The Year
    My Favorite EP’s Of The Year
    My Favorite Music Videos Of The Year
    My Favorite Song Of The Year
    My Favorite Album/EP Cover Of The Year

    BEST OF 2012: My Favorite Albums Of The Year

    This is the list I look forward to putting together as soon as I’ve completed my list for the previous year. Favorite Albums, Best Albums, Top Albums, call it what you want. I follow and obey the rules and majesty of the long playing album, I honor its majesty and respect its craftsmanship. Some will tell you that the album is a dying artform, a format that is no longer desired (or needed) in this time in our history where everyone wants the hit and only the hit. If you are all about the hit song, this list may not be for you.

    The album requires, and perhaps desires, a lot of tender loving care. It is what I look forward to hearing from an artist. Some of the albums on this list come from artists whom I’ve been a fan of for years, if not decades. Some of them feature people who have been making music for a long time. There are many debut albums on this list, for I want something to attack me in the senses and keep me floored. Do I expect to be blown away? Maybe I don’t, but when I am, I want to listen to that album repeatedly. When an album does blown me away, I want to celebrate it and tell everyone about what I heard. I feel these albums deserve a lot of attention, and my reviews for each have shown this.

    As for album reviews, in 2012 I wrote 350 of them. The following list, which I decided to form into a compact list of 50, so this list represents 14.3 or so percent of what I reviewed. In the past I made it a goal to come up with a “Best Of Albums” list with an emphasis to select the one I feel was number one. It has never really been difficult for me to do this, because there have been albums in the past where I’ve said “ooh, this will be up there as my top pick.” This year though, I decided to not have a top pick, and that allowed me to simply listen without having to play the “rank master”. Each of these stood out for different reasons, but I tend to like music that pushes its own limits. I want music to be daring and bold. For some styles of music, I want something to push me over the edge. Some of these albums did just that. Other albums made me want to address it elegance so I could say at the end “job well done”. These titles didn’t have to go wild and crazy, i enjoyed it for its simplicity and it showed care from the artist and producer(s) involved.

    What is bold and daring, and what is elegant, is up to the individual. If you’ve read my reviews in the last twelve months, you’ll hopefully get a sense of what I tend to ride for, where my support goes to. Each year, I want that to be tested too. I feel these 50 albums represent that push and shove, and definitely my interests on what was a great year for music.

    For those of you keeping pie charts, only two of the 50 titles were released on a major label. This is the closest I’ve come to having an all-indie albums list. Here are my 50 Favorite Albums Of The Year that was 2012, listed in alphabetical order.

    Favorite Albums Of The Year (1)
    Arild Andersen/Scottish National Jazz Orchestra-Celebration (ECM)
    The Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound-Manzanita (Tee Pee)
    The Bastards Of Fate-Who’s a Fuzzy Buddy (This Will Be Our Summer)
    Bigg Jus-Machines That Make Civilizations Run (Mush)
    Bjork-bastards (One Little Indian)
    The Black Seeds-Dust And Dirt (Easy Star)
    Bone Dance-s/t (Meloto)
    Georg Breinschmid-Fire (Baumann/Preiser)
    Bvdub-The First Day (Home Normal)
    The Caretaker-Patience (After Sebald) (History Always Favours The Winners)
    Evian Christ-Kings And Them (self-released)
    Jeremiah Cymerman-Purification/Dissolution (5049)
    Jacob Deaton-Tribulation (self-released)
    Diamond Terrifier-Kill The Self That Wants To Kill Yourself (Diamond Spy)
    Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa-Trance Punk Manifestos Vol. III (self-released)
    Dynoride-What You Wanted (Gentle Edward)
    El-P-Cancer For Cure (Fat Possum)

    Favorite Albums Of The Year (2)
    Entelleckt-Larry YOLO (self-released)
    John Frusciante-PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone (Record Collection)
    Gaytheist-Stealth Beats (Good To Die)
    The Hand To Man Band-You Are Always On Our Minds (Post-Consumer)
    Headnodic-The Iguana (Ropeadope)
    Holobody-Riverhood (Mush)
    Howlin Rain-The Russian Wilds (american recordings)
    Hungry Ghost-s/t (self-released)
    Indian Handcrafts-Civil Disobedience For Losers (Sargent House)
    I Self Devine-The Sound Of Low Class Amerika (Rhymesayers)
    Large Professor-Professor @ Large (Fat Beats)
    The Life And Times-No One Loves You Like I Do (Slimstyle)
    Marriages-Kitsune (Sargent House)
    Melvins-Freak Puke (Ipecac)
    Nedry-In A Dim Light (Monotreme)
    Frank Ocean-channel ORANGE (Def Jam)
    OFF!-s/t (Vice)
    Oh No-Ohnomite (Five Day Weekend/Brick)

    Favorite Albums Of The Year (3)
    Lee Ranaldo-Between The Times And The Tides (Matador)
    Chris Robinson Brotherhood-Big Moon Ritual (Silver Arrow)
    Roc Doogie-Roc Paper Scissors (self-released)
    Alan Rosenthal-Just Sayin’ (self-released)
    Marc Rossi Group-Mantra Revealed (Innova)
    Shmu-Discipline/Communication (Grand Theft Zamboni)
    Sourpatch-Stagger And Face (HHBTM)
    Switchblade-s/t (Denovali)
    The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza-Danza IIII: The Alpha – The Omega(Black Market Activities)
    Ian Tordella & His Band-Tragic Comedy (E St. Brand)
    Vertacyn Arc Materializer-That’s A Negative On The Leapfrog, Captain America(10GeV)
    Nick Waterhouse-Time’s All Gone (Innovative Leisure)
    Alison Wedding-The Dance (groundUp Music)
    White Ash Falls-By The River Bend (Light Organ)
    Zammuto-s/t (Temporary Residents Ltd.)