Musical Purchases of 2012 – The Top 7
I know, I know, I haven’t put much up on House of Geekery as of late, but blame that on a few personal issues and a new job. So, I thought I’d roll back through last year, and see what sort of music I bought, and pick the best out…
And I was APPALLED! I barely bought anything, *maybe* 40 CDs/LPs in total. It’s frankly disgusting. But at least now, I know how to buy things off of Amazon. And I did buy some good stuff during the year.
Various Artists – Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock & Electronic Music 1972-1983 (Volume One)
I think I’ve mentioned I collect Krautrock and early electronic music on vinyl before, so I thought this looked cool. All the big German hitters are here; Can, Faust, Neu!, Popul Vuh, Harmonia La Dusseldorf, as well as a few lesser knowns that I’ll never get an LP of without shelling out a lot of money. A few song choices are strange (really, a late 70s Can funk song?), but they all work, and honestly, a person confused about what the hell Krautrock is couldn’t find a better introduction.
Miles Davis – Agharta
I bought this after hearing it was like Bitches Brew, even though Brew didn’t really grab me. But Agharta did. It’s just a few long live jams, but they just work, and somehow it manages to be fantastic for both foreground and background listening, as strange as that sounds for something as musically frenetic as it is.
Grateful Dead – Live/Dead
Well, at least I know where my current obsession with jam bands/space rock has come from, it seems like it is all I listened to last year. I won’t pretend the whole thing is brilliant, but really, Live/Dead is worth buying just for the 23 magical minutes of Dark Star. The songs that follow are good to great as well, but it does peter out by the end. I swear I had the most random three week long Grateful Dead preoccupation, that ended as quickly as it started. I think I was bewildered by their 200+ CD releases.
The Bats – Thousands of Tiny Luminous Spheres
This was by far my biggest find/most listened to CD of the year, a ridiculously consistent best-of by my favourite jangle pop band, the Bats. I’m genuinely confused about how any single jangle pop band can manage to absolutely crush both the requisite ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ sides of song-writing, emotion and incredible catchyness, even if it is spread out over a career. I hereby invoke the “Crowe” clause, whereby they are de facto Australians, rather than New Zealanders.
Black Sabbath – Sabotage
*Technically* I bought this at the end of 2011, but it took a long car trip, and a listen back to back with Sabbath Vol 4, to hammer home its awesomeness. I’ve listened to this nearly as much as Luminous Spheres, but what makes it stand out for me was how individual songs jumped out at me the more I listened. The album is very diverse as well (an operatic choir back by a guitar?) and Ozzie’s vocals are unreal.
Shpongle – Are You Shpongled?
I’d hazard a guess that it would be fairly easy to say what type of music Shpongle makes just from the name of the band and the cover here. Shpongle are the leaders of the psybient genre (psychedelic ambient, get it?), and being one of my favourite bands, they rule. What makes them great is their music is trippy as shit, but hallucinogens aren’t needed to enjoy them at all, the music remains interesting. They are also remarkably consistent, with Are You Shpongled?, being their first album, a little more free form than later works, but still housing memorable moments, like the tribal ‘Divine Moments of Truth’.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
I shouldn’t really need to talk about this, so I’ll shorten it. Black Dog blah blah blah, Battle of Evermore blah blah, Stairway to Heaven blah blah blah. Just go buy it.
So that’s it, and here’s to 2013, hopefully with more good stuff bought!