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WXDU Best Albums of 2012 -- The Personal Lists

 
WXDU closes 2012 with a look at the individual "Best of" lists from just a few members of our music staff. Each week, these DJ's & genre directors work hard to review & prepare the dozens of CD's, LP's & 7" that we add to our playlist every Sunday. Click above to see what 2012 sounded like to them!
 
 
 
ANDY B. (MUSIC DIRECTOR)
 
Top 25 Albums of 2012 (in alphabetical order)
- Ilyas Ahmed - With Endless Fire (Immune)
- Nathan Bowles - A Bottle, A Buckeye (Soft Abuse)
- Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (Southern Lord)
- Eccentronic Research Council - 1612 Overture (Bird)
- Estrogen Highs - Irrelevant Future (Trouble in Mind)
- Food Pyramid - Mango Sunrise (Moon Glyph)
- Glacial - On Jones Beach (Three Lobed)
- Golden Void - Golden Void (Thrill Jockey)
- Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Ocean Parkway (Three Lobed)
- Halasan Bazar - How to be Happy Ever (Moon Glyph)
- Horseback - Half Blood (Relapse)
- Lambchop - Mr. M (Merge)
- Moon Duo - Circles (Sacred Bones)
- The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth (Merge)
- Nu Sensae - Sundowning (Suicide Squeeze)
- Obnox - Rojo (Permanent)
- Rangda - Formerly Extinct (Drag City)
- Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent (Drag City)
- Wadada Leo Smith - Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform)
- Spider Bags - Shake My Head (Odessa)
- Starring - Abcdefg-Hijklmnop-Qrstuv-Wxyz (Northern-Spy)
- Swans - The Seer (Young Gods)
- Alexander Tucker - Third Mouth (Thrill Jockey)
- Weasel Walter / Mary Halvorson / Peter Evans - Mechanical Malfunction (Thirsty Ear)
- Whatever Brains - Whatever Brains 2 (Sorry State)
 
Top 10 Reissues and Collections of 2012 (in alphabetical order):
- Can - The Lost Tapes (Mute)
- The Dicks - Kill From the Heart/Hate the Police (Alternative Tentacles/Virus)
- Drinking Electricity - Overload + Singles (Medical)
- Feedtime - The Aberrant Years (Sub Pop)
- Gay Cat Park - Synthetic Woman (Medical)
- Daphne Oram - The Oram Tapes, Vol. 1 (Young Americans)
- Hal Russell, NRG Ensemble - Hal Russell, NRG Ensemble (Nessa)
- Sensations' Fix - Music is Painting in the Air (RVNG INTL)
- Woo - It's Cozy Inside (Drag City)
 
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DAVE R. (MUSIC DIRECTOR)
 
Top 25 Albums of 2012 (in alphabetical order)
- Nathan Bowles - A Bottle, A Buckeye (Soft Abuse)
- El Jesus de Magico - Just Deserts (Columbus Discount)
- Goat - World Music (Rocket Recordings)
- The Golden Boys - Dirty Fingernails (12XU)
- Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Ocean Parkway (Three-Lobed Recordings)
- Infeccion - ¡Tanto Sexo, Tanta Gonorrea! (DEMOlish)
- KTL - V (Editions Mego)
- Joint D - Strike Gently (Sorry State)
- MMOSS - Only Children (Trouble in Mind)
- Omnivore - Omnivore (Feeding Tube)
- Angel Olsen - Half Way Home (Bathetic)
- Paint Fumes - Uck Life (Slovenly)
- Pelt - Effigy (MIE Music)
- Puffy Areolas - 1982: Dishonorable Discharge (HoZac)
- Pumice - PUNY (Soft Abuse)
- Sic Alps - Sic Alps (Drag City)
- Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent (Drag City)
- Spacin' - Deep Thuds (Richie)
- Spider Bags - Shake My Head (Odessa)
- Stacian - Songs for Cadets (Moniker)
- Terry Malts - Killing Time (Slumberland)
- Tyvek - On Triple Beams (In the Red)
- Waumiss - Subtle for Flames (Little Ramona)
- Whatever Brains - Whatever Brains II (Sorry State)
- Wiccans - Field II (Katorga Works)

Top 21 Compilations & Reissues (in alphabetical order)
- Alvarius B. - Alvarius B. (Abduction)
- Ashrae Fax - Static Crash (Hot Releases) <---Very late 2011
- Can - The Lost Tapes (Mute)
- The Clean - Odditties (540 Music)
- Confessor - Uncontrolled (Divebomb)
- Karen Dalton - 1966 (Delmore Recordings)
- Aaron Dilloway - Modern Jester (Hanson)
- Donnie & Joe Emerson - Dreamin' Wild (Light in the Attic)
- feedtime - The Abberant Years (Sub Pop)
- Gate - The Dew Line (MIE Music)
- Gay Cat Park - Synthetic Woman (Medical)
- Lost Sounds - Lost Lost (Goner)
- John Maus - A Collection of Rarities & Previously Unreleased Material (Ribbon Music)
- The Max Block - Air Ache in the Belly of the Leech (Siltbreeze)
- Toy Love - Live at the Gluepot 1980 (Goner)
- Natural Snow Buildings - Night Coercion into the Company of Witches (Ba Da Bing!)
- The Pows - Once WIth Snot & Blood (Permanent)
- Wendy Rene - After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles+Rarities (Light in the Attic)
- rRope - We Are You There (Deathbomb Arc)
- Various Artists - Bring Beer (12XU)
- Various Artists - Eight Trails, One Path (Three-Lobed Recordings)
 
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ROSS G. (LOCAL DIRECTOR) 
 
Top 10 local releases (personal, not official):

Spider Bags - Shake My Head
des ark - Live at WXDU vol 3
Flesh Wounds - AAA
Some Army - EP
Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth
Horseback - Half Blood
Flute Flies - Yes Means Maybe
Boykiller - Get Get
The Rosebuds - Love Deluxe
Gross Ghost - Brer Rabbit

Top 10 non-local releases:

Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
Swans - The Seer
Mark Eitzel - Don't Be A Stranger 
Rodriguez - Searching for Sugarman OST
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
Chelsea Wolfe - Unknown Rooms
Matthew E White - Big Inner
Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
Lambchop - Mr. M
Bettye LaVette - Thankful n Thoughtful

Top live shows:
 
Elvis Costello at DPAC
Sunn 0))) (2x, at Hopscotch & in Atlanta the next night)
Pallbearer at Hopscotch Music Festival
Mark Eitzel at Kings Raleigh
Swans at the Lincoln
Work Clothes at Hopscotch
Guardian Alien 2x at Hopscotch
St Vincent at Cat's Cradle
Janelle Monae at the ArtsCenter
 
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VIVA C. (MUSIC STAFF)
 
Ten Favorite Reissues of 2012

10- gay cat park - s/t (medical)
09 - donnie and joe emerson - dreamin' wild (lita)
08 - jeff and jane hudson - flesh (captured tracks)
07- various artists - wtng 89.9 fm (numero group)
06- avengers - pink album plus (water)
05- woo - it's cosy inside (drag city)
04- andrzej korzynski - possession soundtrack (finder's keepers)
03- lee hazlewood - a house safe for tigers (lita)
02- sensation's fix - music is painting in the air (rvng intl)
01- annette peacock - i'm the one (future days)  

Ten Favorite New Musics of 2012
10 - vcmg - ssss (mute)
09 - peaking lights - lucifer (mexican summer)
08 - chromatics - kill for love (italians do it better)
07 - liminanas - crystal anis (hozak)
06 - sun araw, m geddes gengras and the congos - icon give thank (rvng intl)
05 - julia holter - ekstasis (rvng intl)
04 - scott walker- bish bosch (4ad)
03 - grimes - visions (4ad)
02 - spider bags - shake my head (odessa)

01 - nite jewel - one second of love (secretly canadian)

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JAKE C. (GENERAL MANAGER)
 
Top 25 Albums of 2012 (in order)
01. Bo White con la Orquesta Seleccionada - Same Deal/New Patrones (kinnikinnik)
02. Baroness - Yellow & Green (Relapse)
03. Swans - The Seer (Young God)
04. Sic Alps - Sic Alps (Drag City)
05. Spider Bags - Shake My Head (Odessa)
06. Rangda - Formerly Extinct (Drag City)
07. Matthew E. White - Big Inner (Spacebomb / Hometapes)
08. Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Ocean Parkway (Three-Lobed Recordings)
09. The Weather Station - All of It Was Mine (You've Changed)
10. Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)
11. Angel Olsen - Half Way Home (Bathetic)
12. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light (Fat Possum)
13. Whatever Brains - Whatever Brains II (Sorry State)
14. Ty Segall - Twins (Drag City)
15. Daniel Bachman - Twin Pines (Tompkins Square)
16. White Lung - Sorry (Deranged)
17. Mac Demarco - 2 (Captured Tracks)
18. Joint D≠ - Strike Gently (Sorry State)
19. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan (Domino)
20. King Tuff - King Tuff (Sub Pop)
21. Mount Eerie - Ocean Roar (P.W. Eleverum & Sun, Ltd)

22. Moon Duo - Circles (Sacred Bones)
23. Woods - Bend Beyond (Woodsist)
24. Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent (Drag City)
25. Oren Ambarchi - Sagittarian Domain (Editions Mego)
 
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KATE G. (MUSIC STAFF) 
 
Top 20 Live Shows of 2012, order chronological.
- Jeff Mangum @ Memorial Hall, January 30
- Ted Leo and Mac McCaughan @ Duke Coffeehouse, February 18
- Parenthetical Girls @ Motorco, March 30 
- The Magnetic Fields @ Cat's Cradle, April 11 and 12
- Lambchop and Crooked Fingers @ Motorco, April 14
- Peelander-Z @ Motorco, April 17 (and November 20)
- Xiu Xiu @ Kings, May 1
- Archers of Loaf @ Kings, May 12
- William Tyler @ The Pinhook, May 22
- The Clean @ Local 506, June 8 aka my birthday
- Superchunk @ Cat's Cradle, July 12
- Reigning Sound and Last Year's Men @ Nightlight, August 24
- WXDU/Three Lobed Day Hopscotch Day Party @ Kings, September 7
- The Mountain Goats Metal Covers and Rarities Set @ Fletcher Opera Hall, September 8
- The Handsome Family @ Local 506, September 18
- Team Dresch and The Butchies @ The Pinhook, September 29
- Octopus Project @ Local 506, October 3
- Swans @ Lincoln Theatre, October 14
- Jens Lekman @ Cat's Cradle, October 15
- Kaki King @ Casbah, November 17
 
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JOHN A. (MUSIC STAFF)
 
Top 20 Albums of 2012 (in order)
20) Last Words - Tied Demo (DEMOlish)
19) CSMD - Cosmic Noise Adventure (No Fucking Labels)
18) Aaron Dilloway - Modern Jester (Hanson Records)
17) Trepaneringsritualen - Deathward, to the Womb (Release the Bats Records)
16) Burmese - Colony Collapse (ugExplode)
15) D-Clone - Creation and Destroy (540 Records)
14) Lovely Little Girls - Cleansing the Filth from a Delicate Frame (Skin Graft)
13) Father You See Queen - 47 (Flingco Sound System)
12) Water Torture - Shellfire! (Diseased Audio)
11) Steve Moore - Light Echoes (Cuneiform)
10) 7mon/Sist en 343/tn666  - 7mon/Sist en 343/tn666 (Ecocentric Records)
09) Atrium Carceri - Reliquiae (Cold Meat Industry)
08) Proclamation - Nether Tombs of Abaddon (Ross Bay Cult/Nuclear War Now! Productions)
07) Cut Hands - Black Mamba (Blackest Ever Black)
06) Duke S.: - ○Ж۩ﺚ◘Ψ• - (label unknown)
05) NON - Back to Mono (Mute)
04) Gehenna/Integrity - Split 7" (Holy Terror)
03) Crystal - Aposte (Flingco Sound System)
02) Rat Damage - Cursed (Buriedinhell Records)
01) Funerary Call - Nightside Emanations (Malignant Records)
 
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GREG W. (MUSIC STAFF)
 
Top 25(ish) Albums of 2012
1 - Ty Segall & White Fence/Ty Segall Band/Ty Segall - Hair / Slaughterhouse / Twins (Drag City/In The Red/Drag City)
2 - Jessica Pratt - Jessica Pratt (Birth Records)
3 - Swans - The Seer (Young God)
4 - Rangda - Formerly Extinct (Drag City)
5 - Mount Eerie - Clear Moon/Ocean Roar (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
6 - The Caretaker - Patience (After Sebald) (History Always Favours The Winners)
7 - Daniel Rossen - Silent Hour/Golden Mile (Warp)
8 - Andy Stott - Luxury Problems (Modern Love)
9 - Stephanie Hladowski & C Joynes - The Wild Wild Berry(Bo'Weavil)
10 - The Rippers - Better The Devil You May Know (Slovenly)
11 - Earth - Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II (Southern Lord)
12 - White Fence - Family Perfume (Woodsist)
13 - Nathan Bowles - A Bottle, A Buckeye (Soft Abuse)
14 - Jon Porras - Black Mesa (Thrill Jockey)
15 - Estrogen Highs - Irrelevant Future (Trouble In Mind)
16 - Lambchop - Mr. M (Merge)
17 - Daniel Bachman - Seven Pines (Tompkins Square)
18 - NHK'Koyxen - Dance Classics Volumes I & II (PAN)
19 - Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Ocean Parkway (Three Lobed Recordings)
20 - Dead Luke - God Takes LSD (Moon Glyph)
21 - Chris Cohen - Overgrown Path (Captured Tracks)
22 - Lee Gamble - Diversions 1994-1996/Dutch Tvashar Plumes(PAN)
23 - Pelt - Effigy (MIE Music)
24 - Zelienople - The World Is A House On Fire (Type)
 
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KELLY D. (PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR)
 
Hurried list combining my most listened records with stuff I'm cramming in at the end of the year:
- The Black Twig Pickers - Whompyjawed (Thrill Jockey)
- Blut Aus Nord - 777: Cosmosophy (Debemur Morti)
- Brother Ali - Mourning In America & Dreaming in Color (Rhymesayers)
- Botanist - III: Doom in Bloom (Total Rust)
- Dawnbringer - Into the Lair of the Sun God (Profound Lore)
- Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Ocean Parkway (Three Lobed Recordings)
- Horseback - Half Blood (Relapse)
- Iris Dement - Sing The Delta (Flariella)
- Ka - Grief Pedigree (Iron Works)
- Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City (Interscope)
- Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music (Williams Street)
- Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again (Interscope)
- Mount Eerie - Ocean Roar (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
- Panopticon - Kentucky (Handmade Birds)
- Pelt - Effigy (MIE Music)
- Pig Destroyer- Book Burner (Relapse)
- Occultation - Three & Sever (Profound Lore)
- Oren Ambarchi - Sagittarian Domain (Editions Mego)
- Rangda - Formerly Extinct (Drag City)
- Rhyton - The Emerald Tablet (Three Lobed Recordings)
- Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent (Drag City)
- Swans - The Seer (Young God)
- THEESatisfaction - awE naturalE (Sub Pop)
- Various - Eight Trails, One Path (Three Lobed Recordings)
 
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MARK J. (CBGF DIRECTOR)
 
Some great songs from the roots music sphere that you mighta missed, 2012.
 
5 new ones:

Baird Sisters: "Where The Waters Flow" (from Until You Find Your Green):  Meg (Espers, etc.) and Laura (Duke alumna and one-time WXDU-er) give us a gorgeous piece of haunting harmony and foggy banjo & fiddle drone.

Kevin Gordon: "Colfax" (from Gloryland): Goofy teen antics abruptly confronted by the "the heart of American darkness" (i.e., the KKK) while marching with the high school band;  kid sees the pride & resolve of his band director.    A story of Kevin's own true experience, one of many brilliant songs of his.

Malcolm Holcombe: "Butcher In Town" (from Down The River):  Perfect example of Malcolm's growling cig-damaged, sometimes bile-spitting vocals & unique acousto-aggression guitar picking.  Nobody makes acoustic music quite like this western NC native does.

Chuck Prophet: "Temple Beautiful" (from Temple Beautiful):  San Fran roots-rocker power-chords & shooby-do-bop-bops through memories of a defunct rock club.

Muriel Vandersteel: "DJeveleni Hjørnet" (from Hickory): self-released album by young fiddler who combines American styles with the lovely drony tonalness of Norwegian Hardingfele.

5 from reissues / old recordings that came out in 2012:

Karen Dalton: "Reason To Believe" (from 1966): Lost rehearsal recordings from '66 capture Karen at her most relaxed.  I'd list "Katie Cruel" too, because it is a truly fab version, but everyone's heard that one already.

Arizona Dranes: "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go" (from He Is My Story: The Sanctified Soul of Arizona Dranes): Mid-1920s recordings from Texas-born pianist who sang spiritual songs but in secular styles of the day e.g. barrelhouse, boogie woogie, ragtime.

Tav Falco's Panther Burns: "Snake Drive" (from Behind The Magnolia Curtain): Chaotic mess of a 1981 debut from art-activist / filmaker / wildman Falco, recorded at the famed Ardent Studios in Memphis.  On this track and some others, the Tate County Fife & Drum Corps (an African American ensemble from North Mississippi) is parading around the studio playing along with the core band.  The band included Alex Chilton (happy to be a side man here!) and Jim Duckworth (The Gun Club, Bush Tetras).

The Flatlanders: "I Know You" (from The Odessa Tapes): January 1972 demo recordings by three Lubbock guys who didn't have a band name at the time, just loved playing music.   The demos led to a single historic album, but the tapes then sat forgotten in a closet for 40 years.  Til now. Beautiful crystal clear recordings of three who have a special chemistry singing and playing together.

Boyd Rivers: "You Got To Take Sick And Die" (from You Can't Make Me
Doub
t): Electric guitar & impassioned vocal from a set of recordings of blues spirituals made ~20 years back but unheard til Mississippi