Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Top Lists Albums & Shows - End Of Year

We have reached the end of another year here in the burgh. The holidays are over and my family just it's time to for our reviews. Will we remember 2012 as one of the better musical years? Probably not. But here are our lists for best of shows and albums:

Jonathon Puff:

  1. El-P - Cancer for Cure - EL-P continues to produce the most unique hip hop rhymes and beats like no one else.  
  2. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind - Their best since Jane Doe and beginning first five song rampage ever.
  3. Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action at a Distance - A surprise gem from Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt showing his overall talent.  
  1. Refused - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA -  Refused going out in style.  Easily the best show I saw all year.  
  2. Cloud Nothings - Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA - Dylan Baldi didn't say much, but him and his band basically tore the roof off the place.  Last time we'll be seeing them play in a venue so small.
  3. Radiohead - Blossom Music Center - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - The King of Limbs live  The King of Limbs the album.  That plus classics "Like Spinning Plates", "Climbing Up the Walls", and "I Might Be Wrong" and other rarities including "Supercollider" still showing Thom and company still got it.
And here are mine:


6. Florence + The Machine - Paris - 11.27.12 -  As I mentioned here, FTM has a magnetic live show that just sucks you in. It helped that this was in Paris for me and met some great people. 
5. Fiona Apple - Stage AE - 10.21.12 - Loved her at this show. I know a lot of people are 'meh' on her, but she really put on a great effort. I enjoyed. 
4. Metric - Stage AE - 9.18.12 - I have a huge thing for Emily Haines. Metric can do no wrong. But they honestly put on a fantastic live show never disappointing the many times I have seen them. And they didn't this time either.

My top 3 didn't change from my midterm list. So here is a recap:

#3 M83 Carnegie Library Homestead - 8.2 - Amazing show in a good venue. Beach House and Sleigh Bells lighting crews should attend and see how a professional setup is done. If you were at either of those shows you know that every 3 seconds you were blinded by a strobe directly in your eyes. Plus, silohuettes are cool and add ambiance, but at some point I would actually enjoy seeing the band. That wasn't a problem at this show. The lighting was remarkable with no issue of actually making out the faces of the band. Plus, I felt I was watching more of a theater performance than an actual concert. I wish more had seen opener Big Black Delta because they would have enjoyed. You can't take alcohol into the theater (most were drinking outside), but you can drink water and soda inside. Makes sense.

#2 The Tallest Man On Earth - New Hazlett Theater 8.1 - If you missed this sold out show at this venue, with this artist, shame on you. There is something to be said for a sold out concert that is seated in a stellar theater where there isn't a bad seat (although we were 4th row floor). As with recent capacity concerts (Beach House, Sleigh Bells) sometimes they can annoy with constant bumping by drunk individuals or not being able to get a decent view of the stage. This wasn't the case this evening. I was a bit worried when TMOE ventured onstage in a wife beater looking like a Swedish Gypsy, but my concern was soon laid to rest. Kristian Matsson was onstage with only a microphone, stool, piano, and a few guitars. His reach and tone were unmistakable, even haunting at times. He had the quiet confidence of someone who enjoys the spotlight, but is not overwhelmed by it. My girl Sam was almost brought to tears by his performance holding back a couple of times next to me (she's also an uber fan). I won't go that far, but the performance will stay with me quite some time. Oh, and in this theater, you can drink alcohol in your seat. Step it up Homestead.

#1 Jaymay - Club Cafe - 1.25 - I already spoke about this show here. Let's just say Jaymay has what a solo performer should: wit, charisma, captivating, etc. Fantastic performance, hand's down my favorite still this year, although TMOE is a very close second.


I had a difficult selecting even a few albums I was mesmerized with. So, this list is very short with no real reasoning.

5. Jack White - Blunderbuss
4. Grimes - Vision
3. Metric - Synthetica
2. Fiona Apple - The Idler.....
1. Still trying to figure it out.


  1. Good lists. Thanks for your efforts guys, really enjoy the blog. I was at the Cloud Nothings, M83, and Tallest Man shows as well. Those were in my top five as well.

    Were either of you guys at Afghan Wigs at Smalls? Holy smokes, I've never seen them before but man that is a tight band. You can tell they've been doing it awhile. That was probably my favorite show this year.


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