Best, Worst & Whatever of 2012

What kind of music did YOU listen to this year?

Well, Happy New Year. We got to the end of another one – there were some twists and turns along the way, and a few nasty surprises, but we managed to make it here once more.

This is the place where we should name our “best of” list and stuff, but we should say up front … there was a lot of good music this year and a handful of really good albums. Despite the headline above, we won’t deal with the worst – who cares?

And we won’t bore you with what we think is the best – we don’t know ourselves – but here are some things we listened to (and read, and watched) this year. All highly recommended, of course.

Old Believers by Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons – We caught this act at SXSW, and we fell in love with Chisel’s heartfelt singing and songwriting, as well as with keyboardist/backing vocalist Adriel Denae. Great campfire music!

YouTube: “I’ve Been Accused” by Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons

Men Without Women Live by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes – Beloved Jersey shore band performs an entire album by another band – Southside Johnny pays tribute to Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul. Great party music!

MP3: “Forever” by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Celebration Day (live) by Led Zeppelin – The rock juggernaut’s first non-compilation album in many years is a live one, recorded in 2007 in London. This is a multimedia affair appearing in CD, DVD/Blu-ray and accompanying theatrical movie release. When the three original members were honored recently at the Kennedy Center, reunion rumors blazed once again.

YouTube: “Kashmir” from Celebration Day

Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Angry, and slightly behind the times, Springsteen’s State of the Union address hit hard nevertheless. Punctuated by a keynote speech and concert at SXSW and a never-ending tour schedule, the Boss rode this album throughout the year and continues into 2013 with no end in sight.

Blunderbuss by Jack White – Blues, R&B and country intersected best on this album from the former White Stripe backed by two bands – one all male, the other all female. Also a live highlight this year, we caught him at the Austin City Limits festival and at his taping for an upcoming “Austin City Limits” episode (airing Jan. 5).

YouTube: “Blunderbuss” by Jack White

The Rest of Our Favorite Albums of 2012

Tempest – Bob Dylan

The Lumineers

Rebirth – Jimmy Cliff

Babel – Mumford & SonsThe_Beach_Boys_-_That's_Why_God_Made_the_Radio_Album_Cover

St. Peter & 57th – Preservation Hall Jazz Band and guests (click on link to download “St. James Infirmary”)

Slipstream – Bonnie Raitt

Carnaby Street by The Michael Des Barres Band

Tomorrowland by Ryan Bingham

Delta Spirit (click on link to download “California”)

That’s Why God Made The Radio – The Beach Boys

Heroes – Willie Nelson

Blak and Blu – Gary Clark Jr.

Our Favorite Live Performances of 2012

Paul McCartney, Houston Minute Maid Park

Neil Young & Crazy Horse 2

Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Austin City Limits Music Festival

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Austin City Limits Music Festival

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, South by Southwest, Austin

Willie Nelson, Houston Free Press Summer Fest

Eric Burdon, South by Southwest, Austin

The Beach Boys, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston

Van Halen, Houston Toyota Center

Mumford & Sons, University of Texas, Austin

Jack White, “Austin City Limits” taping

Rock and Roll Reading List for 2012

Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat

Who I Am by Pete Townshend

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