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Best of 2012

The NHL is still locked out and the frustration has really hit me in the last few days. Instead of watching and enjoying, I’m waiting and stewing. But luckily, the time of year has afforded an escape and some outright positive feelings.

It’s time for the annual review of great music from the past year!

Last time around, I noted that 2011 was pretty awful for music. It’s an assessment I continue to stand behind. Except for the top 3 records (and probably the one by Girls), there’s not too much I still play from 2011. But I don’t think that’s the case this time.

While pop hits were unbearably awful (I’m looking at you “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style”), there was a glut of fantastic music outside the reach of Billboard. And somewhat refreshingly, that output didn’t come from “big-name” indie artists either. Yes, I’d love a new Radiohead or Arcade Fire release. But when I’m busy listening to a punk group from Cleveland, a rebuilt pop outfit from Albuquerque, or psych band from Australia it’s much easier to wait for the next Big Thing. And sometimes you even forget about the lack of Modest Mouse and bask in the fact that Sharon Van Etten, Shearwater, and Jack White all put out new material in 2012.

Of course it’s also worth noting that this year didn’t feature any runaway favorites. In most years, I’ve found the minutiae to be difficult, but the conclusion to be obvious. That wasn’t the case in 2012, as no less than seven albums would have seemed right in the top spot. But realize: that’s not a complaint. Parity only makes the reflection part of the blogging calendar that much more enjoyable.

So come along for the ride as I check out the best songs and albums of 2012. Check out the schedule below, and feel free to comment on how wrong I am (or how obnoxious my update schedule has been).

Songs: 40-21 on 12/22, 20-6 on 12/23, 5-1 on 12/24

Albums: 20-11 on 12/26, 10-4 on 12/28, 3-1 on 12/30