Don't Be An Earhole . . .

I am in no way "unique" in saying that music is very important to me. I like to have it with/near/around/overwhelming me while I work, walk, read, chat, fall asleep, tap a keg, rescue families from burning buildings, birth calves, solve the world's problems, attempt to dance, and rattle off all 50 states in alphabetical order to delight my child.

But I don't just like songs intent on teaching children basic memorization. Nope. I like the stuff that swears, contains naughty lyrics, tells of heartbreak, lost car keys, merriment, award winners, and, of course, boobs. Here, in order, are my favorite 25 songs released in the year 2012 (based on plays on iTunes and Spotify). Please to enjoy . . .

25) Emergence Exit, Freelance Whales. Just good music. Let it flow over you.
24) Locked Down, Dr. John. A fantastic album from a man who's been making music longer than I've been alive. This song makes me want to live the turbulent 70s as something other than a zygote - toddler.
23) Cosmic Trip, Air. I can't explain this choice. But it was catchy enough to stick around.
22) Primitive Girl, M. Ward. "If you ask how she's doin', she'll say 'I'm doing WELL.'" Women that know not to answer "good" to that question are total keepers (no offense, Laura!).
21) Not the Same, Tanlines. I generally resent 80s music and bands that make 80s music 30 years later. In this case, I'm pro-Casio keyboard, Very pro.
20) Soon or Never, The Punch Brothers. You can keep Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, and all the other dudes that record music today that belongs in a coal mine and/or a jar of moonshine 30 years ago. I'm keeping The Punch Brothers. Happily.
19) The Bed Song, Amanda Palmer. She's like Tori Amos without the angst and baggage. Or just different baggage.
18) White, Odd Future w/ Frank Ocean. MOST of Odd Future (or whatever their full name is) gets lost on me but this song, probably because of Frank Ocean, is something I can comfortably grab on to.
17) Let the Light In, Bob Scheider. I imagine Bob wishing he could go by Rob (seems too laid back to be a Bob) if not for that assclown from Saturday Night Live. Love this song and its lyrics that sort of force you to listen (rap lyrics to Wizard of Oz references, anyone?). Makes me long for the days I liked people.
16) A Flat Ground, Aural Histories. Classical music derived from samples, clips, audio cues and some non-instrumental sources. Weird and wacky stuff. But enjoyable.
15) Mine Tonight, Dum Dum Girls. I don't know why I like this song. Truly do not. But I do. And that has to count for something.
14) Archipelago, Miike Snow. (not a typo on Miike) A little bit Vampire Weekend, a little bit The Shins, a lotta' bit great song.
13) Guardian, Alanis Morissette. I'll never NOT enjoy Alanis Morissette. This song reminds me of the best we can offer each other in our relationships . . . protection.
12) Candles, Rufus Wainwright. Because you will probably had a birthday in 2012 and that is something to be celebrated. Unless you are me. Hate birthdays. So stupid.
11) Hold On, Alabama Shakes. "There must be someone, up above, sayin' c'mon Britney. You gotta' come on up!" Prayer through music. The way it should be. Just ask the movie Sister Act. But not Sister Act 2.
10) Phoenix, Brandeis University Voicemale. If you don't like A Capella, you should stop reading my blog. For real. This song makes me a little teary. It's that damned good. I mean, Brandeis is not even an Ivy but these boys overcome.
9) Am I That Lonely Tonight, Justin Townes Earle (also KMUW host and Ava's most recent crush Jedd Boudoin's favorite song of 2012)
8) Sky High, Ben Folds Five. I would have been happy to simply get some new Ben Folds. That it was Ben Folds FIVE was even better. That it was the best album from either identifier in years and years was what made it perfect. This was my favorite song from the album that I hope ushers in an era of great BFF music.
7) All Waters, Perfume Genius. If I'm going to ever love another woman (heaven help her), this song is going to be to blame.
6) Die In Your Arms, Justin Bieber. Yep. He's on my list. Here's why - the day this CD came out Ava listened to this song 1,000,000 times and sang to me that she wanted to die in my arms. Some day (hopefully not before 2024) another boy will get that attention and longing. In 2012, it is alllll mine.
5) Shadow Days, John Mayer. FACT - My Shadow Days are over. I'm totes leavin' 'em in 2012.
4) Your Ghost, Jherek Bischoff. Hands down my favorite ALBUM of the year - for all its kooky goodness and classical genre bending - this was my favorite song from the album.
3) Once Upon a Time, Sara Barielles. A very underrated voice and beauty, Sara Barielles teamed up with my FAVORITE dude ever (Ben Folds) on this EP. This song reminds me of my exwife and her longing to be bound to someone and something and yet free at the same time. Hauntingly good song.
2) Wicked Games, The Weeknd. (not a typo on Weeknd) I know I'm not the target demo for this guy and his friend Drake and I know that there's no reason to enjoy this song but it struck a cord with me and the notion that sometimes you just want someone to tell you it is all going to be okay - even if you know they are a liar for doing so.
1) We Are Young, Fun. w/ Janelle Monae. I'm not young anymore. This song reminded me of the days when I was and how it felt to go out with a group of friends, scan the room, try to find someone to talk to and let them know "Hey, if you get no other offers tonight - let a dude know." And then to go home alone anyway. Well, with your friends. And that is alllll that matters.

I'm looking forward to lots of great music in 2013. If you want to stream the entire playlist - just click below.