Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.
I debated kicking off the holiday-themed Friday Five this week, but decided instead to let shuffle loose on my five favorite records of 2012. The records are in no particular order; I’m just going to hit shuffle on a playlist containing the five records and will share the first track that comes up from each. — Michael
“The Brooklyn Accent” by Martin Rivas (from Reliquary, 2012)
Now I know that I said that these were in no particular order, but really glad this one came up first. Martin Rivas is a singer/songwriter that I stumbled upon last year when I caught him live at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Shortly after my introduction, Rivas started up Kickstarter campaign to fund his next record, which I eagerly jumped on. The resulting record, Reliquary, is probably my favorite record released this year. “The Brooklyn Accent” perfectly captures everything that is great about this record; it’s simple, engaging, and full of heart. I highly recommend checking this record out.
“Snow Outside” by Dave Matthews Band (from Away From the World, 2012)
In a year full of utterly disappointing records from some of my favorite artists—I’m looking at you Messrs Mayer and Mraz—I was braced for the streak to continue. It didn’t help that the record itself seemed destined to fail under the weight of expectation. Away From the World marked the long-anticipated return of Steve Lillywhite to the producer’s chair, and is the first record recorded completely without original member LeRoi Moore. Those expectations were not only matched, but exceeded. This record is a “grower,” with many of the tunes requiring multiple listens to appreciate the layers of musicality contained within.
“Not Cause I Wanted To” by Bonnie Raitt (from Slipstream, 2012)
Oh, Bonnie. This record breaks my heart every damn time I listen to it. If you missed this record, shame on you!
“Goodnight, Fair Lady” by Coheed and Cambria (from The Afterman: Ascension, 2012)
It doesn’t at all seem out of character for Coheed and Cambria to follow up their heaviest record with their most accessible. Hell, the title track might be one of my favorite songs released this year, and that’s saying a lot! Ascension is part one of a two record arc that tells the story of Dr. Sirius Amory and his discovery of the keywork. Even if you aren’t following along with the story, the tunes themselves are brutally honest, dealing with love (“Subtraction”), loss (“The Afterman”), and the very real drama surrounding last years departure of founding bassist Mic Todd (“Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute”). Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to part two.
“Summer’s Gone” by The Beach Boys (from That’s Why God Made the Radio, 2012)
As I repeatedly stated upon its release: if you told me a year ago that one of my favorite records of 2012 would be a album of new recordings by The Beach Boys, I would have called you crazy. Go figure. Sure, it was an obvious cash grab, and would end in a much publicized falling out, but if this is the last Beach Boys record we ever hear, at least they went out on a high note.
What’s on your shuffle today?