John Cale “Scotland Yard” from Shifty Adventures in Nookie Yard (Domino 2012) N —Celebrating 2012 with a bunch of music that came out this year - not just my fave songs, but a lot of songs I didn't play on air this year. The new Cale is a good record - not great like his last one, but definitely a pleasure.Buy it!
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals “Stars” from The Lion the Beast the Beat (Hollywood www.hollywoodrecords.com 2012) N —This woman can belt it out, but she saves the big notes for the most dramatic moments.Buy it!
Eleni Mandell “Desert Song” from I Can See the Future (Yep Roc 2012) N —A gentle, inviting, lilting recording.Buy it!
Aimee Mann “Red Flag Driver” from Charmer SINGLE (Superego 2012) N —Typically catchy number from one of our best songwriters.Buy it!
Peter Karp & Sue Foley “At the Same Time” from Beyond the Crossroads (blind pig 2012) N —Great nasty jazzy blues song - killer horns on this one.Buy it!
Bruce Springsteen “Shackled and Drawn” from Wrecking Ball (Columbia 2012) —I love the folk influence on Bruce's album this year.Buy it!
Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Jesus' Chariot” from Americana (Reprise 2012) N —She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes. This isn't the way we sang it in grade school.Buy it!
Anders Osborne “Dancing In the Wind” from Black Eye Galaxy (Alligator 2012) —Osborne's album is all over the place, from slashing near metal to deep blues to singer-songwriter stuff. This song reminds me of Jackson Browne.Buy it!
John Hiatt “Wood Chipper” from Mystic Pinball (New West 2012) N —"I'm from the midwest, I know enough to cut a path around a wood chipper."Buy it!
Calexico “Splitter” from Algiers (Anti- 2012) N —They're going to be in town at the Pageant sometime in late January, with Yo La Tengo.Buy it!
Shawn Colvin “I Don't Know You” from All Fall Down (Nonesuch 2012) N —With Buddy Miller on guitar and at the production helm, Colvin made the best music I've heard from her.Buy it!
Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale “Forever and a Day” from Buddy & Jim (New West 2012) N —A very nice duets album from two terrific talents.Buy it!
Jerry Douglas “On a Monday” from Traveler (EOne 2012) N —Killer take on the Leadbelly song.Buy it!
Amy Gore and Her Valentines “Baby In Your Arms” from In Love (self 2012) N —Amy Gore was in the Gore Gore Girls, which I never heard. But this record is terrific - fulfills the promise of tough pop/rock I heard 30 years back in the first single by Holly & the Italians.Buy it!
Sleepy Kitty “Don't You Start” from Projection Room (Euclid Records 2013) N L —We're still waiting for a second album from this St. Louis duo (my very favorite guitar/drum/no bass combo in the world), but they did a nice 7" single this year.Buy it!
Sinead O'Connor “Property of Jesus” from How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? (One Little Indian 2012) —As much as I loved this record, I didn't give it enough airplay (partially due to an inability to remember which songs had profanity in them).Buy it!
Craig Finn “Apollo Bay” from Clear Heart Full Eyes (Vagrant 2012) —Okay, I was suspicious at the beginning of the year, but over time, this record has really grown on me, and now I'm not sure he should ever get back with the Hold Steady.Buy it!
Dan Bern “Holy House” from Drifter (self 2012) N —One of America's best songwriters.Buy it!
Carl Pandolfi “Space” from What Kind of Life (self-released 2012) N L —We are all going to need more space. This very talented St. Louisian put out a fascinating album a few months back - trying not to let it slip through the cracks.Buy it!
Half Knots “Colorado” from Proof (self 2013) N L —Another strong St. Louis record that I've only recently spent time with - their CD release show, shared with Melody Den (whose record is also excellent, but I forgot to bring it), will be Jan. 12 at Off Broadway.Buy it!
Carolina Chocolate Drops “No Man's Mama” from Leaving Eden (Nonesuch 2012) —Here was another triumph for Buddy Miller as producer this year.Buy it!
Cassandra Wilson “Red Guitar” from Another Country (EOne 2012) N —This one I might have played earlier this year - I get confused. But I think it fits here.Buy it!
Madonna “Falling Free” from MDNA (Interscope 2012) —Madonna goes all Kate Bush in parts of this song.Buy it!
Pet Shop Boys “Leaving” from Elysium (Astralwerks 2013) N —Some wisdom in this song. And a lovely tune.Buy it!
The Explorers Club “Grand Hotel” (Rock Ridge 2012) —A simply happy number from a band that loves the mid-60s.Buy it!
Los Straitjackets “Wrong Way Inn” from Jet Set (Yep Roc 2012) N —I feel like dancing!Buy it!
The Time Jumpers “Texoma Bound” from The Time Jumpers (Rounder 2012) N —More instrumental fun, this time in a Western swing mode.Buy it!
The dB's “Collid-oOo-Scope” from Falling From the Sky (Bar/None 2012) N —A song from my very favorite album of 2012, one of the few I still hadn't played on the air yet.Buy it!
Chris Stamey “Astronomy” from Lovesick Blues (Bonus Track Version) (Yep Roc Records www.yeproc.com 2013) N —Stamey has so many good songs in him that just 7 months after the dB's album, he's back with a really good solo record. Breaking the rules of only 2012 releases, but what the heck, why not?Buy it!
The Sights “Anything to Anyone” from Left Over Right (HRM 2011) N —These guys just keep churning out rock'n'roll well structured and inventive enough to fit with the classics of 1965.Buy it!
Invisible System “Hode Baba” from Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia (World Music Network 2012) N —Fascinating band from Ethiopia that mixes up all sorts of dance sounds from outside their native land - this one has a rich dub texture to it.Buy it!
Cody ChesnuTT “Everybody's Brother” from Landing On A Hundred (Vibration Vineyard 2012) N —A song about redemption and looking forward, with a big-ass beat.Buy it!
Sugarman 3 “Brother T.” from What the World Needs Now (Daptone 2012) —Instrumental finery.Buy it!
Little Feat “One Breath at a Time” from Rooster Rag (Rounder 2012) N —I gotta admit, I haven't paid close attention to the many records Little Feat made since they reformed quite some time ago - but this one cooks pretty hard.Buy it!
Bettye Lavette “The More I Search (The More I Die)” from Thankful n' Thoughtful (Anti-Records 2012) N —I was disappointed in this album - it's better than the last one, not as brilliant as the two before that. But, dangit, she's still Bettye LaVette, and even her disappointments are better than a lot of records.Buy it!
Paul Kelly “When a Woman Loves a Man” from Spring and Fall (Gawdaggle 2012) N —Sweet little song.Buy it!
Brothers Lazaroff “Picking Up Sticks” from Science Won (self-released 2012) L —I'm pretty sure I didn't get around to playing this cut - so many good songs on this record.Buy it!
Jamey Johnson “Would These Arms Be In Your Way” from Living for a Song - A Tribute to Hank Cochran (Mercury 2012) N —Most of the songs feature great guest stars, and that's cool, but I really just want to hear Jamey Johnson sing. As he does here.Buy it!
Kathy Mattea “Gone, Gonna Rise Again” from Calling Me Home (SUGAR HILL ww.sugarhillrecords.com 2012) N —I love Mattea's newfound Appalachian sound.Buy it!
Diana Krall “Garden In the Rain” from Glad Rag Doll (Verve 2012) —One of the bonus tracks on the deluxe edition, simply pretty.Buy it!
Magnetic Fields “The Machine In Your Hand” from Love at the Bottom of the Sea (Merge 2012) —A love song from a skewed perspective.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.