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In Music Commentary

Among the 2012 faves of Field Report's Christopher Porterfield (at left) are records by Aimee Mann, Talk Talk and Kate Bush. (PHOTO: Aric Keil)

The music that rocked Milwaukee musicians in 2012

Last year we asked a group of local music scene movers and shakers what ended up in the "Top 25 Most Played" playlist in their iTunes and got some great responses. So we decided to ask more local musicians – industry cats – what rocked their musical worlds in 2012.

Here's what they had to say...

Darius "Aprime" Windom (AUTOmatic)

This was an extremely difficult task because I started working at Exclusive Company this year. I have been exposed to ridiculous amount of awesome music. Sooo, (here's a) list of stuff in constant rotation:

  • Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
  • Nas – Life Is Good
  • Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
  • Bob James – One
  • Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, Maad City
  • Frank Zappa – Hot Rats

Mike Benign (The Mike Benign Compulsion)

  • Redd Kross – Researching The Blues
  • Miles Nielsen – Presents The Rusted Hearts
  • Field Report – Field Report
  • Bob Mould – Silver Age
  • Juniper Tar – Since Before
  • Rhett Miller – The Dreamer
  • Aimee Mann - Charmer
  • Trapper Schoepp & The Shades – Run, Engine, Run
  • Die Kreuzen reunion at Lest We Forget Show (at Turner Hall Ballroom)

Donivan Berube (Blessed Feathers)

Well there were a few 2012 releases that we were really excited for at the start of the year. Bowerbirds, Andrew Bird, Lost in the Trees, The Delta Spirit, Sharon Van Etten ... We've picked up most all of those albums, and even went to see Andrew Bird at the Riverside when he came through Milwaukee in March.

Despite the great year for new music, literally all I've been listening to this year is either Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" album, or '60s and '70s African funk music. I've been slowly collecting Analog Africa's entire catalogue. They're a fantastic label run out of Frankfurt, Germany. I found a couple Soundway Records releases when we were in New York this summer, double LPs packed with super-fast paced Colombian music. Their "Ghana Soundz" collection is one of my favorites, with lots of eccentric Afro-Beat dance tracks. Some day I hope that America will realize that there's more to world music than "Bob Marley's Greatest Hits."

We're gonna' be at The Nomad on Brady Street for Marcus Doucette's "Sound Travels Live" DJ set on Sunday, Dec. 2. He's one of our MKE favorites, and I listen to his mix just about every afternoon.

Jason Mohr (Juniper Tar)

Although I've listened pretty much exclusively to classical and new age music during my every day life this past year, I'm not ignorant to the new stuff, thanks to Exclusive Company for vinyl and to eMusic for digital. The year provided me with a solid musical toolkit, whatever the circumstance. Misty is played whenever I want to dance or laugh. Halstead is for walking, he's the only thing on my ipod besides Marcus Aurelius. Bill Fay is for reflection and for falling to sleep. Jaill is for driving. Woods is for tripping out and settling in.

  • Father John Misty – Fear Fun
  • Neil Halstead – Palindrome Hunches
  • Bill Fay –Life Is People
  • Jaill – Traps
  • Woods – Bend Beyond

Cheryl Pawelski (Producer, Omnivore Recordings)

  • Bill Fay – Life Is People
  • Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
  • Jack White – Blunderbuss
  • The Shins – Port Of Morrow
  • Rufus Wainwright – Out Of The Game
  • Tanita Tikaram – Can't Go Back
  • King Tuff – King Tuff
  • Patti Smith – Banga
  • Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes – Men Without Women

Hangovers from 2011; too good to stop listening yet:

  • Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Here We Rest
  • Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  • Dave Alvin – Eleven Eleven

Christopher Porterfield (Field Report)

  • Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow
  • Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
  • Old Earth – Low Place in the Old Place
  • David Bazan – Strange Negotiations
  • The Weather Station – All of It Was Mine
  • Aimee Mann – Charmer
  • Wye Oak – Civilians
  • Talk talk – Spirit of Eden
  • Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball
  • Kallispell – Westbound

Aaron Schleicher (Juniper Tar)

Top 10 national releases from 2012:

  • War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
  • Father John Misty – Fear Fun
  • DIIV – Oshin
  • Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action at a Distance
  • Michael Kiwauka – Home Again
  • Jodis – Black Curtain
  • Godspeed You Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
  • Bitcrush – Collapse
  • Plants and Animals – La La Land

Top 10 local 2012 releases:

  • Jon Mueller's Death Blues
  • Field Report
  • Black Eagle Child – Go Around, Again
  • Zebras – The Serpent and The Pig
  • Jaill – Traps
  • Blessed Feathers – Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds
  • Hugh Bob & the Hustle
  • Trapper Schoepp & the Shades – Run Engine Run
  • Lorn – Ask the Dust
  • Jonathan Burks – How I Roll

Dave Schoepke (Moloko Shivers, Enemy Star, Lovanova, No Quarter, Willy Porter)

"New" music for me usually consists of finding old records. This year among the winners were:

  • Tito Puente – Latin Spectacular
  • Billy Eckstein – Mister B And The Band
  • Billy Eckstein and Sarah Vaughn Sing The Best of Irving Berlin
  • Art Blakey – Holiday For Skins
  • Patato and Totico
  • Buddy Rich – The Driver

Non-vinyl discoveries were:

  • Kyuss – Blues For Red
  • Pentagram – Last Rites
  • Rose Hill Drive – Moon Is The New Earth
  • Galactic – Cowboys

Johnny Washday

  • Debussy – Claire de Lune
  • John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
  • Rolling Stones – GRRR!
  • Kocani Orkestar – Alone at My Wedding
  • The Jackson 5


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