Monday, December 31, 2012

Em's Best of 2012 mixtape

It's that special time of year again! Time for zillions of best of lists, oh yes, but the only one that really matters is my own year-end mixtape. In these highly polarized times, I hope we can all agree on that, at least.

Basically, the mix is a compilation of some of my favorite songs from some of my favorite albums/releases of the past year. It's always an interesting look back at my own musical moods from the previous 12 months (I have these mixes going back to 2008 at this point - sonic time capsules!), but I also really just enjoy giving these out to friends and family and maybe hopefully even just introducing them to one or two new artists they might enjoy. When someone likes the whole mix, I'm in heaven.

So what made it this year? Check the track listing below, and please do give these songs/artists a listen and consider purchasing their work:

"At home at the end of the world: Emily's best of 2012"
  1. "Do It With a Rockstar" - Amanda Palmer ft. Grand Theft Orchestra, Theatre Is Evil
  2. "5678!" - Butterfly Boucher, Butterfly Boucher
  3. "Runaway Love" - Diamond Rings, Free Dimensional
  4. "Closer" - Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob
  5. "The Gravedigger's Song" - Mark Lanegan Band, Blues Funeral
  6. "Disparate Youth" - Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe
  7. "Genesis" - Grimes, Visions
  8. "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy" - Passion Pit, Gossamer
  9. "Moves" - Gold Fields, Treehouse EP
  10. "Fierce" - Azealia Banks, Fantasea
  11. "QueenS" - THEESatisfaction, awE naturalE
  12. "Sunset" - the xx, Coexist
  13. "Make Them Laugh" - Clare and the Reasons, KR-51
  14. "Promiscuity" - Ani DiFranco, Which Side Are You On?
  15. "Unashamed Desire" - Missy Higgins, The Ol' Razzle Dazzle
  16. "Wicked Game" - Gemma Hayes, Wicked Game - Single
  17. "You Are Forgiven" - Anais Mitchell, Young Man In America
I admit that I cheated a little - the new Tegan and Sara record doesn't actually come out until 2013, but the "Closer" single was released last August so I'm counting it. Plus it's an insanely great indie pop song, so there.

This represents a pretty decent cross-section of what I was listening to this year, though certainly not everything. The more hard rap, industrial, and punk sides of my tastes just didn't fit into this mix (maybe some day I'll make two different discs, but right now that smacks of more effort than I have time for).

My hope, as always, is that maybe even just one of these artists is new and interesting enough to you that you'll go out and buy the full record directly from them. It's as important as ever to support creative efforts and creative people by putting our money where our mouths are. I know for a fact, too, that several of these artists offer their work at pay-what-you-choose prices. So get on it! And, above all, enjoy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The end is the beginning: Winter (2013) is coming

2012. Well damn. This is traditionally the time to reflect on the year that was, and make plans / resolutions / angry faces at the one that's about to barrel drunkenly through your door.

All I'll say about 2012, though, for the sake of brevity (you have better things to do, right? like make those snacks for the party tomorrow night) is that it was a big one for me - full of invaluable learning experiences, frustrating setbacks, and incredible transitions.

I've just started my ridiculously cool new job as the editor of Our Lives magazine, for instance, and my thumbprint will be fully on the March/April issue (god willing and the creek don't rise).

That combines with another major change, in that my longtime collaborator/partner-in-crime Jesse Russell, one of the founders of and an all-around stand-up gent, is heading off to the West Coast for greener pastures come February.

Fire Ball V, then, will likely be the last big event I help produce for some time, as well as Jesse's going away party. There are still some really sweet VIP hotel/ticket package deals available for sale, by the way, and regular ol' tickets, too. It's going to be a ridiculously fun weekend and you should come for one night at least, if not both. Seriously, I mean it. You'll be so sad if you miss it. So sad.

I'm not giving up on entertainment entirely, of course: I'll be throwing a monthly queer dance party starting January 19 at the Inferno, called REAL QUEER (natch). This is a project I've been mulling for several years and I am ridiculously excited to see it finally come to fruition (ehehe, "fruit"). You don't have to be queer to come check it out, but it helps.

And then there's roller derby. The new/old love of my life. I hope to be doing a lot of that in the coming year. Strange to be starting a brand new sport at 31, but goddamn is it fun.

So I hope the year has been, overall, good to you - and if it hasn't, fuck it - 2013 is still entirely unwritten. Shoulders back, chin up, and make it happen.
The Lost Albatross