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A Playlist of 2012′s Top Jams

Below, you'll find a playlist of 2012's top jams as determined by me. The jams are not ordered with any particular ranking in mind. Rather, these jams are ordered for maximum enjoyability, by you, the person about to click on that big embed. Enjoy! Also see: I Rock Cleveland's Artist of the Year: Cloud Nothings A Statement of Purpose and 25 (Mostly) Rock Records You Need to Hear from 2012READ MORE

Play Me: “We No Who U R” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Let's talk contrast, as in the manly, often brutish sounds of Nick Cave's work with some of the Bad Seeds in Grinderman versus, "We No Who U R," the first single from Nick Cave and the Bad Seed's forthcoming album, Push the Sky Away, and its subtle arrangement of electric piano, bass, slight, electronic beats and flute. Grinderman would have never done flute. Grinderman would have sent you back to band camp with that flute busted...READ MORE

Hey, This New Soundgarden Jam Is Not Nearly As Horrible As One Might Expect Considering the Shit Output of Other Veteran Hard-Rockers

No, really, it's not that bad. Sure, when you compare Chris Cornell's voice here, on the comeback single, "Been Away Too Long," to his voice during Soundgarden's mid-'90s heyday, you'll find it not nearly as robust. The Rock 'N' Roll lifestyle and age has a habit of reducing one's range. And, let's be honest. The bar for veteran hard-rockers isn't especially high these days. See Metallica and Lulu. See Chinese Democracy. See Chri...READ MORE

The Rockometer: Peacefield by National Suicide Day

National Suicide Day Peacefield Snax Records and Tapes Tuesday night and the headphones are on, in the dark, with only a glow from the Indians and Tigers on the TV. I'm going through the website's review queue, which is now eight albums strong, first Om and then this National Suicide Day album comes on, and I'm thinking, "Like I'm going to review all of these albums. What can I cut? What can I put off for a week or two?" And the...READ MORE

Play Me: “Headache” by Metz

Here's one for those who have been asking, "Why does Sub Pop have to sign every Fleet Foxes side project?" Or, the related question, "What's with Sub Pop and all these hip-hop acts on their roster?"  Not that there's anything wrong with Sub Pop being more than an underground rock label.  The bills have to get paid and underground rock doesn't pay the bills like it did during the alt-rock '90s.  Plus, you've gotta admit those...READ MORE

Play Me: “Under the Westway” and “The Puritan” by Blur

To call "Under the Westway," Beatles-esque, is really a lazy way to describe the first of two new tracks release by Blur to coincide with their concert during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Sure, with its straightforward melody, gradual build, light harmonies and orchestration, restrained in tone, but not in scope, it shares many of the hallmarks of a classic Lennon/Mc Cartney composition from Sgt. Pepper. But listen closer,...READ MORE

The DJ Crate: Summer 2012 Edition

Instead of aggregating every track on every piece of vinyl I laid down during my two recent dj sets at the Beachland, I'm going to do something a little different. The playlist below is a best of, or a sampling of what I've been toting around in my dj crate during the past week as I manned the dj booth during the Walk Off the Earth pre-show/after-show event on Thursday night and, again, during the Waterloo Arts Fest on Saturday afte...READ MORE

Play Me: “Watch the Corners” by Dinosaur, Jr

To judge by the first few seconds of "Watch the Corners," the first track released from Dinosaur, Jr's 10th studio album, I Bet on Sky, one might get the impression that J. Mascic, Lou Barlow and Murph are about to launch into "Sludgefeast Pt 2." Not quite. The aggression hinted at during the song's opening seconds, and its flattened, open chords, transitions smoothly to a familiar, yet, less urgent tempo, allowing Mascis' trade...READ MORE

Play Me: “1982″ by Puffy Areolas

Puffy Aerolas' "1982" is not for those with delicate tastes, for those with delicate ears, or for those with cats. With guitars like dentist drills and words spit like the man behind the mic could use a trip to get his chompers checked out, this, the first track released from their Hozac Records debut, is as piercing a piece of punk rock as you're likely to come across in 2012. And if you have cats, or multiple cats, it kinda sound...READ MORE

Play Me: “Second Television by Mission of Burma

While not as immediately impressive as "Dust Devil," the first track to appear from Mission of Burma's forthcoming album, Unsound, "Second Television," does do an exemplary job of showcasing the assembled skills of this long running, Boston post-punk band. Listen closely, and its depth is striking -- Multiple, sidewinding guitar melodies, fractured bits of static, and cowbell. Yes, cowbell. Even as "Second Television" is complex i...READ MORE