Lambchop — “Gone Tomorrow” (by MergeRecords)
I can see that friends on Tumblr are starting to list stuff for the end of the year, and I love that stuff, I really do; but I hope nobody minds that I can’t really do the same because I heard fewer than 20 new records this year. A few years back that would have really bothered me, but this year listening to records seemed like a poorer use of my time than talking to Anaïs on Skype (we both love a lot of music, with plenty of overlap but plenty of areas for both of us to discover, so that’s one more thing to look forward to when she’s done school and can move up here). The rest of my time was mostly taken up with old Leonard Cohen and Talk Talk and Loop and Low albums (over and over and over). My favourite musical experience of the year was seeing Swans live, and yes The Seer (and the new Godspeed, which is almost spiritually linked to it in my head) is a great, monumental work, but I can’t say I listened to it that often this year. Although I guess even eight or ten times adds up to a fair amount when your album is two hours long. And I should make special mention of the new Hot Chip and Rachel Kiel’s Television Waltz (Rachel’s a friend, but I’d be knocked out by “What I’m Trying to Tell You” and several other songs regardless) for being really heartwarming albums in very different ways that I relied on during rough times in 2012.
I’d been meaning/kind of halfheartedly trying to get into Lambchop since the NME raved about Nixon back in 2000, but it just never clicked for some reason (although really, I had yet to make any serious, concerted kind of effort). Every time a new record would come out and get promising reviews I’d think this would be the year, but most times they never even made it to the top of the listening pile. As I said, I didn’t devote a lot of listening time to new music in 2012, but for whatever reason Mr. M was one of the first new releases I played. I can’t even say I think it’s the best record released this year, or my favourite; I just know it has some kind of magnetic pull that meant that a good 80% of the times I decided to play something ‘new’ this year I wound up putting Lambchop on again. That’s not meant to be deprecating; this is a great, gorgeous, compelling record and I love it. But I don’t know if I could tell you why yet, nor have I decided whether it’s time for me to investigate the rest of their work. At no point until ten minutes ago, looking at the short list of new records I’ve played this year, did I think that Mr. M was my personal album of the year. But it’s been that kind of year for me and music, and it is.
This entire post makes me happy.