All posts for the month December, 2012

Rick’s Picks:

  • Black Sabbath
  • Alice In Chains
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Tool
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Depeche Mode
  • How to Destroy Angels
  • Bad Religion
  • Kitchen Knife Conspiracy
  • Jane’s Addiction
  • The Black Keys
  • Skinny Puppy
  • Mastodon
  • The Cure

John’s Picks:

  • Christopher Owens
  • Danny Brown
  • Local Natives
  • Bad Religion
  • Beach Fossils
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Toro Y Moi
  • Tyler, The Creator
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Autre Ne Veut
  • Devendra Banhart
  • William Basinski
  • Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
  • Steven Wilson
  • Earl Sweatshirt

Joel’s Picks:

  • The Dear Hunter
  • Saves the Day
  • The Strokes
  • Blink-182
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Foster the People
  • The Black Keys
  • Black Sabbath
  • AC/DC

Top Albums of 2012

Rick’s Picks:

  1. Deftones  – Koi No Yokan
  2. Black Light BurnsThe Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall
  3. Death GripsThe Money Store
  4. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure
  5. Jane’s AddictionThe Great Escape Artist
  6. Mastodon  – The Hunter
  7. White CadillacClassy Ride For Sleazy People
  8. SoundgardenKing Animal
  9. Death GripsNo Love Deep Web
  10. How to Destroy AngelsAn Omen
  11. The OffspringDays Go By
  12. Smashing PumpkinsOceania
  13. Asleep – Unpleasant Companion
  14. Cloud NothingsAttack On Memory
  15. Marilyn MansonBorn Villain
  16. One-Eyed DollSomething About a Dragon?
  17. Jack WhiteBlunderbluss
  18. Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel…
  19. Machine HeadUnto the Locust
  20. Serj TankianHarakiri

John’s Picks:

  1. Death Grips – The Money Store
  2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  3. Swans The Seer
  4. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure
  5. Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel…
  6. Flying LotusUntil The Quiet Comes
  7. Kendrick Lamargood kid m.A.A.d city
  8. Cloud NothingsAttack On Memory
  9. Killer MikeR.A.P. Music
  10. JapandroidsCelebration Rock
  11. Frank OceanChannel Orange
  13. LiarsWIXIW
  14. Grizzly BearShields
  15. Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan
  16. Beach HouseBloom
  17. Sharon Van EttenTramp
  18. SpiritualizedSweet Heart Sweet Light
  19. Ty Segall BandSlaughterhouse
  20. Mount EerieClear Moon
  21. Tame ImpalaLoverism
  22. The MenOpen Your Heart
  23. Twin ShadowConfess
  24. Scott WalkerBish Bosch
  25. ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind

Image created by John Sevi.

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

2012 was certainly an interesting year for music. While monster pop hits like “Call Me Maybe” dominated the airwaves, unrelentingly burrowing into our psyches, we jammed our way through an election year, teetered on the edge of the fiscal cliff and organized our playlists for the end of days via the Mayans.

There weren’t too many dull moments in 2012.

Despite ever-decreasing physical album sales across the board, music was among the hottest selling items of the year. In the digital age, downloads of popular singles such as the aforementioned chart topper reached 6,138,000 downloads in the United States alone. Music is thriving, but in a very unconventional way, leaving many to wonder if traditional albums are dead.

This year may have also been a clear indicator of a generational gap between music lovers and how they consume music. For example, classic rock had a big year in 2012. New albums from Kiss, Rush, Aerosmith, Neil Young and the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones box set topped the charts and followed with successful tours. Among the year’s biggest touring acts were also Roger Waters, Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters. In the alternative realm, Gen-X groups like Soundgarden and Marilyn Manson released new material that did relatively well on the charts. So what does this indicate? That traditional rock music is alive and well, but possibly not due so much to the younger generations.

Often times, a lack of good music is to blame for such scenarios. However, one could argue that great cutting-edge new music exists and thrives, but because of the vastness of the internet, it’s become harder and harder to narrow down. Some may argue otherwise, and claim the internet is a useful tool in discovering new music catered to the individual taste. Enter programs like Spotify and Pandora. 2012 saw these revolutionary, internet-based programs go mainstream very quickly. These programs offer the individual control over what they’re going to hear, based on their choice. They’re revolutionary in the sense that anyone, anywhere, can have a personal radio station designed just to meet their own tastes. They only play similar artists and introduce new music in a similar vein, as opposed to the traditional random playlist radio format that’s either all over the place or corporately programmed.

On the topic of cutting-edge music, one group of artists that truly pushed the boundaries was the experimental hip-hop group Death Grips. After signing a deal with Sony Music early this year, they released their sophomore effort The Money Store in April, to much critical success. The album contained a fresh, new genre-bending sound, pushing the limits of hip-hop, rock and electronic music into new and strange territory. Both the band and label promised a follow-up within the year. Death Grips purposely leaked that album, No Love Deep Web, on their own via Soundcloud. The label had a fit and immediately dropped the band while trying to pull the plug on the album’s streaming. The label may have not been the best fit for the band, but because of the bold statement they made in this instance, it stood as a symbol of where music and the music consumer were in 2012 and will continue to be.

On a final note, it would not be a proper year-end recap without acknowledging the major players the music community lost in the year. Pop icon and one of the greatest voices of all-time, Whitney Houston, left us early on in 2012 as well as rock and roll icon, Dick Clark. The voice of a generation and a pioneer of hip-hop, punk and alternative music, Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys, was certainly among the biggest loses of 2012.

Just weeks after the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Yauch passed away due to a cancerous parotid gland on May 4. He was a key songwriter and musician in the Beastie Boys, who are truly revolutionary artists, considered widely influential blazing a path that has broken down genre walls, influencing everyone from Eminem to the Bad Brains to Skinny Puppy. Their classic albums Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication are shining examples of the depth of their creativity.

Yauch was also very well-known for his role as an activist, speaking out for various social and political causes.

As 2013 looms on the horizon, music still remains a force to be reckoned with. People still love their music, but are consuming and experiencing it in a mixture of several traditional and non-traditional formats. For the real music lover, nothing changes. Albums will still be released and consumed in one way or another. Whether it’s from taking a trip to the local independent record store or creating a playlist on Spotify, the music lives on!

Erwin Wurm. Photo courtesy of

Erwin Wurm: Sculpture in 60 Seconds

By Joel Anderson (Art and Poetry Editor)

When you think of sculpture, images of Michelangelo’s “David” and Rodin’s “Thinker” come to mind. Man taking solid material and bending it to their will. For Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, there is another element just as challenging as rock and metal. Humans.

“I am interested in the everyday life. All the materials that surrounded me could be useful, as well as the objects, topics involved in contemporary society. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political,” said Wurm.

Wurm, who is a sculptor and a photographer, created a series of sculptures called “One Minute Sculptures” in which he used models and whatever materials were around to create them.

And while Michelangelo and Rodin were seeking immortality with their artwork, Wurm only seeks to have his art to be fleeting.

“The fundamental steps consisted in abandoning the idea of durability and infinity. Sculpture could also last for just a few minutes, a few seconds. The works were transported to the level of the immediate present,” said Wurm.

The beauty in these sculptures in it their simplicity. It makes you feel like you could go out and do something like what Wurm has done. Many of his sculptures are just instructions for people to make their own interpretation of it.

A key part of Wurm’s art is humor. Through humor, Wurm examines society and humanity. It’s because of this Wurm’s art seems to shed all forms of pretentiousness and is enjoyable for everyone.

“If you approach things with a sense of humor, people immediately assume you’re not to be taken seriously. But I think truths about society and human existence can be approached in different ways. You don’t always have to be deadly serious. Sarcasm and humor can help you see things in a lighter vein,” said Wurm.

And while Wurm does do regular sculptures; like his Fat Car series, which he takes cars and transforms them into obese versions of themselves, it’s the One Minute Sculpture Wurm is most noted for.

Wurm has also impacted contemporary pop-culture. The Red Hot Chili Peppers made a video for their 2002 song “Can’t Stop” based off of Wurm’s “One Minute Sculptures.” Also, he recently had an exhibition end in Liverpool featuring some of his earliest “One Minute Sculptures.”