CJSW’s Bests of 2012

CJSW Programmers have been hard at work putting together their favourites from the year past. Check out what they’re saying below and click on the links to read their reasoning.

Top 10 Indie/Rock Albums of 2012 by Geneviève, Song Birds

    1. Chairlift – Something (Kanine)
    2. Emily Wells – Mama (Partisan)
    3. Thus:Owls – Harbors – (Avalanche Productions)
    4. The Limananas – Crystal Anis – (HoZac)
    5. San Cisco – San Cisco – (Fat Possum)
    6. Julie Doiron – So Many Days -(Aporia)
    7. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Out Of Frequency – (BMG)
    8. Screaming Females – Ugly – (Don Giovanni)
    9. Hospitality – Hospitality – (Merge)
    10. Snowblink – Inner Classics – (Arts & Crafts)

Read More (including best electronic, folk and hip-hop albums)

The Blues Witness Top 10 List for 2012, Cindy McLeod

Top 10 Canadian Blues Releases 2012

Jimmy Zee - Ride  
James “Buddy” Rogers – My Guitar’s My Only Friend
Steve Strongman –  A Natural Fact  
Shakura S’aida – Time
The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer  - Checkered Past
Bill Durst – Bill Durst Live
Mississippi Heat – The Blues Matrix
Paul Reddick – Wishbone
Treasa Levasseur – Broad
Jack Semple – In The Blue Light

Top 10 International Blues Releases 2012

Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream
Michael ‘Iron Man’ Burks – Show of Strength
Joe Louis Walker – Hellfire
Janiva Magness – Stronger For It
Walter Trout – Blues For the Modern Daze
Joe Bonamassa – Driving Towards the Light
The Mannish Boys – Double Dynamite
Shemekia Copeland – 33 1/3
Curtis Salgado – Soul Shot
Mud Morganfield – Son of the Seventh Son

Dave’s Faves: Thee Best LPs of 2012 by Dave Shiroky, Contramandatum

(NOTE: This list is in alphabetical order, not in order of preference)
Audacity – Mellow Cruisers (Burger)
CS Yeh – Transitions (De Stijl)
G Green – Crap Culture (MT ST MTN)
Gentleman Jesse – Leaving Atlanta (Douchemaster)
BA Johnston – Hi Dudes! (Mammoth Cave)
Needles//Pins – 12:34 (Mammoth Cave)
Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold (Dull Tools)
Royal Headache – Royal Headache (RIP Society/WYR?)
Tyvek – On Triple Beams (In the Red)
White Lung – Sorry (Deranged)

Read More

Dave’s Faves: Singles and EPs from 2012 by Dave Shiroky, Contramandatum

Flaccid** – Flaccid EP (self-released)
King Tuff – Wild Desire (Suicide Squeeze)
Korean Gut* – Hang Seven EP (self-released)
Krang/Shooting Guns* – Split (Psychic Handshake)
Missing Monuments – (I’m Gonna) Love You Back to Life EP (Hozac)
Mother’s Children* – See the Other Guy (P-Trash)
Squish – Shame Spiral (Hozac)
Teledrome** – Double Visions EP (Hozac)
Throwaways** – Pizza EP (J.A.W. Records)
Ultraviolet Radio – Together in Stereo (Burger Records)
Woolen Kits – Shelley (Trouble in Mind)
Zig Zags – Scavenger (Mexican Summer)

Read More


Best of 2012 by Devon, Radio Party

Kraus – Supreme Commander (Moniker)
FNU Ronnies – Saddle Up (Load)
Hank Wood & the Hammerheads – Go Home (Toxic State)
Modra – The Line for the Men’s Room (Savage Quality)
Spacin’ – Deep Thuds (Richie)

Satanic Rockers – Eviction (Quemada)
Dawn Of Humans – Blurst Of The Birdfish (Toxic State)
Folded Shirt – Tiny Boat b/w Mouth Clock (Fashionable Idiots)
GG King – Joyless Masturbation b/w Bag (Total Punk)
Thee Cormans – Biker Bitch (In The Red)

Read More (including best reissues and a local roundup)


Arielle’s Grate List of Nice Records From Our Lord’s Year of 2012

Folded ShirtTiny Boat b/w Mouth Clock (Fashionable Idiots)
FNU Ronnies- Saddle Up (Load)
Gary WrongHeroin Beach b/w Mayhem Troopers (Bat Shit Records)
GG KingJoyless Masturbation b/w Bag(Total Punk)
Hank Wood and the HammerheadsGo Home (Toxic State)
HomostupidsNew York Jammin’ (Hozac)
Nuclear Spring – Demo (Hysteria)
Total ControlScene From a Marriage (Sub Pop)
Vaginors – Nuclear Papsmear (No Patience)
White LoadWaynes World III b/w Godfather Part IV (Load)

Read More

Best Albums of 2012 by Kat Dornian, The New Classics

1. Purity Ring – Shrines (Last Gang)

2. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave (Infectious)

3. A Tribe Called Red - A Tribe Called Red (Electric Powwow)

4. The Fresh & Onlys – Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer)

5. Chairlift – Something (Young Turks)

6. Chromatics – Kill for Love (Italians Do It Better)

7. Gemma Ray – Island Fire (Bronzerat)

8. Matthew Dear – Beams (Ghostly International)

9. Michna – Moving Mountains (Ghostly International)

10. Trust – Trst (Arts & Crafts)

Read More 

Top 10 of 2012 – Peter Noble (Avant Garage host on WSGR, and part-time CJSW music troll)

1. Divine FitsA Thing Called Divine Fits

Project of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and Spoon’s Brit Daniel. The album sounds like their former projects, and the collaboration also brings out New Wave sounds, if you like your New Wave the way that, say, the Talking Heads did it.

2. SpiritualizedSweet Heart Sweet Light

Impeccable musical arrangements and wonderful “I don’t care if you squirm” lyrics that speak of searching and hopelessness. Jason Pierce has taken a sound that should make Oasis jealous.

3. JapandroidsCelebration Rock

This is an album that could have been released in 1987, as part of the “Our Band Could Be Your Life” era. Crunchy guitar hooks, bombastic drum bashing with a lot of crash cymbals, and shouted harmonies, that belong on the same shelf as The Replacements, Husker Du and Sonic Youth.

4. NovaMidnight Midnight

An album recorded by artists who understand what it’s like to have darkness in the late afternoon. Sparse bleakness done better than The XX, with a powerful delicacy like Cowboy Junkies “Whites Off Earth Now”.

5. Jon Spencer Blues ExplosionMeat And Bone

Imagine taking Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones and combining it with the Stooges. Great guitar riffs in a very unsubtle blues-punk album that wallops you between the ears, with just enough noise to prevent it from becoming too accessible.

6. The Dandy WarholsThis Machine

Perhaps an Americana version of Blur, though the song “Be Yourself” sounds like they’re channeling Iggy Pop. Chiming guitars with pop hooks throughout, and appropriate “oh oh oh’s” to help you sing along.

7. Stagnant PoolsTemporary Room

A great, gloomy debut by brothers Bryan and Douglass Enas. Done in a style that pays tribute to Joy Division and The Jesus & Mary Chain, with lots of bass fuzz to fill in the open spaces.

8. Diamond RugsDiamond Rugs

Side project of members of Deer Tick, Los Lobos, The Black Lips and Six Finger Satellite. An indie-garage rock delight, complete with flecks of harmonica, and love song lyrics of a type that only “Hungover and Horny” could deliver.

9. The MenOpen Your Heart

This is a rock record. An unapologetic, crank up the guitar solos, standing too close to the other microphone in the garage with the amp next to the beer fridge kind of rock record.

10. Slug GutsPlayin’ In Time With The Deadbeat

A swampy romp reminiscent of fellow countrymen The Birthday Party. Wonderful, cavernous noise at a slow, plodding pace. Lots of layers, lots of distorted percussion and guitars, and an eerie howl to the vocals.


Top 10 “Loud” Albums of 2012 by Dan, Big Mess

1. Ty Segall Twins (Drag City)
2. The Funfuns** The Funfuns  (P. Trash)
3. Greys Easy Listening  (Concession/Pint-Sized)
4. Metz* Metz (Sub Pop)
5. The Hives Lex Hives  (Disque Hives)
6.  Sensae* Sundowning (Suicide Squeeze)
7. White Lung* - Bag - Sorry (Deranged)
8. Chomp Buddha Jabba Momma (Exit Stencil)
9. The Intelligence Everybody’s Got it Easy But Me  (In the Red)
10. Van Halen A Different Kind of Truth  (Interscope)

 Read More (including a “Less Loud” list, best tracks and runners up)

Top 10, Make That Top 5 CDs of 2012 by Andrew, Breaking The Tethers

Anitbalas Antibalas (Daptone)
Tim Berne Snakeoil (ECM)
Forgas Band Phenomena Acte V (Cuneiform)
The Funkees Dancing Time: The Best of Eastern Nigeria’s Afro Rock Exponents 1973-77 (Soundway)
Holly Hunt Year One (Other Electricities)
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Psychedelic Pill (Reprise)

Read More

Am I Right’s Best of 2012

Part I

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Part II

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Comedy at Sled Island.
Hannibal Burress appears in Calgary and releases Animal Furnace.
Twitter as comedy deliver device .
David Letterman does a show without an audience.
Calgary Folk Music Festival Talk Tent.
John Mulaney, “New in Town”
Kyle Kinane, “Whiskey Icarus”
Tig Notaro, “Live”
Alan Cho’s set at Happy Endings in October
Best Show on WFMU, January 31

Read More

Top 10 of 2012 by Richard Z, Attention Surplus Disorder

    1. Quaterna Requiem – O Arquiteto
    2. Alphataurus – AttosecondO
    3. Colin Mold – Girl on the Castle Steps (CD Whiteknight CPMCD002 (2012) UK)
    4. Anathema – Weather Systems
    5. Magnolia -  La zona d’ombra (CD Digipak: Lizard CD 0085)
    6. Nine Stories Close - One Eye on the Sunrise (Label: Prog Rock Records)
    7. Big Big Train – English Electric (Part One) (Released by English Electric Recording)
    8. Anglagard – Viljans Oga (CD / LP Anglagard Records ANG03 (2012)
    9. The Minstrels Ghost - The Road To Avalon
    10. Silhouette – Across the rubicon

Read More (including honourable mentions)

Nat Kaos’ Top Picks 10 of 2012 (Rage Cage)

1. Testament-Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast)

The rest (in no particular order)
Sigh-In Somniphobia (Candlelight)
Angel Witch-As Above, So Below (Metal Blade)
Huntress-Spell Eater (Napalm)
Doro-Raise Your Fist (Nuclear Blast)
Dying Fetus-Reign Supreme (Relapse)
Cannibal Corpse-Torture (Metal Blade)
Rush-Clockwork Angels (Anthem)
Van Halen-A Different Kind of Truth (Interscope)
Municipal Waste-The Fatal Feast: Waste in Space (Nuclear Blast)
Three Inches of Blood-Long Live Heavy Metal (Century Media)
Dead Salvation-Death is an Artform (self-release)

Read More

Top 10 of 2012 – Speaking In Tongues: The World Music Show by Daryl

Ondatrópica Ondatrópica (Soundway Records)
Souljazz Orchestra Solidarity (Strut Records)
Bomba Estéreo Elegancia Tropical (Polen Records)
Arnaldo Antunes, Edgard Scandurra, Toumani Diabaté A Curva da Cinturra: Mali-Brasil (Mais Um Disco)
Kottarashky & The Raindogs Demon (Asphalt Tango)
Jimmy Cliff Rebirth (Trojan Records/Universal Music)
Fatoumata Diawara Fatou (World Circuit)
Galactic Carnivale Electricos (Galactic Funk Recording)
Various Diablos Del Ritmo: The Columbian Melting Pot 1960 – 1985 (Analog Africa)
Various Cumbia Beat Vol. 2: Experimental Guitar Driven Tropical Sounds from Peru 1966-1983 (Vampisoul)

Read More (and find the honourable mentions here)

Notable Live Gigs and Recordings for 2012 by Paula, Noise

Mercedes Peon - Sos
Three Metre Day – Coasting notes
Nils Petter MolvaerBaboon Moon
Beautiful ToolBeautiful Tool Live at the Western Front
Melvin Gibbs Elevated EntityAncients Speak

Read More

Road Pops 2012 Top Tenish

DJ Vadim – Don’t Be Scared
JK Soul – Dinner with the Fat Beatz Vol 1
Brownout – Oozy
Curumin – Arrocha
Antibalis – Antibalis
The Heavy – The Glorious Dead.
Sola Rosa – Get It Together
Nickodemus – Moon People
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
The Funk Ark – High Noon
Watussi – 1000% Guapo (1000% Hansome)
Various Artists – The Wonderwheel Spins 2012
Kendra Morris – Kendra Morris
Dub Pistols – Worshipping The Dollar
Freak Motif – La Casa Blanca (from Calgary – be sure to see them live)
Various Artists – Cumbia Beat, Vol. 2: Tropical Sounds from Peru 1966 – 1983
Tim Maia – World Psychedelic Classics 4: Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia

And my favourite song –  from Toronto:
Citizen Sound – “Love Someone”

Read More

Jonathan’s 2012 Bests (from Grahamstown, South Africa)

1. Richard Dawson – The Magic Bridge
2. Wrongtom Meets Deemas J in East London
3. Slug Guts – Playin’ In Time with the Deadbeat
4. Adrain Sherwood – Survival and Resistance
5. Aluk Todolo – Occult Rock
6. Bill Fay – Life is People
7. Bass ClefReeling Skullways
8. Swans – The Seer
9. Julia Holter - Ekstasis
10. Belbury Poly – The Belbury Tales


CJSW TOP 10 2012 – Oldies but Goodies, by Peter IRON (aka JAY) Maitland

As the years roll on (and particularly when a hi-energy 2 year old is part of your life) there are occasions when things get missed the first time around. Therefore this list includes Peter IRON (aka JAY) Maitland’s top 10 (re)discoveries.

Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era – 1976-1995 (Rhino, 2005)  Being a big fan of the first 2 Nuggets box sets it was only a matter of time before I picked up the third edition. June 7, 2012 was my birthday and I had survived an epic night of debauchery at the Staples Centre & beyond with Jett Thunders, Mike and not one but two Dans! The perfect hangover cure was a trip to Ameoba Records (see below) where this stellar 4 disc box set was picked up.

    1. Since then I have listened to this 100 song set in its entirety at least 20 times, it is that addictive! While influenced by 60s’ rock and roll, the tracks here stand own their own as being great booty shaking rockin ear wigs. It led me to follow up artists like The Barracudas, The Fleshtones, The Pandoras and The Church’s proper albums.
    2. Ty Segall – Twins (Drag City, 2012)  After that Nuggets box set got me all hot and bothered for garage rock, picked up this excellent slab of modern garage rock. Segall was approaching Bob Pollard levels of output in 2012, this being his 3rd of 3 releases. Come back to Calgary Ty!
    3. Forbidden Dimension – The Golden Age Of Lasers (Saved by Radio, 2011)  First things first, Tom Bagley is a Calgary legend! Forbidden Dimension is his band of rock and roll ghouls. This band that formed the same year the Olympics were in town keeps getting better. Golden Age of Lasers features jaw dropping riffs and devious amount of melody. Anyone does not like this record may in fact have an ass made of candy, likely jujubes.
    4. Thrush Hermit – The Complete Recordings CD/DVD Box Set (New Scotland, 2010) This box set is a great value, which would mean little if Thrush Hermit was not one of the best indie rock bands ever! The complete records features their 2 EPs, 2 LPs, 2 DVDs and 3 disks of rarities & unreleased material. It is the rarities disks that feature some of my favourite material, particularly early radically different takes on tunes that would later turn up on Joel Plasketts solo records.
    5. Joel Plaskett Emergency – Scrappy Happiness (Maple Music, 2012)  Speaking of Plaskett, Scrappy Happiness was his best record since the early 2000s. A great mix of rockers and quieter numbers, Plaskett is becoming Neil Young-esque in his ability to mix these two musical styles. Plus how can you go wrong when it has a song devoted to Husker Du! He put on a couple of great cowtown live shows to boot in 2012.
    6. Ameoba Records (Hollywood, California store)  It warmed my heart to see this huge record store [imagine the old A & B Sound (R.I.P.) in downtown Calgary times 5] alive with activity on a random Thursday. Filled to the gills with vinyl, CDs, book and all sorts of other musical toys. I must make a return trip in 2013!
    7. Bomp! Saving the World One Record at a Time (published in 2007)  Tied into the garage rock / LA theme, this super fun book follows the birth of two early fanzines (Mojo Navigator and Bomp) and the various other pursuits of its founder Greg Shaw. A garage rock nut that later ran indie record labels (Bomp / Voxx) and also predicted the 70s’ punk rock revolution. This book is twisted multi colored delight that makes a great companion to the Children of Nuggets box set, which is dedicated to Greg Shaw (who passed away shortly before the release of the box set.
    8. Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small (published in 2009)  Another great read that follows is an oral history of the Chapel Hill scene, Superchunk and Merge records from the late 80s’ to present. Our Noise also has chapters on key Merge bands Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Arcade Fire etc. Picked up at Sloth records (as was the Bomp book), a great record store but also remember that it has some books that are well worth checking out!
    9. Shelf Life Books (100, 1302 – 4th Street SW) – Speaking of great book stores this gem in the Beltline is always a pleasure to shop in. Shelf Life’s staff is exceedingly helpful, the space is very comfortable and I always walk out with a book that would not find anywhere else in Calgary.
    10. Panache Wrap Up BBQ Party @ Sled Island (June 24, 2012) – with so many excellent shows every year at Sled, this one always tops the rest of Sled Islands four plus days of stiff competition. This event features excellent rock and roll put on by Panache Booking plus delicious roast pig. 2012 saw the Blind Shake and Duchess Says blow the roof off the Republik while 2011 may have been even more stacked. It featured Demon Claws, The Thermals, Cheeseburger, Bare Wires and Thee Oh Sees!

Honorable mention … Ted Leo – you know we all have artists that we take for granted. Well until 2012 I took Ted Leo for granted – I had seen him live a couple of times, saw him all over the place at the 2010 Sled Island festival and heard various songs by him. I finally listened to several of his albums all the way through this past year and now I cannot get enough of him. Bring on the follow up to The Brutalist Bricks!

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