Ain’t Nothin New – The Best (OLD) Music of 2012

So last year I tried (and succeeded) to watch 100 new movies I’d never seen before.  This year I tried something just as crazy (to me personally) yet not quite as ambitious, but still very difficult.  I would not (voluntarily or purposefully) listen to any music released in 2012.  No new music!

I have a problem with electronic hoarding.  Something inside me tells me that I need to hear all the new music that has come out or I’ll miss something.  All the new tv shows or my life won’t be as complete.  Download this new album (or 20) and I’m sure it’ll blow my mind.  If not, I can at least act hipster-snooty-elitist-knowitallish about the music.  Hear everything.  Watch everything.  Get the newest everything!  Make sure you steal it though, Matt.  Wouldn’t want to pay for anything.

So that’s what brought me to this decision.  I need to enjoy what I have.  I need to find what I really love (at least sonically.)  Stop stealing music with a psuedo-intent to purchase it in the future.  But, only if I really feel like the album “deserves” to be bought.  This mentality has taken over my mind from years of counter-culture thought, late life angst, and low income amounts.  Well, last year I bought what I deemed were some of the best records of the year.  On vinyl.  It just made me remember how much fun music used to be.  With the album art, liner notes, and a tangible tactile item that I felt good about owning and even better about listening to.  Anyway, it was a long year but I don’t think I’ll go back to the way I was.  This was much to enjoyable for me.  And I want to share with you some of the sweetness that I loved from this rekindling of the love I used to have.

The Vinyl Addiction

I bought a few new albums from 2011 at the end of the year.  M83, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones, Bon Iver, etc.  Addiction to vinyl quickly followed.  I grabbed everything from the thrift store that sounded at all appealing.  I bought some of my favorite albums ever.  I bought  And then came the re-issues.  Soul, Soul, Jazz, Funk, and Soul.  Ooooh weee.  These specific picks were my drug of the year. 

John Coltrane The Gentle Side of John Coltrane
This is my favorite jazz album ever by my favorite jazz artist.  Ebay for 10 bucks.  It’s kind of a greatest hits of soft Coltrane.  Perfect.

Milt Jackson & Ray CharlesSoul Brothers
I don’t know about you but Jamie Foxx made me kind of think less of Ray Charles.  Mostly because I couldn’t think much less of Jamie Foxx.  But this album is everything I’ve ever wanted.  Bluesy Jazz that just keeps going.  Deal of the year at 75¢ at south side Salvation Army.

The Impressions – This is My Country “I’m Loving Nothing”
Curtis Mayfield is my artist of the year.  I feel deep in love with everything he was involved in this year.  Please check him out sometime.  Amazing dude.  I’m Loving Nothing is one of my top three or four tracks of the entire year.  That chorus just makes you want to ball up a fist and make that Bill Cosby lemon-in-your-mouth face.

Isaac Hayes – To Be Continued… “The Look of Love”
Another top track.  Smooth.  Bad.  Nasty.  Sexy.  Sums me up quite perfectly, actually.  This is the short radio version.  The 11 minute one is just as good but 7 minutes longer.

Madlib – Shades of Blue
Madlib gets the entire Blue Note library to do a “remix” album with.   What’s he do?  Remakes most of the songs playing all the instruments.  Yeah, he’s pretty outstanding.  This album triggered my passion for jazz 9 years ago.  A must own record.

Demon Fuzz – Afreaka
British psych funk band gets a re-issue and look who got a copy.

The Dells“The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind)” & “I Can Sing A Rainbow/Love Is Blue”
You kiddin’ me?  Marvin Junior’s voice is gritty and tenacious.  Man! Listen to that hook!

The Baby Huey Story – the Living Legend
Reissue.  So, I don’t even remember how I heard about this.  I think I read something Questlove wrote about him and it is funky psychedelic soul.  Dude died from an overdose in his prime in just about the same month as Hendrix & Joplin.  Plus he’s from Richmond, IN.  Just like Damon Bailey!

The Video Gems
Random finds on youtube or wherever else that just stuck with me all year long.  I’d like to share them with you.

David Ruffin – “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right) Detroit public access tv in the 70’s.
My favorite video of the year.  From 2:50-3:33 is like the most perfect feeling/sound/visuals that I could ask for. The rest of the video is ok but that first song….just….raw.  How bout those pants?  Former lead of the Temptations if you didn’t know.

D’Angelo ft. Raphael Saadiq, Ali Shaheed & ?uestlove – “Lady”
Yep they all did this together.

Erykah Badu – Other Side of the Game
Most of my friends know how I feel about Ms. Badu.  This concert has plenty of great hits if you keep clickin.

Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Mercy, Mercy, MercyYoutube needs a just music section where there are no videos uploaded just the music.  Ignore the images please.  This song kills me every time.  Just wrecks me.  The crowd noise just makes it all the better.

The Year of Spotify & Other Stuff I Couldn’t Get Enough Of:


Robyn – Dancing on My Own (Fred Falke remix)
THIS is my favorite song of the year.  Listen to it as much as I have.  I dare you.

Pacific – Narcissus (Alan Braxe Remix)
If I was cool and made sweet disc golf highlight vids, I’d make this the soundtrack.

Crookers – Bust ‘Em Up

Mos Def – Kalifornia
Mahavishnu Sample and just laid back singing from my man.


Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

The I-was-wrong-about-this-in-every-way album.  Daptone produced and backed, (didn’t know that did ya) this is one of those albums that I just kept going back to this year again and again.  That girl man, she crazy.  But she gots some crazy pipes and a sick band.  This video is more of a behind the scenes of how it was made.

Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun
I’m gonna say it.  THIS is the best album to come out of Native Tongues.  Now what!?

and……..ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Gospel Storytellers – There Is A God Somewhere

Listen and you will believe that it’s true. Bad bad men making nasty nasty funky stanky gospel.  The only vinyl copy is over 600 bucks so I’ll never own it without a re-issue but man.  You can listen to it all on youtube!


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