It's a hockey goalie's mask. Or a maple leaf. Or a bee (kinda).
The Super Bowl. Have you heard of it? It's the most superb of bowls (!!!), featuring the mightiest team from the National Football Conference (that got hot at the right time of year and won two or three games) versus the mightiest team from the American Football Conference (that also got hot at the right time of year and won two or three games) in a showdown of gritty, gutty, footy balls. This year, America's favorite TV commercial fest and awkward halftime show spritzed with sporadic football things moves itself to Indianapolis (AKA- "America's Yawn") and will feature the Giants of New York (starring the Manning brother with healthy neck, but similarly weird face) and the Patriots of Insufferable Sports Fan Land (starring the guy that has sex with supermodels and wins all of the everything...always). Good times, they're on the horizon.
Now, imagine you're not a fan of either team. (Or don't imagine, because you really aren't.) Imagine you're invited to a Super Bowl party. Imagine you're someone that doesn't care about the food, and booze and camaraderie that a Super Bowl party affords you. You want to look and feel like you "get it", right? Like you're "in the know" as they say. Like this weekend is just SUPER (and bowly) and you're fully onboard even though you don't have a dog in the fight or a horse in the race or a turd in the punchbowl or...whatever. Right?
I've done a little bit of legwork here and perused NFL.com's Super Bowl XLVI gear so that you (via express shipping) can be decked out in the proper gear for your Super Bowl party.More »
And I'd never been to NAMM.
Until this year.
What follows is a brief look at NAMM 2012 from a first timer's perspective.
Before we get started with Volume 2, I thought I'd mention a handful of albumss that just missed showing up on this year's list.
I'd read and heard a ton of wonderful things about The Joy Formidable's Big Roar record that was released back in January, but for whatever reason I never really got around to listening to it. Eleven months later, I own the album, love it, have no idea where it'd end up on this list, but I'm pretty sure if I'd spent more than a week and a half with it it'd be on here.
Tunnel Blanket by This Will Destroy You should probably be on this list as well. It's beautiful, and it was actually in the #9 slot until I revisited my total plays on iTunes and last.fm and realized that even though I love it, I didn't actually listen to it all that much. As a result, it got the boot when I snuck David Bazan's Strange Negotiations on the list at the last minute. The same goes for Explosions In The Sky's Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. The album is incredible, but the total plays just weren't there to justify inclusion.
Bon Iver's self-titled record might've made the list in a year in which I listened to more mellow music. I just didn't get into the album the way I thought I might when it was released because I was too busy listening to Battles' Gloss Drop (which just missed this year's list as well), and never really got around to doing due diligence on it, even after being blown away by his set at The Shrine Auditorium in September.
Other records I enjoyed but just missed making the cut this year were: Mastodon's The Hunter (in heavy rotation early, but didn't stick around like I'd hoped), both Loop and Let Yourself Be Huge by Cloudkicker (both very good, but I feel like I got them too late in the year to include on this list), Title Fight's Shed (high-energy punk rock that made me feel 19-years-old again, but didn't quite have the staying power to stick in heavy rotation throughout the year) and, in a shocking development, Radiohead's The King Of Limbs (marking the first time I haven't thought a new Radiohead album wasn't the "best thing ever").
Enough about which albums didn't make the cut, let's look at the next 3hree....More »