||DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: THE 2012 MOOSIE AWARDS
by Marc “Moose” Moder
This article shared 2174 times since Wed Dec 19, 2012
My last column was all about traditions, and this week's is not just a tradition, but a rite of passage and a bit of a cliche for music writers: The Year-End Best-Of, aka the 3rd Annual Moosie Awards. Despite what people say, this is a golden age of music compared to past years. We saw a rise in quality dance music into the mainstream, the continued reign of Adele, the fall of Madonna's album sales, and many fine alternative and folk-rock bands rise to the top.
Best Trend Of the Year: Real music.
Real bands making real tunes, and doing "real" well. While I'm not a fan of Mumford & Sons, fun. or Edward Sharpe, it's gratifying to see these creative live bands make some real cash without caving to Top 40 expectations.
Worst Trend Of the Year: Low-production vocals.
Try to find one single alt, rock or folk track where the vocals not only sound turned down, but downright distant (I'm looking at you, Best Coast). Diving into almost every non-pop track out this year, you'll find it sounds like most vocalists are recording out on the street while their band rages on in the studio. It's getting old. Thank God for singers like Kelly Hogan who know how to front a band, in front.
Song of the Year: Not "Gangnam Style" or "Call Me Maybe," but a more obscure track, "Hanging On."
Out early in the year by the ethereal Active Child with countertenor vocals, it was made even better when the angelic Ellie Goulding put it out on her second CD (also featured as Victoria's Secret's key ad song). I still can't decide which version is superior. They both stab you directly in the heart with their almost weeping vocals of giving up on love. Active Child really sounds like he's feeling his own penned words, but Ellie's use of dubstep punches you in the gut for emphasis. You decide. Runner-up: Just as depressing "Lost & Found" by Liann La Havas.
Surprise of the Year: 80-year-old Petula Clark's "Cut Copy Me," off her Petula CD.
Not only is this song great, but innovative as well. The chanteuse that brought you "Downtown" and "Back to Broadway" dares to dial it down to a sexy whisper backed by a plucky acoustic guitar. Not expected and not to be believed for her longtime fans. Runners-up: Contemporaries Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue both released their best CDs in more than a decade.
Best New Artist: Bright Light Bright Light.
It's no secret if you follow me on Facebook/Twitter, read this column or come to a gig, that I'm obsessed with Bright Light Bright Light's Make Me Believe In Hope CD. He's adorable, gay, and really understands a good early '90s house track. On top of that he lays a really fine Andy Bell-level vocal and pours his heartbreak out with every lyric. One of those albums that you wish for but never hear. Darn near perfect. On par with the last Hurts CD or peak era Depeche Mode. I cannot wait to hear what's next for BLx2. Runners-up: Steed Lord's Goldfrapp-meets-Bjork sound.
Finally, the Local Hero Award: Split three ways (just how Moose likes it): Amy & Freddy, Jinx Titanic & The Lady Killers and Stephen Leonard all put out new CDs this year that rival any of the above releases. We may only currently have Kanye and J-Hud representing us nationally, but at home the fires are burning bright.
This article shared 2174 times since Wed Dec 19, 2012
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