I took the photo above of Dan Deacon with my phone on the side of Sleater-Kinney Road while joining him for a few days on tour. We promised that we’d write the band a letter letting them know that their road really fucking sucks.
You know what doesn’t suck? His first LP for Domino Records. A lot of other music from Baltimore this year didn’t suck either, and here’s a list of proof. Just as in the past, included are a few albums that I’ve helped release with Friends. The following list is based on vinyl wear and tear, cassette tape flips, love, sweat and overall awesomeness. Take it as you will, all of these records rule.
20. Semya – Golden Days
19. Dead Mellotron – Glitter
18. Bamboo – Jams
17. Brendan Sullivan / Human Resources – Split
16. Lungfish – A.C.R. 1999
15. Jacober – Water Karaoke
14. Matmos – The Ganzfield EP
13. Vlonde – Bury Me In Something Prettier Than Dirt
12. Wing Dam / Which Magic – Split
11. Lower Dens – Nootropics
10. Chester Endersby Gwazda – Shroud
Insanely well-crafted weird pop songs from one of the city’s best producers that is responsible for numerous records by Dan Deacon, Future Islands and Cloud Nothings.
09. Lands & Peoples – Pop Guilt
A beautiful deep-dive into cascading harmonies and sonic perfection laced with the angst within all of us.
08. Roomrunner – Super Vague
Give me this over Paul McCartney with Nirvana any day. Jesus, people.
07. Sick Weapons – Birthday Gift
Originally only to be sold at their reunion this year, this supremely long-awaited ruckus is a proper bid to one of the most fun live bands I’ve ever seen.
06. Height with Friends – Rock and Roll
Another album from the city’s most innovative hip hop mastermind, and another that documents trying to break through and be heard in these dark times.
05. Beach House – Bloom
The most polished and shiny LP from the seminal dream pop masters to date. Plus, a heavy glaze of Cocteau Twins.
04. Dope Body – Natural History
This is what happens when the city’s best grunge-wave band gets signed to Drag City and records an LP with Jawbox’s J. Robbins.</p>
03. Horse Lords – Horse Lords
02. Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Jazz Mind
The most important rock album of the year. The rawest record of the year. Two awesome dudes. I’m still currently talking myself out of copping out and making this a tie for number one.
01. Dan Deacon – America
The magnum opus from Baltimore’s finest avant composer, America is a defining accomplishment. In a year that came complete with a revolutionary concert mobile app, Occupy performances paired with inspiring commentary and a… “Call Me Maybe” remix, it’s fair to say that Dan won America in 2012.