Local Celebs Tell Us Their Favorite Albums of 2012.
We here at Central Track aren't so naive as to think that our own list of our favorite albums from 2012 is the end-all-be-all. We know that music taste can be a subjective thing.
To that end, we were curious to find out what some other folks around town considered their favorite albums of the year — either their new favorites or the old standbys they played most frequently throughout the year. So we hit up four local personalities of note — Il Cane Rosso owner and head pizzaiolo Jay Jerrier; DJ and KHKS 106.1-FM KISS radio personality Billy the Kidd; KESN 103.3-FM ESPN radio host and Dallas Mavericks television color commentator Jeff “Skin” Wade; and singer-songerwiter and Pixar muse Sarah Jaffe — and asked them to tell us what's been in heaviest rotation for them over the past 12 months.
Here's how they replied.
Il Cane Rosso owner and head pizzaiolo.
I am hopelessly out of touch with what the kids of today are actually listening to. Travis in our Deep Ellum spot makes all of our music playlists — and they are much cooler than mine. I have the radio typically on The Ticket all day, so my musical preferences are firmly rooted in the late '80s — high school and college. With all those disclaimers, here are the albums you can generally find on my playlist for pizzamaking.
1. AC/DC — Back in Black. Without a doubt, the greatest album ever made. Just about every song is awesome. I recently got Warning! High Voltage!, which is like a greatest hits album. “Highway to Hell,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” “For Those About to Rock,” etc. etc. etc. All awesome.
2. 3rd Bass — Derelicts of Dialect. I love “Pop Goes the Weasel.” It's a really funny and well written song. “The Cactus” is also pretty awesome. Very underrated group with lots of feuding between them, Vanilla Ice and The Beastie Boys.
3. Beastie Boys — License to Ill. With the exception of “Fight for Your Right,” a strong album!
4. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes — Love Their Country. A pretty funny cover bad. This album covers a lot of great country songs. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” is one of my favorites.
5. The Honeymoon in Vegas Soundtrack. This is worth it just for the Dwight Yoakam songs, but even Bruce Springsteen does a cover of “Viva Las Vegas.”
6. Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits. Some pretty cool bands cover the awesome cartoons I watched when I was growing up. Liz Phair does “Tra La La” from The Banana Splits, Sponge does Speed Racer, Butthole Surfers do and The Ramones do Spider Man. This is one album I can listen to the whole way through any time.
7. Ratt — Out of the Cellar. Ratt was the first concert I ever went to see in high school. There's a senior year picture of me floating around somewhere with sweet feathered hair and a Ratt concert t-shirt. I wish I still had that shirt.
8. Squeeze — Singles 45s and Under. This is another album that got extensive play during high school. “Cool for Cats” is a great song.
9. Presidents of the USA — Presidents of the USA. I think this one may be from college. “Lump” was on heavy rotation.
10. Public Enemy — It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. I remember the day my college roommate brought this album home and played it in the living room of our rental house in Georgetown. This. Was. Awesome.
10. FUN. — Some Nights. I thought this album cut through and was different, without sounding forced. It sounded like they went in the studio and had fun making records they liked, and didn't worry about radio spins.
9. Calvin Harris — 18 Months. He is more than just a DJ. To me, this album was more than just an EDM album. It had character, some depth. I enjoyed it!
8. Nicki Minaj — Pink Friday. It's easy to hate on her because of her style or crazy antics, but without a doubt, she is one of the best female emcees ever. You could tell she poured her heart into this album.
7. Nas — Life Is Good. A legend in the game, Nas proved age is nothing but a number. He has had his misses since Illmatic, but this isn't one of them. Great album!
6. Muse — The 2nd Law. One of my favorite bands ever! Just when you think you have their styled nailed, they flip it a little to keep you on your toes. I was hooked on this album as soon as I heard “Madness.”
5. Mumford and Sons — Babel. If you would have told me five years ago that I would love an English folk rock band, I would have said you were crazy. But, damn, I do! This album is awesome!
4. Taylor Swift — Red. My friends have taken my “man card” for this pick, but it's whatever. Taylor fully embraced the “pop” sound and created an album that will be around for a long time!
3. G.O.O.D. Music — Cruel Summer. Kanye and friends did not draw any lines or boundaries on this album. It was fun to listen to. I didn't know where it was going! Great production, unpredictable and stood out from most hip-hop albums.
2. Passion Pit — Gossamer. This entire album is infectious! Poppy and hooky production, but filled with substance and lyrics that actually mean something. Loved this album!
1. Kendrick Lamar — good kid, m.A.A.d. city. All I can say about this album is wow! Unique, innovative and deep are just a couple words that pop into my mind when you mention this album. He lived up to the hype. I can't wait to watch his career.
Jeff “Skin” Wade
DJ, KESN 103.3-FM ESPN radio host and Dallas Mavericks television color commentator.
Here are my ten best “albums” of 2012, which is an important sociological experiment, 'cause people need to know what aging sports-talkers think about current music. I'm sure I forgot stuff 'cause I was thinking about OJ Mayo's three-point shooting percentage and Dirk's knee, but that happens. There are other records that I really liked the way they sounded — by the likes of Toro y Moi and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti — but the songs didn't stay with me, so they missed the cut. Here are more words.
10. Flying Lotus — Until The Quiet Comes. Love this dude. He should make a whole record with Badu. I also think the title track was the best short film of 2012. It reminded me of what I felt like first time I saw David Gordon Green's
9. Frank Ocean — That record that everybody freaked out about 'cause there was gay stuff on it. So “Thinking About You” is like the greatest song to get radio play in forever. The mood is perfect, the lyrics are very Prince-like. His voice is awesome. Is this one of the “controversial” songs? I thought it was about John Mayer hanging out in the back of the room while everybody played video games. Whatever. It's incredible. The rest of the record is strong, too. And I like when people freak out over nothing.
8. Jack White — Blunderbuss. Do cool people think this stuff is corny now? I was late to the Jack White party. I didn't really start paying close attention to him till he stole the show in that movie where Jimmy Page was smiling for an hour and a half and The Edge was bragging about his pedals. “Missing Pieces” is an absolute gem of the awesome.
7. Nas — Life is Good. I was so pumped when I first heard “The Don.” Holy crap, that jams. Reminds me of Exodus days in Deep Ellum because Super Cat matters. A lot. Go listen to “Si Boops Deh.” Right now. And then come back and finish the list.
6. Beastie Boys — Everything they did. Sucked when MCA died. Felt that a whole hell of a lot more than I thought I would. Beasties should produce a whole record for Sanitgold, by the way. It should also be noted that, per a conversation I had with Kevin Love before a Mavs/TWolves game, he has no idea who MCA is but enjoyed making a movie with Adam Yauch.
5. Robert Glasper — Black Radio. Because of the '90s, I was thinking a jazz dude on Blue Note doing stuff with beats and rappers would be pretty horrible. This was excellent. Especially Badu doing “Afro Blue.” That song might have been the best way to start a day this year. Really surprised how much I loved this album.
4. Tame Impala — They had a record, too. These dudes are from wherever the Flight of the Conchords are from, or somewhere near there. I'm really in love with how they recorded and mixed the drums. I was a dude who wasted an entire decade looking for good drums to sample, and I love when modern recordings sound like this. Trippy pop gold. So damn tasty. Also, former Cowboy punter Mat McBriar likes them a lot. But it should be noted that he is also from wherever the Flight of the Conchords are from or somewhere near there.
3. Kendrick Lamar — good kid, m.A.A.d. city. So much hype about this dude, all warranted. “Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe” was the song most stuck in my head this year. I also felt like the production on “The Recipe” was trying to jack S1's vibe. I really like rap music again, which is a good thing.
2. Big Boi — That new album he just put out. Whoa, whoa, whoa! What a nice late year surprise! I was actually never that big of a fan of Big Boi. His flow wore me out. Just too much going all over the place. Like whenever Robin Williams is on talk show and it seems like he just inhaled an 8-ball. But this was Big Boi's version of when Common did “Electric Circus,” only it's infinitely better. And Big Boi let the beats come to him. “CPU” is a spectacular pop gem. God, this record is so good and would have been number one if it wasn't for…
1. Killer Mike — R.A.P. Music. Atomic bomb explosions all up in your face. “Big Beast” knocked you on yo' butt early, Ice Cube-style. Just a relentless beatdown. And the video for that was a number one stunner. Does that count as a short film? Maybe I saw two in 2012. This album made you feel like you did when rap felt like a movement as opposed to a commodity. And, as corny and cliched and played out as that sentiment is, there's no doubt that it's a very real emotion, and this record put you there to where it was. The word is urgent and it can't be faked. Now I'm gonna go listen to the lyrics on the title track and pretend I'm 20 again.
In no particular order…
Big Boi — Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect record. With dream collaborations. He is on top of his game.
Father John Misty — Fear Fun. Wonderful voice. Just a classic, well-written, solid record.
Frank Ocean — Channel Orange.
Cat Power — Sun.
Jai Paul — BTSTU. He doesn't have a full album out yet, but I'm very excited for it. Love his two singles he has available now.
Divine Fits — A Thing Called Divine Fits.
The Weeknd — Trilogy. Although this guy has been making all his records available for free download for a few years, you can now buy his records on iTunes 'cause those big business folks picked it up. Good for him, though. And good for us, 'cause all his stuff is gold.
Chromatics — Kill for Love.
David Byrne and St. Vincent — Love This Giant. What collaboration has been more brilliant or perfect than this in the last 10 years? Don't answer that. It's a statement.
Santigold — Master of My Make-Believe. She never disappoints.