Tag Archives: First Aid Kit

Music and 2012

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I hate many things about year-end lists. For one, I hate the phrase you see when you encounter a list —  “It’s that time of the year” — which is really code for “OK, here’s a list because we need to provide something to click on while everybody goes on a two-week holiday bender of eggnog and Christmas cookies.”

But I also love many things about these lists. Sure, they’re gimmicky and lazy. But they’re also important. Life is fast, and hard, and busy. And sometimes, we need people to remind us what happened. I have been doing this list here for a couple years now. And I’ll go ahead and recycle what I wrote last year. Sure, it’s lazy. But then again, so are lists.

When I think back to (2012), I know I won’t think of one monolithic theme or narrative. Life doesn’t work that way. Not for me. But I will remember certain moments… and certain songs. So here we go, finally, the 12 songs I will remember from 2012.

12 Civilian — Wye Oak

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11 Same Love — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

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10 Swimming Pools — Kendrick Lamar

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9 Hold On — Alabama Shakes

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8 The House That Heaven Built — Japandroids

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7 Take A Walk — Passion Pit

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6 Ghost Fields — Murder By Death

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5 Live and Die — The Avett Brothers

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4 We Take Care of Our Own — Bruce Springsteen

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3 Harlem Roulette — Mountain Goats

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2 Bigger Than Love — Ben Gibbard & Aimee Mann

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1 The King of the World — First Aid Kit

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Music and 2011

About three months ago, on a clear and cool night in early September, I made the short trip to Midtown to watch Bon Iver play at the Uptown Theatre. (That makes sense if you live in KC.)

On most nights, this would seem like a pretty simple plan.

Drive to said show. Sip a beer and act sufficiently curious during the opening act. Experience the concert. And then head back out into the Kansas City night, content, inspired, ready for more music.

The circumstances of this night, however, were something different. After planning for a couple weeks to go with two friends, life interfered in the days leading up to the show, and I was left with two extra tickets.

The Uptown was sold out that night, and I knew this. So I knew it wouldn’t be a problem to unload the extra tickets at the last minute, but I also felt a little hesitant about going to the show by myself.

Do people do this? I thought.

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The Music Question

So here it is, the question I’ve been thinking about a lot. I guess it’s kind of a convoluted question, with layers and levels and all that. But in the simplest form, here goes:

Why is that “Pumped up Kicks” song so popular?

You see, that question doesn’t really do my REAL question justice.

Because I know WHY the song is popular. It’s got a great hook. And a great beat. And a funky guitar lick. And it doesn’t SOUND* like most other songs that you hear on the radio.  Continue reading

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