We’ve asked a few of our contributing writers to pick their ten favorite releases of 2012. These are, of course, in no particular order and there were so many outstanding releases this year, inevitably we’ll have left out some great ones after it is all said and done. Our intent is that maybe there are some amazing albums that have escaped your attention and these lists will get your ass to Amazon or Itunes or your local record store (are there still any?) and fill up your ever music-lovin’ senses with something new. There’s not much overlap in the Writer’s Picks, as each has their favorite genre. Let’s hear from Kentucky’s rebellious son and one of our favorite Outlaw contributors, Michael Franklin…
MICHAEL’S TOP 10 CDs OF 2012:
Top 10 lists are almost impossible to compile. I usually make annual Top 50 lists (complete with runners up), because I’m a pussy and I can’t/won’t narrow it down. It’s just too hard and it makes me go poopy in my britches. But not this year!! I have agonized, sweated, revised, cursed, and handjobbed this list into a finely tuned, expertly calibrated clusterfuck of year-end top 10 awesomeness. BEHOLD! :
Black metal meets bluegrass. They hug it out. REVIEW.
If you don’t love Willie Nelson, you are in desperate need of mental health counseling. Get help immediately. I can’t even look at you. REVIEW.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN—Wrecking Ball
See Willie Nelson, above.
The greatest artist of all time. Period. Your argument is invalid. REVIEW.
DUANE PETERS AND THE GREAT UNWASHED—Beautiful Tragedy
Duane Peters (he of punk bands U.S. Bombs and Die Hunns) paints his masterpiece. On crutches with a hypodermic needle. REVIEW.
NEIL YOUNG * CRAZY HORSE—Psychedelic Pill
Two discs, nine songs total, squall line set to destroy. See Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen, above.
HOT WATER MUSIC—Exister
Cardio on an optical disc. Chuck Ragan and company bring it so hard, sweat will shoot out of your CD player. It makes me want to run down the street and hug complete strangers. This music makes me glad to be alive.
Neil Young in corpse paint. Black metal Americana on LSD. Seriously, how is this not perfect?
ZZ TOP—La Futura
Better than God’s house band. REVIEW.
PUBLIC ENEMY—Most Of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamp / The Evil Empire Of Everything
Now THIS is what I’m talking about. Music that SAYS something, not the narcissistic snake- eating-its-own-tail hip hop that reigns today. Thunderous and authoritative from beginning to end. This is hip hop with a heartbeat, not just a beat. Chuck D for President.
And there you have it. These are the discs Satan Claus should put in your stocking. Why? Because I said so, that’s why. And it’s not like that fat bastard can’t afford some good music.
Happy holidays! I love you.
Michael Franklin is the Media & Reserves Specialist at Western Kentucky University’s Visual & Performing Arts Library (VPAL). Michael is also a professional musician and sound engineer. He is currently recording his 6th CD with his best friends Screenlast 6.0 and Audacity Sourceforge. He thinks Iggy Pop is the greatest singer in the history of music. If you disagree, you’re wrong. You better ask somebody.
Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.