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April 2, 2012

Brett’s Best Music of the First Quarter: 2012

by @thoughtontracks

New music comes at us fast.  If an idiom for the ears existed similar to drinking from a fire hose then I would try to act smart and type it here.  I would consider myself an addict to new releases. Betty Ford does not have a program for these ears.  I try to go into every listen with an open mind.  After the last track is played I always try to leave time for reflection.  As I sit here and reflect on my internal listening system I discover some standard habits that I would like to share with you.  Bringing these behaviors to light is somewhat of a healing process for me.  These are the steps I have identified that I routinely make to show how much I really like an album.

The Stinker:
I am proud to be a contributor to this blog, because we do not post on Stinkers.  I hate negative posts. There is too much other good music to write about and I would rather promote the good rather than the bad.  The Stinker gets played one time.  Most of the time this is my fault.  I go into the digital purchase knowing that it really is not my thing, but buy into the hype.  The more blogs that post about it the more I feel like I have to give it a shot. Just so I can make it completely clear, this was not the case with Lana Del Rey.  I thought she sucked all along and still believe that her music is atrocious.  As I digress, I tend to believe that hype gets the best of my addiction and always treat it as a learning experience. The album grows old and becomes irrelevant in the depths of my iTunes library.

The Oneder:
Yes, this is a direct reference from the Tom Hanks film ‘That Thing You Do!’. While these cats might have appeared to be more than a one hit wonder, they were not.  The movie was named after the song that made them relevant and the only track that viewers of this film remember.  The Oneder is tricky.  Typically, I hear the first single from my friends on Sirius XMU.  I dig into it and turn it up every time it comes up in my car.  My next step is to track when the band’s LP is going to be released. Often, a month passes and excitement hits me as I awake on that Tuesday morning. The Oneder is like that friend who comes up big in the beginning and then leeches off you until you realize that they suck.  The Oneder gets a few opportunities to be heard, but with every play I realize that the only song that matters is the one that you heard from the beginning. I appreciate the efforts of the Oneder, but do not purchase its next release.

The Transfer:
This is where we start to dig into the good. The Transfer is relevant, but it works to earn my respect.  Simply put, this album entertained me enough times that I decided to transfer it over to my iPhone.  I need to this album with me at all times.  Whether I play it in my car, at work, or am introducing it to a friend the Transfer needs to be mobile.  I made a huge mistake that I will soon correct when I upgrade my iPhone.  Opting to save $100 I went with the 16 gb version.  This is just not nearly enough space for addicts like myself.  I want to be able to store Transfers both new and old.  Managing my Transfers is one of the most difficult parts of my week because I always have to make cuts.  Cutting a former Transfer does not mean I am done with it, however it just means that there is something newer out there that needs time.  Right Peyton?

The Memento:
This is a record where possessing a digital ownership feels hollow.  This record has grown on me and grown with me.  This is an album that I can hear the next song beginning while the current is ending.  The Memento is taken under consideration when building my best of list at the end of the year.  These records are called the Memento because it has earned a vinyl purchase. These records are typically heard and obtained in the digital format initially, but are good enough to justify the double purchase. Mementos never grow old. They gain credibility over time.  These are the records that I hope to introduce to my children.  I own an entire shelf filled with Mementos.  They all have stories and have earned added value in time.  These might not be the best recordings to the majority, but are the most meaningful to me personally.  They are a collection of souvenirs through song.  A powerful reminder for why I listen to so much music.

As we close the doors on the first quarter of 2012 I wanted to take a step back and reflect on what I consider Transfer worthy and potentially Memento earning.  These 12 recordings left the biggest impact on me during my listening experience in Q1.  I have covered most of them on this blog, but believe they deserve one more opportunity to be recognized as we quickly move towards the first half of the year.  Take a second to slow down and enjoy a snippet of what I have been holding on to this year.

Daniel Rossen: Silent Hour / Golden Mile EP – “Golden Mile”

Doe Paoro: Slow to Love – “I’ll Go Blind”

Hospitality: Hospitality – “Betty Wang”

Jessie Baylin: Little Spark – “Love is Wasted on Lovers”

Nite Jewel: One Second of Love – “Autograph”

Oberhofer: Time Capsules II – “Heart”

Written by Brett McGrath

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