Our 20 Most Popular Stories of 2012, 20 – 11


We’ve covered a lot of music ground in 2012. And you loved all of it. But you read some stories more than others. Here now, our 20 most popular posts of the year, from 20 – 11.

The Ten Best Reissues of 2012
The Ten Best Noise Tracks of 2012
The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012
The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012

19. 100 & Single: Three Rules To Define The Term “One-Hit Wonder” In 2012

Only a handful of pop-chart-related phrases have entered the universal lexicon. “Number one with a bullet” has infiltrated the brains of people who don’t even know who Casey Kasem is, or what “bullets” in Billboard are (briefly: little circles around numbers on the chart that show a record is gaining points). And of course, “Top 40” is universally understood, not just as a list of hit songs, but also a radio format and an entire strain of hegemonic pop. But no chart-related phrase seems to have struck the general public’s fancy like “one-hit wonder.” It’s catchy–not unlike the songs it denotes–and it’s adaptable. We’ve seen it applied to politics and business.

18. Which Musical Genre Was South Park Spoofing With “Tween Wave”?

… this caused the doctor to diagnose him with “being a cynical asshole.” Which is a common condition in cultural commentary these days, and not just because music’s a bigger wider world these days–as anyone who’s ever looked at a Google Analytics report knows, saying something sucks can get pageviews, laughter, and “right on, man”s more easily than honestly engaging with things and looking at them from a holistic, honest perspective.

17. Butch Vig On Nevermind, Siamese Dream, Garbage, And His History Of Shaping Alternative Rock As We Know It

Well, you hit the nail on the head. [Cobain] had to disown it because of his punk rock roots, tried to keep some of that authenticity. When he finished that record, he loved it. They loved it, they wanted to be ambitious. Like I said, they rehearsed for months. They wanted to make a tight, great-sounding, really well-focused album. He would make these lists of things he would do when he was a millionaire and famous. So it was that conundrum of wanting it and not wanting it at the same time.

16. Big Boi of OutKast Talks His New Album and Why Andre 3000 Isn’t on It: “He Said He Had To Do Some Gillette Shit”

[Andre 3000] could’ve been on any song he wanted to. I gave the motherfucker about five songs, but I guess he was just too busy. He said he had to do some Gillette shit [room erupts in laughter]. No for real. He said he had some contractual obligations.

15. Q&A: Melvins’ Buzz Osborne On Freak Puke, Digging Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld And Not Trusting People Who Don’t Like The Beatles

Today we’ve been listening to a lot of the Beatles. I’m much more into the mid-period and later period–from Rubber Soul on. You can’t go wrong with the Beatles. Never trust anybody that says they don’t like the Beatles. If they say they don’t like the Beatles, that’s how you know they are a fucking idiot.

14. Gangnam Style Bests Justin Bieber for Most-Watched YouTube Video Ever. What’s the Formula?

They’re the musical equivalent of midterm elections; the absence of the people who can’t be bothered to send 50 text messages to a special phone number or drive out to the elementary school at lunch increases the value of the determined few who would swear a blood oath to get Justin Bieber’s name over One Direction’s on a commemorative package of deli meat.

13. Insane Clown Posse Is Suing the FBI (!!!)

Today, Psychopathic Records launched, a web site where Juggalos who believe their legal rights have been violated can submit their stories for the label’s legal team to review at no cost. The company has also set up a booth at the Gathering where Juggalos could share their experiences with the Detroit lawyer who’d be building the case against the government.

12. Levon Helm, R.I.P.

Like a lot of people, the first time I heard him sing, I had no idea how much I needed to. It was late–1969 and I couldn’t decide what was troubling me more. The fact that I was the “new kid” at a boarding school packed, seemingly, with a cadre of rich, feckless jerks, or this ever-increasing nightmare that America was investing in called Vietnam. Actually, the two things, in my paranoid nature, seemed somehow intertwined. For music, during those troubled times, we had, essentially, two choices: Snarling or jokey protest songs about the War (courtesy of Steppenwolf and Country Joe), or simpleminded, whip-stupid paeans to how great the USA was like “The Ballad Of The Green Berets.”

11. Live: L’Arc-En-Ciel Land At Madison Square Garden

Live, L’Arc are significantly weirder than on record. First of all, hyde has to be the single most androgynous frontman I’ve ever seen–he makes Antony Hegarty look like Henry Rollins. He wore a waist-length black blazer with shoulder pads over a black tank top, pants baggy enough to hold a spare microphone or two, and his hair was in blond cornrows, dangling loose for better whipping. His primary stage move (other than sticking his tongue out at the audience) is a version of Axl Rose’s snake-hips dance, but with added twirls and what can only be described as flouncing. Oh, and five songs or so into the set, he donned a floppy, wide-brimmed hat Alicia Keys would envy, making him look like a ’90s R&B diva having a rock moment.