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06-22-12 Footnotes
Show 343: The Best of 2012 So Far, Neil Young Review, Jim's DIJ

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1 Determining a year-end “Best of” album list is the highlight of a critic’s year. Now that it’s June, Jim and Greg get a jump on the winnowing down process with the Best Albums of 2012…So Far. Here are their picks:

1. Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light (Fat Possum)
2. Kelly Hogan, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain (Anti-)
3. EI-P, Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possum)
4. The dB’s, Falling Off the Sky (Bar/None)
5. Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls (ATO)
6. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music (Williams Street)
7. Dr. John, Locked Down (Nonesuch)
8. Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory (Carpark)
9. Screaming Females, Ugly (101 Distribution)
10. Jack White, Blunderbuss (Third Man/Columbia)

1. Killer Mike, RAP Music (Williams Street)
2. Kelly Hogan, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain (Anti)
3. Japandroids, Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
4. El-P, Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possum)
5. Dr. John, Locked Down (Nonesuch)
6. Screaming Females, Ugly (Don Giovanni Records)
7. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel... (Epic)
8. Nick Waterhouse, Time's All Gone (Innovative Leisure)
9. Jack White, Blunderbuss (Columbia)
10. Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL)

It’s a long way to December. Check out more Top 10s.

2 Despite rumors that the perennial collaborators would never work together again, Neil Young and Crazy Horse are back with a new album. The combination that produced Rust Never Sleeps, Zuma, and Greendale just released Americana, which takes its inspiration from the American folk vernacular. Think “Jesus’ Chariot” sounds familiar? You might know it better as “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.” So what can we expect when Neil Young and Crazy Horse take on the elementary school songbook? According to Jim, Crazy Horse is the vehicle Neil Young was meant to drive. It might be a cliché, but they could do a musical version of the phone book and kill. They give new life to these songs by unearthing original verses too dark to have made it to the school recital. Though the tempos are a bit slow, these tracks have a groove, and Young rides it masterfully. Jim says Buy It. Greg thinks of Neil Young as music’s answer to Howard Zinn. Both are alternative American historians. Just like Neil Young classics “Cortez the Killer” and “Pocahontas,” these new songs are about the price paid for the conquest of this country. The album works, Greg says, because of the hunger the band brings to songs we take for granted. It’s a Buy it for him too.

3 Sociologists talk about the concept of a “gateway drug.” For his turn at the Desert Island Jukebox, Jim turns to the singer who was his gateway drug to music. When a six-year-old Jim popped his dad’s old Frankie Laine LP on the record player, he knew music was a mysterious force he couldn’t live without. An Italian-American from Chicago, Frankie Laine remade himself into an icon of the American West. Songs like “High Noon” and “Rawhide” are undeniable cheese, but between Laine’s rich baritone and those horns, you have to buy whatever he’s selling. (And who could forget that scene from The Blues Brothers where the band gets on the good side of a raucous country crowd by playing “Rawhide”?) Jim’s song pick, however, is “Cry of the Wild Goose” - the epitome of Frankie Laine insanity.

Songs Featured in Show #343
Dr. John, “Getaway,” Locked Down, Nonesuch, 2012
Alabama Shakes, “Hold On,” Boys & Girls, ATO, 2012
Japandroids, “The House That Heaven Built,” Celebration Rock, Polyvinyl, 2012
The dB’s, “Before We Were Born,” Falling Off the Sky, Bar/None, 2012
Beach House, “The Hours,” Bloom, Sub Pop, 2012
Kelly Hogan, “We Can’t Have Nice Things, “ I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, ANTI-, 2012
Kelly Hogan, “Golden, “ I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, ANTI-, 2012
El-P, “For My Upstairs Neighbor (Mums the Word),” Cancer4Cure, Fat Possum, 2012
Killer Mike, “Reagan,” R.A.P. Music, Williams Street, 2012
Spiritualized, “Headin’ for the Top Now,” Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Double Six, 2012
Neil Young, “Oh Susannah,” Americana, Reprise, 2012
Neil Young, “Jesus Chariot (She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain,” Americana, Reprise, 2012
Frankie Laine, “Cry of the Wild Goose,” Frankie Laine, Columbia, 1952
Kraftwerk, “The Telephone Call,” Electric Cafe, Warner Bros., 1987
Paul Oakenfold feat. Brittany Murphy, “Faster Kill Pussycat,” A Lively Mind, Maverick, 2006
Raymond Scott, “Lullaby,” Soothing Sounds for Baby Volume 1, 1 to 6 months, Basta Audio-Visuals
Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” Waylon & Willie, RCA Victor, 1978

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