A few months back I started a Tumblr to serve as an online journal for chronicling my recent move from LA to New York. Every few days I post images, essays, or share tidbits relating to the city.
Read about my journey here.
This post is syndicated from Yahoo! Music.
It’s that time of year again when we get to count down the best musical content of the past twelve months! 2012 offered many video goodies from new artists like PSY to established singers like Taylor Swift; from colorful creatures like Nicki Minaj to the demure songstress Lana Del Rey. Below, the top ten songs of the year that not only rocked but had outstanding visual merit to boot!
10.) Matt & Kim – Let’s Go
Matt & Kim upped the nostalgia factor on the second version of their video for the single “Let’s Go” (the first version was a viral vid featuring basketball trick-dribble virtuoso Pat The Roc). The duo incorporated a crushing 80’s style Sears family portrait studio with an assortment of characters — including the band members themselves!
9.) Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine stars in this video from electro-pop star Calvin Harris. She rocks a pompadour and tailor-made tuxedo while performing at the Working Men’s Club located in Dalston, London. Not surprisingly, clothes fly off and the action intensifies as a second storyline emerges that eventually includes our heroine!
8.) Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
Check out this scorching video by Alicia Keys — fourteen-time Grammy®-winning singer, songwriter, and producer. The girl can do no wrong!
7.) Best Coast – Do You Love Me Like You Used To
Taped live from the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, Best Coast does a stellar job of integrating their fans into the music video for this catchy tune. The song and accompanying video perfectly capture the spirit of summer love and beachy fun. We miss summer already!
6.) Mumford & Sons – Lover Of The Light
We follow one man’s daily journey in this somewhat dark, cinematic and ultimately moving tale.
5.) Jack White – I’m Shakin’
Directed by Dori Oskowitz – who also directed videos in 2012 for the likes of Passion Pit and Adam Lambert – this impeccably stylish video features White facing off against himself in the ultimate battle for reigning guitar supremacy.
4.) Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
Abstract electronic music producer Flying Lotus previewed his latest album, Until The Quiet Comes, with this moving short film directed by Kahil Joseph. Warning: graphic content towards the beginning of the piece.
3.) David Guetta & Nicky Romero – Metropolis
French producer David Guetta teams up with Dutch counterpart Nicky Romero on “Metropolis,” one of six brand new songs on Nothing But The Beat 2.0 – a follow up on 2011’s Nothing But The Beat. The artistic video is a reflection of the popular street art movement and is directed by artist and filmmaker Mr. Brainwash. You’ll see imprints of his work throughout this energetic piece!
2.) Temper Trap – Trembling Hands
A beautiful video from Aussie indie rockers Temper Trap, this one is an engaging story of sacrifice, loss, hard work and reward.
1.) Katy Perry – Wide Awake
“Wide Awake” is the second single from the re-release of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection — and was originally written for the documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me. Just like the film it was written for, the video is poppy, powerful, and demonstrates whether it’s getting past a bad breakup or a tough time at work, sometimes all you really need to do is look within!
A crisp fall evening brought us to Anaheim to see The Black Keys, show number three in So Cal during their massive worldwide stadium tour.
Two nights earlier the duo from Akron, Ohio — also home to basketball superstar LeBron James, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the first breakfast cereal (Quaker Oats) — arrived in LA where they played back-to-back shows at the Staples Center.
To give you an example of how far the duo has come since their days back in rural Ohio, the LA dates were sandwiched between engagements from Justin Beiber and Madonna.
I hadn’t seen The Keys perform since 2008 when they came through the KCRW studio for their second live performance and interview with Nic Harcourt (the first time they came to the station was nearly a decade ago, in 2003).
I remember when they played the Roxy, and a few years later when they returned to dazzle the crowd at The Wiltern — a slightly larger venue with a capacity of roughly two-thousand.
I remember how thrilling the performance was back then, even when it took place in a tiny, sun-drenched recording studio early in the morning.
When Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) deliver their signature blues-meets-rock sound it always seems to immediately grab everyone in the room. Excessively hooky or not, it’s really hard to not pay attention.
And it’s not the music alone. Something about the concept of a strong musical duo produces a tight-knit and intimate energy that’s oftentimes hard to replicate. Think Jack and Meg, Alison and Jamie, even Matt and Kim.
Years later they infused the exact energy to the present tour, performing for tens of thousands of fans every night.
That night in Anaheim, the band seamlessly translated their reverb-laden, soaring rock sound to a stadium setting complete with trippy visuals, HD cameras, and the pricey beer and hot dogs to match (sadly, no cereal was present at this particular show).
This time around they brought bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist John Wood on board to assist on material from later albums. About halfway through the set, the group stripped back to the original twosome as they proceeded to dive into older material.
Perhaps it was a sigh of relief to witness a real rock show at an arena (the last two I saw were the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga). Or maybe, it was the energy of the crowd I was vibing from. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the wash of the originality, the rhythm and sound, of what we drove an hour and a half to experience. The music. Completely original and synergistic, just as it was back then.