10 Things That Could Make or Break the Year 2012 [in Music]
Since the new semester in business school has been all stats and math thus far, it reminded me the beautiful simplicity in non-complex numbers.
Like the number 10.
It’s a fantastic number. It’s divisible evenly by itself, by 5, by 2, and by 1. Impressive, right? If you’re in the top 10 of just about anything, you’re a big deal. You have 10 fingers (well – technically, you have 8 fingers and 2 opposable thumbs, but who’s counting?); you have 10 toes. Pearl Jam’s debut (and best) album was simply called ‘Ten’. Ten spelled backwards is net. Ok, that last one, however true, was pushing it.
See? So many reasons to like the number 10.
Well there since this is a music blog—yea, it is—I have created a short list that coincidentally has 10 happenings that could “Make or Break” this year, 2012, in music.
Please Note: these are things that will make it or break it for myself, in particular. I’d write it pertaining to everyone, but I’m not that smart. Yet. That’s why I’m taking these math classes.
Ten Things That Could Make or Break 2012: (in no specific order)
10. SASQUATCH! FESTIVAL
This festival has serious potential to be better than ever this year. There were mumblings of both “disappointing” and “amazing” with the recently released Coachella 2012 lineup, and I’m sure that many of the hipster variety will have their say as to whether the Sasquatch! lineup is “worthy of their presence” when it’s released in early February. How will this festival make or break the year? Well, it will make my year if I go. It likely won’t, however, as I likely won’t be making the trek. Maybe next year… if the lineup’s any good.
9. ADELE OF 2012?
This is more of a guess and less of a guarantee. 2010 was huge for Florence + The Machine and the Black Keys. 2011 was massive for Adele. What surprise does 2012 have in store? Who is going to come out of the musical closet and blow the world away? Your guess is as good as mine. But probably better.
8. THE EXTINCTION OF THE CD/RECORD STORE
“This is a song for the broken-hearted!” – Thanks to 2011′s closures galore of HMV’s and other record stores alike, there’s no doubt that CD and record stores are beyond endangered and closer than ever to extinction. My heart breaks at the thought of no more CD shops. The hardcore CD/vinyl purchasers will continue to find ways to purchase physical copies of albums, whether it means buying at a merch table, from a pawnshop or on that fancy interweb thing. However their means, surely they’ll still long for the days of yore spent rifling through CD shelves looking for that album. I know I will. Some are calling for the end of the world this year, but perhaps the Mayans simply meant an apocalypse of the record store variety…
7. PEAK PERFORMANCE PROJECT (May–November 2012)
The only way this project won’t make my year is if, for some strange reason, it doesn’t happen. This annual project, sponsored by Music BC and 100.5 the PEAK FM, showcases the best talent in BC with regards to indie music. The competition is going into its 4th season and has gotten better every year. With over $300,000 being given away to local talent, it is one of the biggest in Canada. The highlight of the project for the bands is the week-long bootcamp in the interior of BC, while the highlight for the fans is the numerous showcases in the fall. Get your demo’s ready, folks. Submissions typically begin in April.
6. THE ANTICIPATED RETURN OF HANNAH GEORGAS
“Everybody’s girlfriend”—or Gorgeous Georgas, if you so prefer—is finished recording her follow-up to the Juno-worthy debut LP This Is Good and should release it (hopefully) by summer! This is pretty straight forward: it will make my year if it’s any bit as stellar as her debut. Even if it pales in comparison (unlikely), the wonderful-but-overplayed The Deep End will likely take a radio breather and make room for a new single. This is good.
5. FOLLOW-UP ALBUMS GALORE: Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, Said the Whale, Yukon Blonde, Plants & Animals
Each of these bands is either set to release in 2012 OR in the recording phase as we speak/read/type. Also, each has a zinger of an album to try to follow up: Yukon Blonde‘s self-titled debut blew me away and inspired this blog; Born Ruffians simultaneously surprised and impressed the crap out of many (including yours truly) with their sophomore, Say It; Said the Whale nearly won the aforementioned PEAK Performance Project in 2010, won a Juno in 2011, and gained a huge following with Islands Disappear; both Tokyo Police Club‘s Champ and Plants and Animals‘ La La Land kicked my ass but in different ways: one hard and fast, the other more subdued, like a spell. Two things are certain: one of these yet-to-be released albums could make 2012, and one could break it.
4. POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE 2012
July through September is always an entertaining and hectic 2 months or so for indie critics and fans alike. The highly coveted Polaris Prize is a $30,000 dollar prize given to a Canadian band or artist who demonstrates the highest in artistic integrity. 2011 winners were likely the most well-known band to win the prize (Arcade Fire). Past winners include Karkwa, F*cked Up, Caribou, Patrick Watson, and Final Fantasy. My 2012 pick for the award is Feist; however, having two well-known artists win in back-to-back years is highly unlikely and worthy of guffaw.
3. LIVE AT SQUAMISH
Now here’s a festival I may actually be able to attend! This two-day event also seems to be getting bigger by the year as last year saw the likes of Metric, Weezer, Girl Talk and many others grace the harmonious and beautiful landscape of Squamish, BC. Coachella is too far and Sasquatch is too much ______, so this may be my ‘coup de grâce’. The combination of fantastic music with the natural setting will break me, and thus making my year.
2. WEST COAST POP!
I know a lot of these “things” are west-coast based, and well, I’m sorry. I just so happen to live out here and that’s where West Coast Pop! tends to happen, or so it did last year. West Coast Pop! was a concert series that ran each weekend from February to May in 2011. The concerts were held at the Red Room in Vancouver featuring mostly local talent, and only cost about $12 each. Last year featured the likes of Aidan Knight, Sun Wizard, Rococode, The Dudes, Treelines, Young Liars, Redbird, We Are the City, Yukon Blonde, and Bend Sinister. If this series were to return, my year would be made!
1. THE RETURN OF JACK WHITE!..?
He’s back!…or is he? The enigmatic Jack White returned for a few odd one-offs in 2011 after beginning the year with the announcement that his little 2-piece, the White Stripes, had sung their final song. White showed up on Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s spaghetti western collaboration called Rome. He also showed up—really oddly—in collaboration with Insane Clown Posse, which I’m really hoping was a one-off. Now that he’s got all that out of the way, including that little side project with Meg White, I’m crossing my fingers and holding my breath that we will all get to feast our ears on new Raconteurs this year. New Raconteurs = year made. Simple as that.