TCCT 2012: Each critic's individual lists

  • Updated: December 24, 2012 - 11:25 AM

Local music writers' and pundits' personal favorites in Minnesota music this year, which were used to compile our poll.

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Now, Now and Motion City Soundtrack finished up a long stretch on the road with a show at the Varsity Theater in their hometown of Minneapolis, MInn. Sunday night, November 18, 2012. Jess Abbott during Now, Now's show Sunday night at the Varsity Theater.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

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JAY BOLLER, Vita.mn assistant editor and writer

1. Night Moves "Colored Emotions"
2. P.O.S. "We Don't Even Live Here"
3. Bloodnstuff "S/T"
4. Now, Now "Threads"
5. Big Cats! "For My Mother"
6. Teenage Moods "Grow"
7. Gay Witch Abortion "Opportunistic Smokescreen Behavior"
8. Mally "The Last Great..."
9. Flavor Crystals "III"
10. The Pines "Dark So Gold"

JON BREAM, Star Tribune music critic

1. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
2. Chastity Brown, "Back-Road Highways"
3. Butch Thompson & Pat Donohue, "Vicksburg Blues"
4. Connie Evingson, "Sweet Happy Life"
5. Patty Peterson, "The Very Thought of You"
6. Various, "Twin Cities Funk & Soul"
7. Brother Ali, Mourning in America & Dreaming In Color"
8. Trampled by Turtles, "Stars and Satellites"
9. Okee Dokee Brothers, "Can You Canoe?"
10. Regina Marie Williams, "When a Man Loves a Woman"

TIM CAMPBELL, Star Tribune senior A&E editor

(unranked)
"The Cactus Blossoms" (self-titled)
Chris Bates' Red 5, "New Hope"
Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles, "Heat"
The Magnolias, "Pop the Lock"
Night Moves, "Colored Emotions"
P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
The Pines, "Dark So Gold"
Trampled by Turtles, "Stars and Satellites"
"Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979"

SONGS (unranked)
"All the While," the Pines
"Alone," Trampled by Turtles
"F--- Your Stuff," P.O.S.
"Get Down," P.O.S.
"Hot Cheetos & Takis," Y.N.RichKids

LIVE ACTS (unranked)
Atlantis Quartet
Bloodnstuff
Marijuana Deathsquads
Doomtree
Trampled by Turtles

CYN COLLINS, freelance journalist, host of KFAI "Spin with Cyn"

(unranked)
Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"
Magic Castles, "Magic Castles"
Flavor Crystals, "III"
"Twin Cities Funk and Soul Compilation"
Demographics, "If Ever"
Gay Witch Abortion, "Opportunistic Smokescreen Behavior"
P.O.S, "We Don't Even Live Here"
Brother Ali, "Mourning in America"
Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
Southside Desire, "Songs to Love and Die For"
Sean Anonymous, "Anonymo"

SONGS
Bloodnstuff, "One Day Roses"
Magic Castles, "Ballad of the Golden Bird"
P.O.S., "F* Your Stuff"
Sean Anonymous, "Alright"
The Chalice, "Mama"

LIVE ACTS
Eleganza!
bloodnstuff
Birthday Suits
The Blind Shake
(tie) Buildings, the Sex Rays, Poverty Hash, Sean Anonymous backed by Dreamcrusher

No. 1 Sign the Music Scene Was Alive and Well in 2012: "The live music scene thrives more than ever, with several choices nightly of innumerable new bands, and longtime favorites. Bands increasingly garner well-deserved international recognition. There were so many excellent releases this year, it was difficult picking only ten."

PAMELA ESPELAND, MinnPost.com and Bebopified.com

1. Chris Bates' Red 5, "New Hope"
2. Dave King, "I've Been Ringing You"
3. Fathom Lane, "Down by Half"
4. various, "The Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 4"
5. Connie Evingson, "Sweet Happy Life"
6. various, "Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979"
7. Nathan Hanson and Brian Roessler, "Selenographia"
8. various, "Free Improvisation Twin Cities"
9. Zacc Harris Group, "The Garden"
10. Paul Cantrell and Pat O'Keefe, "The Broken Mirror of Memory"

SONGS
1. Fathom Lane, "Hope You Never"
2. Chris Bates' Red 5, "New Hope"
3. The Pines, "Cry, Cry, Crow"

LIVE ACTS
1. Minnesota Orchestra at the Convention Center
2. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at Wayzata Community Church
3. Dave King Trucking Company
4. Chris Bates' Red 5
5. Bryan Nichols Quintet

No. 1 Sign the Music Scene Was Alive and Well in 2012: "Icehouse, where there's a big stage, a real sound system, live music every night (curated by musicians), and owners who actually like music. JT Bates is running Monday nights much as he ran the Clown Lounge back in the day, meaning you often won't know what he's planning until you get there. Just show up."

REED FISCHER, City Pages music editor

1. Now, Now, "Threads"
2. Big Cats, "For My Mother"
3. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
4. Marijuana Deathsquads, "Tamper, Disable, Destroy"
5. Brother Ali, "Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color"
6. MaLLy & the Sundance Kid, "The Last Great..."
7. BNLX, "BNLX"
8. Greg Grease, "Cornbread, Pearl, and G"
9. Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"
10. Gay Witch Abortion, "Opporntunistic Smokescreen Behavior"

SONGS
1. Y.N.Rich Kids, "Hot Cheetos & Takis"
2. Wiping Out Thousands, "Closer"
3. Rupert Angeleyes, "Uncle Mike"
4. Actual Wolf, "Queen of Carolina"
5. MasterMind, " Hood Dreamin"

LIVE ACTS:
1. Astronautalis
2. MaLLy
3. The Chalice
4. Chastity Brown
5. The Cactus Blossoms

No. 1 Sign the Music Scene Was Alive and Well in 2012: Secret Stash's "Twin Cities Funk & Soul" compilation

JEFF GAGE, City Pages writer

(unranked)
Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"
Night Moves, "Colored Emotions"
Zoo Animal, "Departure"
Big Cats, "For My Mother"
Polica, "Give You the Ghost"
Carnage, "Respect the Name"
Mankwe Ndosi, "Science and Spirit"
MaLLy, "The Last Great..."
Now, Now, "Threads"
P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"

SALLY HEDBERG, freelance journalist

1. Rupert Angeleyes, "When the Sangria Dies"
2. Dial Up, "Landline"
3. Big Cats "For my Mother"
4. Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"
5. inBOIL, "The Hippest Kid in School"
6. MaLLy, "The Last Great..."
7. Wiping Out Thousands, "This Came First"
8. Gay Witch Abortion, "Opportunistic Smokescreen Behavior"
9. Teenage Moods, "Grow"
10. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"

TOM HORGEN, Star Tribune features editor/reporter

1. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
2. Guante and Big Cats!, "You Better Weaponize"|
3. Greg Grease, "Cornbread, Pearl and G"
4. Big Cats!, "For My Mother"
5. Brother Ali, "Mourning in America, Dreaming in Color"
6. Big Quarters, "Somos No Joke"
7. Metasota, "Meta May"
8. Mankwe, "Science and Spirit"
9. The Tribe & Big Cats!, "Space"
10 .The Chalice, "We Are the Chalice"

SONGS
1. P.O.S. feat. Justin Vernon, "How We Land"
2. The Tribe & Big Cats, "DMT Flow"
3. Guante, "The Invisible Backpacker of Privilege"
4. Franz Diego, "Waggin' on the Scene"
5. Big Quarters, "Never Felt Better"

LIVE ACTS

1. P.O.S.

No. 1 sign the local scene was alive in well in 2012: "Rhymesayers' gargantuan one-day hip-hop festival, Soundset, brought some of the country's hottest rap stars to town, including Kendrick Lamar. But it was our local luminaries, such as P.O.S. and Astronautalis, who shined brightest."

CHASE MATHEY, Radio K music director & "Off the Record" host

(All lists are unranked)
Nice Purse, "Slumber Girls"
Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
S M M N R, "Peaks
Wiping Out Thousands, "This Came First"
Leisure Birds, "Globe Master"
Teenage Moods, "Grow"
Pony Trash, "Pony Trash"
Robust Worlds, "Emotional Planet"
Food Pyramid, "Mango Sunrise"
Night Moves, "Colored Emotions"

SONGS
Nice Purse, "Radical Roses"
Bollywood, "Young"
Dark Dark Dark, "How It Went Down"
The Velveteens, "Chico"
Daymoths, "Terrible Beauty"

LIVE ACTS
UMAMI
Nice Purse
Tickle Torture
Moonstone
The Anonymous Choir

KYLE MATTESON, Super Tweeter

1. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
2. Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"
3. Now, Now, "Threads"
4. MaLLy, "The Last Great..."
5. The Evening Rig, "Nothin' to Hear Here"
6. Actual Wolf, "Lightning & The Wolf" + "Actual Wolf: USA" EPs
7. Poliça, "Give You the Ghost"
8. Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
9. The Pines, "Dark So Gold"
10. Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"

SONGS
1. Y.N.Rich Kids, "Hot Cheetos & Takis"
2. Actual Wolf, "Hollow Heel"
3. P.O.S., "Wanted/Wasted (feat. Astronautalis)"
4. Paul Westerberg, "My Road Now"
5. Now, Now, "Thread"

LIVE ACTS
1. Brother Ali
2. P.O.S.
3. Poliça
4. Astronautalis
5. The Cactus Blossoms

No. 1 sign the local music scene was alive and well in 2012: "Youth without youth. The sheer volume and quality of artists who aren't even of legal drinking age in 2012 was something to behold. John Mark Nelson, Collin Ward (Observer Drift), Clara Salyer (Prissy Clerks) and Lydia Hoglund (Bomba de Luz) just to name a few. It's just one of the many signs that our music scene is in good hands for years to come."

JAHNA PELOQUIN, Vita.mn contributor, editor of l'étoile magazine and LOL/OMG! blog

1. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
2. Polica, "Give You the Ghost"
3. Night Moves, "Colored Emotions"
4. Solid Gold, "Eat Your Young"
5. Mark Mallman, "Double Silhouette"
6. various, "Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis & Saint Paul 1964-1979"
7. Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
8. Marijuana Deathsquads, "Tamper. Disable. Destroy"
9. CLAPS, "Wreck"
10. Lovely Dark, "Territories"

SONGS
1. Y.N.Rich Kids, "Hot Cheetos & Takis"
2. Night Moves, "Horses"
3. P.O.S., "Get Down"
4. Polica, "Dark Star," Polica
5. P.O.S., "F* Your Stuff"

LIVE ACTS
1. Doomtree
2. P.O.S.
3. Marijuana Deathsquads
4. Polica
5. Night Moves

No. 1 sign the music scene was alive and well in 2012: "Go to a Marijuana Deathsquads show and you'll have all the proof you need. At any given show, you'll see a multi-drummer onslaught and guest spots from Channy of Polica, P.O.S and Astronautalis and Har Mar Superstar, with Ryan Olson conducting the whole thing. Every show is unique and exciting in a you-never-know-what-to-expect kind of way."

ROSS RAIHALA, St. Paul Pioneer Press music critic

1. Apollo Cobra, "Motherland"
2. Crisis Line, "Phones"
3. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
4. BNLX, "BNLX"
5. Big Cats, "For My Mother"
6. Brother Ali, "Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color"
7. Vicious Vicious, "Vicious Vicious"
8. Bob Dylan, "Tempest"
9. Mark Mallman, "Double Silhouette"
10. Fathom Lane, "Down By Half"

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, Star Tribune music critic

1. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
2. The Pines, "Dark So Gold"
3. Trampled by Turtles, "Stars and Satellites"
4. MaLLy, "The Last Great..."
5. various, "Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979
6. Now, Now, "Threads"
7. Honeydogs, "What Comes After"
8. Okee Dokee Brothers, "Can You Canoe?"
9. Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"
10. Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"

SONGS
1. Trampled by Turtles, "Alone"
2. The Pines, "All the While"
3. Actual Wolf, "Bread"
4. P.O.S., "F* Your Stuff"
5. Vicious Vicious, "Hanging On"

LIVE ACTS
(unranked)
Astronautalis
Audio Perm
Doomtree
Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers with Erik Koskinen
Trampled by Turtles

No. 1 sign the music scene was alive and well in 2012: "It's probably fair to say that 99 percent of the people in the local music scene aren't rich -- fans, club staffers, label proprietors and certainly musicians -- and yet they generously donated their time and money to passionate causes. Proof came this year when the election and controversial state amendments rolled around, and when floods struck Duluth, and especially when Slim Dunlap and P.O.S. got sick."

MICHAEL RIETMULDER, Vita.mn contributor & freelancer

1. Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"
2. Howler, "America Give Up"
3. Polica, "Give You the Ghost"
4. P.O.S, "We Don't Even Live Here"
5. Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"
6. MaLLy,"The Last Great..."
7. A. Wolf and Her Claws, "A. Wolf and Her Claws"
8. Solid Gold, "Eat Your Young"
9. Teenage Moods, "Grow"
10. Pony Trash, "Pony Trash" EP

SONGS
1. Bloodnstuff, "Give Me a Call"
2. Polica, "Lay Your Cards Out"
3. Trampled by Turtles, "Midnight on the Interstate"
4. Prof, "Me Boi"
5. P.O.S., "Get Down"

LIVE ACTS
1. Brain Tumors
2. P.O.S.
3. Marijuana Deathsquads
4. Bloodnstuff
5. False

JON SCHOBER, 89.3 the Current local music assistant

1. John Mark Nelson, "Waiting and Waiting"
2. Strange Names, "Strange Names EP"
3. Flavor Crystals, "III"
4. Food Pyramid, "Mango Sunrise"
5. Robust Worlds, "Emotional Planet"
6. Various Artists, "Twin Cities Funk and Soul"
7. Pony Trash, "Pony Trash EP"
8. The Chalice, "We Are The Chalice EP"
9. Is/Is, "III"
10. All Eyes, "Shelf Life"

SONGS
1. Deepest Bison, "Whatsit"
2. Part Mammal, "Exploring Time Split"
3. John Maus, "No Title (Molly)"
4. Marijuana Deathsquads, "Top Down"
5. Homeless, "Get Gone feat. K.Raydio"

LIVE ACT
(unranked)
"Twin Cities Funk and Soul"/Secret Stash revue
Big Cats!
L'Assassins
The Chalice
Solid Gold

No. 1 sign the local music scene was alive and well in 2012: "There was an abundance of young talent stepping forward, especially from people in high-school or just entering college - this helps ensure that the creative pot will be kept full for a long time to come. Also, it was good to see hip-hop from other corners of the Twin Cities getting the attention they finally deserve: Greg Grease, Sean Anonymous, Homeless, K.Raydio, Lizzo, Sophia Eris and Claire De Lune, Guante, MaLLy, I Self Devine, Xavier Marquis, etc. Lastly, I know it's been a good year when I have to sort through over 500 local releases that came through on my desk."

JACK SPENCER, City Pages/Gimmie Noise contributor and freelancer

1. Metasota, "Meta May"
2. I Self Devine, "The Sound of Low Class Amerika"
3. Brother Ali, "Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color"
4. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
5. Greg Grease, "Cornbread, Pearl and G"
6. Mike Mictlan, "SNAXXX"
7. The Tribe and Big Cats!, "Space"
8. Mankwe, "Science and Spirit"
9. Big Cats!, "For My Mother"
10. Guante and Big Cats!, "You Better Weaponize"

SONGS
1. Metasota, "Senior"
2. P.O.S., "Get Down"
3. Guante with Chantz Erolin and TruthBeTold, "The Invisible Backpacker of Privilege"
4. I Self Devine f/Akrite, "Pretty Sickness"
5. Mike Mictlan f/Greg Grease, "WZRD SCIENCE"

LIVE ACTS
1. The Chalice
2. Audio Perm
3. Up Rock
4. Polica
5. Toki Wright

No. 1 sign the local scene was alive and well in 2012: "Thanks to friendly competition within the scene, pretty much everyone in the rap scene has released their best work yet. Artists are working with each other more and redefining their styles in really excellent ways. Plus everyone's having more fun and shedding emo expectations."

ANDREA SWENSSON, 89.3 the Current local music reporter

(unranked)
P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
Now, Now, "Threads"
Zoo Animal, "Departure"
Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"
Greg Grease, "Cornbread, Pearl and G"
Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"
Bomba de Luz, "What a Heavy Weight"
Trampled by Turtles, "Stars and Satellites"
Mankwe, "Science and Spirit"

Best Local Songs
1. The Chalice, "Push It"
2. P.O.S., "Get Down"
3. Y.N.RichKids, "Hot Cheetos and Takis"
4. John Mark Nelson, "Reminisce"
5. The Set, "Here is My Heart"

Best Live Acts of the Year
1. Gary Burger (with the Spectors)
2. Southwire
3. Poliça
4. Buildings
5. Toki Wright's This Debris

No. 1 Sign the Local Music Scene was Alive and Well in 2012: "The conversation sparked by Jordan Gatesmith of Howler back in March and stoked by questions like "Are we in a golden age of music?" reminded me just how many opinionated and passionate people we have taking part in this ever-expanding music scene. Sometimes it feels like a big, loud, dysfunctional family, with members arguing about each other's hype one minute and collaborating to make a new scene-spanning compilation the next."

ERIK THOMPSON, City Pages contributor and frelancer

1. Now, Now, "Threads"
2. Dark Dark Dark, "Who Needs Who"
3. Polica, "Give You The Ghost"
4. P.O.S., "We Don't Even Live Here"
5. Solid Gold, "Eat Your Young"
6. Howler, "America Give Up"
7. Bloodnstuff, "Bloodnstuff"
8. BNLX, "LP"
9. Brother Ali, "Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color
10. Night Moves, "Colored Emotions

SONGS
1. BNLX, "1929"
2. Now, Now, "Wolf"
3. P.O.S., "Get Down"
4. Sold Gold, "Elephants"
5. Howler, "Told You Once"

LIVE ACTS
1. P.O.S.
2. Polica
3. Bloodnstuff
4. Dark, Dark, Dark
5. Solid Gold

No. 1 Sign The Local Scene Was Alive And Well In 2012: "The amount of local acts who broke nationally and worldwide in 2012 was added proof that the Twin Cities music scene is flourishing with talented artists who are all creating their own distinct, indelible sounds. It was gratifying and a whole lot of fun to see familiar local bands playing a ton of late night talk shows both in the U.S. and abroad."

ROB VAN ALSTYNE, freelancer and former Metro magazine music editor

(unranked)
Actual Wolf, "Lightning & the Wolf EP"
Vicious Vicious, "Vicious Vicious"
Sleep Study, "Nothing Can Destroy"
John Mark Nelson, "Waiting and Waiting"
Solid Gold, "Eat Your Young"
Demographics, "If Ever"
Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, "Heat"
Hello Blue, "How'd It Get This Late?"
Prissy Clerks, "Bruise or Be Bruised"
Now, Now, "Threads

SONGS
(unranked)
Paul Westerberg, "My Road Now"
Laarks, "Heaven is Reconciliation"
Haley Bonar, "Bad Reputation"
Greycoats, "Prometheus, Glow!"
Heartbeats, "Ocean Green"

YOUA VANG, City Pages contributor and freelancer

(all lists are unranked)
Motion City Soundtrack, "Go"
All Eyes, "Shelf Life"
Ben Rosenbush and the Brighton, "A Wild Hunger"
A. Wolf & Her Claws, "A. Wolf & Her Claws"
Ryan Traster, "Cruel Love" (7-inch)
Weaver at the Loom, "Before Now, Was Then"
The Parlour Suite, "Everyone's Looking"
The Lost Shepherds, "Secret Place"
The Farewell Circuit, "In Our Bones"
Polica, "Give You the Ghost"

SONGS
The Honeydogs, "Aubben"
Alison Scott, "Waltz No. 2"
Greycoats, "The Lions and the Swans"
The Rockford Mules, "O Tulip I Told You So"
Fathom Lane, "Hope You Never"

LIVE ACTS
Rogue Valley
Motion City Soundtrack
White Light Riot
The New Standards
Kevin Bowe

No. 1 Sign the Music Scene Was Alive and Well in 2012: "I actually have two things. First: The support behind P.O.S. Second: Venues like First Avenue taking a stance on the gay marriage amendment. Despite the controversy it stirred, they stood behind what they believed."

JIM WALSH, Southwest Journal and MinnPost.com columnist and freelancer

(all lists are unranked)
The Pines, "Dark So Gold"
The Minor Planets, "Shadow In The Water"
The Magnolias, "Pop The Lock"
Howler, "America Give Up"
Ol' Yeller, "Levels"
The Honeydogs, "What Comes After"
Polica, "Give You The Ghost"
Lianne Smith, "Two Sides Of A River"
Katy Vernon, "Before I Forget"
Trampled By Turtles, "Stars And Satellites"

SONGS
BNLX, "1929"
Prince, "Rock and Roll Love Affair"
Ashleigh Still, "Your Boyfriend"
Actual Wolf, "Hollow Heel"
Martin Zellar/Kelly Willis, "Took The Poison"

LIVE ACTS
International Novelty Gamelan with Milo Fine and Paul Metzger
The Pines
The Erik Koskinen Band/Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers
St. Dominic's Trio/Belfast Cowboys
Nikki & the Ruemates

How TCCT works: We asked voters to choose their top 10 local albums, then weighted those picks through a point system. Voters could rank their choices (from 20 points for No. 1 to two points for No. 10), or leave them unranked for 10 points apiece. Best songs and live-act categories are from top 5 lists, with 10 to two points for ranked lists, or five apiece for unranked.

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