A retrospective – January 2012 – Shaun

This is intended to be a new and recurring feature to be presented at the end of each month.  A small list of things that I listened to every month, new or old.  I have been creating monthly playlists for the last 5 years now, and it is always interesting to go back in time to important landmarks to hear the music that you were listening to at the time.  To see your tendencies and trends.  To see how your life events effect your listening, or vice versa.

January tends to be one of those months that has you looking back at what you have accomplished, and has you planning for the future.  This January was a lot busier than anticipated.  I ended up working on a feature film (including my acting debut (in an extremely small role)), which took up a lot of time.  And the Best of 2011 lists proved to be a large undertaking.  But this allowed me to go back and look at the year in music in more depth, which also yields new finds and develops new connections to older pieces.  January also tends to be a cold month that usually lends to colder music.  Maybe not so much this year as it was unseasonably warm.  Alright, so here we go.

5.  Hit the ground (Superman) – The Big Pink

After their fantastic album “a brief history of love” was released in 2009, their follow-up was a heavily anticipated album for me.  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to live up to the expectations quite as much as I hoped.  It is a good album, but it is a safe album.  One that doesn’t push things forward.  But the first single “Hit the Ground (Superman)” is a great little pop gem that I have been listening to all month.

4.  Young Blood – The Naked and Famous

So this track goes back to 2010.  I had heard it a number of times, and likely thought it was a Passion Pit track.  But I recently watched “The Art of Flight”.  A brilliant snowboarding film with an equally great soundtrack.  This song simply stood out, and I just can’t get enough of it.  It also appears in a remixed form on the new Underworld Film soundtrack.

3.  Montreal – The Weeknd

In Late December the 3rd album from The Weeknd was released.  And it was an instant hit for me.  The lead off Michael Jackson cover of Dirty Diana (which happens to be a top 5 fav of his) is extremely good, but Montreal is the original that I have been listening to nearly every day.

2.  Somebody that I used to know – Gotye

I had been listening to Gotye for a few years, but never really got into them.  But all of a sudden Facebook was all abuzz with Gotye.  Which I thought to be weird.  But I decided to check out what all the hype was about.  It centered around a song that was very Peter Gabrielish, the accompanying body paint stop-motion/hybrid video, and a subsequent 5-person on 1 guitar cover video.  But ultimately it is a hugely infectious song that just doesn’t go away. “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know”

1.  Travel as Equals – Joseph Arthur

As I pointed out a couple weeks ago Joseph Arthur released a new double album for free on his website.  The following day he was on David Letterman with a fantastic performance with full band accompaniment. He performed the lead off track “Travel as Equals” which is definitely one of the standout tracks on the album.  “The only way we can survive, is travel as equals or not at all”  This is an album that will likely stand as his some of his best work ever.  A true return to form and a step forward.


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