Better late than never: Bloodshot's Best of 2012


January 9th, 2013 by Rami

Better late than never, here's Bloodshot artists and staff members best and worst of pop culture, food, music, and more that we experienced in 2012:


Guitarist, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

Favorite concert(s): Lolla 2012
Favorite album(s): Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
Favorite movie(s): "The Master"
Favorite books(s): The Devil In The Flesh (2012 translation) - Raymond Radiguet
Favorite meme(s): David Bowie - I stole your baby
Favorite thing(s) you ate: Everything at Bahn Mi & Co. at Briar and Broadway
Favorite TV show: "New Girl" starring the adorable Jake Johnson.
Favorite Dead/Living Celebrity cage match up: William S. Burroughs (armed) vs. Iggy Pop (unarmed)
NYE resolution and predicted chance of success: Gonna sleep at night. 15% chance of success.
Thing you want to go away: Guns (with exception in the case of the above fantasy battle)



Favorite concert(s):
Elizabeth Cook at Outlaw Snowdown in Pagosa Springs, CO;
Paul Collins Beat at Ace of Cups in Columbus, OH,
Ke$ha at the Ohio State Fair
Favorite album(s)
: A Joyful Noise by Gossip
Favorite movie(s)
: "Cabin in the Woods"
Favorite books(s
): Clockworks by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (Ok it's a comic book, but the best new book this year)
Favorite meme(s)
: The Ryan Gosling one. I'm assuming that's from this year. I'm not very up to date....ha
Favorite thing(s) you ate:
Lobster nachos in Toronto; the meal prepared for us by the folks at Coco Maria in Veenhuizen, NL; Smitty's BBQ in Lockhart TX courtesy of Scott H Biram; any time I got to go home, be with my family, and eat my dad's cooking.
Favorite tv show
: "30 Rock"
Favorite job perk:
Going to Europe
NYE resolution:
Be less negative. Write more poetry and fiction, and be more interesting and awesome. Get super rich. Predicted chance of success: Well, I'm very negative so doubtful. But the other stuff can probly happen.
Thing you want to go away
: Taylor Swift's squinty eyes, Reality TV


Drums /percussion, MURDER BY DEATH

Favorite concert(s):
Shiner @ The Bottom Lounge - Chicago
Refused @ The Roseland - Portland
Future of the Left @ Backspace - Portland
Favorite album(s
): The Sidekicks, Awkward Breeds
Favorite movie(s):
Favorite books(s
): Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Favorite thing(s) you ate:
New Mexican breakfast (green chilis rule)
Favorite tv show
: "Squidbillies"
Favorite Chicken Wings
: Buffalouie's in Bloomington IN
NYE resolution:
Nope.  Predicted chance of success: 100%



Favorite concert(s):
Best: the Lemonheads in Nashville
Worst: the Lemonheads in Nashville
Favorite album(s):
Tom Waits, Bad as Me
Favorite movie(s):
Tie: "Beasts of the Southern Wild"/"Moonrise Kingdom"
Favorite books(s)
: Sad to say I haven't finished a single memorable book this year.
Favorite meme(s):
Now that the wife just explained what a meme is (she says for the 3rd time, but I don't think so) I'd say that lady that "repaired" the Jesus fresco and the parodies that followed.
Favorite thing(s) you ate:

Best: tunafish pizza in Germany.
Worst: Quorn-vegan lunchmeats- on accident.
Favorite TV show:

Fav: "Boardwalk Empire"
Least favorite: BONES (my wife watches it. I watch her.)
New holiday tradition:
John Woo films at Christmastime
NYE resolution:
Make a new record. Predicted chance of success: 100%
Thing you want to go away:
The two party system


Red-haired maniac bassist in DEADSTRING BROTHERS

Favorite concert(s):
Mike Cooley at Space in Evanston, IL, not only my favorite songwriter-but it just seems like he's really comfortable and great with the crowd. Loved the room too.
Also, The Levon Helm tribute at Mercy Lounge in Nashville during the AMA's. Amazing group of folks.
Favorite album(s):
I like what I heard out of Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell.  I must admit mostly buying old records in 2012.
Favorite movie(s)
: "Avengers" was so much fun. It ain't high brow, its just a good time.
Favorite books(s):
Only one that I bought in 2012 was Sacre Blue by Christopher Moore. It ain't his best, but I dig it anyhow.
Favorite meme(s):
Anything making fun of Rush Limbaugh. Otherwise, would be happy to never see one of those again.
Favorite thing(s) you ate:
Buddy's Pizza, Gluten Free. It cures the craving and is by far the best GF pizza.
Favorite tv show
: The Detroit Tigers, anytime they are on, I'm watching. Otherwise, Walking Dead.
Favorite wild card ......(category of your choice):
Touring with Deadstring Brothers and making the new record. Also, Honky Tonk Throwdown III. I didn't know what I was gonna do with it a month and a half away from it, and we pulled it off and are looking forward to the 4th annual one in Detroit this year.
NYE resolution:
To play 200+ shows. Chance of success: 100%.
Things you want to go away:
Memes, but I think I mentioned that. And Katy Perry. And Steven Tyler. And Will Smith.



JP, new media publicist and other stuff:

Favorite meme(s): Texts from Hillary
Favorite thing(s) you ate:
Chinese steamed fish on Lamma Island, HK; Daufu fa (cool tofu pudding) at Ah Por Tofu Fa on Lamma Island, HK; Bob’s Bad Breath Burger at The Weary Traveler, Madison, WI; The green curry and pad thai I made myself, by scratch, WHILE in Thailand; This fucking awesome sweet potato, sage, leek and goat cheese tart I found via Pinterest; Childhood menu at Next, Chicago; Mole sampler at the Red Iguana, Salt Lake City;  … and the taste of victory after Obama won his second term.
Top Beers of 2012:
Greenbush Unicorn Killer (Michigan)
Lagunitas Daytime (California)
Jolly Pumpkin La Parcella (Michigan)
Solemn Oath Whisper Kisses (Illinois)
Saison Du Buff (California)
Mikkeller It’s Alive (Denmark)
Metropolitan Afterburner (Illinois)
Bruery Kevin’s Peaches (California)
Half Acre Sunday in Saigon (Illinois)
Bruery Tart of Darkness (California)
Favorite tv show:
"The Walking Dead"; "True Blood"; "Revenge"; "Homeland"; "Top Chef"; "Project Runway"
NYE resolution and predicted chance of success:
Finish building my mid-century modern kegerator. 50%.
Thing you want to go away:
Kim Kardashian (Edit: I submitted this BEFORE the Kim-Kanye baby announcement ... God help us all.)



Favorite show(s) in as-they-happened order:
6/22/12- SLACKTONE @ Don the Beachcomber (Huntington Beach, CA)
I had never heard of these guys, and they were absolutely fantastic... one of the best
surf bands I've ever seen, and seeing them while drinking zombies in a classic West
Coast Tiki temple made it that much better.

7/8/12- DICK DALE @ The Space (Evanston)
Dude's still got it.

8/25/12- HA HA TONKA & MURDER BY DEATH @ Metro
Explain how that match up could possibly be a bad thing... you can't. It's impossible.

9/8/12- FONG FEST @ Chef Shangri-La (North Riverside)
A full day of killer surf, exotica, and rockabilly bands at one of my absolute
favorite places to go. Sure, we were bombed on Dr. Fongs by the time the Neanderthals came on,
and sure it also started raining right when they started, but dammit... it was a good time.

10/5/12- FIREWATER @ Lincoln Hall
Lincoln Hall became some kinda wild Middle Eastern wedding for awhile that night. If
only they would come back more often...

10/6/12- TAV FALCO + JOHNNY POWERS @ Reggie's
Legendary maniacs Tav Falco & Panther Burns in one room, original-era Rockabilly dude
Johnny Powers in the other. Some wild stuff was going on in that building that night.

Favorite non-Bloodshot album(s) in no particular order (keepin' it fair, people...)
SPIDER BAGS- "Shake My Head" (Odessa)
STRANGE BOYS- "Live Music" (Rough Trade)
JAILL- "Traps" (Sub Pop)
JD MCPHERSON- "Signs & Signifiers" (Rounder)
BARONESS- "Yellow & Green" (Relapse)
THE BLACK SWANS- "Occasion For Song" (Misra)
WATER LIARS- "Phantom Limb" (Misra)
HIGH ON FIRE- "De Vermis Mysteriis" (eOne)
NICK WATERHOUSE- "Time's All Gone"  (Innovative Leisure)
THE BAD PLUS- "Made Possible" (eOne)

Two from last year I only stumbled on this year:
ORCHESTRA SUPERSTRING- "Easy" (Dionysus 2011)
GRAILS- "Deep Politics" (Temporary Residence 2011)

VARIOUS- "Lost Legends of Surf Guitar" (Sundazed)
Just when you thought you'd heard every 60's surf track there is,
here comes about 60 new ones by people you've never heard of playing totally excellent stuff!
VARIOUS- "Bollywood Steel Guitar" (Sublime Frequencies)
Did you know the steel guitar was once a popular instrument for soundtrack music in India? Now you do, and
you should also know it totally smokes- it's like Speedy West meets The Ventures meets "Jaan Pehechan Ho,"
which is actually covered here on a pedal steel- wild, freaky stuff!
VARIOUS- "Monster Bop" (Buffalo Bop)
Not new by a long shot, but new to me! And with 23 tracks of vintage monster songs, it is as though it were
perfectly handcrafted for me, personally.

Favorite movie(s): I didn't see much of anything new this year, but I recently reacquainted myself with how well made and effective the original "Cape Fear" is. Same goes with "Vertigo" and Val Lewton's "The 7th Victim"
Favorite books(s) : While not exactly heavy reading, I picked up two phenomenal tomes by Peter Moruzzi this year, "Classic Dining: Discovering America's Finest Mid-Century Restaurants" and "Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground"  Both are visually stunning and overflowing with interesting history and meticulous research ... these books are sound cases against the rising tide of e-readers; You don't get this kind of total immersion with a Kindle.
Favorite meme(s): Internet culture is stupid.
Favorite thing(s) you ate: My favorite dining experiences of the year were certainly at Jimmy's Del-Bar in Wisconsin Dells, and Yamashiro in Hollywood. Both wonderful,classic restaurants with gobs of atmosphere and unbeatable food to boot. Locally, I rekindled my love of the Italian Village in the Loop and Standard India in Lakeview. Worth noting, too, that the opening of Lao Che Schuan near my house has been an excellent surprise as it's some of the best Chinese food I've come across.
Favorite tv show: "Mad Men" combines soap operas and drinking, while "The Walking Dead" combines soap operas and zombies and I (like most Americans) thoroughly enjoy both of them nearly as much as zombies and drinking by themselves. I continue to enjoy shows, too, that involve people rifling through and/or purchasing other people's old stuff (i.e. "Toy Hunter," "Oddities," and "American Pickers.") Also on the reality front, "Ghost Adventures" continues to entertain, brah.
Favorite dumb decision that turned out to be a good one: Getting a dog for my 30th birthday... Really thought we were jumpin' the shark on that one, but it's been nothing but the best thing ever.
NYE resolution. Predicted chance of success: Oh yeah... I should get one of those!
Thing you want to go away: "Gagnam Style." What is the point of this?? Why should anyone, anywhere on the planet give two flying shits with shoes on about this again?? Why hasn't anyone realized it wasn't funny the first time and has been decreasingly so since? There is nothing entertaining about this... Didn't we learn anything from the Macarena or the Hamster Dance?? C'mon people.


SCOTT, Label Manager

Favorite show(s): Firewater @ Black Cat in Washington, DC.
Favorite album(s):
Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, Murder By Death. Seriously.
Favorite movie(s):
Moonrise Kingdom
Favorite books(s):
Life by Keith Richards (got on it a little late)
Favorite thing(s) you ate:
Pre-SXSW BBQ tailgate at Louie Mueller's in Tyler, TX with Bloodshot Rob and Bloodshot Josh. We could've ended the drive right there, and it would've been worth it.
Favorite tv show:
Started "Game of Thrones." Now I'm addicted.
Favorite new out-o-town watering hole:
Johnny Brenda's, in Philadelphia, PA (position previously held by Club Deville, in Austin, TX). Incredibly welcoming staff and clientele, unique and dramatic music room, and a well-worn bar area. If I lived in Philly, I'd never leave that spot. Highly recommended.
NYE resolution:
Drinking less (less frequently, or less within a single outing). Predicted chance of success: 2.37% (still a positive number!)


Favorite concerts:
Smokey Robinson @ Symphony Center (6/4)
St Vincent @ The Vic (5/11)
Justin Townes Earle @ Park West (5/10)
Rodriguez @ Lincoln Hall (9/20)
Iggy Pop and the Stooges @ Riot Fest (9/16)
JD McPherson @ Metro (10/12)
A Place to Bury Strangers @ Empty Bottle (3/21, 7/17, AND 11/14 - YES, I saw them three times this year)
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound (11/21)

Favorite Albums:
Searching for Sugarman Soundtrack, Rodriguez -- all these songs were recorded in the 70's, but this soundtrack puts together a great compilation and introduction to Rodriguez.
, Cory Branan
, Justin Townes Earle
The Brian Holland Sessions
, MoZella - Actually, I really don't like her voice, but these songs by a third of the legendary Holland-Dozier-Holland team are great.
Onwards to the Wall, A Place to Bury Strangers

Things I Want to Go Away: Gangnam Style.  Please.  Shootings.  Seriously.


JOSH, Publicist

Favorite show(s):
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound at the Metro (April): a sold-out appearance had the band firing on all cylinders following their album release the year before, months of U.S. and overseas touring, and some eye-opening performances at SXSW. The audience response was feverish and the whole thing was a blast to be part of.

Bad Sports at the Burlington: a punk rock trio getting on stage and blowing out a packed room, even though they apologized repeatedly for being sick. It's great to see young bands carrying on the garage/punk torch and making me feel like I was 16 again.

Favorite album(s):
Beak> ">>" - The band includes Geoff Barrow, who is from another favorite group of mine, Portishead. The album is part Krautrock, part post-punk, and part sonic weirdness, and I listened to it more this year than most other albums.

I am also so stoked that in 2012 Bloodshot released one of my favorite albums of the last few years: Cory Branan's MUTT. Since I first heard the burned disc that we got in the office I couldn't wait for Bloodshot fans and others to hear it and be converted.

Favorite movies that I didn't see but want to: "Lincoln," "Looper," "Argo," "Skyfall," "The Hobbit," "The Master."

Favorite books(s): The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bonderant. I guess this book is from four years ago, but I just read it this year so hopefully that counts. It's the book that the film "Lawless" was based on (although I didn't care for the movie as much). All about moonshine, the trade of said illegal booze, and the intangibles that come along with moonshine running (you know, fun stuff like getting your throat slit).

Favorite thing(s) you ate: My girlfriend's famous mac & cheese with spinach and Sriracha. Sooooo frgn good. Also, the brisket sandwich and greasy chipotle sausage that I enjoyed with Rob and Scott at Louie Mueller's in Taylor, TX on our way to SXSW was pretty amazing.

Favorite tv shows that I'm catching up on: "Game of Thrones" (Spoiler Alert: but WHY DID THEY KILL NED STARK IN SEASON 1!!!????), "The Walking Dead," "Parks & Recreation," "The Wire."

Favorite things I discovered: How to keep plants alive. Tip: it has something to do with sunlight and water; Rob Delaney's Twitter feed. This guy is hilarious. Some of my favorite recent Tweets of his include: "If you're not wearing a Santa hat right now you're pretty much giving Jesus the middle finger at His birthday party." ".@ChanningTatum just fuckin BLASTED my glutes at the gym. text me ," ".@Pontifex a/s/l ?"



Favorite show(s): AMA Awards Show at Ryman in Nashville
Favorite album(s): Cory Branan, Mutt
Favorite movie(s): "Avengers"
Favorite books(s): "The Day After Roswell" (Older book, but I just got it this year)
Favorite meme(s): Texts from my Dog
Favorite thing(s) you ate: Great Sea chicken wings
Favorite tv show: "Bob's Burgers"/"The Walking Dead"
Favorite new Restaurant in the hood: Tano's (great pizza)
NYE resolution: Not to die this coming year Predicted chance of success: 50/50
Thing you want to go away..: Corporate-owned radio



Favorite show(s)

#1)  June 7 -- Scott H. Biram, Lydia Loveless at the Hideout. Best Biram show I've ever seen; his masterful dirty guitar playing made me giddy.  First time I'd seen Lydia perform as a duo (with Ben on upright bass); it worked perfectly in this intimate setting and I loved to be able to hear every word.
#2)  April 27 -- JC Brooks & The Uptown  Sound at Metro.  JC Brooks demonstrated to the sold out crowd they could be anthemic and booty shaking.
#3)  June 3 -- Murder By Death at Do Division
#4)  Aug 5 -- Jack White (featuring Maggie Bjorklund on pedal steel!) at Lollapalooza

Worst show:
#1)  May 24 -- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, He's My Brother She's My Sister at The Riv.  Opening band was interesting, but I could not stomach even 3 songs of ES & the MZ (although I had liked their radio hit) -- they offended my senses with their uber-pretentious, pseudo-hippy, self-absorbed performance.

Favorite album(s)

No new fave.  Old fave Ella FitzGerald sings Cole Porter.

Favorite movie(s)

All time fave movie: "Oliver!"

Favorite books(s)

"'Tis" by Frank McCourt (Yay, I finally had time to read a novel!)

Favorite thing(s) you ate

Amazing dinners at my chef friend Alan Lake's house

Favorite tv show:

Public Radio.  (ed. Note:  Nan is SUCH  a lefty nerd…)

Favorite wild card:

a)  The power of social media and crowd funding sites to quickly help friends in need.
b)  Experiencing the alps of Switzerland, and after flying into Zurich being able to travel to rural mountain towns via public transport.
c)  Redmoon's Boneshaker event, or any Redmoon event.

Thing you want to go away: Prodigious greed that inhabits so many politicians.



Favorite concerts:
Devil in a Woodpile semi-annual reunion show at the Hideout -- If only I could make the world appreciate them more…
Firewater at Lincoln Hall: What a trans-border party.  Lincoln Hall is known as one of those rooms where everyone stands around with their arms crossed. Not that night.
The Wandering w/ Luther Dickinson at The Hideout
Justin Townes Earle at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville: I had never been to the cathedral of country music before.  The history dripped from the rafters. Or maybe the guy in the balcony spilled his beer on me…
Scott H Biram at The Hideout: Biram found his GROOVE that night. Transcendent.
Wilco at the Hideout Block Party: Mind-boggling stagecraft and a light year away from the last time I saw them in 1998 at Schubas.

Favorite Books:
New:  Doc by Mary Doria Russell -- A historical recreation of Doc  Holliday. Fantastic
Re-Read:  The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron -- Writing of the highest order

Favorite Movies:
"We Have a Pope":  Little seen Italian film about a reluctant pope.  Hilarious, moving, and a smart farce of the silliness of religion.
"Skyfall": Cheeky AND dark.  A perfect mix of old and new Bond.  Bonus points for making my mother say quietly "oh my" when Daniel Craig stepped out of the pool.  A disconcerting, yet touching moment.
"Down By Law":  Seen it many times, but my girlfriend hadn't.  Jarmusch's finest … As a DJ I can only aspire to be like Lee "Baby" Simms.

Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris." Did I miss something?  I found it unwatchable.  So I stopped.

Favorite TV: "An Idiot Abroad":  Ricky Gervais is a cruel genius.  Just saying Karl Pilkington makes me laugh.  Watching him in action in an Indian hotel room makes me howl.  The saddest of sad sacks.
"The Muppet Show":  Have you watched these recently?  They border on the surreal.  And Beaker.  Oh….Beaker.
"Mad Men":   Yeah, I'm late to the game, but finally got started on it and now I can't stop.  DON'T TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS, I'm still catching up…
Least Favorite TV:
Anything involving "reality"

Favorite TV character: Ron Swanson—"Parks and Recreation." We share a love of technology.

Favorite Food: (I'll avoid being a snot and mentioning every thing I had on a spring trip to Italy)
Ridgewood BBQ in Bluff City TN: I have never ever ever had pork like this.  Never.
Buddy's Pizza in Detroit: The original.  If I had one last meal….
Coconut ice cream from the vendor in Horner Park near my house
Cochon du Lait (roast Cajun pig) at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival in Berwyn.
Least Favorite Food:
As always, Beets. Blech

Favorite Breweries That I Frequented:
Greenbush, Sawyer MI
Grumpy Troll, Mt Horeb WI
Offshore Ale Co, Martha's Vineyard MA

Fave website: This year and every year:

Favorite You Tube video: Al Green. With a broken arm, lemon yellow tight pants and more soul than 5/16th of the whole planet combined on Soul Train.

Best Thing: Tigers embarrassing the Yankees in the playoffs

Worst thing: Tigers being embarrassed by the Giants in the World Series

Favorite Meme: What's a meme? [Copyeditor's note: Rob, you're the one who asked for your favorite meme when you assigned this to us]

Thing I want to go away: The terms "man-cave," "throw under the bus" and "the new normal"

New Year's Resolution/predicted chances of success: To never ever EVER look at the comments section of any website. Anonymity breeds imbecility.  The interweb encourages everyone to have no unexpressed thought. Chance of success: 100%:  I'm stubborn that way.