Music Features

No Ripcord's Guide to 2012

So, 2012, pretty much done and dusted, isn't it? But it's been a good year, all told. R&B and hip-hop records have permeated the indie-centric critical landscape, mixtapes are becoming ever-more mainstream and, against all odds, lo-fi garage rock soundtracked the year for many an enthusiastic music aficionado. And that's the year in a nutshell without mentioning that Death Grips album cover. We had a blast in 2012 and hope you did too, so before the year is out, here's what we thought of the past 366 days in handy survey form.
David Coleman (Editor-in-Chief)
Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar - "good kid, m.A.A.d city"
Track of the Year: Sharon van Etten's Give Out - a beautiful song.
Villain of the Year: Chris Brown.
Surprise of the Year: Fiona Apple. I didn't expect to enjoy her record, let alone love it enough to place it #2 on my end of year list. Also, Little Mix's Wings which unexpectedly made it onto my Tracks of the Year list.
Disappointment of the Year: The latest Shins album was particularly dreadful, but I'd like to single out the Mercury Music Prize for picking the worst shortlist - and the blandest winner - in recent memory.
Film of the Year: At the cinema, it has to be Skyfall for me. I caught an IMAX screening and was blown away. Not without its faults, but the best Bond movie I've seen. At home, my favourite was a bloodthirsty Korean revenge film called The Man From Nowhere.
TV show of the Year: A toss-up between Breaking Bad and The Great British Bake Off.
Live performance of the Year: Sharon van Etten at Queen's Social Club in Sheffield was breathtaking at times. "Tramp" really came to life in this setting.
Musical moment of the Year: On a personal note, the performance of Give Out at the aforementioned Sharon van Etten gig was genuinely amazing - the single best live performance I've witnessed this decade. On a more general note, the Olympic opening ceremony was a fantastic achievement.
Music predictions for 2013: I'm going to stick with last year's prediction, which seemed to come true this year, and will no doubt happen all over again in 2013: "Rihanna to release another three albums, which will all consist of her warbling sexual innuendoes over bland, dance-tinged backing tracks."
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Olympic.
Juan Edgardo Rodriguez (Managing Editor)
Album of the Year: Fiona Apple - "The Idler Wheel..."
Track of the Year: Perfume Genius’ Hood. Sing with me: "You would never call me baaaby".
Villain of the Year: The band fun., who aren't that fun to listen to, are they? And the beloved Mumford barber quartet of course, because their "authentic-ness" won the hearts of many people I thought had better taste in music. And finally, I'd like to give a shout out to every ear-bleeding LA folk band I had the obligation of listening to for work purposes. LA faux-bohemians with your export coffee and nauseating, purposely misspelled catchphrases, I hate you; how did you become so self-consciously hip all of a sudden? As you might tell, I've got many, many villains. 
Surprise of the Year: One Direction conquered American shores in a big way! I always seem to forget that teens and children will never tire of the standard boy band set-up, but then there's also the fact that I sometimes forget that people were actually born after 1990. Major news outlets got the memo about electronic music triumphing over rock n' roll. Wasn't this actual news in 2011? By 2013, major news outlets will also warn us about the K-pop invasion and the Christian indie rock takeover. No one took Kindness seriously - ha! But that's so ironic.
Disappointment of the Year: Too many established acts took the word "established" to heart by releasing stale comfort food. I'm looking at you: Beach House, Field Music, Tallest Man on Earth, Nada Surf, Mission of Burma. *shakes fist in rage* I'm not a fan of Mac' and Cheese, guys.
Film of the Year: I'm between the following: Monsieur Lazhar, The Kid with a Bike and Le Havre. Strictly American releases? Perhaps between Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook. I haven't seen Amour yet, but I hope it rocks my world.
TV Show of the Year: I'm kind of ashamed to say this, but I didn't feel passionate about any TV show this year.
Live Performance of the Year: A tie between Dinosaur Jr. and The Field at this year's FYF Festival. 
Musical moment of the year: This is still fresh in my mind since it happened so recently, but I still find it quite disturbing that the name Nirvana got resurrected, and to add insult to injury, got thrown around so freely without the presence of Kurt Cobain. Why not call it McCartney and half of the Foo Fighters, or McCartney and the former members of Nirvana? Frankly, my dear, it gave me the chills.
Musical Prediction for 2013: Some new digital music service that will merge image with sound will revolutionize the way we listen to music. Instagram will probably be responsible for 50% of the deal, thus inserting the fetish of crappy, arbitrarily-filtered picture taking into the album experience. Grimes will be the spokeswoman. Every genre in music will get experimental, yet I'll be happy because a few untrendy "ol’ reliables" will release stellar albums. The 60s will become the new 80s, which had previously become the 90s... and then we'll run out of decades. And finally, it's time to start ordering cocktails again because exotica is making a comeback! Mark my words. 
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Exhausting.
Joe Rivers (Features Editor)
Album of the Year: I realise this puts me in a very small minority, but "Purple Naked Ladies" by The Internet
Track of the Year: Leo Zero’s reworking of Friend Crush by Friends is the 70s disco classic that never was.
Hero of the Year: Frank Ocean and Pussy Riot
Villain of the Year: Chris Brown, obviously. But if we look outside of the world of music... it’s still Chris Brown to be honest. And the people behind the Daily Mail, especially Liz “Jizz Loans” Jones.
Surprise of the Year: It may have been for one night only, but I don’t think many people thought Paul McCartney would effectively join Nirvana.
Disappointment of the Year: Just when artists had found a way to reconnect with their fans, build a relationship with them and perhaps answer the riddle of art versus commerce, Amanda Palmer and Deakin from Animal Collective had to go and ruin it for everyone. Oh, and Azealia Banks and A$AP Rocky delaying their records until next year.
Film of the Year: Looper
TV show of the Year: Why it’s taken me ten series to become addicted to Strictly Come Dancing is a mystery to me. The second series of Fresh Meat was pretty amazing too. However, I know I’m obsessed with a show when I start Googling the participants’ names for pointless trivia about them, and that’s what I did with The Great British Bake Off.
Live performance of the Year: The most fun I had at a performance in 2012 was seeing Sister Sledge at Bestival. That’s me, always on the cusp of what’s hot, fresh and new.
Musical moment of the Year: I’d waited nearly two decades to see Blur do Parklife and when they did, Harry Enfield was on stage with them – I practically had a 90sgasm. However, you haven’t lived until you’ve stood in a field with thousands of people, watching Stevie Wonder and chanting the opening horn riff to Sir Duke.
Music predictions of 2013: Trap to be big. 2-step to make something of a comeback. Angel Haze should be pretty big. Charli XCX to be the British Grimes. A*M*E to make a dent on the pop charts. K- and J-pop to become more of a noticeable influence on music made around the world. Haim to have a Top 5 album. Deap Valley to excite rock critics the world over. Vaporwave to make the early stages of a breakthrough and become the sound of young Dalston. Really though, if 2013 doesn’t see AlunaGeorge become the biggest band in the entire world then we, as a species, are doing something fundamentally wrong.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Mélange
Mark Davison (Film & TV Editor)
Album of the Year: Death Grips – "The Money Store"
Track of the Year: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die (Woodkid & The Shoes Remix)
Hero of the Year: The guys at Pie & Vinyl in Portsmouth, not just for finally giving the city a decent record store at a time when many others are being forced to close, but for also going out of their way to help make its live music scene considerably more interesting, and for always being happy to chat about records (or pies), even when they weren’t taking all of my money.
Villain of the Year: The sizeable segments of the audience at the Magnetic Fields’ and Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s London shows who would not shut the fuck up, even during the quiet bits.
Surprise of the Year: The ‘release’ of "No Love Deep Web." A bit of a shame that Death Grips essentially committed career suicide for an album that was only ok, but the resulting drama was fun to follow and hey, at least it was free.  
Disappointment of the Year:  Considering it took him well over a year to put five tracks together, I was expecting a bit more of oOoOO’s "Our Loving Is Hurting Us EP."
Film of the Year: Berberian Sound Studio
TV show of the Year: Adam Buxton’s BUG! (it turns out Murdoch’s most diabolical plan was to silence his critics with a stream of quality shows – see also: Mad Men season 5; Moone Boy; Girls etc. etc.).
Live performance of the Year: Probably Planningtorock at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, although Purity Ring's show at the Scala was also pretty damn great.
Musical moment of the Year: It’s got to be that Frank Ocean tumblr post, hasn’t it?
Music predictions for 2013: Following the unlikely success of Jake Bugg, skiffle makes a massive comeback. On a related note: I finally realise that I’m too old to even attempt to understand whatever it is that ‘the kids’ are into these days. Also, AlunaGeorge will release a properly amazing debut album.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Expensive
Andrew Baer (Staff Writer)
Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar – "good kid, m.A.A.d city." Pitchfork’s high rating almost made me stop liking it because it’s not cool to like things Pitchfork does anymore, but it’s just too good.
Track of the Year: Bat for Lashes – Laura
Hero of the Year: James Bond, because Skyfall was badass.
Villain of the Year: Todd Akin. Not only was the “legitimate rape” comment stupid, but it exposed the awful state of science education in America. I mean c’mon, that’s incredibly basic biology/sex ed. Of course women can’t just “shut all that stuff off.”
Surprise of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
Disappointment of the Year: Spiritualized live at the Sasquatch Festival. I was so excited and it sucked so much.
Film of the Year: Skyfall. I’ve got a thing for Bond.
TV Show of the Year: Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad Breaking Bad Breaking Bad! I like watching The League because it’s funny and crass, but BB has to be one of the best written and best acted television shows of all time.
Live Performance of the Year: Japandroids. I saw them twice in the same venue, and they played 2+ hours each time. Not because it was planned, but because they were having so much fun with genuinely exceptional crowds.
Musical Moment of the Year: It’s a small one, but hearing Ty Segall yell, “FUCK YEAH!”, at the end of Wave Goodbye off "Slaughterhouse." It’s a small but powerful moment of joy.
Musical Predictions of 2013: R&B albums will continue to be lauded by critics. People in Seattle will continue to love Macklemore and I will continue to wonder why.
Sum up 2012 in Music in One Word: Eclectic
Forrest Cardamenis (Staff Writer)
Album of the Year: Frank Ocean – "Channel Orange"
Track of the Year: Frank Ocean – Pyramids (video NSFW)
Hero of the Year: Everyone who contributed to making Amanda Palmer agree to pay all of her musicians; Death Grips, for being utterly insane; Japandroids, for soundtracking a brilliant summer for me and certainly lots of other people
Villain of the Year: I figured it would be hard to beat Amanda Palmer after she decided that some of her performing musicians weren’t worth paying, but then Wayne Coyne took a grenade into the airport and had no remorse for anyone who was inconvenienced or had to spend money on a new ticket. So, congratulations Wayne Coyne. Also: Death Grips, for being utterly insane.
Surprise of the Year: Godspeed dropped an album Radiohead style, so that was pretty unexpected; even I, maybe the biggest Bruce fan I know, didn’t think he had an album as good as "Wrecking Ball" still in him; pleased to meet you, Screaming Females, I never would have guessed that you would make the best rock album of the year.
Disappointment of the Year: Titus Andronicus’s "The Monitor" is, to this critic, the best punk album since "Let It Be", but follow-up "Local Business" is nothing more than a pretty good album. Not "Centipede Hz.," no matter what anyone else says
Film of the Year: Amour and Holy Motors are two completely different kinds of masterpieces, but they’re easily the two best films of the year.
TV show of the Year: I didn’t watch anything this year, really. Ask me next year.
Live performance of the Year: Any year that Bruce Springsteen is on tour means that all the best performances of the year are from the same guy. Having attended seven of his eight NY/NJ shows this year, the final trio at MetLife Stadium showcased the greatest live performer in the history of rock music at the top of his game. Among the three it’s impossible to pick one, but those three were far and away the best shows I attended all year. But if this has to be a single performance, seeing Dinosaur Jr. play The Boy With The Thorn In His Side with Johnny Marr was pretty special. At the same time, my girlfriend and I were invited personally by Japandroids to attend their hometown (Vancouver, BC) show. I’ll never forget that.
Musical moment of the Year: The above Japandroids experience; Death Grips releasing "No Love Deep Web" and the ensuing fallout with Epic; Pyramids. Listening to it for the first time. And the next time. And that time again, just a couple hours ago.
Music predictions for 2013: I suggested this last year, but I’ll do it again: Arcade Fire makes the album of the year.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Unpredictable
Stephen Wragg (Staff Writer)
Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar - "good kid, m.A.A.d city"
Track of the Year: Angel Haze - Cleaning Out My Closet (trigger warning: rape) makes me break down. It is an important song which I feel speaks for itself.
Hero of the Year: The Crutchfield twins (Katie and Allison) have made two sorely underrated, emotionally staggering albums (with "Waxahatchee" and "Swearin'" respectively)
Villain of the Year: Surfer Blood, whose frontman was arrested for domestic abuse, and it would be tragic if this was swept under the rug next year when they make their major label debut.
Surprise of the Year: the "No Love Deep Web" cover showing up on my mp3 player
Disappointment of the Year: Our editor David Coleman gave it an 8, but I thought Ariel Pink's "Mature Themes" was utterly vapid nonsense, and I loved "Before Today."
Film of the Year: The Comedy
TV show of the Year: an unlikely tie between Breaking Bad and Peep Show
Live performance of the Year: Japandroids, and my first stagedive!
Musical moment of the Year: seeing Van Dyke Parks at Latitude with the Britten Sinfonia.
Musical predictions for 2013: I have absolutely no idea, and that's what's so exciting about it
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Diversifying
Angel Aguilar
Album of the year: Tame Impala – "Lonerism"
Track of the year: Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Heroes of the year: Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson (see below)
Villain of the year: Mike Love, for sacking Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and David Marks from The Beach Boys.
Surprise of the year: The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson recording together to help Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke.
Disappointment of the year: The truncated Beach Boys reunion. Way to go, Mr. Love.
Film of the year: Lincoln
TV show of the year: Mad Men (Either that or Brazilian Butt Lift)
Live performance of the year: It doesn’t apply where I live. Only hair metal bands dare to play on these shores.
Musical moment of the year: The Olympics provided some good moments. The Spice Milfs looked good.
Musical prediction for 2013: There’ll be more psych-rock than you can shake a stick at until second-rate groups drain the fun out of it.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Improving.
Matt Bevington
Album of the Year: Ty Segall - "Slaughterhouse"
Track of the year: Here We Go Magic – How Do I Know
Hero of the year: In a year of superhero films, I have to say, Spiderman.
Villain of the Year: E.L. James
Surprise of the Year: See my last answer
Disappointment of the Year: Phillip Roth’s retirement
Film of the Year: The Tree of Life
TV Show of the Year: The return of Peep Show and The Thick Of It, or Veep.
Live Performance of the Year: Ty Segall Band, Pitchfork Festival
Musical Moment of the Year: Everyday preceding Rihanna’s "Unapologetic"
Music Predictions for 2013: More skint bands will reform, generic chart drivel will conquer, we’ll still have something to write about.
Sum up 2012 in One Word: Predictable
Andrew Ciraulo
Album of the Year: Titus Andronicus - "Local Business"
Track of the Year: This might seem a bit repetitive, but Ecce Homo (also off "Local Business") has kind of become my own personal anthem.
Hero of the Year: Ty Segall put out three stellar albums, a bunch of singles, and toured relentlessly, both in the States and internationally. If that sort of work ethic doesn’t earn you Time Magazineʼs Person Of The Year, it should at least grant you a mention on my list.
Villain of the Year: Mike Love for essentially breaking up The Beach Boys twice. That man must be made of orphans’ tears, Wal-Mart gift cards, and Satanʼs pubic hair to be that evil. I hate you, Mike Love. I really, really do.
Disappointment of the Year: Speaking of Mike Love, Iʼd have to say that the Beach Boysʼ “reunion” record was the biggest disappointment this year. Itʼs not that I expected some sort of comeback album that would trump every other record in the bandʼs prolific discography, but I did expect a decent Brian Wilson solo effort at least. Instead we got pitch-corrected Beach Boy harmonies and pathetic, outdated songs about cruising down the coastline while listening to Top 40 radio.
Film of the Year: The Master
TV Show of the Year: Breaking Bad takes my top spot, but it is by no means a slide victory. Other shows like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and Louis were absolutely magnificent, and are more than deserving of an honourable mention.
Live Performance of the Year: The Mountain Goats and The Anonymous 4 at The Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.
Musical Moment of the Year: Iʼd say interviewing Patrick Stickles and R. Stevie Moore was pretty damn cool. Thereʼs a brief moment before you meet one of your heroes where the notion that they might not live up to your fantastic expectations does pop into your head. Fortunately for me, Stickles and Moore are both nice, patient people with a whole lot to say! I am sincerely grateful that they took time out of their busy schedules to talk to an inquisitive fanboy like myself.
Music Predictions for 2013: Some good releases, some bad releases, some horrendous releases – business as usual really. Arcade Fire will probably come out with a decent/good album thatʼll probably get another Grammy nomination/win. Justin Bieber, The Wanted, and One Direction will continue making awful records for pre-teen girls and sad, middle-aged women to buy. Billie Joe Armstrong will make a miraculous recovery after a brief stint in rehab. Green Dayʼs new album will be lauded as a “return to form” and sell millions of copies, even though itʼs quite awful. Coheed and Cambria will release another terrible record that will successfully smother my inner thirteen year-old. Vinyl record sales will continue to increase. Coincidentally, the amount of musicians sporting ironic moustaches and designer shirts with the word “Communism” printed on them will triple.
Sum up 2012 in Music in just one word: Fuzzy
Joe Marvilli
Album of the Year: Bat for Lashes – "The Haunted Man"
Track of the Year: Bat for Lashes – Laura, followed by Sharon Van Etten - Serpents
Hero of the Year: Women for pretty much running the year in music in all genres. Fifteen out of my Top 20 albums of the year were fronted by an indie female. Throw in Taylor Swift and Adele’s continued pop dominance and you have the strongest year for women in music since… well… ever.
Villain of the Year: Carly Rae Jepsen for ruining the four-month run of fun, and Gotye topping the U.S. Billboard Charts. It’s like getting a ray of sunshine and then getting struck by lightning.
Surprise of the Year: Grimes for making the best electronic album since LCD Soundsystem hung it up. I don’t normally buy electronica but this record is too good to pass up.
Disappointment of the Year: This one’s a tie as both Damon Albarn and Andrew Bird released pretty middling albums with a couple of really great first singles. I love Apple Carts off "Dr. Dee" and Eyeoneye off "Break It Yourself". The rest though? Not so much.
Film of the Year: The Dark Knight Rises. Yes, I know it’s flawed. No, it doesn’t change my decision in the slightest!
TV show of the Year: I don’t watch too much TV but it’d have to go to Breaking Bad for drama and Portlandia for comedy. 
Live performance of the Year: The Joy Formidable absolutely blew away any other band I’ve seen at Terminal 5. Their energy supply seemed to be endless. They were clearly having the time of their lives. Most importantly, they rocked harder and better than any other band this year, even when the drummer was dressed as a lobster during the encore.
Musical moment of the Year: I would normally say Bon Iver for winning the Grammy for Best New Artist, but Arcade Fire clearly blew the indie gates open for the award show two years ago. Instead, I’ll go with Blur. Not for the Olympics reunion, but for deciding to stay together and play more shows next year. (Dear Blur, New York City has a new arena. I think you should play it. Please?)
Music predictions for 2013: The new Depeche Mode album will feature work from Alan Wilder in some capacity. Whatever song he’s on will probably be the best one on the album. The Joy Formidable will reach “the next level,” whatever that means, with their second LP. Blur will be Coachella’s big surprise headliner this year. U2 may re-emerge if Bono and The Edge stop messing around with the Spiderman musical. Beck’s new record will finally come out and be really solid, but nowhere near his peak. 2013 will also see the triumphant return of The National, Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire, who will release their best record yet.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Enduring
James McKenna
Album of the Year: The Dirty Projector’s album "Swing Lo Magellan" fills my need for jerky, Talking Head-sy music.
Track of the Year: Reagan by Killer Mike blows me away every time I hear it.
Hero of the Year: Danny Baker on his radio show after he learned he was fired was fantastic. Death Grips getting dropped was good too, I love rebellion in the face of big corporations.
Villain of the Year: Chris Brown was as vile as ever. And Danny!, but I don’t want to get into that…
Surprise of the Year: Godspeed You! Black Emperor popping up with a new album. Plus Nas being good again.
Disappointment of the Year: The Mercurys weren’t great. Plus I did what Public Enemy told me not to, I believed the hype, got caught up in how incredible Bad Religion and Pyramids were, then found "Channel Orange" to be a bit middling. LMFAO splitting up was gutting.
Film of the Year: The Raid, it’s the only film I’ve seen that’s received a round of applause mid-film. And, for those who’ve seen it, the finishing move using a door, that took my breath away.
TV show of the Year: The Thick of It was brilliant. That inquiry episode will be studied one day as a piece of social comment. Favourite line from TTOI: “I will lamp you… with a lamp!”
Live performance of the Year: Rodriguez, he was effortlessly cool and sounded just as he did on "Cold Fact" despite being a wizened old man.
Musical moment of the Year: Paul McCartney closing the opening ceremony to the Olympics. Just kidding, I switched off when he came on. But the earlier montage of British music through the years was pretty incredible, even if it didn’t include The Smiths.
Music predictions for 2013: After numerous daytime talk show appearances where Psy teaches B/C grade celebrities to dance, he’ll release a disappointing follow up which will be everyone’s disappointment of the year in 2013. Azealia Banks’ album release will be put back again and when released will be full of early 2012 references. And it will fail to impress. Bieber develops a smack addiction. Four words: Kanye/Kim joint album.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Alright.
Joshua Pickard
Album of the Year: Swans - "The Seer"
Track of the Year: EL-P - Oh Hail No (feat. Danny Brown and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire)
Villain of the Year: Lana Del Rey: not one interested bone in my body.  Hurricane Sandy.
Surprise of the Year: Fiona Apple - "The Idler Wheel..."  Who knew she could create art worth considering?
Disappointment of the Year: "Mature Themes" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti.  I'll be damned if I know why this record is getting any degree of praise.
Film of the Year: The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson
TV show of the Year: Game of Thrones
Live performance of the Year: Girl Talk or Sufjan Stevens' Christmas Tour in Chattanooga, TN
Musical moment of the Year: Hearing Varud from Sigur Ros' "Valtari" for the first time
Music predictions for 2013: More guitars, less synths.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Aggressive
Peter Quinton
Album of the Year: Cloud Nothing’s "Attack On Memory," which has pretty much been my album of the year since it came out back in January (not an easy feat in my book).
Track of the Year: Mount Eerie - Through The Trees, pt. 2
Hero of the Year: MC Ride
Villian of the Year: I really want to say something other than Mike Love, but God damn, he actually made me hate him more this year than I already did.
Surprise of the Year: Despite being a huge Phil Elverum fan, I was actually surprised at how much I ended up loving "Clear Moon" and "Ocean Roar." I never thought he’d release two of his best works this late in his career. Also I was pretty surprised with FlyLo’s new album. I never thought he’d release one of my favourite night time albums this year.
Disappointment of the Year: The new Beach Boys album would be an easy choice, but was anyone really expecting that to be good? Animal Collective and Titus Andronicus may have admittedly not lived up to my astronomical expectations for both bands, but both still released good albums this year, so I can’t complain. I was also pretty disappointed in this year’s lack of No Age and Deerhunter releases, but there’s always next year for that.
Film of the Year: Wreck-It Ralph, though I haven’t really seen too many great movies this year. I felt like this was the movie that Pixar should have made this year, and it really tickled the gamer side of me. Still, movies aren’t really my specialty anyway.
TV Show of the Year: The Eric Andre Show as far as new series go, and the last season of Louie had some pretty great moments. Aside from that, I think I just watched Pawn Stars all year.
Live Performance of the Year: Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall at The Well in Brooklyn. Non-stop energy from two of today’s best rock bands plus a perfectly timed rain storm equals pure live magic. Japandroids is also an incredible runner up for me, and The Mountain Goats performing early renditions of "Transcendental Youth" tracks with Anonymous 4 was easily one of the most unique shows I’ve ever been to.
Musical Moment of the Year: In a totally non-Amanda Palmer related Kickstarter moment, watching Black Moth Super Rainbow raise over $120k on Kickstarter to fund their new album, "Cobra Juicy," complete with a video of Eric Wareheim talking about how his dad was blazing to the new album in the basement. The record itself was pretty awesome too.
Music Predictions of 2013: New releases from Iceage, Pissed Jeans, The Thermals and No Age (fingers crossed) will hopefully continue this past year’s trend of raw, raucous, and passionate indie rock, and this is only referring to the first few months. Also, Death Grips will naturally have a clean sweep at the Grammys, and Coachella will be supplied with a holographic Morrissey so that they can finally have their Smiths reunion.
Sum Up 2012 in Music in Just One Word: Loud
Craig Stevens
Album of the Year: Alt-J - "An Awesome Wave"
Track of the Year: Julio Bashmore - Au Seve
Hero of the Year: Alt-J
Villain of the Year: Emeli Sandé, Cheryl Cole
Surprise of the Year: The lack of interest surrounding No Doubt's comeback album
Disappointment of the Year: Azealia Banks pulling out of Bestival
Film of the Year: Shame
TV show of the Year: Homeland
Live performance of the Year: Stevie Wonder at Bestival / AlunaGeorge at Start the Bus, Bristol
Musical moment of the Year: Watching the Olympics closing ceremony.  If nothing else, it was a talking point.
Music predictions for 2013: AlunaGeorge, Luke Sital-Singh, Peace, Angel Haze, Bondax
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Progressive
Carlos Villarreal
Album of the Year: First one that came to mind, Diiv's "Oshin," which was my soundtrack to my crazed summer vacation through Central America.
Track of the Year: Mac DeMarco's My Kind Of Woman, off "2." A track that captures the bitter beauty found in love, or just the bitterness found in love, or perhaps both.
Hero of the Year: Ira Glass / Henry Rollins for continuing to be the voices of reason.
Villain of the Year: Mitt Romney and/or the whole Republican Party.
Surprise of the Year: Joining the writing staff at No Ripcord; it’s been a good year!
Disappointment of the Year: Not seeing Mac DeMarco perform, over refusing to part with $15 for a ticket...
Film of the Year: The Master; Paul Thomas Anderson has done it again.
TV show of the Year: Mad Men, for making alcoholism the coolest thing since sliced bread.
Live performance of the Year: Becoming partially deaf after seeing Diiv at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA.
Musical moment of the Year: Justin Bieber puking on stage – classic!
Music predictions of 2013: The comeback of CDs, overtaking vinyl as the hip medium, as vinyl becomes passé.
Sum up 2012 in music in just one word: Boom!
Well, that's us, but what about you? What did you think of 2012? We'd love to hear what your thoughts were on the year, so why not drop us a line using the Disqus form below. That aside, all that remains to say is thanks for reading No Ripcord in 2012, and here's to another twelve months of news, reviews and opinion. Happy New Year to all!