Favorite Albums of 2012: Locals Edition

I tried to cut my list of favorite local releases down to the best of the best and ended up with 6 records. So that’d what I have here. I’m incredibly lucky to live in an area with so much great music and so many opportunities to see them live. All told I’ve seen these bands 41 times this year. Pretty awesome.

JKutchma & The 5/5ths, Pinhook, Durham NC, 07/06/12
1. JKutchma – Pastorals
Band I saw the most this year; favorite album of the year. The title track “Pastorals” was the song I didn’t know I needed this year. “And no I’m not proud of all that I did, In search for destination now I’m back where I begin. All my transgression oh how I remember each. But if I lived again without them, would I have found this peace? I’ve been wrong more than I’ve been right. My fault, I won’t deny. I hope at heaven’s gate, they make saints. Cause I tried, I tried, I tried. I been so wrong. But I tried.”

Spider Bags, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 1/14/12
2. Spider Bags – Shake Your Head
I dare you to listen to the opening tracks “Keys to the City” & “Simona La Ramona” and try not to dance, laugh, remember why you love music, sing along. I’m pretty sure it is impossible.

Midtown Dickens, Brickside Festival, Jameson Gallery, Durham NC, 03/24/12
3. Midtown Dickens – Home
This album sounds like Durham to me. And I mean that in all the best ways.

Gross Ghost, Pinhook, Durham NC, 06/02/12
4. Gross Ghost – Brer Rabbit

American Aquarium, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 11/29/12
5. American Aquarium – Burn.Flicker.Die
I’m so incredibly proud of these guys for all the hard work they’ve put in to their success, for the touring and the growth, and the fact that this album is just darn, darn fine. Some of these songs have been kicking around live for years and it shows in the delivery. Both a familiar step for the band and a big leap forward. All of that notwithstanding, this album might just belong on this list for the Backsliders cover alone.

Red Collar, Motorco, Durham NC, 05/19/12
6. Red Collar – Welcome Home
I love this band, full stop.

10 favorite non-local releases tomorrow.

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