I love year end “best of music” lists. Each list title reads with the promise of revelation. Each list ends with the end of a list. It is so amazing. They are so much better than “all-time” lists which age so poorly. This is due to the total lack of appropriate certification and supervision  in the area of “50 Best Albums of All Time” and “100 Best Guitar Players”.  In contrast, End-of-year lists don’t carry the same importance and almost anybody can write one.  The real art is making a list that represents a  super narrow focus usually associated with the demographic of the magazine or website or blog publishing it. And you don’t even need an appropriate disclaimer that reads “this list of the best tracks of 2012 will all be hip hop records because anything else was excluded from the sample data because our readers will SHAKE THEIR HEADS at us for the inclusion of The Lumineers which was already mentioned in People magazine (does People magazine still exist?)”.   Some lists are actually pretty good because they are really lists of music that do not belong on “best of” lists.   They are really just lists of really good things. Not “best of”. So here is my best of “best of” music lists for 2012.

The best thing is that at the end of part two there  IS A LINK TO DOWNLOAD ALL 100 SONGS AS A ZIP FILE.  So awesome!

File under: Electro Indie


i-D Online

You can stream 52 of their list of top tracks on Soundcloud.

File under: Urban Indie



Culture and politics magazine. You can’t listen to their top ten but they have a Soundcloud player imbedded with some really cool stuff including a hour long retrospective mix of Killing Joke tunes you can stream or download.

File under: Post punk


National Public Radio

NPR’s cool factor is rising with this list and functioning links to Youtube for each of the songs.  I hope those scandal plagued NPR interns were not part of this.

File under: Family of 5 shares one ipod



If you really need to know how Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” faired (#29) then Pitchfork’s version of what is top might be for you.

File under: I prefer Spotify over record stores



UK online music magazine with a well currated list of great music I have never heard. I will spend some significant time exploring this list.

File under: Avant garde


The Elliott Bay Leisure And Music Club

Let’s not forget that I am one of 11 members of The Elliott Bay Leisure And Music Club and our annual retrospective podcast is a must. These are our 18 recommended listens in a 74 minute podcast.

File under: China in a bull shop