2012. A year filled overwhelmingly with tragedies. Family is central during the holidays; it’s the foundation around which all joy and love revolves. Families have been physically and mentally torn apart – if the one thing learned in 2012 is to cherish those you love and take nothing for granted, then you’ve grown tremendously. To every family plagued by hardship, heartbreak, and calamity, both domestic and abroad, you’re in my thoughts – all my love, I send it to you. To a safe, happy, and peaceful 2013. With those wishes in mind, I’d like to share some of the brighter moments from 2012 – while we can learn from and grieve past events, we must live in the moment. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.”
The London Olympics…not only did America dominate, but the American girls rocked it. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Gabby Douglas and the gymnastics team, Allyson Felix, Missy Franklin, the soccer chicks…and fine, I guess Michael Phelps did a pretty good job too.
Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
Never before has a book so stirred my emotions until I picked up Wild. Both Strayed’s content and poetic, lyrical style brought tears to my eyes. Although I’m fortunate never to have experienced the majority of hardships forced onto Strayed, tears fell onto the pages from the moment I began reading; I sympathized with her and from some faraway place, understood what she was going through. An inspirational must-read.
Below, I complied playlists comprised of my favorite songs of the year, but first, here are my top 6 favorite albums of 2012:
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist: I hold a soft spot for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – having discovered their music earlier this year on, yes, hypemachine, I spent many a fall morning running to Thrift Shop; once they released The Heist, I fell in love with Macklemore’s story. While this album isn’t as instrumentally impressive as the others, I listen to it like a captivating book-on-tape; Macklemore’s beats are trendy and his lyrics provocative. Not to mention, they rule live!
- Mumford & Sons – Babel: Folksy with a hint of indie and a pinch of alternative. Plagued with music ADD, Babel is one of the only albums I can listen to all the way through without ever clicking next. This says a lot. Their fresh sound is inspiring and their music can stir even the cranks to sing along.
- Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg: Although this album has yet to be released in the US, ever since I heard Trouble Town on KCRW, I can’t get enough of this 18 year old British prodigy. Jake Bugg plays the guitar beautifully, writes mature, witty, and wise lyrics, and sounds like a Dylan. This kid’s career hasn’t even begun yet.
- The Lumineers- The Lumineers: Simplicity is beautiful. The Lumineers embody this; they’re sound is pure and clear, you can hear their every word, understand their every lyric, yet their crisp instrumentals shine just as brightly.
- Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE: In one word, channel ORANGE is fearless. I believe Frank Ocean is one of the most talented artists of our generation. He writes and performs with such stirring emotion, his heart beats through this album.
- Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls: Although I must admit that I haven’t listened to this album as extensively as I have the others, I couldn’t leave the Shakes off of this list. Not only do they defy all stereotypes of a southern rock band, but they’re a unique and exemplary guys/girl group. Chemistry, my friends.
Best of 2012…Highlight Reel – We all fantasize about ourselves staring in our own film…don’t lie. This is my most extensive and varied “best of” playlist – while putting it together, I imagined myself as a gnarly pow shredder, starring in a sweet ski video. Dream big.
Best of 2012…Daydreaming About My Non-existent Boyfriend – A slightly more chill, emo, where are you prince charming? plethora of beats. In 2013 I vow not to daydream so much and instead will diligently catch frogs.
Best of 2012…OMG I Want to Dance On Tables All Night – The title speaks for itself. I’d like to add T Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble to this playlist, but it’s hiding from Spotify.
Best of…What the Marko’s Listened to in 2012 – Markowitz family favorites from 2012 – unlike the above, these songs hail mostly from earlier years; rather than going with songs produced in 2012, the fam decided to add what they listened to most this year.
Some of My Favorite Articles/Publications:
Most importantly, YOLO came alive in 2012 (although we used to write it on our wrists before games in college…followers). You. Only. Live. Once. Interpret it as you’d like.
I know it’s not yet the new year, but in the spirit of YOLO and impulsivity, PEACE AND LOVE IN 2013!