Monday, December 31, 2012

It's the end of the year as we know it...

Happy Almost-New Year's Day! We all survived another apocalypse that wasn't, and so here's one more blog post to go out with a bang before ushering in 2013.  On my radar for the new year: more pots. Big pots. Teapots. Mountain pots. That sort of thing.  In the even more immediate future, maybe even something like "My favorite pots made in 2012!" or something. I'm not that organized yet.

A great big thank you to those of the readership that continued to support my creative endeavors over the last year.  Off the top of my head, highlights include heading to my boyhood hometown for the Clear Lake Art Sail (tons of fun, my first "real" outdoor show either in years or ever, depending on how you're counting. Lots of work, lots of challenges, supremely rewarding) and the launch of my online store at Etsy.  Actively using Etsy as a source of making new customers and also as an EASY format for purchasing my work by longtime supporters turned out to be quite successful in its first weeks. Obviously the pre-Christmas shopping rush accounts for a lot of that, but I'm excited to see what might come of the online storefront in the new year. I'll try to be keeping a regular amount of work stocked and available to ship year round, so please check that out if you're looking to add some of my work to your collection. Find it at :: :: and as always, if you're ever looking to order something specially made just for you, just shoot me a message either here or here.

Came down with a spot of the flu before Christmas and I found myself drinking an awful lot of hot tea. This time it actually involved me busting out a spare teapot I'd made as back-up for a custom order and using the teapot, as opposed to just filling a mug, made for a surprisingly enriched tea-drinking experience. So I may be exploring teapots a bit this year as a result of that renewed personal interest. 

I also have said "good bye" to my token "large" mountain vase which will be going off to its new home shortly. That's always a good thing, and now I may have to work on a couple large pieces this winter to fill that hole in my heart inventory.

Anyhow. Back to the studio soon enough. Back in the clay. And I have some pots to share (photographically) soon enough. But now, for those who care for such things, here are a dozen of my favorite albums of 2012. Or, 12 for 2012.

With the full disclosure, of course, that I'm not trying to make any sort of argument (necessarily) for the "best" music of the year. For example, everyone knows that Jack White released his debut solo record this year and it was a smashing critical success and what a record! And all the superlative statements about how he finally can do whatever he wants and let his genius run free... and it was so phenomenal. No, really. In all seriousness, it was a great record and I appreciate it deeply. But Blunderbuss simply wasn't my favorite.

So here's the completely unscientific list, in alphabetical order, based on a combination of my personal ratings, play counts, and gut instincts on what were my favorite records for the year.  It would have been an easier process, I think, to cut it down to 5 or 6, or expand it to 18-20, but 12 seemed like a good number.

  1. Aaron Espe, "Three"
  2. Alabama Shakes, "Boys & Girls"
  3. Civil Twilight, "Holy Weather"
  4. David Crowder*Band "Give Us Rest or (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys])"
  5. Father John Misty, "Fear Fun"
  6. The Followers, "Wounded Healer"
  7. House of Heroes, "Cold Hard Want"
  8. The Killers, "Battle Born"
  9. Matthew Perryman Jones, "Land of the Living"
  10. Mumford & Sons, "Babel"
  11. Norah Jones, "Little Broken Hearts"
  12. Sons, "Keep Quiet"
 Honorable Mentions :: For whatever reason not on the list, but definitely on my shortlist as great music from this year, including releases from Owen Thomas, Jason Aaron Coons, Pioneer, The Royal Royal, and the O.C. Supertones.

Thanks for following along, see you next year!!!

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