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The worst of 2012
Damn you, Taylor Swift! You know I can't resist you in your sequined nutcracker outfit.
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By Jonas Beals
This one hurts me as much as it hurts you, Kanye. Before this year, he was a certifiable genius--the introspective, glamorous, ingenious rapper that hip-hop history has been working toward for decades. In 2012, Kanye came close to destroying all the credit he'd earned over the course of his career. He dropped the introspection and ingenuity to focus full-time on the glamour, a suit that fits him all too well. With all his talk of "suicide" this and that, it might have been his own career he was trying to kill this year. Click.
MUMFORD & SONS
A quick rise to fame often results in a wave of easy criticism, but this is one band that deserves it. Some of my consternation comes from my own reverence for traditional Appalachian and bluegrass music. Mumford & Sons makes lightweight pop and dance music that masquerades as traditional fare and relies on that perception of authenticity for its emotional power. If you're looking for true grit and emotion, there are hundreds of bands that do it better.
Ha ha. For an artist who has positioned himself as a "global" phenomenon, his music is surprisingly limited. By his own admission, he is "running through the world like a running back." I assume that means he can't go more than 5 yards without ending up at the bottom of a pile of men. He should get some credit, however. Not many people knew combining the worst parts of Will.i.am, Ricky Martin and Lou Bega was a recipe for success.
Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: The Fredericksburg Jazz Collective's Live Jazz Jam at La Petite Auberge. Class up your life a little bit. Thursday at 9 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Japandroids at the Black Cat in Washington. You're probably getting sick of hearing me say it, but they are about as pure as rock gets right now. Friday at 9 p.m. LISTENING TO: "Death to My Hometown" by Bruce Springsteen. This one from "Wrecking Ball" has grown on me, becoming more defiant and determined with repeated listening.