PRINT December 2012

Music: Best of 2012

John Cale

Frank Ocean performing on Saturday Night Live, New York, September 15, 2012. Photo: Dana Edelson/Getty

Erykah Badu performing on Late Show with David Letterman with Mark Ronson, the Dap-Kings, and Zigaboo Modeliste, New York, February 14, 2012.

1 Erykah Badu (Late Show with David Letterman, February 14) Anything the fab Ms. Badu does makes me jump up and wish for a front-row seat in her studio. Her production is flawless yet completely down-to-the-bone human. I’d already bought the Re:Generation album when I saw that she was scheduled to perform her track on Letterman with Mark Ronson, Zigaboo Modeliste, and the Dap-Kings!! I was tickled to see Badu singing in a pair of stiletto ice skates—hadn’t seen that since Laurie Anderson performed wearing skates stuck in blocks of ice!

2 Skrillex I’ve heard a lot of this type of EDM—endless remixes with house/dub/trip/slow/hard; the you-name-it mash-ups of the moment. Skrillex uses all the usual rhythmic elements and tricks of the day, but it was his shards of energy and piercing noises that got my attention. This particularly jarring quality stands out as a sort

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