The Lead: Introduction to Readers Poll results week and AltPress’ best content of 2012
Along with our Readers Poll 2012 results, within the coming days, we will present you with the website features, reviews, videos, song streams and interviews that made you talk (or scream), face-palm, send “WHY?” pleas to the heavens, celebrate, fangirl, flame and swoon. Unwittingly, you have chosen these results throughout the course of the year by commenting on, viewing and sharing them. So, don’t yell at us if you don’t like what you see.
But before we get to your results, because we like to build suspense, the AP editorial staff is giving you a glimpse at our personal favorite pieces of the year.
Scott Heisel, Managing Editor
Interview: Thomas Erak on roller skating mishaps, karaoke dreams and (maybe) joining Chiodos
I interviewed a number of musicians this year, including punk legends past (Jesse Michaels) and present (Mark Hoppus). But in all honesty, my most memorable interview for altpress.com came when I tried to get a straight answer out of Thomas Erak as to whether or not he was actually a member of Chiodos. He wasn't afraid to mess with me a little bit, and I had no problem throwing it right back at him. I wish more musicians were as off-the-cuff as he was.
Green Day, “Let Yourself Go” (live video)
I picked this for two reasons: one, because it's a really great song, and it made me super-jazzed to hear ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!. And two, because it once again reminded me of just how fucking massive Green Day are worldwide. When we debuted this video, our website used so much bandwidth we literally had to spend thousands of dollars just to prevent it from crashing our entire media section. I actually had to put in a call to the band's publicist and beg them to upload it to YouTube so we could just embed it and stop hemorrhaging money. So basically, if I don't get a Christmas bonus this year, it's probably Billie Joe Armstrong's fault, but I'll forgive him (provided he pulls me up onstage the next time Green Day play Cleveland).
Brian Kraus, Weekend Web Editor
Craig Owens to lecture and perform at SUNY Oneonta
When Craig Owens confirmed he'd be giving a lecture and performing at SUNY Oneonta, it gave me the perfect opportunity to spread some unique news and rep my alma mater. Standing in front of a lecture hall isn't somewhere you'd ever picture Owens, so kids from all over New York took immediate interest in the event, where he was supposed to reflect on his life in the music industry before a solo show later in the evening. Supposed to? Well, Hurricane Sandy just wouldn't let it happen like that. While there wasn't any storm damage in Oneonta, school officials made the executive decision to shut down campus hours before Owens was scheduled to present.
The student body scrambled to find a plan B, with Owens live-Tweeting the entire ordeal as it all came together in the best way possible: a last-minute house show.
Song Premiere, Further Seems Forever, “Rescue Trained”
The new nostalgia of Further Seems Forever’s second single from Penny Black, "Rescue Trained," pulled on both my heartstrings and bandwidth with an obscene amount of plays. It trumped the safer first single "So Cold" with more intricacies, the kind FSF became renowned for on The Moon Is Down. Chris Carrabba & co. bounce along to a chiming merry-go-round of a melody until the chorus flexes enough brawn to bridge the days of Jason Gleason. Being on board with Dashboard's most produced effort to date, Alter The Ending, I even embraced Carrabba's mild experimentation with vocal modulation that had turned some fans off. No other song premiere made me this excited for an album all year—because waiting for it to come out was excruciating. It's like that time I knew I was getting a sweet Nintendo 64 with Goldeneye for Christmas, but I still had to wait another two weeks to unwrap it.
Brittany Moseley, Associate Editor
Interview: Frank Turner on the next album, selling out Wembley and sweating it out with Möngol Hörde
It's common knowledge around the halls of AP that I kind of really like Frank Turner. So when I finally got the chance to interview him, I believe I threw my hands up and yelled, “Yes!" (I had a bit of a fangirl moment, and I'm not proud.) Fortunately, I pulled myself together for the interview. 2012 was a huge year for Turner, and we talked about everything from working with Rich Costey on his upcoming album to his then-new hardcore side project, Möngol Hörde. I always tell people I have the best job ever. I mean, I get to talk to musicians for a living. And getting to talk to one of your favorite artists? Well, it doesn't get much better than that.
The Pilgrims' Revenge: Musicians (and JADEDPUNKHULK) give thanks
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I've always thought it didn't get near as much respect as its December neighbor. (I'm looking at you, Christmas.) So when we came up with the idea for the Pilgrims' Revenge, I was happy to see my holiday getting some much-needed love. All the musicians who contributed had quite a bit to be thankful for, from family and friends to a working tour van and a new travel adapter. But JADEDPUNKHULK's response took the cake (or in this case, the stuffing). As usual, the Hulk took no prisoners, calling out everyone from Green Day to vegans. When I grow up, I want to be as cool as JADEDPPUNKHULK.
Jason Pettigrew, Editor In Chief
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? A BRIEF LOOK AT RIDICULOUS GENRES
I got bored early last month, so I decided I'd shoot smelly fish in a digital barrel by making fun of various oh-so-countercultural music genres. I got some giggles, but as expected, it was mostly pedantic dudes (and it's always dudes) in full-force defending their specific, beloved tech-metal or hip-hop-derived bragadoccio. But since they don't buy the magazine, I laughed them off (except for the one dullard from the rental-car place whose commentary smelled so much like vine-dead sour grapes, I actually changed franchises). The joke was on me, though: Rhianna did end up copping "seapunk" imagery for her SNL appearance that month and not one single straight-hedge band submitted to AP&R.
SPENCER CHAMBERLAIN on adjourning UNDEROATH
My chat with Underoath's frontman was one of those rare moments of brutal honesty to be heeded by both musicians and fans alike. After announcing their intent to disband after a short series of dates in January 2013, Chamberlain (as well as guitarist Tim McTague later that week) outlined in no uncertain terms why the band had to end. Underoath's decision to not become a Warped Nation "legacy act" at the expense of creativity should be a real-talk lesson to both bands and fans regarding the travails bands have to go through in the new music industry. Will I miss them? Absolutely. Do I feel they did the right thing? Without a doubt. Underoath kept their band together longer than most marriages. Walk in their shoes and see how long until your ankles explode.
Cassie Whitt, Web Content Administrator
I was going to be an absolute cheeseball and say that my favorite thing I contributed to the website this year was my first-ever news post for the site as an intern in June, but I realized it was a random news bit about Boys Like Girls that didn’t even have my name on it, so I’ll pass on that. Instead, I’m going to beam with pride over the web series that have come out of my head:
We just finished our fourth in this series I force upon the editorial staff every Wednesday. I can’t speak for everyone, but I definitely look forward to playing DJ and sharing music both with my co-workers and with you every week. It’s our interwebz spin on the old-school mixtape, but because we are a staff
with highly varying tastes and imaginations that can stretch our weekly prompts, the playlist results are always interesting and diverse. My favorite of the playlists so far is the Top 12 of 2012, wherein we shared the songs that stuck with us the most this year.
Off The Wall AP YouTube (APxYT) Series
When we were brainstorming ideas for a new video series, the first thing that came to my mind was the members of Miss May I walking down our magazine walls and sharing story after story about their favorite issues of AP. So, I pitched this concept: When bands visit the office, we can ask them to pluck the issue that stands out to them from the wall and tell us a story based around it. Scott then tacked the Off The Wall name on it, and we launched it soon after when Motionless In White stopped by. I love how MIW’s episode turned out and look forward to sharing episode two, which features New Found Glory, with you very soon.
Stay tuned this week to catch our summary of the best AP web content of the year along with your 2012 Readers Poll results!
12 p.m. EST, Readers Poll: Misc. categories (Best Twitter, Best stores, best non-music event, which vocalists should be on The Voice, etc.)
10 a.m. EST, Best Content: Photo Features
12 p.m. EST, Readers Poll: AP-related categories (We nailed it/blew it when we put ____ on the cover, best article, etc.)
12 p.m. EST, Readers Poll: Live Music categories (Best tour, venue and live band)
10 a.m. EST, Best Content: Streams
12 p.m. EST, Readers Poll: Music and Multimedia categories (best album, song, b-side, video, etc.)
10 a.m. EST, Best Content: Written Features
12 p.m. EST Readers Poll: Artists of the year!