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My Favorite Albums of the Second Half of 2012, in Haiku Form

Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean

[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

Kendrick Lamar attributed L.A.'s primacy to the women, weed and weather. He was quoting Biggie, who consecrated the left coast via song, despite his long-standing enmity toward Tupac, the city's patron saint. And both rappers were (very) loosely paraphrasing 19th-century civic booster ads attempting to convince Iowans to move to Pasadena.

Music has contributed to the self-perpetuating mythology. As I type this sentence, there are hundreds of disgruntled, winter-weary artists preparing to move to L.A. -- a response to mild climate and milder drug laws.

And in 2012, L.A. music might have achieved its most psychedelic apogee since the Lizard King (Jim Morrison) croaked.

The truth is that it's reductive to distill a year in music to 10 superior records. It all depends on your perspective or preferred panacea. But through purple-tinted lenses you can make a case for L.A. as a modern mecca of kaleidoscopic soul (Frank Ocean, Miguel), hallucinogenic rock and electronic music (Ariel Pink, Peaking Lights, White Fence, Flying Lotus [aka Captain Murphy], Gaslamp Killer) and kush-clouded rap (Freddie Gibbs, Schoolboy Q, Madlib, Alchemist, Roc Marciano.)

That's not to say that drug use necessarily makes for better music. But the surfeit of sunshine and sativa seems to mesh well with the institutions in place that foster creativity (Dublab, Low End Theory, the Smell, the Alchemist's lab, the myriad taco stands).

 

Earlier this year, I choose my best albums of the first half of 2012, by Ab-Soul, Sun Araw & M.Geddes Gengras, Thomas Barford, Julia Holter, Nite Jewel, Open Mike Eagle, Peaking Lights, Schoolboy Q, Ty Segall & White Fence, and Nick Waterhouse.

Here are my selections for the second half. In the spirit of obscure Japanese poets and pretentious high school students, the albums are broken down in alphabetical order and absurd haiku.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Mature Themes (4AD)

Beverly Hills thrills

Plus psychedelic schnitzel

Sates Pink the wry nymph

Captain Murphy

Duality (Brainfeeder)

Doom meets Odd Future

Flying Lotus pranks us all

The tunes stay trippy

Domo Genesis & Alchemist

No Idols (Odd Future Records/ALC Records)

You want to get high?

Al is every rapper's pal

Domo stays rolling

Frank Ocean

Channel Orange (Def Jam)

Hearts and taboos broke

Let's go to the pyramid

Gold poles and Grammys

Freddie Gibbs

Baby Faced Killa (self-released)

Kush clouds and box frames

The Gary gangsta still deadly

Give him a deal please

 

Gaslamp Killer

Breakthrough (Brainfeeder)

Hard beats and Turk Psych

Low End DJ digs deeper

The killer draws blood

Kendrick Lamar

good kid, m.A.A.d. city (Interscope/Aftermath/TDE)

The good kid keeps true

Never panders or Gagas

Crowned new West Coast king

Miguel

Kaleidoscope Dream (RCA)

PBR&B?

Or Jim James meets Marvin Gaye?

Just let Miguel be

Regal Degal

Veritable Who's Who (Post Present Medium)

Lighten up indie rock

Itchy beard complaints are tired

Try droll post-punk funk

Roc Marciano

Reloaded (Decon)

Gritty New York transplant

Pimps by Beverly Center

Emeralds sparkle

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