Ten Favorite Songs of 2012

The project continues with my favorite songs of 2012.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

I originally covered 2012 with a Year in Review post.

Bright Whites – Kishi Bashi



Caliban’s Dream –  Underworld



Cartao Postal – Souljazz Orchestra



Default – Django Django



Dirty Money –  Antibalas



Goatman – Goat



Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It – Stars



Look at This – A Tribe Called Red



Oblivion – Grimes



Same Love – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert



And here are five songs from 2012 worthy of an honorable mention:

Akale Wube –  Debo Band



Dog Physics – Plaid Dragon


Gun Has No Trigger – Dirty Projectors


Here Again – Quantic and Alice Russell


Please Forgive My Heart – Bobby Womack

And there you have 40 years music and over 400 songs that helped define my life!

Stay tuned for the best songs of 2013.




2012 Year in Review: Memorable Events

I started a tradition back in 1996 of making a list of the most memorable events of the year.  My definition of memorable can include both the positive and the negative, but generally it’s the good things that make the list.  That first list in 1996 had exactly twenty items, so I’ve made the list a top twenty every year since.

  • Sing Positive, JP – a year long highlight as my son Peter & I sang and formed community with other JP residents of all ages.  We performed concerts in May (part 1, 2, & 3) and December with special appearances at Wake Up the Earth and the Lantern Parade.
  • Discovery Museums – my mother visited in February and we took Peter to the Discovery Museums in Acton where Peter explored the small but creatively-designed rooms of the childrens museum and woodworking in the workshop at the science museum.  We returned to this new favorite place several more times over the course of the year.
  • Breaking the ice on Jamaica Pond –  After brunch at The Haven, Peter and friend Jordan strolled around the pond on a chilly day and cracked ice and chucked rocks.
  • Wilson Mountain hike – We got an explored nature with a spring hike to the top of Dedham’s Wilson Mountain which included “rocky fun time” clambering up the boulders along the trail.
  • Red Sox games – This wasn’t a great season for the Old Town Team, but Peter & I enjoyed a four-game Sox Pax where we sat in the bleachers for a (a very hot) Patriots Day, Memorial Day, a Wednesday in June, and a Monday in August.  The Sox won three of the games and Peter got to run the bases with the other kids at the final game.
  • Mets game –  My other favorite team also played poorly this season but I did make it to join friends for the Banner Day game,  one of the 20 wins for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, and wept after Johan Santana threw the Mets’ first no-hitter on June 1st.
  • Kay’s Baptism – Family descended on Boston in late April for our baby girl’s baptism including all the grandparents and her namesake Aunt Kay.
  • Fathers Day at Wachusset Meadows – I was a very lucky Dad who got to snuggle with his kids, have a delicious lunch, walk through the beautiful Wachusset Meadows, and then stop at a roadside ice cream parlor.
  • Tall ships in Boston – Another exciting outing with the kids, visiting tall ships at the Charlestown Navy Yard.
  • Day Trip to Lowell – We made a mid-July outing to historic Lowell taking a journey by boat along the canals and river and then catching a Lowell Spinners baseball game.
  • Summer Olympics in London – I was really inspired by the crazy but beautiful opening ceremonies and enjoyed watching various events with Peter on my computer who then went on to reenact the games with his preschool classmates.
  • Summer Arts Weekend and Esplanade Playspace – Peter, Kay & I enjoyed a performance by Dan Zanes & Friends, watched some Irish step dancers, and then played on the new playground along the Charles River.
  • Circle the City – The Greenway and several streets in Downtown Boston were closed to auto traffic so we enjoyed strolling, biking, playing and dancing in the street.  They should really do this every Sunday.
  • Farewell to Child Care – Peter said goodbye to his friends and teachers at Soldiers Field Park Child Care at a bittersweet goodbye circle.  It was time for him to move on, but sad for all of us to leave many good people behind.
  • South End Tour of the Month – I served as one of the guides for another magnificent Boston By Foot neighborhood tour that attracted 125 people on a Sunday in late August.
  • Canobie Lake and White Mountains – We enjoyed a great family vacation to New Hampshire featuring a visit to a charming amusement park, climbing up the Flume Gorge, visiting the longest candy counter in Littleton, and soaring up Cannon Mountain on the aerial tram.
  • Kindergarten – Peter started attending K1 at our local Boston Public elementary school and instantly having a great time making friends and learning new things.  As a family we’ve enjoyed playdates and picnics and making the school part of our everyday life.
  • Weekend in Washington – Peter & I flew to our nation’s capital for the Columbus Day weekend staying with our friends the Rossos and visiting museums and the National Zoo.
  • Hurricane Sandy – We were fortunate that in Boston, the hurricane just meant staying cooped inside for a day with only downed sticks and leaves (and a billboard near Forest Hills station) knocked over, but this storm hit close to home with the extensive damage to New York City (where my family is from and many friends and family still live) as well as New Jersey and Connecticut (two states where I used to live).
  • Peter’s Birthday Party – Peter turned 5 with a cast of thousands joining him at the YMCA for games, a moonbounce, and baseball-shaped cupcakes.


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 46,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 11 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


2012 Year in Review: Favorite Books

Here’s my annual list of my ten favorite books read in the year.  As always, this is merely the best books I read this year not books published in 2012 (books published this year are bolded in the complete list below).  For previous years see 20112010200920082007 and 2006. You may also want to check out My Favorite Books of All Time or see Every Book I’ve Ever Read cataloged in Library Thing.

In no particular order:

And now the complete list.  Not a great year for reading as I didn’t maintain much focus on reading and less so on reviewing books.

Books Read in 2012











  • The Sandman. [Volume 3], Dream Country by Nei Gaiman
  • The Sandman. [Volume 4], Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
  • The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde
  • Spook  by Mary Roach (A)
  • The Walking Dead 3 by Robert Kirkman
  • The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
  • Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog (A)
  • The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
  • The Walking Dead 4 by Robert Kirkman
  • The Sandman. [Volume 5], A Game of You by Neil Gaiman


  • The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon
  • Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel
  • The Walking Dead 5 by Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead 6 by Robert Kirkman
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders by Larry Millet


  • Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan (A)
  • The Walking Dead. Volume 15, We find ourselves by Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead. Volume 16, A Larger World by Robert Kirkman
  • The Magic Maker by Susan Cooper (A)
  • The Walking Dead. Volume 17: Something to Fear by Robert Kirkman
  • The Thoreau You Don’t Know by Robert Sullivan
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman

2012 Year in Review: Favorite Songs

It’s time again to review the year just passed starting with ten or so favorite songs I loved.  For previous years check out my lists for 20112010 and 2009.

Top 10 (in the random order they came up on my iPod):

  • Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
  • Caliban’s Dream by Underworld
  • Dirty Money by Antibalas
  • Please Forgive My Heart by Bobby Womack
  • Gun Has No Trigger by Dirty Projectors
  • Default by Django Django
  • Bright Whites by Kishi Bashi
  • Cartao Postal by Souljazz Orchestra
  • Here Again by Quantic and Alice Russell
  • Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It by Stars


  • Oblivion by Grimes
  • Akale Wube by Debo Band
  • Andrew in Drag by Magnetic Fields
  • Secret Days by School of Seven Bells

So what were your favorite songs of 2012?  What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Song of the Week: “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It” by Stars

I’m introducing a new feature to the Panorama of the Mountains blog, a “song of the week” post.   I’m going to try to highlight one current song a week that I like and want to share with others.   My hope having recently turned 39 is to keep up with current music trends rather than lolling about in nostalgia.

The debut song for this feature is “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It” by the band Stars.

I like the epic 80s-style synthpop vibe and the female vocalist who sings toward the end is reminiscent of Kate Bush.

This of course brings up the problem of liking new music only  because it sounds like old music.  It seems that much of the current music I like is reminiscent of 80s era punk and New Wave or 60s/70 soul in some revival or another.  If you’re reading this and know of music that is truly unique and representative of the 2012, let me know in the comments.