3 Minute Record

"We learned more from a three minute record baby than we ever learned in school..." -from No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen

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3 Minute Record presents the Best Albums of 2012

Today, it's time to share with our readers the 3 Minute Record Best Albums of 2012. Yesterday, we posted our first podcast in which we talked about our favorite albums of this year. In case you missed it, due to all the holiday food filling up your belly, please do us a favor be sure to check it out! (To download: Right Click (PC)/CTRL-Click (Mac) and then select Save Link As….)

Tonight, our staff will do our very best to spin many of these records and much more at The Royale from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. We hope you can join us for a pint or two at our favorite corner watering hole and listen to some of our favorite music from this year. Please - as the sign above indicates - just don't sit at the back table at 10 p.m.

So, without further pomp and circumstance here is our list. Enjoy!

Best of 2012


Lucero - Women and Work (ATO)
Hot Water Music - Exister (Rise)
Cory Branan - Mutt (Bloodshot)
Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes (Full Time Hobby)
Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten (Mercury)


Japandroids - Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls (ATO)
White Rabbits - Milk Famous (TBD)
Minus The Bear - Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird)
Blake Fleming - Time's Up (self-released)

Reissues: My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991 Creation / 2012 Sony)
Shiner - The Egg (2001 DeSoto / 2012 Son Of Man)
Archers Of Loaf - Vee Vee (1995 Alias / 2012 Merge)
Sugar - Copper Blue (1992 Ryko / 2012 Merge)
Codeine – Barely Real EP (1992 Sub Pop / 2012 The Numero Group)


Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory (Carpark)
Wanda Jackson - Unfinished Business (Sugar Hill)
Make Do and Mend - Everything You Ever Loved (Rise)
The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past (Epitaph)
Japandroids - Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)


Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (Columbia)
Cat Power - Sun (Matador)
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar)
Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe (XL Recordings)
Heartless Bastards - Arrow (Partisan Records)

Reissues: R.E.M. - Document [25th Anniversary Edition] (1987 I.R.S. / 2012 Capitol)
Peter Gabriel - So [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] (1986 Geffen / 2012 Real World Productions)
The Velvet Underground & Nico - S/T [45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition] (1967 Verve / 2012 Polydor/UME)
Ryan Adams - Life After Deaf [Live Boxset] (PAXAM)
Cotton Mather - Kontiki (1997 Copper Records / 2012 Star Apple Kingdom)

Finally, feel free to take a look back at our 2011 Lists here - Bart / Jeff / Scott

3 Minute Record Presents the Best of 2011: Part 2 ...Time flies when you're having fun

We present part 2 in our series of posts regarding the Best of 2011. Here's Bart Darnell with his take on what happened last year in chronological order. His list of favorite albums is located at the bottom of the post. Enjoy! - Scott Allen Wow, where did the year go? I'm going to make an attempt to remember all the awesomeness that happened musically this year. 2011 sure was a great year to be a music fan. In the interest of this not being especially long, I am going to just list everything that I remember and not go into too much detail about the events. All you need to know is that everything listed below was completely amazing. Here goes...

The year pretty much got kicked into high gear with Marshall Crenshaw and The Bottle Rockets at Off Broadway. A trip out to Vegas included going to see Social Distortion/Lucero/Chuck Ragan at The House Of Blues. Ben Folds rocked the Pageant. February brought Less Than Jake to Pop's and Johnathan Richman to Off Broadway.

Spring started to creep in and along with warmer weather, brought along shows from Two Cow Garage, Will Hoge, and Sebadoh. The Beale St. Music Festival (part of Memphis in May) was a whirlwind of terrific music. The Flaming Lips, Amy LaVere, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lucinda Williams, The Coug, Cee Lo, Wilco, and Lucero were just some of the highlights for me. May continued on with great shows from Ted Leo, Will Johnson, and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit.

Twangfest rolled around in June. Kentucky Knife Fight, Elizabeth Cook, Hayes Carll, Cumberland Gap, Robbie Fulks, Marah, Steve Wynn, and the Baseball Project all delivered. I got to meet Mike Mills! Sadly, June also saw the passing of Clarence Clemons. I spent the night listening to the Boss and having a few brews in honor of the Big Man. The first week of July was truly epic with shows from Elvis Costello, Centro-Matic, and Dave Alvin! Amy LaVere played an amazing show at Off Broadway in August. As summer started to fade, I got to take my brother to see Gillian Welch at the Pageant for his birthday.

October 2011 was about as perfect a month as any could ever be. The Cards made the postseason by the skin of their teeth. Wilco rocked the newly  re-opened Peabody Opera House. Tom Russell played Off Broadway on the night that the Cards finished off the Phillies in Game 5 of the NLDS. The next night, he played another great show at Turner Hall in Mt. Olive, IL. Matthew Sweet played the Duck Room and treated the crowd to his masterpiece, Girlfriend, in its entirety. (How can it really be the 20 year anniversary of that record? We're getting old!) The next night, Robbie Fulks and Willy Porter wowed the crowd at Off Broadway, and the Cards dispatched of the Brewers in the NLCS. Fittingly, I was running sound at The Tap Room for Fred Friction and the Trophy Mules when the Redbirds clinched their 11th title.

The year started to wind down with shows from Joshua Black Wilkins and the Jayhawks in November. December saw Jason Isbell and John Prine play at the Touhill. Lucero rocked Off Broadway. Sadly, Warren Hellman, founder of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, passed away on December 18th. Cory Branan and Dave Hause combined their super powers at Cicero's. The last big show of the year was, of course, from Lucero. Their annual Christmas show at Minglewood Hall, this year with Amy LaVere, was the perfect finish to 2011.

Off Broadway continued their domination of being the best venue in town. Congrats to Steve and his crew for their ongoing excellence! Was sad to see FSFU come to an end. Was really sad to hear that R.E.M. were retiring. Jeff gave me my first fix of R.E.M. and they are the reason I met and became friends with Scott. You could say, this blog is a product of that band. Really wish I could have got at least one more live show from them though. Big congrats to Jamal McLaughlin for starting the Foot In The Door local showcases at the Wildey Theater in Edwardsville, IL. The three showcases featured great local bands and performers including, The Highway Companion, Vanilla Beans, Belleview, Explosive Space Modulator, Robin Bettonville Hileman, Greg Silsby, The Flatwheel Band, Bruiser Queen, Super Fun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, and I Have A Bomb. Keep the fires burning sir! Listen Up Nite was another great local showcase of local singer-songwriters that was held at the Focal Point. Fred Friction, John Krane, Dana Anderson, Steve Chosich, Dave Werner, Jesse Irwin, and Katie Jones were just some of the amazing talent that graced the stage at Listen Up Nites. Of course, I can't forget to mention the fantastical day of hanging with my buds during this years Record Store Day. It was a great day of live music, tasty beers, and records, records, records! Scott, Jeff, and I all got to start being part of the record spins at The Royale on a monthly basis. Thank you Scott for getting us in there!

I got to run/provide sound for the following bands/artists this year. Thank you all for allowing me to be part of what you do and to continue to get better at it. Here's the list: The Trophy Mules, The Scapegoats, Joshua Black Wilkins, Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, The Reflectacles, Fred Friction, Trigger 5, Prairie Rehab, Katie and the Curs, Pistol Pete and the Country Stank, Dibiase (though I didn't really have to do anything), The Great Crusades, The Plane Austers, an almost full lineup of Suede Chain (!!!), and Dana Anderson. Big thanks again to Jamal for letting me be involved with the sound for the third installment of Foot In The Door. (Big thanks to Jeff and Josh for helping out that night as well!)

I know I'm forgetting a lot of other stuff. But in the interest of wrapping this up, 2011 was a great year. 2012 has a lot to live up to. Here's just a few of the things I'm looking forward to in the 2012. New Lucero record and tour. New Springsteen record and tour. Craig Finn at Off Broadway. Hopefully a new Franklin Felix record. (Hurry up Jeff! Just kidding sir. No seriously, hurry up!) Frank Turner at Off Broadway. Lots of apparent activity from Hot Water Music. New John Krane record? Todd Snider at The Sheldon. Promise Ring reunion show in Chicago. New Cory Branan record. Hanging with buds at Record Store Day. 2012, let's do this...

Here's a list of the records that spun heavily in my collection from 2011 in no particular order:

  • Tom Russell - Mesabi
  • Hayes Carll - KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories)
  • Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
  • Chuck Ragan - Covering Ground
  • Centro-Matic - Candidate Waltz
  • Will Johnson - Little Raider (EP)
  • Braid - Closer To Closed (EP)
  • Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven
  • Glossary - Long Live All Of Us
  • Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Here We Rest
  • Amy LaVere - Stranger Me
  • Title Tracks - In Blank
  • Dave Hause - Resolutions
  • The Horrible Crowes - Elsie
  • The Blind Eyes - With A Bang
  • Joshua Black Wilkins - The Girlfriend Sessions

Happy New Year everyone!

3 Minute Record presents the Best of 2011: Part 1

Happy New Year! While we are excited to see what happens in 2012, there were some great musical highlights from the previous year we'd like to touch on. Over three posts we will present our individual thoughts about our favorite music of the year that was 2011. No list is the same or meant to be definitive, but these are the albums that touched us the most last year. The lists are not ranked, but in no particular order. We start out today with the list supplied by Jeff Fields. Thanks for reading. Enjoy! - Scott Allen 

Best Albums of 2011

White Denim - D (Downtown)
Mathy-indie, hippie-prog shredders from Austin make a deep & wide record that could make your favorite rock critic exhaust their treasure trove of adjectives.

Wye Oak - Civilian (Merge)
Lushly dark & surprisingly heavy emotion makes this record so easy to get lost in (not unlike when I was 14 and every song still had the "new car scent"). They meld the power of Neil Young and shoegaze 90’s rock with a gentle frailty.

The Head And The Heart - The Head And The Heart (Sub Pop)
This album rides the nouveau-folk trail blazed by Fleet Foxes, but does so with a poppier feel (and a lot less reverb).

Chris Thile & Michael Daves - Sleep With One Eye Open (Nonesuch)
This bluegrass mandolin & guitar duo harken back to a Stanley Brothers style sound. They provide excellent picking and some classic covers. This was the best bluegrass record to come out in 2011, hands down.

Gillian Welch (& David Rawlings) - The Harrow And The Harvest (Acony)
Gillian and David are the two most symbiotic singer/songwriters working today. Folk songs of death, whiskey and the south so visual they paint themselves in between your ears.

Wilco - The Whole Love (dBpm)
Wilco has given us their most diverse record yet. Songs range from electro rave-ups to pure indie rock to 60's pop throwbacks. This may be a diverse record, but all tracks are consistently anchored by excellent core songs.

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light (RCA)
There are 11 tracks on this record and only 2 of these are not rock radio anthem quality. Nobody writes records this hit laden anymore, not even the Black Eyed Peas. Wasting Light was recorded 100% analog. Respect is due people!

Hayes Carll - KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) (Lost Highway)
Carll is a country chameleon with some of the best swinging country, talking blues, ballads and boozing anthems ever written for one album. Think Dylan, but country and with a Generation X angle.

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead (Capitol)
This record exemplifies everything you want in a great record. There is great recording/production, great songs/arrangement and great performances. These songs are the perfect marriage of indie rock and acoustic folk. It has superstar cameos and an excellent “making of” documentary. It is as perfect a swan song as any band can give to the world.

The Washover Fans - That Habit Suits You (CDBY)
This Seattle folk/americana/acoustic group delivers fresh songs with an earnest delivery. They never attempt to feign a southern accent or appear as anything they are not. The male/female vocal harmonies drive these very personal songs with great passion. This record is great example of a new band with great potential.

Best Reissues of 2011

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (Deluxe Edition) (Mercury)
There are a few reasons to love this reissue. They didn’t release a new remaster of the original album (ie. overcompress it so the kids think it’s loud enough), but reissued the 1996 remaster. They give you some beefed up remixes of the “hits” featuring new guitar overdubs. They include some great live from the BBC tracks. A classic record that never gets old, period.

The Jayhawks – Tomorrow The Green Grass (Legacy Edition) (American)
It was hard to pick which of the reissued Jayhawks records was the best of the two, the decision was made by the sheer volume of extras included here. You get a whole second disc or rarities, three versions of “Blue” and a copy of the great title track too. This is an overlooked classic that will hopefully find a bigger audience now that The Jayhawks have reunited.

Material Issue – International Pop Overthrow - 20th Anniversary Edition (Hip-O Select)
This record is an early 90’s pop-rock monster. Material Issue crafted a classic that now should rank next to the best of Big Star, Cheap Trick or The Smithereens. There are 4 songs with girls in the title and 3 of those were singles. The girl song formula was well used on this record and done very well.

Smashing Pumpkins – Gish (Deluxe Edition) (Virgin)
There have been rumblings of a proper remix or remaster of this record since 1997, so I was glad when I realized it was truly coming out. When I finally listened to remastering of this cd I realized my worst fears. This version was very compressed and lost much of the dynamics that made the original so great. The true saving grace for this (along with the Siamese Dream reissue) is the extra tracks. There are remixed versions of some songs (including Drown, Sub Pop single and demos) and some Peel session tracks. The real treat is the unreleased songs, not the remaster. The same holds true for the Siamese Dream package too.

Can – Tago Mago (40th Anniversary Edition) (Mute U.S.)
Only Can could craft this devastatingly intricate and unique record. That is all you really can say about this record. This new package includes 3 live songs, which is actually 47 minutes of music (hopefully that clues you in to how intricate the songs are).

Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon (Immersion Box Set) (Capitol/EMI)
This is an epic collection of songs and a legendary recording session. Since its release it has been a true classic of rock and roll. This set includes a very compressed 2011 remaster along with every possible audiophile version of the record (including HD, quadrophonic and an early mix of the record) along with a 1972 live performance of the whole record.

The Dismemberment Plan – Emergency & I (Vinyl Edition) (Desoto)
Some records sound dated or echo a certain scene or era. Emergency and I seems just awkward enough to elude this type of stamping. This record emerged from a convergence of some pretty fantastic elements like two great producers (J. Robbins & Chad Clark), a band with extreme talent finally crafting structured songs and quirky (but catchy) introspective lyrics.

Queens Of The Stone Age – Queens Of The Stone Age (Remastered) (Domino/Rekords)
This is a very cohesive and massive début record. It says everything you need to know about Queens. Originally released on an independent label in 1998, this record has been out of print for quite a while. It displays the blueprint for Queens’ signature sound. Domino Records re-released this record and gave newcomers a second chance to own this epic début.

The Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions (2 CD) (Capitol/EMI)
It took 40+ years to release. If you bought Brian Wilson’s Smile release then you know what you’ve been missing. The Brian version is a much more high fidelity version, but any true fan of music wants to hear what everyone has been missing for half of a century.

Superchunk – Foolish (Remastered) (Merge)
Originally, it only took 3 days to record this dark and angular indie classic. Some of the darkness stems from a Fleetwood Mac style band couple breakup. The great folks at Merge wisely included demos, acoustic versions and outtakes along with an entire live set. Bob Weston’s subtle but perfect remastering should give other engineers an example of how to approach and execute flawlessly.

Best Local Beers at a Local Show in 2011

  • Stag at Off Broadway at Lucero show
  • Schlafly ESB at The Pageant at The Jayhawks
  • Budweiser at Scotttrade at Foo Fighters

Best Albums Of 2010

  1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs [Merge]
  2. The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang [Side One Dummy]
  3. Josh Ritter - So Runs The World Away [Pytheas]
  4. The Black Keys - Brothers [Nonesuch]
  5. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest [4AD]
  6. The New Pornographers - Together [Matador]
  7. The National - High Violet [4AD]
  8. The Mynabirds - What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood [Saddle Creek]
  9. Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses - Junky Star [Lost Highway]
  10. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor [XL]
  11. Band Of Horses - Infinite Arms [Columbia]
  12. Alejandro Escovedo - Street Songs Of Love [Fantasy]
  13. Peter Wolf - Midnight Souvenirs [Verve]
  14. John Mellencamp - No Better Than This [Rounder]
  15. Spoon - Transference [Merge]
  16. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - I Learned The Hard Way [Daptone]
  17. Teenage Fanclub - Shadows [Merge]
  18. Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues [Bloodshot]
  19. Alejandro Escovedo - Street Songs Of Love [Fantasy]
  20. Bruce Springsteen - The Promise [Columbia]
  21. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Mojo [Reprise]
  22. She & Him - Volume Two [Merge]
  23. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks [Matador]
  24. Beach House - Teen Dream [Sub Pop]
  25. The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever [Vagrant]
  26. Midlake - The Courage of Others [Bella Union]
  27. Vampire Weekend - Contra [XL]
  28. Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do [ATO]
  29. Neil Young - Le Noise [Reprise]
  30. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me [Drag City]
  31. Jenny And Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now [Warner Bros.]
  32. The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt [Dead Oceans]
  33. The Fresh & Onlys - Play It Strange [In The Red]
  34. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig [Nonesuch]
  35. Jesse Malin - Love It To Life [Side One Dummy]
  36. Ok Go - Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky [Paracadute]
  37. Blitzen Trapper - Destroyer Of The Void [Sub Pop]
  38. The Old 97's - The Grand Theatre Volume One [New West]
  39. Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love [Matador]
  40. Best Coast - Crazy For You [Mexican Summer]
  41. The Black Angels - Phosphene Dream [Blue Horizon Ventures]
  42. Jamey Johnson - The Guitar Song [Mercury Nashville]
  43. Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise [RCA]
  44. Elvis Costello - National Ransom [Hear Music]
  45. Patty Griffin - Downtown Church [Credential]
  46. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue [Nonesuch]
  47. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
  48. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding [Merge]
  49. Court Yard Hounds - S/T [Columbia]
  50. Mavis Staples - You Are Not Alone [Anti]
  51. Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave [American]
  52. Jakob Dylan - Women And Country [Columbia]
  53. Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil [Anti]
  54. Broken Bells - S/T [Columbia]
  55. Rufus Wainwright - All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu [Decca]
  56. Rogue Wave - Permalight [Sub Pop]
  57. Griffin House - The Learner [Nettwerk]
  58. Minus The Bear - Omni [Dangerbird]
  59. Avi Buffalo - S/T [Sub Pop]
  60. Robert Plant - Band Of Joy [Es Paranza/Rounder]
  61. Trampled By Turtles - Palomino [Banjodad]
  62. The Avett Brothers - Live, Volume 3 [American]
  63. John Prine - In Person & On Stage [Oh Boy]
  64. Tim Barry - 28th And Stonewall
  65. Dierks Bentley - Up On The Ridge