Trying to narrow down my favorite 2012 "What's In My Bag?" videos is a little bit like asking me to choose my favorite children. Each one is special and unique in its own way. But 'tis the season of "Best Of" lists, so here is my attempt at naming the top WIMBs from 2012, listed according to date posted because, really, picking 10 was hard enough.
Peanut Butter Wolf - January 3, 2012
We kicked off 2012 with a monster of a WIMB featuring DJ, producer, Stones Throw founder and Amoeba regular Peanut Butter Wolf, who had so many items he renamed the episode "What's In My Boxes." Missed some of his selections? Check out his full list here.
John Flansburgh - March 5, 2012
The guitarist and co-founder of They Might Be Giants, John Flansburgh, did a "show and tell" at Amoeba Hollywood, selecting reissues by The Zombies, Blossom Dearie, and The Hollies, plus California funk by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Band. After posting the video, we found out that half of John's picks from this Amoeba trip, and other records he'd picked up while on tour, were unfortunately burned in a trailer fire. See John's full list of picks here.
DJ Quik - March 12, 2012
DJ Quik, hip-hop MC/producer and one of the nicest guys around, shared his deep (and large!) bag which included The Main Ingredient, Millie Jackson, the Annie soundtrack, The Beatles, Katt Williams, and lots more. He also talked about gangsta and comedy going hand-in-hand and called Amoeba his "safe place." See Quik's full list of picks.
Wild Flag - March 26, 2012
Three quarters of the indie rock band Wild Flag (Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, and Rebecca Cole - Janet Weiss couldn't make it that day) debate what a Lionel Richie sandwich would look like and put out a call for a vinyl nanny to go on tour with them. Oh yes, and they also bought a bunch of records including George Jones, The Las, Yes, Iron Maiden, Bon Iver and more. See their full list of picks.
Lena Dunham & Lesley Arfin - April 9, 2012
Shortly before the launch of her hit HBO TV series Girls, writer/director/actress Lena Dunham visited Amoeba Hollywood for a signing of her Tiny Furniture DVD on Criterion. Friends and coworkers, Dunham and staff writer Arfin learned more about each other through their picks, including having a crush on the cartoon 8-year old in Home Movies, sharing an appreciation for The Others, quoting Strangers With Candy, and loving Fiona Apple. Incidentally, in the video Dunham tells The Sixth Sense to "go eat a baguette." See their full list of picks.
Grimes - June 11, 2012
One of the most talked about new artists of the year, electronic pop artist Grimes, caused a lot of controversy on YouTube with her inclusion of Justin Bieber in this video. When she talks about how under-appreciated he is, is she joking or is she serious? Is it Canadian fellowship? You be the judge. See her full list of picks, which also includes Blink-182, Balam Acab, Soft Cell and Jedi Mind Tricks.
Michael Monroe & Sami Yaffa - June 25, 2012
This one was an unexpected favorite of mine. The longtime friends and bandmates, who were in Hanoi Rocks together and currently play in the Michael Monroe Band, were having such a good time shopping and talking about music, and they clearly had a lot of passion for all types of music, including soul, funk, rock, and blues. It was really fun to watch them in action. See their full list of picks.
Bradford Cox - July 23, 2012
The Atlas Sound/Deerhunter musician had a very eclectic bag including the book "Cult Rockers" which had a large impact on his life, a Dead Moon t-shirt, and albums by Rosie & The Originals, The Everly Brothers and more. Plus, he had great stories and commentary on every pick. See his full list of picks.
tUnE-yArDs - August 20, 2012
Merrill Garbus (a.k.a. tUnE-yArDs) shopped mostly in the Africa section at Amoeba Hollywood, choosing records from her youth and newer African artists like Rokia Traore. Then her last pick is Genuwine. Every time I watch this video I'm reminded that I still need to pick up that Genuwine album. See her full list of picks.
Lee Ranaldo - October 8, 2012
The Sonic Youth guitarist shopped at Amoeba San Francisco, and told amazing, personal stories about how each item affected him, including noticing details like every member of The Talking Heads wearing a watch on stage. He also talks about ODB's comedic approach to hip hop in a similar way to how DJ Quik talked about Eazy-E in his WIMB. See Lee Ranaldo's full list of picks.
Because it's basically impossible to name just 10 videos, here are a few others that stood out this year.
Murs - August 27, 2012
Longtime friend of Amoeba, Murs, goes shopping for albums by Killer Mike, Punch Brothers and Green Day. But it was during a conversation about an Ethiopiques compilation that he said "rap isn't good enough to be associated with great music" and "rap is the lowest art form." It was a very interesting viewpoint from a hip-hop artist who both loves and hates hip-hop. Watch Murs' What's In My Bag? episode.
Serj Tankian - September 5, 2012
When we shot the Serj Tankian video at Amoeba Hollywood, we had a chance to talk about his love of film music, and how classical and rock can evoke different emotions using different tools. As an accomplished musician in many different styles of music, it was fascinating to hear him describe the benefits and differences between them. Watch Serj Tankian's What's In My Bag? episode.
Panos Cosmatos - September 10, 2012
The Beyond the Black Rainbow director chose films that traumatized him as a child, which makes for an excellent video but is very hard for me personally to watch because I'm such a chicken. (I never see scary movies because I just can't deal.) But then the director shares the other part of his personality - his love of pop music - and I can totally relate to that. Plus, the last 40 seconds or so are great. Watch Panos Cosmatos' What's In My Bag? episode.
Dave Gahan & Rich Machin - October 2, 2012
The Soulsavers pair shopped at Amoeba Hollywood for albums by Tim Hecker, Jack White, Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi and much more. When we posted this video online, the number one comment was along the lines of "Oh my god, Dave is still hot," which is true, of course. Watch Dave Gahan & Rich Machin's What's In My Bag? episode.
Jason Mewes - October 15, 2012
Jason Mewes (a.k.a. "Jay" from Jay & Silent Bob) shows his comic book stripes in this video, picking up DVDs from our Comics & Superheroes section. It's clear how much he loves comics and how knowledgable he is of the genre. But he's also just plain funny. Watch Jason Mewes' What's In My Bag? episode.