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TAS In Session Flashback 2012: Part Two

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Throughout the last year, The Alternate Side staff —  Russ Borris, Alisa Ali, Eric Holland and Kara Manning — has chatted with dozens of up-and-coming and established bands in our live sessions, spanning the globe from Dalama, Sweden (The Tallest Man On Earth) to Toronto, Canada (Metric) to San Francisco, California (Geographer).

The first part of our TAS in 2012 retrospective was published last week, and as we dive into 2013, we're revisiting more of those sessions — and live performance videos — that we liked. We'll also report on what's coming up for those bands in 2013.

And another big round of applause for the intrepid WFUV/The Alternate Side engineering and video teams too, the folks who mixed, filmed and photographed the sessions. All are Fordham University alumni, undergraduates or graduate students, led by WFUV's George Evans, Jim O'Hara and Joe Grimaldi: Daniel Hodd, Jeremy Rainer,  Andrew Arnie,  Claire Donovan, Alex Erker, Colin Fitzgerald, Zack Garnett, Dylan Hasson, Donald Lee Hayden, Claire Lorenzo, Fenizia Maffucci, Rafael Moure-Punnett, Diego Siler-Gonzales and Erica Talbott.

Missed the TAS in Session with Alt-J earlier this year? You can catch it again on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, January 4, at 11 a.m., also streaming online.

Alt-J (published September 2012)
Lesson learned from the Leeds band Alt-J — it doesn't hurt to include the word "awesome" in your debut album's title. Thanks to the group's powerful debut, An Awesome Wave, Alt-J found itself one of the most heralded and hyped young bands to emerge from Britain this year, sealing the deal by snagging the brass ring of UK accolades, the Mercury Prize. The group just wrapped a short U.S. swing this month and will spend most of 2013 on tour, including another sweep through North America in March. Look for two New York gigs at Webster Hall (March 22) and Terminal 5 (March 24).

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G10kL2gqvfo]

Poliça (published July 2012)
The soft-spoken Channy Leaneagh and her bandmates — including non-touring member and producer Ryan Olson — unleashed a quiet storm of an album in 2012, Poliça's trippy debut, Give You The Ghost. The Minnesota collective toured through most of the year after making a big, buzzy splash at SXSW and made major television appearances on shows like NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and the BBC's "Later with Jools Holland." The touring continues this winter — Poliça launches an Australian/New Zealand tour on January 28 with another batch of European dates to follow in March.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWLe0Z2McIw]

The Tallest Man On Earth (published October 2012)
Kristian Matsson released his third, full-length The Tallest Man on Earth album, There's No Leaving Now, earlier this year. As a Christmas gift to fans, Matsson and his wife, Amanda Hollingby Matsson of Idiot Wind, posted a video of the pair covering Damien Jurado's "Working Titles." Matsson will be dodging part of Sweden's cold winter and heading off on a two-week tour of Australia on February 28.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHR-KP3PBxI]

Perfume Genius (published March 2012)
If any session of the last year was most memorable for its startling, unflinching intimacy, it might well be The Alternate Side's interview with Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius. The Seattle singer and songwriter's candid second album, Put Your Back N 2 It, soared near the top of many "Best of 2012" lists from music critics, tastemakers, bloggers and fans.  Perfume Genius embarked on a North American tour earlier this year opening for Sigur Rós, a perfect, haunting match of songwriting temperament and tenderness. Earler this month, Perfume Genius joined the lineup of The National curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival in England. Australia is next, beginning January 26 at the Sydney Festival.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4IcpiIulrU]

Daughter (published December 2012)
Like Perfume Genius, London-based band Daughter is no stranger to brutal honesty when it comes to songwriting. Singer Elena Tonra's dark, often self-flagellating view on romance is focused intently on an earlier experience in her life; her current boyfriend is Daughter producer and guitarist Igor Haefeli. Thankfully, the the pair seemed pretty darn happy when they visited the Bronx for their session. Daughter's quick ascent to blogosphere buzz band can be attributed to their two strong EPs, but the trio finally release their debut, with mostly new material, on Glassnote (US) and 4AD (UK and Europe) early next year. They begin a headlining UK tour on January 14 in Norwich, England which includes a notable stop at London's Hackney Empire on January 24.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-8HYHQq7_8]

Twin Shadow (published July 2012)
Motorcycle enthusiast George Lewis Jr., who speeds through the stratosphere as Twin Shadow, lived out of a suitcase for the bulk of 2012 supporting his second album Confess. No 2013 tour dates are announced yet, but Lewis is an enthusiastic blogger who'll likely reveal his plans quite soon.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSlYF8J4YME]

Icky Blossoms (published November 2012
Releasing one of the slinkiest singles of the year, "Babes," Omaha's Icky Blossoms released its self-titled debut on Saddle Creek. The trio wrapped up their adventurous year of touring — which included a broken down van outside of Chicago and support slots with The Faint — with a a hometown gig in cold Nebraska. Nothing yet slated for the new year, but Icky Blossoms do maintain an amusing and verbose Facebook presence.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeCSptPohCA]

Exitmusic (published September 2012)
Aside from claiming one of the most romantic backstories of any rock 'n' roll couple, Exitmusic's Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church also released one of the year's most brooding albums, the darkly passionate Passage. Their mesmerizing live performance for The Alternate Side earned them an NPR mention as a "Favorite Session" and the beguiling pair toured North America and Europe extensively, returning home for a final 2012 show at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory in the beginning of December.  Tour dates for 2013 are forthcoming.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaJgIzIWKZg]

The Antlers (published December 2012)
The Antlers finished out 2012 with December sets at The National's curated weekend of bands at All Tomorrow's Parties in Camber Sands, England and as part of New York's "4 Artists, 1 Cause" charity concert, to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief. As a holiday gift, the band offered fans a free download of Brent Arnold's "re-imagination" of "No Widows" from 2011's Burst Apart. The Antlers will play Festival Centro in Bogota, Columbia on January 16.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUi7LUS9bh4]

The Walkmen (published June 2012)
New York's The Walkmen will greet 2013 by looking back about nine years; the band will reissue a vinyl version of its second album, 2004's Bows + Arrows, on January 22, just in time for a wintry North American tour with Father John Misty. That road trip, still supporting The Walkmen's seventh album, Heaven, begins January 11 in Philadelphia. (although Father John Misty joins them beginning January 15 in Montréal). Back in November, The Walkmen also released a limited edition 7" featuring two previously unreleased songs from the Heaven sessions, "Dance With Your Partner" and "Vermeer '65." The single is still available here.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0JeRR2UG1Q]

Geographer (published in May 2012)
San Francisco's Geographer released Myth earlier this year and then promptly commenced a mythically long year of touring. Like many other bands traveling through New York at the end of October in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Geographer's show with Freelance Whales at Webster Hall was postponed on November 1. The two bands were able to reschedule the gig on November 7. Freelance Whales and Geographer, whose members have strong local roots, donated some proceeds from that show to storm relief efforts. Geographer hasn't bothered to unpack for 2013: the trio is set for a winter tour which begins January 12 in Portland, Oregon.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHc3RXeLwyQ]

Gold Fields (published in May 2012)
When Gold Fields visited the Bronx earlier this year, the Ballarat, Australia band was on the brink of releasing its first EP in the States, bolstered by the sunny single "Treehouse." At long last, the young, promising dance rock quintet will release its debut Black Sun on February 26 in North America and on March 8 in Australia/NZ. The first single off of the collection, produced by Mickey Petralia (Beck, Peaches), is the shimmering  "Dark Again." Gold Fields will be tirelessly touring in 2013, kicking things off with a couple of festivals in Australia and then embarking on another U.S. tour, co-headlining with A Silent Film. The two bands land at Bowery Ballroom on February 6.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLndITijot4]