Star Gazing: TMF favourites look into 2012
It's a tradition almost as old as Christmas itself, and certainly just as controversial: the annual TMF Albums of the Year list. For some artists, being included on the list is the closest they'll ever come to feeling wanted; for others it's no more welcome than a tropical fly buzzing around their poolside cocktail. For TMF management, it's a rare opportunity to chastise colleagues for their appalling judgement and lack of taste - both musical and sartorial. Young people: can't live with 'em, can't live ... no, just can't abide them, cluttering up the office with their skinny legs and even skinnier waists. I tell you, it's nothing a wet hike up Honister Pass wouldn't solve.
Another festive tradition is when we look down the list and wonder which acts we can approach with a few seasonal questions. This is less straightforward than it might otherwise seem, especially when some names are locked away in their studio, busy pondering whether anyone will notice if they re-use that Garageband sample just one more time. Others are busy washing their hair or snorting coke from the backs of teenage downloaders. So next time they're pushing an album we'll just have to make sure we've got our emails set to 'Out of Office'. Oh, and get a proper job while you're at it.
But the acts below? We love them. Like us, they are the nice people. Take a leaf out of their books. Musicians, 2012: more nice; less rotten music.
How did it feel when your lovely label told you 'David Comes To Life' was included in the TMF Best Albums of 2011?
An honour of course. Here's to all the potential pleasure willed upon all of your (hopefully) obedient readers!
Santa Claus has been on the phone - what do you want for Christmas?
This year i'm hoping for a Next 'Make it Quick' 7" or a juicer.
How is next year looking in the old Fucked Up crystal ball?
2012 won't be much different for us. A little less roaring out of the gate, but plenty of fuel burning for the winter. Keep your ears available.
Hey, Summer Camp - I'm just ringing to say your album is one of our favourites of 2011.
Wow, thank you! We are so honoured. We're big fans of The Music Fix, so this is like an early Christmas present.
Really? I bet you say that to all the boys/girls. What are you hoping is in Santa's gigantic sack this year?
Argh, we're trying to compile our lists at the same time as doing everything else on our to do list. Jeremy wants a synth box, Elizabeth wants some shoes that fit (apparently impossible). Oh, and world peace.
What are your plans for 2012? (That's a phrase we never thought we'd get to say - especially after breaking open that second bottle of meths.)
We're going to be away a lot, which is exciting. Should be going to Bangkok, America and UK and Europe again, we can't wait. We're also working on our next release which we're gagging to get started on. It's going to be death metal funk.
No, this isn't Luigi's Pizza Express - it's The Music Fix calling to say your album made it onto our Top 30 albums of 2011. How do you feel?
For Christmas, we've clubbed together and bought you a knitted item. Any guesses what that might be?
Anything but a giant sock that has no mate.
Oh. Is there anything you would like to happen in 2012?
Get on more special people lists.
I'll not shit you around: great album = on our list.
We are all really pleased! It means a lot to get recognition for the work we put into it, and it also really spurs us on in regards to getting the next album finished and seeing how that goes down. It will be the first recordings we've done as a three piece with programmed drums.
We've just stuck our fingers up to The Man and turned over a bank. What can we buy you with the proceeds?
Laura is hoping for a pair of silver trousers and The Carpenters' 'Ticket To Ride' on record. Karl wants an electric razor. Ben wants a cool red cowboy shirt like George Harrison's.
I think we have spares of all of those. Especially the shirt. Next 365?
We are really looking forward to finishing our second album, getting it released and playing some live shows with the new sounds. Also, we are already getting excited about getting stuck into new songs for the third album which should be complete late next year. Plus we are all looking forward to having long hair and taking on a more bohemian lifestyle.
Gentlemen, turns out your album made it into our Top 30 albums list-o.
Thank you for including us. Feels nice to be considered for these things. Hopefully a few people who missed it when it was released will now find out about our album.
You were promised jetpacks and were terribly let down. What would make next year less of a disappointment?
Loads of turkey. An M&S voucher. Ryan Reynolds and Jamie Redknapp wear the clothes from there. And to see lots of family and friends in a happy setting. Christmas is my favourite time of year. Everyone is always so jovial.
Assuming you make it through Christmas without a collapsed lung, what's happening in the next twelve months?
Tour loads. Hopefully make it out to a few places that we haven't been before. And to write our third album.
Fellow Cumbrians, we are pleased to announce your album is in our Top 30 of 2011.
Awesome. Wonderful. Never assumed, always appreciated.
Being in the website game we obviously have shedloads of spare cash to give away at this time of the year. Want anything?
If someone could see their way to buying me a Yamaha CS-30 in full working order, that would be great. Otherwise, I'd be happy with a pack of Matchmakers.
Matchmakers, eh? I think they have them cheap in Home Bargains. What are your plans are for 2012? (Don't let anyone promise you jetpacks, btw.)
We'll be touring a little more, and eventually getting into our little lab to write some more. It already feels like forever.
Hey, Mary - you be in our list!
Thank you, that's nice to hear.
If I had any cash I'd buy Team WF a present. So let's imagine I have cash. Wot you want?
Carrie would like a double neck guitar; Janet would like light up drum stix; Rebecca would like a keytar, and Mary would like a lute. Thank you for asking.
I have an orange. You could split it. What are your plans are for 2012?
We are pretty busy until May. In the end of January and early February we will be doing a few weeks of shows in Europe. In March we will be in Australia, and then in April we will be playing some shows back in the U.S.
Several million albums were released in 2011. You made one of the best.
We are very to be happy to be in the fine company of so many good albums this year. When we made this record we were pleased with the results, but we had no idea if anyone would have the patience in this modern age to listen to it in the right way. We believe in humanity again. Thank you.
Imagine you might get real Christmas presents instead of daft emails from Northern England. What might those real presents be?
A bottle of Lagavulin 14 year old; a plane ticket to a small island (with good food); a working tape delay; a small revolution; more time; new socks; a Boesendorfer Imperial (with extra lower octave).
C'mon ... I don't even know what some of that stuff is! 2012: how's it hangin'?
Playing more concerts; taking a real holiday; fixing all the broken analogue gear in my studio, and writing a new record.