NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

Best Music Of 2012 (So Far)


Pretend #lastfm asked you to tweet your top three songs so far in 2012, what would you select?  Something straight from Billboard, or maybe a tune playing under the radar?

Well, Up to Date has assembled a panel of music lovers and asked for their selections of the best music so far in 2012.

Joining Steve Kraske for the discussion is Laura Lorson of Kansas Public Radio, KCUR morning host Michael Byars who produces and cohosts the weekly podcast, "The Mailbox," and Chris Haghirian, organizer of the Middle of the Map Music Festival, and cohost of “The Mailbox.”

We invite you to listen to their selections then let us know if you agree or if you've downloaded different tunes this year.  Join the conversation: call 816.235.2888 during the show, email, Tweet us @KCURUptoDate, or join KCUR's Facebook discussion.

Michael Byars' list:

ARTIST - Title - Album

HIDDEN PICTURES – “Rainbow Records” – Rainbow Records

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA – “11:11” – Area 52

LEE FIELDS and THE EXPRESSIONS – “Faithful Man” – Faithful Man

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS – “Lafaye” – Ghostory

SURROUNDHER – “Visiting Ming” – Surroundher

JIMMY CLIFF – “Children’s Bread” – Rebirth

BOWERBIRDS – “In The Yard” – The Clearing

Chris Haghirian’s list:

FATHER JOHN MISTY – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” – Fear Fun

PURITY RING – “Loftcries” – Ungirthed (single)

JAPANDROIDS – “The House That Heaven Built” – Celebration Rock

HEEMS – “Coca Cola Freestyle” – Nehru Jackets

SANTIGOLD – “This Isn’t Our Parade” – Master Of My Make-Believe

GRIMES – “Genesis” – Visions

POLICA – “Dark Star” – Give You The Ghost

Laura Lorson's list:

JD McPHERSON - “Scratchin' Circles”

ALLO DARLIN' - “Capricornia”

DONNIE & JOE EMERSON - “Give Me the Chance”

TY SEGALL BAND - “Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart”

ACTRESS - “Caves of Paradise”


MOUNT EERIE - “Lone Bell”

Laura Lorson is a native of Louisville, Ky., but came to Kansas in 1983. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas. After graduation, she left the area for more than a decade, attending graduate school and working for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill. When an opportunity opened at KPR, she happily returned to Lawrence.  You can read more about Laura here. Chris Haghirian is an account executive with Ink Magazine, co-founder of Ink’s Middle of the Map Festival, organizer of various music promotions for Ink, and co-host of the weekly webcast “The Mailbox” on Midwest Music Found dot org

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.
Michael started volunteering for the membership drives back in 1997 and has also helped at other KCUR events such as the Great Record Sale I and II, the Ethnic Enrichment Festival, and both live broadcasts of "A Prairie Home Companion" from Starlight Theatre. His on-air career began in December, 2000, as a part-time announcer during classical music. He later became our Saturday afternoon announcer before moving on up to full-time Morning Edition host in November 2002. Occasionally, you might hear his voice on "The Fish Fry", where he serves as a fill-in for Chuck when he's away; he also engineers interview segments and edits the show's archived broadcasts. In his spare time (and yes, he does have some), Michael loves being an uncle to his niece and nephews (Abigail, Hayden, and Nathan, Uncle Mike loves you!) and enjoys ethnic restaurants, listening to live music and sleeping.