Is this year over yet? Well, close enough. So in honor of 2012 we've dug through the past 12 months of stories looking for the greatest hits. Below you'll find the stories (minus most of the newsy stuff) that people clicked on each month. And if thousands of other people clicked on these stories, you'll want to too. Don't trust us, trust your fellow readers.
By Mike Escoto
Hi, my name is Mike Escoto and I like music. In particular, I enjoy live music. As you might reasonably guess, my enjoyment of live music is why I contribute to Up on the Sun, in addition to co-running my own blog, Electric Mustache. It's a little crazy, but I actually get paid to go see concerts. Whether or not I actually deserve to get paid for my reviews is a discussion for another time, or, you know, the comments section of this blog post.
By my count I've reviewed 34 concerts for Up on the Sun since 2009, and I've probably been to another 30-or-so in that time frame either for another publication or my own personal enjoyment. Most have been enjoyable; a few have been amazing and a few have been total shit.
Usually, my enjoyment is based on the performance of the band or musician I'm going to see that night. That is, in my opinion, how it should be. But occasionally, external factors creep in. Sometimes it's the sound mix, or the lighting, but lately, I've noticed an increasing problem at the shows I go to. It's likely a problem you have experienced yourself.
By Lenni Rosenblum
Former American Idol Adam Lambert teamed up with Queen for live performances this year.
We were decidedly unhappy about this development. While Lambert said he was doing this "to pay tribute to Freddie and the band by singing some fucking great songs," that couldn't possibly be his only motive. If he wanted to pay tribute to Queen, he should have started a tribute band.
Lambert wasn't exactly the best pick for someone to take the place of Freddie Mercury, which, for the record, nobody should even be doing in the first place. He's Freddie Mercury. You can't top that. But if anyone is going to try, we came up with a few other suggestions that would have easily topped Lambert.
By Anthony Sandoval
We found out this year that a lot of people like Radiohead. I mean, really like Radiohead.
Just kidding. Of course we knew, because most of us really like Radiohead too, but some of our readers had a field day admonishing my colleague when she casually admitted that she didn't quite "get" the British band ahead of their show in Glendale.
Fans wasted no time correcting her, with one reader even making a pretty-much-valid point, saying Yorke and the boys "de-constructed and then re-assembled the structures within contemporary rock music, introduced new shades and colors of sound to create fresh, sonic terrain and ambient landscapes, and single-handedly changed the way many bands [begin] to create music."
By Benjamin Leatherman and Jason P. Woodbury
It's a hard pill to swallow, but music venues in the Valley tend to come and go. Fact. Look no further than the closing of The Compound Grill or the nixing of Clubhouse Music Venue for proof.
Some live music joints and concert halls have figured out the magic formula of how to both thrive and survive throughout the ups and downs, whether that means booking the right bands, finding ways to keep fickle music fans satisfied, or just offering them a suitable aura where they can lose their shit. Some are newer than others, and a couple were beloved enough to be raised from the dead.
By Lauren Wise
Hell hath no fury like a MILF scorned, and right now there most certainly are a couple of outraged cougars on the prowl around town. That's because 98 KUPD's annual MILF contest has chosen a lucky winner of a trip for two to Bamboozle Fest and $500 spending cash. That's right, the Valley's hottest MILF, Andrea, mother of a 4-year-old boy, beat out tons of contestants when it came time to role-play, kiss girls (for the first time!) and stick her hand down a midgets' pants.
"Well, it was my first time kissing a girl," Andrea says. "And when it comes to the ridicule from my more conservative friends and family . . . yes, it was probably the worst [part of the contest]."
By Christopher Victorio and Ben Westhoff
We love you, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. In fact, here are five reasons why you rule the roost. But my oh my you dance funky. We're not saying we're any better; truth is, we're utterly captivated by you and your awkward ways. Were God to create a third left foot, we know you would utilize it. Here, then, are the top ten awkward EDC Las Vegas dance move GIFs.
The employees and fans of Valley radio station Power 98.3 are in mourning today as former hip-hop jock Chris Chavez died over the weekend.
According to a source at the station, the 34-year-old midday host passed away in his sleep on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Although an official cause of death hasn't been released, Chavez reportedly suffered from an unspecified medical condition.
The DJs of Magic City Radio, Power 98.3's A.M. drivetime show, paid tribute to their fallen comrade this morning and stated that Chavez had been dealing with "complications from medical reasons."
By Glenn BurnSilver
In the world of eclectic guitarists, Buckethead stands out.
With his face hidden by a hockey mask and long dark hair cascading out of a KFC bucket perched on his head, and using guitars shaped like human torsos and other visages of the macabre, he is not easily missed. And, yes the man born Brian Carroll can actually play the guitar too, having spent time with assorted out-of-the-mainstream acts like Praxis, Cobra Strike, Giant Robot and El Stew, as well as enduring a short, but turbulent two-year stretch with Guns N' Roses (a topic he avoided in our interview). He's primarily recorded instrumental records, but with in 2005 (when this interview took place), he released Enter The Chicken, his first to feature vocals (not his).
Buckethead claims to have been raised by chickens and thus would only agree to an email interview--maybe the bucket makes his words unintelligible, maybe he only clucks--"communicated" via-email through his trusty hand puppet Herbie.
By Maynard James Keenan
This is Maynard's debut column which ran in Up On The Sun, September 10th, 2012. If we were really counting the most "popular" stories of the month by the number of pageviews it received, Maynard's column would likely take the top slot for the following three months. In the spirit of fairness and diversity, we're gonna give you some other stories with the caveat that you can find Maynard's full archive here.
I suppose a quick introduction is in order. My name is Maynard James Keenan and I am currently a Verde Valley winemaker in beautiful Northern Arizona in my Small Domestic Farm Winery known as Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. I'm also co-owner and founder of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. My current and former life also includes the international recording acts and multimedia projects known as Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, and Tool.
For some reason I've been asked if I would take up space in the New Times with my Zippy the Pinhead-esque blitherings and meanderings. Not sure why they would ask me of all people, but my wife said I should do it. So as a good spouse does, I said yes dear, in that cadence, and without punctuation or quotations. So we begin.
By Troy Farah
I missed Sound Wave, so my Saturday was not spent doing ecstasy in a drained swimming pool. Sad face. I also missed Justin Bieber's concert, which totally blows because he threw up, guys! He threw up on stage in front of hundreds of people and now millions of people will watch the video on YouTube and I missed it. Saddest face.
So instead, I watched Katy Perry's tour documentary Part of Me. The suggestion came from fellow New Times blogger and photographer Melissa Fossum, after she read my column on Katy Perry's terrible sex advice.
Like I told Fossum, I couldn't do this sober in the least, so I loaded up on lots of vodka, rum, and cheap beer, turning this spectacle into a drinking ... activity. I hesitate to use the word "game," because this soon became a form of ethanol-based torture. And the Katy Perry Part of Me Drinking Thing™ was born!
By Dan Moore
Psy's Gangnam Style is now the most-viewed YouTube video ever, and as we go to press Monday morning that means it's been watched coming up on 830 million times. That means that the single biggest pop culture event of 2012--the video you're most likely to talk about with your grandma at Christmas--was, as I predicted back in 2011, an LMFAO-soundalike dance-pop track performed entirely in Korean and wrapped around a novelty horse-dance. The particulars of every cultural phenomenon are different; Psy's as good an example of that as we're likely to get. But behind his success there has to be something that can be dissected, generalized, and exploited, or at least that's what I'm going to tell you if you send a message to my "Web 2.0 New Media Social Trend Analysis Analyst" LinkedIn profile. So what makes a billion-view video? What's the formula? So far as I can tell, there are two options: The Gangnam and the Bieber.
By Jim Louvau
Local shock rock legend and all Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Alice Cooper recently hosted his 12th annual Christmas Pudding holiday bash at Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix. All proceeds benefiting his Solid Rock Foundation, this year Cooper featured Pudding alum Don Felder, L.A Guns, Sebastian Bach, host John O' Hurley, and magician Murray SawChuck took the stage.
While the line-up of openers may have not been all that exciting on paper, Cooper had some tasty ingredients in his recipe this year (See what I did there?) closing out the night with a 10-song performance which featured superstar actor Johnny Depp and guitar virtuoso Orianthi backing him up. Read the full review and check out the slideshow here.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.