Best of 2012: The last 'Best of' lists ever?

VITA.MN READERS | Updated 12/19/2012

If the world ends on Friday, Dec. 21, as suggested by the Mayan calendar, then 2012 will be the final year of our existence. So readers voted on the best in music, media, nightlife and other Twin Cities stuff at the end of time. Clearly it was great year — but worthy of eternity? Based on some of these lists, we hope not. Happy apocalypse!

Best new restaurants of 2012

NightingaleTwin Cities diners have gotten wise. This year’s best new restaurant list is made up of establishments helmed by seasoned chefs - folks who know their stuff and have the chops, along with previous well-established restaurants, to prove it. The Kenwood (2nd), World Street Kitchen (3rd), Icehouse (4th), Sparks (7th), Café Maude at Loring (5th) and Eat Street Social (8th) are all second, if not third, efforts from chefs with reputations as savvy business owners whose time has come to branch out. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, or better yet, the swiss chard cake, the fried shrimp po’boy, the steamed bun and the curried parsnip fry. As should be expected of the masters, menus are a mashup of classic-meets-innovation, all of it executed with a deftness of hand that not only manifests on the plate, but makes for a total experience of excellence. We have not only gotten wise, we have gotten lucky. Mecca Bos

  1. Nightingale
  2. The Kenwood
  3. World Street Kitchen
  4. Icehouse
  5. Cafe Maude at Loring
  6. Harriet Brasserie
  7. Sparks
  8. Eat Street Social
  9. Masu
  10. The Gray House

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Best new bars & clubs of 2012

Insert Coin(s)This year yielded an Eat Street comeback, with highbrow hipsters and craft-cocktail connoisseurs flocking to the Eat Street Social (No. 5) and the gushed-about bar/venue Icehouse (No. 4) near 26th and Nicollet. But neither those nor No. 3 Butcher & the Boar’s bountiful beer garden could stop the party-bar blitz that ascended arcade/nightclub Insert Coin(s) and Prohibition-themed Pourhouse to the top spots respectively. Perhaps Insert Coin(s)’ allure of boss-conquering with bottle service attracted a contingency of unlikely nightlifers previously relegated to Mom’s basement on Friday nights - [snort] just playin’, gamers. Though the video-game/dance party seems an odd pairing, how stoked would your fifth-grade self be about playing Street Fighter II (hadouken!) near a stripper pole? Worth noting is the beer-heavy bottom half of this list, rounded out with a taproom trinity that includes No. 10 Indeed Brewing’s standard-setting beer hall, replete with a patio. - Michael Rietmulder

  1. Insert Coin(s)
  2. The Pourhouse
  3. Butcher & the Boar
  4. Icehouse
  5. Eat Street Social
  6. Harriet Brewing’s Tap Room
  7. Republic Uptown
  8. Bar Louie
  9. Fulton’s Tap Room
  10. Indeed Brewing Tap Room

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Best new fast food items of 2012

  1. “Homophobia at Chick-Fil-A”
  2. Doritos Locos Taco at Taco Bell
  3. Sausage Pancake Bites at Dunkin’ Donuts
  4. Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub at Quiznos
  5. Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza at U.K. Pizza Hut
  6. Bacon Shake at Jack in the Box
  7. “Eat only chicken nuggets” girl
  8. Brown rice at Chipotle
  9. Beefy Crunch Burrito (with Fritos) at Taco Bell
  10. Wisconsin White Cheddar Whopper at Burger King

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Best albums of 2012

Japanroids: Celebration RockIf Frank Ocean hadn’t formally outgrown his Odd Future origins, the next-gen R&B star’s six Grammy nominations made for one helluva rite of passage. Ocean’s debut is a top-three fixture in year-end lists, and its winning Icy Hot combo of cold, minimal productions and suavely warming croons about fighter jets and beach houses in Idaho wasn’t lost on readers. Ocean helped usher in a new wave of R&B, lacing his smooth jams with a warbly aesthetic compelling to mainstreamers and indie kids alike. Power duo Japandroids landed fourth place with 2012’s definitive rock album “Celebration Rock,” while Kendrick Lamar’s rap-game changer “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” barely made the cut. Somewhat surprisingly, Garbage’s comeback disc makes an appearance, affirming that people sure like remembering the ’90s.M.r.

  1. Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange”
  2. Beach House, “Bloom”
  3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “The Heist”
  4. P.O.S., “We Don’t Even Live Here”
  5. Japandroids, “Celebration Rock”
  6. Garbage, “Not Your Kind of People”
  7. First Aid Kit, “Lion’s Roar”
  8. Cloud Nothings, “Attack on Memory”
  9. Kendrick Lamar, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City”
  10. Miguel, “Kaleidoscope Dream”

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Best songs of 2012

First Aid KitFolkie Swede sisters First Aid Kit claimed the top spot with “Emmylou,” a harmony-rich love song that name-checks great country music romances. “American Idol” hayseed Phillip Phillips was right behind with his Mumford-sounding ad soundtrack “Home.” Gotye - who ruled the airwaves for the bulk of the year - only pushed his breakup smash “Somebody That I Used to Know” to No 5. Minnesota acts P.O.S. and Trampled by Turtles both charted, as did Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with the pro-gay rap “Same Love.” British singer Ellie Goulding, Top 40’s answer to indie-pop, squeaked in with “Only You.” - Jay Boller

  1. First Aid Kit, "Emmylou"
  2. Phillip Phillips, “Home”
  3. Metric, “Breathing Underwater”
  4. Frank Ocean, “Thinking About You”
  5. Gotye, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
  6. P.O.S., “Bumper”
  7. Pink, “Try”
  8. Trampled by Turtles, “Alone”
  9. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”
  10. Ellie Goulding, "Only You"

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Best concerts of 2012

MetricIt was neither Atmosphere’s weather-relocated Soundset-capper, nor Madonna’s first Minnie gigs in 25 years, nor the madly anticipated Alabama Shakes gig that readers picked as the year’s most captivating concert. Rather, new wavey bastions Metric landed atop the list, dazzling a not-quite-full State Theatre on the heels of their strong fifth album. The starry synth rockers share honors with hometown fave P.O.S., who celebrated his sterling new record at First Ave after a kidney condition forced a tour cancellation. EDM fans bass-rocked the vote, most notably with Bassnectar’s landmark arena rave, while Amon Tobin’s mesmerizing AV spectacle checked in at No. - M.R.

  1. Metric, State Theatre (Sept. 11)
  2. P.O.S., First Avenue (Oct. 26)
  3. Bruce Springsteen, Xcel Energy Center (Nov. 11-12)
  4. Bassnectar, Target Center (Nov. 3)
  5. Feist, Minnesota Zoo (June 2)
  6. Excision, Skyway Theater (April 21)
  7. Big Gigantic, - Skyway Theater (Nov. 23)
  8. Porter Robinson, - Epic (July 11)
  9. Amon Tobin, Orpheum Theatre (Sept. 6)
  10. Sleigh Bells,- First Avenue (Nov. 2)

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Best local albums of 2012

P.O.S. Far and away the readers’ choice, P.O.S.’ fourth full-length ignited Minnesota fans like a Molotov cocktail-started prairie fire. The enigmatic rapper’s health issues didn’t seem to hinder his creative drive and his polished new disc drew more than twice the votes of Poliça’s breakthrough debut “Give Up the Ghost” (No. 2). P.O.S.’ squeaking and skronking electro-bangers “Get Down” and “Weird Friends” have become crowd-amping staples, while the infectious single “Fuck Your Stuff” is a midtempo, materialism-shirking anthem. Buzzing electronic duo Wiping Out Thousands also nudged onto the list with its first LP.M.R.

  1. P.O.S., “We Don’t Even Live Here”
  2. Poliça, “Give Up the Ghost”
  3. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Tamper. Disable. Destroy”
  4. Solid Gold, “Eat Your Young”
  5. Dark Dark Dark, “Who Needs Who”
  6. Night Moves, “Colored Emotions”
  7. Sleep Study, “Nothing Can Destroy”
  8. Jeremy Messersmith, “Paper Moon”
  9. Brother Ali, “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color”
  10. Wiping Out Thousands, “This Came First”

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Best local music videos of 2012

“Sucks to be you/Great to be me” sums up the lyrical tone behind Ceewhy’s “Get Like Me,” but doesn’t begin to explain the video. In it, we see the local rapper as some sort of future cop, toting his laser gun around Minneapolis and (presumably) blasting bad guys. Rockers With a Gun for a Face get tortured by a team of surgeons in No. 3 “Parade of Horribles.” Y.N.Rich Kids’ junk-food kid rap “Hot Cheetos & Takis” - unquestionably the viral sensation of the year - only managed to snack its way to the four-spot. Heavy-handed gay-rights anthem “Close Enough” by War Poets shows actors acting reluctantly tolerant around gay people at No. 1. Poliça’s “Dark Star,” with frontwoman Channy Leaneagh doing her trademark arm dance in front of various lights, Auto-Tuned its way to No. - J.B.

  1. Ceewhy, “Get Like Me”
  2. Communist Daughter, “Soundtrack to the End”
  3. With a Gun for a Face, “Parade of Horribles”
  4. Y.N.RichKids, “Hot Cheetos & Takis”
  5. P.O.S., “Fuck Your Stuff”
  6. Kill-Me Kare Bare, “Hot Hot”
  7. War Poets, “Close Enough”
  8. Omnitrigger, “Lee, I Appreciate Your Willingness to Get Involved”
  9. Hardcore Crayons, “Sarcasmic”
  10. Poliça, “Dark Star”

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Best dance nights of 2012

  1. Transmission (Clubhouse Jager/Varsity Theater)
  2. HotDish (Record Room)
  3. Mojo (Asian Taste)
  4. Amplitude by TC Dubstep (Barfly)
  5. Hard Dance Nation (Ground Zero)
  6. House Proud (Honey)
  7. Konkrete Jungle (Record Room)
  8. Too Much Love (First Avenue/Record Room)
  9. Wants Vs. Needs (Record Room)
  10. Wak Lyf (Kitty Cat Klub)

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Best movies of 2012

  1. “Moonrise Kingdom”
  2. “Lincoln”
  3. “Argo”
  4. “The Dark Knight Rises”
  5. “The Master”
  6. “The Cabin in the Woods”
  7. “Seven Psychopaths”
  8. “Looper”
  9. “Prometheus”
  10. “Silver Linings Playbook”

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Worst movies of 2012

  1. “Battleship”
  2. “That’s My Boy”
  3. “Rock of Ages”
  4. “Red Dawn”
  5. “John Carter”
  6. “Dark Shadows”
  7. “One for the Money”
  8. “Paranormal Activity 4”
  9. “New Year’s Eve”
  10. “Silent Hill”

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Best TV shows of 2012

  1. “Breaking Bad”
  2. “Louie”
  3. “Parks and Recreation”
  4. “The Walking Dead”
  5. “Community”
  6. “Mad Men”
  7. “Game of Thrones”
  8. “Boardwalk Empire”
  9. “New Girl”
  10. “Modern Family”

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Binders full of womenFor the uninitiated, Ermahgerd Girl is a Reddit-spawned creation that turns a spectacularly nerdy photo of a “Goosebumps”-toting girl into an LOLcat, effectively. No. 2, of course, has its roots in Presidential Candidate Bot (codename: Mitt Romney) “relating” to the concerns of female voters. McKayla Is Not Impressed - a photo of U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney looking, well, unimpressed - reached peak memedom when she mugged it with President Obama. Grumpy Cat, aka unfortunately named feline Tard, used its adorable deformity to claw to the seven-spot. Finally, 2/10 Would Not Bang is where people nitpick photos of knockout hotties. - Jay Boller

  1. Ermahgerd Girl
  2. Binders Full of Women
  3. Andy Kelly “from the Internet”
  4. Ryan Gosling Hey Girl
  5. Overly Attached Girlfriend
  6. McKayla Is Not Impressed
  7. Grumpy Cat
  8. Johnny Foreplay
  9. Forever Alone
  10. 2/10 Would Not Bang

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Best podcasts of 2012

  1. “Buffering...”
  2. The Nerdist
  3. Gleeman and the Geek
  4. Never Not Funny
  5. Doug Loves Movies
  6. The Buffering Podcast
  7. WTF with Marc Maron
  8. Talk Gopher Buckets
  9. Savage Love
  10. Radio Lab

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Top TMZ/pop-culture stories of 2012

  1. “Fifty Shades of Grey” gets housewives horny
  2. Kate Middleton nude photo scandal
  3. Prince Harry nude photo scandal
  4. TomKat divorce
  5. PSY’s “Gangnam Style” takes over the world
  6. Octomom does porno
  7. Lindsay Lohan
  8. Kristin Stewart bangs old director, breaks R-Pat’s heart
  9. Honey Boo Boo enters our conciousness
  10. Whitney Houston dies

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Best art events of 2012

  1. “Why We Do This: Andy DuCett” (Soap Factory)
  2. Future Presence 5 (Future Presence Gallery)
  3. “Sound Perspective” (Future Presence Gallery)
  4. “UNDR MPLS” (Future Presence Gallery)
  5. “4real: Jennica Kruse, Chloe Briggs, Nate Burbeck, Brent Erickson” (Rosalux)
  6. “Gimbal Minus Umbilical” (Flow Art Space)
  7. “Pokemon: Battle Royale” (Light Grey Art Lab)
  8. “Tarot, Mystics and the Occult” (Light Grey Art Lab)
  9. Internet Cat Video Film Festival (Walker Art Center)
  10. “Expletive Typography Exhibition” (Light Grey Art Lab)

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Best fashion trends of 2012

  1. Camo
  2. Metallics
  3. Lace
  4. Varsity jackets
  5. Floral
  6. Goth
  7. Cutouts
  8. Colored hair
  9. Colored denim
  10. Pin-up

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