XLR8R's Best of 2012: Hi, Doctor Nick!

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For the past several months, NY street shaman Nick Hook has been working as our resident advice columnist, stepping in every Thursday morning to assist our readers with their questions about music, production, DJing, travel, romance, and living life. That said, this week we're letting Doctor Nick take a break from helping the masses, as we've asked him to put together his thoughts on the Best of 2012. Fear not, he'll get back to doling out wisdom in 2013, so keep sending your questions to doctornick@xlr8r.com.


Year-end lists suck. Superlatives suck. Everything sucks. No, I'm just kidding. It's been the wildest year—so dark and so bright at the exact same time. I saw more things than ever before, watched so many of my peers take strides that I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams, and somehow, it all felt completely normal. I feel like Forrest Gump every day. Anyways, this year has been so exciting and inspiring, but in many ways, it was the year of strength, holding on, and not being afraid of anything.

I'm looking forward to an amazing 2013. Be safe for New Years. Don't do too many drugs and wrap it up if you find a pretty lady.

Best shows:

Björk at the Hall of Science, Queens NYC
Azari & III at Sónar Barcelona
St. Vincent at Coachella
Rustie somewhere, I can't remember
TNGHT at Music Hall of Williamsburg
That one afterparty at the warehouse in LA
Boiler Room with Flying Lotus, Flatbush Zombies, Just Blaze, and Underachievers, plus me and Gaslamp B2B

Best records (in no particular order):

Kendrick Lamar Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Deftones Koi No Yokan
Frank Ocean Channel Orange
Benjamin Damage and Doc Daneeka They!Live
Gaslamp Killer Breakthrough
El-P Cancer for Cure
Killer Mike R.A.P. Music
Para One Passion
Jam City Classical Curves

Best tracks:

All of Andre 3000's guest verses
Les Sins "Fetch"
Presk "Akola (Original Mix)"
Kanye West "Mercy"
L-Vis 1990 "Videodrone"

I can't remember cuz I'm on a deadline and I spilled beer on my DJing laptop and I can't look back. I suck.

Here's some stuff that mattered to me:

Arthur King's French boogie mix
Danny Brown and Fool's Gold taking their time to develop an artist right
Moving to Chinatown
Going to Japan, Berlin (for the first time), Korea, Barcelona, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic
Being in LA for three months and really being inspired by the whole thing going on there (Do Over, Low End, Mike B, Body High, etc.)
Jean-Paul Goude exhibit in Paris
Yayoi Kusama exhibit in NYC
Seeing La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Finishing my studio
Making my first record and releasing it
Becoming a hypeman for the Boiler Room
Becoming an advice columnist for XLR8R
Feeling like I have an actual career and I'm not gonna work at a restaurant and quit in three years
Being inspired by more stuff that wasn't music than ever before.

New shit that will make the next step in 2013:

Kilo Kish
Color Film
Flatbush Zombies
Zebra Katz
Andrea Balency

What I'm looking forward to:

Hudson Mohawke literally ruling the world
Machinedrum in general always killing it
The gym
New York taking over

Hi, Doctor Nick! appears every Thursday on XLR8R. Do you have a question for Doctor Nick? Please submit your inquires to doctornick@xlr8r.com. Nick Hook can help you.

XLR8R's Best of 2012 coverage will continue through the end of this week and all of next week, so check back each day for additional year-end round-ups. In the meantime, don't forget to vote in our Readers Poll, and take a look at the other Best of 2012 pieces we've posted already:

XLR8R's Best of 2012: Top Downloads
XLR8R's Best of 2012: Podcasts
XLR8R's Best of 2012: Features
XLR8R's Best of 2012: Videos
XLR8R's Best of 2012: Labels