A Dozen of Our Favorite Posts and Stories of 2012

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The Mysterious Case of the Mysterious Musical Vibrator Way back in February, music editor Audra Schroeder received an anonymous gift, and decided to put it to work. Takeaways: Mind Spiders are good music for churning butter to; Randy Newman, eehhhhnot so much.

The Cool Ranch-ification of SXSW 2012 Audra and web editor Nick Rallo went down Austin way for SXSW, and had their eyeballs scrubbed with Jacked Doritos, Doritos Locos tacos, Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew and other assorted sponsor-a-bilia. Sixth Street turned into the scariest mall ever, and they saw things they couldn't un-see, like a child asking his mom for a picture with this Fleshlight.

An Old Person Goes to a Rave We'd heard about these Dayglow events, which were touted as "paint parties," but more closely resembled a scene from Jacob's Ladder. So we boldly went into the heart of darkness (Grand Prairie) to find out what the kids were all raving about:

As we venture farther toward the stage, one guy asks why we don't have any paint on us yet, and I know what's coming. "How old are you ladies?" He puts his arms around us. "28? 31?" I want to tell him to just get it over with, but then realize that choice of words in this environment is the wrong one.

"No old people here!" he suddenly screams, before dousing us both with globs of green paint. I'm officially too old for this rave. After that -- after we also had the mark -- everyone left us alone. I suppose the paint is the equalizer in this strange, fascinating, fucked-up, neon millennial version of Lord of the Flies.

Wayne Coyne Makes Us Do Manual Labor Actually, it was New Fumes' Daniel Huffman, and he didn't make us. He invited us, as well as many local musicians, writers and artists, to help pour vinyl for the Flaming Lips' Heady Fwends double album, over at A&R Records:

And you do get into a rhythm, where you know a bit more of this color and a little less of that color will possibly make a cool shade. Putting all the red, blue and yellow in together just makes for muddled vinyl, so the idea is to "shock" with different shades, all while keeping an eye on how much the machine needs. It was the most physical activity I've done in months.

My other "good one" looked like an exploded sun. It was all starting to make sense. Was Wayne Coyne in some mirrored second-floor room I couldn't see, observing all the work, handpicking only the most psychedelic to move on to the next round? Me, Wayne! Pick me! It's just like that Hunger Games movie! (Note: I have not seen The Hunger Games.)

Five Ways We Might Listen to Music in the Future Nick Rallo took on the task of envisioning the future of music-listening, and then also Photoshopping those concepts into semi-reality, like the Portable Portal:

Product opens a wormhole that leads to your favorite concert moment in time. Program the time card, toss on any flat surface, and step in!*

*Warning: The Portable Portal is incredibly dense. Opening near major cities or neighborhoods could result in spacial tearing, severe head trauma and disorientation. Do not open at midnight, or near light-weight objects.

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