There and Back Again…. 2012 Year-In-Review [free tunes]
Adam WarRock “There and Back Again” (MP3)
Beat used: Jay-Z & Kanye “Illest Motherf*cker Alive”
I was trying to come up with a good song to make for my year-end post. Chris Haley (who did that awesome cover design) was like “Well obviously, you have to do it about the Hobbit.” Do I, Chris? DO I?! I’ve made clear how much I don’t really love Tolkien and LOTR. But I do like a challenge. So I did this.
Here’s my last free song of the year. With that, adamwarrock.com is going on hiatus until 2013. So before I tie a bow on the year, here’s basically everything I did in 2012, in chronological order…
Before I start, buy some music, won’t ya?…
Ok, let’s see. In January, I released a few things of note. First, it was the Parks & Recreation EP, which not only got coverage in places like SPIN, Time, AV Club, NBC, and more, but also has given me the pleasure of making crowds say “Ron Fuckin’ Swanson” for the rest of my career. I then released a Mass Effect 3: EP through Destructoid, which people seemed to like.
Then in February, I released my second full-length album, You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?. Produced by Vince Vandal, featuring MC Lars, Doctor Awkward, Beefy, int80 of Dual Core, Tribe One, Mikal kHill, and more. It’s an album that I started writing while on a massive tour, and I’m still pretty proud of it to this day. The single “616″ and songs like “Andrew Garfield @ SDCC” and “I Kill Giants” are still among my favorites. To promote the album, I went on a West Coast tour with Kirby Krackle, and got to perform up and down the coast, from Seattle to Arizona and back. I did a show with Martin Starr & Common Rotation. I even got to go to Montana. I don’t know why that’s such an accomplishment, I guess I just never thought I’d ever go to Montana. I also released “Wizards in Paris,” which has sort of become the bane of my existence.
In March, I released a song about the BBC/PBS show Downton Abbey, which to this day still gives me some awesome buzz in the 45-55 women demographic (at least that’s what Youtube tells me). It got coverage in places like NYMag, BBC America, and yes, even Matthew Crawley himself tweeted about it (we’re twitter friends now). Shortly after that, I went to and performed at Emerald City Comic Con with Kirby Krackle & Marian Call. Then I went on the Vs. Tour with Mega Ran & Willie Evans, on the way to SXSW, where I performed in the Nerd Rap Official SXSW Showcase. I met Narduwar there. It was pretty rad.
April and May, I released a Space Ghost: Coast to Coast EP, some other TV show songs, and then went on a mini-tour by myself, across the Midwest and East Coast. We had some good times, didn’t we America? I also released this Game of Thrones track through Alan Sepinwall’s blog at HITFIX, which to this day has over 102,000 views on Youtube. Thanks for all the spoilers, commenters! Now I know way too much about the future of the series. I also released an EP based on the classic anime, Akira, and tried my hand at making a video for the first time ever. I also released a Bastion EP, and got some coverage on Kotaku and Supergiant and other places . I probably released some other things. I can’t even remember.
In June, I did my Annual Donation Drive (as I do every year on the anniversary of me quitting my job). This year, I had about 600 donors, and raised well over my goal, which guarantees one thing for the future: bouncy house. I also made a music video with my friend and photographer, Joey Miller. So that was a thing.
In July, I released a song about a little Disney show called Gravity Falls. In less than half a year, it’s gotten over 124,000 views. What’s even more amazing is that it got that many views mostly on the strength of tumblr, twitter, facebook, and youtube. It never REALLY got covered by a huge site. It’s also one of my favorite shows, and heck, it’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made, period. I also released a little 5-track EP called Self Help, that some people enjoy.
Then in August, I made a triumphant return to Nerdapalooza, followed by a tour with MC Lars & Math the Band up the East Coast. I came home, and two weeks later in September, I went on the NOFRIENDS tour with Jesse Dangerously, Mikal kHill & Tribe One. We booked that tour completely independently, secured sponsorship independently, and did it up, indie rap style to the fullest. Also I went to St. Louis, and me and my friend Kerry got all our stuff stolen from a car break-in. I came back home, and did a 24 Hour Rap-A-Thon, taking pledges and seeing how many songs I could make from scratch in a 24 Hour period. I made 16. We raised enough to get our laptops back, and I donated the excess $1,300 to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence charity.
October, I had a birthday, and me and Vince Vandal released the OXFRD CMMA EP, sampling and reworking Vampire Weekend songs. I also did this project with Opera Memphis, and Mikal kHill made some beats from La Boheme’s arias. The La Boheme EP was a big hit, and I performed it at the opening night Bohemian Feast for Opera Memphis’s La Boheme production.
November, Vince Vandal remixed “I Kill Giants“ from my album with a beautiful Chrono Cross sample to commemorate the one year passing of my Aunt. I also released a song about the Disney animated short, Paperman, which played before Wreck-It Ralph. I was also a part of the Shattered anthology, in which artist Ming Doyle made me into a superhero. I also played a couple live shows in Memphis.
Then finally in December, I released the City Beautiful EP, produced by Rob Viktum, and with that my second official music video. For good measure, I also became the official soundtrack to isnatesilverawitch.com.
Whew, what a year, right? I didn’t even talk about some other things I did, like this Lion King song, or this Call Me Maybe mashup song, or this song about Justified, or Community, or this Karate Kid/The Best song, or the Fuck SOPA song that got on like Thinkprogress and places like that. I’m not trying to brag. Okay, I am a little bit, I mean LOOK AT THAT YEAR THAT I HAD.
And when you look back over that year, out of EVERYTHING that I released, I only asked you to buy 3 things. I sold some merch, we had donation drives, but most of what I do is, and always will be, completely free. I still struggle on a month to month basis to pay the bills (some months are better than others), but I’ve managed to do this indie music thing for two and a half years, and still feel like I’m living the life I want to. Thank you for that, for those of you who support with your wallets.
I cannot begin to tell you what a great, amazing, exhausting, insane, unbelievable year this has been. Trust me, I have more ideas, and in the future fully intend to release nerdy, pop cultural, personal, sincere music. And however I evolve or change, I truly believe all of you who have supported Adam WarRock before will still love it. I’ve gotten to email and talk to people about some intensely personal stuff, seen more kindness than I can handle, and just been blown away by the way you guys rally behind the music. To those of you who support with your hearts, thank you so much.
2013 is a scary thing to me. I hope I can keep making music, I hope I don’t run out of ideas and you still dig my shit. If I don’t, if I can’t make the numbers work, if I have to work in the worst job for the rest of my life, these past two years will keep me warm on the coldest of days and nights.
But in the words of Bob Dylan: “I ain’t dead yet… but my bell still rings.” — Trust me, I got a few tricks up my sleeve for this next year. You won’t believe what’s coming down the way.
Raise a glass. Ring in the new year. May it always be better than the last. Auld lang syne, you crazy diamonds. See you in 2013. I’ll have a new free EP waiting for you Jan. 7.