I guess you could say this about any recent year, but 2012 often felt a lot like the late '70s. We got high-profile studio releases by Van Halen, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Neil Young, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Rush, Kiss, Joe Walsh, Asia, Ringo Starr, Alvin Lee, Jeff Lynne and two members of The Jam, plus a live Led Zeppelin album and a pair of new songs by The Rolling Stones.
For all the hullabaloo about the world coming to a fiery end, 2012 was a pretty mellow year for me. Most of the albums you'll find below fall somewhere in the indie/alternative spectrum, for which I offer no apology to the metal-hungry masses.
Being a professional musician looks like one of the coolest things a person is paid to do, and I'm sure it usually is. There's the road tripping, the stalker-like enthusiasm of fans and the freedom to pursue almost any twisted vice you can come up with.