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2012: The Music Quiz 

How well do you know your year in popular music?

click to enlarge SEA CHANGE Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange,' the most critically acclaimed album of the year, was preceded by what news?
  • SEA CHANGE Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange,' the most critically acclaimed album of the year, was preceded by what news?

1. At a Hurricane Sandy Relief concert in December, the surviving members of Nirvana performed together for the first time since Kurt Cobain's suicide. Who sang?

a) Eddie Vedder

b) Tony Bennett

c) Paul McCartney

d) Courtney Love


2. In December, a certain hit song became the most viewed video on YouTube by surpassing 1 billion views. Which song was it?

a) Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"

b) Psy, "Gangnam Style"

c) Justin Bieber, "Baby"

d) One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"


3. Amanda Palmer, who raised over a million dollars on Kickstarter for her album and tour, came under fire in September for what?

a) Failing to send digital downloads to the correct email addresses

b) Paying her tour musicians in hugs and high-fives

c) Plagiarizing lyrics from Radiohead

d) Refusing to play a promised house party for a pro-life group


4. On a September mix tape, Nicki Minaj rapped "I'm a Republican, voting for Mitt Romney." While blogs mostly took the line at face value, which politician correctly surmised that it was a joke, saying, "She likes to play different characters"?

a) Hillary Clinton

b) Barack Obama

c) Gavin Newsom

d) Condoleezza Rice


5. Which band from the '90s did not reunite in 2012?

a) No Doubt

b) Spice Girls

c) Garbage

d) Destiny's Child

e) Backstreet Boys


6. A week before his album Channel Orange was released, Frank Ocean posted to Tumblr what admission?

a) He recorded the entire album while high on bath salts

b) His first love at age 17 was with another man

c) He was leaving the group Odd Future due to ideological differences

d) He could no longer perform live due to acute agoraphobia


7. Which professional athlete, in July, tweeted that "@rushtheband RULES. Period."?

a) Tim Lincecum

b) Lance Armstrong

c) Alex Smith

d) Jeremy Lin


8. Which celebrity chef in June publicly praised Vanilla Ice and then, later that night, went to see Nickelback?

a) Mario Batali

b) Bobby Flay

c) Paula Deen

d) Guy Fieri


9. In May, the Beastie Boys' MCA, aka Adam Yauch, died at age 47. What did he stipulate in his will?

a) That 100 percent of his music royalties be donated to Planned Parenthood

b) That Run-DMC perform at his funeral

c) That his music may never be used for advertising

d) That the Dalai Lama appear in his place at Bonnaroo


10. Who among the following was included in Spin magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list, posted in May?

a) Jimi Hendrix

b) Eric Clapton

c) Jimmy Page

d) Stevie Ray Vaughan

e) Joe Satriani

f) Eddie Van Halen

g) Jeff Beck

h) Kirk Hammett

i) Yngwie Malmsteen

j) None of the above


11. Which singer performed "I Will Always Love You" at the Grammy Awards in tribute to Whitney Houston, who had died the day before?

a) Dolly Parton

b) Jennifer Hudson

c) Alicia Keys

d) Beyoncé


12. Beck released his latest album on which format?

a) 8-track

b) reel-to-reel

c) wax cylinder

d) sheet music


13. What is the hit single from Taylor Swift's album Red?

a) "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

b) "You Are Never Ever Dating Me Ever"

c) "I Am Never Ever Dating Anyone For Over a Week"

d) "We Are Never Ever Saying Never Ever Ever Again Ever"


14. While accepting the Album of the Year award at the Grammys, what did Adele interrupt her speech to do?

a) Adjust her "small-size, rubbish" bra

b) Wipe "a bit of snot" from her nose

c) Remove her "bloody uncomfortable" heels

d) Make an obscene gesture to "that wanker" Chris Brown


15. Who had the highest grossing tour in 2012?

a) Madonna

b) Roger Waters

c) Van Halen

d) Barbra Streisand


16. Who appeared in hologram form at Coachella?

a) Janis Joplin

b) Michael Jackson

c) Tupac Shakur

d) Ronald Reagan


17. What is Pussy Riot?

a) A Russian punk group whose members were jailed for protesting Vladimir Putin

b) A feminist band that hacked into and sabotaged Rick Santorum's live webcast

c) A day of protest when popular music videos were replaced with cat videos

d) A Palestinian "vaginacore" band working to bring birth control to Gaza


18. At every show of his Wrecking Ball tour, Bruce Springsteen did what?

a) Spit on the crowd

b) Smashed his guitar

c) Crowdsurfed across the audience

d) Flipped off a video of Mitt Romney


19. Hip-hop group Death Grips violated their contract with Epic Records and self-leaked their album, No Love Deep Web, in October. What image did they use for cover art?

a) A hacked Instagram photo of the president of Epic Records wearing women's lingerie

b) Five pools of pink vomit surrounding the word "royalties"

c) A penis, with the album title written on it in permanent marker

d) Charles Manson


20. Approximately how much does an artist receive for each song streamed on Spotify?

a) 2 cents

b) 1 cent

c) less than 1 cent

d) less than half of 1 cent


Answers on next page!


1) c

2) b

3) b

4) b

5) d

6) b

7) b

8) d

9) c

10) j

11) b

12) d

13) a

14) b

15) a

16) c

17) a

18) c

19) c

20) d

  • How well do you know your year in popular music?

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