Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Favorite 10 Albums of 2011

So it took a while to set up this list but at the end it came up to what I listened to the most this year while enjoying it. Again, this is based on my own opinion and despite Spotify having almost every album worth listening to while also purchasing tons of stuff, I did not get a chance to really listen to everything. So...

10. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

Pretty great album all around. Effortlessly blends all different kinds of sounds (electronic, jam, etc.) into one cohesive unique sound that also translates well live.
 Gang Gang Dance - Glass Jar by rezvanm

9. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

I gotta be honest, I really thought that these guys were not going to be anywhere close to matching the brilliance from their previous album and EP. I was wrong, they pretty much matched it.
 Fleet Foxes - Montezuma by gypsysphere

8. WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To the Mountain 

What can I say about this album? It pretty much came out of nowhere and I fell in love with it pretty fast. I could hardly understand what the songs were saying, but they were incredibly captivating. A+ you guys!
 Wu Lyf - We Bros by WU LYF

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Did you guys hear this? My brother really got into them sometime this summer and I was like "who??" But when I heard them I saw what my brother had been geeking about. Excellent album that's also really fun to hear.
 Unknown Mortal Orchestra-FFunny Frendss by josiahmfilm

6. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost

I REALLY wanted to hate this album. I have a reason. Sirius XMU plays the shit out of these guys, a lot. It came to the point that I was exhausted of listening to stuff from their previous releases. Also it took me a really long time to get used to the guy's voice. This album is different though. It seems more elaborate, while it also sounds like stuff we've all heard before. I ended up really liking this album despite all of what I mentioned earlier.

 Girls - Vomit by artsandcraftsmx

5. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

I really enjoy St. Vincent despite what others (Hipster Runoff) say about her music. I really liked her previous two albums and I had 'Actor' in my top 10 of 2009 I believe. If not then pretty close to the top 10. This album continues Annie Clark's impressive career by making her strongest album yet in my opinion.
 St. Vincent - Cruel by Posh Magazine

4. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

I wasn't crazy about the double-album idea, but I told myself "what the hell, if anybody nowadays could pull it off, it would be M83". Well I didn't exactly say that, but "Midnight City" totally got me onboard for this album. Add the Zola Jesus appearance for "Intro" and I was sold. I went out to my record store, paid the ~$20 for the CD and chilled the rest of the day in my room exploring this album. Did not disappoint.
 M83 - Intro (Feat. Zola Jesus) by edin2sun

3. Wild Flag - Wild Flag

 I thought listening to this album would only make me realize how much I miss Sleater-Kinney, but nope, no way, this album stood on its own and made me realize how talented these women are. Not to mention it always gets me pumped up to see Portlandia clips on Youtube too.

 Wild Flag - Romance by Wichita Recordings

2. Real Estate - Days
I spent a good portion of time looking for one weak track, and did not find it. Highly listenable, it caught me off guard on how good it was after it came out near the same time M83s epic did. Their debut was good, but this was just excellent. Way to go Real Estate guys on such a good album!!
 Real Estate - It's Real by DominoRecordCo

and for #1....

1. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
When I heard last year that album would be releasing a new album in early 2011 I was super happy, and I remember thinking that its February release was so far away. Well February came around and I heard the album and was blown away. Too good. Listening to lyrics about soldiers falling like lumps of meat to this sort of happy sounding tunes, too good. Sets the standard for what is considered a war album. Easily my number one.
 PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder by Vagrant Records

Yay good year you guys!! High fives all around and hope you drink tons of eggnog and get the presents you guys want for the Holidays!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My TOP 10 SONGS of 2011

Wow this list was pretty fucking tough to make. Thankfully I had Spotify to check out as most songs/albums as I could this year which helped in making this list without feeling guilty about not listening to heavy contenders. Regardless, this list was VERY impossible to make considering the year we've had with so many good tracks. People are bound to get pissed about not including certain tracks, just as I have with many lists so far this year. I mean, has anybody seen Rolling Stone's top 10 songs of the year??? Jeez there's only like 2 songs in there that deserved a top 50 spot. Lets start off with some that didn't make it that I heavily considered:

Radiohead - Lotus Flower
Kurt Vile - Jesus Fever
Youth Lagoon - Afternoon
Real Estate - Green Aisles
WU LYF - Dirt
Zola Jesus - Seekir
Purity Ring - Belispeak
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ffunny Ffrends
Neon Indian - Polish Girl
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Senator
EMA - California
Tune-Yards - Gangsta
SBTRKT - Wildfire (feat. Yukumi Nagano)
Smith Westerns - Weekend
PJ Harvey - The Words the Maketh Murder 

If I were to have made a longer list I would have included those, but I'm not a pro-blogger so yeah I'll keep my list at Ten.

The next ten songs were my personal favorites throughout the year, I know I'm missing some that were really good but this is a list of MY favorite songs, and in no way does that mean that they're supposed to be the 10 best songs of the year. I'm not a music critic. SO:

10. Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers
Yay, Lykke Li did not disappoint this year with this album. 'I Follow Rivers' was the song that most stood out to me as being the strongest from a strong album. Everything that Lykke Li is good at is highlighted in this song.

9. Wild Flag - Romance

I'm in love with Carrie Brownstein. Seriously though it's a fun song that just sort of kicks ass. Recalls some of Sleater-Kinney's best songs while not treading too much on nostalgia, which is a fancy way of saying, I think, that it also sounds new and original.

8. St. Vincent - Cruel

I did not think I was going to like St. Vincent's album at all. But I did, and this song was my personal favorite from that album. Again Annie Clark demonstrates that she is an absolute monster at guitar and songwriting.

7. Gang Gang Dance - Mindkilla

I told my friend about this band before Pitchfork Music Festival this year, so he saw them when he went and absolutely fell in love with them. I even got my mother to like this song, and she's one of those Frankie Vallie type, 60s pop, listeners. This song had so much going on, yet somehow it all works.

6. Holy Ghost! - Wait and See

Every time I hear this song I want to dance. We lost LCD Soundsystem this year, but we also gained these guys who, while they're not as good as LCD, yet, they bring the same sort of fun atmosphere to the table with this song.

5. Washed Out - Amor Fati
What can I say about Chillwave? Not a big fan when I first hear Neon Indian and Toro y Moi last year, but this year I finally "got it." Neon Indian had a great year but I think Washed Out takes the cake and trophy as the Chillwave artist of the year.

 4. White Denim - Street Joy
I really think this song is pretty underrated. I think Gorilla Vs Bear is the only blog I've seen that loved this track as much as I did. Sounds like the soundtrack to one of my dreams.

3. Battles - Ice Cream
This Battles is not the same Battles that gave us Atlas, but it is still pretty damn good. Ice Cream showed that even without Tyondai Braxton Battles still had some 'Battle' left (sorry for the shitty pun).

2. Girls - Honey Bunny
Near perfect album with this near perfect song.

1. M83 - Midnight City
Perfect song from a perfect album. The saxophone solo? Pretty ridiculous. Loved this song, and I never got tired of hearing it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tennis - Origins

New Tennis track. Sounds great you guys!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

My top 5 new Artists of 2011

These are 5 new bands that released their label debut albums this year that I really enjoyed:

#5. Youth Lagoon

Out of Idaho, these guys came out with one warm and dreamy album that I really enjoyed.

#4. Cults

Yeah these guys have been around for a while now, releasing some of their song well before 2011, but their debut album did not come out until this June making them eligible. Their debut did not disappoint at all and was a definite highlight of 2011.

#3. EMA
Formerly of Gowns. EMA matched her amazing music with some incredible and honest lyrics that made me care about what she was singing.

#2. WU LYF

Very mysterious band out of England. Their music sounds like something born out of all of the insecurity and unrest happening in the world. Protest music in a sense I guess is what I would compare it to.

#1. Wild Flag
Members of Sleater-Kinney, it was bound to be good. Carrie Brownstein is incredible and is complemented by the equally great Janet Weiss, Mary Timony, and Rebecca Cole. It's an incredible band that brings back memories of Sleater-Kinney as well as cementing their own identity.

If I had expanded this list a bit more I would include Austra, Tune-Yards, Tyler. The Creator, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., SBTRKT, Tennis, and I Break Horses

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Drive weekend in NYC

Who enjoys hearing about Thanksgiving vacations?? I mean really? It's like somebody goes up to tell you what they did over break and all you want to say is "BOOO, get off the stage!! Let the Glee Club sing!!!!" But I'm gonna do it regardless, so... I took a trip down to NYC to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade!

That's a thing right? I mean, I'm pretty sure EVERYBODY in New York goes to the parade and stands around in the crowd for 3 eternal hours RIGHT? "I was  there, I wanted my encounter with Santa to be special this year"- EVERY kid there.

Yep and while I was there I took the mandatory trip to Rockefeller Plaza to see the Ice Rink and the undecorated christmas tree
I wanted to get my skate on and put on a clinic for all those rookies falling everywhere, but the price was too much: $21 with skate rental... ok maybe not too bad but I wasn't going to spend money that way and the line to get in was ridiculously long. 

At least the line to get to the Statue of Liberty wasn't too long and I got a good view of the city
Overall it was a pretty chill weekend in which I traded Turkey for a slice of pizza at Charley's located right in front of Zucotti Park and the #Occupywallstreet people.