Friday, November 11, 2011

Filling the "Best Records of 2011" Gaps

Jesus Christ, 201--maybe it's because i was secretly more active in seeking out new music this year and don't realize it, but you seem to have effectively laid waste to the last two or three years when it comes to having put out a slew of records that i would actually like. So many of my year-end top 10 records lists of the past 10 years have included records that weren't released in that year, thus making my lists more "the best 10 records i finally discovered this year" than anything. This year, there were so many awesome records released that i actually find myself having to either expand past 10 or fail to include some pretty excellent stuff.

Vincent from Zebras recently shot The Wizard, Dixie and me a Facebook message asking for our recommendations for 2011 so he could fill in his gaps, and now i'd like to do the same. Here are the records we came up with in that message thread, with the ones i've heard listed in bold:

Police Teeth - Awesomer Than the Devil (If you still haven't heard this, you're a failure as a music fan)
the Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts
Northless - Clandestine Abuse
Low - C'mon
Obits - Moody Standard & Poor
Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

//orangenoise - //veracious
Boris - New Album/Attention Please/Heavy Rocks
Jesu - Ascension
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee pt. 2
Memory Map - Holiday Band (You know that thing i said about Police Teeth? Yeah, that)
Helms Alee - Weatherhead
True Widow - As High as the Highest Heavens and from the Center to the Circumference of the Earth
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
Tammar - Visits
Crooked Fingers - Breaks in the Armor
Low - C'mon

David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
REM - Collapse into Now
Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
Radiohead - The King of Limbs
The Blind Shake - Seriousness
Absolutely - Learns to Love Mistakes
Parts & Labor - Constant Future
The Ex - Catch My Shoe
TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
Victory & Associates - These Things are Facts
Trophy Wives - Old Scratch
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Wild Flag - S/T
The Poison Control Center - Stranger Ballet
Future of the Left - Polymers are Forever
(I count EPs when they are too awesome to ignore)

A few of the records in this list that i haven't heard i still plan to seek out (except maybe that Radiohead, as i've never really cared for or disliked them enough to pay attention...same goes for the REM, actually. Sorry Dixie!), but i'm sure we've all missed a few good'uns in this list. Help us out!


  1. DJ here are ones I think you should check out:

    Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death - "Some of Us Are In This Together" (Spencer from MCD, Corey from Cold Lake, Andrea from Pretty Girls; like Half Japanese/Birthday Party/Lungfish in a blender)
    Boat - Dress Like Your Idols (Seattle indie pop that is actually good; Jackson from Racetrack who mixed "Awesomer" plays drums)
    the Gary - El Camino (. . .youknow. . .)
    Cartographer - Hats, Capes, Dark Arts
    Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

  2. Forgot to list the Fucked Up album! I actually did hear it. It's pretty good, although it was way overhyped in the press when it came out. I'm stoked on the Seattle recommendations, thanks!

  3. Wow, I think the only ones above I've even partially heard are BOAT and St. Vincent.

    I might have only purchased 2 albums in 2011:
    Wye Oak - Civilian
    Dodos - No Color

    I don't own it yet, but that Wild Flag record is pretty great. And I really liked what I heard of the new Anthrax.

  4. I think "David Comes to Life" is better than "The Chemistry of Common Life", but not as great as "Hidden World".

  5. The new Wild Flag IS really great! That was actually mentioned in our Facebook thread but i forgot to list it. Gonna add that now. Also editing to include The Poison Control Center's "Stranger Ballet."

    Wo, your 2011 sounds like my 2010, seriously. I don't know what happened this year for me, but i'm not complaining. Thanks for reminding me about the new Anthrax, too--i've been hearing really good things.

  6. I don't own the Wild Flag record yet ($18 for a single LP!), but from what I heard I wish it was more Carrie and less Mary.

  7. Wild Flag is great, I almost sang "Romance" instead of pAper chAse at the Cactus show.
    My favorite this year is Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact. Also extremely great in an ambient drifty way is bvdub - Tribes At The Temple Of Silence

  8. I need to check a lot of these out. Never heard of Memory Map. Didn't even know the Ex put out a record this year. Definitely agreeing on PJ Harvey, Police Teeth, True Widow and Radiohead. Here are some others that I enjoyed: Destroyer - Kaputt, Krallice - Diotima, Belong - Common Era, Disappears - Guider, Horrors - Skying, Cloudland Canyon - Fin Eaves, Circle of Ourborus - Eleven Fingers, Snowman - Absence, Kode9 and Spaceape - Black Sun, Zombi - Escape Velocity, Tuneyards - Whokill, Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts, Shabazz Palaces - Black Up, Strange Boys - Live Music, Bill Callahan - My Apocalypse, Big Business - Quadruple single.

  9. Looking over my list of stuff from this year, you might like The Baseball Project "Vol 2: High and Inside"

    Seconding Tune-Yards...
    I'm digging "I done a Album" by Beardyman.

  10. Oh shit. How could I forget? Mountain Goats - All Decks Eternal

  11. wow, really humbled to see //orangenoise up there :)

  12. Thirding tUnE-yArDs. I also think you'd be into 'Prom' by Grooms and Mister Heavenly. And the Canopies EP - definitely the Canopies EP. Hifi/Canopies would be an excellent show.

  13. So i just finally listened to some Tune-Yards (that capitalization...really? C'mon) and, i dunno, it's...ok? But anyone in Wisconsin who's really into that stuff should probably listen to my boy Luke Bassuener's solo project, Asumaya. I may be biased because he's a pal, but i think he's doing the whole "world music with sampled loops" thing with a lot more variety and dynamism than the (admittedly only) three Tune-Yards songs i just listened to. TJ, he's in Madison. Seek him out!

  14. All Eternal's Deck is a monster of an album.
    Wild Flag album is really good too.

    And of course we are honored to be included as well.

    DJ you need, need, NEED to hear the new Hurry Up Shotgun record. For serious.

    Great, great list though... I might need to do a top 20 this year myself.