Entries tagged with: Best of 2011
The Village Voice has changed in 39 years, but Pazz & Jop, their annual music critic survey still remains. Each year, just when you forgot that it was still possible to look at another "Best of the year" list, the Voice comes along and prints their Pazz & Jop issue and we get excited about albums that came out the previous year again, or we at least start debating them again. This year's big winners are tUnE-yArDs (best album, 12th best single) and Adele (best single, 8th best single, 6th best album). Look at it all at the Voice's site.
Our own list, if you missed it, is HERE.
by Bill Pearis
To say that the second album by North Carolina native Jonathan Wilson feels a bit like getting a free reflexology treatment and a small dose of diazepam combined is, accordingly, no criticism. This immersive double-length album is so languid that it might have its own gravitational field, pulling you earthwards to examine the sky in some detail, growing your hair out with every slowly unfurling guitar line. Even if you care nothing for the culture of Laurel Canyon, the Los Angeles crucible of stoned country-rock back in the 70s and Wilson's recent stomping ground, his unhurried, backward-glancing Gentle Spirit might speak to you, in a whisper laden with effects...Jonathan Wilson's Gentle Spirit made its way onto many Best of 2011 lists, coming in at #4 on MOJO's year end coverage (check out the full list below). Mind you, Wilson's music -- which recalls the heyday of early '70s Laurel Canyon -- is prime fodder for a magazine that has a Beatle on the cover at least once a year, but Gentle Spirit is a genuinely gorgeous album that exudes a West Coast vibe even in the coldest New York winter. Spotify users can listen to the album here.
...Wilson's prescription for our ills is simple: flutes, pianos, organs, guitars (acoustic and electric, and lots of them) and guests (even more of them). This album grew - very slowly - out of regular Wednesday night jam sessions that Wilson hosted at his old Laurel Canyon base...Jonathan Wilson is a producer, guitar-maker and veteran of Robbie Robertson's, Jackson Browne's and Elvis Costello's bands. Wilson's fellow Canyon noodlers included Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes (who doesn't appear on the album), plus a Jayhawk, bits of the Steve Miller Band and Andy Cabic of Vetiver, another bunch of psychedelically leaning longhairs, all of whom do. [The Observer]
Jonathan Wilson hits the East Coast next week, which will include three stops in NYC: he plays two nights at Mercury Lounge (an early show on January 19 and a late show on January 20 with Quilt) and then hits the Rock Shop on January 21. He also plays Philadelphia's World Cafe Live on January 18. Click through for those dates in list form (as well as European dates), plus a few music videos and MOJO's full 2011 list...
I hate writing year-end lists, as might be obvious to many long-time BrooklynVegan readers. That said, I also like them. They help organize things, which is related to my problem though. I'm too unorganized and hectic to ever get around to making one! But this year a few of us (BrooklynVegan contributors) got together and decided to come up with a collective list of albums that we loved that we think most represented 2011 in BrooklynVegan land. Our indie rock-centric list purposely does not include metal (that's HERE) or hip hop (we should make a separate list). With that in mind, our top 26 albums of 2011, in alphabetical order, are listed (with some commentary and a list of honorable mentions too) below...
Kevin Baker of All Pigs Must Die @ Power of The Riff (more by Taylor Keahey)
Here is our third and final installment in a series where we asked our favorite artists about their highlights of 2011. This batach includes contributions from members of All Pigs Must Die, Altar of Plagues, Hull, "Grim" Kim Kelly, J.Bennett, Chris Bruni (Profound Lore) and many others. Part 1 is HERE. Part 2 is HERE. Part 3 is below...
We already posted Pitchfork's and SPIN's, so... here's Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of 2011. It's got tons of big sellers and major label players taking high spots like Adele, Jay-Z and Kanye West, Paul Simon, and Lady Gaga, but then something unexpected like tUnE-yArDs places at #13. There are also some odd inclusions like Wavves' Life Sux EP and then some albums you could only find on a Rolling Stone list like SuperHeavy (the supergroup featuring Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and others). They also give shots to Little Dragon, Josh T Pearson, Das Racist, Wild Flag, and many more. Check out the full list below...
Andy Nelson with Paint it Black at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by BBG)
Mamiffer, Tombs, Locrian, Thou, Fuck The Facts, The Atlas Moth and many more contribute to the second part of our continuing series where we asked some of our favorite artists about their 2011 highlights. Part One HERE. Part Two below...
Bloodiest @ Saint Vitus in Nov. (more by BBG)
When music documentarian (((unartig))) was first asked about a year end contribution, his initial reflex was: "Sausage - Hummus - Hitler!", the first two clearly being worse than the third. But then a performance enhancing Hewlett-Packard printer got in the way and spat out the list of 10 bands, video shot (((unartig))) included, that is below...
Aaron with Defeatist at their last show (more by BBG)
I previously posted my highlights of 2011 but my opinion is obviously just one of many. To try and get a better feel for the year, we cornered some of our favorite artists and heavy music industry friends to ask them about 2011 in music, art, and memories. We have so many responses that we needed to split it into three posts. Here is the first. Head below to hear from members of Noisear, Monarch!, Mammoth Grinder, Pulling Teeth, Sulaco, Bloodiest, and many more...
To quote Pitchfork: "The Weeknd's follow-up to House of Balloons and Thursday is here. Grab the nine-track Echoes of Silence-- featuring a cover of Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana" and production from Clams Casino-- for free over on the-weeknd.com or here,"
House of Balloons, the first mixtape, was #1 on a list of albums that Heems from Das Racist submitted to Pitchfork. Check out Heems' full list of 'Top Albums of 2011' below...
photos by Natasha Ryan
Atlas Sound @ Bowery Ballroom
Atlas Sound (aka Bradford Cox) played his annual winter shows in NYC this past weekend at The Bell House on Saturday (12/17) and Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (12/18) where he he played most of the recently released Parallax, a few older cuts and a Christmas song called "Artificial Snow."
NYCTaper was there and you can download the complete show at his site. He wrote:
What elevated this Bowery show above the rest was not just the final polish on a finished and released album, but the near flawless level of proficiency with which Bradford performed. The Parallax numbers (nine of the twelve songs were played) were stretched out and allowed to breath, while Bradford developed looping tracks that were faithful to the album's theme.--
Bradford recently gave us his list of his ten favorite albums of 2011 and 20 older songs that he's been into over the past year. Check that list out, along with more pics, videos, and the setlist from the Bowery Ballroom show, below...
Matador label-mates James McNew of Yo La Tengo and Ted Leo both have December 2011 Maxwell's shows coming up and both contributed 'Best of 2011' lists to Matador Records for the label's annual big list of lists. Maybe their lists contain some clues on what special guests we can expect at their upcoming NJ shows (Yo La Tengo on all nights of Hanukkah, Ted Leo on New Year's Eve). At a minimum, Ted's list contains a great recommendation for vegan pizza in Brooklyn. Both lists are reprinted below...
by Andrew Sacher
Last week, Pitchfork posted their much anticipated top 50 albums of 2011 and their top 100 tracks of 2011. It's no huge surprise that Bon Iver took best album and that M83 took best track with "Midnight City," but some other choices were a little less expected.
PJ Harvey, who was basically unanimously the UK's choice for album of the year (says NME, Uncut, Mojo, The Guardian, and the Mercury Prize, among others) came in at #4, making it her first album of the new millennium to end up on a Pitchfork year-end list. Odd Future's Frank Ocean's Nostaliga, Ultra came in at #35, while the crew's ringleader Tyler, the Creator's Goblin was nowhere to be found (though "Yonkers" was named the 16th best track). The King of Limbs was the first Radiohead album released during Pitchfork's existence that didn't make the year-end list. Wild Flag and SBTRKT both released albums that initially surprised us by not getting "Best New Music" but have both ended up in the top 50. Liturgy's Aesthetica, which didn't end up on Pitchfork's best metal albums, though it was given an honorable mention, where Brandon Stosuy wrote, "In many ways it was the album of the year," came in at #41 on the top 50, the only metal album on the list.
As for the top 100 tracks, as usual, the higher rated tracks were pretty pop-dominated, with Nicki Minaj beating out the bulk of this year's indie rock. Some other odd ones made the list like Britney Spears, Kreayshawn, and Soulja Boy, but there were also some great tracks that went a little overlooked this year like Action Bronson's "Larry Csonka," Cities Aviv's "Coastin'" and Peaking Lights' "All The Sun That Shines" that made the list.
Both lists can be quickly viewed below...
by Andrew Sacher
oOoOO at PS1 in August (more by Erez Avissar)
Tri Angle labelmates Balam Acab, oOoOO, and Holy Other are heading out on a European tour together this February. So far they haven't announced any US dates for the tour yet, but Balam Acab and oOoOO do have two California shows together this week.
Before the tour kicks off, oOoOO will play his own show in NYC at Glasslands on January 21 with Sibian & Faun. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Holy Other recently had two of the tracks off of his excellent With U EP remixed by The Haxan Cloak (aka Bobby Krlic) and Andy Stott, both of who put out their own great LPs this year. The Haxan Cloak applied his layers of ambience to "Feel Something" and Andy Stott offered his take on "Know Where" with a remix that more than doubles the track's original length. Both of these remixes are available to stream below.
And lastly, Balam Acab was added to ATP I'll Be Your Mirror UK. He plays on Saturday (5/26), the day that Mogwai headlines and the reunited Codeine also play. He also recently posted his top albums of 2011 which includes Holy Other, Holy Other remixer Andy Stott, St. Vincent (who he loves so much he almost missed his LPR show in Nov.), and others. And in case you missed it, he's been on a roll with remixing female singers lately, like Charli XCX, Lana Del Rey, and Twin Sister, the latter of which plays the sold out BV Holiday Party at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (12/17).
All dates and song streams below...
Midnight at Rites of Darkness (more by BBG)
2011 was a year that I spent delving deep into record bins, in the pit at shows, and searching for the most brutal of the brutal at festivals across the country including Maryland Deathfest, Chaos in Tejas, Rites of Darkness, SXSW, the A389 Anniversary show, California Discord Fest, and many others. It was also a year when I revisited my hardcore roots, and went further down the rabbit hole with DIY shows and independent records.
2011's choices for best of the year were tougher than I could have imagined, as opposed to my clear cut 2010 choice for favorite album of the year. That said, favorite records are about playability, and these are the LPs that wore out my needle and earned the most plays on my digital device (note: I made sure to remove a record that I was directly involved in because that would clearly be near the top of the list). I hope you enjoyed these records as much as I did in 2011 and if not, please share what you enjoyed below. I already can't wait for 2012.
My favorite records and shows of 2011 are below.
New Moods (whose members include a Young Magic member and Gang Gang Dance's engineer) have been busy practicing for their 9pm set at the BV Holiday Party at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (12/13) (some tickets will be on sale at the door), but they managed to get this list in just in time for those going (or still thinking of going) (or wondering if they should show up for the opener) (you should!) to get to know them better. Here is a list of the top 10 music things that New Moods loved in/about 2011 (in no particular order)...
By Bill Pearis
One could argue (and we did, in our story on the band in the January-February issue!) that Fucked Up's rock opera David Comes to Life was uniquely resonant upon its June release because of the emotional synchronicity between an album that spilled forth with such an appropriately chaotic narrative and a year in which tumultuous disarray became the norm. But good lord, David Comes to Life could've been sung in backwards Tagalog and it still would've made perfect sense in 2011. That's the power of a gang of punks playing with Olympian levels of passion and purpose. [SPIN]SPIN publishes it's year-end issue next week, naming Fucked Up's David Comes to Life as 2011's best album. The top ten also includes EMA, Wild Flag, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li and more. The entire SPIN Top 50 Albums of 2011 is at the bottom of this post.
As you hopefully know, Fucked Up will be performing this Friday (12/16) at the BV-curated night of this weekend's Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a full evening of music that also includes Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads, as well as Frankie Rose spinning tunes. Tickets are only $10 and still available.
There's a lot more Fucked Up news actually. Tonight (11/12) the band will be guests on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Holiday Special, which also features Christoper Walken, Norah Jones and a lot of extremely non-vegan cooking (though the Vegan Black Metal Chef is also a guest). Maybe Fucked Up will play in Bourdain's fridge, like Das Racist did on last year's Holiday Special.
Next Tuesday (12/20) in the band's hometown of Toronto, Fucked Up will perform David Comes to Life in its entirety, with proceeds going to charity. (PS I Love You, The Sadies and Quest for Fire also perform.)
Fucked Up are also releasing a split Christmas single with Sloan, with proceeds benefiting the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund. Fucked Up's side is their take on "Jingle Bells," while Sloan tackle "The 12 Days of Christmas" (which is streamable below). Only 500 are being printed -- maybe they'll be some at the merch table this Friday?
The band have also announced the release of 2012's annual Chinese New Year single, "Year of the Tiger," which is out February 21. The 15-minute track features guest vocals from Austra, Duchess Says' Annie-Claude and Jim Jarmusch, which Matador claims is "MAYBE THE BEST THING FUCKED UP HAVE EVER RECORDED" but being their record label they're prone to such proclamations. But maybe it is.
Click through for a just-released video of "Turn the Season" plus video of the band performing "The Other Shoe" on Canada's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show, as well as the entire rundown of SPIN mag's Top 50 Albums of 2011...
Eugene Robinson at Europa (more by BBG)
Scott Kelly (Neurosis) is currently touring the West Coast, but will make his way East for a string of dates with the great Eugene Robinson (Oxbow) that will include a stop at Knitting Factory on March 4th. Tickets go on sale at 10AM on 12/10 (Saturday).
In related news, Relapse Records will reissue Neurosis' classic Souls At Zero and Enemy Of The Sun LPs on 180 2LP sets (color and black). Pre-order yours.
Speaking of the amazing Eugene Robinson, his band Oxbow will be the subject of a new crowd-sourced documentary (they have met their goal, but donations close 12/16 if you still want to give). In addition, we asked Eugene Robinson to discuss some of his favorite things in 2011. His response? Top 10 Revenge Themes for 2011. Check his unmissable list, the kickstarter video and all tour dates below (look for additional lists from some of our other favorite artists in the days to come)...
UK music magazine Uncut weighs on this year's best albums. Like Rough Trade, they give Josh T Pearson serious placement. They put Tinariwen, who appeared on The Colbert Report last night (!) with Tunde and Kyp from TV on the Radio, at #18. Check out their whole list and video from Colbert, below...
Josh T Pearson @ BV-SXSW 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Check out Rough Trade's list of the Top 100 Albums of 2011 (yay Josh T Pearson!), below...
Seven Sisters of Sleep at A389 2011 (more by BBG)
Seven Sisters of Sleep (mems Tafkata) are two for two with releases in 2011, dropping both their excellent debut and their similarly crushing split with Children of God this year. Get both at A389. Though no full East Coast trek has been planned, Seven Sisters of Sleep will join the great All Pigs Must Die, labelmates Low Places, and NYC's Grudges for an NYC date at Acheron on 1/20, just a few days after the always awesome A389 Anniversary show at Sonar in Baltimore with Eyehategod, Gehenna, and many others.
All Pigs Must Die was recently given an "honorable mention" in Pitchfork's top metal of 2011 list (though no shout out for Seven Sisters of Sleep). Check out the full list, along with some streaming APMD material and a few videos below...
"This is what happens if you cross the insufferably cute Zooey Deschannel with the Natalie Portman of Black Swan," I wrote in my original review. But that sounds way more interesting than the actuality of this bad modern Disney soundtrack.That was in reference to St. Vincent's new one. Jim's complete list of what he believes are the top 10 turkeys released in 2011, below...
Tombs at BV-Rocks Off Official CMJ Showcase 2011 (more by Jonathan McPhail)
Decibel released their list of the best LPs of 2011. The list features a few repeat offenders and not too many surprises. One record listed technically came out in 2010 (and made my list of favorites that year). You can check out the full thing below. What record do you think they left off?