I’ve always been one to key into the music before I key into the lyrics. So it took me several listens of this track, “Krampus” by Indiana-based folk-rock band Houndmouth, to realize the entire song consists of only line, repeated as the song builds: “I see the light shining on me/ I’m coming home for the winter.”
Sailors-turned-muscians Tennis are back with a new album, Young & Old, coming out on February 14th on Fat Possum.
After getting a good amount of buzz off some mp3s (“Marathon,” “South Carolina”) in 2010, their debut album – 2011′s Cape Dory - got some criticism for being too repetitive with its ocean/beach/sun theme, with Pitchfork asking, “An extended getaway on a sloop is nice enough image, but is the allure of this one fantasy enough to sustain a record?” Personally, I never quite understood the critique. Are there are lot of people out their complaining that their beach vacations are just too long?
I’ve finally completed my favorite “best of” list – the songs. As much as I enjoy creating (and reading) best album lists, the truth is that I’ll probably never go back and listen to all 30 of my favorite albums from 2011 in succession.
However, I will go back and listen to my “best of” mix – aka my favorite tracks of 2011. It’s a musical time capsule. You can return to your past best of mixes and get a sense where you were musically, personally, emotionally.
Unlike my other “best of” lists, they’re not ranked in order. Rather, they’re arranged in a way that I think works as a complete playlist. If you want to hear it, you can check it out here on Spotify.
Just when you got over the devastation of not seeing LCD Soundsystem‘s final concert at Madison Square Garden back in April, here’s the trailer for a new documentary about it that will bring back all those lovely feelings of regret.
The film, titled Shut Up and Play the Hits, was directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, and it follows frontman James Murphy in his days before, during, and after that epic show. It will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in a few weeks, and hopefully it will have some sort of wider release after that.
In the meantime, you can spend a few moments reveling in the trailer, featuring the tagline: “if its a funeral, let’s have the best funeral ever.”
New Years Resolutions – here comes the hard part. For the first week, eating more vegetables or going to the gym everyday seems like a fun little experiment. This year would be different! You would become a better you!
Well, now we’re about a week in, and your enthusiasm is probably waning. You found out vegetables don’t taste as great as hamburgers. And the people at the gym seem to be the exact people you try to avoid in your day-to-day. But don’t worry, because Memoryhouse is here to bring back some optimism to your life with a cover of The Zombies’ 1968 classic “This Will Be Our Year.”
You can download the track here or listen to it below. And if you like what you hear, the band will be releasing a new album, The Slideshow Effect, on Sub Pop in late February.
Maybe it’s all the Portlandia promos I’ve been seeing, but I’ve recently decided Carrie Brownstein is one of the most bad-ass people on the planet. And her performance with Wild Flag on Letterman last month has done nothing to dissuade me from that opinion. The band played “Romance” off last year’s self-titled album – a song with just the right mix of 90s and 2011.
There seems to be some misunderstanding in the bloggosphere about “best of” lists. This year, I saw several rants preceding year-end lists that went to great lengths to explain that they were NOT “best of” lists, because no one can definitely say who had the best albums (because, of course, no one has listened to every album produced in a given year and music is subjective and on and on). Seriously? I didn’t realize the Internet took things so literally.
So I will go on calling my lists “best of” lists, because it sounds so much better than “some albums I thought were kind of good, but I don’t know, you could have a different opinion, right?” Enjoy!
So, I could write a really self-righteous post about “best of” lists right now – about how its ridiculous that people are posting them in the beginning of December, about how everyone is rushing to be the first to put their list up – but here’s the reality: i’m putting up my best of 2011 lists now because this is the first time in a few months I’ve actually had the time to do so.
I’ve taken a break from blogging for the last few months, but I haven’t taken a break from consuming music. So for that reason – and because “best of” lists are one of my favorite parts about blogging – I’m kicking off Best of 2011 posts today! My top albums will be up later this week, and my top tracks will be up next week, but in the meantime, here are my favorite EPs of 2011.