Albums of 2011
10 - James BlakeFavorite Tracks: "The Wilhelm Scream"
Another standout at SXSW this year, and a pleasant surprise overall... especially since I don‘t typically like this kinda music.
9 - Bon IverFavorite Tracks: "Perth," "Holocene"
Good for wistful times when you just wanna plop down on your bed, not talk to anyone, zone out, and kick back to something mellow.
8 - Destroyer - KaputtFavorite Tracks: "Savage Night At The Opera," "Chinatown"
Dan Bejar is about as eery and cryptic as fuck as his music. As it just so happens, I love every bit of it.
7 - PJ Harvey - Let England ShakeFavorite Tracks: "Let England Shake," "The Glorious Land," "In The Darkest Places"
There‘s something oddly Patti Smith-esque going on with her vocals on this record, but I ain‘t complaining. I love when she gets back to the dark and dirty places in her mind and churns out music that‘s all kinds of raw and moody. Plain and simple, the woman can do no wrong.
6 - Fleet Foxes - Helplessness BluesFavorite Tracks: "Grown Ocean," "Bedouin Dress," "Batter Kinzie"
Umm, this record is like non-stop multiple auralgasms perfect for a rainy day.
5 - The Drums - PortamentoFavorite Tracks: "I Need A Doctor," "What You Were," "Days," "Money"
For anyone who doesn‘t like the production on this record, wait til you hear these tracks live. They‘re stripped down and sound great, much like their Visiomento sessions. Yeah, there‘s a reason why I saw them three times on this tour ;)
4 - Beirut - The Rip TideFavorite Tracks: "Santa Fe"
I love Zach Condon and his mix of Southwestern indie rock meets mariachi band whateverness. I‘m jealous of the friend of a friend who ran into him at a White Castle in Brooklyn. It should‘ve been me.
3 - Yuck - Self-TitledFavorite Tracks: "Get Away"
Blew me away at SXSW this year, Yuck harkens back to the good old days when Superchunk and Sonic Youth reigned supreme.
2 - Smith Westerns - Dye It BlondeFavorite Tracks: "Still New," "Weekend"
Their SXSW set this year sold me on just how awesome they are. But it‘s hard not to love a band who so clearly loves its T. Rex and Bowie as much as I do.
1 - Real Estate - DaysFavorite Tracks: "Green Aisles," "Out Of Tune," "Easy"
I love these guys. Call it wake and bake, call it lo-fi, call it hazy surfadelic. Whatever you call it, it‘s fucking awesome and a superb follow-up to their previous debut.
Honorable Mentions of 2011
2 - Neon Indian - Era Extra–a
Good, just not great. And this pains me to say because I have a huge crush on Alan Palomo.
1 - M83 - Hurry Up We‘r Dreaming
Apart from stand-out track "Midnight City," I wasn‘t nearly as excited about this album t
Singles of 2011
5 - Smith Westerns - "Still New"
I can‘t even count how many times I walked around NYC late at night with this song playing in my ears.
4 - Fleet Foxes - "Grown Ocean"
This song is just incredibly lush and beautiful and it tugs a bit at my heartstrings at times.
3 - Death Cab For Cutie - "You Are A Tourist"
Perfect anthem for when I was driving all around the country on a months-long road trip this year, this song came with me everywhere... hands down, one of my favorite guitar riffs this year.
2 - Beirut - "Santa Fe"
Sunny, cheerful, and upbeat. Just what you need when you‘re starting your day.
1 - Real Estate - "Green Aisles"
Tied with "Out of Tune," it‘s my favorite track on the new record and the one I looked forward most to hearing when I finally saw them live this year. And what a show it finally was!
Favorite Non-2011 Albums
3 - Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
With each listen, I just love it more and more. It‘s the shit that just won‘t quit.
2 - Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Got on a huge Grizzly Bear kick this year... this record still floors me.
1 - Beirut - March of the Zapotec & Realpeople: Holland
There were periods this year where I was falling asleep with Zach Condon and his velvety vocals on a nightly basis.
Best concert of 2011
Prince - 21 Nite Stand Tour
Between never failing to remind the crowd just how many hits he had to go through and the fact that he‘s basically 50 years old, Prince rocked the shit out of the crowd for almost 3 hours. He‘s one of the most dynamic and entertaining performers I‘ve ever seen. And I will never forget just how much I loved the slow-jammified live version of "Little Red Corvette."
Biggest musical dissapointment 2011
Minus The Bear - Highly Refined Pirates 10th Anniversary Tour
Always sexy, always a great set, this show was killer until the crowd took a turn for the douche. When did brosephs and frat boys start coming to MTB shows?
Most anticipated album of 2011
Can‘t wait to hear how they follow up Post-Nothing. And after their killer live show this year, you better believe I‘ll back back to see them in 2012.