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Top Albums of 2011

December 24, 2011 — 2 Comments

2011 was a fantastic year for new music and it was super diverse, taboot. I always feel that there’s a lot that I’ve missed and for some reason this year I feel that more than most.

I discovered right after putting this list together that the top 20 or so congele as a cohesive favorite. I like them all and listened to them a ton, whereas the top 5 were really special in one way or another. I guess I found them more thought provoking, more inspired, and easier to lean on throughout the year. But anyway…

Here’s my top 25 Albums 0f 2011:

25. Kurt Vile  – Smoke Rings For My Halo

25 - Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

24. Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks – Mirror Traffic

23. Destroyer – Kaputt

23-Destroyer -Kaputt

22. Jay Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne

22- Watch the Throne

21. Cass McCombs – Wit’s End

21 - Cass McCombs - Wit's End

20. The Roots – Undun

20- The Roots- Undun

19. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

19- Fucked Up -David Comes To Life

18. Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire

19- Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire

17. Iceage- New Brigade

17- Iceage- New Brigade

16. Washed Out – Within and Without


15. Cloud Nothings – s/t

15 - Cloud-Nothings

14. Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

14 - RAA - Departing

13.  Wilco- The Whole Love

13 - Wilco - The Whole Love

12. Panda Bear – Tomboy


11. Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harves

11- Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest

10. The Strokes – Angles

10- the-strokes-angles

9. The Decemberists – The King is Dead


8. Woods – Sun and Shade

8 - Woods -  Sun and Shade

7. Megafaun- s/t

7- MEGAFAUN - Megafaun

6. Real Estate – Days

6- Real Estate - Days

5. Yuck – s/t

5-Yuck - Yuck

4. James Blake – s/t

4 - James Blake - james blake

3. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

3- Shabazz Palaces - Black Up

2. Carter Tanton – Freeclouds

2 - Carter Tanton - Freeclouds

1. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient

1 - The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

This is my preliminary ‘bring the ruckus’ list of things that I would like to accomplish in 2011. It’s ordered from most attainable to ‘holy shit dude, your efffing nuts.’

  1. Donate more time to others X Constant work in progress
  2. Acquire a copy of Def Leppard’s Hysteria CASSETTE ARRIVED JUNE 28TH AT APPROXIMATELY 5:00 PM
  3. Make it more than half way through the first Lord of the Rings film (Completed Monday May 23! No idea why I waited so long. Pretty great)
  4. Get the final sentence of The Great Gatsby tattooed…somewhere X There’s still time for this! 
  5. Finish more writing projects and publish…anything
  6. See Phish as many or more times than I did last year (5) DONE! Clarkson, MI, Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and 3 Shows in Chicago!
  7. BE BETTER! X Constant work in progress
  8. Run a marathon -(Ran the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee on 10/2/11 with a finishing time of 4:52:02)
  9. Learn how to play the lap steel guitar – 2012 
  10. Beat Josh at Words with Friends
  11. Go vegan for one month or longer (Limitations made this be pushed to next year)
  12. Restart and finish Infinite Jest (My consistent need to read the first 100 pages of the newest and most hyped books that are released, has taken too much time this year. So. January 1. I open it. Again.)

Top 50 Songs of 2010

December 26, 2010 — Leave a comment

******UPDATE****** Check out this top 20 and others from my friends at Seizure Chicken (w/zip.s of all) here—–> SC BEST OF 2010

2010 was an insanely good year for songs. While it was hard to keep mainstream fodder from meat dress wearing princesses out, I somehow managed to nail down 50 songs that entered but never really exited my ear canals.

From looking over and immersing myself in the top twenty for the past couple of weeks, I discovered that I’m drawn to two types of songs: Those that spark nostalgia and end up wreaking havoc on both my nervous and cardiovascular systems. And others that would act as a perfect soundtrack for my own dream sequences. Here goes—->

1.Taos- Menemonea// ‘Taos’ is a layered masterpiece that is as cinematic as it sonic. Songs this explosive shatter earth(s) and blow minds. Earlier in the year, I called ‘Taos’ a “fucking onion” and also knew it would be my favorite track of the year before I heard the second change.

2.Home- LCD Soundsystem// Sitting still renders impossible as you ponder purposes, contemplate if you truly are afraid of what you need, and wonder what  might make you feel better. James Murphy, weekend warrior-psychiatrist, has an incredible knack of refracting your image and pointing out all that is wrong with you through song. It’s ok though. The beats and synths that lace his  tracks numb your emotional capacity and make it nearly impossible to get depressed or contemplative for too long.

3. Rill Rill- Sleigh Bells// Undeniable and sugary sweet. Fistfights, braces, and snapping fingers. It was possibly this track that possessed inebriated underage gals to try and kick in the doors at Mad Planet.

4. A More Perfect Union- Titus Andronicus// I lose my voice every time this song comes on. I think lead singer Patrick Sitckles does too.  After they played this in Madison in April, he put out the flames in his throat by dousing it with Cepacol

5. Round and Round- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti// Clearly a dream sequence track. I like to think that this song is featured somewhere in the middle of every night’s program. Accompanied by thick smoke, leaping people in spandex, and a disco ball.

6. The Suburbs- Arcade Fire// A consistent piano accompanied by Win Butler’s voice and words tear holes into my  entire being. In a good way. My clear favorite track from The Suburbs that will be a rotational standard. Forever. Most nostalgia tracks stick around like chewed gum under church pews.

7.Boyfriend- Best Coast// Not much to say except that this is possibly one of the most infectious songs I have ever  heard. And also one of the most impossible to sing along to.

8. Zebra- Beach House// This tracks the Narnia portion of the dream that I’m sure everyone experiences nightly. Sighs, large snowflakes, and talking lions galore.

9. Blessa- Toro Y Moi// Remember what I said about the Best Coast song? Yeah, this might be more infectious. Dream sequence where you’re riding in a convertible with the friendliest group of talking animals. And lots of pineapple. Mind/blown.

10. Desire Lines- Deerhunter// Layered with multiple changes and swayable harmonies, this song is near perfect. I  strongly believe that if this would’ve come out last year or if I lived in a state where it wasn’t frigid right now, it would’ve been my number one.

11. Johnny Utah- Futurebirds

12. Texico Bitches- Broken Social Scene

13. Sterling- Strand of Oaks

14. Go Outside- Cults

15. Ambling Amp- Yeasayer

16. Runaway- The National

17. Good Friday- Kanye West (feat. Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean & Charlie Wilson)

18. Wasting Time- Reading Rainbow

19. California English- Vampire Weekend

20. On Melancholy Hill- Gorillaz

21. Daddy Fat Sax- Big Boi

22. Angel Echoes- Four Tet

23. All I Want- LCD Soundsystem

24. Age of Adz- Sufjan Stevens

25. Liv Tyler- Roadside Graves

26. Heaven’s on Fire- The Radio Dept.

27. Sole Brother- Born Ruffians

28. Love More- Sharon Van Etten

29. The Mermaid Parade- Phosphorescent

30. Crash Years- The New Pornographers

31. Song For Dan Treacy- MGMT

32. Blood Dries Darker- Woods

33. Baseball Cards- Wavves

34. I Don’t Believe You- The Thermals

35. Cameras- Matt & Kim

36. Hey Boy- Magic Kids

37. I Get Nervous- Lower Dens

38. Pizza My Coat- Knight School

39. Thistled Spring- Horse Feathers

40. Harlem River Blues- Justin Townes Earle

41. The Gaudy Side of Town- GAYNGS

42. Superfast Jellyfish- Gorillaz

43. Shadow People- Dr. Dog

44.Laredo- Band of Horses

45. Vacation- Beach Fossils

46. Dance Yrself Clean- LCD Soundsystem

47. Bloodbuzz, Ohio- The National

48. Fuck You- Cee Lo Green

49. Sail of Silver Morning- Cotton Jones

50. Arkansas- Damien Jurado