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Gorilla vs Bear's 2011 Album Picks
December 5, 2011 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Gorilla vs Bear is a way cool Texas, USA based music blog. These are their top 30 album choices for 2011. Full disclosure: this was sent to me by my friends son. Although I think these are great selections -- I even knew a few -- I'm way to old to be part of their core readership demographic :-)
posted by Dean358 (89 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aweome — I heard of 1 of those albums! I'm hip! I'm relevant!

I'm almost 40.
posted by slogger at 12:31 PM on December 5, 2011


this was sent to me by my friends son

Does that mean your friend's son is one of the bloggers? Or simply that your friend's son sent you a link? If the latter, why is "full disclosure" needed? I am confused.
posted by grouse at 12:33 PM on December 5, 2011


I'd not heard of any of them, and I'm totally hooked on Nicolas Javr from the first click. I like living in a world where some knowledgable hip kid in Texas tells me of cool music to listen to, half a world away.

Oh and there's a boob on image three, for those whose work care about such things.
posted by cromagnon at 12:41 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sounds to me like: this is a cool blog of hip music, full disclose I got this hip/cool thing not because I am hip and cool but because my friend's son is. I am no longer a member of the hip/cool demographic.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:41 PM on December 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ooh. I'm gonna need to listen to these. It'e been a while since I've read GvB, and I haven't heard anything on that list....
posted by schmod at 12:41 PM on December 5, 2011


If you learn nothing else new from this list, it is that Real Estate's Days needs to be in your ears immediately.

The flava just go on and on.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:43 PM on December 5, 2011


I, too, have heard exactly one of these albums -- and I'm almost 43!

One nice thing about being "old" is that I don't have to learn about good music the hard way. I can just wait until these year-end lists are published and skim from the top...
posted by Slothrup at 12:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


2bucksplus: That makes sense. (I would have used "Disclaimer" for that. "Full disclosure" often suggests a conflict of interest.)
posted by grouse at 12:43 PM on December 5, 2011


My friend's son simply sent me the link -- he has nothing to do with the site. "Full Disclosure" was my (failed) attempt at humor. Even as someone who's been a music junkie all his life I find the amount of new music coming out today to be overwhelming. And as since I can't keep up with what the "kinder" are listening to, I'm not even allowed in Williamsburg anymore.....lol
posted by Dean358 at 12:44 PM on December 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Seconding Senor Cardgage.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:44 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exactly right, 2bucksplus. tnx.
posted by Dean358 at 12:47 PM on December 5, 2011


My irrelevant 2¢...

Shabazz Palaces are terrific but would be a stretch to include in the top 10 of 2011. It's just a bit too flat and needs higher highs.

I still find Panda Bear to be boring and overrated.

Washed Out's records were fine but really just a continuation of mapped-out territory (but at least wasnt as huge a misstep as the Memory Tapes record)

And I would have plugged in Cats Eyes, the new (and amazing) Black Keys, and the newest Cut Copy (which is getting ignored due to recency effect I'm sure)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:48 PM on December 5, 2011


I can confirm that Peaking Lights is amazing. Also, this is a neat video about them.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:50 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that Nicholas Jaar record is easily the best thing I've heard this year.
posted by koeselitz at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm about to turn 53 and I own a good third of those albums. Age and coolness and just meaningless constructs, man.
posted by jokeefe at 12:53 PM on December 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can confirm that the Young Galaxy album is awesome. Also, their show with Austra was the best concert I've yet seen.

Of all the people I know who have heard The Weeknd, about half think their album is most amazing incredible mind-blowing experience of the year, and the other half (including me) think that it was a cruel joke played on Canadian indie music nerds, in a "the emperor has no clothes" sort of way.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:55 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Was going to say what jokeefe just said.

Anyways, even better - Fluxblog just put out it's ginormous end of year download. Everybody wait until I'm finished getting it before you start clogging up my tubes...
posted by fungible at 12:55 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm in my 40s and own 11 of those albums and have heard of many of the rest. GVSB is a indeed a great blog.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:59 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of meh on this particular list, but I always enjoy the yearly meta-list of best new music (or books) from Largehearted Boy. Definitely worth a daily (or so) read.
posted by togdon at 1:00 PM on December 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


List fails without Mastodon's The Hunter. I urge you to see them live.
posted by Renoroc at 1:01 PM on December 5, 2011


I've heard of most of those, but only because I listen to Gorilla v Bear on satellite radio, so I think any hipness I gained from doing the former is neutralized by my doing it via the latter.

Anyway, one thing about those album covers--it seems that hipsters can decide when retro means the 1970's or the 1980's.

But I think that their omission of Bon Iver's latest is going to be discussed very heatedly in places I avoid.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2011


Also, now that this thread is filling up, I see that this music really is for 30 and 40 somethings to relive their nostaligia 70's and 80's youth while duped into thinking that they are listening to what the kids are listening to. Which leads me to conclude that the kids are actually listening to something else.

So what are the actual kids 15-21 actually listening to? And don't say Bon Iver.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:12 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That gives me a chance to mention something I figured out recently:

Bon Iver < Ivor Cutler
posted by koeselitz at 1:12 PM on December 5, 2011


A bunch of these are on Spotify, if you're interested in listening to more than the samples on GvB.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:14 PM on December 5, 2011


Shabazz Palaces are terrific but would be a stretch to include in the top 10 of 2011

I don't keep up with new releases anymore so I can't comment on whether Shabazz Palaces are among the best of this year, but as far as I'm concerned the ex-Digable Planets are all doomed to live out the rest of their careers in the shadow of the magnificent Blowout Comb. Nothing I've heard from any member since that album has ever come close.
posted by Hoopo at 1:14 PM on December 5, 2011



So what are the actual kids 15-21 actually listening to? And don't say Bon Iver.


Bon Iver. Seriously. He did some stuff on Kanye's last album, if nothing else.

Also, Kanye.

I'm 24, c'mon. Don't rule me out on the basis of being too old yet. please oh god
posted by dismas at 1:17 PM on December 5, 2011


Kids 15-21 don't listen to albums any more, so the whole idea of a list of best albums is completely foreign to them. They buy singles on iTunes or Amazon, steal some more (maybe) via MegaFireShareLoad, and get most of the rest from Tumblrs of unsigned artists.
posted by togdon at 1:20 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Ford & Lopatin album is so fucking good, although Channel Pressure is totally not the best track.
posted by griphus at 1:20 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel: “Also, now that this thread is filling up, I see that this music really is for 30 and 40 somethings to relive their nostaligia 70's and 80's youth while duped into thinking that they are listening to what the kids are listening to. Which leads me to conclude that the kids are actually listening to something else. So what are the actual kids 15-21 actually listening to? And don't say Bon Iver.”

Nicolas Jaar's Space Is Only Noise If You Can See album is certainly not nostalgia music. The first track is still starkly beautiful and interesting and urgent to me, though I've been listening to it for months now. The title track is fantastic, too, and I love what Jaar does with an overused Ray Charles sample on this.

Of course, that was the only record on this list I'd heard of. Who knows what "kids" listen to these days. That's just what I like.
posted by koeselitz at 1:20 PM on December 5, 2011


A bit slim, and yeah, where's Mastodon? Or Yuck... Or The Belle Brigade...

In other words, NEEDS MOAR LISTS. (or what todgon just posted)

what are the actual kids 15-21 actually listening to?

Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and LFMAO? Just a guess.

Personally, I would like to throw off massive love to the heretofore unmentioned:

* Portugal the Man - In the Mountain in the Cloud
* The Do - Both Ways Open Jaws
* The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
* The Black Belles - The Black Belles
* Joan as Police Woman - The Deep Field
posted by mrgrimm at 1:27 PM on December 5, 2011


I see that this music really is for 30 and 40 somethings to relive their nostaligia 70's and 80's youth while duped into thinking that they are listening to what the kids are listening to

I don't think so. Music journalism and best-of-the-year lists have always been written by oldies like us and they haven't ever necessarily been about "what the kids are listening to." When I was in high school, all the reviews in AP and Spin and whatever-the-hell-else 90s music mag would reference bands like Big Star, The Stooges, The Kinks, Hawkwind, Captain Beefheart and MC5 when reviewing new stuff. That wasn't speaking to "the kids", we weren't born when Raw Power came out. If you want to see a discussion about 30-somethings talking about the music of their youth, find a thread about best of the 90s. This is a fairly standard music best-of list, with some interesting entries I'll check out later, just like I used to in the pre-internet days when I read these lists to discover new bands when I was a kid.

Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and LFMAO? Just a guess.

Exactly! "The kids" are as lame as they've always been in terms of what's popular, that much hasn't changed since I was counted among them.
posted by Hoopo at 1:35 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who cares what kids 15-21 listen to? They don't know that everything they like has been done before, because it's new to them.

Meanwhile, I just like music, and anything that helps edit down the overwhelming amount of stuff out there is a good thing.
posted by fungible at 1:37 PM on December 5, 2011


Fuck what the kids like.
The kids like Brokencyde and Hollywood Undead and other Merchcore diarrhea.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:39 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


what are the actual kids 15-21 actually listening to?

Showed up for Thanksgiving dinner and eight year old niece was on the floor watching Skrillex videos on her iPad. I would imagine she got it from her 14-15 year old brother, but who knows.
posted by FeralHat at 1:46 PM on December 5, 2011


Oh yeah and Skrillex.
They loooooooove Skrillex.

I neither hate nor love him. I'm generally indifferent.
But his existence and success make EDM and IDM nerds' heads a splode and that makes me at least happy that he's around.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:49 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh, I first heard of Skillrex through IDM nerds complaining
posted by Hoopo at 1:55 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The last time I went to a witch house show, everyone there was really, really young. Outside of the people I went with and a few Creepy Old Guys, the crowd was barely out of its teens.
posted by griphus at 1:57 PM on December 5, 2011


(oh god were we creepy old guys too? oh god.)
posted by griphus at 1:57 PM on December 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


The gorilla wins, right?
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:04 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


(oh god were we creepy old guys too? oh god.)

If it ain't creepy, it ain't WITCH, son!

::goes back to staring unblinkingly under a flickering light while black fluid ceaselessly pours from mouth::
posted by FatherDagon at 2:05 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Any top 30 with Panda Bear, Washed Out and Grouper on it deserves scorn.
Seriously, total letdowns for me.
There are about 7 releases on there I haven't heard and will check out, but my god what a snoozer of a list.

Can we just do an end-of-year roundup post once every hipster blog has their list posted? I'm not even posting my top 40 list until starting next week...
posted by Theta States at 2:12 PM on December 5, 2011


Just for reference, I have a 20 year old son he listens to (based on his t-shirts and concert attendance):

We Came As Romans
Alesana
I See Stars
Hollywood Undead
Bring Me The Horizon
August Burns Red

Not sure if still likes The Used or Coheed and Cambria

Oh, and he hates Skrillex for bailing on From First to Last.
posted by MikeMc at 2:12 PM on December 5, 2011


Wow togdon, that Largehearted Boy aggregated list is amazing, thanks! That will eat up many many hours.

And ummm it's December 5th, how come there are so many best-of-2011 lists out already? I'm a bit surprised. Come on, still at LEAST another good week to discover new albums of the year...

(and I am suspicious of any best-of list that doesn't include Young Galaxy. At least GvsB got that right)
posted by Theta States at 2:21 PM on December 5, 2011


When my son was 15 he was listening to exactly what I was listening to when I was 15, though in his case it was a matter of working his way through the canon. I had to sit through a couple of years of retreads of 1974, and it was painful, but there it is. Now we pretty much listen to the same stuff; we recently went to see EMA together and she was brilliant. Seriously, the hell with this age-mongering; I'm always thrilled to see people my own age at a show, and wish it happened more often. Feeling self-conscious about being at a live show, even if you're the oldest person there, it just inane, IMO. Who cares? Great music is great music, and live music is one of life's greatest joys, and if somebody looks at me askance (which has never happened, btw, though I did have one comely young man look at me once and sigh "I was my mom was as cool as you", heh) that's their issue, not mine. End of rant.
posted by jokeefe at 2:25 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am 18. But I would consider myself highly atypical - for one in 2011 I was on MOG and then Spotify when it came out in the US, so I have bought maybe five or six albums this year total. I do listen mostly to albums, which definitely makes me atypical. But this year's releases that I liked the most: Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, James Blake, Das Racist, M83, St. Vincent, Toro y Moi, Austra. I also do pirate some, but ce la vie.

I don't think the late teen demographic is monolithic at all. Mainstream pop is mostly targeted at preteens as far as I can tell. Starting in middle school / high school everyone does their own thing. Of the people I am closest friends with, there is myself with "hipster" musical tastes, a friend that mostly listens to pop and Korean pop (Kpop) and his favorite artist is Ke$ha, another that listens to musical soundtracks, and a third that listens to movie soundtracks or compositions that sound like they are movie soundtracks. In my dorm hall, my room mate listens to country. The guys across the hall listen to hipster folk/indie rock stuff and the other guy listens to Lady Gaga. A couple other people in the dorm like hipster blog music as well. And then a lot of people either don't or listen to random stuff... dubstep remixes seem to be popular. There is simply too much music for everyone to enjoy everything, and most people get isolated into a genre or two so that they can't appreciate other things. (A lot of people at my suburban to rural high school only listened to 80s rock, for example, my friend above only likes pop, etc.)
posted by akarasia at 2:29 PM on December 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's a line in Brick where one character mentions the town's drug kingpin being "old, like 26." At age 21 I just sort of took it as another piece of dialogue. Watching the movie again six years later, I finally realized what was intended.
posted by griphus at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2011


I'm losing my edge.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:45 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reallydigging Andy Stott's stuff, but "We Stay Together" slightly more than "Passed Me By."

Also I like "reallydigging" and am adding it to my lexicon now. There must be a word for accidental portmanteaus that work.
posted by Foosnark at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2011


I was mildly surprised that A Winged Victory for the Sullen wasn't on there.
posted by box at 2:50 PM on December 5, 2011


Araabmuzik's album would be remotely listenable if he managed to avoid dropping his name five or six times into every track for no other reason than to keep other people from claiming his beats.

Also, he's a real jerk, even if he's enormously talented.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm 27 and what is this I just listened to the same song 30 times
posted by cmoj at 3:38 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you learn nothing else new from this list, it is that Real Estate's Days needs to be in your ears immediately.

Senor Cardgage, if you haven't heard Ducktails, check him out. It's Matt Mondanile's solo project, a little different but no less interesting.
posted by SomaSoda at 3:45 PM on December 5, 2011


Underneath the Pine is a better album than Freaking Out from Toro Y Moi. I did see Run DMT the other week.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:45 PM on December 5, 2011


I finally have an excuse to post the awesome amazon review of Washed Out I read and peed myself laughing over a few weeks ago
posted by supercrayon at 4:05 PM on December 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah yessir already love Ducktails but thanks!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:22 PM on December 5, 2011


Probably the best list I've read so far has come from FACT Magazine. Warning, a bit more outre/obscure than GvB's list. There's also Altered Zones (RIP as of a few days ago).

Not sure if self-linking is kosher, but I'm doing a Top 100 Tracks thing in five parts throughout the week. Part 1. I'm also looking forward to the list from the excellent (MeFi's own) Said the Gramophone.
posted by naju at 4:33 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops, trying my link again?
posted by naju at 4:35 PM on December 5, 2011


Can we just do an end-of-year roundup post once every hipster blog has their list posted? I'm not even posting my top 40 list until starting next week...
posted by Theta States at 2:12 PM on December 5 [+] [!]


Wait, are you Theta States from thetastates.com? Because those mixes are mightyfine. I still rock 'Libations for the Gods' on the regular..
posted by FatherDagon at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had to stop going to shows because at 30 I'm definitely the old guy now. Me and the DJs from the local independent radio station (all of whom come alone and somehow find me and want to hang out).

That said: as long as you don't go to shows and get tittered at by the teenagers, music doesn't care how old you are. My list is about 60% like akarasia's. Thanks for the post.
posted by penduluum at 4:48 PM on December 5, 2011


Almost skipped this, but clicked through, and I am pleasantly surprised to see that each pick has a sample below it -- which should be mandated by law for top music lists -- and so now I will definitely go through and check the ones I don't have already to see if they tickle my fancy. Thanks!

I am also old and need internets to help me find new music.

my god what a snoozer of a list. [...]

I'm not even posting my top 40 list until starting next week...


Speaking of snoozing, isn't there a thing people say about that? And losing?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another good (better suited to my taste) blog is http://www.youaintnopicasso.com/

the music featured is a bit less...electronic?
posted by gabrielbacon at 5:03 PM on December 5, 2011


Merchcore is my new favorite word.
posted by slogger at 6:07 PM on December 5, 2011


Clams Casino is really good, there is something menancing and elegant about the work, and it made me excited about hip hop again.
posted by PinkMoose at 6:32 PM on December 5, 2011


Wye Oak, and the new St. Vincent albums are also very very good.
posted by stratastar at 7:38 PM on December 5, 2011


I feel like I've given Black Up enough listens to fairly say either it's overrated by a lot of people or I just Don't Get It. Anyone in here who likes it care to try to explain it to me?

(That review that supercrayon linked to is totally worth 3 minutes of your time.)
posted by valrus at 8:32 PM on December 5, 2011


Probably the best list I've read so far has come from FACT Magazine.

Wow, I'm a bit shocked by that list. It's amazing how drastically different people's tastes can be. I've heard most on there, and so many of those albums I liked 2-4 tracks and slept on the rest. Prurient, Drake and Rustie in the top 10? Like, were we listening to the same albums?
But hey, to each their own. If I list an album, I have to LOVE pretty much the whole thing.



One note on the GvB list: It's odd to include EPs on a list of "best albums", since constructing a winning EP is a far different task than constructing a top album. Creating a full album is such a difficult endeavour, especially making it work as a whole.
There were so many albums this year where if I reduced them to a 3-6 song EP, they'd be solid gold in my books.



Well, since everyone else has already done there's, I will pre-release my favourites list. I will post it up officially on my blog next week.

So here's my rough list of the top 40 POP albums of the year. Strictly instrumental stuff and experimental I do as a separate list.

So yeah, top 40 pop albums of 2011:
1) Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!
2) Young Galaxy - Shapeshifting
3) Hey Rosetta! - Seeds
4) Tune-Yards - W H O K I L L
5) The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck
6) Beirut - The Rip Tide
7) The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
8) Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
9) Jessica Lea Mayfield - Tell Me
10) James Blake - James Blake
11) The Antlers - Burst Apart
12) Yuck - Yuck
13) Action Bronson - Dr. Lecter
14) Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
15) Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
16) Tom Waits - Bad As Me
17) Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
18) M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
19) Bon Iver - Bon Iver
20) Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
21) Feist - Metals
22) EMA - Past Life Martyed Saints
23) Big K.R.I.T. - ReturnOf4Eva
24) Dan Mangan - Oh Fortune
25) St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
26) Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - YT-ST
27) The Horrors - Skying
28) Class Actress - Rapprocher
29) OST - The Book Of Mormon
30) Cults - Cults
31) PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
32) Patrick Wolf - Lupercalia
33) Nicholas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
34) Sandro Perri - Impossible Spaces
35) Braids - Native Speaker
36) Youth Lagoon - The Year Of Hibernation
37) Aurelio - Laru Beya
38) Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings
39) Mates Of State - Crushes
40) The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts
posted by Theta States at 9:07 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And 10 amazin instrumental and/or experimental albums from 2011....
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2; Judges
Vladislav Delay Quartet - Debut
Kronos Quartet, Kimmo Pohjonen & Samuli Kosminen - Uniko
Deaf Center - Owl and Splinters
Fourcolor - As Pleat
Ø - Heijastuva
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile - The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Balam Acab - Wander / Wonder
RxRy - A (Alpha)
Vampillia - Alchemic Heart
posted by Theta States at 9:08 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait, are you Theta States from thetastates.com? Because those mixes are mightyfine. I still rock 'Libations for the Gods' on the regular..

That's me, and thanks. Check the site for tonnes of new things since then if you're ever bored.
posted by Theta States at 9:10 PM on December 5, 2011


Prurient, Drake and Rustie in the top 10?

Ha, they had those in the top 10? I guess I didn't pay close enough attention.

Also, my overlap with your top 40 albums would be 2-3 at best, so yeah, different strokes for different folks! (Colin Stetson would be in my top 3, so kudos for mentioning him.)
posted by naju at 9:13 PM on December 5, 2011


(Colin Stetson would be in my top 3, so kudos for mentioning him.)

Oh he's pretty lovely. If I merged my two lists, he would be in the top 10 of the year for sure.
If you haven't see him live while you can. My theory is that his set is rapidly destroying his body and there's no way he'll be able to continue playing like he currently does within 5 years. It's a bit sad and a bit jaw-dropping to see the physicality required in his performance.

Can you drop us a best-of list? I'm always curious.
posted by Theta States at 9:18 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure, I'll try and put one together.
posted by naju at 9:34 PM on December 5, 2011


OK, that's it: I'm officially old. I barely know any of these.
posted by jet_manifesto at 3:30 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


(wanders off to die a lonely death in the Desert of Anachronimity)
posted by jet_manifesto at 3:31 AM on December 6, 2011


I'm glad for this post if only because it gave me a chance to relisten to that Korallreven album, which I had written off but now sounds really good.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:17 AM on December 6, 2011


Fuckerama. So much autotune. Make it stop.
posted by unSane at 8:13 AM on December 6, 2011


Here are some lists of stuff I liked in 2011 that add up to thirty-two.

Twenty new things:
1. A Winged Victory for the Sullen (since I already mentioned it)
2. Steve Hauschildt - Tragedy & Geometry
3. Grouper - AIA
4. Date Palms - Honey Devash
5. Peaking Lights - 9E6
6. Eleh - Floating Frequencies/Intuitive Synthesis
7. Fire! w/ Jim O'Rourke - Unreleased?
8. David S. Ware, Cooper-Moore, William Parker & Muhammad Ali - Planetary Unknown
9. Starlicker - Double Demon
10. The Necks - Mindset
11. Ikebe Shakedown - Ikebe Shakedown
12. Will Sessions - The Elmatic Instrumentals (sorry, Elzhi)
13. Maker/Joe Beats - Falcon by Design
14. False Tropics - False Tropics
15. Ayatollah - Fingertips
16. Remy LBO - Exceptionalism
17. Action Bronson - Dr. Lector
18. Marisa Anderson - The Golden Hour
19. Bill Orcutt - How the Thing Sings
20. Glenn Jones/Charlie Parr & the Black Twig Pickers - Even to Win is to Fail/Eastmont Syrup

Six reissues/compilations:
1. Numero's Boddie box
2. Now & Again's True Soul box
3. Tompkins Square's This May Be My Last Time Singing box
4. Bill Dixon Orchestra - Intents and Purposes
5. Julius Hemphill - Dogon A.D.
6. Brand New Wayo: Funk, Fast Times & Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983

Two 'reissues' that are probably hoaxes:
1. Jurgen Muller - Science of the Sea
2. The Midnight Eez - LP

Two things I will probably like but haven't actually listened to yet:
1. Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi - Live at Hungry Brain
2. The Roots - Undun

A bonus pair of mixtapes:
1. Matt Nelkin - Boombap Riddims
2. DJ Teddy King & DJ Gravy - Back in Time

Also, Dusted has started its annual wrap-ups. It's probably my favorite music site, but I hesitate to recommend them this year, because the 3-d kinda hurts my eyes.
posted by box at 8:24 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


this Dusted list makes a good point in the intro: There is just SO MUCH MUSIC nowadays, it's pretty foolish to think you can ever be on top of it.
This year I spent most of my time listening to new music, let's say a few hundred albums from 2011, and still there are tonnes of BEST OF lists out there with albums I have never heard.

I found a crapload of amazing music. And that also means there is also a crapload of amazing music out there that I didn't hear.
It is exciting! And terrifying!

Every once in a while I feel I have to abdicate some internal desire to check out everything that people hold high and exclaim about. Every once in a while I have to remember to go back and listen to records that didn't just come out this year.

My joy received from hearing great music must be tempered by the realization that there is far more amazing music out there than I will ever properly consume. That the vastness of talent out there is well beyond my grasp.
Back in the pre-Internet days, the music world consisted of what the 2 or 3 awesome records shops had stocked and what ended up on traded mixtapes you dubbed. It seemed much more containable.

I want to feel more content with the reality that I am just scraping the surface, to just be happy with that, and enjoy that small amount with as much prescience (and fidelity) as I can reasonably accomodate. :)
posted by Theta States at 8:47 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every year I look forward to these best of lists popping up, I usually spend at least 3 months afterward trying to listen to them all. I hope this doesn't turn into a 'Christmas creep' type of situation where we wind up with best of lists in mid-November.

Thanks for the lists everyone, looks I'd better get busy.
posted by daHIFI at 9:18 AM on December 6, 2011


Music journalism and best-of-the-year lists have always been written by oldies like us and they haven't ever necessarily been about "what the kids are listening to."

...

The last time I went to a witch house show, everyone there was really, really young. Outside of the people I went with and a few Creepy Old Guys, the crowd was barely out of its teens.

That about hits it. The old guys are writing about music while the kids are out there LIVING IT.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:40 AM on December 6, 2011


At 47, I quit looking at these lists a long time ago because I would just find a bunch of mudane mid-tempo rockers mixed with some especially obnoxious stuff. I checked this out though, and I’m kind of stunned, is someone pulling my leg?

Everything on this list falls somewhere between "Ambient" and not quite up to the energy level of "Chill" even the Hip Hop stuff. I listen to a lot of that kind of thing (dub, ambient, electronic of all kinds) but aside from the Nicolas Jaar I thought it was surprising uninteresting music. Is this the new rebellious, being stunningly dull?
posted by bongo_x at 12:37 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I thought that too, bongo. Some of the other lists were more interesting though.
posted by unSane at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2011


Everything on this list falls somewhere between "Ambient" and not quite up to the energy level of "Chill" even the Hip Hop stuff.

Yep, it's pretty niche. I was gonna say that this is the Best Music of 2011 thread that you make, but it would probably be better to scrap this and start over.

How about a little Ulcerate?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:57 PM on December 6, 2011


I thought it was surprising uninteresting music. Is this the new rebellious, being stunningly dull?

Someone inform Ron Swanson: Kids today are no longer interested in fun.
posted by Theta States at 1:06 PM on December 6, 2011


bongo_x - Yeah I had the same thought; what in the chilled-out-ambient hell?
posted by stratastar at 10:58 PM on December 6, 2011


And Theta States, your website? the bomb.
posted by stratastar at 11:07 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


woot :)
posted by Theta States at 2:16 PM on December 7, 2011


Here is a metacritic/rotten tomatoes-style list of top-rated albums of 2011, based on ratings from these sites:

A.V. Club
Album of The Year
All Music
Coke Machine Glow
Consequence of Sound
Drowned in Sound
musicOMH
NME
No Ripcord
One Thirty BPM
Paste
Pitchfork
PopMatters
Spin
Tiny Mix Tapes


The list so far is:

1 PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
2 Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
3 St. Vincent- Strange Mercy
4 tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
5 Tim Hecker - Ravedeath
6 Destroyer - Kaputt
7 Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
8 Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin
9 Tom Waits - Bad as Me
10 Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
posted by mrgrimm at 12:58 PM on December 9, 2011


If you learn nothing else new from this list, it is that Real Estate's Days needs to be in your ears immediately.

The flava just go on and on.


Curse you for making me doubt my initial impression and re-download and re-listen to it. I'm not getting it. At all. (At least a few folks agree with me.) It puts me to sleep.

Anyway, I don't think anyone has mentioned Russian Circles' Empros yet. It may also put you to sleep, but in a good way. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:10 PM on December 9, 2011


Curse you for making me doubt my initial impression and re-download and re-listen to it. I'm not getting it. At all. (At least a few folks agree with me.) It puts me to sleep.

That was exactly my impression with it, too. I gave it more time since Bon Iver made me shrug as well, but it's 80s synthpop roots eventually grew on me. Real Estate did not...


I'm a bit shocked Ravedeath is up there, but it always happens that one ambient album gets reviewer buzz and all of the other obscure ambient albums that are far better (imho) get ignored. Ah well, there always needs to be one token ambient darling, and Basinski hasn't unearthed any old tapes lately...

And I will have to go give Shabazz Palaces another spin.
posted by Theta States at 5:48 PM on December 9, 2011


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