Monday, January 2, 2012

Faves of 2011: Music Edition

Favorite Albums of 2011:

Milk Music - "Beyond Living" 12inch

This effortlessly blistering, riff-heavy 12-inch from Olympia, Washington's trio Milk Music ruled by speakers this year. Only six tracks and endlessly listenable, sludgy, loud, and driving. When I saw them at Chaos in Tejas, they did not disappoint.

Asobi Seksu - "Fluorescence" LP

When I first heard "Fluorescence" I thought that it was a nice Shoegazer/Dream Pop record, but not much more. I looked at the artwork, traditional 4AD style, surprisingly Asobi Seksu is on Polyvinyl Records. It wasn't until I saw them play at SXSW that I saw them as anything more that genre revivalists. They played the same songs that are beautiful on the record, but they completely rocked them out with wave after wave of white noise. When I listened to album again, I enjoyed even more. I saw them again at Fun Fun Fun Fest, where they rung the rage out of those ethereal Pop songs. It's that rare record that get better and better every time you hear it.

PJ Harvey - "Let England Shake" LP

I haven't really cared about a PJ Harvey album since 2000's "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea," which this album has some similarities to. To be honest, I kind of forgot about PJ Harvey, and this record was a nice reminder that she was still relevant. "Let England Shake" is so obviously good that it seems like a give-in for most end-of-the-year lists, but it deserves it because of how confident and self-assured Harvey is in her voice and songwriting abilities.

Seth Sherman - "When the Moment is True" LP

FULL DISCLOSURE: Seth Sherman is a friend of mine, but fuck it, his record is definitely one of my favorites from the past year. I've always been a fan of his acoustic picking on tracks like "Kids" & "It's Shown Me Nothing," but the bigger sound he put together for this record really blew my mind. If you are a fan of Pop sound in the vain of Dr. Dog, give the whole album a listen here:

Allison and Katie Crutchfield - a.k.a. Bad Banana, P.S. Eliot, & Waxahatchee

Thanks to the blog ICouldDieTomorrow I spent most of the year listening to many bands made up of the Sisters Crutchfield. Bad Banana is sort of like a female version of early Japanther, fuzzy, lo-fi, and infectious. P.S. Eliot is a more polished semi-acoustic version of that sound. Waxahatchee is somewhere between those two. These girls have chops. I just wish they'd come to San Diego and play a show.

Favorite Albums DISCOVERED in 2011:

Rexy - "Running Out of Time" (1981)

This shit's funky, dumb, messy, and fun. The song "Funkybutt" is a disco send-up with a Neil Hamburger-worthy throat-clearing. Check out "Don't Turn Me Away," which has a minimal Dub feel to it.

Chalk Circle - "Reflection" (1980)

All Female Punk Rock from DC...and all that that implies.

The Wind - "Where It's at with The Wind" (1982)

1960's influenced Power-Pop from Florida. Exuberant and catchy. Reminds me a little of Jonathan Richman.

Kebab - "We Live in a System" (1982)

Post-Punk lives on and on and on and on...


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