Two thousand and eleven has been an odd year for me, and I think for music as well. Between acclimating to a completely different environment and being fully immersed in the music world, I foresaw a serious evolution and transformation of my music tastes prior to compiling my “Best of” lists. After the completion of said lists, it seems that not much has actually changed – not only in the last year, but the last five, when observing which names were included.
To be honest, it was quite difficult to decide on 10 full albums I really enjoyed listening to from start to finish. This could be the fault of BBC6 radio, and it’s persistent nature of turning an “OK” song into a real banger after playing it enough. It could also be the fault of so many let downs and gimmicks. Never in a single year have I looked forward to so many albums that panned out to be so disappointingly average. In a market so over saturated by bands trying to “out-cool” one another and being more conscious of what they wear than how well they play, it’s no wonder that some of names keep recurring year after year or that the best single tracks list was so much more enjoyable to assemble.
But this is it, I’ve done it. I’ve decided what 10 albums and 20 tracks have been the most enjoyable, the least pretentious and will hopefully be a memorable depiction of 2011 – five, ten and fifty years from now.
As for ranking, I must digress to the one brutal truth of end of year lists that my good friend Wes pointed out recently. Ranking is, in fact, arbitrary and simply a tool for building suspense in pinning down one’s judgement on any particular topic. So to avoid that (as you may not know who I am nor care about/for my taste in music), I’ve decided to post my lists chronologically. My hope is for you to have a listen to anything you’re not familiar with and ideally find something to enjoy. That’s why you’re here, right?
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
MP3: Let England Shake
Secret Cities – Strange Hearts
MP3 – Always Friends
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
MP3 – The Shrine / An Argument
Posted in 2011 Favorites
Tagged Amor De Dias, Atlas Sound, BBC6, Beirut, Bill Callahan, Bon Iver, DJ Shadow, Eleanor Friedberger, Fleet Foxes, Girls, Laura Marling, Let's Wrestle, little dragon, Metronomy, Michael Kiwanuka, NZCA/Lines, PJ Harvey, Race Horses, Real Estate, Secret Cities, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, The Black Keys, The War on Drugs, tune-yards, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Wild Beasts
The Black Key’s finished their NYC rounds of El Camino release week with this performance on David Letterman.
In other Black Keys related news:
The Black Keys like Mac Miller, and others have decided to not mess with Spotify, Rhapsody and other streaming music services according to the Los Angeles Times.
After the jump, you can check out the Jaws Skateboard Black Keys Art Director Michael Carney designed for Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse Skateboard Company.
The Black Keys performed Lonely Boy (above) and Gold on the Ceiling (after the jump) last night on Saturday Night Live. Steve Buscemi was the host.
The Keys will be on the Colbert Report December 6th, and Late Night With David Letterman December 7th.
If you haven’t heard through the buzz in these Ohio skreets, the Black Keys new record El Camino drops December 6th.
After the Jump for “Gold on the Ceiling”.
photo by Kim Rottmayer
The Black Keys damn…. Ohio’s Finest headline some big-ass rooms. Including the Schott and Madison Square Garden.
El Camino instores December 6th. The Keys are on Saturday Night Live this Saturday.
North America Tour Dates
3/2/12 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena
3/3/12 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
3/4/12 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
3/6/12 Portland, ME Cumberland County Civic Center
3/7/12 Boston, MA TD Garden
3/9/12 Washington, DC Verizon Center
3/10/12 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
3/12/12 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
3/13/12 Montreal Bell Centre
3/14/12 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
3/16/12 Indianapolis, IN Conseco Fieldhouse
3/18/12 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
3/19/12 Chicago, IL United Center**
3/20/12 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
3/23/12 Norfolk, VA Constant Convocation Center
Fans signed up to the official mailing list will get the first opportunity to buy tickets on 12/6 at 10am local time before public on-sale begins. Ticket sales for the general public will start on 12/9. For more info visit the Black Keys.com.
The Black Keys are celebrating the release of El Camino with an intimate fanclub only invite show at New York City’s Webster Hall on December 5th. MTV2 will broadcast Road to the Release videos leading up to the show. The Webster Hall Show itself will stream on MTVHIVE.COM as part of their Live In NYC series.
El Camino hits stores December 6th.
The Black Keys El Camino drops December 6th. You can hear 5 songs off “El Camino” by visiting the Keys website and entering your email address. It was a painless, and a somewhat stylish to user experience.
One of the 5 songs that is available for you to listen to at your residence or place of employment right at this moment, Little Black Submarines, will probably be the musical composition that will define the American experience in 2012. And that’s just one of the 5 songs available for you to hear today, in 2011.
There are a zillion good things coming out on Black Friday & (Blackk Friday).
Above is video of the single of The Black Keys’ Lonely Boy 12 inch that drops Friday that Keys’ drumperson Patrick Carney twittered.
It plays in reverse outwards. Is it magick or science?
(photo taken from Lesley James’ facebook)
The Black Keys donated a signed guitar that will be auctioned off leading into this year’s Andyman-a-thon on CD102.5.
The Andyman-A-Thon is a Holiday tradition that is entering it 19th year. The late Andyman Davis would stay on his radio station’s airwaves, awake for 48 hours straight to raise money for children’s charties in Columbus.CD102.5 Listeners were encouraged to call in to request songs and donate money.
The Andyman-A-thon will take place December 16-18th this year.
The 2nd annual Andyman-a-thon Benefit Concert is this Wednesday (Nov. 23) at the LC. Watershed, Nick Tolford & Company, Lydia Loveless, and The Phantods will perform. Check out the event video below.
Black Keys fans will be stoked to know that the Keys will be on Saturday Night Live December 3rd. Steve Buscemi is the host. Continue reading
I’ve been away from the full-size internet all-day so perhaps you have already seen these things. There were interesting articles about The Black Keys in Q, and American Songwriter Magazine.
Zane Lowe on BBC premiered a new Black Keys song Run Right Back today which is off their album EL Camino, that comes out December 6th. This is the b-side to the Lonely Boy 12″ single that comes out on National Record Store Day, November 25th.
You can listen to “Run Right Back” here.