Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best of 2011 (and best of 2006 report card)

As recent as two years ago, back before I entered into this state of constant tedium and tension that is defined by my lack of employment, I used to enjoy making a list of my favorite albums and other artworks at the end of the year. I also used to spend more time working on this blog because, strangely, having less free time meant that I could manage it better. Now, every post that I write here is time that I should be spending doing things that seem more valuable: looking for a job, managing the house, watching my children, planning dinner, looking for a job, contemplating the pointlessness of my existence, pitching stories to outlets that may indeed pay me for said work, staring into space, and looking for a job. But I digress.

What I'm trying to say is that even though I have become a remarkably inessential human being, I still have opinions. Why anyone would care about those is beyond me, but if you've read this far, you're probably wondering when I'm going to cut to the chase or, more likely, whether you'll have the fortitude to reach the end of this sentence before bailing. For those of you still here, this is what I'm going to do: list my favorite albums of 2011. Then I will tell you about my favorite albums of five years previous and how it chalks up to the list I posted at the time.

My Favorite Albums of 2011:

1. Fucked Up - David Comes To Life

2. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
3. Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania
4. The Alabama Shakes - Alabama Shakes EP
5. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
6. Earth - Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light
7. Mastodon - The Hunter
8. Mike Watt - Hyphenated-Man
9. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
10. Tom Waits - Bad As Me

Honorable Mentions (alphabetically):

Boris - Attention Please, Heavy Rocks (2011), and New Album
Sally Crewe - Transmit/Receive EP
Deerhoof - Deerhoof Vs. Evil
The Fall - Ersatz GB
The Feelies - Here Before
Jens Lekman - An Argument With Myself
J. Mascis - Several Shades Of Why
Melvins - Sugar Daddy Live
My Education - Sound Mass
Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler/The Dream
Wilco - The Whole Love
Wild Flag - Wild Flag

Yuck - Yuck

My best albums of 2006, as reported in The High Hat.

  1. Joanna Newsom, Ys.
  2. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.
  3. Mastodon, Blood Mountain.
  4. Cat Power, The Greatest.
  5. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife.
  6. The Fiery Furnaces, Bitter Tea.
  7. Mission of Burma, The Obliterati.
  8. Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit.
  9. Isis & Aereogramme, In the Fishtank 14.
  10. Boris, Pink (came out in 2005, but had wide release in 2006)
  11. The Pipettes, We Are the Pipettes.
  12. Bert Jansch, The Black Swan.
  13. Destroyer, Destroyer's Rubies.
  14. Ratatat, Classics.
  15. M. Ward, Post-War.
  16. Brightblack Morning Light, Brightblack Morning Light.
  17. Six Organs of Admittance, Sun Awakens.
  18. The Hold Steady, Boys & Girls in America.
  19. Akron/Family, Meek Warrior.
  20. Scott Walker, The Drift.
Here's my favorite albums of 2006 now:

1. Boris - Pink (up from #10!)
2. Fucked Up - Hidden World
3. Comets On Fire - Avatar
4. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
5. Espers - Espers II
6. Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain
7. Danielson - Ships
8. Scott Walker - The Drift (up from #20!)
9. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (down from #2!)
10. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain

Honorable Mentions (alphabetically):

Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea (down from #6!)
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
The Hold Steady - Boys & Girls In America
Isis - In The Absence Of Truth
Mission of Burma - The Obliterati (down from #7!)
Nina Nastasia - On Leaving
Joanna Newsom - Ys. (down from #1!)
Jay Reatard - Blood Visions

In short, the things I loved then are not the same albums I love now, although there's still some crossover. Many of my favorite albums of the year were ones I did not hear until later. But, man, what a good year for music!

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Cary, NC, United States
reachable at firstname lastname (all run together) at gmail dot com

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From Here To Obscurity, founded ca. 2003, population 1. The management wishes to emphasize that no promises vis-a-vis your entertainment have been guaranteed and for all intents and purposes, intimations of enlightenment fall under the legal definition of entertainment. No refunds shall be given nor will requests be honored. Although some may ask, we have no intention of beginning again.

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