Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Albums

Janet's 25 Favorite LP Albums released in 2011

In very rough increasing favoriteness

With self-defeatingly defensive commentary

25. David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
I don't care to defend myself.
best tracks: Pinky's Dream, Strange and Unproductive Thinking, Stone's Gone Up, Crazy Clown Time

24. Summer Camp - Welcome to Condale
Okay, like a lot of other stuff this year, it's variously retro. English people doing American new wave pop. Not exactly heavy listening, but easy on the ears with the occasional subversive complexity.
Best tracks: Brian Krakow, Summer Camp, Nobody Knows You, Down, Ghost Train, 1988

23. Wild Flag
This is a great choice. It is. It's only this low because okay, I couldn't always listen to all of it. But it's a supergroup made of the best musicians in 90s feminist indie rock!
Romance, Boom, Short Version, Racehorse

22. Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer
Usually Ladytron would be up near the top of the list, but this is their only weak album. It was about time they made one - it is a grower, as it turns out, much more atmospheric and mature. It's quite pleasant, because the weakness is only in comparison to other Ladytron, and that's just not fair.
Mirage, Moon Palace, Altitude Blues, Ambulances, Melting Ice

21. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
Along with and despite of a concept somehow revolving around nuclear world war is some of the genre-eluding band's catchiest nonsense.
The Merry Barracks, Super Duper Rescue Heads!, Secret Mobilization, I Did Crimes For You

20. Starfucker - Reptilians
This just some great dance music. Plus there are Alan Watts samples.
Best tracks: all of them, whatever

19. John Maus - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
That there were ads for this guy on Spotify did the opposite thing ads are supposed to do and made me put off listening to him. The guy is a philosophy professor at some college in Hawaii, and what he does is Ariel Pink like.
Quantum Leap, Head for the Country, Matter of Fact, Believer

18. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
It occurs to me that nobody's paying me to recommend anything.
Youth Knows Know Pain, I Follow Rivers, Get Some, Sadness is a Blessing, Jerome

17. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Hardcore punk anarchist romance story cycle
Queen of Hearts, The Other Shoe, like most of the songs are worth listening to in order, it's pretty impressive

16. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
To be honest, I kept feeling like I should like this album more.
Cruel, Surgeon, Northern Lights, Dilettante

15. Neon Indian - Era Extraña
I don't know how to describe what the kids are doing these days except that I think it sounds like they were conceived to it.
Polish Girl, Blindside Kiss, Hex Girlfriend, Suns Irrupt, Arcade Blues

14. Cults
Well-hyped faux indie that is quite good actually
Abducted, Go Outside, Never Heal Myself, Oh My God

13. Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams
I like the EP they released this year better, but Dee Dee & co's second album brings the best things about rock n roll from the last 40 years into its girl-group reinvention.
In My Head, Heartbeat, Wasted Away

12. Dengue Fever - Cannibal Courtship
Stand back, everyone. Let the 60s Cambodian pop inspired professionals handle all your amazing music needs.
Cannibal Courtship, Cement Slipper, Family Business, Thank You Goodbye

11. Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler / The Dream
This thing just goes by in a blur whenever I listen to it. A mindblowing blur of psych punk that keeps me churning along in my meatpuppet as long as it lasts.
Fucking everything, okay

10. Ponytail - Do Whatever You Want All The Time
The LAST ALBUM. Probably. Which is too bad because Ponytail could probably be prescribed as an anti-depressant. At least it takes a while to build up a tolerance.
Easy Peasy, AwayWay, Music Tunes
9. Hooray for Earth - True Loves
I don't know anything about this band really. Nevertheless, I stand behind this album's high placement.
Sails, True Loves, No Love

8. Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
Goth your face off
Confetti, Underworld USA, Alchemy and You

7. Austra - Feel It Break
I'm actually just really emotionally attached to this album by Canada's answer to The Knife. It may or may not have staying power.
Lose It, Beat and the Pulse, Hate Crime, The Noise

6. Man Man - Life Fantastic
As my date to their amazing live show dubbed them, Man Man Man Man Man. Man, Man Man, Man. Man!
Piranhas Club, Haute Tropique, Shameless, Bangkok Necktie

5. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
In which Polly Jean becomes a belated World War I poet.
Let England Shake, The Glorious Land, The Words That Maketh Murder, Bitter Branches

4. MEN - Talk About Body
It is weird that this shot so high on this list, but I feel like JD Samson fronting an art pop band that may or may not be a queer deconstruction of DEVO was necessary.
Life's Half Price, Credit Card Babie$, Boom Boom Boom, Rip Off

3. YACHT - Shangri-La
Sci fi dance music. YACHT do what they want. I like her voice.
Dystopia, Love in the Dark, Holy Roller, Paradise Engineering.
Shangri-La the song makes me cry.

2. Tune-Yards - W H O K I L L
Merrill Garber has that voice AND mad percussion skills AND does live loops AND righteous lyrics AND made that energy fit on her second long record. Okay? Can we at least agree on this?
My Country, Gangsta, Bizness

1. Pictureplane - Thee Physical
This year belongs to horny 20 year old kids with synthy gadgets, careful extraction from pop and trance, elaborate retro-futuristic ideologies (like "cyberculture" is still a relevent term here), and an impossible nostalgia for the early 90s. I'm sorry. It probably just hit me at the right moment and won't appeal to you. Thanks for listening, anyway.
Post Physical, Trancegender, Breath Work

Sunday, December 04, 2011

2011 Tracks

I spend every year building a narrative playlist of my favorite music released that year. I only include one song per artist, and usually it's a single if they've denoted them, but, you'll see on this list, often not. I'm blogging about each individual song on my tumblr.  This mix is somewhat inverse: it starts with the end of the world, and moves on relentlessly from there.  I aim for a smooth flow through genres, with the occasional necessary leap.  Contact limnrix at gmail for an 80-minute gift mix customized to your taste.
 Right click to download 500MB, be careful with it

1 Deerhoof Super Duper Rescue Heads! Deerhoof vs. Evil 2:36
2 Ponytail Easy Peasy Do Whatever You Want All The Time 5:48
3 Battles Wall Street Gloss Drop 5:25
4 Does it Offend You, Yeah? Yeah Don't Say We Didn't Warn You 4:13
5 Fucked Up The Other Shoe David Comes To Life 4:57
6 Man Man Piranhas Club Life Fantastic 3:52
7 Tom Waits Bad As Me Bad As Me 3:10
8 The Builders And The Butchers Black Elevator Dead Reckoning 5:37
9 Eleanor Friedberger My Mistakes Last Summer 4:29
10 The Kills You Don't Own The Road Blood Pressures 3:23
11 David Lynch Pinky's Dream Crazy Clown Time 4:01
12 Thee Oh Sees The Dream Carrion Crawler / The Dream 6:52
13 The Antlers Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out Burst Apart 3:25
14 The Decemberists Calamity Song The King Is Dead 3:50
15 Yacht Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire) Shangri-La 4:01

16 Gang Gang Dance MindKilla Eye Contact 5:17
17 Rainbow Arabia Mechanical Boys And Diamonds 4:13
18 Zola Jesus Vessel Conatus 4:42
19 Björk Mutual Core Biophilia 5:06
20 Esben and the Witch Marching Song Violet Cries 3:56
21 PJ Harvey The Words That Maketh Murder Let England Shake 3:41
22 Tori Amos The Chase Night Of Hunters 3:03
23 Kate Bush Wild Man 50 Words For Snow 7:17
24 St. Vincent Cruel Strange Mercy 3:35
25 Braids Plath Heart Native Speaker 4:26
26 Thao & Mirah Eleven Thao & Mirah 4:01
27 Tune-Yards Bizness W H O K I L L 4:26
28 Dengue Fever Family Business Cannibal Courtship 3:38
29 MEN Boom Boom Boom Talk About Body 4:07
30 Wild Flag Boom Wild Flag 2:45
31 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Maniac Hysterical 3:04
32 Foster The People Pumped Up Kicks Torches 4:00

33 They Might Be Giants Cloisonne´ Join Us 2:38
34 Jens Lekman An Argument with Myself An Argument with Myself 3:49
35 CSS Hits Me Like A Rock La Liberacion 3:36
36 Hooray For Earth True Loves True Loves 3:30
37 Memory Tapes Sun Hits Player Piano 3:34
38 Dum Dum Girls He Gets Me High He Gets Me High 3:00
39 Tennis Seafarer Cape Dory 3:03
40 EMA Milkman Past Life Martyred Saints 3:21
41 Cults Abducted Cults 2:53
42 Summer Camp Down Welcome to Condale 2:33
43 Vivian Girls Take It As It Comes Share The Joy 3:01
44 Lykke Li Sadness Is A Blessing Wounded Rhymes 4:01
45 Adele Rolling In The Deep 21 3:49
46 Beth Ditto Open Heart Surgery - Original Mix Solo EP 5:40
47 Lady Gaga Scheiße Born This Way (Standard Edition) 3:46
48 きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ PONPONPON もしもし原宿 4:05
49 Monarchy Love Get Out Of My Way Monarchy 3:20
50 Oh Land Sun Of A Gun Oh Land 3:27
51 Iamamiwhoami ; John ; John - Single 6:39
52 Ladytron Mirage Gravity The Seducer 4:22

53 Glass Candy Beautiful Object Warm in the Winter 6:08
54 Neon Indian Polish Girl Era Extraña 4:24
55 John Maus Quantum Leap We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves 2:53
56 Cold Cave Underworld USA Cherish the Light Years 4:59
57 M83 Midnight City Hurry Up, We're Dreaming 4:03
58 The Naked and Famous Young Blood Passive Me, Aggressive You 4:07
59 The Raveonettes Ignite Raven in the Grave 3:06
60 SBTRKT Wildfire SBTRKT 3:25
61 Little Dragon Shuffle A Dream Ritual Union 2:55
62 Pictureplane Post Physical Thee Physical 4:17
63 Starfucker Hungry Ghost Reptilians 2:10
64 Planningtorock The Breaks W 4:38
65 Austra Lose It Feel It Break 4:29
66 Metronomy Corinne The English Riviera 3:16
67 Wild Beasts Loop The Loop Smother 4:07
68 Radiohead Lotus Flower The King Of Limbs 5:00
69 Panda Bear Slow Motion Tomboy 4:37
70 Moonface Shit-Hawk in the Snow Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped 7:29

Here's the short version:
1. Deerhoof - Super Duper Rescue Heads!
2. Ponytail - Easy Peasy
3. Memory Tapes - Sun Hits
4. Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High
5. Man Man - Pirahnas Club
6. Hooray for Earth - True Loves
7. Gang Gang Dance - Mindkilla
8. Yacht - Dystopia
9. MEN - Boom Boom Boom
10. Dengue Fever - Family Business
11. tUnE-YaRdS - Bizness
12. PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder
13. Metronomy - Corinne
14. Antlers - Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out
15. Thee Oh Sees - The Dream
16. Austra - Lose It
17. Cold Cave - Underworld USA
18. M83 - Midnight City
19. Pictureplane - Post-Physical