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Jeremy Aaron

Written by: Jeremy Aaron (12/01/11)
Ah, year-end list time. If you're like me-- that is, perpetually interested in various perspectives on music-- seeing everyone's presentation of the year's best can be a source of excitement. But also, if you're like me-- loath to surrender to the collective perception of "what the best is"-- it can also be bewildering and alienating. While a statement like this will probably earn me the label of being nothing more than a contrarian, I have to shake my head in amazement at the placement of Bon Iver (or Bon Iver, Bon Iver or whatever it's supposed to be) on just about everyone's list. I can't help but wonder what it is about that record (besides the fact that the right people said the right things about it and others just dutifully followed suit) that has pretty much everyone from pop-punk fans to hipsters united in singing its praises, while I sort of see it as the emperor with no clothes. Meanwhile, a record as thoroughly inviting as The Rural Alberta Advantage's Departing was received rather dismissively across the board. Clearly, taste is a subjective thing, but I think this disconnect is reflective of differences in what we're attempting to gain by listening, and it makes me feel like "why we listen" is a worthwhile and maybe even crucial question to explore here.

Not long ago, in our Albums of the Decade special, I ranked Brand New's The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me at #2 for the '00s and raved about how it really helped me through a rough patch-- what my friends would probably refer to as my "whiny bitch" stage. I can't deny the importance of personal relevance, but at the risk of being told I'm missing the point somehow, I think my days of demanding that-- or demanding anything really-- from music are well in the past. I don't know if it's something I should brag about or be deeply ashamed of, but I haven't had a stressful day in years. All those transitional phases and existential crises and girl problems-- that's all over. I feel like I'm pretty much who I'm going to be until dementia settles in, provided I manage to keep breathing until then. No one makes music about content adulthood because it's not interesting in the least. I think this is why most people, when they reach a certain age, stop paying attention to new music. It's not about them anymore. But that's a mistake, I think. I find it very freeing not to require some sort of validation from music and just to be open to letting it hit you however it will. With the sheer volume of music being made now and the ease with which we can access it, pigeonholing yourself in any way as a listener is doing yourself a huge disservice.

I enjoy Roxy Music's 1973 classic For Your Pleasure, not because I share anything personal with the rather disturbing "In Every Dream Home a Heartache", but because it's fascinating to listen to how it pays tribute to its influences (Lou Reed, Elvis Presley) as well as foreshadows what was coming a few years down the road (The Clash, Television). And I think it's important to understand that there's more than just a vacuum surrounding the listener-music complex, which is something I think I just made up. Back in 2007, I listened to an album called Love Is Simple by freak-folk group Akron/Family, and like I do with at least half of the albums I spin, I filed it away as enjoyable but probably not worth revisiting. A couple of years later, I happened upon a dark comedy-ish flick called World's Greatest Dad, which I'm guessing many readers will be familiar with. I don't even remember much about the movie, other than its chilling usage of the aforementioned record's song "Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead". It was so striking that it completely recontextualized the tune, and ultimately the album. I still go back and listen to it every now and then.

The point is, I think we all have many reasons for enjoying one piece of music or another, and though the idea probably runs counter to the ethos of a site whose motto is "Music mends broken hearts," I don't think one of them needs to be "This dude really speaks to me." If you read any of the blurbs below, you'll find an emphasis on contextualization that probably borders on obsession with little to no mention of any personal relatability. Maybe it cheapens everything I've said so far and will henceforth say, but looking up and down this list, I don't think any one of these albums means more to me personally than, say, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" means personally to a drunk chick dancing on a pool table. Actually, that's a bad analogy-- they probably mean less.

But they do make me "feel something," I guess, something I usually attempt to qualify using signifiers that only mean anything to me, sort of like describing "green" to someone without using the word "green" or the names of green objects. Because at its core, the music experience-- not just how good or bad an album is, but the experience itself-- is subjective. Even two people who agree on the greatness of a song or record aren't necessarily impacted by it in the same way. But the 30 albums featured here all produced some combination of brain chemicals that made me feel... well, different than I would have felt had I not been listening, as much as whatever that feeling is usually defies verbalization. I guess you could say they get me high, although it's probably blatantly obvious by now that they have their fair share of help.

Besides the fact that it serves as a sort of entry point for understanding my year-end selections, another reason I think this is a timely discussion is because it is sort of troubling to think of the value of music, in the age of the continuous information stream, as being about equal to that of the cute clip of a kitten your aunt just shared on Facebook, little more than amusement, anything to fill the void and avert any incidental self-actualization. I'm heartened by the realization that my favorite song of 2011, The Rural Alberta Advantage's "Tornado '87" somehow resonates with me, despite the fact that I've resided in upstate New York my whole life and have never actually witnessed a twister. That kitten is out of mind as soon as it's off the screen. I think it's that deep power to move us in undefinable ways even when we can't truly relate that makes music so special, to me anyway.

So in this time when we're bombarded by lists from every publication, and everyone with an opinion is putting together his or her own, I think it's a good time to ask, "Why am I listening?" and compile accordingly. As long as you're honest with yourself, there aren't any wrong answers.

Here's to the next twelve months. Cheers.


#30 Iceage - New Brigade
Released March 18 on What's Your Rupture?

This out-of-nowhere release from a group of teenagers from Copenhagen sounds like a piece of the '80s American underground that went criminally unheard for decades. The ominous, brooding vocals evoke dreary post-punks like Bauhaus, while the noisy-as-hell guitars are equal parts Joy Division, Gang of Four and Mission of Burma. Albums with such sheer force of energy are increasingly hard to find, and apparently when they do surface, they arrive from the unlikeliest of places.


#29 Bomb the Music Industry! - Vacation
Released July 26 on Ernest Jenning / Really

Jeff Rosenstock's insistence on DIY typically means you never know what type of craziness might end up on a BtMI! recording. So perhaps the most surprising thing about Vacation is how much restraint seems to have been exercised in its creation. The loose and frantic ska aesthetic makes way for an eclectic art-punk style that's as much Elvis Costello as Op Ivy. Goodbye Cool World's manic energy may be mostly gone, but Rosenstock's social consciousness and wry humor haven't gone anywhere.


#28 Destroyer - Kaputt
Released January 25 on Merge

Bon Iver's "Beth/Rest" got a lot of credit for embodying, perhaps ironically, a style that's been subject to much derision over the years. Even ballsier, though, is Dan Bejar's decision to go yacht rock for a whole album. Soft, sparkling, and teeming with tasteful brass, Kaputt catches the ear with its effortless mellisonance but begs to be more than just background music. Luckily, a deeper listen reveals the subtle complexities and Bejar's sharp wit, which propel it well beyond mere dentist office fodder.


#27 Cults - Cults
Released June 7 on In the Name Of / Columbia

Cults the album proved that Cults the band were much more than just one sprightly jingle as I feared they might be. Admittedly, though, they are little more than sprightly jingles in general. Cults' '60s-ish girl-group aesthetic doesn't differ appreciably from that of Tennis or Best Coast, but there's an authenticity to their style-- it feels natural and not forced in order to keep with prevailing trends. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that the eleven sharpest hooks of the year may all come from this album.


#26 Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic
Released August 23 on Matador

Pavement is a distant speck in the rearview now; Mirror Traffic is Malkmus's fifth post-Pavement record, equaling the total output of his former band. His lyrics have taken a bit of an adult turn ("40 with a kid, living on the grid"), but he's still very much the shrugging icon he's always been. His "lack of growth," so to speak, could be an object of criticism, but I find it sort of fitting. It makes me wonder if, in growing up, we change nearly as much as we'd like to think, or if it's just simply our circumstances changing around us.


#25 Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
Released June 28 on Sub Pop

On Black Up, Shabazz Palaces mastermind Ishmael Butler (ex-Digable Planets) continues to exhibit his knack for placing himself firmly on the fringes of hip-hop. The current landscape is dominated by acts with singsong flows and pop hooks, even among indie artists, so Black Up's fractured beats and minimalist production are immediately striking and refreshing. I'm as much a sucker for a catchy tune as anyone, but its nice to hear a record where sonic possibility trumps instant gratification.


#24 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical
Self-released on September 20

One of the original "buzz bands," Clap Your Hands Say Yeah made a name for themselves with their DIY spirit, and even after generating a sea of blog ink continue to keep it real. This, their third album, leaves behind some of their quirky experimentalism, offering instead twelve punchy New Wave-ish gems. Alec Ounsworth's pitchy bleats have been toned down as well, resulting in a smooth, broadly palatable record that proves the band are (and were) more than just an image. They've got the songs, too.


#23 Nick 13 - Nick 13
Released June 7 on Sugar Hill

The punk frontman turned solo country/folk songwriter act is getting to be old hat, but Nick 13 is a refreshing collection of vintage-sounding tunes worthy of being pegged as more than "just another solo project." Some of Tiger Army's best songs fall into the twangy category (e.g. Music From Regions Beyond's "Where the Moss Slowly Grows"), so this expansion on that theme-- which allows Nick to employ his Dwight Yoakam-esque croon to haunting effect-- is much appreciated.


#22 Wilco - The Whole Love
Released September 23 on Anti/Epitaph

Over the course of their evolving career, Wilco have undergone transitions from alt-country pioneers to sonic experimentalists to coffee-shop dad-rockers, much to the delight of many and the dismay of others. On the surprising The Whole Love, Jeff Tweedy and friends deliver something of an all-encompassing career retrospective, a slap in the face to anyone who's called them stale the last few years and an album that simply begs to be enjoyed rather than classified and filed away.


#21 Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
Released April 5 on Matador

Former Give Up the Ghost / American Nightmare frontman Wes Eisold is apparently a lot more vulnerable than his hardcore roots might suggest. The production on Cherish the Light Years is loud and occasionally punishing, but these songs are essentially heart-on-sleeve, wall-of-sound, smeared-eyeliner material. Cold Cave's success lies in recreating the hook-filled New Wave '80s in a way that sounds authentic with nary a trace of schmaltz or camp.


#20 The Antlers - Burst Apart
Released May 10 on Frenchkiss

Peter Silberman's vocal still has that Antony Hegarty-like timbre that can't help but sound melancholy, but in contrast to the stark Hospice, Burst Apart is brighter-sounding and buoyed by soft electronics and gorgeous shimmering textures. It reflects its creator moving past the harrowing ordeal of Hospice and letting go as much as someone can, though songs like "I Don't Want Love" and "No Widows" make it all too clear that no matter how much time elapses, a twinge still remains.


#19 Classified - Handshakes and Middle Fingers
Released April 12 on Half Life

Hand Shakes and Middle Fingers employs the production extravagance of hip-hop chart-toppers like Kanye West, though Luke Boyd's autobiographical yarns lack the red-carpet glitz of his more mainstream contemporaries' hits. Hooks abound, and the middle-class relatability is a refreshing alternative to the same-old same-old, enough so that Class is easily forgiven on the few occasions when his lyrics turn as heavy-handed as his production.


#18 Real Estate - Days
Released October 18 on Domino

Since when is "pleasantness" the most striking quality of one of any year's best albums? Well, when a band takes laid-back beauty to the degree Real Estate have with Days, it's hard not to be drawn in by it. It's also reassuring to know that when Murmur and Reckoning were being slowed-down and smoothed-out by sadly forgotten acts like Guadalcanal Diary, The Dream Syndicate and The Ocean Blue, someone out there was listening and now paying homage.


#17 S.C.U.M. - Again Into Eyes
Released October 4 on Mute

Vocalist Thomas Cohen's breathy, affected delivery is favorably comparable to British heroes David Bowie and Jarvis Cocker, and with the band's synth-washed post-punk backdrop providing a warmly atmospheric but also dark and disconcerting feel, S.C.U.M. have clearly studied their aforementioned predecessors' touchstones carefully. Bowie and Pulp had a way of artfully exposing society's gritty underbelly, and on their debut, S.C.U.M. position themselves as rare masters of the art in the game today.


#16 Hooray for Earth - True Loves
Released June 7 on Dovecote

True Loves is like a dreamier cousin to Oracular Spectacular and Odd Blood, with the former's chirpy vocals, the latter's seismic percussion and the electronic framework of both, while mostly avoiding their reliance on pure pop prosaisms. Despite not possessing a true crowd-pleaser along the lines of "Electric Feel" or "Madder Red", the album retains an eerie memorability perhaps simply because of how confidently it defies the expectation of what an electro-pop record should be.


#15 The Horrors - Skying
Released August 9 on XL

The Horrors took huge strides from the garage-goth of 2007's Strange House to the much more refined Primary Colours two years later. With Skying, they've done it yet again crafting a sound very singularly their own by drawing equally from the likes of post-punk hitmakers The Psychedelic Furs and druggy daydreamers Galaxie 500. I suspect that years down the road, after the not-so-subtle hooks of some of the albums I rated higher start to wear, Skying's status as one 2011's gems will be truly cemented.


#14 TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
Released April 12 on DGC / Interscope

Nine Types of Light may lack the urgency (and punctuating noise explosions) of TV on the Radio's earlier records, but their relative mellowing-with-age is something I can begrudgingly get behind. And while their focus turns to-- gasp!-- love quite frequently throughout, are we all so jaded (and perhaps elitist) that simple matters of the heart make for inferior subject matter to the empty philosophizing that normally dominates the indie-rock landscape? Maybe they've lost their edge, but maybe I have too.


#13 The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
Released August 16 on Secretly Canadian

Though Slave Ambient was recorded without original member Kurt Vile, you can still tell that he and War on Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel are kindred spirits. Slave Ambient takes the rootsy nonchalance of Vile's Smoke Ring for My Halo and infuses it with blurry dream-pop flourishes, resulting in a unique sort of blissed-out Americana that carefully measures its sonic indulgences so as to enhance rather than obfuscate the sterling songs beneath.


#12 The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
Released January 18 on Capitol

After the polarizing Hazards of Love-- color me as one of the many who were heartbreakingly disappointed by it-- The Decemberists once again reinvent themselves as country-rock troubadours with, say it ain't so, no overarching lyrical concept. Colin Meloy's still pandering to the nerd contingent with enough esoteric language and literary references to make verbally-challenged heads spin, but no special preparation is required to appreciate this record for the great sing-along it is at its core.


#11 Joan of Arc - Life Like
Released May 10 on Polyvinyl

Life Like is easily my favorite release from a Kinsella brother since at least Mike's At Home With Owen, and possibly since American Football. Tim's albums as Joan of Arc seem to have drifted further and further from his roots, so his latest is a welcome return to the type of noodly Midwestern emo with which the family name is practically synonymous. Also, chalk up another win for Steve Albini, whose production perfectly balances JOA's intimate earnestness with tense catharsis.


#10 Maritime - Human Hearts
Released April 5 on Dangerbird

I used to put The Promise Ring on a pedestal, perhaps one they deserve to be on, but with each successive release, Davey von Bohlen's post-TPR band Maritime are edging closer to attaining the same status-- at least in my own internal hierarchy. Human Hearts clocks in at only thirty-five minutes, but not a second of it was wasted, as there's not a bum tune to be found. There's a smoothness and fluidity to it that's unlike anything von Bohlen's been involved with before, and a few moments, particularly "Peopling of London" showcase a vocalist who's come a long way from 30 Degrees Everywhere's lispy barking.


#9 La Dispute - Wildlife
Released October 4 on No Sleep

Wildlife is probably the year's most emotionally intense album, with equal parts anger and anguish dripping from every lyric and shouty vocalization from Jordan Dreyer. A lot of the focus on this band is on Dreyer's jarring delivery and uncomfortable subject matter, but for me, the true genius of Wildlife is how effectively it's carried by rather straight-forward chord progressions. The last record I can recall where a passionate and distinctly forceful vocalist worked in tandem with a band delivering such pitch-perfect atmosphere was the juggernaut known as Define the Great Line.


#8 Collections of Colonies of Bees - Giving
Released August 2 on Hometapes

Omni saw Minus the Bear seemingly abandon math rock for good, and 2011 saw no new albums from This Town Needs Guns, Look Mexico, or Foals-- and Gloss Drop was no Mirrored. Luckily, Collections of Colonies of Bees pick up the slack with Giving, a rare instrumental record that succeeds without leaning on the crutch of cascading crescendos. Amazingly, its shifting melodies and relentlessly addictive rhythms only seem to get better with repeat listens.


#7 Yuck - Yuck
Released February 15 on Fat Possum

Yuck is a shot of bedheaded fuzz-rock tailor-made to appear in the Top 10 lists of bedheaded '90s kids with roughly the same motivation level as they had in the '90s. To some degree, it represents little more than mimicry of J Mascis's guitar heroics, so its success is a testament to the durability of its source material as well as its creators' skill in interpreting it. Perhaps most charmingly, it's also like a window to an almost innocent era when art didn't need artifice to be cool.


#6 Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Released June 7 on Matador

Punk has worn many hats over the years: arty (Marquee Moon, 1977), angry (Damaged, 1981), angsty (Let It Be, 1984), downright misanthropic (Songs About Fucking, 1987), cathartic (For Your Own Special Sweetheart, 1994), jokey (Enema of the State, 1999), and melodramatic (Stay What You Are, 2001). Despite Zen Arcade and Double Nickels on the Dime, "epic" isn't a typical description, as even those albums are bigger in run-time than scope. David is uniquely monolithic in that regard, and a rallying cry for everyone disenchanted by the Fearless roster who still have a place in their hearts for loud and fast.


#5 Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
Released January 18 on Fat Possum

In 2011, I imagine most musicians re-imagine that old adage about luck as, "I'd rather be zeitgeist-y than good," so it's refreshing to hear a band revisiting the underappreciated glam of the '70s and doing it better than anyone since The London Suede. These ten sprightly tracks-- all of which possess single-worthy hooks-- comprise the most fun half-hour you can spend with one of this year's records. And you don't even need to label the pleasure as "guilty."


#4 Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man
Released September 20 on Asian Man

"It is well to remember that the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." - John Andrew Holmes.

Call him a bleeding heart or just a left-wing kook, but Sean Bonnette seems to understand this concept better than anyone making music today. Knife Man is a breath of fresh air for anyone tired of listening to every other pitiful songwriter's First World problems, a populist but worldly record that can't even find the selfishness to lament its own placement among the 99%. It's also an electrifying folk-punk album that's mostly rollicking and full of wry humor, though solemn when appropriate (the striking "Back Pack").


#3 Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien
Released August 30 on Barsuk

Cymbals Eat Guitars-- such a funny name for a band for whom guitars are so integral. I love this record because many of my favorite bands-- Modest Mouse, Pavement, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Slint, Unwound, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, even a touch of Devil and God-era Brand New-- have their fingerprints all over it. However, Lenses Alien sounds less like a copycat effort than a simple distillation of everything great about the last three decades of guitar-based indie rock.


#2 The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
Released March 1 on Saddle Creek

The last few years, we've seen a proliferation of folky acts with vocalists exhibiting a reedy Jeff Mangum-esque rasp (Deer Tick, The Tallest Man on Earth, Delta Spirit), but the Rural Alberta Advantage's Departing places them at the head of the class. Far better than the more critically lauded Hometowns, it's like chicken and dumplings, pumpkin pie and Sam Adams Holiday Porter-- sonic comfort food-- and sits alongside The Avett Brothers' I and Love and You and Neva Dinova's You May Already Be Dreaming as my favorite "warming" records.


#1 Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
Released March 8 on Matador

Truth be told, I wasn't a huge fan of Vile's before Smoke Ring, but this decidedly higher-fidelity album is a showcase of his skill at layering guitars-- both hushed fingerpicking ("Baby's Arms") and muscular strumming ("Puppet to the Man")-- as well as his Lou Reed-like knack for subtle subversion. When I listen to it, I hear the work of a guy who could some day be an icon, a sort of unifying voice in a scene where any sense of monoculture is a thing of the past.

Best of the Rest
About Group - Start and Complete
Acrylics - Lives and Treasure
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead
Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See
Atmosphere - The Family Sign
Battles - Gloss Drop
Bayside - Killing Time
Beirut - The Rip Tide
Ben Sollee - Inclusions
Boats - Cannonballs, Cannonballs
Boy and Bear - Moonfire
Braid - Closer to Closed
The Brother Kite - Eye to Eye
Centro-Matic - Candidate Waltz
Chain Gang of 1974 - Wayward Fire
Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings
Curren$y - Weekend at Burnie's
Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It's a Corporate World
Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross - Blow
The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum
The Dears - Degeneration Street
Diamond Rings - Special Affections
Dinosaur Bones - My Divider
The Dirtbombs - Party Store
DJ Quik - The Book of David
East River Pipe - We Live in Rented Rooms
Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
The Feelies - Here Before
The Felice Brothers - Celebration, Florida
Floating Action - Desert Etiquette
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Foster the People - Torches
Fountains of Wayne - Sky Full of Holes
Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
Gauntlet Hair - Gauntlet Hair
Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
Hotel Lights - Girl Graffiti
Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
James Vincent McMorrow - Early in the Morning
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Here We Rest
The Jayhawks - Mockingbird Time
Jessica Lea Mayfield - Tell Me
John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
The Kills - Blood Pressures
The Latebirds - Last of the Good Ol' Days
Little Comets - In Search of Elusive Little Comets
Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
Man Man - Life Fantastic
Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
Middle Brother - Middle Brother
Mister Heavenly - Out of Love
Mute Math - Odd Soul
My Morning Jacket - Circuital
Neon Indian - Era Extrana
O'Death - Outside
Obits - Moody, Standard and Poor
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
Other Lives - Tamer Animals
Penguin Prison - Penguin Prison
Pepper Rabbit - Red Velvet Snowball
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Ponderosa - Moonlight Revival
Portugal. The Man - In the Mountain, in the Cloud
Psychic Babble - My Brother's Ears / My Sister's Eyes
Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'
R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now
The Republic Tigers - No Land's Man
Rival Schools - Pedals
Royce Da 5'9" - Success Is Certain
The Submarines - Love Notes / Letter Bombs
Sugar and Gold - Bodyaches
Tapes 'n Tapes - Outside
Teddybears - Devil's Music
Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines
Therapies Son - Over the Sea
Thievery Corporation - Culture of Fear
The Thing About Rivals - Sabrina
Tom Vek - Leisure Seizure
Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine
Touche Amore - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
The Twilight Singers - Dynamite Steps
Urge Overkill - Rock and Roll Submarine
Washed Out - Within and Without

Most Anticipated of 2012
10. Damien Jurado
9. The Avett Brothers
8. Silversun Pickups
7. Yeasayer
6. Outkast
5. Why?
4. Sleigh Bells
3. The Shins
2. The Twilight Sad
1. Modest Mouse
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
10:43 AM on 12/21/11
#2
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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That was a great intro, I hope a lot of people read that.
11:01 AM on 12/21/11
#3
cwhit412
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Expecting this list to be one of my favorites out of all the staff.
06:17 PM on 12/24/11
#4
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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and again, everything I tried to say in my write-up --- you said better....
11:10 AM on 12/27/11
#5
Holly HoX!
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God damn Jeremy...this is just amazing. Thanks.

Really glad to see Hooray for Earth on a list. They killed it live and the dudes are extremely nice.
12:58 PM on 12/27/11
#6
Jeremy Aaron
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God damn Jeremy...this is just amazing. Thanks.

Really glad to see Hooray for Earth on a list. They killed it live and the dudes are extremely nice.


December is a quiet work time for me, I guess. I definitely ventured well into tl;dr territory.
01:01 PM on 12/27/11
#7
Holly HoX!
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December is a quiet work time for me, I guess. I definitely ventured well into tl;dr territory.

Happy to see Kurt round out your list. You should really give Caveman a listen if you haven't. I think you'll really dig it.
01:10 PM on 12/27/11
#8
kazuma_ootaro28
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I enjoyed the last couple of Wilco albums before, but The Whole Love is a step up. Glad to see Shabazz Palaces, The Antlers, Maritime, along with a couple more on there. Great write-ups for those albums.
02:29 PM on 12/27/11
#9
CBKRP
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Really like the praise for Nick 13 and very good take on Bon Iver, people just really are sheep these days..
03:10 PM on 12/27/11
luvsickcatalyst
wander eyes, ocean high.
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A lot of our tastes seem to match up, yet I haven't heard of half of these. Really cool list; definitely will be checking out a bunch of these.
Really like the praise for Nick 13 and very good take on Bon Iver, people just really are sheep these days..
Because everyone who listens to Bon Iver is just following the crowd and has no correlation with the fact that the album might, in fact, be a pretty good listen.
03:31 PM on 12/27/11
Jeremy Aaron
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Happy to see Kurt round out your list. You should really give Caveman a listen if you haven't. I think you'll really dig it.
I suppose you phrased it that way because he appears last, but I can't stress enough that Smoke Ring isn't rounding anything out-- it was a very clear and easy #1 choice for me.

And also damn you, and at the same time thank you. Coco Beware has been on my list of things to check out for a while and I just kept putting it off in favor of other stuff. Obviously my tastes are pretty easy to read, because that's right up my alley and would have ranked rather high had I heard it a month ago when I was putting this together. Oh well, it won't be the first album I'm late to the party on, though as always I'll work tirelessly in the effort of making it the last.
03:56 PM on 12/27/11
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I suppose you phrased it that way because he appears last, but I can't stress enough that Smoke Ring isn't rounding anything out-- it was a very clear and easy #1 choice for me.

And also damn you, and at the same time thank you. Coco Beware has been on my list of things to check out for a while and I just kept putting it off in favor of other stuff. Obviously my tastes are pretty easy to read, because that's right up my alley and would have ranked rather high had I heard it a month ago when I was putting this together. Oh well, it won't be the first album I'm late to the party on, though as always I'll work tirelessly in the effort of making it the last.
Haha, yeah poor wording on my part. I also love Smoke Ring and Slave Ambient just as much.

Well, better late than never with Coco - it's such a great record. I put it off for a while, too. Big mistake. I'll be spinning it a lot this winter.
04:26 PM on 12/27/11
Lueda Alia
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I suppose you phrased it that way because he appears last, but I can't stress enough that Smoke Ring isn't rounding anything out-- it was a very clear and easy #1 choice for me.

And also damn you, and at the same time thank you. Coco Beware has been on my list of things to check out for a while and I just kept putting it off in favor of other stuff. Obviously my tastes are pretty easy to read, because that's right up my alley and would have ranked rather high had I heard it a month ago when I was putting this together. Oh well, it won't be the first album I'm late to the party on, though as always I'll work tirelessly in the effort of making it the last.
I obviously recommend CoCo Beware a lot too!
05:09 PM on 12/27/11
Jeremy Aaron
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Jeremy Aaron's Avatar
I obviously recommend CoCo Beware a lot too!
You could have mentioned somewhere that it sounds like Gorilla Manor and Odd Blood in a blender...

11:45 PM on 12/27/11
trojanick
they all got boyfriends anyway
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trojanick's Avatar
Comforting to see someone feels the same way I do about the Bon Iver album. Thought I was alone there for a while.
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