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Sean Rizzo

12/01/11
Oh man. What a year. Where should I start? I have amassed so much music over the past twelve months that I never thought I could ever even find, let alone be able to enjoy. My palate has expanded quite a bit but what's more astounding is that my library's expanded even more. Let's see exactly how much is there. Going to itunes, file, new smart playlist... I suck at figuring out how to use these so let's hope I can figure this out quickly considering I've got 45 minutes to get this entire article done and who knows if I'll be back tomorrow. Ah, yes, there we go. At the start of this year, I had a thousand songs. I now have 5600. My mind is blown. How did this even happen? (the fact that I'm unfortunately unemployed at the moment might have something to do with it, shhhhhh you never heard that) I don't even pirate and it still happened! I know a ton of ya'll are pirates so if you have a problem with me and my ethics (you'd better not have a problem with me and my arrow though or I'll bite your head off) you can yell ARRRG MATEY and attempt to raid my ship in the replies. Good luck with that though, considering I've got the banhammer.

Anyway, enough rambling. Let's get to my top 30. I didn't even think I'd be able to create a top 30 and was going to settle for a top 10 and this is coming from a guy whose library skyrocketed by 450% in a year. I'm an idiot, I know. Here's the list. I tried to keep it simple and let the music speak for itself. Any of the releases I have super strong feelings about have been reviewed, so you can check out my thoughts on those in the reviews since I decided to hyperlink those. As for the rest, I decided to link directly to the music as best I could. I don't attach a whole lot of emotional appeal to music (if you read my industries of the blind review and nothing else you're probably calling me a dirty liar right now), so I thought it would be best to just list everything and ask you all to discuss as much of it as you'd like at any level of depth you desire and I'll follow you up on it. Sharing is caring after all, and it would be silly of me to selfishly attach personal anecdotes to music in such a totalitarian and finalized way. Music needs as much dialogue as possible if you ask me.

If you're a lazy bum, then shame on you, and at least check out my top 10. If you're even more of a lazy bum, then shame on you some more and I should just ask you to leave, but I'll be courteous and ask you to listen to my top 3 instead. If you're even more of a lazy bum, you should be careful because I'll rage on the inside and it might surface the same way Vesuvius did, but I'll try to contain myself and ask that you listen to Align in Time's Me & My Arrow, my album of the year. Enjoy!

Top 301. Align in Time - Me & My Arrow
2. Industries of the Blind - Chapter 1: Had we known better
3. Weaver at the Loom - Before Now, Was Then
4. Amogh Symphony - The Quantum Hack Code
5. Hammock - Asleep in the Downlights
6. Built on Secrets - Reflections EP (Japanese Edition) *
7. Over the Ocean - Paper House
8. The Omega Experiment - Karma EP
9. The Calm Blue Sea - The Calm Blue Sea
10. Ume - Phantoms
11. Adebisi Shank - This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank
12. Hetfield & Hetfield - Tidal Wave Dreams (to be reviewed)
13. Good Weather For Airstrikes - To Have Our Hearts Emptied, To Be Left As We Came
14. Jacobi Wichita - Lambsie.Divey
15. Evan Brewer - Alone
16. Euphony - Euphony
17. I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business - Gold Rush
18. Progress in Color - Aruba (to be reviewed)
19. Small Kingdoms - She-Devil
20. Cloudkicker - Let Yourself Be Huge
21. Marty Eason - Lazy Bones
22. Holding Onto Hope - Holding Onto Hope
23. Glass Gifts - Native Language
24. Exxasens - Eleven Miles
25. The Earth is a Man - The Earth is a Man
26. Damascus - Salutation, Distant Satellite!
27. Artifex Pereo - Ailments & Antidotes
28. Culprit - Analogue
29. Collapse Under the Empire - Shoulders & Giants
30. Woodmen Hall - Into The Swine, Into The Sea

* I know this was put out a few days earlier, but it was too integral to my year to ignore.

Most Disappointing AlbumsYes, Ryan, if you're reading this, I'm borrowing your EOTY format. Love ya bro. Don't sue me for plagiarism, I give you good recs!

Most disappointing albums. Hmm. I think the one thing that captured everything disappointing for me this year was outlined in my Deas Vail review. You're going to hate me for this, ap, but here goes.

Originally Posted by my pretentious and arrogant opinions that happen to be correct
Has anyone else been disappointed with this year's crop of new albums? Between the new States album falling flatter both in my ears and on its face than a piece of paper, and the new Lydia album sounding like Leighton and Matt Malpass essentially decided to take a bunch of The Cinema b-sides, slapped the Lydia name on it, and called it done, I'd say that we fans are justified in being upset when the bands we love appear to be falling short of themselves.

Source: http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2517242 (always remember your citations kids, lest you be sued by yourself)
You can obviously tell what I thought of Deas Vail based on the review. As for States, I LOVED Line Em Up. When I got the stream of Room to Run I was beyond excited. I don't know. The EP just had this magic to it that didn't come through on the album. I think it was the production. Everything just fell flat. It all seemed less melodic, less upbeat, which is what was great about the EP. As for Lydia, well, frankly, Paint it Golden may as well have been a The Cinema album sans autotune. As other posters have said, the lack of other members' influence on the songwriting gave Leighton too much freedom to make shoddy pop-rock. Incredibly unfortunate.

Top EPIndustries of the Blind - Chapter 1: Had we known better

Yeah, I know I cheated by including EPs on my list. But this one is 30 minutes long so I think you can excuse it. Read the review for more details, but if you were paying attention above you should have read the darn thing already. Didn't your teachers ever teach you how to follow directions? Either that or you're a despicable lazy bum. Whatever happened to work ethic these days? If you remembered the Hey Arnold episode involving Arnold working on a snow day and not having any fun when I just said that, then you are amazing and I love you forever.

Band Genres/MovementsPost-rock is definitely the genre of the year for me. Truly beautiful music. I hang out in the post-rock turntable room a lot, and if you check out my bandcamp thread you'll find most of my recent discoveries in the genre. I've also been big on instrumental music in general lately as I've found that a bad vocalist can get in the way more often than good vocalists don't get in the way. And can I just say that I'm annoyed with pop-punk since my buddy Ryan decided to make it his genre of the year? What a stagnant genre. As some of you may remember, I once made a thread asking people to find me instances of innovation in pop-punk. The general consensus was that pop-punk bands aren't innovative until they leave pop-punk. Thought that was a pretty fair analysis, although to be fair bands that used to be pop punk make some great music that still incorporates some pop-punk elements.

Band of the YearThis is a toughie. Obviously my aoty carries a lot of weight but it's difficult for me to include that as I don't know how the artist will change in years to come. This year I'd say Cloudkicker is my artist of the year. Ben Sharp is a musical genius. I mean, just give a listen to Beacons and I dare you to tell me those crazy polyrhythms and riffage don't make your soul explode with happy. To think I almost ignored the man because it looked like I couldn't get his albums for free! (yeah I know I'm a frickin' cheapskate, but hey, I write reviews and spread names around like wildfire so that counts as support right?) This reminds me of how I almost completely disregarded Mae when my friend suggested them to me, and they're my favorite band ever. Yeah, I know I'm an idiot. The good vocabulary is just meant to trick you.

Song of the Year


If you were doing this: then JK LOL! Here's my actual song of the year: http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2517862

If you read the review, (which, again, you were supposed to do WAYYYY up there, do I need to keep my eye on you the whole time? I have to teach the other kids too you know! The union will have my head if they find out I'm slacking... they actually won't because liberalism sucks, but that's beside the point, get back to work!) then you would know that this song is my new drug. Thankfully I won't have to sell any fictional macbooks to get my hands on it.

Best Record LabelDeep Elm Records. Despite the really juvenile stunt they pulled by cutting off the free album downloads for about a week even after we met well over our end of the bargain by getting tons of Facebook likes, its effect is no more serious than that of a pimple on an otherwise pretty face. Thank you for the great roster. Thank you for the free music. Thank you for giving some of the best anti-piracy reasoning I've ever read. You guys spoil us so much with all the deals and freebies, and a fan couldn't ask for better. I'm happy to see that someone out there recognizes that the marketability of music is directly caused by the development of a passion toward it, and you do everything you can to facilitate that. Keep up the amazing work.

Finally, there are a ton of people I have to thank. First and foremost I'm thankful to God for handing me all these opportunities, musical or otherwise, despite my insistence on being a prodigal son. Next, I'm thankful for all my friends who have supported me in so many ways in being able to discover and enjoy all this music. Zach, Jenna, Paige, and the rest of AAT. You guys all rock my world, literally. Of course I have to be thankful to my co-bosses Eda and Jason and Linda, and especially my mentor Matt for giving me the opportunity to be staff later on this year. I hope I've been able to bring attention to all kinds of deserving artists thanks to you guys. Speaking of those artists, of course I have to thank them too as this list would not exist without all of them, so thanks for all the indefinably amazing music. I love all of my dear readers who have given me so much incredible encouragement. I never thought I was a good writer until you all said I was. Special thanks to Dre for always being around when I needed to chat about certain things.

Hopefully all the years to come will be as great for me as this one was. Actually, maybe I don't, since I'm gonna have to get an external hard drive one of these days, which means I'm gonna need a job, and who the heck wants one of those nowadays? I mean come on. There are all these illegal immigrants doing the jobs Americans don't want to do! But I digress. Keep a good lookout for my next few reviews, I plan on having them all done by the time next year comes around.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 56
07:30 PM on 12/26/11
#2
Lueda Alia
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You're an alright kid...
11:32 AM on 12/27/11
#3
Dustin Harkins
I forgot that happened
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So awesome to see Euphony on one of these lists.
11:36 AM on 12/27/11
#4
karadotcollett
altmusiclife.tumblr.com
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weeeeeeeeeeew! i'll have to check out some more of those albums considering 80% or so are free.
11:50 AM on 12/27/11
#5
White
Pornography and a bag of drugs.
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Jesus Christ I had to do WAY too much reading before I got to the good part, but it was worth it since my name was mentioned first. ^_^ This overwhelming sense of self-importance I currently harbour is slated to last quite a while, so be prepared for me to be more arrogant than ever for the next several months.
12:05 PM on 12/27/11
#6
popo
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Considering that Bon Iver and M83 were nowhere to be seen on that list, I'm very excited about checking this stuff out.
Looking up Align in Time right now...
01:47 PM on 12/27/11
#7
tyramail
wake up i'm calling you
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oh sean <3
02:07 PM on 12/27/11
#8
kazuma_ootaro28
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Good to see Ume on one of these lists.
03:57 PM on 12/27/11
#9
Sean Rizzo
Can you see evidence of perfection?
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You're an alright kid...
Just alright?!

weeeeeeeeeeew! i'll have to check out some more of those albums considering 80% or so are free.
Good.

Considering that Bon Iver and M83 were nowhere to be seen on that list, I'm very excited about checking this stuff out.
Looking up Align in Time right now...
Finally, a kindred spirit. I love you just for that.
03:57 PM on 12/27/11
Sean Rizzo
Can you see evidence of perfection?
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Jesus Christ I had to do WAY too much reading before I got to the good part, but it was worth it since my name was mentioned first. ^_^ This overwhelming sense of self-importance I currently harbour is slated to last quite a while, so be prepared for me to be more arrogant than ever for the next several months.
roflcopter.
05:28 PM on 12/27/11
CheckeredFloors
nah
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I swear it wasn't that long ago that you listened exclusively to bands who had a dude with a high pitch voice. Now you've gone all obscure post rock.

Onya.
05:54 PM on 12/27/11
Sean Rizzo
Can you see evidence of perfection?
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I swear it wasn't that long ago that you listened exclusively to bands who had a dude with a high pitch voice. Now you've gone all obscure post rock.

Onya.
What I post about isn't necessarily the extent of what I listen to, haha.
07:07 PM on 12/27/11
Ambelina
butterflies and butcher knives
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great list, Sean! I'll be lending an ear to a lot of it, for sure
09:36 PM on 12/27/11
trappedintime
Yea, you were right about me
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Sheesh. I don't even know where to begin with your list. I've got a lot of catching up to do apparently. You're a great dude, Sean!
09:48 PM on 12/27/11
HometownHero
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I listened to two of those and have heard of like one other. Rec them to me so I can ignore those recs later plz.

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