Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Albums of 2011

My best albums list consists of 16 mood/theme based lists (most with eleven albums) that contain the top albums of 2011.... (In progress)
I understand that some people may feel that this is overkill, but the point is threefold:
a. to create a very personal document of my musical enjoyment from 2011 for future reflection
b. to provide individualized suggestions for people who like different styles
c. to honor and acknowledge those working musicians who give their lives to making great art

I'm sure that as time goes on i'll discover releases from 2011 that i missed that should be on here...when that happen i'll generate a "Missed Classics" list...
This project was put on hold for a couple years due to ever increasing responsibility and time commitments. The EPs, Live Acts, Split Albums and Films were all completed on time. The album lists themselves were mostly finished by February of 2012, however they were put on hold until now. There was much consideration to finishing this appropriately.
also, this list doesn't include the huge stack of tapes from 2011 i haven't had time to listen to yet

i have attempted to notate my top 10 albums with (*)
so with that i leave you to the list...enjoy!

Best Eps of 2011

The top releases classified as EPs. (^ means it includes 2 eps)

36. Paavoharju - Ikkunat näkevät
35. Los Campesinos! - Heat Rash #2
34. powwoww - █
33. Good Weather for an Airstrike - A Winter
32. The Body & Braveyoung - Nothing Passes
31. Monarch - Sortilège
30. Aidan Baker - Tonstreifen
29. Hammock - Asleep in the Downlights
28. Arms and Sleepers -A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama / Nostalgia
  For The Absolute^
27. Hauschka - Youyoume
26. Nest - Body Pilot
25. Grouper & Ilyas Ahmed - The Visitor
24. Salem - I'm Still in the Night
23. Peter Broderick - Old Time / Solace in Gala
22. Ólafur Arnalds - Living Room Songs
21. jj - no one can touch us tonight
20. Fennesz - Seven Stars
19. Holy Other - With U
18. Thantifaxath - Thantifaxath
17. Sea Oleena - Sleplessness
16. Mogwai - Earth Division
15. Colin Stetson - Those who didn't run
14. Andrew Bird - Fake Conversations
13. A Storm of Light - Latitudes
12. Absent Without Leave - 'Neath The Tumbling Stars
11. True Widow - I.N.O.
10. Demdike Star - Elemental Parts 1 & 2: Crysanthe & Violetta ^
9. Tim Hecker - Dropped Pianos
8. Zs - 33 / Sky Burial ^
7. Thou - The Archer & the Owle / To The Chaos Wizard Youth^
6. Prurient - Time's Arrow
5. Nils Frahm - Juno
4. Barn Owl - Shadowland
3. Clams Casino - Rainforest
2. Purity Ring - Ungirthed
1. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Honest Words

Best Split Albums of 2011

The top 30 split albums of 2011 are listed here in alphabetical order. The only requirement was the presence of two or more distinct acts with separate material.

Amenra / Black Heart Rebellion - Brethren Bound by Blood 1/3
Amenra / Hive Destruction - Brethren Bound by Blood 2/3
Amenra / Oathbreaker - Brethern Bound By Blood 3/3
As We Draw / Euglena / Hexis - 3-Way split
Bibio / Clark - Willenhall/Basterville Grinch EP
Bone Dance / Divider / Plebeian Grandstand - Three-Way Split
Burial Hex / Iron Fist Of The Sun - Actaeon / Grown Under English Ice
Charlatan / Spare Death Icon
Cliffsides / Cenote Glow
Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire / Nesseria
Cower / Thou - War Is The Force That Gives Us Meaning:
    A Two Part Analysis Of Personal And Inter-Personal Conflict
High Aura'd / André Foisy
Horseback / Locrian Split
Inhibitionist / Afterlife
Lee Noble / Hobo Cubes / Derek Rogers / Rambutan
Love Cult / Tempera
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel / Nova Scotian Arms -
   Crystal Anniversary
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel / Nova Scotian Arms -
   Slow Architecture
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel / Tidal
Oakeater / Mamiffer
Oval / Liturgy Split
Peter Broderick / Takumi Uesaka - Glimmer
Rosetta / Junius Split
Sadness Saturn / Golden Raven
Seven Sisters Of Sleep / Children Of God Split
The Austrasian Goat / Hallowed Butchery - Songs Of Self Reliance
   And Solitude
The Austrasian Goat / Neige Morte
The Body / Whitehorse
The Peculiar Pretzlemen / Dollar Fox Split
Vestiges / Ghaust Split

Best Album Covers of 2011

Here is a list of the top 25 album covers of the year. Based upon total concept including; artwork, text, color scheme, and layout. Placement on this list in no way considers the musical content on the album. This is about cover art only.
List is in alphabetical order.

Altar of Plagues - Mammal
Barn Owl – Lost In The Glare
Barrow - Being Without
Chris Rehm - Worries, etc.
Cloudkicker – Let yourself be huge
Crone - Endless Midnight
Eric Fourman - Vapor
Ferla - Ferla EP
Field Rotation - And Tomorrow I Will Sleep
Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
Guillemots – Walk The River
Hallock Hill - There He Unforseen
Hexis - XI
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Honest Words
Monarch - Sortilege
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Lumanaries & Synastry
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - White Candle
Nameless Coyote - Devoured by the Swirling Night
Niva - Feverish Dreams
Radiohead - King of Limbs
Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning
Tycho – Dive
Vanhelgd - Chruch of Death
Willamette - Echo Park
Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage

Best Live Acts of 2011

The top 11 best live bands I saw during 2011. Based on total experience of their set including; sound, talent, visual, and personal enjoyment.

20. Circades
19. Lionhead Bunny
18. Ronoso
17. Daniel Francis Doyle
16. Kevin Greenspon
15. John Mannion
14. Mogwai
13. Pillars & Tongues
12. Amarok
11. Streights
1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor
(the were so good i'm counting them as #1-#10)

Best Films of 2011

The top 10 in terms of pure enjoyment i had watching them, this has no bearing on the real "quality" of the film. I have yet to see some movies that i have a feeling might be on this list, but this will do for now....

10 Contagion
9 Drive
8 Source Code
7 The Innkeepers
6 Red State
5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
4 Our Idiot Brother
3 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
2 Hobo With A Shotgun
1 Sucker Punch