REVENGE OF THE WRITERS: Best & Worst of 2011 (Pt. 2)

In which the folks who work in the trenches get in the last word. Hey,
nothing’s stopping you from doing your own list!




We continue with our Writers’ lists
for 2011. Go here for Part 1.





Top 10 New Releases

Destroyer-Kaputt (Merge)

Fucked Up-David Comes To Life (Matador)

Booker T. Jones-The Road From Memphis (Anti)

Nick Lowe-The Old Magic (YepRoc)

M83-Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute)

Tune-Yards-Whokill (4AD)

TV on the Radio-Nine Types of Light (Interscope)

M83-Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute)

The War on Drugs-Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)

Wilco-The Whole Love (dBpm)



Beach Boys, The Smile Sessions (Capitol)

Kate and Anna McGarrigle-Tell My Sister (Nonesuch)

Stephin Merritt-Obscurities (Merge)

Various-This May Be My Last Time Singing (Tompkins Square)

(And more…)


Top 10 Singles,
Tracks or Downloads

Adele-“Rolling in the Deep” (XL / Columbia)

The Black Keys,– “Lonely Boy” (Nonesuch)

Lana Del Ray-“Video Games” (self-released?)

The Decemberists-“Calamity Song” (Rough Trade)

Dum Dum Girls-“Bedroom Eyes” (SubPop)

PJ Harvey-“The Words That Maketh Murder” (Vagrant)

Jessica Lea Mayfield-“Our Hearts Are Wrong” (Anti)

The Joy Formidable-“Whirring” (Canvasback)

Lykke Li-“Get Some” (Atlantic)

Radiohead-“Separator” (self-released)







Top 10 New Releases

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong (Slumberland)

Cut Copy – Zonoscope (Modular)

Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital (Sub Pop)

M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute)

St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

Beirut – The Rip Tide (Pompeii)

Moonface – Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped

Washed Out – Within and Without (Sub Pop)

Ssion – Bent (self-released)

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (Vagrant)


Top 10 Singles,
Tracks or Downloads

M83 – “Midnight
City” (Mute)

Cut Copy – “Need You Now” (Modular)

Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends” (Jive)

The Vaccines – “If You Wanna” (Columbia)

St. Vincent – “Cruel” (4AD)

Cass McCombs – “County
Line” (Domino)

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Belong” (Slumberland)

The Antlers – “I Don’t Want Love” (Frenchkiss)

Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons” (This Is Music, Ltd.)

Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes” (Sub Pop)



Moonface-The Independent-San Francisco

Ssion-Drom-New York

Steady-Treasure Island
Music Festival-San Francisco

Psychic Friend-Rickshaw Stop-San Francisco

Handsome Furs-Slim’s-San Francisco


Favorite story or
review I wrote for BLURT

Nirvana retrospective. (Short, sweet, sentimental – my
writing AND my manhood.)









Top 10 New Releases

Bon Iver, Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu (Warner Bros.)

Demdike Stare, Tryptych
(Modern Love)

John Maus, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
(Ribbon Music/Upset The Rhythm)

Colin Stetson, New History Warfare, Vol. 2: Judges

Nicholas Szczepanik, Please Stop Loving Me (Streamline)

Tim Hecker, Dropped Pianos (Kranky)

Zomby, Dedication (4AD)

Louis CK, Live at the Beacon Theater (self-released)

The Fall, Ersatz G.B. (Cherry Red)


Top 10

Can – Tago Mago (Mute)

Angus MacLise – Dreamweapon I (Boo-Horay)

Father’s Children – Father’s Children (Numero Group)

Granddaddy – The Sophtware Slump (V2/Universal)

Throbbing Gristle – 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial)

Einstürzende Neubauten – Silence Is Sexy (Potomak)

Morton Feldman & Samuel Beckett – Neither (Hat Hut)

Crass – Christ, The Album (Crassical Collection)

Harold Grosskopf – Synthesist (RVNG Intl)

Bob Dylan – In Concert: Brandeis University
1963 (Sony Legacy)


Top 10 Singles,
Tracks or Downloads

Oneohtrix Point Never, “Replica”

Wye Oak, “Holy Holy”

Baby Dee, “Regifted Light”

Lana Del Ray, “Video Games”

Prurient, “A Meal Can Be Made”

Girls, “The Island Song”

Dum Dum Girls, “He Gets Me High”

Anne Pigalle, “Saint Orgasm”

James Blake, “Case Of You”

Gruff Rhys, “Slashed Wrists This Christmas”


Music Books

Simon Reynolds – Retromania: Pop Cultures Addiction to Its Own Past (Faber & Faber)

Byron Coley – Cest la guerre: Early Writings: 1978-1983(L’Oie de

Lasse Marhaug – Sudden Infant: Noise in My Head: The
Actionistic Music and Art of Joke Lanz (Marhaug Forlag Norway)

Justin Vivian Bond – Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in
High Heels (Feminist Press)

Logan K. YoungMauricio Kagel: A Semic Life (T[W]E[L]V[E]!)


Music Videos

Cat Reacts to Lulu ‘The View’

Cat Reacts to Lulu ‘The View’

Cat Reacts to Lulu ‘The View’

Cat Reacts to Lulu ‘The View’

Cat Reacts to Lulu ‘The View’



Haters (Sonic Circuits Festival, Silver Spring MD 9/16)

Dean & Britta (13 Most Beautiful: Songs from Andy Warhol’s Screen Test, Washington DC

Just Alap Ensemble (Dream House, New York NY 11/5)

Toro Y Moi (Indie
Grits Festival, Columbia SC 4/16)

Selena Gomez (Maryland State Fair, Timonium MD 8/26)



The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye


The Skin I Live In

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (3D)


Best Record Label

The limited-run, cassette-only mail order you tried to
KickStart with that burnout friend from your ol’ college radio show


Best Music-related


In Memoriam: Most
Lamented Death

In threes, in order (most recent, not importance): Hitch,
Conrad Schnitzler, Zoogz Rift


Best New Artist

Any one of the many roving minstrels that were occupying
Wall Street


Worst New Artist

From the Grammys: Skrillex


Dumbest Band Name



Sex Object of the

The stainless steel KISSTM speculum (limited edition, of


Asshole of the Year

Tyler, The Creator (or any editor who gave this knucklehead


Best Hair or Facial

Bradford Cox’s new, impossibly fey Branca coif or SG/SF
Michael Jordan’s (No. 23) ‘stache from those bloomer adverts


2011 Release I Am
Most Anticipating


Coolest Trend or

That Beefheart got a shout-out on the campaign trail, and
Wolf Eyes got the same on The Office.


Most Fucked Up or
Annoying Trend or Whatever

That Beefheart got a shout-out, from Huntsman, on the
campaign trail…and that Wolf Eyes was on The


Favorite story or
review you wrote for BLURT

Salvaging a printable Q&A with Tom Smith from To Live
And Shave In L.A. (in the current print
edition of BLURT









Top 10 New Releases

The Black Keys “El Camino” (Nonesuch)

Foo Fighters “Wasting Light” (RCA)

Radkey “Irrationally Yours” (self-released)

Arctic Monkeys “Suck It and See” (Domino)

The Joy Formidable “Big Roar” (Atlantic)

Wavves “Life Sux” (Ghost Ramp)

Wild Flag “Wild Flag” (Merge)

Loveless “Indestructible Machine” (Bloodshot)

Death “Spritual. Mental. Physical” (Drag City)

Holly Golightly and the Broke offs “No Help Coming”



Nirvana “Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition” (Geffen)

Queen “40 Limited Edition Collectors Box Set” (Hollywood)

Jimi Hendrix “Winterland” (Sony Legacy)

The Pixies “Minotaur Box Set” (Artists in Resistance)

Smashing Pumpkins “Gish” (Virgin)

Death “For The Whole World To See” (Drag City)

The Cure “Disintegration” (Rhino Records)


Singles, Tracks or

Black Keys “Little Black Submarines”

Wavves “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl”

Dawes “A Little Bit of Everything”

Mumford and Sons “The Cave”

Foo Fighters “White Limo”

Cage The Elephant “Staring at the Sun”

Death Cab for Cutie “You Are A Tourist”


Music Books

Bob Mould “See a Little Light” (Little, Brown and Co.)

Chuck Klosterman “Eating The Dinosaur” (Scribner)

Jim DeRogatis “The Velvet Underground” (Voyageur Press)

Keith Richards “Life” (Little, Brown and Co.)

Daniel Durchholz and Gary Graff “Neil Young: Long May You
Run; The Illustrated History”


Best Record Label

Bloodshot Records









Top 10 Albums

The Bangles – Sweetheart of the Sun (Model Music Group)

Joe Henry – Reverie (Anti)

k.d. lang & the Siss Boom Bang – Sing It Loud (Nonesuch)

Sarah Jarosz – Follow Me Down (Sugar Hill)

Amy Lavere – Stranger Me (Archer)

Shelby Lynne – Revelation
Road (Everso)

Imelda May – Mayhem (Decca)

Meshell Ndegeocello – Weather (Naïve)

Willie Nile – The Innocent Ones (River House)

Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What (Hear Music)









Top 10 Albums

Fay Wolf – Spiders (Fay Wolf/Hermonica Music)
Mesmerizing debut from Connecticut-born,
singer-songwriter. Hard to categorize, impossible to resist.

Garland Jeffreys – The King of In Between  (Luna
First album of new material in 13 years from this eclectic singer-songwriter
and proud New Yorker.

The Records Featuring John Wicks – Rotate (Fuel)

Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What  (Hear Music)
It’s Paul Simon; need I say more?

The Postelles  (+1
Eagerly awaited debut from NYC “it band.” Produced by Albert Hammond Jr. of The
Strokes – who this band resembles.

Sniff ‘n’ the Tears – Downstream (Chapel Productions)
First disc in a decade by the band who brought us the classic hit “Driver’s
Seat.” An eclectic and impassioned album.

Vanessa Carlton – Rabbits on the Run (Razor & Tie)

Man Raze – Punkfunkrootsrock 
(Rocket Science)

Shawn Amos – Harlem  (Unbreakable Records)

 Christopher Cross –
Doctor Faith  (Eagle Rock)


Favorite story or review
you wrote for BLURT

The Records: “Still Starry Eyed”










Top 10 New Releases
(in reverse order)

10. Falty DL – You Stand Uncertain (Planet Mu)

9. Machinedrum – Rooms (Planet Mu)

8. Washed Out – Within and Without (Domino)

7. J Rocc – Some Cold Rock Stuf (Stones Throw)

6. Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming (Dunham Records)

5. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

4. Martyn – Ghost People (Brainfeeder)

3. Papercuts – Fading Parade (Sub Pop)

2. Belong – Common Era (Kranky)

1. Tycho- Dive (Ghostly International)








Top 10 New Releases

My Morning Jacket – Circuital (ATO Records)

Radiohead – The King of Limbs (self-release)

Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose (Oh Wow Dang Records)

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (SupPop)

Deer Tick – Divine Providence
(Partisan Records)

Adele – 21 (Columbia)

Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams (SubPop)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical (self)

Jay-Z & Kanye – Watch the Throne (Def Jam)

Wilco – The Whole Love (d8pm)


Music DVDs

Pearl Jam 20

The Other F Word



Chris Cornel at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Washington, D.C.

(It’s been  a long
year with few live events)



Money Ball

Ides of March

The Muppets

(I don’t start watching the best 2011 films until Oscar
season after the first of the year).


In Memoriam: Most
Lamented Death

Music related – Clarence Clemons

Non-Music – Dan Wheldon

(NO, I’m not putting Steve Jobs or Amy Winehouse on this


Best New Artist

Nicki Minaj


Dumbest Band Name

LMFAO (no one should ever type LMFAO to express they are
laughing their fucking ass off).


Sex Object of the Year

Pippa Middleton


Coolest Trend or

Bartenders who can make a good Old Fashioned


Most Fucked Up or
Annoying Trend or Whatever

Stones reissues, Floyd reissues, whatever issues.









Top 10 New Releases

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (Vagrant)

Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (Atlantic)
The Kills – Blood Pressures (Domino)
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros.)
Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys (Downtown Cooperative)

The Decemberists – The King is Dead (Capitol)
Peter Gabriel – New Blood (Real World)
Devotchka – 100 Lovers (Anti)
Wilco – The Whole Love (dbpm)

Beastie Boys- Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 (Capitol)


Top 10

U2 – Achtung Baby (Island)

The Smiths Complete (Rhino)

R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant (Warner Brothers)

Nirvana – Nevermind (Geffen)

Sting 25 (A&M)

Kate Bush – Director’s Cut (EMI)

Rolling Stones – Some Girls (Universal Republic)

This Mortal Coil (4AD)

The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (Virgin)


Top 10 Singles,
Tracks or Downloads

All the Eastern Girls -Chapel Club
The Afterlife – Paul Simon
From a Friend to a Friend – Pajama Club
Love is Found – Sade
Immigrant Song – Karen O
Wetsuit – The Vaccines
You Were Never There – Diego Garcia
Crystalline – Bjork
Jejune Stars –  Bright Eyes?

– Bon Iver


Music DVDs

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake, Twelve Short Films
by Seamus Murphy

Peter Gabriel – New Blood Live

U2 – From the Sky Down

Pearl Jam 20

The Suburbs Spike Jonze/Arcade Fire


Music Books

Ticketmasters – Dean Budnick/Josh Baron (ECW Press)

Best of Music Writing 2011 – Alex Ross/Daphne Carr (Da Capo)

Pearl Jam 20 Pearl Jam & Cameron Crowe (Simon & Schuster)

A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (Anchor)

Life – Keith Richards (Back Bay


Music Videos

Bjork – Crystalline

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

REM – uberlin

Immigrant Song – Karen O



U2 Giants Stadium

Peter Gabriel Camden

Black Dub TLA

Lykke Li TLA

The Flaming Lips at the Tibet House Benefit/Carnegie Hall






X-Men First Class

Midnight In Paris


Best Record Label

What’s that?


Best Music-related


In Memoriam: Most
Lamented Death

Steve Jobs


Best New Artist

Of Monsters and Men


Worst New Artist

Foster the People


Dumbest Band Name

Foster the People


Sex Object of the

Lykke Li


Asshole of the Year

Everyone that used “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”
in relationship to R.E.M.’s breakup


Best Hair or Facial

Daniel Lanois’ new beard


2012 Release I Am
Most Anticipating



Coolest Trend or

Record Store Day


Most Fucked Up or Annoying
Trend or Whatever

Anything related to Glee


Favorite story or
review I wrote for BLURT

Black Dub: “Live In Philly”





Leave a Reply