Archive for December, 2011

(Everyone Loves Or Hates) A Good List (Please Cannibalize This)

It is that time of year again, where we all collect the things we love and put them into nice little lists.  Or we don’t because only a terminal moron would make lists.  They tend to evoke a visceral reaction in many people, from outright derision for their uselessness to the simple joy of realizing that another person or institution thinks the same things that we do.  And that right there is revealing of both why we make lists and why they are important.  We seek to codify and quarantine an otherwise unruly and chaotic existence.  A year is an arbitrary length of time just as much as a top 50 is an arbitrary length of list.  All the same, it is a great way of collecting thoughts, ideas, and all that fun stuff.  Maybe you hate everything on my list.  Maybe you cannot comprehend why I left Lykke Li off (actually, that was an oversight) or why I included John Maus (because that record’s amazing), and maybe this is the on the cusp of being a Millenial in me, but this is hopefully a representation of who I am and what I’m thinking about music at this time. Of course I still forgot stuff, so just add “Replica” by Oneohtrix Point Never wherever you see fit. In past years, I would say there’s less of me and more of what I read in terms of my musical lists, but this year, I find myself a little more fully fledged in my understanding. Not only have I listened to these records, but I’ve seen a fair number of these bands live. And these songs still work. But that’s all bullshit. I’m still a product of the many blogs and the vagaries of the interwebs, of what I already like and have already judged, of the music that happens to land in front of me at the time. I may be sifting through more, but there’s still a lot to sift through, and I’m never going to get to it all. So part of the point of lists is to see what those who might not know better but at least maybe know more, or possibly just know differently, think of what is out there in the world. It’s easy to deride Pitchfork for not including Peaking Lights anywhere in any of their lists (seriously, they’re a music site, what the hell are they listening to?) or be self-congratulatory when agreeing with Gorilla Vs. Bear in that exact same regard, but the point of all the reading is to hopefully get to more listening. Maybe it’s not music for you. Maybe it’s movies, or books, or things you should be doing in your local town. It doesn’t really matter if you agree or disagree. It’s that you know whether you agree or disagree that helps inform your opinion. And beyond that, hopefully it’s your willingness to say, I think this is total junk, but I’m going to read/listen/watch at least a few things on here to see if I’m willing to challenge my own opinions. So then you know that when everyone is losing their shit over Lana Del Rey or whatever else may be next that you’ve at least given it some amount of space in your head to have your own opinion on it. Or not. Just challenge yourself sometime. And please, cannibalize this list. I am not going to be offended. Make your own mix with what you like, if you like any of it at all. But give it one good listen. You never know when you might change your mind or challenge you. And trust me, there’s a few challenging ones on here:


50 – Kindness/Cyan/Kindness 12″
49 – Found Love In A Graveyard/Veronica Falls/Veronica Falls
48 – End of the Night/Smith Westerns/Dye It Blonde
47 – Calgary/Bon Iver/Bon Iver
46 – Lord Knows Best/Dirty Beaches/Badlands
44 – Terra/Julian Lynch/Terra
43 – Penobska Oakwalk/Quilt/Quilt
42 – Civilian/Wye Oak/Civilian
41 – Sauerstoff Blassen (Oxygen Bubbles)/Jürgen Müller/Science of the Sea
40 – Cannons/Youth Lagoon/The Year of Hibernation
39 – Stilyagi (feat. Ariel Pink)/Puro Instinct/Stilyagi/Put Medved to Bedved – Single
38 – Belong/The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart/Belong
37 – Alien Observer/Grouper/A I A : Alien Observer
36 – Chica de Luna/Buffalo Moon/Selva Surreal
35 – Dream Analysis/Jesse Ruins
34 – Take Me Over/Cut Copy/Zonoscope
33 – Last Shuttle to the Red Planet/Food Pyramid/Food Pyramid III
32 – They Always Fly Away/Blouse/Blouse
31 – Spirit Burner/Boy Friend/Boy Friend EP
29 – Sometime/Dive/Sometime 7″
28 – Dead Echo/Pigeons/Pigeons
27 – Too Much MIDI (Please Forgive Me)/Ford & Lopatin/Channel Pressure
26 – Honey Bunny/Girls/Father, Son, Holy Ghost
25 – Dark Allies/LIGHT ASYLUM/In Tension e.p.
24 – Get Away/Yuck/Yuck
23 – It’s Real/Real Estate/It’s Real
22 – Orange Blossom/Gardens & Villa/Cool Summer Records Limited Edition 7″
21 – Still Sound/Toro Y Moi/Underneath The Pine
20 – The Grey Ship/EMA/Past Life Martyred Saints
19 – Our Own Dream/Keep Shelly In Athens/Our Own Dream
18 – Touch/Holy Other/With U
17 – Ital’s Theme/Ital/Itals Theme
16 – Vanessa/Grimes/Darkbloom
15 – Across The Floor/Claps/Wreck
14 – The Staircase/Xeno & Oaklander/Sets & Lights
13 – Lofticries/Purity Ring/Ungirthed 7″
12 – Tiny Gradiations Of Loss/The Caretaker/An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
11 – I Want You/Summer Camp/Welcome To Condale
10 – GLITTER ON MARS/PUNKS ON MARS/Madame Tussaud Overdrive
09 – Dystopia/YACHT/Shangri-La
08 – Psychic Driving/Soft Metals/Soft Metals< 07 - Lasting Love/Blood Diamonds/Lasting Love [Single] 06 - Believer/John Maus/We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves 05 - Funeral March/Tiger Waves/Only Good Bands Have Animal Names 04 - Solar Bears - Cub (Keep Shelly In Athens Remix)/Keep Shelly In Athens/Campus Martius E.P. 03 - The Great Pan Is Dead/Cold Cave/Cherish The Light Years 02 - Tiger Eyes (Laid Back)/Peaking Lights/936 01 - Midnight City/M83/Hurry Up, We're Dreaming P.S. - You're thinking, Jane, where do I find this? Here,here, and here.

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