Monday, December 19, 2011

best of 2011 | larry's favorite music

One of the best things that Larry has taught me throughout our 8 1/2 year relationship was to broaden my appreciation of music. I've always loved music and even come from a musical family, but before I met Larry, I had little experience with music that wasn't on the radio. Before we were dating, Larry would often stop by my desk at work to bring me a CD to listen to. It was always a band I had never heard of and it was always awesome. Through this musical courtship, Larry won my heart, and nine years later he is still introducing me to amazing music.

I often refer to Larry as my own personal Pandora. Tell him a band you like, and he will rattle off half a dozen more that you might enjoy. He's always right. He's also a musical Wikipedia - through his love of reading musical memoirs and biographies, magazines, and blogs, he knows more about music than anyone I know.

Obviously, there's no one I'd trust more to write a guest post about the best music of 2011 than Larry! I've always thought he should be a music critic/blogger, so here's his debut...


Larry's Favorite Music of 2011

I’ve always loved year-end ‘best of’ lists.  They’re either a cheap validation of my tastes (or lack thereof) or a way to discover some things that I’ve missed over the past fast and furious 12 months.  So in that spirit, here are my Favorite Albums of 2011.

10. Portugal. The Man | In the Mountain In the Cloud
     A little psychedelic. A little glam. All good.
     Song: Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)
Got it All by Portugal. The Man on Grooveshark

9.  Ha Ha Tonka | Death of a Decade
     Great straight up rock and roll.
     Song: Usual Suspects
     Ususal Suspect by Ha Ha Tonka on Grooveshark

8.  The War on Drugs | Slave Ambient
     A trip worth taking.
     Song: Best Night
     Best Night by The War on Drugs on Grooveshark

7.  Vetiver | The Errant Charm
     I saw Vetiver earlier in the year at Iota. For one reason or many others, I can't say that I remember a
     whole lot of that experience, other than wanting to hear more. Very mellow tunes - with a a couple of
     left turns thrown in.
     Song: Wonder Why
     Wonder Why by Vetiver on Grooveshark

6.  I'm From Barcelona | Forever Today
     I'm From Barcelona should be played on continuous loop on suicide prevention hotlines. It's
     impossible not to smile when this band of many is playing.
     Song: Skipping a Beat
     Skipping A Beat by I'm from barcelona on Grooveshark

5.  Iron & Wine | Kiss Each Other Clean
     For a lot of long time Iron & Wine fans, Kiss Each Other Clean is a major fall from grace.
     Production and instrumentation are very different from Sam Beam's earliest efforts. However, all of
     the literal bells and whistles work for me.
     Song: Tree By The River
     Tree By The River by Iron & Wine on Grooveshark

4.  Typhoon | A New Kind of House
     More of an EP than a full length album, but filled with great songs. Another many-membered band.
     Sweeping. Emotional. Awesome.
     Song: Summer Home
     Summer Home by Typhoon on Grooveshark

3.  The Rural Alberta Advantage | Departing
     Hate the band name, love the band. Tornado '87 is as good of a song as released anywhere this year.
     Song: Tornado '87
     Tornado '87 by The Rural Alberta Advantage on Grooveshark

2.  Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit | Here We Rest
     Close call between this one and #1. Jason just keeps getting stronger and stronger with each album.
     Song: Codeine
     Codeine by Jason Isbell on Grooveshark

1.  The Decemberists | The King Is Dead
     I flirted with The Decemberists in the past, but never went all the way. This one just clicked with me
     and I listened to it more than anything in 2011. I love the country-ish vibe. Perfect.
     Song: Down by the Water
     Down By The Water by The Decemberists on Grooveshark

     P.S. I totally agree with Larry's choice of The Decemberists' The King Is Dead for #1 album of the
     year, however my favorite song is Rox in the Box. --RR
     Rox In The Box by The Decemberists on Grooveshark


Pickles and Dimes said...

Nice list, Larry! I plan on checking these out today on Spotify. I need to introduce you to my husband - it sounds like you guys would have plenty to talk about. He loves all kinds of music and likes to shout at the music TV station when they list erroneous factoids about the bands.

Amanda said...

This is awesome. Larry do you know about ? You can choose music styles based on the mood you are in... it's great.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Shauna - Larry loves to discuss music with fellow music nerds!

Amanda - I don't know if Larry knows about stereomood, but I can't wait to check it out!