Friday, December 30, 2011

Whistle While You Work

What I listened to in 2011...

Around ten tears ago I had the realization that perhaps I became an artist because of the time it gave me to listen to lots of music.  It's probably a bit more complicated than that, but it really is perhaps the greatest perk of the job.  I get to listen to music sometimes all day long, and until the wee hours of the night.  So this post is a list of the 10 current albums I listened to the most in 2011.  Most of these were not actually released in 2011, but rather 2010, and I would like to add, I am so not a music critic so bare with me with regards to my simplistic descriptions.   "This album rocks!" will have to suffice at times...

Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me, 2010

Ok, I am about to really geek out here.  The most significant and life altering music for me of the past 10 years has been Joanna Newsom and 2010's Have One On Me will undoubtedly be playing on my Ipod for the next 10 years.  I can admit, it is not Y's, but with 18 songs, there are around 7 that are as amazing as any of the Y's songs.  I search far and wide for a musician or band that can put me in such a profound state of tizzy and awe as Joanna Newsom.  The search continues.

i said to you, Honey just open your heart, when I've got trouble even opening a honey jar...

So the bar is pretty high, and the following albums are pretty darn amazing too.  In no particular order:

Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid, 2010
This album can not be categorized, and that is what is so incredible about it.  Hip-hop, funk, soul, rock, folk, and 1940's movie soundtracks.  She even has songs where she sounds like David Bowie circa mid 70's and Prince mid 90's.  Your earballs won't believe it!

PJ Harvey, Let England Shake, 2011
Does Polly Jean ever do anything not amazing?  I actually like this album more than some of her other recent releases.  This is very political, less crunchy guitars, more weird vocals.  Love it.  Dry is still my favorite though!

War Paint, Exquisite Corpse, 2010

I don't know much about War Paint, other than they are from LA and they are geniuses...

 Jenny Hval, visera, 2011
This album I recently found at Amoeba and it has blown me away.  Super strange and artsy-fartsy.  She writes a lot about her clitoris and the hum of battery operated devices.

Rasputina, Sisterkinderhook, 2010
This is my favorite Rasputina album so far!  It's incredibly weird, Melora's vocals are getting more creepy and wobbly.  It's the most fairytale-ish recording they have done.

Meklit Hadero, on a day like this, 2010
 Meklit is a Bay Area gal, I think she lives in San Francisco.  This album is gorgeous and soulful and eclectic.  It's pretty mellow, good for drawing late at night.

Laura Marling, A Creature I Don't Know, 2011

When it comes to pure, clean, sophisticated and unpretentious folk music, Laura Marling is queen. This is her 3rd album, and perhaps her best.  This album has hints of Joni's Court and Spark.  Laura's voice is so beautiful and smooth and it takes a few plays to realize how powerful and uncommon it is.  I have been playing this every night since I got it.

and, she is like 17!  Well, I think now she is the ripe old age of 21...
Wild Flag, 2011
I was a little bit nervous about this new band, they are Carrie and Janet from Sleater-Kinney, Mary Timony from Helium, and Rebecca Cole who has been in a bunch of Portland bands. As a S-K freak, I feared I would be let down by this new band, especially with the absence of Corin Tucker, but I have been really excited with this album.  It really is S-K meets Helium, but with a dash of psychedelia  and some huge arena rock moments.

 I went to their show in S.F and it was so fun!  Carrie rocks out like Jim Morrison or Robert Plant, thrashing about and screaming and rolling on the stage.  They are my role models!

Pree, Folly, 2011

Ok, I have consciously put this album last because it just may turn out to be my favorite album of the year and may come close to blissing me out the way Joanna does.  I only got this album a few days ago, but I am totally in love.  It's weird folk/rock, with a Coco Rosie-esque sounding vocalist.  Super wobbly, nasal-ly and stylizedl.  My very favorite sounds...

Well, there you have my 10 favorite albums that I listened to in 2011.  It was a good year, I got a lot of work done, was very inspired and I have the ladies above to thank for that...

May your new year ROCK!!!


  1. I just learned about Meklit through a free concert in Downtown LA this summer and was deeply impressed- have you heard the tUnE-yArDs album? or for retro reggae (not usually my bag) how about Hollie Cook? Little Dragon? The Ditty Bops? You can test drive all music on youtube of course...Wild Flag, hell yeah!

  2. I know the tune-yards are apparently amazing, it hasn't hooked me yet, but believe it or not, she is coming to Oakland, to the Fox, so i may have to get the new cd and go the the show! I will go listen to Hollie Cook, sounds perhaps up my alley. Thanks for the recommendations!