Monday, December 26, 2011
I Started Out Younger, Had Most Everything
Well! Here we go! Our Top 50 Most Favorite Records of the Year (2011) (in 5 parts)!
Normally we'd take this time to wax ridiculous about the state of music, and all it's perceived problems. But...well, we'd rather stay positive, and recognize all the great records released this year. Sure, there was a lot of crap released this year, and a quick perusal of Rolling Stone, Spin, Magnet, Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, etc. would be enough to depress any fan of fine Rawk'n'Roll. But why do we depend on corporate magazines and websites, led by ad dollars, to tell us what we like, anyway???? That's right, we don't! There's only one record in our Top 50 that actually achieves a consensus amongst the...ahem..1% That it's our best record of the year (astute readers will already correctly guess what this record is) is not a reflection on the artist, but more a reflection of how the popular media is slow on catching up on things.
For every Taylor Swift, there is a Quintron. For every (yawn) Adele, there is a Neko Case. For every Black Keys, there is a Speaking Tongues or Left Lane Cruiser. Our goal is not to tell you what you like, but rather to tell you..."you might like this". To make an overriding qualification on what is "good" is facile, and doesn't recognize the power of music to transform, to have staying power, to capture one in repose or in various stages of experience.
Over the next 5 days, we're gonna let you glimpse what records we enjoyed the most this year. We think you will probably like all or most of them. Maybe you won't. That's part of the fun. Nobody has ever made the "definitive" best of list", nor will they ever. At the end of the day, it's the hum in our own heads that gets us through. That said, we believe strongly in the following records. We'd like you to check 'em out.
On a quick political note: Please research the deceptively titled SOPA Act. While we certainly have no truck with internet piracy in it's malicious forms, this bill affects every site's ability to bring you even mere "samples" of music, and affects your ability to peruse music before you buy it. Most of what we post here is "small label" stuff, with permission. But if this Act passes, with the approval of the so-called "Major Labels", your ability to listen to music, and make your own decisions, will be severely limited. The Major Labels want to to give you "product", and want you to buy it without a critical filter. We think you should have the right to a variety of music, and what choices you make should be your own, and not guided by corporate approval.
Ok, enough pontificating.
We'd like to send a special thank you to Andy, the country's greatest DJ from Zero Hour Radio and WMSE, for his help in shaping this list, thanks to his many contributions over the last year. He was also a fellow traveler to the Norton Records blow-out in New York, which we will discuss later.
Without further ado, then, Part 1 (of 5) of our Favorite Records Of 2011! We're counting down, so hang on to your hats!
The Big Rock Candy Mountain Favorite Records of 2011 (Part 1)
50. The Dirtbombs: Party Store
Soul punk god Mick Collins digs into the Detroit techno crates, makes greasy trash spangled party music!
The Dirtbombs: Alleys Of Your Mind (mp3)
49. Scott H. Biram: Bad Ingredients
Drunken hill-holler sleaze, twanged and truckin', yelped and slide geetar one man band kudzu glory!
Scott H. Biram: Killed A Chicken Last Night (mp3)
48. Useless Eaters: Daily Commute
Twitchy punk noise deconstruction, down low and lowdown, kickin' the kicks and rippin' psych-age space age!
Useless Eaters: Neon Lights (mp3)
47. The Booze: At Maximum Volume
Stones meets Replacements meets the (Small) Faces in bar scunge organ and groove rawk, baby, snotty and beer soaked brilliance!
The Booze: Hit Me Where It Hurts (mp3)
46. Light Bulb Alley: The Sound of Things
Diddley meets garbage can lid flappers, Pussy Galore bucket trash and rawk, baby, surged and shabby, sore-throated garage door catastrophe!
Light Bulb Alley: Pepper Spray (mp3)
45. Dan Melchior: Catbirds and Cardinals
Lo-fi sleaze lord, and fried friend of Billy Childish and Holly Golightly, makes chicken skizzled skillet concoction, surged with no protection.
Dan Melchior: Deep Fried Circuits (mp3)
44. The Singing Loins: Stuff
Fuck Mummy-ford and whatnot, the original busking geezers, stomping on tradition, and full of piss, shout and holler!
The Singing Loins: Ascending Chatham Hill (mp3)
43. Hollywood Sinners: Disastro Garantito
Loud! Loud! Fast and out of control, snotty, turkey leg smeared guitar, chanty desperate mememe vocal sneer, big velocity rawk, baby!
Hollywood Sinners: I'm Alone (mp3)
42. Obnox: I'm Bleeding Now
Over-distorted noise and genius from the mighty drummer of The Bassholes and the Puffy Aereolas, making his own scuzz portal, buried and murmured melody surrounded and surrendered by volume at 11, double wide insanity!
Obnox: Totalled (mp3)
41. Mark Sultan: Whenever I Want/ Whatever I Want
Two records from the king of sock-hop trash can glory, one man kicking the kicks and slathered hot-buttered basement barrel boogaloo!
Mark Sultan: Livin' My Life (mp3)
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