Man, 2011, what a ride. Let’s open up another case of cheap-ass beer and pour one out for ol’ two’leven, amiright? Oh, hold on, 2011 wants to say something. He looks a little pukey, though.
“Damn you all to hell. [Dry-heaves.] 2012 already done told me that Varg’s gonna re-constitute some moar old Burzum songs like George Lucas on weekend bender with Jar Jar Jack-Off. Happy friggin’ New Year, assholes.”
2011, you’re not taking this year-end thing in stride, like, at all.
“Dude, you’re the one that didn’t hear the records by Vektor, Syven, Ravencult, Corrupted or Cara Neir until last week. Why the hell did you run your year-end metal list at the end of November?”
I mean, it’s a scheduling thing. NPR, man… deadlines. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve collected a smattering other year-end metal lists and articles that already has me digging into the stuff I missed.
“Are they in any particular order?”
Alphabetical. Also, this is not at all comprehensive, just lists that had something interesting to say, or provided a complete opposite taste from my own.
“You’re so false.”
I feel like I experienced music differently in 2011. When music journalism is your 9-to-5 job, there has to be balance: What is for work and what is for myself? I still haven’t quite figured that distinction out, yet (and it’s been 13 years since I started writing about music), but what the following 25 albums, songs, bands, exhibits and more abstract music experiences (movie scenes, light installations) have in common is that they all meant something to me. And that’s the undefinable thing about music, yeah? This isn’t a profound realization, especially since the primary qualifiable thing about music (meaning) is completely intangible. But on some level and, I suppose, with some age, the parts of music that give meaning to me are starting to come together.
Some of the blurbs after the jump have previously appeared at NPR Music for my best metal and best outer sound year-end lists, and some of the text has been snatched from other write-ups, but more than half of it is new and completely unedited.
Look, I’m really happy about the vinyl resurgence of the last five years, too, but some pressing plants and record labels are starting to take premature victory laps. Are they even listening back to the test pressings? I realize this is, like, #firstworldproblems 101, but here are 10 new records I bought in 2011 with my own damned money that were warped, skipped and otherwise unplayable… and what they sounded like as a result.
Andy Stott, Passed Me By [Modern Love]
This thing skips like Choose Your Own Adventure, except you never make it past puking behind the club’s dumpster.
High Priest, In Death We Crawl [Vermis Mysteriis]
Was the center hole made with one of those drills that you hand-crank?
Glenn Jones, The Wanting [Thrill Jockey]
The ghost of John Fahey thought Side C was a little too good, so he made it sound like one of his crappy Blind Thomas sides.
Into It. Over It., Proper [No Sleep]
If emo wharfed into a toilet, then over it, in slow motion.
Anhedonist, The Drear [Parasitic]
Now where am I gonna find a baby Fischer Price turntable that fits an extra small center hole?
V/A, Vibe 2 [Future Times]
Don’t bump the table, the record might skip, might skip, might skip…
Creepoid, Horse Heaven [Ian]
This record was so bummed out by Creepoid, it warped itself.
Touche Amore, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me [Deathwish Inc.]
The warbly guitar effect on “Method Act” is so rad and un-hardcore. Nobody will notice if the rest of Side B does the same thing, right?
The Caretaker, An Empty Bliss Beyond This World [History Always Favours the Winners]
Oh, it’s supposed to sound like that? Oh, okay, now I totally get it. #tugsatcollar
Exhumed, All Guts, No Glory [Relapse]
That’s what I get for buying a record shaped like a buzzsaw. Goddam gimmicks.
photo credit: soonerpa via Flickr