My Favourite Records of 2011

December 14, 2011 § 3 Comments

It just dawned on me that December is almost halfway over  – that means it’s Year-End Review Time!

Let’s start this off with the most commonplace of all year-end best of lists: My Top Ten Records of 2011.

Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream & Gish reissues

Truthfully, I wasn’t sure if Smashing Pumpkins would ever make a contemporary Top 10 list of mine again. Then this happened. Great packaging and content and even a few songs I hadn’t already had in my collection! Thanks, Billy.

Radiohead – King Of Limbs

It took me a minute to get this album, but after seeing them live in September and discussing the record and its recording process with David Fricke (yes, Rolling Stone Magazine’s David Fricke), I was hooked. Radiohead is one of the most forward-thinking bands out there today, and my favourite current band. We can only hope they keep trying new things! Bonus points for great packaging and custom made newspaper.

Adele – 21

The album that made absolutely everyone’s Top Records list this year, and for good reason. Adele is so talented that she actually makes you believe, when you’re singing along to this album, that you could pull off singing her songs. You are wrong, of course, but it’s fun anyways.

The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

A great, short, and sweet pop record. The Vaccines will forever remind me of being in London this summer for the Reading Festival (even though I missed their set).

James Blake – James Blake

Melancholy and beautiful.

 Bon Iver – Bon Iver

More beautiful moody songs from Bon Iver, plus a weird, 80’s synthesizer tune at the end.

Chad Van Gaalen – Diaper Island

A new album by my favourite Canadian weirdo who recently became a dad, hence the album title.

Future of the Left – Polymers are Forever

Super catchy, smart-ass lyrics from a reincarnation of one of my all-time favourites, McLusky.

Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave

Raveonettes make music that can be both calm and soothing and at the same time, a sound that is so rich, full, and loud, you can drown out crying babies on European trains with this album playing in your headphones. And really, what more can you ask for from your music?

Tune-Yards – W H O K I L L

The new record from one of my other favourite weirdos. This record continues where “Bird Brains” left off with heavily-layered instruments, yodeling, ukeleles, and impressive vocals.

What were your favourite records this year? Did I miss anything obviously amazing?

[Update:] Still want more? Check out my good friend Eli’s Top 100 Records of the Year (and then some). He always puts so much work into this list, and I take cues on what to listen to for the next few months!

Shit Girls Say

December 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Toronto’s talented couple Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey posted their first video in their new series “Shit Girls Say”.

Originally a Twitter feed, the first video features Juliette Lewis, who was one of their more enthusiastic Twitter followers.

Do you find yourself saying one or more of these stereotypical girly phrases?

Touch Of Evil

December 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

The New York Times has a really great online feature right now, called Touch Of Evil. This video gallery of cinematic villainy consists of 13 very short films starring 13 of the year’s best actors, inspired by “nefarious icons”. All 13 of them are silent, set to very moody, fantastically classic horror film music.

I declare Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman’s pieces to be the creepiest, but the women are great as well. Watch them online here.

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