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2011: Brief Music in Review

December 30, 2011

Goodbye, 2011!

Now with the idiosyncratic category “Lyric of the Year”

NB: You should probably listen to the tracks on youtube linked here soon, because, as far as I can understand it, very shortly this simple and entirely legitimate way of sharing things, thereby making them more popular, will be foreclosed by the powers that would actually benefit from that increased popularity.  Learn more here.

Album of the Year

Every time I use that word now, I think of this exchange from “Community”:

“How old is he?”
“In his 30s I guess. He owns a landline and still uses the word ‘album'”

Well, I don’t have a landline.  And the definition of “album” is sort of vague to me now — defined as “a collection of songs by the same artist released at the same time that I routinely listen to together,” my album of the year has to be

“If You’re Young,” by the Static Jacks
Look, I am personally carrying the flag for this band.  You can listen to the whole thing here.

Runner Up:

“This is our Science,” by Astronautalis
This guy is currently my best shot at being able to say “I saw him in a garage” when he’s selling out stadiums legitimate indie venues.  Listen to this song.  And then listen to

Song of the Year

“Measure the Globe,” from the same Astronautalis album.

“There’s no Lord to forgive me / and physics is tricky / so all that I’m left with is you.”

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard this song, from the view of the street in front of me to the weather.  I am a sucker for nostalgia.  All of the best things consist of a few basic things put together — like, all of the best food (cheese, beer, wine, bread) is just a few things combined in varied ratios, across different scales of time.  Music is like that, and nostalgia is like, you know, flour.

Runner up:

“Kelly,” When Saints Go Machine

Okay, so some of the best songs have a ton of ingredients, electronic ingredients.  Listen to this song without moving, I dare you.  No, really, don’t listen to this song in a public place, unless you are the kind of person who is okay with dancing alone in public places.  If you are currently drinking, you have already ignored this warning.

“Go Outside,” Cults

This is not, though, the most effective use of the Jonestown “death tape” in recorded music — this is still the most effective use of the death tape in recorded music.  Scares the bejesus out of me.

Lyric of the Year

My personal favorite category.

From the song “Broken Promise” by Scroobius Pip.

I bought the Heartbreak Hotel  / on my own with no investors /
Closed it down and opened the Fuck You Get Over it Bed and Breakfast

And it kinda rhymes on account of he’s British.  I am in awe.

More to come…


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