Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best of 2011: Justin's top albums, songs and concerts

It's that time of year where we share our favorite albums, songs and concerts of 2011. You can join in by taking our 2011 Triangle Music Readers' Poll. Voting ends at midnight on Dec. 22. We'll share the results with you next week.

When I look back on 2011, I'll remember the perfect recommendations my friends made — Nicolas Jaar, Hiss Golden Messenger - even if they took a while to grow on me; I'll remember a year of great music by powerful female musicians like Heather McEntire, Aimée Argote and Jen Wasner; and I'll remember how I did something this year that I hadn't done in quite some time: I became obsessed — mouth agape, can't-stop-talking-about-it obsessed — with just a few albums.

It's partly because I was sequestered most of the year writing my thesis with little time for discovering new music, but it's also because Mount Moriah, Des Ark and The Mountain Goats made music that covered all of my needs: Loud, quite, hopeful, sad, revealing, complex, beautiful and epic. I put these three albums in a playlist and savored them as much as I could this year. My top three albums are immortal. They cannot be played to death. I tried and I failed.

Favorite Albums
1. Mount Moriah - Mount Moriah
2. Des Ark - Don’t Rock The Boat, Sink The Fucker
3. the Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck
4. Wye Oak - Civilian
5. Nicolas Jaar - Space is only Noise
6. Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler
7. Hiss Golden Messenger - Poor Moon
8. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
9. Richard Buckner - Our Blood
10. Gillian Welch - The Harrow and The Harvest

Favorite Reissue
The Reatards - Teenage Hate/Fuck Elvis, Here’s The Reatards

Favorite Concerts
1. KORT, Des Ark @ King’s, September 11 (Hopscotch)
2. Moutain Goats and Megafaun @ Cat’s Cradle, April 8
3. Mount Moriah, The Moaners, Filthybird @ Cat’s Cradle, April 15
4. Wild Flag @ Local 506, March 12
5. Gillian Welch @ Haw River Ballroom, August 27

Favorite Songs
1. the Mountain Goats - "Damn These Vampires"
2. Nicolas Jaar - "I Got a Woman"
3. Bombadil - "I Will Wait"
4. Des Ark - "FTW, Y’all!"
5. St. Vincent - "Cruel"
6. Mount Moriah - "Plane"
7. the Mountain Goats - "High Hawk Season"
8. Wye Oak - "Civilian"
9. Bill Callahan - "Riding for the Feeling"
10. M83 - "Midnight City"

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