Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 The Year in Review | Los Gamester Edition

We added another writer to our ranks this year, Los Gamester and we're plenty thankful for his contributions. He's gone ahead and shared his thoughts on the music of 2011 with an almost Malkmusian stream of consciousness. Thanks [ed.]

2011 In Review
I rediscovered my passion for music. I was in a bit of a rut for a while there and I have to thank Band of Horses (and our intrepid editor) for bringing me back. I also rediscovered Boston music. I have't really loved a Boston band since The Dambuilders and I have to thank the AGP for feeding me a steady diet of great Boston bands.The Hush Now - Good before Memos, even better after. Love the back story of people following their passion while holding down a day job- only a work trip to India kept me away from the AGP / Clicky Clicky Music event. Age Rings re-released Black Honey through Midriff Records in October. The trimmed down 14 track LP was a slow starter for me, but has built up steam and landed in heavy rotation.Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks released their strongest record to date this year. After years of medium to good offerings they come out with a consistent and enjoyable effort in Minor Traffic. AGP Review. Wilco released another solid album with The Whole Love Wilco keeps spitting out great albums like Tom Brady wins football games. AGP Review. A mixed effort with the new Radiohead album The King of Limbs. I do not love this album and it has never been on heavy rotation. I'm hoping its like Amnesic, which made my dog bark every time I played it but eventually grew to be one of my favorites.

Farewell, R.E.M. They haven't been relevant to me since 1988, but their catalog up to then was stellar and for most of the world the stuff afterwards wasn't too bad either. Here's hoping they never have a moneymaking reunion tour later in lie. AGP’s excellent R.E.M Tribute: West Of The Fields, is here. If you haven’t read it Bryan’s did an outstanding job on this.I fell in love with Los Campesinos! this year. I Picked up all 4 of their albums and they quickly became a favorite. When the little Gamesters get in the car and immediately ask for Los Campesinos! I know I am raising them right.

This year brought the welcome return of Guided By Voices classic line up and 2012 will see tha band release two new albums . Pollard and co. plan on making records well into their AARP and Social Security eligible years. There appears to be no upper limit on the number of 2 minute garage pop songs that they can produce. I’m most completely excited for the original line-ups Let’s Go Eat The Factory coming in January and reviewed on AGP

My Top 2011 Songs
Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Stick Figures In Love
So hooky. live version on KCRW via Youtube

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness & Baby, I Got the Death Rattle
The title track from their recently released new LP just builds and builds. A very creepy video accompanies via Youtube I'm always tempted to skip over Baby, I Got The Death Rattle, it sounds like a song I won’t like but also finishes strong. Music only on Youtube

The Hush Now - Clouds
Easily the poppiest track on Memos and utterly enjoyable. I can mow my lawn in half the time with this song on repeat on Bandcamp

Band of Horses - Factory
Even Mrs Los Gamester knows the words to this song, so I guess I've brainwashed her
Live on Later with Jools Holland via Youtube (bonus Spanish subtitles!)

The Capstan Shafts - Degenerate Era Sweetheart
The opening track from Kind Empires makes you wish your Stereo went to 11
Hear it via Bandcamp

Wilco - Black Moon
Their haunting and quieter moments are always album highlights and Black Moon is no exception.
Music only via Youtube

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