Top Albums of 2011

ALTERNATIVE
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light (Hard Alternative Rock/Pop)
Portugal. The Man – In the Mountain In the Cloud (Indie/Alternative Rock)
Primus – Green Naugahyde (Alternative/Funk/Rock)
Puscifer – Conditions of My Parole (Alternative/Experimental)
Radiohead – the King of Limbs (Alternative/Experimental)
the Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You (Alternative Rock/Funk/Pop)
Rival Schools – Pedals (Hard Alternative Rock)

FOLK
Bon Iver – Bon Iver (Indie/Folk/Pop)
Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs (Folk)
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (Indie/Folk)
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo (Indie/Folk)
Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts (Alternative/Folk)

HIP HOP
the Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part II (Rap/Hip Hop)
the Roots – Undun (Rap/Hip Hop)
Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows (Rap/Hip Hop)

INDIE
Company of Thieves – Running from a Gamble (Indie Rock)
Stateless – Matilda (Electro/Indie)
Tune-Yards – W H O K I L L (Experimental/Indie)
TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light (Indie Rock/Alternative)
Vetiver – the Errant Charm (Indie Rock/Folk)
Yukon Blonde – Fire/Water (Indie Rock)

METAL
Animals as Leaders – Weightless (Progressive Metal/Instrumental/Djent/Fusion)
Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax: Hypersleep  Dialogues (Progressive Grind Metal)
Chaos Divine – The Human Connection (Progressive Metal)
Circles – the Compass (Progressive Metal/Djent)
Corelia – Nostalgia (Progressive Metal/Djent)
Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy (Progressive Metal/Fusion)
The Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction (Progressive Extreme Metal)
the Haunted – Unseen (Melodic Death Metal)
the Human Abstract – Digital Veil (Progressive Metalcore)
Leprous – Bilateral (Progressive Metal)
Mastodon – The Hunter (Progressive Doom Metal/Rock)
Monstro – Monstro (Doom Metal/Hard Rock)
Protest the Hero – Scurrilous (Progressive Metal/Thrash/Punk)
Red Seas Fire – Red Seas Fire (Progressive Metal/Djent)
Revocation – Chaos of Forms (Death/Thrash Metal)
Scale the Summit – the Collective (Progressive Metal/Instrumental)
TesseracT – One (Progressive Metal/Djent)
Textures – Dualism (Progressive Metal/Djent)

ELECTRO
Bjork – Biophilia (Experimental/Pop)
James Blake – James Blake (Indie/Experimental)
SBTRKT – SBTRKT (Electro)

POP
The Black Keys – El Camino (Alternative/Blues/Rock)
Foster the People – Torches (Indie Rock/Pop)
Gotye – Making Mirrors (New Age/Indie/Pop)
Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting (Pop)
The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar (Alternative Rock/Pop)
Little Dragon – Ritual Union (Electro/Pop)
Mayer Hawthorne – How Do You Do (Motown/Soul)
Mutemath – Odd Soul (Pop/Rock)
Sublime with Rome – Yours Truly (Alternative/Pop)

PROGRESSIVE ROCK
The Dear Hunter – The Color Spectrum (Progressive Rock/Alternative)
the Devin Townsend Project – Ghost (Progressive Rock/New Age)
Fair to Midland – Arrows & Anchors (Progressive Rock/Metal)
Opeth – Heritage (Progressive Rock/Metal)
3 – The Ghost You Gave to Me (Progressive Rock/Metal)

PUNK/HARDCORE
Glassjaw – Coloring Book (Post Hardcore/Punk)
Le Butcherettes – Sin Sin Sin (Punk/Alternative Rock)
Thrice – Major/Minor (Hard Alternative Rock/Punk)

MY TOP 10
1. Gotye – Making Mirrors
2. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
3. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
4. TesseracT – One
5. Radiohead – the King of Limbs
6. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
7. Stateless – Matilda
8. the Black Keys – El Camino
9. Rival Schools – Pedals
10. the Joy Formidable – the Big Roar

Party on.

My Best of 2009

10. Pearl Jam – Backspacer
9. Mastodon – Crack the Skye
8. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
7. the Devin Townsend Project – Ki
6. Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way to Blue
5. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
4. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
3. Miike Snow – S/T
2. Portugal. The Man – The Satanic Satanist
1. the Devin Townsend Project – Addicted!

Honourable mentions:

Company of Thieves – Ordinary Riches
Chylde – Now it Can Be Told
Every Time I Die – New Junk Aesthetic
He Is Legend – It Hates You
John Frusciante – The Empyrean
Kylesa – Static Tensions
Lamb of God – Wrath
the Mars Volta – Octahedron
Thrice – Beggars
Alexisonfire – Old Crows/Young Cardinals
Between the Buried and Me – The Great Misdirect
Muse – The Resistance
the Temper Trap – Conditions
Austrian Death Machine – Double Brutal
Behemoth – Evangelion
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Matthew Good – Vancouver
Apostle of Hustle – Eats Darkness
Balmorhea – All is Wild, All is Silent
Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM
Clutch – Strange Cousins from the West
The Decemberists – the Hazards of Love
Dredg – The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion
Eminem – Relapse
the Junction – Another Link in the Chain
Katatonia – Night is the New Day
Killswitch Engage – S/T
Baroness – Blue Record
Megadeth – Endgame
the Red Chord – Fed Through the Teeth Machine
3 – Revisions
Blakroc – S/T
the Dead Weather – Horehound
Dethklok – the Deth Album II
ISIS – Wavering Radiant
Keith Merrow – the Arrival
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Old Money
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Porcupine Tree – The Incident
Revocation – Existence is Futile
Threat Signal – Vigilance
the Used – Artwork
Wilco – S/T
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
St. Vincent – Actor
Monsters of Folk – S/T

Accept it!

J

Back from the City of Wind

Lollapalooza definitely lived up to the hype! My first 3-Day Music Festival was a blast and I’m excited to show you guys some of the photos and videos we got from the weekend. I attended all 3 days and tried to see as much as possible. Some of my favourite performances were;

Day 1

Bon Iver; Very packed crowd and his renditions of the songs from the album was just as haunting with a little bit more instrumentation from his band members.

Fleet Foxes; Very good band, the crowd was way into these guys and so were we, we were right up front for their set singing along to most of everything. Singer said he was sick, but no one could tell.

Kings of Leon; They had a great set, extremely tight. They showed just how far they’ve come since their humble beginnings and are still as humble as ever. Much better experience for me than the first time I saw them at the Air Canada Centre.

Day 2

Coheed and Cambria; First time seeing these guys live. They played well, but they tend to over-play a bit in general on their instruments. Songs sound cluttered sometimes. Never-the-less, blistering guitar-solos were boner-worthy.

TV on the Radio; Great band. My first real exposure to their music and they pretty much had me dancing. Made me want to listen to everything they’ve ever done. This band is lots of fun.

Ben Harper and the Relentless7; Amazingly tight. Ben is a true master of the slide guitar and a great vocalist and songwriter. Cover Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” and Hendrix’s “Red House”. Worth the cost of admission. Too bad we had to bail earlier to get a good spot for Tool. Bad scheduling here. Broke my heart.

Tool; What can I say? It’s fucking Tool. Simply amazing, beautifully stunning visuals. Huge crowd!

Day 3

Portugal. The Man; Really interesting band, lots of energy and great bluesy guitar licks. Lots of snarl in their sound, feedback and all they kicked some major ass.

Vampire Weekend; Almost a bit too happy for me, but I came around quickly to their songs. Good songwriting shining through with minimal instrumentation. Very fun band.

Band of Horses; Despite a delayed set time they did quite well in easing the crowd back into their show from the debaucle which was presented before them. Sadly getting cut short by the promoters (guess who) and thus having a stage war with them for about 15 minutes (annoying!)

Jane’s Addiction; Not necessarily their fault but they totally stepped on BOH’s toes when they came on. The schedule got fucked up and they ended up playing simulateously with the Horses on adjacent stages, which was quite the clusterfuck. In any event, Jane’s absolutely killed it! They may have even taken the prize for the best performance of the weekend. Their band chemistry is almost unmatched. Navarro shreds.

And now for the best part… the Hall of Shame.

Lou Reed; “I skipped Snoop Dogg for this?” I’m all for experimental, against-the-grain kind of music, but this stuff was nearly unbearable. Lou’s songs are better off as poems. Very little changes in any of his songs, and he went on a 10-15 minute noise interlude which sent his set soaring way over time (unbeknownst to him or simply negligently, I have no idea.) He was reading from a teleprompter which subsequently fucked-up and he mumbled several verses (not that he wasn’t mumbling anyways). A very forgettable performance by this “legend”.

Dan Deacon – WTF? Are those actual songs? “Wait stop.. can I get more synth in the monitors?”

Actually.. that’s about it. Everything else was awesome.

Off to Lollapalooza!

So this morning I’m setting off with a few friends to Chicago for the mighty Lollapalooza Festival at Grand Park, so you wont be hearing much from me until I get back on Monday.  I figured I’d start the trip off with some videos from bands I’ll be seeing at the shows, and hopefully I can get some decent quality videos with my camera while I’m there too.  Stay tuned.

Tool

Kings of Leon

Jane’s Addiction

Ben Harper

Lou Reed

Fleet Foxes

Andrew Bird

The Decemberists

Ben Folds

Bon Iver

Coheed & Cambria

TV on the Radio

Band of Horses

Silversun Pickups

Sam Roberts

Vampire Weekend

Portugal. The Man

Kaiser Chiefs