Best Music of 2011

Year after year, I’ve managed to put together a list of my favorite music, movies, etc of the previous year.  As if I am some illustrious journalist writing for a prestigious magazine. I tell myself, my opinion matters.  And, to me, it does.  It probably doesn’t to you.  I am fully self-aware of the smug, selfishness that tends to be behind a list like this from a nobody like me.  But, for almost the tenth year in a row, here’s a list of what I loved about music in 2011. What can I say, I’m an elitist.

ALBUMS

20. The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow

19. Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers

18. Lady Gaga, Born this Way

17. Adele, 21

16. Childish Gambino, Camp

15. The Weeknd (No, that’s not a typo), Thursday; and House of Balloons

14. Washed Out, Within and Without

13. Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials

12. M83; Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

11.  My Morning Jacket, Circuital

10. The Head and the Heart, The Head and the Heart

9. Cults, Cults

8. Youth Lagoon, The Year of Hibernation

7. Smith Westerns, Dye it Blonde

6. Girls; Father, Son, Holy Ghost

5. The Antlers, Burst Apart

4. Panda Bear, Tomboy

3. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues

2. Cut/Copy, Zonoscope

1.  Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Ok, a few things on the list above:  1. Bon Iver put out one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard. Ever. I want it played at my funeral.  2.  Putting the Dog to Sleep by The Antlers was the best song of the year.  3. The Black Keys’ El Camino severely disappointed me.  4. The album in the 21st spot would have been Foster the People.

SHOWS

10. Sleigh Bells, Bonnaroo

9. Explosions in the Sky, Bonnaroo

8. Ratatat, Bonnaroo

7. The Civil Wars, A Prairie Home Companion, The Ryman

No video, but it was awesome and Garrison Keillor’s commentary made it even better.

6. Childish Gambino, Cannery Ballroom

5. Deerhunter, Bonnaroo

4. Robyn, Bonnaroo

3. Scissor Sisters, Bonnaroo (Wait for the 1-minute mark on the video)

2. Arcade Fire, Bonnaroo

1. My Morning Jacket, Bonnaroo

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Best of the Year (So far).

Hello! I’m bored which means you get to read a blog post by yours truly. It’s really the only time I ever post on here. But, since I am bored, I’d like to tell you about some of my favorite things from the year so far. Mostly I am going to talk about the best books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen and music I’ve heard. Feel free to leave at any time or bitch and complain in the comments below.

BEST BOOK (And the only one I’ve completed…ssh!)

Yes it may be the only one I’ve read this year, but it was also one of the best books I’ve read in years.

BEST ALBUMS (No specific order, saving that for the end of the year post!)

The Antlers, Burst Apart

Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues

Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Panda Bear, Tomboy

My Morning Jacket, Circuital

Foster the People, Torches

Jay Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne

The Weeknd, Thursday

FILMS

Tree of Life

Bridesmaids

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Most Anticipated Acts of Bonnaroo 2011!

Bonnaroo is in 60 days, and all but the cafe acts have been announced. Just thought I’d make a ranked list of which shows I am most excited to see. This is the fun part before Bonnaroo releases the schedule and I have a ton of conflicts. But for now, these are the shows I will see.

1. Scissor Sisters – Sure to be the gayest thing at Bonnaroo this year, how could I miss them? Plus, they’re the best group in pop music nowadays. Win-Win.

2. Arcade Fire – Will most likely end up being the best headliner show. I’ve been dying to see them for years. I’m glad my first time will be on the What stage at ‘Roo.

3. My Morning Jacket – Like Arcade Fire, I’ve been wanting to see them live for a long time. Their 2008 late night show at ‘Roo is still the show every show is compared to (or so I hear). I’ll be there hoping to see something pretty spectacular. High hopes, indeed.

4. Florence and the Machine – This show is going to be a blast. And, I’m sure I’ll cry my little eyes out when she sings Cosmic Love. Oh. My. Gawd.

5. The Black Keys – I’ve managed to miss these guys twice. Last year they played Bonnaroo and conflicted with Daryl Hall & Chromeo (Still the best decision I made last year). I’m really hoping nothing conflicts with them this year. Although seeing as they’re pretty high on my list, I’m hopeful there won’t be.

6. Explosions in the Sky – Your Hand in Mine holds so much sentimental value for me, I’ll be a sobbing puddle when it’s played. And I’m sure it will be played. It’s on their current setlist for this tour. I pry to Gawd, they have a late night spot. Cue tears in 5… 4… 3… 2…

7. Deerhunter – Because their last two albums are two of my favorite albums of the last several years. Huge fan. Cannot wait.

8. Ratatat – They will be late night. It will be awesome. Cue the glowsticks!

9. Sleigh Bells – I was mad they weren’t a Bonnaroo last year then I missed them when they played Exit/In. Their show will be insaaaaaaaaaaaane.

10. Bassnectar – Because he’s the new Girl Talk, and I’ve already seen Girl Talk. And I missed him last year.

11. Lil Wayne – Duh.

12. The Black Angels – Their newest album was one of my favorites last year. Really looking forward to seeing this new fave of mine.

13. Robyn – Second gayest show at ‘Roo.

14. Pretty Lights – It will be one hell of a late night show.

15. The Strokes – I just know they’re going to put on an awesome show. The epitome of Bonnaroo epic shows.

16. Eminem – I’m really hoping he plays a lot of his old stuff. Not a huge fane of his newer stuff, but if he plays a few songs from Marchall Mathers I will be thrilled.

17. Mumford and Sons – Caught them at The Station In a few months ago. Can’t wait to see them again.

18. Beirut –  The freshman year nostalgia will be overwhelming.

19. Loretta Lynn – Come on… How old is she now? This will be incredible.

20. The Decemberists – If I hadn’t already seen them before (on a tour with my favorite album of theirs no doubt), I’d have them much higher. But it will be great to see my favorite band from my senior year of high school for the second time.

21. Alison Krauss and Union Station – I don’t talk about my love for good country music very much, but Krauss has always been one of my favorites.

22. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Just now starting to get into them, but her voice is pretty extraordinary.

23. Wavves – Hometown boys from Memphis. I’ve seen them before and I’d love to see them again at Bonnaroo. They would make a great band for Thursday night.

24. Best Coast – Hopefully they won’t have her conflict with her boyfriend in Wavves, but she’d also make a great Thursday evening act. Although, I could also see her as a midday either Friday or Saturday.

25. The Walkmen – Classic.

26. Ray Lamontagne – Because I will need a place to sit and relax for an hour two. And he’d be perfect for that.

27. Superjam Feat.: Dan Auerbach and Dr. John – I’ve never experienced a superjam at Bonnaroo before, but I hear they’re pretty incredible.

28. Wanda Jackson – Because she’s great, and you know Jack White is gonna show up.

29. Devotchka – Another band I’m just now getting into. Pretty excited to get to really experience them.

30. Robert PLant and the band of Joy – It’s freakin’ Robert Plant.

31. John Waters/Iron and Wine – I wanted to make this an even 30, but I couldn’t leave these two off. I’d love to go over to the Comedy Tent and catch John Waters. Although, I’m doubtful that will happen. And Iron & Wine is just some good classic indie music. Don’t really listen to them as much as I used to, but hopefully I can reconnect.

All right, It looks like a great year to me. I’m sure once the schedule is announced I’m going to have to make some tough decisions, but there you have it. My most anticipated acts of Bonnaroo 2011!

Happy Bonnaroo!!

 

EDIT: Finally got around to seeing what the Shpongletron Experience was. Consider it part of this list: 

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Oscar Predictions

Well, I put it off as long as possible. Here’s what I think and wish will happen tonight.

BEST EDITING

Should and Will win: The Social Network

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: Inception

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Will and Should Win: The Social Network

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Will Win: Inception

Should Win and Should Have Been Nominated: TRON: Legacy

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: The Social Network

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Will Win: Biutiful

BEST FILM EDITING

Will and Should Win: The Social Network

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Will Win: Inside Job

Should Win: Restrepo

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: True Grit

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will and Should Win: Black Swan (Although, The Social Network is just as deserving.)

BEST ART DIRECTION

Will and Should Win: Inception

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Will and Should Win: Toy Story 3 (or Burlesque)

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR

Will and Should Win: Melissa Leo, The Fighter (Although Hailee Steinfeld could upset)

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR

Will and Should Win: Christian Bale, The Fighter

BEST FEMALE ACTOR

Will Win and Should: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

BEST MALE ACTOR

Will Win: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Should Win: James Franco, 127 Hours (Firth should have won last year for his even better performance in A Single Man.)

BEST DIRECTOR

Should and Will Win: David Fincher, The Social Network

BEST FILM

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: The Social Network

 

**DON’T JUDGE ME WHEN NONE OF WILLS AND SHOULDS DON’T WIN.

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2010: A Year in Film

BEST FILMS OF 2010

15. Exit Through the Gift Shop

14. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

13. The King’s Speech

12. Catfish

11. Winter’s Bone

10. Rabbit Hole

9. Toy Story 3

8. The Kids are All Right

7. Restrepo

6. The Fighter

5. True Grit

4. Black Swan

3. 127 Hours

2. Inception

1. The Social Network


FAVORITE FEMALE PERFORMANCES

10. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right

9. Amy Adams, The Fighter

8. Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

7. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

6. Marion Cotillard, Inception

5. Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

4. Annette Benning, The Kids Are All Right

3. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

2. Melissa Leo, The Fighter

1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan

FAVORITE MALE PERFORMANCES

10. Tom Hardy, Inception

9. Miles Teller, Rabbit Hole

8. Armie Hammer, The Social Network

7. Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

6. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

5. Jeff Bridges, True Grit

4. Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

3. James Franco, 127 Hours

2. Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

1. Christian Bale, The Fighter

WORST MOVIE I SAW IN THE THEATER

Tie: Alice in Wonderland and Nightmare on Elm Street

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Because it Makes Me Feel Good: My Lists for the Best Music of 2010

ALBUMS

Clearly, just by offering a list of my favorite albums (year after year after year) I give off the impression that I have listened to and adequately judged every album of 2010. This is not the case, nor has it ever been in years past when I have made similar lists. However, I did get to hear a lot of great music this year, and here are my favorite albums I had the pleasure of experiencing. Granted, some albums that came out at the very end of 2010 may have managed to break the top 10 with just a few more listens (i.e. Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz), but these 11 albums will forever define my 2010.

10 b. Local Natives, Gorilla Manor


10 a. Broken Bells, Broken Bells


9. Dr. Dog, Shame, Shame


8. Sleigh Bells, Treats


7. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager


6. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs


5. Beach House, Teen Dream


4. Vampire Weekend, Contra


3. Yeasayer, Odd Blood


2. The Black Keys, Brother


1. The National, High Violet

And my favorite song of 2010:

SHOWS

7. Local Natives, Cannery Ballroom, Nashville

6. Vampire Weekend, The Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

5. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tenn.

4. Jay-Z, Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tenn.

3. Stevie Wonder, Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tenn.

2. Deadmau5, Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tenn.

And my favorite show of 2010:

1. Daryl Hall & Chromeo, Bonnaroo, Manchester Tenn.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this post. It was difficult but for every video I looked up, it was like walking through this past year.  As you can tell, it was a great year for music. Here’s hoping 2011 is half as good.

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‘Roo 2010

I should begin by saying that I am a Bonnaroo virgin.  Always wanted to go, but never have.  However, this year is different.  I’ve had my ‘Roo 2010 ticket since Christmas, and haven’t been able to think about anything else. The lineup was finally released this passed Tuesday.  And, as with most other things, I have my opinions on the lineup.  So, here we go…

Most Anticipated Acts

  • The XX
  • The Flaming Lips performing The Dark Side of the Moon
  • Deadmau5
  • Regina Spektor (I’ve missed her every time she’s come to Nashville)
  • Phoenix
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Jay-Z
  • The Dead Weather
  • She & Him
  • Tenacious D
  • Bassnectar
  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (This is one of my favorite bands of the last several years.  Really cool stuff.)
  • Daryl Hall and Chromeo (Such a bizarre combo, there’s no way I’ll miss it.)
  • Kid Cudi
  • Dan Deacon

 

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