Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I start part two of this ever culturally relevant, yet handsome year in review, with a touch of nostalgia, and more than just a touch of, "where have all the good times gone", sadness in my heart. When I was but a teen, I was already in love with making lists (and with making love...but that would be a lie, as I was probably still a virgin....I digress). I Couldn't wait for December to come around; not for the humungo-snow falls that would close down our school, or even Christmas, that would bring us globs of new albums, like the Ted Nugent's, Double Live Gonzo, or, Steve Miller's, Book Of Dreams, but that it would be soon time to make my top 10 lists. Top 10 albums of the year, songs of the year, movies of the year, books of the year, etc. And I certainly wasn't the only one...no, my brother John, my friend Steve, the whole gang who hung out, and bought the mighty brit metal mag, KERRANG!, and our imported, not released in North America metal albums from the Record Peddler on Queen Street East.
The year end would find us all a-tither, writing, crossing out, re-writing our "best of" lists, wondering how the hell we were gonna whittle it down to only 10 albums. Why did we do this? Well, because we could then share and compare our picks and excellent taste with each other. To show our fellow list enthusiasts just how culturally aware we were of what was going on in the only things that really mattered in our lives. I remember that flight from Toronto to New York City (actually Newark) in the 80's, and we made our top 10 album list at 35,000 feet. Steve and I exchanged lists just as we were headed for our landing. WOW!!!! Holy Shit!!! We both had picked Queensrych's metal opus/concept album, Operation: Mindcrime, as our No. 1 Lp of the year!!!! No way we could argue that one! Yes...that all important argument on why our lists blew away their lists, WAS also one of the main reasons...the discourse...the damn discourse!
Fast forward over 25 years...and I am embarrassed, and sad to admit I have no idea what is "really cool", music wise, out there. I think I bought a whole 2 Cd's this year, Titus Andronicus', The Monitor, and Amy Winehouse's posthumous collection, Lioness (which come to think of it, I didn't even buy, but got as a Christmas gift). Why did I stop listening, or even more importantly caring, for the latest in the cutting edge, alternative (got over metal decades ago when I realized just how bad the lyrics really were) sounds and bands? I still listen to a lot of music, from The Jesus and Mary Chain, to The Replacements, Tom Waits and Nick Cave to Billie Holiday and Hank Williams. I think I have a better, much more eclectic taste in music, than I've ever had in my life...but It bothers me so much that I have no idea what The Black Keys, or The Weekend, sound like...know what I mean? What happened (a lot of blame goes to that "snobbier than thou/ we broke that band first, but now we hate them 'cus more than 4 people bought their sophomore disc" new music web site, Pitchfork)???? I can make a great, even snob-esque, list of my top 50 cinematic moments of the year, but music? Huh???? I could blame it on the lack of time I have in a day nowadays, but I'd only be telling a half-truth, I think. A sad, regretful state of affairs my fine friends.
I am gonna give you a "Top whatever" lists of lists....but...ya know that guy Steve that I kept mentioning, We have always remained great friends, stayed in touch (seeing each other for an hour or two every 18 months, when he drives into town from his home in beautiful, downtown London...Ontario, to catch a concert, by an amazing new band that I have never even heard of) , he still knows what is cooler than cool in today's music scene, and still makes those year end lists. In fact I noticed he posted his Top 10 albums of 2011 a couple of weeks ago on Facebook...I kid you not...I only recognized one band name...pathetic. Sooooo...I bring you a special guest columnist's list of the Top 10 Albums of 2011 (now, I just have to go fucking find it somewhere on his FB page. Lovely.)
(Jeez I so fucking hate that new facebook TimeLine page..have people never heard of design and composition...it's just all over the place...What am I suppose to look at first???!!!)..Anyway....Ohhhhh... Stevie's given us a whole Top 20 list...stick that knife in a little further will ya Tide?!!!
Stephen Cribar's Top 20 Records of 2011
1. Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
2. Glasvegas – Euphoric Heartbreak
3. Kvelertak – Kvelertak
4. Okkervil River – I Am Very Far
5. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
6. Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania
7. Fucked Up – David Comes To Life
8. Jonny Corndawg – Down On The Bikini Line
9. Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
10. Bomb The Music Industry! – Vacation
11. Dirty Beaches – Badlands
12. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
13. Wilco – The Whole Love
14. Deer Tick – Divine Providence
15. Jack Oblivian – Rat City
16. Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
17. Xray Eyeballs – Not Nothing
18. The Horrible Crowes – Elsie
19. Iceage – New Brigade
20. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Hal
* (Ok...I've heard of 7 of these artists...but have not listened to even one of the aforementioned albums...and I consider Glasvegas one of my favorite bands!)
Thank you so much Steve for sharing...A big round of applause for my friend/cutting edge music aficionado, and list maker, Stephen " You've Never Seen DEVOTCHKA LIVE?!" Cribar!!!!
SHIT!!!! once again this post is longer than I'd like it to be...so no room for my year end lists 'til part 3. Hey...your loss...now you have to wait to see who won, "Best Boobs of the Year"!