Modern Mystery’s Year End List 2011 (Albums & Songs)

Yes, we’re a little late on this, but here is our Year End List(s) in all of their glory.

TOP ALBUMS of 2011

                                                     1. Real Estate – Days
Literally the most beautiful album we heard all year. Everything about Days is near perfect. Haunting guitars and echoing vocals provide a stunning LP that will hold the test of time. Real Estate put out the essential record of 2011 and will hold a place forever in indie music history. Congratulations to these guys for pouring their heart and soul into a record, and letting the listener hear every beat, every emotion, and every ounce of perfection.

2. Beirut – The Rip Tide
A close runner up, Beirut proves that they have staying power on their highly anticipated second album. They certainly lived up to the hype and brought the indie rock game to a whole new level.

3. The Drums – Portamento
Catchy, and a little deeper, The Drums plunge into the ocean, not to go surfing this time but to get a little heavier. The outcome? Amazing.

4. Sloan – The Double Cross
Always a MM favorite, the best foursome since The Beatles provide another album of blissful harmonies and catchy riffs. Sloan manages to do it again.

5. The Strokes – Angles
It may have taken 5 years for this little gem, but it was certainly worth the wait. We hope the next album is a little more cohesive, a little more “Strokesy,” but hell, it’s still one of the best records our ears came across this year, not to mention the most anticipated.

6. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
An incredible sophomore effort, that had us dancing around the apartment, the office, the car, etc. Alan Palomo knows what makes our hearts tick, and it’s his infectious brand of chillwave.

7.  Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire
The second anticipated musical act out of retirement this year, Adams put out a tear jerking album of all acoustic material, this time without his infamous Cardinals. Gorgeous as always, that man cannot write a bad song.

8. Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
 What may be the last album under the name Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst and company pull out all the stops on this intriguing and somewhat eerie album. Oberst is better than ever, just when you thought that was impossible.

9. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
Stephen Malkmus albums always equals a win. Pretend to be surprised. The Beck produced record caught our ears this year. Nice one Malkmus, as always.

10. Sam Roberts Band – Collider
Another great album from SRB, the band is on a hot streak of great releases. Always a little under the radar, this cult favorite is winning over hearts and ears quickly. Jump on in.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Atlas Sound – Parallax
Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Destroyer – Kaputt
Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
Cults – Cults
Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
Panda Bear – Tom Boy
James Blake – James Blake


Top Songs of 2011

1 The Strokes – “Undercover of Darkness”
2 Neon Indian – “Hexx Girlfriend”
3 Real Estate – “Green Aisles”
4 Bright Eyes – “Shell Games”
5 Chairlift – “Amanaemonesia”
6 Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
7 The Drums – “Money”
8 Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – “Senator”
9 Beirut – “Santa Fe”
10 Washed Out – Amor Fati
11 Joy Formidable – Whirring
12 Girls – “Honey Bunny”
13 Unknown Mortal Orchestra -“Ffunny Ffriends”
14 Real Estate – “It’s Real”
15 Cass McCombs – “Country Line”

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Modern Mystery Holiday Party Part Three

Welcome to the third installment of our Modern Mystery Holiday party! Today our list is filled with our favorite up and coming indie bands that will be making huge waves in 2010. Sit back with your glass of eggnog and enjoy reading!

Joe Paolucci-Modern Mystery Writer
Top Albums of 2009
 

 

Neko Case-Middle Cyclone
Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
Kings of Convenience- Declaration of Dependence
Atlas Sound-Logos
Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Camera Obscura- My Maudlin Career
Yeah Yeah Yeahs-It’s Blitz!
Yacht- See Mystery Lights
Wye Oak-The knot
M.Ward-Hold Time …
Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse-Dark Night of the Soul
Black Moth Super Rainbow- Eating Us


Krista De La Rosa-Modern Mystery Writer

Top 10 Albums of 2009

1. Reservoir – Fanfarlo
2. The First Days of Spring – Noah and the Whale
3. Hospice – The Antlers
4. Actor – St. Vincent
5. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
6. Mean Everything to Nothing – Manchester Orchestra
7. Hold Time – M Ward
8. Aim and Ignite – Fun
9. 2.0 – The XX
10. My Maudlin Career – Camera Obscura

Ivy Weir- Modern Mystery Writer

The best albums of 2009 (in Ivy-Noelle’s humble opinion)

5. God Help the Girl- s/t
I love Belle and Sebastian…so of course I love this weird indie-musical written by Stuart Murdoch. Catherine Ireton’s voice is absolutely beautiful, especially when giving new life to an old Belle & Sebastian staple, “Funny Little Frog”. Plus, the eponymous track is essentially the themesong to my entire life, haha.

4. Handsome Furs- Face Control
I’m in love with Dan Boeckner. And his wife, too! Handsome Furs have a truly unique sound and they’ve perfected that on their second album. It’s different enough from Boeckner’s other band, Wolf Parade, to be interesting- but similar in the repetetive guitar hooks and almost yelped vocals. Seriously great.

3. The Duchess & The Duke- She’s the Duchess, He’s the Duke
I almost didn’t give this album a chance, but boy am I glad I did. It’s raw, lo-fi, garage acoustic indie rock goodness. The male vocals are purely rock-n-roll, and meshed with the female back-ups it’s a great, vintage, 1960s feel. The lyrics are blunt and honest and work extremely well with the overall sound.

2. M. Ward- Hold Time
In my mind, M. Ward can do no wrong (well…She & Him. But that’s just because of my irrational hatred for Zooey Deschanel). “Hold Time” is classic M. Ward at his best- soaring melodies that somehow still seem as simple as the Appalachian folksongs from which he draws influence. Production value on this album is much higher than his past works, but it works- and Ward’s raspy, unique voice still shines through. Indie superstar collaborations make this one of the best albums of the year, and certainly of M. Ward’s career.

1. Matt & Kim- Grand
This is the album that broke Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim onto the mainstream scene- with “Daylight” featured in a Bacardi commercial, many of their hardcore followers accused them of selling out. But who cares? They are making unique, perfect pop music and if they’re also making money, good for them! This album is fantastic- there’s not a bad track on it. The whole thing flows like one crazy dance party from beginning to end. I also had the pleasure of seeing the duo in concert in July, and it was one of the craziest experiences of my life. I hope these two keep making music for a long time.

Songs:
5. “All We Want, Baby, Is Everything”- Handsome Furs
4. “Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare”- Matt & Kim
3. “Insane Lullaby (ft. James Mercer)” -Dark Night of the Soul
2. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z and Alicia Keys
1. “Two Weeks”- Grizzly Bear

Tucker Riggleman-The Demon Beat

Top 10 Albums of the Year

1. Japandroids – Post-Nothing
2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
5. Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP
6. Dandelion Snow – It’s Just A Bad Dream
7. Lucero – 1372 Overton Park
8. Dead Weather – Horehound
9. Stephen MacDonald & The Okay Win – We Are Bound
10.Kevin Devine – Brother’s Blood

Explanations:

1. This record had such a huge impact on me that I braved it to D.C. to catch them at a small club, which is hard to do since I hate D.C. – my car was broken into and I had some valuable things stolen. I was barely upset because their show was so awesome.

2. I played the fuck out of this record at work last year. I was a hall security guard type of a thing and I would just blare this stuff. Probably didn’t make me seem any tougher. The hooks are monumental.

3. Took a while to grow on me, but the slow pretty songs are gorgeous and abundant.

4. Great summer record. “Summertime Clothes” is one of my favorite songs of the past 5 years.

5. Justin Vernon could shit on a CD and I’d buy it.

6. Good friends of ours. Myself and BIG BULLET RECORDS helped put this out. I love the way Roger can take a song and make it so everyone feels something.

7. Their most well-rounded album to date, though I’ll still prefer the old classics.

8. Raunchy as fuck. Love it.

9. Another BBR artist, this one from Massachusetts. Steve is heavily influenced by Kevin Devine and I think his record is better than the one Kevin put out this year.

10. I still liked “Brother’s Blood”, but the demos that KD put out all year leading up the the album are more intimate and better overall in my opinion than the final versions.

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

I’d say going to NYC and making a record in basically a day. It was surreal, and we are overwhelmingly happy with the results. Also, our first trip to NYC in late January was interesting. Jordan had a girl run on stage and stick a vial of weed in his shirt pocket while we were playing. Insane.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Seasonal alcoholic beverages.

Jordan Hudkins-The Demon Beat

JORDAN’S TOP TEN SONGS THAT HE LIKED OF THE YEAR:

1. Surfer Blood – “Take It Easy”

2. Henry’s Dress – “Zero/Zero/Zero”

3. Flake Music – “Sue Defender”

4. Kid Cudi – “Pursuit of Happiness”

5. The Who – “Tattoo”

6. Librarians – “Hard to Unwind”

7. Hammer No More The Fingers – “Nobody Knows”

8. Royal Bangs – “Poison Control”

9. Weezer – “Let It All Hang Out”

10. Enigma – “Return to Innocence”

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

The craziest thing that happened to ME this year was a wild rickshaw ride I took in Raleigh, NC. The driver took me and two friends up into a parking garage, and then we sped down the spiral exit ramp. It was like a ROLLERCOASTER. Apparently, this kind of behavior is forbidden for a rickshaw driver, thereby exponentially increasing the thrill-index of our lil’ adventure.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Cranberry Sierra Mist…but I think that is always available now. C’est la vie!

Adam Meisterhans- The Demon  Beat

1. i didn’t like any records that came out this year. especially not kevin devine records.
2. i started taking anti-depressants.
3. egg-nog.

Jason Meeks-Binary Marketing Show

cass mccombs — catacombs
grizzly bear – vecktimest
antony and the johnson’s — the crying light
tUnE yArDs — bird-brains
jim o’rourke — the visitor
micachu and the shapes — jewellry
animal collective — merriweather post pavillion
bill callahan — sometimes i wish we were an eagle
st. vincent — the actor

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

i guess it was breaking down in the middle of nowhere ohio while we were on tour and staying with complete strangers that told us their life stories. not to mention, some really weird secrets that we really didn’t want to know about..

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

i suppose the terrible holiday food to be consumed. it’s always fun to eat a 7 course meal that’s probably worth 5000 calories.

Abram Morphew-Binary Marketing Show

ennio morricone – la storia vera della signora dalle camelie
marissa nadler – little hells
thinguma*jigsaw – (awakeinwhitechapel)
blair harris – watercolor
bachelorette – my electric family
dead man’s bones – dead man’s bones
circulatory system – signal morning
bill callahan – sometimes i wish we were an eagle
two eyes meet redux – pop songs on illusions and tragedies
cass mccombs – catacombs

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

seeing a naked gentleman painting himself white in a field of burning trash.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

the silence that follows snow.

Bethany Carder-Binary Marketing Show

Sun City Girls- Napoleon & Josaphine
Alela Diane- To Be Still
Mount Eerie- Winds Poem
Castanets- Texas Rose,the thaw and the beast
Woods Family Creeps- Woods family creeps
Dear Olive- the ocean the sea
Diane Cluck- black with green leaves
Larkin Grimm- Harpoon
Orion Rigel Dommisse- What I want from you is sweet
Bacherlorette- my electric family

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

Newton Falls Ohio. Being lifted atop a flatbed, while sitting inside a jeep watching the rapid lights, strange feeling…yes

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Sharing a few moments with the ones ya Love, however far they may be..or near. it’s a swell feeling

Spoon Recording Follow Up to ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’

It has been already two years since we saw the release of the most critically acclaimed Spoon album ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.’ Yes it is hard to believe that it has really been that long, but Britt Daniel and the boys have announced they are heading back into the studio this summer to record another album. This is of course great news to Spoon fans, or indie fans in general. No doubt the band will keep on the path of genius their last few records have provided. When not in the studio this summer, Spoon will be playing a small (and I mean small!) handful of shows with bands such as The Atlas Sound and Low. I’m not sure about you, but I can’t wait to hear the new Spoon tracks. Most likely the album will be released early next year.

Check out Spoon on MYSPACE

Watch Spoon performing ‘The Underdog’ on David Letterman

Modern Mystery’s Top 50 Albums of 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Its been a big 2008 for Modern Mystery. We’ve meet some really amazing bands, seen some incredible shows, and made a lot of great friends. We know 2009 will bring even more and we’re very excited!

We have compiled our list of our Top 50 Albums of 2008. Though this was by no means easy, we think we’ve included our all of certain favorites of the year. Below our list you’ll see a few more Top Lists of 2008, so check that out as well.  Hope you like our Top 50 Albums as much as we do!

1. of Montreal- Skeletal Lamping
2. Morning Benders- Talking Through Tin Cans
3. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin-Pershing
4. Miniature Tigers- Tell it to the Volcano
5. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals- Cardinalogy
6. Sloan- Parallel Play
7. MGMT- Oracular Spectacular
8. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band- Self Titled
9. The Spinto Band- Moonwink
10. Okkervil River- The Stand Ins
11. Chairlift- Does You Inspire You?
12. We Are Scientists- Brain Thrust Mastery
13. Tokyo Police Club- Elephant Shell
14. Ra Ra Riot- The Rhumb Line
15. Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s- Animal and Not Animal
16.  Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks- Real Emotional Trash
17. The French Kicks- Swimming
18. The Stills- Oceans Will Rise
19. The Walkmen- You and Me
20. Vampire Weekend- Self Titled
21. Wyldlife- Self Titled
22. Jenny Lewis- Acid Tongue
23. Annuals- Such Fun
24. Ratatat- Lp3
25. The Headlights- Some Racing, Some Stopping
26.  Department of Eagles- In Ear Park
27. Dr. Dog- Fate
28. Born Ruffians- Red Yellow and Blue
29. Los Campesinos- Hold On Now, Youngster
30. The Little Ones- Morning Tide
31. Mason Proper- Olly Oxen Free
32. She & Him- Volume 1
33. Albert  Hammond Jr.- Como te Llama?
34. Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs
35. Joan of Arc- Boo Human
36. Deerhoof- Offend Maggie
37. Sam Roberts Band- Love at the End of the World
38. Fleet Foxes- Self Titled
39. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
40. Atlas Sound- Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
41. Kings of Leon- Only By the Night
42. M83- Saturdays= Youth
43. Helio Sequence- Keep Your Eyes Ahead
44. Man Man- Rabbit Habits
45. Flight of the Conchords- Self Titled
46. Cold War Kids- Loyalty to Loyalty
47. The Mae Shi- Hlllyh
48. Secret Machines- Selt Titled
49. Santogold- Self Titled
50. Tim Fite- Fair Ain’t Fair

BEST EP OF 2008:
Matt Pond PA- The Freeep

BEST REISSUE OF 2008-
Pavement- Brighten The Corners- Nicence Creedence Edition

BEST LIVE SHOW OF 2008:
Of Montreal at Roseland, NYC. Kevin Barnes on a live white horse? Try to beat that!

TOP 5 NEW BANDS OF 2008:
1. The Morning Benders
2. Miniature Tigers
3. Chairlift
4. MGMT
5. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

A Modern Mystery Holiday Party with The Miniature Tigers

Yes, its another edition of the Modern Mystery Holiday party with today’s guests, The Miniature Tigers! This band became one of our favorites this year. Not only are they the nicest and funniest guys you’ll ever meet, but their music is astonishing.  We haven’t heard indie pop as good as this in quite some time. The Miniature Tigers released their debut full length this year titled ‘Tell it to the Volcano’ which hasn’t left our record players yet. Charlie Brand and Daggrr shared their Top Albums with us amongst other things. There may be more Top Albums coming from other Mini Ts members, so stay tuned!

Charlie Brand’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
Beach House – Devotion
Alvin Band – Mantis Praying
Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Newman
Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
Elvis Costello – Armed Forces
The Kinks – Entire Catalogue
Portisthead – Third
Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle

The Best Thing that Happened to Me This Year

The best thing that happened to me this year was recording our album. That was a great deal of fun. That, and being able to come to new york was fantastic. San Francisco was amazing. Great year.

The strangest thing was probably that waitress.  (Check out our Miniature Tigers CMJ Interview)

My Favorite Holiday Memory

One year my brother and I got a go kart for christmas. We took one lap around the block and by the time we got back to the top of the street, our neighbor was there telling our parents how dangerous they were. They returned it to the store later that day. I’m not sure why that’s my favorite memory. Maybe it’s not?
Daggrr’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

1. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

2. Beach House – Devotion

3. The Ruby Suns – Sea Lion

4. Atlas Sound – Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel

5. The Kooks – Konk

6. The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed

7. Late of the Pier – Fantasy Black Channel

8. David Byrne – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

9. Princess Ladyfriend – History Time Travel Gig

10. Santogold – Santogold

The Best Thing that Happened to Me  This Year

So many great things happened this year. I am very fortunate to have the life that I do. The most pivotal would have to be discovering Dzogchen, which is a form of Zen Buddhism. It has helped me so much with my day to day life and my constant pursuit to live without fear and see the world in the present moment.

The Strangest Thing that Happened to Me This Year

Being hired to play for Miniature Tigers. Those guys are weird.

My Favorite Holiday Memory

Miniature Tigers had a foosball match at The Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco right before a gig. Rick and I totally spanked Charlie and Lou in what can only be described as 8 rows of foos men, which are plastic, metal, wooden, or sometimes carbon-fibre figures mounted on horizontal metal bars. Each team of 1, 2, or 3 human players controls 4 rows of foos men. There is talk of a rematch but no dates have been confirmed.

A Modern Mystery Holiday Party with Kay Stanton of Casper and the Cookies

Christmas is approaching fast but our Holiday Party still has a few more days to go. Today’s guest at the Modern Mystery Holiday party is Kay Stanton from the incredible Casper and the Cookies!

Kay is one of my favorite women in rock and roll. Actually, she is my favorite.  From making music to art, there is nothing this girl can’t do. Kay kindly shared with us her Top 10 Albums of the Year as well as a beautiful Christmas memory.

I can’t wait to hear Casper and the Cookies’ Modern Silence that is due out next month!

Kay’s Top 10 albums (in no particular order)

1. Everthus the Deadbeats – John Kill and the Microscopic Lullaby
2. AQUASERGE – TAHITI COCO
3. Keith John Adams – Unclever
4. Atlas Sound – Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
5. Big Fresh – BFF (Big Fresh Forever)
6. Dead Confederate – Wrecking Ball
7. The Flaming Lips – Christmas on Mars
8. Okay – Huggable Dust
9. Lake – Oh the Places We’ll Go
10. Deerhoof – Offend Maggie

Best Show:

Yo La Tengo @ The Melting Point, Athens, GA, 1/14/08

Best Thing that Happened to You This Year:

The best thing that happened to me this year was probably getting to do a small Japanese tour back in February with the Cookies. It was a pretty amazing trip, despite (or maybe because of) blizzards, small spaces, strange toilets, and crazy rides. We got to play shows in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto, squeezing in as much sightseeing and eating as possible.

Weirdest Thing that Happened to You This Year:

Weird stuff happens to me all the time, but I suppose the weirdest thing that’s happened to me recently was being bitten by my pet frog, Wayne (yes, he’s named after Wayne Coyne). I guess he mistook my fingers for lunch, latched on and wouldn’t let go. Wayne is an Argentina Horned frog (aka Pac Man frog) and he doesn’t have teeth, exactly, but he has a bony ridge that feels kind of like a series of razor blades. So, I would have been feeling like a fool with this large frog attached to my hand if I hadn’t been shocked by how much it freakin’ hurt. I got him to let go, and my hand was bleeding, and it felt like it was covered in extra sticky snot. Maybe I should do a remake of the Flaming Lips’ ‘Spiderbite Song,’ but call it the ‘Frogbite Song.’

Favorite Holiday Memory:

My favorite holiday memory is of hanging ornaments on my grandparents’ tree in Pennsylvania. I was probably only five or six, but I remember it being dusk outside, but I could still sort of see the snow glowing bluish (and that was a pretty amazing thing to a kid who was born in Georgia). The ornaments were these beautiful glass bells and baubles; some of them had the little starburst cut-outs that some ornaments have. It was warm, and I was with my sister, and the whole family. I’ve had lots of good ones, but that’s still gotta be my favorite.