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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Additions to Northside Festival Lineup

Exciting new additions have been made to the 2011 Northside Festival: Wavves and Guided By Voices!  These bands are joining the previously announced Beirut, Deervana (Deer Tick), Twin Sister and others!  Guided By Voices will headline the McCarren Park Stage on June 18th and Wavves is set to be the supporting act.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door and can be bought here: http://www.ticketfly.com/org/365

The Northside Festival is a four day celebration of the latest music, art, film and ideas placed in Brooklyn.  It will take place June 16-19, all within walkable distance in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.  Information on the festival can be found here:  www.northsidefestival.com

Pepper Rabbit Reap A Bountiful Video for “Harvest Moon”

Thanks to the likes of Beirut and Edward Sharpe’s traveling circus, french horns, tubas, harpsichords, pump organs and other self-consciously nontraditional instruments have rounded up a substantial little corner of the indie realm. Regardless of this sub-genre’s forefathers exhausting any remaining ingenuity Balkan/freak/avant folk could possibly offer, more and more musicians seem to be deeming themselves multi-instrumentalists these days.  Pepper Rabbit is a great example of a band putting out what you can call good music – as long as you choose to disregard anything that came out before it, or at least, not care. The point is, there’s nothing about Pepper Rabbit’s “Harvest Moon” that hasn’t been heard before, nor does it really succeed as a homage to the music that inspired it.  It simply exists; relevant by association.  Oh well.. watch the video (directed by Alex Disenhof and David Altobelli) at the link below:

http://stereogum.com/612712/pepper-rabbit-harvest-moon-video/mp3s/

If you found this post to reek of cynicism and want me to shove it up my own ass, you should know Pepper Rabbit’s debut LP, Beauregard is out now on Kanine Records and here are some tour dates with Ra Ra Riot for good measure:

Pepper Rabbit 2011 Tour Dates
1/22 – Harlows – Sacramento, CA*
1/23 – Gundlach Bundschu Winery – Sonoma, CA*
1/25 – WOW Hall – Eugene, OR*
1/26 – Hawthorne – Portland, OR*
1/27 –  Neumos – Seattle, WA*
3/23 – Low Brow – El Paso, TX**
3/24 – The Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ**
3/25 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA**
3/27 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA**
3/29 – Holocene – Portland, OR**
3/30 – Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA**
4/1 – Filling Station – Bozeman, MT**
4/2 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT**
4/3 – Hi Dive – Denver, CO**
* w/ Ra Ra Riot
**w/ Miniature Tigers