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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Interview: Gabbing with the Black Lips

At first glance, Black Lips may come off as revolutionary pioneers who play only to shock and paralyze. The Georgia-based quartet who classify themselves as “flower-punk” gained immense global attention and criticism for their ludicrous,off-base shows that cross the avant garde line.With an unconventionally intricate garage sounds and iron-handed attitude, Black Lips are anything but orthodox. We talked to the guitarist Cole Alexander about the band’s current tour and an upcoming record.

GSL: Is there a style under which you would classify your music?

Cole Alexander: I would definitely classify it as rock and roll. I guess more specifically you can call a garage-punk music.

MM: : How do you feel when you hear your favorite bands music in a commercial or a movie that you hated?

The thing with movies is you can’t tell the outcome until it’s released. Judging from experience, someone will come along and say “Hey’ we’ve got this great movie”, and we say “Okay, cool”, but it sucks when it ends up being lame. It’s just hard to tell.

MM:  It has been heard that you’re currently recording your sixth studio record, how is it progressing?

Yeah, we’re working on it. It’s kind of in the beginning stages still.
We don’t really have a deadline, we’re planning to take our time and chill. We’re pretty wrapped up this year, so the album should come out in 2011.

MM:  When do you mostly write your material?

To be honest, whenever. Usually when I hear a good song, I’ll get an idea and I’ll record it on my phone, so I can go back and expand on it later.

MM: You and the Bradford Cox of Deerhunter have a project called Ghetto Cross. How would you say this project differs from the Black Lips?

It’s kind of a combination. A little more punk but with a taste of Deerhunter’s indie sounds. I would say it’s definitely more experimental. It’s a laboratory creation, we don’t want to put out anything until we’re satisfied, but we do have one song!

MM:  What are your favorite tunes to listen to while you tour?

Lately it’s been this guy Reverend Jackson from the 70’s, the guitars on the record are amazing.

MM: You are known to play at a lot of places where most bands usually wouldn’t, why is that?

We’re kind of punk-rock explorers, we like to explore land through the ways of art. We’re trying to mobilize punk music around the world. We were actually talking about Palestine and playing there. Before it was an idea and now we’re actually trying to gain a connection.

MM: It’s been heard that you’re interest in touring third world countries South America, India, what are your goals for this type of tour and how does it differ from the western tour?

I’m not a 100 percent sure, it’s almost like an image. (in my head) To take other cultures and to bring them to a place that’s common with music. I don’t want us to be another typical mainstream rock band.

MM: Do you think that people misconstrue the whole image of your band, after seeing all of the bizarre acts?

People probably think that we come off as bratty, just trying to shock the audience. If you listen to our music, it will give you a better understanding of our personalities.

I hope that they would expect a return of many forms. High-fi and low-fi, definitely meshing up the sounds to please both audiences. Just to have such a variety of people enjoy it, for me it’s just fun to bring.

By Viktorsha Uliyanova

Black Lips – “Drugs” by modernmysteryblog