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.


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”


The Mynabirds Play With/Open For Bright Eyes, Release New Video, Plot New Record

While Mynabirds front woman, Laura Burhenn, has been touring with Conor Oberst and Company, The Mynabirds have been touring relentlessly the last month, adding singer-songwriter/producer Richard Swift to fill out the lineup. Filmmaker Shervin Lainez captured some beautiful black and white footage of the band behind the scenes, setting it to the song “LA Rain.” For those begging to hear new music from Burhenn, the front woman states she is hard at work on new songs in the midst of the Bright Eyes tour. The band is set to enter the studio in September, with Richard Swift set to helm the production once again.

Nik Freitas Readies New Solo Album

LA musician Nik Freitas is putting the final layer of polish on his fifth solo album, which will be out sometime early this summer.

Released on Little Record Company, the album came together when Freitas took a break from touring in Broken Bells and The Mystic Valley Band (with Conor Oberst).

Freitas will be revealing parts of the new record while he tours in support of the Submarines. You can see them here:

4/7/11 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar

4/9/11 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s

4/11/11 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge

4/12/11 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern

4/13/11 – Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore

4/15/11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

4/16/11 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

4/18/11 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room

4/19/11 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club

4/20/11 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s

4/22/11 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern

4/23/11 – Montreal, PQ @ Casa del Popolo

4/25/11 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

* all dates with The Submarines


Bright Eyes Announce Additional Tour Dates

The excruciating wait is almost over until the release of Bright Eyes’ seventh studio album, The People’s Key (out February 15 via Saddle Creek), and now the celebrated Omaha band have added further dates to their already mammoth US tour. In addition, more supporting acts have also been confirmed: Titus Andronicus, Jenny and Johnny, Farmer Dave Scher, Conduits, and Dawes will all be joining the band on select dates.

Ahead of the official release, Bright Eyes fans have received a number of sneak peeks into the band’s new material. Last week, The People’s Key was premiered in full on NPR’s ‘First Listen’ HERE, as well as on YouTube in their first ever online listening party HERE. Additionally, Conor Oberst will be co-hosting Sirius XMU every afternoon this week at 5pm, with Rolling Stone critic and XMU host Jenny Eliscu – yet another chance for fans to hear tracks from The People’s Key prior to release, as well as old favorites from the Bright Eyes catalog and Conor’s own personal selections.

Conor and Co. kick off the new tour next month in Miami. Check out the slew of new tour dates below [all recently added dates are shown in bold].


3/2      Miami, FL                         Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theater *
3/3      Lake Buena Vista, FL   House of Blues *
3/4      Atlanta, GA                      The Tabernacle *
3/5      Asheville, NC                   Thomas Wolfe Auditorium *
3/6      Richmond, VA                The National *
3/8       New York, NY                Radio City Music Hall ^
3/9       New York, NY                Radio City Music Hall ^   SOLD OUT
3/10     Boston, MA                    House Of Blues #  SOLD OUT
3/11     Portland, ME                  State Theatre#
3/13     Toronto, ON                   Sound Academy#
3/14     Royal Oak, MI                Royal Oak Music Theatre # SOLD OUT
3/15     Chicago, IL                      Riviera Theatre  #  SOLD OUT

3/16    Champaign, IL                Foellinger Auditorium #

3/17     Nashville, TN                  Ryman Auditorium #

3/19    Austin, TX                         SXSW Ground Control Touring Showcase Auditorium Shores**

4/2      Kansas City, MO        Uptown Theatre ^^

4/3      Milwaukee, WI                The Riverside Theater @

4/3      Minneapolis, MN           First Avenue @
4/5      Minneapolis, MN           First Avenue @
4/8     Vancouver, BC                Commodore Ballro0m @
4/9     Portland, OR                    Crystal Ballroom @
4/10  Arcata, CA                     Arcata Community Center +

4/12    Oakland, CA                    Fox Theater +

4/13    Pomona, CA                    Fox Theater ## + SOLD OUT

4/16    Indio, CA                          Coachella Festival SOLD OUT

4/28   George, WA                   Sasquatch Music Festival

6/1      Boise, ID                          Knitting Factory Concert House ##

6/3      Denver, CO                   Filmore Theatre ##

6/4     Council Bluffs, IA    WestFair Amphitheater ##

6/6      St. Louis                         The Pageant %


* w/ Cursive

^ w/ Superchunk and WILD FLAG

# w/ Mynabirds

**w/ The Felice Brothers, Middle Brother, and Man Man

@ w/ Titus Andonicus

^^ w/ Conduits

+ w/ Farmer Dave Scher

## w/ Jenny and Johnny

% w/ Dawes

Bright Eyes Plays “Shell Games,” Listen Here!

With the release of their much anticipated album The People’s Key only one month away, Bright Eyes have decided to make the album’s lead single “Shell Games” available for free download HERE!

The band is also heading out on tour to support The People’s Key, which is available for pre-order HERE. The new disc drops on February 15th so be sure to put in your order. Check out the full list of dates below as well as the tracklisting.

Bright Eyes Tour Dates in Full:
3/2                  Fillmore Miami Beach @ The Jackie Gleason Miami, FL
3/3                  House of Blues                                                         Lake Buena Vista, FL
3/4                  Tabernacle                                                                Atlanta, GA
3/5                  Thomas Wolf Auditorium                                     Asheville, NC
3/6                  The National                                                            Richmond, VA
3/8                 Radio City Music Hall ***                                      New York, NY
3/9                  Radio City Music Hall *** (SOLD OUT!) New York, NY
3/10                House Of Blues                                                        Boston, MA
3/11                State Theatre                                                            Portland, ME
3/13                Sound Academy                                                       Toronto, ON
3/14                Royal Oak                                                                  Royal Oak, MI
3/15                Vic Theatre                                                               Chicago, IL
3/17                Ryman Auditorium                                                Nashville, TN
*** Superchunk and Wild Flag support both Radio City shows
Full track list for The People’s Key:
 1 Firewall                                           6 A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)
2 Shell Games                                    7 Triple Spiral             
3 Jejune Stars                                    8 Beginner’s Mind
4 Approximate Sunlight                    9 Ladder Song           
5 Haile Selassie                                 10 One For You, One For Me