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”

PICTURES: Sloan @ the Bowery Ballroom, June 29th, 2011


Our favorite indie rockers, Sloan, did double duty in New York a few week ago and we were there to catch all of the action at their Bowery Ballroom show. Check out the photos below and stay tuned for an exclusive Modern Mystery interview with Jay Ferguson!

Check out MORE PHOTOS HERE and HERE!

This Week in NYC Shows!

MONDAY

The Kooks, Smoke Signal @ The Bowery Ballroom

Jump Into The Gospel, Your 33 Black Angels, Hospitality (FREE SHOW) 
@ The Rock Shop

Golden Animals, Sky Picnic, Twin Killers @ Cameo Gallery

 

TUESDAY

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players @ Bowery Electric

The Present, People Get Ready, Man Forever (Guitar Quintet) @ Union Pool

 

WEDNESDAY

Sloan, Hotkid @ Bowery Ballroom

Seefeel @ Brooklyn Bowl CANCELED

Greg Laswell, Elizabeth Ziman (of Elizabeth and The Catapult) @ City Winery

Hussle Club, Jump Into The Gospel, Fort Lean, The Stationary Set  (FREE)
@ Pianos

Matt & Kim, The Thermals, Autobot (from Flosstradomus) @ Terminal 5

 

THURSDAY

Sloan, Hotkid @ Knitting Factory

Sean Bones, New Moods, Keelay, Popular Music @ Cameo Gallery

ArpLine, Bad Girlfriend, Hard Nips, Huntronik @ Coco66

No Age, HEALTH, Cults, Ceremony @ House of Vans
RSVP HERE

I’m Turning Into, Clouder, Quiet Loudly, EULA, Little Racer @ Silent Barn

Josiah Wolf, First Nature, Prussia, ohnomoon @ The Rock Shop

 

FRIDAY

Ceremony, Veins, Give, Wet Witch @ Death by Audio

Memory Tapes, New Moods @ Mercury Lounge

Dinowalrus, Total Slacker, Soft Black, Life Size Maps
@ Monster Island Basement

Lower Dens, Dirty Beaches @ South Street Seaport

The Thermals, Big Troubles, EULA @ The Bell House

Learn Why Everyone Loves Sloan

Sloan’s 10th album in 20 years The Double Cross came out on May 10th via Yep Roc Records but you still need some convincing before you get it? Well, everyday for 10 days, Sloan is releasing videos where their friends and admirers talk about all they love about Sloan: their favorite Sloan song, album, lyric and anything else they associate with the band.

Appearing in these videos are famous Canadians from all backgrounds, from Damian Abraham of Fucked Up to Stephan Brogen of Degrassi (no kidding). The first video, which you can view at the end of this post, shows Jason Schwartzman, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, Dave Foley, the actor from The Kids in the Hall and Newsradio, and Sebastian Grainger of Death from Above 1979 remembering the first time they heard the band’s music.

Watch “When I first heard Sloan” below, and check back that same page to see the rest of the videos!

Sloan Plans New Album


Starting to wonder when you’ll hear new music from Sloan? Well, the answer is now. Last week, the band announced their tenth studio album will see release on May 10th. Entitled The Double Cross (as in “XX” ..as in their 20th anniversary), the album is already being proclaimed Sloan’s best yet.

The band also released the album’s lead single, “Follow the Leader,” for free download. If you want the song, just head to the band’s website, insert your e-mail into the “Get a FREE Song” space and they’ll send you a download link.

Miniature Tigers w/ The Grates, The Stationary Set @ Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY – 4/21/2010

With the spring breeze in the air on an early night in Willimsburg, Brooklyn last Wednesday, fans packed the Knitting Factory to see the Miniature Tigers play their first show EVER in the BK area. Four of the nicest guys took time out to greet friends and fans that they passed throughout the night.

Hitting the stage first was The Stationary Set. The room was already starting to get packed for this indie buzz band. Trading instruments like something you would see at a Sloan show, and seperate precussion that you would experience while seeing Pavement, were both driven throughout. Lead singer (most of the time at least), Andrew Lutes, has one of the most poppiest voices I’ve heard in a long time. Though these boys may be on a small label they certainly have a big label sound and potential. I can only imagine we will be hearing more about The Stationary Set in the coming months.

The next to take the stage was Australia’s own, The Grates. The quintet led by charasmatic and energenic front woman, Patience Hodgson, literally blew the crowd away (even down to her golden chucks). What we were in for, and I’m sure no one was aware, was a 45 minute set of pump-your-fist-dance-your-ass-off music. If you didn’t look like you were having fun Hodgson got in your face and made sure that you did. And who could resist? The Grates play amazing indie pop tunes with a dab of Gwen Stefani style. Heading into the crowd several times, she really won the whole crowd over, leaving a once skeptical audience wanting more.

Around 10pm, the Miniature Tigers took the stage with big grins on their faces. Rick Schaier’s signature moustache is noticably gone, and I couldn’t help but think of the fresh faced CMJ newcomers I had originally met in 2008 and interviewed in a diner. It’s amazing how far they’ve come since their first New York City trip.

Most of the night was filled with upcoming material from their second record, Fortress (ModernArt) that is due to be released this summer. Produced by musician/friend/tourmate Chris Chu of The Morning Benders, you can really feel how the group has crafted their songs further from the early versions they have been playing recently on their last couple of tours.

New tracks like “There’s a Japanese Woman in My Closet,” and “Bullfighter Jackets,” were amazing to hear live on stage and really started to give the audience a glimpse of what the new album is going to sound like. Singer Charlie Brand’s voice is more brilliant in tone than ever. For a few songs, the band switched it up a bit as Schaier
took to the keyboard and synths and guitarist Algernon Quashie went behind the drums. Though I am not sure of the title, Rick took the lead vocals on one track that was very un-Mini T’s like but it was incredible nonetheless how it switched things up.

Brand also came out from behind the guitar and went mic-stand solo for a track as well. The band has become quite popular with fans and fellow musicians alike as there was some giggling high school girls in the corner, and you could see Tim Or of The Morning Benders and Christian Rudder of Bishop Allen watching the show from the center of the crowded room.

Everytime I see the Miniature Tigers they get better and better. I’m not sure how it’s possibly but they manage to pull it off flawlessly every single time. Watch out for Fortress this summer, and the band will most certainly be on tour thereafter. Be sure to check them out when they pass by your fortress!

FOR MORE SHOW PICS CLICK HERE