January 7, 2012

2011 Music | Near Misses


Coming up with a list of the best music for any given year is tough for a music fan. Especially today when so much music is so readily available. I always end up with some regrets ("Oh yeah, I forgot about that one!"). There were three releases that I wrestled with whether or not to leave out.??

1. Coliseum, Parasites
2. Lucas Santtana, Sem Nostalgia
3. Alabama Shakes, s/t (listen link)

In the end, I didn't feel I'd spent enough time with these. But they have to be noted. They're really good releases.

First up: Coliseum. I've known of Coliseum for some time but were always drawn a bit more to their label mates, Young Widows (who also had a decent release this year). But this EP is incredible; taking hardcore punk tradition seriously while adding their own dose of creativity. Parasites was recorded with the J. Robbins (of Jawbox and Burning Airlines) at the legendary Inner Ear Studios. If you enjoyed Trash Talk or F****d Up, consider checking out Coliseum at their best with Parasites.

In a completely different musical direction: Lucas Santtana. Santtana is an innovative Latin American guitarist and acoustic guitar player. If??Jos?? Gonz??lez played on the beaches of Brazil and mixed some electronic noises and beats, you might have something close to Santtana. "Cira, regina e nana" is one of my favorite songs of the year.

Alabama Shakes surprised me this year. I avoided checking them out for quite awhile simply because Ann Powers of NPR's All Songs Considered recommended them and Powers kind of drives me crazy. But I happened on a YouTube clip of Alabama Shakes playing live at the end of December and was thoroughly impressed. This band has a ton of potential and I look forward to hearing more from this southern blues rock outfit.

Okay, that's it for 2011. I promise. I did add these albums to my 2011 year-end playlist on Spotify.??Hit "shuffle," listen to something you haven't heard of before and make sure to come back here and tell me your thoughts.

Next up--in the music category at least--I'll clue you in on some artists I am looking forward to hear from this year.

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