Albums: ‘Don’t take my life away’

Jenny Hval and Braids are faith-placements, here because my ears still find more to peel back in them each time I listen: here because I might become crazy about them. tUnE-yArDs is sheer fucking joy. The Caretaker and Tim Hecker are poles of ambient: shared-historic and private-modern, ballroomy and grimy, reverie and 5 am wakefulness. The wife and I love the Weeknd. I’m basically a happy person. But if Dust to Digital’s Opika Pende had been the only new music I’d heard this year, I’d still be a happy person.

Opika Pende: Africa at 78 RPM

Braids, Native Speaker

The Caretaker, An Empty Bliss beyond This World

Tim Hecker, Ravedeath, 1972

Jenny Hval, Viscera

St. Vincent, Strange Mercy

tUnE-yArDs, W H O K I L L

The Weeknd, House of Balloons

Songs: ‘love ’em but can’t trust ’em’

Men with echoey guitars and bad voices singing great melodies with a kind of ardent seriousness (Withered Hand, the Bats, the War on Drugs, Comet Gain). Longass dance songs (Junior Boys, Gang Gang Dance). Two Nas appearances, the hell with the haters who say he’s out of steam, just listen. Is Jamie XX cool now? I wonder what Danny Brown is like as a person. The E-40 song makes me wish I could drive. Didn’t have a dirty-guitar record I loved all the way through but the songs by Forgetters, True Widow (‘stonegaze’?), No Joy, Craig Wedren, Mogwai (the riff that eats itself) and Defiance OH are good loud. Or (clean, Franco-y) Fool’s Good for a guitar hook for an imaginary barbecue. Speaking of guitars, Delicate Steve. Thanks for reading!

The Bats, “Fingers of Dawn

Beyonce, “Countdown

Blue Scholars, “Lumiere

Danny Brown, “Pac Blood

Bill Callahan, “Baby’s Breath

Comet Gain, “Clang of the Concrete Swans,” “Ballad for Frankie Machine

The Creole Choir of Cuba, “La Mal de Travay

Defiance, Ohio, “Hairpool

Delicate Steve, “Butterfly

DJ Quik, “Nobody (feat. Suga Free)”

E-40, “That Candy Paint (feat. Bun B and Slim Thug)”

Elbow, “Lippy Kids

Fool’s Gold, “The Dive

Forgetters, “The Night Accelerates

Foster the People, “Helena Beat

Eleanor Friedberger, “Roosevelt Island

Gang Gang Dance, “Glass Jar

Junior Boys, “Banana Ripple

Mamani Keita, “Gagner l’Argent Français

A Lull, “Weapons for War

Lykke Li, “I Follow Rivers

Laura Marling, “Sophia

Mogwai, “Rano Pano

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, “Huzzah! (remix feat. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown & El-P)”

Nas, “Nasty

No Joy, “Heedless

Raekwon, “Rich & Black (feat. Nas)”

Royal Bangs, “Fireball

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX, “I’ll Take Care of You

Shabazz Palaces, “Swerve

The Smith Westerns, “All Die Young

St. Vincent, “Cruel

Thunder & Lightning, “Hourglass Figure”

True Widow, “Skull Eyes

tUnE-yArDs, “Bizness” and “Riotriot

The War on Drugs, “Comin’ Through

Craig Wedren, “Cupid

The Weeknd, “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls,” “Wicked Games

Withered Hand, “Religious Songs

The Young Evils, “Get Over It


Filed under music

2 responses to “2011

  1. Thanks, Jay! I’m already greedily consuming things from this list. I like your distinction between shared and private music, I hadn’t thought of it that way before.

  2. Elizabeth Hartsig

    Thank you for combing and mulling, Jay-t.

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