Here’s the thing, kiddos. I had lots of plans for an ambitious 2011 Year End List. I thought that I would even try and write separate posts for each of the albums, presenting little blurbs about why they had become the soundtrack to these past 12 months. Then I realized two things.
I’ve actually already spent a good deal of time writing about why these albums are important to me. To do so again felt repetitious for you, not to mention kind of monotonous for me.
Also, I don’t want to. I’ll say it one more time. I DON’T WANT TO. I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. And here’s why!
I started a lot of drafts and I would save them for a bit, only to end up deleting them a week or two later. I couldn’t seem to write anything without sounding incredibly defensive; I was trying too hard to anticipate attacks about my taste and not enough time realizing that I had truly ENJOYED all of this music.
When I used to work for MTV, music was my job. But it’s not anymore. And so I don’t want to work on any posts for my Tumblr that I have not enjoyed in some shape or form.
A lot of times when I write about music, it does not feel particularly enjoyable. I have wrestled with questions, the tracks have gotten under my skin, I’ve been puzzled and anxious, I can’t figure out what is holding my attention, but that elusive “something” has grabbed it and won’t let go. When I’m done writing these posts, I feel a huge sense of relief. I’ve come to some sort of conclusion. I’ve challenged myself. And thus, there is a note-worthy element to these posts for me.
Writing a year end list… is not one of those times.
A year end list always seems to be more about proof than anything else. Did you listen to everything?! Have you missed nothing?! Well. I didn’t listen to everything. I listened to some stuff. What I would certainly quantify as a lot of stuff, but I probably dismissed a lot of things as well. Maybe I didn’t have time, maybe I didn’t think that I would like it, maybe I even thought the cover art was stupid and in a blur of rash judgement decided to ignore it. I’ve always been of the mind that the listener can too be at fault.
Then there is this. All of my entries are almost sure to be on everyone else’s list. My listening habits do not trend towards finding what’s new or overlooked or potentially “ground-breaking.” When I listen, I like that a lot of other people are listening along with me. I like the conversation that evolves, the discussion that centers around why we all feel a compelling need to keep playing these songs.
So here’s the final deal. Below is the music that stood out in my mind when I thought about 2011, in absolutely no particular order. (Other than the notation I made in my iPhone so that I didn’t forget to include it. Most likely while walking down the street.) If I have written about it previously, I included the link if you’d like to take a peek and see further details.
I would also very much welcome questions about WHY I liked any of the selections. Like I said previously, I love the discussion. But chatter for year end chatter’s sake isn’t really the deal here. If you come to The $30 Project mostly for the style posts and not for the music and something catches your eye… then my job has been done! Hurray!
Apologies for the long intro and without any (further) ado… Lindsay’s 2011!!!
tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l (some previous thoughts)
Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
James Blake - James Blakes (some previous thoughts)
Jay-Z and Kanye - Watch the Throne
Bon Iver - Bon Iver (some previous thoughts and one concert that I did not enjoy!)
Washed Out - Within and Without
Panda Bear - Tomboy (some previous thoughts)
Yacht - Shangri-La
The Weeknd - House of Balloons (some previous thoughts)
BOTH remixes of Ke$ha’s “Sleazy”
Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place (some previous thoughts)
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy (some previous thoughts)
Atlas Sound - Parallax
Beyonce - 4 (a few preliminary thoughts and some past thoughts about her songs and the topic of power)
All of Adele’s singles off 21
The Antlers’ “I Don’t Want Love” off Burst Apart, the album as a whole is BLAH but this track is great
And some artists that I definitely need to spend more time with soon: Oneohtrix Point Never, Eleanor Friedberger, Purity Ring, Cass McCombs, Dirty Beaches