J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

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Friday, December 16, 2011

J's Indie/Rock Mayhem - 14th December 2011
The Top Singles of 2011


[Welcome to one of my favorite episodes of the year, the annual Best Singles of the Year show. It makes sense that this would, in some ways, trump next week's Top 25 Albums show if only because this episode is wall-to-wall great songs. I'll be trying to represent great whole album works next week with single songs, but this week, the single's the thing.

Due to temporary scheduling at the station, we were off the air when I came up, so this week's episode has a bonus 20 or so minutes of songs from going on the air early. We also did our last Indie/Rock Roundtable of the year, but unfortunately YES Weekly's Ryan Snyder couldn't join us last minute. Thankfully we already had Mad Dog of the Friday Night Rock Party on WQFS coming up to do it with us, so he did an able job filling Ryan's shoes. Mad Dog's best-of show will air Friday, December 30th from 6 PM - 10 PM on WQFS, so make sure you catch it.

Now, while the die is cast, onward.]

J's Indie/Rock Podcast: 14th December 2011 show

Theme Song - Peaches - "Rock Show"
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Twilight Singers - "On the Corner" [from dynamite steps. i was less thrilled with this record on the whole than its two immediate predecessors, but this song is undeniably dulli. "spread your legs / insert your alibi." yeah, that's dulli alright.]
the Veils - "Don't Let the Same Bee Sting You Twice" [from the troubles of the brain EP. a great bit of t. rex-ian stomp.]
Black Pistol Fire - "Silent Blue" [from their self-titled record. a great little rip-roaring rocker and yes, the record is solid as well. great song.]
EMA - "Milkman" [from past life martyred saints. love the big, throbbing pulse of this song and the record is pretty solid, too.]
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Futurebirds - "Wild Heart" [from via flamina. one of two really excellent covers on this EP, but probably the more interesting of the two. but that cover of "wicked game" is pretty righteous. tough pick.]
Birds of Avalon - "Xarardheere" [from their self-titled album. seriously a great rock record and there was a dearth of those this year.]
My Morning Jacket - "Holdin on to Black Metal" [from circuital. infectious in a way i didn't really expect from this band.]
the Henry Clay People - "California Wildire" [from the this is a desert EP. heard they'll have a new full-length next year, so here's hoping it kills.]

[Here's where Mad Dog and I discussed the new Black Keys album El Camino and talked about some of the trends of 2011 and what our best music of the year (might) be. I guess we're both playing our cards close to our chest before our respective year-end shows. We both gave the thumbs up to the new Black Keys though, so take a listen. Enjoy.]

the Black Keys - "Gold on the Ceiling" [from el camino. pretty great little song.]
the Black Keys - "Sister" [also from el camino. really dig this song.]
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the Decemberists - "Down by the Water" [from the king is dead. we'll hear more from this next week, but this was a great song from a great record.]
tUnE-yArDs - "Bizness" [from WHOKILL. another record we'll probably see more from next week. a really unique and awesome record.]
Class Actress - "Weekend" [from rapproacher. heard about this totally by accident, but really dug this song this year.]
DOM - "Damn" [from the family of love EP. great, great pop song. so close to being in my top ten.]
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Beady Eye - "The Roller" [from different gear, still speeding. i wasn't huge on this record (insert requisite joke about how best parts of this + best parts of noel gallagher's record = awesome oasis record HERE) but it does have some winners and this is certainly one of them. beady eye music, mate!]
Fucked Up - "Ship of Fools" [from david comes to life. this was a tough choice as there are several great songs on this record, but here you go.]
Doomtree - "Bangarang" [from no kings. the chorus of this one gets me singing along every time. love it.]
Dirty Gold - "California Sunrise" [from the roar EP. pretty sunny california teenage pop rock and roll.]

[Now it's time for the top ten singles of 2011! Here we go!]

10. Male Bonding - "Tame the Sun" : I like this band, but had some cold feet heading into this album for some reason. This opening track eliminated that from moment one and it's remained one of my favorite songs of this year. Just too, too good. From Endless Now.

9. The Rosebuds - "Woods" : I'll be honest in that this is not my favorite Rosebuds album by a good bit. But the parts where this album works are among the best moments in the band's career. "Woods" is the exact type of song I would send to someone if they asked what this band sounds like. Bracing, lifting and melancholic at the same time. From Loud Planes Fly Low.

8. The War on Drugs - "Baby Missiles" : Springsteenian isn't a proper adjective, I suppose, but this song seems born to make it so. Propulsive and keyboards that sound like something from the Born in the U.S.A. days make this a stellar track. From Slave Ambient.

7. The Smith Westerns - "Weekend" : Two songs named "Weekend" on a best-of show signals something about the year. The better of the two, by Smith Westerns, is a really tremendous slice of rock and roll, just like most of their debut full length. From Dye It Blonde.

6. Sloan - "Unkind" : Sloan has been on an unabashed roll in the last 5 years (really for their entire career) and to try to pick just one song from each of their records as a great single is a ridiculously difficult task. That said, "Unkind" is a massively killer song and is everything great about a Sloan song - hooks for days, sing-along ready and infectious to no end. From The Double Cross.

5. Yuck - "Get Away" : Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and everything else great about 90s rock and roll piled into this British outfit and this song may just be the epitome of it all. I know I'm a sucker for great hooks, but this chorus is just about the most amazing thing in my ears all year. Sorry about accidentally cutting it off. Yikes. From Yuck.

4. Hooray for Earth - "No Love" : Another record that snuck up on me thanks to a great review at Aquarium Drunkard, Hooray for Earth sounds at times like some of the guiltiest guilty pleasure music, but it's so expertly crafted that it is far beyond mere aesthetic infection. From True Loves.

3. Kathleen Edwards - "Change the Sheets" : A strange situation - this song was released earlier this fall, but the album it's off of doesn't hit the streets until next year. I toyed with not including it, but it really is one of the best songs I've heard all year and it just makes me incredibly anxious for her latest. Fleetwood Mac influence never sounded so good. From Voyageur.

2. Fountains of Wayne - "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart" : The opening verse to this song is stupid. I'll admit it. But the chorus is the most redemptive thing and no verse after this stumbles the way the opener does. If it weren't for that opening verse, this would probably be number one, but the rest of the song is undeniable Fountains of Wayne. This is pop craftsmanship. From Sky Full of Holes.

1. Apex Manor - "The Party Line" : It's the bridge that cements this song as the best of the year, but the rest of the song is as winning a thing as either Apex Manor or its predecessor, Broken West, ever put together. The album is just as winning, but this song is this year's best in my mind. From The Year of Magical Drinking.

That'll do it for this week. Next week is the big 10th Annual Top 25 Albums of the Year show. Make sure you don't miss it. Until then, take care.

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