Tag Archives: music

Six Great Albums of 2011

Another year, another format for my best music of the year. This year, I’m dividing into three parts: my favourite six albums, my favourite tracks and my favourite old music.

So, to kick off here are the six albums from 2011 that I really enjoyed in 2011. There are lots of surprising omissions from this list, as a lot of artists that I really like and even saw live such as St Vincent, Amon Tobin and Devotchka had new albums this year. But, much as I enjoyed a few tracks from each of their albums I didn’t actually get into them as albums. It really was in many ways a year of rather disappointing albums. However, these six are really damn good. None of them are début albums, though some marked new directions whilst others put a level of polish on that made for supremely easy repeat listens. There is an order to this list and I’ll go in reverse order.

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Much of 2010 was spent marvelling at the musical genius contained within this YouTube clip showing the Adrian Rollini Trio.

ADRIAN ROLLINI TRIO – Girl With Light Blue Hair

I first hit upon this because it was a Raymond Scott cover, but as a piece of three handed jazz it’s pretty amazing to my ears. For one thing Rollini looks outstandingly nonchalant whilst banging out what is actually a really complex tune on some pretty unwieldy instruments. For another it’s aged bloody well.

Adrian Rollini Trio-Limehouse Blues

It would be great to one day track down a copy of Adrian Rollini’s 1948 Mercury EP and get a copy of this that wasn’t a poor left channel only recording.

Adrian Rollini Trio – Jazz Me Blues

And you’ve just got to love it when the tubular bells kick in here.

So, my big big target for the rest of my life is to track down a copy of this CD. It’s out of print, and I can’t find a copy anywhere. Any help appreciated.

The Older Living Songs of 2010

As promised in my other post about music of 2010, here’s a blog about the stuff from before 2010 that I rather liked in 2010. We’re going in reverse chronological order from a craggy bearded coarse Scotsman to the Andrews Sisters. So er, it all links. Again, there’s a Spotify Playlist of all this nonsense.

The Bobby McGee’s – L.O.V.E. [youtube] [spotify]

I missed mentioning The Bobby McGee’s debut album on here, it’s a roughly right synthesis of their live act into an album but is a bit less forceful and fun in some ways. Still, a great listen.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home [youtube] [spotify]

I should hate this, it’s quite sickly, but I found myself not quite knowing what it was yet hearing it for about six months so when I finally tracked down what it was I was quite happy. It’s hardly the most profound thing but it’s the most forgivably hook laden thing I’ve heard in some time

The Raveonettes – Blush [youtube] [spotify]

And I haven’t become obsessed by The Raveonettes before because?………………… No. I don’t know either. It has to be admitted that they have A SOUND but it is a rather good, desperate and longing SOUND that I rather like.

To My Boy – Model [youtube] [spotify]

Would you believe I loved this before I saw the Bertha referencing video? (“Miss McClackerty, what are we going to do?!”). This is bloody solid great robust keyboard laden indietronica in the manner of A Scholar And A Physician, but before they got there.

Air France – Beach Party [youtube] [spotify]

There will never be a more glorious cover of Lisa Stansfield.

King Of Woolworths – Delia Derbyshire [we7] [spotify]

The legend and achievements of Delia Derbyshire in the Radiophonic Workshop are ever more striking when compared to modern electronic music, and whilst one could watch one of a thousand different youtube clips there is something about this tribute from the King of Woolworths (also to be found in other guises) that captures the beauty of her sound perfectly without being her sound.

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine – The Only Living Boy In New Cross [youtube] [spotify]

I’ve lived in London for over six years now, still never got to New Cross, not sure if this makes me any keener to get there.

The B-52’s – Rock Lobster [youtube] [spotify]

I loved the B-52’s when I was a kid, their music was fun and catchy but pretty challenging in other ways. So when I saw this on the Rock Band 3 playlist I was pretty happy. Not so sure my friends were and I can be damn pleased none of them have videoed and later shamed me with even on of my awful attempts at this fantastic song.

Sparks – Looks Looks Looks [youtube] [spotify]

You know you’re a fatally doomed muso when… you get into the likes of Sparks. But I have and they’re great, and this showtunes styled song pretty much captures all the wonder in barely 215 seconds.

Dorothy Collins – Crazy Rhythm [youtube] [spotify]

Dorothy Collins is one of those early pop music curios it’s worth going back for. Partly because her association (and marriage) to Raymond Scott yielded some rather singularly bizarre songs but also because she herself sang almost as a one women andrews sisters. I am also enormously keen on her Science Songs work such as the epic It’s A Magnet.

The Andrews Sisters – The Sabre Dance [youtube] [spotify]

I shall restrict myself to the comment I made on blip.fm: ilovethespellimunderwhenthedrumsbegintothunder