• Top 50 of 2012

    Dic 31 2012, 22:23

    It's funny looking back at my lists the last two years and how just how much I disagree with them now, I wonder if I will feel the same about this one.

    Top 50 Releases of 2012

    50. Sean McCann & Matthew Sullivan - Jackpot

    49. Half Moon Run - Dark Eyes

    48. Bee Mask - When We Were Eating Unripe Pears

    47. Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, Oren Ambarchi - Imikuzushi

    46. Troy Schafer - Evening Song Awaken

    45. The Luyas - Animator

    44. THEESatisfaction - awE naturalE


    42. Marie-Pierre Arthur - Aux alentours

    41. Offthesky & Man Watching The Stars - Afar, Farewell

    40. From The Mouth Of The Sun - Woven Tide

    39. Kishi Bashi - 151a

    38. Patrick Watson - Adventures in Your Own Backyard

    37. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

    36. Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm - Stare

    35. Burial - Kindred EP

    34. ballrogg - Cabin Music

    33. Shackleton - Music For The Quiet Hour / The Drawbar Organ EPs

    32. Seaworthy- Sleep Paths

    31. Swans - The Seer

    30. steve roden & machinefabriek- Lichtung

    29. of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks

    28. Willamette - always in postscript

    27. Kyle Bobby Dunn - In Miserum Stercus

    26. Misha Mishajashvili - 2012

    25. Death Grips - The Money Store

    24. Taylor Deupree- Faint

    23. Stars - The North

    22. Nils Frahm - Screws

    21. Helm- Impossible Symmetry

    20. Billy Woods - History Will Absolve Me

    19. Lavinia Meijer - Philip Glass performed by Lavinia Meijer - Metamorphosis - The Hours

    18. Aidan Knight- Small Reveal

    17. NHK'Koyxeи- Dance Classics Vol.I

    16. Om - Advaitic Songs

    15. Max Richter - Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

    14. Sophie Hutchings- Night Sky

    13. Marvin Ayres - Harmogram Suite

    12. Yukon Blonde - Tiger Talk

    11. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

    10. Brian Eno - Lux

    09. Cold Specks - I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

    08. Mirrorring - Foreign Body

    07. Olan Mill - Home

    06. Metric - Synthetica

    05. NHK'Koyxeи - Dance Classics Vol.II

    04. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

    03. Kyle Bobby Dunn - Bring Me the Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn

    02. Sean McCann & Matthew Sullivan - Vanity Fair

    01. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
  • Best of 2011 Lists

    Gen 1 2012, 20:30

    Now that the year is officially over I can't put off this list anymore, there are a lot I'm still unsure about and more records that I haven't listened to much yet but have potential to be favourites. Without further ado here is my list of releases of 2011 (calling it releases not albums so I can include EPs and live albums in one list).

    Top 50 Releases of 2011

    50. St.Vincent - Strange Mercy
    Good album but for some reason it never clicked with me fully, I'm sure it will in the future but this isn't a future favourites list.

    49. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
    One of the best pop albums of the year.

    48. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
    Discovered this album late from /mu/ and is very well done.

    47. Sam Roberts Band - Collider
    Upon release I was a little disappointed compared to some of Sam's other albums but it is a great album still and adds to his great track record.

    46. Real Estate - Days
    May not agree with all the hype, good and bad, about this album but it is very good.

    45. Craft Spells - Idle Labor
    Very good synth-pop album with a lot of 80s influences but with their own twist. Great live as well

    44. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
    One of the most adventurous albums this year and while I'm still not fully into it, it still deserves a spot on here

    43. Campfire Ok - Strange Like We Are
    I saw them open for Craft Spells and they were very close to stealing the show. Very fun indie "folk" record.

    42. Alcoholic Faith Mission - And The Running With Insanity EP
    Nothing inherently special about this EP but for some reason it seemed to click with me when it was released and thus why it is on here

    41. Yuck - Yuck
    This has been a very slow grower for me but over the year I've definitely come to appreciate it.

    40. Jets Overhead - Bystander EP
    Good release by Jets Overhead and raised by expectations for next years album.

    39. Dinosaur Bones - My Divider
    This album kind of came out of nowhere and I've really enjoyed listening to it over the year.

    38. Imaginary Cities - Temporary Resident
    Another surprise release very nice rocky-pop album with a lead singer obviously influenced by old soul singers.

    37. Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
    I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over for these albums but a good release by Los Campesinos! not much more than that.

    36. Teen Daze - Tour EP
    Among my favourites electronic albums of the year and recent artists. I was unrealistically anticipating a Beach Dreams 2 which is why this is so low and A Silent Plant is left off but very excited for what he does next.

    35. Mother Mother - Eureka
    A bit of a let down from O My Heart but a fantastic album in any case. Plus seeing them preform it live 3 times helps.

    34. Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
    Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and his wife take a more synthy approach to this new album and it works out well for them.

    33. We Are The City - High School
    Great local band and a very good EP with an interesting story behind it

    32. Austra- Feel It Break
    Another fantastic debut from this year and another band to keep an eye on

    31. Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On
    A fantastic release by Timber Timbre, improving on their last. Excited to see what comes next.

    30. Eisley- The Valley
    A fun, well done pop album. Not much else to say, nothing groundbreaking just enjoyable.

    29. Aidan Knight - Friendly Fires EP
    A bit unfair since it's so short but one of my favourite local musicians giving me hope for a new full length. Plus these songs are great anyways.

    28. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
    I've liked this album since it came out but for some reason that last part still hasn't clicked I don't think that would propel it closer to the top.

    27. Said the Whale - New Brighton EP
    Not my favourite release by them by far but still a great EP and gets me excited for the new album.

    26. Chad VanGaalen - Diaper Island
    A very good addition to Chad's already great discography, and it has one of my favourite songs of the year "Sara".

    25. Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
    This album totally grew on me over the latter part of the year and will probably continue to do so in the future

    24. Starfucker- Reptilians
    Their S/T album may still be a little above this one for me but it's pretty damn close. Great album and great live

    23. Mike Edel - The Last Of Our Mountains
    Just personal non-assuming songs by Mike, it has you wondering if you are supposed to feel happy or sad during the album.

    22. Sigur Rós - Inni
    Partly the excitement of seeing Sigur Rós back together again but mostly the fact that Inni is a wonderful album, not just a live album. Plus it's packaging is fantastic as well.

    21. M83- Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
    Really love this album and I think it totally deserves the attention it is getting, may not be their best but it is still up there in the M83 discography. Really like how well Zola Jesus' vocal work along side them on the Intro as well.

    20. Arkells - Michigan Left
    I've enjoyed all of Arkells releases and while many find this one rather plain in comparison I think it's a better cohesive record then anything else they have done. I also really enjoy the style change they underwent, adopting a little softer of a sound.

    19. The Albertans - New Age
    For the longest time I could only find a couple songs from this album and loved them, then finally I got my hands on the whole thing and it is a fantastic release. I'll be keeping my eyes on these guys for a while to come.

    18. Braids- Native Speaker
    One of, if not the, best debut of the year. A really simplistic description would be think AnCo with a female singer but they also bring their own style to the table. Plus the put on a killer live show.

    17. Ookpikk- Static Moon EP
    My favourite electronic album of the year. Ookpikk put out quite a number of releases this year but this one stands above the rest. Shameless plug: you can get the EP free from his soundcloud

    16. Portugal. The Man - In The Mountain, In The Cloud
    This album passed me by pretty quietly upon its release but rediscovered it later and it really stuck with me.

    15. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
    Many people seem to be disappointed with this album after Hometowns, and I'll admit I was at first as well. But it soon grew on me and while I still don't believe it is as strong it is still a fantastic album.

    14. Destroyer- Kapputt
    Another one that I didn't pay much attention to at its release. I've always preferred Dan in The New Pornographers over his solo work but this album finally helped all his albums click just that much more and I realized that he is an amazing artist on his own as well.

    13. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
    Liked this album when it was released but wasn't in love with it, still prefer Sam's previous efforts. But when I was going through my albums from this year for this list I realized just how much I had listened to it. Still may not be as stand out as his other albums but it has subconsciously been a go to for me this year and is a very well done album

    12. City and Colour - Little Hell
    Dallas takes a step away from the sound of his previous records of just him and his guitar and opts for a full backing band, and while at first I missed the intimacy of his other albums I grew to love his new sound as well. It creates a nice mix between solo and band work in his discography made all the more apparent to me when seeing him live.

    11. The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy
    I have to credit /mu/ for showing me this album. I discovered it late too but it is a fantastic indie folk release that I will be listening to for a long while. Just wish they didn't disband after it.

    10. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
    The Decemberists take a step away from the most adventurous aspects on The Hazards of Love instead settling on a familiar Americana sound. This release proves though that you don't need to be totally experimental to produce a great album that still sounds new and refreshing when pitted against past ones.

    09. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong
    I could pretty much copy and paste my description of The Decemberists one for this and just change a few words. May not be as adventurous or noisy as their S/T was but this is an album I've felt connected to the whole year and will for the foreseeable future.

    08. Dan Mangan - Oh Fortune
    Similar to City & Colour, Dan takes a rockier approach to the new album that fits the theme perfectly. It's not as intimate as Nice Nice, Very Nice which allows the rockier side of him to come out while sounding just right. I still like Nice Nice better but they are completely different types of albums

    07. Feist - Metals
    Feist won my heart again with Metals, while I liked The Reminder, it felt like an awkward shift for a singer with an anything but pop background. Metals goes back to the feeling I got on my favourite album of hers Let it Die and is apparent that she doesn't compromise what she wants to do because of the commercial success of her last album.

    06. The Lonely Forest - Arrows
    Out of Anacortes, Washington, these guys have hooked me with every release and Arrows expands upon that. They also put on a super energetic live show that can make a stadium feel like a small venue.

    05. J Mascis - Several Shades of Why
    This album seemed to totally go unnoticed this year, and it's a real shame. Dinosaur Jr. front-man J Mascis loses the loud rocky sound in exchange for just a guitar with which he displays wonderfully done and personal songs that allow you to feel as if you are getting a sneak peak inside of him. Then right when you get comfortable he whips out a huge riff as if he is still playing for Dino Jr. His live show reaffirms this feeling of intimacy and personalty.

    04. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
    When it was first release I was rather underwhelmed by this album, but as time went on I gave it another listened and discovered aspects I hadn't before and it really grew on me. Probably wouldn't say more than For Emma but enough to make the top 10 (even if it's position in the top 10 is somewhat random as I couldn't decide exactly where). That said I can also see why some wouldn't like his new offering but luckily for me I'm not one of those people

    03. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
    Nothing too special about this album, just basic fun electronic-pop music that has been a constant on my playlist all year. A very well done album in my opinion.

    02. The Coppertone - Hymns for the Hollow EP
    Well at only 4 songs,placing this at #2 may be a bit unfair but man this release has made The Coppertone one of my favourite bands, gritty blues rock and an amazing live show this album totally expands on their last and laps it in quality which gets me excited for their next full length!

    01. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
    OK yeah so I'm not being unique picking this album but maybe there is a reason for that? Out of everything I've heard this year this has stuck out since it's release showing that Fleet Foxes can compete with their first LP and EP in terms of quality.

    Top 10 Shows of 2011
    10. Pixies w/ Imaginary Cities @ Save On Foods Memorial Centre (May 5)
    09. Library Voices @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
    08. Jets Overhead w/ Maurice @ McPherson Playhouse (Feb. 9)
    07. Mother Mother w/ Rococode @ Alix Goolden (March 28)
    06. Starfucker @Bumbershoot (Sept. 3)
    05. City & Colour @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
    04. The Copertone @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
    03. The Lonely Forest @ Bumbershoot (Sept. 4)
    02. Broken Social Scene @ Rifflandia (Sept. 23)
    01. Hollerado @ Rifflandia (Sept. 24)
  • Essential Canadian Music 1.0

    Lug 12 2011, 18:43

    Album list:

    1- Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
    2- Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen
    3- Arcade Fire - Funeral
    4- Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Life Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!
    5- Neil Young - Harvest
    6- Joni Mitchell - Blue
    7- The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?

    1- The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
    2- Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
    3- Wintersleep - Welcome to the Night Sky
    4- Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F♯A♯∞
    5- Fucked Up - Hidden World
    6- Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People
    7- Mother Mother - O My Heart
    8- The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
    9- Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
    10- Lhasa - La llorona

    1- Feist - Let It Die
    2- Malajube - Trompe-l'œil
    3- The Tragically Hip - Fully Completely
    4- Shad - The Old Prince
    5- Sloan - Twice Removed
    6- Blue Rodeo - Five Days in July
    7- Rheostatics - Whale Music
    8- Sarah Harmer - You Were Here
    9- Barenaked Ladies - Gordon
    10- k.d. lang - Ingénue

    1- The Tragically Hip - Day for Night
    2- Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
    3- Eric's Trip - Love Tara
    4- Joel Plaskett Emergency - Down at the Khyber
    5- Do Make Say Think - & Yet & Yet
    6- Skinny Puppy - Too Dark Park
    7- Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing
    8- Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
    9- Sloan - One Chord to Another
    10- Cryptopsy - None So Vile

    1- Braids - Native Speaker
    2- Death From Above 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
    3- Propagandhi - How to Clean Everything
    4- Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds
    5- Patrick Watson - Close to Paradise
    6- Caribou - Swim
    7- Kid Koala - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    8- Devin Townsend - Addicted
    9- Japandroids - Post-Nothing
    10- Ron Sexsmith - Ron Sexsmith

    1- Shania Twain - Come on Over
    2- Karkwa - Les tremblements s'immobilisent
    3- Hayden - Everything I Long For
    4- Tegan and Sara - The Con
    5- k-os - Joyful Rebellion
    6- Constantines - Shine a Light
    7- Thrush Hermit - Clayton Park
    8- Jann Arden - Living Under June
    9- Tom Cochrane - Mad Mad World
    10- Rufus Wainwright - Rufus Wainwright

    1- Ron Hynes - Face to the Gale
    2- The Sadies - Favourite Colours
    3- Sam Roberts - We Were Born in a Flame
    4- Great Big Sea - Up
    5- The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns
    6- The Lowest of the Low - Shakespeare My Butt
    7- Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
    8- K.C. Accidental - Anthems for the Could've Bin Pills
    9- City and Colour - Sometimes
    10- Matthew Good Band - Beautiful Midnight

    1- The Dears - No Cities Left
    2- The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart
    3- Great Lake Swimmers - Great Lake Swimmers
    4- Michael Bublé - It's Time
    5- Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Knives Don't Have Your Back
    6- Holy Fuck - LP
    7- Teen Daze - Beach Dreams
    8- Bran Van 3000 - Glee
    9- Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet
    10- Gorguts - Obscura

    1- Buck 65 - Talkin' Honky Blues
    2- Owen Pallett - Heartland
    3- Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice
    4- Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on Through Your Blood)
    5- Spirit of the West - Save This House
    6- Change of Heart - Smile
    7- The Arrogant Worms - Live Bait
    8- Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
    9- Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
    10- Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

    1- The Band - Music from Big Pink
    2- Rush - Moving Pictures
    3- The Guess Who - American Woman
    4- Bryan Adams - Reckless
    5- Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
    6- Rush - 2112
    7- Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark
    8- Daniel Lanois - Acadie
    9- Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps
    10- Gordon Lightfoot - Gord's Gold

    1- Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
    2- Mary Margaret O'Hara - Miss America
    3- Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited
    4- Bachman–Turner Overdrive - Not Fragile
    5- The Band - The Band
    6- Oscar Peterson Trio - Night Train
    7- Harmonium - L'Heptade
    8- Teenage Head - Teenage Head
    9- Max Webster - High Class in Borrowed Shoes
    10- Glenn Gould - The Goldberg Variations

    1- Stan Rogers - Fogarty's Cove
    2- Bruce Cockburn - Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws
    3- Trooper - Hot Shots
    4- Robbie Robertson - Robbie Robertson
    5- Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session
    6- Voivod - Nothingface
    7- Gordon Lightfoot - Sit Down Young Stranger
    8- The Pursuit of Happiness - Love Junk
    9- Jean-Pierre Ferland - Jaune
    10- The Ugly Ducklings - Somewhere Outside

    1- April Wine - Electric Jewels
    2- Ian & Sylvia - Greatest Hits
    3- Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf
    4- Stompin' Tom Connors - Bud the Spud and Other Favourites
    5- Crowbar - Bad Manors
    6- King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar - Official Music
    7- Willie P. Bennett - Hobo's Taunt
    8- Ian Tyson - Cowboyography
    9- NoMeansNo - Wrong
    10- Gil Evans - Out of the Cool

    1- Annihilator - Alice in Hell
    2- Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Kate & Anna McGarrigle
    3- Buffy Sainte-Marie - It's My Way!
    4- Leroy Brown - Prayer of Peace
    5- Paul Bley - Open, to Love
    6- Wynton Kelly - Kelly Blue
    7- Sacrifice - Forward to Termination
    8- Maneige - Ni vent... Ni nouvelle
    9- 54-40 - Show Me
    10- Slow - Against the Glass
  • Top albums of 2010

    Gen 3 2011, 22:59

    A little after the year ended but here goes nothing!

    1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs; Arcade Fire has a way of each album sounding different while still sounding like Arcade Fire
    2. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record; Another great example that BSS has broken away from the instrumental nature of pre-BSS K.C. Accidental and album "You Forgot It In People"
    3. Stars- The Five Ghosts; This is an album that I think went super unappreciated this year and goes back towards the feel of "Set Yourself on Fire"
    4. The Black Keys - Brothers; A band I've heard of but didn't pay much attention to but they steadily worked their way up to one of my most played albums with this release
    5. Kopecky Family Band - The Disaster; Who? you may be saying and I would as well until September when I discovered this gem of a band (and album) which, if you can't tell, happens to be a family
    6. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More; Another band which really wasn't on my radar at the start of the year but seemed to explode after this release and I wasn't immune to it
    7. Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice; His spot may have something to do with his amazing concert none the less this folk artist I had never heard of before is on the list
    8. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz; First thought ;( ( this isn't Illinois, second listen o_O and third listen :o :) definitely an album that grew immensely on me
    9. Vampire Weekend - Contra; Least favourite part of these lists, the final two but this album sneaks in there
    10. The National - High Violet; Another band I knew of but until this album they weren't on any lists of mine

    Honourable mentions:
    Tokyo Police Club - Champ
    Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
    Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard
    Beach House - Teen Dream
    Local Natives - Gorilla Manor