If you’ve been in front of a computer with a working Internet connection today you’re probably aware that Bonnaroo has announced the line up for this year’s festival, and that everyone is getting a little breathy and excited about it. And why not — the lineup is absolutely out of this world, with huge names Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Beach Boys, Grammy winners Bon Iver, The Avett Brothers and The Shins headlining the festival. While we’re a bit perplexed as to why the legendary Beach Boys are billed fourth (we can understand Radiohead as a firm first, but surely The Beach Boys have more clout on a lineup than Red Hot Chili Peppers or Phish, especially as they’ve reunited to tour this year?), it’s hard to maintain any kind of indignation with such a fun lineup.
Pazz + Jop, The Village Voice‘s annual music poll that aggregates the opinions of thousands of music critics based on their votes for single and album of the year, has just been released, and it’s very similar to all the other ‘Best Of 2011′ lists we’ve read. That is to say, there aren’t really any surprises, maybe just a slight reshuffling of the order. In that vein, Adele appears on both lists, with 21 ranking at number 6 for albums, and “Rolling In The Deep,” and “Someone Like You,” featuring at number one and nine respectively on the singles list.
Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the lists is the order itself — while Adele sits snugly where she’s always sat, several pop stars have found their way into Pazz + Jop’s top ten singles, where other end of year lists had them pulling up the ranks much further down the line. For instance, Beyoncé‘s “Countdown” makes it to number two on the singles list, with Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” at number three and Britney Spears’ “Til The World Ends” at number seven. All in all, however, the top 10 singles featured the usual suspects, from Azealia Banks, Jay-Z and Kayne West, M83, Lana Del Rey, Tyler The Creator and Foster The People, there was nothing particularly shocking about the ballot-topping artists.
It was a similar story in the albums list, which, as already mentioned, saw Adele near the top, followed closely by Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver at number nine. Perhaps of a slightly “buzzier” lien than the singles, the albums list saw critically acclaimed tUnE-yArDs‘, w h o k i l l come in at number one, with PJ Harvey‘s fawned over artwork, Let England Shake at number two, and Wild Flag‘s unexpected success, Wild Flag, at number four. Jay-Z and Kayne West, Destroyer, Drake, Tom Waits and Shabazz Palaces also make the top ten albums but again, no surprises other than ranking — these are names we heard all through 2011 and that at the end of the year were plastered across the lists we saw online in both blogs and music industry and expert websites.
Last night Chris Cornell appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to perform his hit song “The Keeper.” The song has been nominated for a Golden Globe award for the movie Machine Gun Preacher, and it’s not hard to see why. With Cornell’s gravelly vocal and a romantic string section backing him, the song is both revealing and captivating. The dimly lit stage on Leno, with it’s clean beams of light, assortment of gothic candles and Chris’ face surrounded in a halo-esque glow only added to the whimsical appeal of the track.
The music loving folk at NPR, Q, Uncut, Stereogum and Paste have all weighed in on the top 50 albums of 2011, and they all have one thing in common — Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver.
It really is the year of the ‘indie’ artist, and following Arcade Fire‘s Grammy win earlier this year, the music industry has shifted its focus to Bon Iver (who is nominated for 4 Grammys in the 2012 awards), a band that, while having been around for a while, has only just begun to enter mainstream consciousness. Perhaps it was Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon‘s collaboration with Kayne West on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy last year, or maybe it just so happens to be that the world is finally ready to grapple with non-pop centric sounds — whatever, 2011 (musically at least) was the year of Bon Iver.
Another year, another 50 albums you need to know, according to Paste Magazine. Yep, 2011 is coming to a close, and we’re about to be slammed with the “tops” and the “bests” of the year, not to mention the “musts” and the “watch this spaces” for 2012. Paste Magazine has kicked off the festivities with their top 50 favorite albums of 2011, and while 50 seems like a big number, it’s certainly not enough.
Of the lesser knowns, how could Youth Lagoon, The Weeknd and Atlas Sound fail to make the cut? It’s been a big year indeed, and it looks like culling a list down to even a generous 50 is a ruthless task. Hats off to Paste Magazine for taking a decisive plunge into rating 2011′s vast and amazing releases.
Sadly, we weren’t able to make it out to Chicago for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, but we were closely following along at home?a task made somewhat easier this year with (now-dead) livestreams of some bands’ sets?and we wanted to share the fruits of that labor with you. So here’s what you (and we) missed:
By our count, there were three saxophonists onstage at the festival for this Summer of Sax: one as part of Destroyer‘s smooth-rock band, and two playing with Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. Those looking for a smooth sax solo could find it at Destroyer’s set, but the harmonic and punctuating use of saxophones was a highlight of Thursday’s Tune-Yards performance at Pier 54 in New York City, and judging from this clip of “Do You Want To Live?” Friday’s Pitchfork set was no different. Read more…