2011 the Year in Music–according to my ipod

It's the end of the year and everyone's off doing lists of the best things of the year and yadda yadda yadda but as I am an old person barely in touch with what the kids are listening to these days I figured the only way to really reflect about "the year in music" was to look at all the playlists I made this year. I guess there are a few songs in there of records that actually came out this year, which honestly, is HUGE for me because I feel like for the past couple of years I've more or less been living with things pre-2006.

It should be noted of course that revealing one's ipod playlists is SO PERSONAL! I mean, this shit is like beyond exposing your diary and your hookups you know what I mean? So consider yourselves lucky (ha!) that I am letting you all into my inner sanctum.

You can read into the themes as much or as little as you want to...

NEXT LEVZ IN TWENTYELEVZ: It is essential to make a playlist for the beginning of the year. I guess it was late last year that I spent an entire evening downloading every.single. Madonna song I ever liked. We all know that Ray of Light is a great album, but do we really remember that it's such a great album? 'Cause it is. Anyways, at the beginning of the year playlists always veer towards the cheerful and hopeful because you are all excited about the prospect of a new year that hasn't been tainted by horrible decisions. This year I also rediscovered Cibo Matto and it pains me that it took me this long to get into them, but it was just one of those bands that although totally in my radar, just slipped my mind. Their cover of Nirvana's About A Girl is as different as possible from the original and it's still SO GOOD! It makes me instantly happy whenever I listen to it.

All other songs are more or less a hodge-podge of perennial classics that take turns making appearances in the multiple soundtracks of my life for the past 10 or 15 years or whatever. Except Fleetwood Mac, I guess, that was definitely a new addition to this year, but the reason why they even made it here in the first place is because last year I got really into CFCF and they had a SICK cover of Big Love that was the thing that made me breakdown and then download all my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. It's weird how some of the songs that I thought were sung by a girl were actually sung by Lindsey Buckingham or whatever, but that's another story probs–though not a very interesting one.

Ps. did you guys get into Liars' Sisterworld? It came out last year too but fuck, it is SO good. I love them so much and I forget that I love them but I've completely lost my shit over every one of their records (except maybe the self-titled one that came out before this one?). I wish I was making music like them, I've seen them play a few times, but the best was definitely back when They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top came out like forever ago, and they played a Making Time party in Philly and we all just danced and I think we went home straight after that cause I wasn't even old enough to drink and I wasn't into doing drugs and well, that's kinda the Making Time steez... or at least it was back then.

MARZONCE: I guess the weather is getting nice by now so I'm trying to get pumped up for my walks to and from the xoJane offices. House Jam was my, er, jam, in 2009 or whenever it is that that record came out but I discovered the re-mix this year and it made me fall in love with the song again if that's even possible. These are all tried and true classics that I love. Placebo is such a good band and I totally forget how much I loved them back in high school. I pretty much listened to Without You I'm Nothing EVERY DAY for YEARS, even during study hall at school. I was totally obsessed with Brian Molko's voice and that record is just so moody and weird you know? Essential teen listening. This is still a totally fun playlist so don't let Placebo fool you, Los Amantes is a GEM of a song about old school suave gentleman callers that never fails to cheer me up and I mean, there's some Gwen Stefani in there too so obvz this is a pre-party situation.

SUMMER 2011: Summer playlists are generally 100% non-stop party shenanigans. The weather is nice out, I'm going home drunk more than usual and when that happens all I wanna do is sing and dance my heart out on the train. I really went ALL OUT with this playlist too, like, usually they're about 6 songs long, which is just enough to get me to and from work, but I meant business. Everything here is awesome. Foo Fighters put out a record this year and I got SO into it which hadn't happened in like, 10 years probably because who the fuck cared after anything that came out There's Nothing Left To Lose? I listened to that record on solid repeat for a couple of months so it's no surprising that one of their songs made it to the playlist. Arlandria is def my favorite song off Wasting Light, but putting it between Madonna and Screaming Females is one of the best um, selections I did all year. That Screaming Females album, Castle Talk, is actually all sorts of aces, I haven't been able to catch them live yet but I'm dying to because the singer totally WAILS and SHREDS on the guitar. Her voice is really something else.

Now the Mariah Carey situation... that really came out of left field. I was never, ever into Mariah and I guess at some point this year that song got in my head and I watched the video on You Tube–which is 10 kinds of amazing and was filmed in Puerto Rico incidentally–and I got over my adolescent punk rock anti-Mariah bullshit and just grooved on this song because it is GREAT. And anytime Gang Gang Dance come out with a record I freak out and immediately fall in love with one track and of course that track was Mindkilla. BEST DANCE JAM OF THE YEAR for sure, and I say that even knowing how much I obsessed over Rihanna's Only Girl. But that song came out last year and as much as I'm still dying to dance to it at a club or wherever the hell people dance to these days, the BEST part of the summer was definitely being the int basement at Tammany Hall with SO many people I loved and then my friend John played Mindkilla and we all danced in a circle and sang along and it was just EPIC.

The Spice Girls make a second appearance and yet I'm totally not embarrassed by it.

SEPT 2011: My obsession with Dave Grohl keeps going on strong after 14 years and that fucking song by Wavvvvvvvves is SO good and not only because it's about Dave but it was really the perfect late summer jam. It's gross that there are TWO Foo Fighters songs on this playlist and even GROSSER that they are in the same order as in the record because that's a total mix no-no, but they sounded SO good back to back and originally I only wanted to put White Limo on it but I kept expecting Arlandria to come one every time the song ended so I just had to put it in.

I'm borderline ashamed of this, but not enough to hide it from you. We are all friends now. More Fiona Apple as per usual (because this year it became evident that I cannot live without her in my life) and more Gang Gang Dance because they rule. It's weird that The Strokes keep making cameos. They're just good filler I guess.

FALL FALL FALL 2011: I guess this is a late September-early October mix? It must've overlapped with the September playlist because I usually don't go repeating songs from one playlist directly into another (although maybe since I had already broken that rule with Arlandria, I was like eeeeh fuck it). This playlist has SUCH good mellow vibez, and as a matter of fact I think I maybe uploaded it into 8tracks and shared it with y'all because I was so proud of it. Remember when Sean Lennon came out with Into the Sun and it was really good and he wasn't weirdly douchy like he is now? Ok, granted, I don't know if he's actually douchy because I don't know the dude, but this is strictly appearance-wise. I'm sure the fact that he was chilling (dating?) one of the chicks from Cibo Matto is why he was totally rad. I am glad that after 5 years of not being able to listen to Electrelane's The Power Out (too many ex memories) I was able to RECLAIM it because this record is GOOD! I guess this was also the year I was all up on Placebo, really can't understand how come Brick Shithouse is on here AGAIN, but it flows nicely with the rest of the shit so whatever. I dunno, generally I think the first like 4 or 5 songs in a playlist are the best ones and the last ones are just me trying to make the playlist last an entire ride to work so it won't repeat.

NOV 2011: Last month I started feeling a little homesick because I haven't been home since July 2010 so this is a playlist of all my rad high school jams (veering a bit before and after that as well). Well, not that Shakira & Alejandro Sanz thing, but I already wrote about how much I love that song so I won't go into it again here. I will forever regret not seeing Los Enanitos Verdes and Cafe Tacuba when they played the amphitheater in PR in 7th grade but I was too young to go and well, that's my loss. Neither one of these songs are their most popular but they really captured my mood. Tropico de Cancer is one of my favorite songs off of Cafe Tacuba's epic Re. God, that is such a good record. It's so good that sometimes it bums me out that I can't share it with my non-Spanish speaking friends because although music is universal and whatnot, their lyrics and the way what they are singing about is tied together with the type of music they are playing is such an intrinsic part of the record and no matter how much I explain what's going on in the songs it's really not just the same.

Soda Stereo is one of those bands that all of Latin America LOVES and I'm super ashamed that it took me this long to download one of their records (although I think an ex-boyfriend made me a tape with one of their records once?), anyways, this was the first time that I really got into it and they are GOOD. This song is supposed to be one of their singles and I'm sure any Soda Stereo fan would be like "pshhh this other song from the record is SO much better!" but this one was the first one that caught me and so it stays.

DEC 2011: And so we wrap the year up with possibly my most favorite playlist, although I'm probably just saying that because it appeals to my current frame of mind–and because I've been listening to it on repeat for the past 24 hours. I wish I was exaggerating about that. You're not surprised that it starts out with Fiona Apple, but it's actually kind of a big deal because even though Extraordinary Machine came out 5 or so years ago, I was never really able to get into it until two weeks ago. It was too... show-tune-y? They all felt like they were numbers in a musical that I wasn't too keen on but something clicked in my brain and I started just listening to it every morning. Plus, like the ridiculous Fiona fangirl that I am, THESE LYRICS SPEAK TO ME!! She is feeling what I am feeling, she is what I wish my brain could tell me. Fuck, I love her.

It didn't take much for me to get into Wild Flag either, and after seeing them twice this year I think this is probably my favorite song on their record. I really need to get more into Helium because I do LOVE Mary Timony's voice. I was obsessed with a Helium song once, it was in the soundtrack to this movie All Over Me that totally changed my life back in high school. Ok, so 2012 resolution: listen to more Helium.

The Police, well, I don't know how they ended up there. Synchronicity is such a CRAZY record though. I remember my mom used to listen to it a lot when I was little and it always freaked me out because it's so sparse and the lyrics are about cats and dinosaurs and god knows what else Sting was smoking, but I guess at some point in the last couple months I thought of it and downloaded it and really dug it. Remember when Alanis covered King of Pain? My love for this song is totally unrelated to that, I promise.

I guess this is the part where I reveal my love for early Sheryl Crow. I am also not ashamed of this. She was totally bad-ass before she decided to soak up the sun and lighten up or whatever. Close out the year with some more Cibo Matto; this time Moonchild. This song got played a lot on the alt-rock radio station back in PR and I was always really stoked about that because, who the fuck knew who Cibo Matto was in that island? (The answer is no one). That Terry song by Anika that I wrote about a couple days ago tops it all off. I'm fairly pleased with myself.

So I guess going by the above evidence, I only listened to THREE records that came out this year:

Foo Fighters : Wasting Light
Gang Gang Dance : Eye Contact
PJ Harvey : Let England Shake (not in any playlist but it's the only other record from 2011 that I got)
Wild Flag : Wild Flag

This means I am old and out of touch and OHGOD SOMEONE HELP ME OUT OF THIS.
Just kidding, I love that I'm turning into some crotchety old cat lady, Lana del Whatis? Skrilawho?

Thank god at least Twitter lets me learn the names of new things happening even if I have no idea what they really are!

So now that 2012 is almost here, I can finally check out other shit that came out in 2011 (never be current! always be a year behind!)... where should I start?


Hazel said...

Love this post and SERIOUSLY, I am the same way and I'm 17. My music tastes are so old. My favorite bands of the year according to my ipod are probably X, Fleetwood Mac, and The Cramps.

"Ray of Light" makes me feel like I can do anything when I listen to it. It's such a power song.

Sasha said...

Haha great post! You should check out Bon Ivers new record since it's on top of everyone's lists.. (very well deserved I think)
also St Vincents album, Strange Mercy, is AWESOME. Some other great albums are Other Lives - Tamer Animals, The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient and Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness :)