First up are Dan Bodah's most and least favorites. Beneath the fold, you'll find picks from Jack Mello, John Allen and Fabio.
10. Being forced to admit to myself that, in all honesty, I kinda like Air Supply. Especially the song "Sweet Dreams."
9. My daughter's new favorite toy: a plastic fake guitar with buttons that trigger brief snippets of songs from "Yo Gabba Gabba." Redeeming quality: it has a power switch.
8. T Pain featuring Lily Allen & Wiz Khalifa, "5 O'Clock" -- the perfect pop hit feels sorta good going down even though you can tell it's gonna give you heartburn, a hangover, and a strong need for a long shower when it's over. Also, ears packed with pounds of cotton candy from hearing it spun every 20 minutes.
7. Demonstration chants beginning "Hey Hey, Ho Ho" -- they simply cannot end well. Aesthetically unforgiveable and murder to the cause being supported.
6. Lady Gaga's "Marry the Night," its velcro melody so clogged with lint it won't quite catch, lyrics falling just on the awkward side of good. If only the pomposity of the video actually worked. Whitney Houston? Redeeming quality: originally released via the Facebook game Farmville.
5. Dan Warren & Barack Obama -- Son of Strelka, Son of God: Epic myth of Stanley, son of the Creator, who recreates the post-Apocalypse world and finds his own destiny. Created from snippets of Obama's "Dreams From My Father" audiobook with musical settings by Dan Warren.
4. Oneida -- Absolute II: hearing aids attached to an idling semi; the act of forgetting turned into a sound; a rock & roll band playing dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, 14 clothes dryers filled with screws & tennis balls, and an AK-47 made of watermelon. Summer asphalt.
3. Hallock Hill -- There He Unforeseen: unpacking 100-year old handtools, bird's nests, alfalfa hay, heirloom jewelry, and a 300 page manual on joinery techniques from inside the soundhole of a single acoustic guitar.
2. Wooden Shjips -- West: a cashmere sweater woven from the moon; the short period of velvet as shaven hair grows back in; a 100-horsepower motorboat to the horizon with walls and floors covered in blue shag carpet.
1. Gillian Welch -- The Harrow & The Harvest: "Tennessee" wins Grammy for Song of the Year before voting begins; the Devil litters the highway shoulder with used diapers and Snapple bottles full of pee; Gil and Dave drive through old Polaroids of foreclosure towns across America, stopping in on strangers' weddings and funerals along the way.
Continue reading for more DJ favorites...
Jack Mello’s Favs of 2011
Art Department -- The Drawing Room (Crosstown Rebels)
Cut Hands -- Afro Noise 1 (Very Friendly)
James Ferraro -- Far Side Virtual (Hippos in Tanks)
Nicholas Jaar -- Space is Only Noise (Circus Company)
Sandro Perri -- Impossible Spaces (Constellation)
The Keysound Trio (LV & Joshua Idehen “Routes”, Sully “Carrier”, Damu “Unity”)
Wbeeza -- Void (Third Ear)
The Weeknd -- House of Balloons (self-released)
Bass Clef -- “I Think You Are Ready Now for the Eternal Point of No Return” (Magic+Dreams)
Charmz -- “Wavey” (self-released)
Coki -- “Boomba” (Tempa)
Darq E. Freaker -- “Cherryade” (Oil Gang)
Deadboy -- “Here” (Numbers)
New York Transit Authority “Off the Traxx”/Conqueror “Highest Order” split single (Lobster Boy)
Rollo Jean -- “St. Tropez” (http://rollojean.bandcamp.com/)
• Rediscovering early-90s UK breakbeat/hardcore/roots of jungle (“Sub Base For Your Face” and “Jungle Vibes” compilations, D’Cruze “Lonely”, 2 Bad Mice FACT mix (http://www.factmag.com/2011/05/23/ fact-mix-2-bad-mice/)
• Scratcha “Grimey Breakfast Show”: not the best DJ on Rinse, but the funniest. (http://rinse.fm/)
• Puma Benecio leather in black coffee/silver birch.
• Doing fill-in shows on the coolest radio station in forever, thanks again to the full-time DJs who gave me the call.
• Another wonderful year on the home front with my better half and crazy cats.
John Allen's Top 10 of 2011
1. Richard Youngs "Amplifying Host" alternating w/ Tor Lundval Boxset
2. Blues Control & Laraaji alternating w/ Julianna Barwick & Ikue Mori
3. Pulse Emitter "Ramped" alternating w/ Dolphins Into the Future "Ke Ala Ke Kua"
4. Meg Baird "Seasons On Earth" alternating w/ PJ Harvey "Let England Shake"
5. La Big Vic "Actually" alternating w/ CS Yeh "In the Blink Of An Eye" 7 inch
6. Cut Hands "S/T" alternating w/ Ami Dang "Hukam"
7. Telebossa "S/T" alternating w/ Helado Negro "Canta Lechuza"
8. Colin Stetson "New History Warfare Vol. 2" alternating w/ Joe Mcphee & Chris Corsano "Under a Double Moon"
9. Dan Melchior "Assemblage Blues" alternating w/ Slug Guts "Howlin' Gang"
10. Daniel Knox "Evryman For Himself" alternating w/ Zachary Cale "Noise of Welcome"
Fabio's best (more or less) of 2011
So much this year to ponder... I have clearly forgotten or left out some key items (performances, films, records, etc.), but here's a few things to think about anyway. In no particular order, some of the things that made me happy this year.
Throbbing Gristle LP re-issues (5 titles)
Jean-Claude Eloy - Gaku-No-Michi (3 cd set)
Phonophani - Kreken cd+10"
Scott Walker LP re-issues (1 thru 4)
Träd Gräs och Stenar - Träd Gräs och Stenar LP re-issue
Conrad Schnitzler - Con Zehner (Box set)
Ennio Morricone - Macchie Solari OST CD
Hawkwind - In Search of Space LP - re-issues, 4 titles
Dirty Beaches - Badlands LP
J. A. CAESAR - Kokkyou Junreika cd re-issue
Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga LP re-issue
Esplendor Geometrico - Kosmos Kino LP re-issue
Egisto Macchi - Sei Composizioni lp (1975)
Dub Taylor - Lumière lp re-issue
Bill Plummer & the Cosmic Brotherhood - S/T re-issue
Expo 70 - The Vanishing World Within - Cassette
Ghedalia Tazartes - Works - 1977-1979 4xLP +10" box
Taj Mahal Travellers re-issue LPs (on B-13, Live In Tokyo, 19th August 1974, Part 1 & 2, etc.)
Colin Stetson - New History of Warfare Vol. 2: Judges LP
Ongaku 70: Vintage Psychedelia in Japan (LP)
Christina Kubisch - Mono Fluido cd
Master Musicians of Jajouka - The Primal Energy That Is the Music and Ritual of Jajouka, Morocco. lp re-issue
Biutiful - Alejandro González Iñárritu
Tabloid - Errol Morris
Crimewave - Andre de Toth 1954
The Skin I Live in - Almodovar
Melancholia - Lars Von Trier
House of Bamboo - Sam Fuller (Film Forum revival)
Into the Abyss - Werner Herzog
The Trip - Michael Winterbottom
The Last Run - Richard Fleischer (Anthology revival)
Danny Lyon - The Bikers (book 1967)
Francisco Lopez - Hyper Rainforest - Live immersive sound environment/performance @ EMPAC, Troy N.Y.
Bruce Davidson - Subway (book 1985, re-published 2011)
Bruce Davidson - Brooklyn Gang (1959)
Leif Elggren - Psychological Frequencies (book)
William Eggleston - Before Color (book)
Fluxus Show @ Grey Art Gallery
Swans @ Music Hall of Brooklyn
El Topo Screening at Lincoln Center with Q&A w/ A. Jodorwsky
Hiroshi Sugimoto - Self-titled (book)
various Amarone, Lambrusco, Barbera, Lagrein and Malvasia