Well, I decided to put of some of our favorite albums of 2011 up a little early this year. I have to say there were some pretty big disappoints for me from some of my favorite bands The Rapture (normally my favorite band to snowboard to), The Beastie Boys, Arctic Monkeys, Dredg had an amazingly awful album, Cold War Kids lost the piano I loved in their songs and my attention with it, The Decemberists surprised me with the most boring thing I heard all year with "The King Is Dead." On the other hand, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" though I was prepared to hate it. I was bummed by The White Stripes official break-up as my Facebook was flooded with condolences from friends only to have Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears fill in the bluesy hole in my heart. I could go on and on. I am X96's cranky critic and music director. 2011 is a year where folk-rock launched into the cosmos with Mumford and Sons and a sing-songy English woman couldn't not be avoided no matter where you went. Here are the top ten albums of 2011 from some of our staff. We argue over music all the time. I will follow up this blog with some favorite picks from some folks in Utah that influence some of my music tastes. -Corey
Corey O'Brien Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears "Scandalous" Bright Eyes "The People's Key" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Grouplove "Never Trust a Happy Song" Does It Offend You Yeah? "Don't Say We Didn't Warn You" Pendulum "Immersion" The Strokes "Angles" Foster the People "Torches" Spank Rock Everything Is Boring and Everyone is a F**king Liar" Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" (if I had heard the Black Keys album "El Camino" I am sure it would have made it)
Todd Nuke'em Blink 182 "Neighborhoods" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Coldplay "Mylo Xyloto" Foo Fighters "Wasting Light" Foster the People "Torches" Brogan Kelby "Skylights" Panic at the Disco "Vices and Virtues" Rise Against "Endgame" Switchfoot "Vice Verses" Yellowcard "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes" Richie T. Blink 182 "Neighborhoods" Coldplay "Mylo Xyloto" Flogging Molly "Speed of Darkness" Manchester Orchestra "Simple Math" New Found Glory "Radiosurgery" Panic at the Disco "Vices and Virtues" Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" Rise Against "Endgame" She Wants Revenge "Valleyheart" Various Artists "Rave On, Buddy Holly: A Tribute"
Heidi: the Sales Princess Adele "21" Angels and Airwaves "Love Part II (To The Stars)" The Black Keys "El Camino" Bright Eyes "The People's Key" Fleet Foxes "Helplessness Blues" Foster the People "Torches" Hollywood Undead "American Tragedy" The Naked & Famous "Passive Me, Aggressive You" The Strokes "Angles" Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman "World Wide Revel Songs" Kandy Kane: The Self-Proclaimed Sales Queen The Airborne Toxic Event "All At Once" Angels and Airwaves "Love Part II (To The Stars)" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Florence and the Machine "Ceremonials" Foster the People "Torches" Grouplove "Never Trust a Happy Song" The Joy Formidible "The Big Roar" The Naked & Famous "Passive Me, Aggressive You" Switchfoot "Vice Verses" Broken Bells "Meyrin Fields" El "Mike" Jefe Adele "21" The Airborne Toxic Event "All At Once" Awolnation "Megalithic Symphony" Beastie Boys "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Foster the People "Torches" Green Day "Awesome As F**k" The Naked & Famous "Passive You, Aggressive Me" Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" Blink 182 "Neighborhoods" Dude Buddy Adam Arctic Monkeys "Suck It and See"
Awolnation "MEgalithic Symphony"
Ben Harper "Give Till It Hurts"
Cake "Showroom of Compassion"
Cole War Kids "Mine Is Yours"
Death Cab For Cutie "Codes and Keys"
Eddie Vedder "Ukulele Songs"
Flogging Molly "Speed of Darkness"
Radiohead "The King of Limbs"
Social Distortion "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes"
On Saturday morning, I went to the Muay Thai Institute to learn about Thai boxing. They were kind enough to give me a quick lesson. I've never been in a fight in my life, so learning to throw punches, kicks, elbows, and knees was a bit disconcerting. Below are a few photos of my experience.
Here I am with my trainer learning how to look tough.
They eventually put me into the ring with Robbie, who was completely cordial and very kind. He could have knocked me on my ass in half a second, but he was cool about not hurting me. In fact, he kept urging me to punch him in the face. I didn't want to, because he was such a nice guy.
I tried to hit him, but he dodged the punch.
Since the professionals were too big of a match for me, I decided to take on my teenage son.
...But Brogan eventually kicked my butt.
We do look tough with the boxing gloves, though.
Thanks to the Muay Thai Institute for their hospitality during our live broadcast.
I am going to attempt to make my own version of this video today. I just need to find the right location and the right motel office in Salt Lake to stand in front of. I suggest you do the same and send it to me. Make sure you watch this full screen in 1080p and dance to it.
Well lookie-loo, them leaves is changin' and there's pumpkin-flavored beer on the shelves (the worst idea ever). But you can't enjoy a beer flavored after squash without some good tunes. So I've put my ears through torture, fear, bad lyrics, some laughs and finally to some albums I think are worth your (or your mom's) hard-earned monies. Note: some content may be NSFW.
Ben Folds "The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective" (3 disc edition) - This isn't just a greatest hits collection but more of an archive with great live Ben Folds cuts, a couple new Ben Folds Five songs and some sweet cover songs: George Michael's "Careless Whisper", Ke$ha's "Sleezy" and The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." There is also a single disc edition but come on, spulrge a little.
Justice "Audio, Video, Disco" - I wouldn't say it is as compelling as their last album but dancy enough and engaging enough to be called, "worthy." As far as electronic music (to use the most basic description without getting into the five-million sub-generes) goes, this is cream of the crop.
Spank Rock "Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a F---king Liar" - Remeber when Prince used to be funky and make some pretty great music? Me either, but I have a few greatest hits albums to remind me. Anyway, Spank Rock is the missing link beetween electro-funk and hip-hop. The opening track, "Ta Da" is about the best hippity-hop track I have heard in a long time. But don't let that worry you, haters - this is one of the few albums to blur genres in the best possible way.
Patton Oswalt "Finest Hour" - Not music, obviously, but the funniest album you will hear this year. He even brings back the famous KFC routine in the epilogue form. Like the best comics you will get a few things to ponder such as the danger of gifted children, the things we do alone in cars and what to do when someone buys all the ham at the deli.
The Black Keys "El Camino" - not out until December 6th but we will get their new song this week so be listening...
Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You"
CSS "La Liberacion"
Nouvelle Vague "The Singers"
The Rapture "In The Grace of Your Love"
Hard-Fi "Killer Sounds"
That's it for this edition. Now go forth with ears wide. - Corey
Another Big Ass Show is in the history books, and I am thankful to everyone who attended. My day started out with a bit of a jolt when I heard that Brendan Urie of Panic! At The Disco was sick with malaria and wasn't going to be there. I have to give that band credit for making sure the show went on. They recruited a few friends to cover for him, including local musican Brogan Kelby, and Ransom Wydner from King Niko. Brogan got to sing "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" and Ransom sang "Nine in the Afternoon." Thanks to everyone for staying to watch the performance even though Brendan wasn't there. Tyler Glenn (another local) from Neon Trees got to sing a few songs with them, and it turned out to be a special event. Brendan Urie is sad that he coulndn't attend, and the band will get back to Salt Lake in full force just as soon as possible. I was particularly thrilled to see Panic's bassist Dallon Weekes take over the lead vocals on a few songs and then treat us to an acoustic version of The Brobecks tune "Love At First Sight."
Another special moment was Switchfoot's performance of "Dare You To Move" when Jon Foreman invited Brogan Kelby onstage to play his guitar and sing along. We had mentioned to the band how important that song was to Brogan and that it really helped him get through some rough times. They were thrilled about it and invited him to play it with them. What a great bunch of guys! The performance was truly amazing, and I've posted a couple different camera angles (from fans) of the song.
It was a special day, and we thank you for your continued support!
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