These next couple of months are crazy full of new albums. My top 50 for this year is seriously getting full already. Out last week we got fantastic new albums from Chairlift, Cloud Nothings and First Aid Kit. And we also had debut albums from Porcelain Raft, Big Deal and The Holiday Crowd. Did you know First Aid Kit is from Sweden! I had no idea. I didn't even know they were sisters. Their first album from 2010 just passed me by. But I am now an official fan. Even if you think you hate folk and country music. You will become a fan of First Aid Kit. I really hope this album gets as big as the Civil Wars album from last year. It really is that good. And they are from Sweden! This album from Big Deal is also one of my recent obsessions. I just can't get enough of it even though it is a heartbreaking album. Big Deal reminds me of Carissa's Weird. They write some amazing little songs. All of them heartbreaking ballads. And I love that Mute put out this album. It really is not like anything you have ever heard on Mute. But I feel like Mute does best when they put out stuff you would not expect from them. They did release the amazing folky albums by Jose Gonzalez. And those albums were great. You have to do me a favor and check out Big Deal. A perfect album for falling in love or breaking up to.
Listen to "Homework" from the album Lights Out by Big Deal...
The Holiday Crowd just put out their debut album out last week called Over the Bluffs. This band will obviously get compared to The Smiths. But I really have no problem with that. I actually love it. I wish more bands sounded like The Smiths! They are doing the same sort of thing that The Drums did with their first album. But more jangly and without the electronics. I think people will either hate this album or fall in love with it. I have already fallen in love. But it will probably not get heard by most people unfortunately. So give it a listen. I can't stop.
We are once again right in the middle of awards season. The Golden Globes were this last weekend. And the Oscars are about 5 weeks away. The Oscar Nominations come out this Tuesday the 24th of January. So this is the time of year when I like to get together with my coworker Jackie and talk about what we think will be nominated. What we hope is nominated. I basically like to pretend that we are members of the Academy putting in our votes for the various Oscar categories. We are sadly without our moderator Miss Ess from the last couple of years. If you are feeling nostalgic for last years Oscars, here is our Oscar nomination predictions for 2010 blog from last year. So it will be just Jackie and I this year. We both see a ton of movies every year and of course have our opinions about what are favorite films and performances were.
Are you ready. Here we go...
Jackie! Are you ready for this? I seriously can't believe it is already time for this. I have been trying to catch up the last couple of weeks and see all the movies that I need to see. I am still a bit behind. But I saw Tin Tin on Sunday and just saw Young Adult last week. So I am almost there. We should start off first by talking about the host. I was happy that Brett Ratner resigned from the show. I was really not looking forward to a show produced by him. I had come to accept Eddie Murphy as the host. But after he dropped out too I was really hoping for some interesting choices. I think the show should always be hosted by a comedian. Last year just didn't really work. I still think Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon would be great together. But we are getting Billy Crystal this year. I actually think he did a great job in years past as the host. So I think it will be a fun show again. Maybe not as edgy as I had hoped. But it is the Oscars. I expect him to come out on a horse wearing a Hawaiian Shirt with a baseball bat and maybe a dragon tattoo. Maybe dressed up as a maid or a bridesmaid. But maybe he will surprise us all with some amazing material and jokes. I am looking forward to the show as always. Regardless of who the host is. Jackie...Thoughts on the host. Are you hoping for a When Harry Met Sally reunion on stage. Or maybe he could come out with Carol Kane in their makeup from The Princess Bride.
I finally got my best movies of 2011 list finished. I thought I was really behind this year since it was already January 7th. But it seems that I also posted my top movies of 2010 on January 7th. So it must be meant to be. I am still a bit behind and have not seen everything that I wanted to see yet. I really want to see We Need To Talk About Kevin, Warrior, A Separation and Young Adult. Those might have ended up in my list but I really can't be sure. I also really liked The Muppets and Tree of Life which almost ended up in my list. I did cheat and do a top 12 last year. But I thought I should keep to only ten this year. These 10 movies are the movies that I fell in love with this year. I saw them all in the theater which I still think is the best place to see movies. These are the movies that I can't stop thinking about. The movies that I can't wait to see again...
Blouse - Blouse(Captured Tracks) Last year was when I first got obsessed with the label Captured Tracks. Both Wild Nothing and Soft Moon ended up in my top ten last year. This is the year of Blouse, Soft Metals and Craft Spells. This label can do no wrong and keeps putting out amazing albums one after the other. This album continues the Captured Tracks tradition of capturing that early 90's shoegaze sound that I am still obsessed with. This Blouse album fits in more with the soft rock side of shoegaze and dreampop. It is more like Beach House than the darker sounds of label mates Soft Moon. It is a beautiful album and I can't get enough. #2 Kurt Vile -Smoke Ring For My Halo
(Matador) This is not his first album but it really is his first album for me. This is the year that I fell hard for Kurt Vile. I could not stop listening to this album for a couple of months. There is just something about it that really got to me. The album is on the more folky side of things. Something that I need in my life every once in a while. He reminds me of Mark Kozelek and the Red House Painters. And listening to this album makes me remember the first time I discoved Mark Kozelek and was hooked for life. It really is that good.
#3 Zola Jesus -Conatus(Sacred Bones) Zola Jesus has given me exactly the album that I wanted from her. It is majestic and beautiful and dark and moody. This album is for fans of the The Knife and Fever Ray. And while we patiently wait for the next album by The Knife out next year, this album more than fills the void. It is a dark emotional roller coaster. I really wish that artists like Bjork or Kate Bush would have moved in this direction. But thankfully we have Zola Jesus to bring us the album that we all needed in our life. A perfect album for dark and rainy winter nights. You should not live your life one day longer without Zola Jesus.
Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls (Slumberland) Slumberland has been another one of my favorite labels this year. I have always been a fan but they have really done a great job these last couple of years of sort of reinventing themselves and discovering a whole new group of twee sort of artists. It is the darker side of twee. This is really a fantastic little album from these folks from London. They released a couple of singles on Captured Tracks and have now given us this perfect pop masterpiece of a debut album.