Monday, July 4, 2011

Top Album & Show - Midway 2011

Last year I created a post on the top concerts halfway through the year. This year I decided to get other contributors views as well. Without further ado, here are the top show and album by writer:

Album - James Blake - My favorite album at the halfway point is James Blake's debut. This is the first album in a long time where I listen the entire way through, every time. It really requires you to sink into its atmosphere. Blake's youth is apparent, and the album is not perfect--but this is precisely what makes it perfect. The flaws in his voice and sound breathe a vulnerability into electronic music that compares to what Bon Iver's debut did a few years back for folk.

Show - Oberhofer - My favorite live show so far goes to Oberhofer, who I have seen three times since first hearing his music in January. His live show is so energetic and an incredibly good translation of his recorded music. The show with Neon Indian was an excellent lineup through and through.

--Daniel Hammer

Show - My Morning Jacket - Bonnaroo

I'm chugging the coolaid now. MMJ is the best live act today and they proved it again at their SIXTH Bonnaroo appearance, the first on the What Stage (the main stage). Look for Jim James's white feather boots at Stage AE this August.

Album - The Antlers - Burst Apart

Not nearly as sad as Hospice, but equally as powerful. Roller coaster of emotion from start to finish making it the strongest overall album to date barely beating out Fleet Foxes's Helplessness Blues and Panda Bear's Tomboy.
--Jonathon Puff
Album - EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
I haven't listened to as much music as I have wanted to, but this album is one I have been infatuated with this year. A bit bleak, the artist has a voice that draws you in and never let's go.
Show - Guards - Brillobox
Soldout show at the Brillobox is a hit or miss venture because of the wall to wall people that can make the venue uncomfortable. These guys made me not even realize the sweat soaked patrons next to me. Opening for sister act Cults, they just did a much better job with stage presence and delivery.


  1. Scoff at your better stage delivery than Cults. No way.

  2. Ha! I like the scoffing. I'm split on this. Cults got famous and recorded an album, and only LATER became a real band that ever played live. When I saw them a few months back, there were people walking away from it because they were completely flat on stage. Fast forward to Brillo, and they put on a great show. At least Madeline was great - a cute girl singing retro pop is pure gold. Brian Oblivion was...well, as the second part of the duo, he was entirely forgettable. Guards put on a great show too, and Richie seems to have more experience with live performance. Yeah. I remain neutral.

  3. I like the scoffing too. Honestly, I should have selected Wise Blood as the best show. Brain wasn't working:

    That being said, Madeline was good, the rest of the band was meh.

    Can't wait to see what people say about Animal Collective. Seen them twice and wish I hadn't. Boring. Boring. Boring. But I am sure everyone will think they are wonderful like Girls. ha.

  4. Agreed Guards were great too. But I thought Cults were better. I also really liked the duo that opened the start of the show. Name of the band escapes me.

    My favorite show I saw this year so far was Fitz and the Tantrums at Club Cafe in January. That was a complete surprise. Did not expect to like that so much. Also the Neon Indian/Oberhofer show fantastic.

    Agreed on Animal Collective. Snoozer of a band. I don't care what Pitchfork says, I'm sorry. Hence I'll be at the Wild Nothing/Twin Sister bill at Stage AE that night for 10 bucks instead.