I thought I’d write a music post tonight. The semester is winding down, and I’m ready to get to a little writing before the last semester of graduate school kills my spirit. I have a tendency to listen to a lot of 90s music. It’s no surprise that my thesis will be about 90s music. Yet, I’ve managed to compile a list of things that I really dug from this year, and maybe you’ll like some of it. I hope that you guys can share with me what y’all really liked. I’m always down for listening to new things at least once.

Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate) – Home After Three Months Away

This is probably some of the most melancholy music I listen to on the regular basis. If you may ever encounter a heartbreaking situation or need some soothing music, Empire! Empire! should be your first stop. With heartfelt lyrics and beautiful guitar work, Home After Three Months Away tugs at the heartstrings but also helps fix what’s broken. These guys are awesome people as well as great musicians. I’ve seen them twice and have never been disappointed. I hope they listened to the rap mixtape I made them for the road.

They also recorded a song with the former singer of Colossal this year… so there’s also that. This is a link to that song, since I couldn’t find a link to anything from this EP. Still raw, son.

David Bazan – Strange Negotiations

I hopped on the Pedro the Lion bandwagon wayyyy late and the David Bazan one even later. I was too busy listening to See You Next Tuesday or something. After seeing him twice in one year, I have to say that my Bazan freak flag is flying high. He always puts on a great show, and the emotion he pours out into his instrument and words are evident from the first track on a studio album or a live set. I can’t speak much for his religious and political leanings. I don’t know much about them, but I don’t think that should dissuade anyone from listening to him.

Football, Etc. – The Draft

Football, Etc. is a band based out of my hometown, Houston, TX. They definitely don’t fit the traditional profile of a Houston band, and I appreciate their music a lot more when considering that. It’s hard to be this emo in a town full of Nickelback wannabes. They remind me a lot of Sunny Day Real Estate and Mineral, an Austin indie band that you should probably also listen to. I don’t know if those comparisons make sense, but I’m completely in love with everything this trio has put out. I can’t wait to see them again.

Braid – Closer to Closed

Braid grew up. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that their first release in a million and a half years is a little more mature, textured, and melodic than Frame & Canvas or anything before. The EP maintains that Braid attitude that made them so fun to listen to. Bob Nanna has still got it, and it’s  obvious on the EP’s last track “Universe or Worse”. Braid always makes me ask, “WHO is this song about? I want to know right now.” It’s not often I care.

Dikembe – Chicago Bowls

With a track list with titles such as “Michael Jordank” and “Luc Bongley”, it isn’t hard to figure out why it’s so easy to fall in love with Dikembe. The opening and closing tracks borrow dialogue from a Freaks and Geeks episode. The pieces move a lot. I love movement in music. What do I mean about movement? I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but you know it when you hear it. This EP is in the sweet spot, where every song is memorable and every segment is your favorite. It’s wonderful, and I can’t wait to hear more from them in 2012.

Other albums that I dug, but didn’t really want to write about:

Maritime – Human Hearts

Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math

La Dispute – Wildlife << I love you

And– my for the lols pick:

Kreayshawn – “Gucci Gucci”

#2, Super Size, hurry up, I’m starvin’


8 thoughts on “2011”

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