2011′s Top Ten LPs (My Two Cents)

I read an amusing tweet earlier – Any Decent Music, the Scottish music review aggregator site, announced that “those laggards at TLOBF have finally completed their best albums list, so the Best Of The Best Ofs is now wrapped up”. That’s ADM’s epic undertaking which aggregates “best of 2011″ lists and has produced a top 50 from them. Of all the contributing publications TLOBF took the longest to get their list up, which I think says something about how seriously the editorial team took the exercise. Of course, the whole affair shows just how many publications want a look-in at the best albums game: to the music criticism world, they’re what this time of year is about.

At the same time, having an opinion is what us music writers do, and here’s my hat thrown into the ring. I make no claim that I’ve heard hundreds of records in 2011, and certainly I’ve heard a fraction of even the big ones – but this is my list of personal favourites, the records which have made the biggest impact on me and the ones which I’ll forever connect with the developments the year has brought into my own life. As usual, there’s not a lot of crossover with the lists ADM aggregated, but hopefully a few underheard gems which could do for you what they did for me. More

Jookabox Is Dead, Long Live Jookabox

It’s no secret that Jookabox, formerly known as Grampall Jookabox, creators of one of the year’s best albums (The Eyes of the Fly), and Indianapolis purveyors of undead hip-rocktronica were/are one of my favourite bands. Although David “Moose” Adamson’s gloriously weird act called it a day this year, there are a few free downloads still doing the rounds for those who, like me, need another fix.

Firstly Dead Zone RMXS - a very intriguing compilation of remixes of songs from penultimate record Dead Zone Boys - is still available for free download from the Asthmatic Kitty site. Featuring the likes of Amtrak, Ligryo and Brad Dujmovic the set has ten tracks, mostly reinventing “Zombie Tear Drops” and “Phantom Don’t Go” but in a huge variety of different and very listenable ways. A couple of tracks even have rap verses…

I’ve no idea when it first appeared, but the band’s label also have a mixtape going by the name of 317 Ways. “A collection of remixes, inspirations, and irreverent curiosities”, the download is apparently “a portrait of Jookabox in transition” so it may be pre-Eyes of the Fly material. Again, it’s completely free.

Thirdly – and here’s an old one – there’s also the lone Daytrotter session which Adamson and co. recorded back in 2009. This features some on-the-spot versions of four songs from the two albums recorded under the Grampall Jookabox name, 2007′s Scientific Cricket and 2008′s Ropechain.

If all that wasn’t enough there’s one more thing – it looks as though Jookabox’s last breath will be Blood Root Mind Rot, a collection of outtakes, remixes and alternate versions of tracks from the final album. It’s streamable and purchasable for just $5 from Bandcamp. Now, that should be enough Jookabox madness to keep even me going for a little while…

How I Got Jookabox Into The Sentinel…

Purveyors of weirdo Indianapolis pop Jookabox aren’t the first thing you’d expect to see in The Sentinel, north Staffordshire’s premier local newspaper, but I’ve managed to smuggle them into my first bit of “writing” for a print paper. I say “writing” because the piece is to some extent a paraphrase of my words, which makes it appear that The Eyes of the Fly is my favourite record, as opposed to one I was merely recommending. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting thing to see and the full version is under the cut. More

Review: One Final, Great Jookabox LP

Artist: Jookabox
Title: The Eyes of the Fly
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Review @ PopMatters
Score: 8/10

 

Given David “Moose” Adamson’s lyrical preoccupation with morbid and deathly subjects, in a way it seems grimly appropriate for his musical project to die in childbirth. The Eyes of the Fly is the fourth and now final album by the genre-bending Indianapolis outfit—which has recently “thrown in the towel”—and is as freakishly beautiful as their previous offspring.

Read the rest of the review at PopMatters

// Thought

"There's a flaming red horizon that screams our names..."

Jeff Buckley - "Eternal Life"

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