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

Live in Berlin: The Leisure Society

The Leisure Society at Festsaal Kreuzberg

Well in a very real way, this is one of the most exciting bits of music writing I’ve so far been able to do. On Tuesday night here in Berlin, I travelled on the U-Bahn down to hip Kreuzberg to visit the Festsaal, or “banquet hall”, once a Turkish wedding venue but now a key centre for gigs. Top of the bill were folk-popsters The Leisure Society, promoting their new second LP Into the Murky Water.

I couldn’t help but put together full coverage of the gig for The Line of Best Fit, which is live now. Both The Leisure Society and support band The Lost Boys were a joy to behold and it was a great experience to cover my first show abroad. Tomorrow, all being well, I’ll cover my second – Jim Kroft, among others, plays the one-day summer festival “Malzwiesse” at former brewery the Malzfabrik.

// Thought

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

Jeff Buckley - "Eternal Life"


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