Archive for January 22nd, 2012
I had originally planned to post my review of Modern Rock 2011 on Tuesdays this month. But I spent most of this past Tuesday catching up after a long weekend , and I’ll be quite busy next Tuesday with the Riverfront Times St. Louis Web Awards party. So I’ve decided to spend my weekend finishing the discussion of Modern Rock 2011. Here’s the first part from earlier this month and here’s the complete track listing for Disc 1.
Today I’ll be discussing Side 2 of Disc 1, which is followed by both side of Disc 2 from early this weekend. 2011 turned out to be a great year for Modern Rock, so please feel free write in with your thoughts. Now let’s get to rocking!
12. Second Chance – Peter Bjorn & John
Selecting this song was a real change of thought for me, and it had nothing to do with the music. This Swedish trio is at it’s best when it goes for pop and Second Chances is pure pop gold, which is the problem. It’s so catchy that it became the official Bud Light Lime anthem for 2011. In the past I’ve not included tracks on Modern Rock based on their association with an advertisement. I didn’t include 2008 Bud Light Lime anthem Lights Out by Santigold for that very reason. But this year I decided Bud Light Lime be damned, I’m going with the song. Only music elitists like me remember that shit after a few years anyways.
13. She’s Enough – Atmosphere
Saw this video for this track on MTV2’s Subterranean and fell in love with the song. Verses about impregnating your woman and stealing stuff for her is about as romantic as it gets here on Modern Rock, so enjoy it while it lasts.
14. I’m A Goner – Converse All-Stars
As a fan of Converse in general, I think their 1 Song 3 Artists campaign is a wonderful idea. This year they finally answered the question “What would it sound like if you locked Matt & Kim, Andrew WK, and Soulja Boy in a room with sound equipment?” The result is a bizarrely charming ode to being an underdog. Back in October I had a chance to grab a beer for a Cardinals-Brewers playoff game with my old jetsetting buddy @williampepple who spent half of 2011 as the road manager for Matt & Kim. He said that the two had a blast recording this song, and enjoyed several other things that day that I will not mention here.
15. Civilization – Justice
When it comes to French electronic duos no one will probably be more well known than Daft Punk, and for good reason. But Daft Punk had been missing in action for years before they released an album in 2010. That album was a decent soundtrack for the godawful reboot of Disney’s Tron. In the band’s absence, Justice has really stepped up to fill the void. They threw down in 2011 with this marvelous single off of their impressive second record, Audio, Video, Disco. This song marks the point on Disc 1 where I switch from rocking to dancing. Let’s go!
16. Midnight City – M83
While I could certainly label Side 2 of Disc 1 “The Dance Party,” I decided that a better label would be “Sax & Violence.” Midnight City is the perfect example of the tough lyrics and 80’s dance beats with an extra helping of saxophone that became a mini-trend this year. Music elitist hub Pitchfork picked this track as their Song Of The Year. And while I freely admit this is dance music for hipsters, I still friggin’ loved it. Un-ironically!
17. Sad Song – The Cars
Unexpected band reunions have become a staple of my Modern Rock discs over the past decade and the most unexpected reunion of 2011 was definitely The Cars. Ric Ocasek must’ve finally gotten tired of today’s bands ripping off his hand-claps-and-synthesizers sound enough to get The Cars together for a victory lap 25 years later. As a long time fan I was amazed at how the whole album sounds like it could fit in anywhere in The Cars’ impressive catalog from the 80s. Great timing for a great band, and here’s hoping they stick together for one more album.
18. Cement Slippers – Dengue Fever
The Sax & Violence are back with a vengeance in this odd little track from Los Angeles’ Dengue Fever. I love the goofball lyrics and hooky chorus, but the trippy saxophone solo steals the show. To say that they are my favorite Cambodian Psychedelic Pop Band is an understatement.
19. Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells are a band that I rejected as too kitschy when they released their debut album back in 2010. Turns out I didn’t give them a good shot. I heard this catchy track when they released it as a single at the beginning of 2011, and I was hooked on the killer hooks immediately. All of the sing-songy charms of this Brooklyn duo are on full display. Pop rock chops like these are impressive for a debut album. They’re getting ready to release their sophomore effort next month; hopefully they stick with this schtick.
20. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
This juggernaut of a track came out of left field this year to qualify as 2011’s most surprising hit. @SpeedyMick recommended this to me over the summer, and I was in awe from it’s wonderful contradictions. Pairing laid back beats are with ultra-violent lyrics seemed like long odds for constructing a hit, making the resulting pay off that much more impressive. By the end of 2011 this song was everywhere, to my surprise and delight.
21. The Day Is Coming – My Morning Jacket
2011 was the year of My Morning Jacket here at The Captains Quarters. Circuital was my favorite album of the year, their song Wonderful was my song of the year, and going to their show in Chicago for a Bachelor Weekend back in July was my concert of the year. Narrowing down the rest of their wonderful 6th album to just one more track took me months, but I finally ended up with The Day Is Coming. This track had the short and sweet sound that I tend to go with for Modern Rock. But I highly encourage you to check out the rest of the album; it’s amazing from beginning to end.
22. Flying Overseas – Theophilus London
Theophilus London came out of nowhere to romance me with his Hipster Hip-Hop in 2011. He is way too cool for the new school, and yet his music is so immediate and engaging. Rapping about international travel while Beyonce’s little sister sings the chorus seems like stealing a play from Tricky’s playbook, but London pulls it off seamlessly. We need more rappers like him dammit!
And with that we are finished with Disc 1. Thanks for rocking and dancing with me!