Pulled Apart By Horses - Tough Love Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense Marina & the Diamonds - Electra Heart Tame Impala - Lonerism Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Crown and Treaty Metric - Synthetica First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
Those who just missed the cut...
Chairlift - Something Cate le Bon - CYRK Dog is Dead - All Our Favourite Stories Lucy Rose - Like I Used to The Mars Volta - Noctourinquet Rolo Tomassi - Astraea
10) Gallows: S/T
9) Friends: Manifest!
8) Bat for Lashes: The Haunted Man
7) 2:54: S/T
6) Grimes: Visions
5) Sharon van Etten: Tramp
4) Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
3) David Byrne & St Vincent: Love this Giant
2) Beach House: Bloom
1) Mark Lanegan: Blues Funeral
It's hard to say I really love any more than the top 2 of these, although I find the year at least punctuated by a nice variety.
Songs of the Year
10) Sharon van Etten: Leonard 9) Bat for Lashes: All Your Gold 8) Dog is Dead: Two Devils 7) David Byrne & St Vincent: Lazarus 6) Grimes: Oblivion
25) Pulled Apart By Horses - V.E.N.O.M 24) Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense 23) Marina & the Diamonds - Electra Heart 22) Tame Impala - Lonerism 21) Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Crown and Treaty 20) Metric - Synthetica 19) First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar 18) Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory 17) Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror 16) Chairlift - Something 15) Cate le Bon - CYRK 14) Dog is Dead - All Our Favourite Stories 13) Lucy Rose - Like I Used to 12) The Mars Volta - Noctourinquet 11) Rolo Tomassi - Astraea 10) Gallows - Gallows 9) Friends - Manifest! 8) Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man 7) 2:54 - S/T 6) Grimes - Visions 5) Sharon van Etten - Tramp 4) Alt-J - An Awesome Wave 3) David Byrne & St Vincent - Love this Giant 2) Beach House - Bloom 1) Mark Lanegan - Blues Funeral
10) Feist - Metals 9) PJ Harvey - Let England Shake 8) Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know 7) Dutch Uncles - Cadenza 6) Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes 5) Anna Calvi - S/T 4) Battles - Gloss Drop 3) Emmy the Great - Virtue 2) Wild Beasts - Smother 1) St Vincent - Strange Mercy
10) Pulled Apart By Horses - S/T 9) Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - Blood & Fire 8) Marina & the Diamonds - The Family Jewels 7) Liars - Sisterworld 6) Warpaint - The Fool 5) Rolo Tomassi – Cosmology 4) Arcade Fire - The Suburbs 3) Peggy Sue - Fossils & Other Phantoms 2) Amplifier - The Octopus 1) Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
10) Bat For Lashes - Two Suns 9) St Vincent - Actor 8) Spinnerette - Spinnerette 7) Mastodon - Crack the Skye 6) Emmy the Great - First Love 5) Arctic Monkeys - Humbug 4) Wild Beasts - Two Dancers 3) Florence and the Machine - Lungs 2) Metric - Fantasies 1) Soulsavers – Broken
7) British Sea Power – Do you like Rock Music 6) The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia 5) Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward 4) Mystery Jets - Twenty One 3) Isobell Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Sunday At Devil Dirt 2) Metallica - Death Magnetic 1) Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim
...because it was getting too far down my journal(s) to edit easily
2:54 (3) 30 Seconds to Mars 80's Matchbox B-Line Disaster (2)
AFI Alexisonfire (3) Alkaline Trio (2) Alessi's Ark All American Rejects All Time Low Alt-J Amen American Head Charge Amplifier (7) Anthony & the Johnsons Anthrax Anti-flag The Antlers Anti-product The Apples Arcade Fire (2) Archers of Loaf Architects Arctic Monkeys Ash At the Drive-In (2) Auf Der Maur Avenged Sevenfold
Babyshambles (3) Charlie Barnes (3) Bastions Battles (2) Beach House Bedouin Soundclash Best Coast Be Your Own Pet (2) Biffy Clyro (2) Bilge Pump Billy Talent (2) Blackhole Black Label Society (2) James Blake Blasted Blink 182 Bloc Party Blood Brothers Blood Orange Blood Red Shoes (2) Bo Pepper Bouncing Souls Brand New British Sea Power Broadcast Radio Broke'N £nglish The Bronx (8) Bullet for my Valentine
Cage the Elephant Anna Calvi (2) Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan Cancer Bats (2) Capdown Caribou (2) Cate Le Bon Cave In Cerebral Ballzy Ceremony Chapel Club Chiodos Clara Clara Cleopatra Clement Marfo & the Frontline Clock Opera (2) Coheed and Cambria The Computers Crazy Arm The Cribs Crystal Castles (3) Cults The Cure Cypress Hill
Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards The Darkness Dashboard Confessional The Datsuns Ray Davies The Dead 60's The Deadbeats Deftones De La Soul The Descendents Digitalism Dillinger Escape Plan Dirty Pretty Things (2) The Distillers Dog is Dead Pete Doherty (2) Do Me Bad Things Dropkick Murphys Drowning Pool Dutch Uncles (2) Bob Dylan
Eagles of Death Metal (3) Emmy the Great (4) The Enemy Everything Everything Exit Music Exit Ten (2) The Ex & Getatchew Merkurya
Faith No More Fall Out Boy (3) Faust Feeder (2) Fiction Fidlar The Field Fightstar (3) The Flatliners Flogging Molly (2) Florence and the Machine (7) Johnny Flynn Foo Fighters Foreign Beggars Four Tet Friendly Fires Friends (2) Fucked Up (2) Funeral for a Friend Funeral Party (2) The Futureheads Future of the Left
Gaggle Gallows (3) The Gaslight Anthem Gentleman's Dub Club A Genuine Freakshow Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly Laura Gibson Girlschool Glasser Glassjaw Glasvegas God's Little Eskimo Goldheart Assembly Goldie Lookin' Chain (2) Gogol Bordello (3) Gossip Grand Volume Green Day (2) Grimes (2) Guillemots Guns & Roses
Hatebreed Hexes Hildamay Robyn Hitchcock The Hives Hollow Promise (lol) Hot Snakes Hundred Reasons (2)
Ida Maria Iggy & the Stooges Ill Nino Imadethismistake Incubus In Flames Interpol Iron Maiden Islet (2)
The Jakpot (2) Japanese Popstars Jecano The Jessie Rose Trip Jimmy Eat World (3) Johnny Foreigner Daniel Johnston Junip
Kasabian (2) Keith Rose Kemp Kentaro (DJ) Kids in Glass Houses The Killers Killswitch Engage Kindness The King Blues Kings of Leon Kissy Sell Out (DJ) Kittie Klaus Johann Grobe Kong Kyuss Lives
Lamb of God Mark Lanegan (2) The Last Republic Letlive Les Savy Fav (2) Less than Jake (3) Liars The Libertines Limp Bizkit Little Boots The Living End (3) Lost Prophets (3) Louie (2) The Low Anthem
Mad Caddies Mad Capsule Markets Madness The Magic Numbers Manchester Orchestra Manic Street Preachers Mariachi El Bronx Marilyn Manson Marina and the Diamonds (3) Laura Marling (3) The Mars Volta Willy Mason (2) Masters of Reality Mastodon (2) Mazzy Star Me First & the Gimme Gimmes Megadeth Mercury Rev Metallica Metric Metronomy Millencolin (2) Million Dead The Minutes Conan Mockasin (2) Mondo Generator Mongol Horde Monster Magnet R. Stevie Moore Morrissey Motorhead Mumford and Sons Muse Mushroomhead My Chemical Romance (3) Mystery Jets (2)
Nadir New Found Glory (2) New Young Pony Club Nine Inch Nails Nissennmondai No Age Noah and the Whale (2) Nofx (3) Gary Numan
Obediencia Oceansize Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All The Offspring (2) Off With Their Heads Out Like a Lion Oxes
Panic! at the disco (3) Paramore (3) Theo Parrish (DJ) Mike Patton & Rahzel Pearl Jam Hannah Peel (with Laura Groves aka Blue Roses) Peggy Sue (3) Pelican Pennywise Pettybone The Pineapple Thief The Pins Placebo (2) Plain White T's Plan B Polar Bear Club The Psychic Paramount Pulled Apart By Horses (3) Pure Love
Queens of the Stone Age (4)
Radiohead Rage Against the Machine Random Hand Razorlight Reel Big Fish Refused (2) Revere Rise Against (2) Rise To Addiction Rival Schools Rival Sons Rob Da Bank (DJ) Robin Williams Rolo Tomassi (4) Roots Manuva Lucy Rose (2)
Roxy Saint Seasick Steve (2) Seventh Void Shadows Fall Sharks She Keeps Bees Shield Your Eyes The Shins Sick Of It All Silent Front Simian Mobile Disco The Skints Skrillex (DJ) Slaves to Gravity Slayer (2) Sleigh Bells (2) Sonic Boom Six Soulsavers Omar Souleyman Soundgarden Sparta Spinnerette Marnie Stern Stray from the Path The Streets (2) The Strokes St Vincent (2) The Subways (3) The Sugars Summer Camp (2) Sun Ra Arkestra (2) The Sunshine Underground (3) Surfer Blood Sweethead Sylosis System of a Down
Taking Back Sunday (2) Teenage Bottlerocket Tellison Tenacious D Them Crooked Vultures Theory of Dreams This is Hell Thrice (3) Thursday (2) The Ting Tings Toro y Moi To The Bones Towers of London (2) Trash Talk (2) The Travelling Band Tunng Turbonegro (2) Frank Turner (2) Twilight Singers
Underground Resistance The Used
The Vaccines Sharon van Etten The View (2) Villagers Violent Soho
Walls Jessie Ware Warpaint (5) Washed Out We Are Augustines Weezer We Fell to Earth We Start Fires White Lies Wild Beasts (2) Winnebago Deal Wolfmother
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2) Young Heart Attack Young Husband The Young Knives Yourcodenameis:Milo
Zebrahead The Zico Chain Zola Jesus
Total = 365 Artists (last new band: Bastions (Rolo Tomassi support)
250th: Monster Magnet
The Bronx (8) Florence and the Machine (7) Amplifier (7) Warpaint (5) Queens of the Stone Age (4) Emmy the Great (4) Rolo Tomassi (4)
As I just bought a 2012 ticket, I figure I should post a list of what I saw last year.
In order of worst to best:
35) - Chapel Club 34) - The Strokes 33) - Glassjaw 32) - Jimmy Eat World 31) - Teenage Bottlerocket
30) - Panic at the Disco 29) - Rise Against 28) - 30 Seconds to Mars 27) - The Offspring 26) - New Found Glory
25) - Capdown 24) - The Descendents 23) - Flogging Molly 22) - A Genuine Freakshow 21) - Pulled Apart by Horses
20) - Funeral Party 19) - LetLive 18) - Cage the Elephant 17) - My Chemical Romance 16) - Dutch Uncles
15) - Seasick Steve 14) - Crystal Castles 13) - Fucked Up 12) - Madness 11) - The Computers
10) - Islet 9) - OFWGKTA 8) - Anna Calvi 7) - The Antlers 6) - Warpaint
5) - Best Coast 4) - Cerebral Ballzy 3) - The Bronx 2) - She Keeps Bees 1) - Noah & the Whale
It wasn't exactly a classic year, still, the Bronx played Strobe Life for the first time in the 7 gigs I'd seen them, Noah & the Whale wipped a crowd into a frenzy with a Bohemian Rhapsody intro sing-along and the greatest-named band in the world asked us if we like skateboarding.
Thinking about it, I never posted anything about 2010 either:
36) Crazy Arm 35) Off With Their Heads 34) Axl & Clowns 33) Gogol Bordello 32) All Time Low 31) Everything Everything
30) The King Blues 29) Limp Bizkit 28) New Young Pony Club 27) Lost Prophets 26) Mystery Jets
25) Cancer Bats 24) Zebrahead 23) Sick Of It All 22) Gaggle 21) Cypress Hill
Despite CDs going out of fashion quicker than casual racism, I've somehow managed to acquire 56 of them this year.
In the order of purchase, I now own a copy of:
Lissie: Catching a Tiger R.E.M: Up Metallica: Load Morrissey: Viva Hate Anna Calvi: S/T The XX: S/T The Mars Volta: Octahedron Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Is Is At the Drive-In: El Gran Orgo Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow Mark Lanegan: Field Songs Faith No More: Album of the Year Amy Winehouse: Back to Black Janelle Monae: The Archandroid Mellisa Auf Der Maur: S/T Babyshambles: Shotter's Nation Emmy the Great: Virtue Sleigh Bells: S/T No Doubt: Tragic Kingdom De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising Portishead: Dummy Bat for Lashes: Two Suns Be Your Own Pet: S/T Jemina Pearl: Break it Up St Vincent: Actor Beach House: Teen Dream Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz Villagers: Becoming a Jackal Summer Camp: Young Morrissey: Years of Refusal Mercury Rev: Deserter Songs Feist: The Reminder The Avalanches: Since I left you Don Mclean: American Pie Crystal Castles Best Coast: Crazy for You Dutch Uncles: Cadenza The Bronx: III Peggy Sue: Acrobats Laura Marling: A Creature I Don't Know St Vincent: Strange Mercy Anthony and the Johnsons: I am Bird Now Masters of Reality: S/T Alice in Chains: Unplugged The Clash: London Calling Coheed and Cambria: Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon The Antlers: Hospice Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes St Vincent: Marry Me Marnie Stern: S/T Cults: S/T Surfer Blood: Astro Coast Marnie Stern: This is it... Peter Gabriel: So Battles: Gloss Drop PJ Harvey: Let England Shake
A lot of these were purchased from Sound Machine. Their 3 for £10 offer certainly did lead to me finding one or two cds I wanted and then hunting about just for something to complete the set.
Still, I think I bought most of the albums that made my top ten, which is unusual. Usually I'll wait until the price has dropped a bit.
Albums of the Year
Those that just missed the cut...
Hannah Peel: The Broken Wave Cage the Elephant: Thank You Happy Birthday Peggy Sue: Acrobats Cults: S/T Metronomy: The English Riveria
So without further adieu, my top ten.
10) Feist: Metals 9) PJ Harvey: Let England Shake 8) Laura Marling: A Creature I Don't Know 7) Dutch Uncles: Cadenza 6) Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes
Yes, I know...PJ Harvey, just the same as everyone else. At first, 'The Words that Maketh Murder' aside I really didn't rate that album, but given how much everyone praised it, I gave the record a 2nd, 3rd, 4th chance until something clicked. It's still a bit like all of PJ's back catalogue, good...but not that good.
And poor Laura Marling, always judged by the impossible standards of her previous work.
I was intrigued by just how much Lykke Li changed her vocals for her Sophomore effort. That, and the frankly a bit scary video for Get Some, prevented me from dismissing the album entirely.
...and the top 5
5) Anna Calvi: S/T
4) Battles: Gloss Drop
3) Emmy the Great: Virtue
2) Wild Beasts: Smother
1) St Vincent: Strange Mercy
It wasn't really much of a hard decision - Strange Mercy is miles better than anything else I heard new this year. It's not exactly a classic, but it's bold, diverse, and just about better than Annie Clark's last release.
Songs of the Year
I was going to do a top 25, but for some reason I'm stuck on 24.
24) Fucked Up: On the Other Shoe 23) Feist: How Come You Never Go There 22) Battles: Sweetie & Shag 21) Zola Jesus: Vessel
20) Metronomy: The Bay 19) Florence + the Machine: Shake it Out 18) Dutch Uncles: Fragrant 17) Anna Calvi: Desire 16) Gary Numan: The Fall
15) Lykke Li: Sadness is a Blessing 14) Cage the Elephant: Shake me Down 13) St Vincent: Surgeon 12) Metronomy: Everything Goes my Way 11) Wild Beast : End Come too Soon
10) Emmy the Great: A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep 9) St Vincent: Cruel 8) Wild Beasts: Bed of Nails 7) Emmy the Great: Paper Forrest 6) Laura Marling: Sophia
I've had a pretty good time at each one of those but from going to some smaller events recently, it's become pretty obvious that the large mainstream events no longer offer the best of the UK festival calender.
One such smaller event I went to was Field Day, where for £40 I saw the following:
Faust Willy Mason 2:54 Junip Conan Mockasin Sun Ra Arkestra Villagers Zola Jesus Clock Opera Warpaint James Blake Anna Calvi Wild Beasts Glasser
A lot of folks have criticized Field Day for having a bad atmosphere. To me, considering it is just an all-dayer, I thought it was pretty good.
The above was taken at the Main Stage during Villagers set I believe, which as you can see from the below was hardly rammed at the front either.
The relaxed atmosphere for the most part, suited the acts playing.
That, and unlike Reading, there was actually things to do besides watching bands...like Corn on the Cob eating contests.
One of Field Day's ideal attributes is the amount of space it has in Victoria Park.
There were 6 stages and they even had room for some trees.
The novelty of a festival in public park, kind of helped the vibe of the place. There aren't too many outdoor events that have to fence off decaying monuments.
Most of the stages were small, which I think is a definite plus.
Zola Jesus (above), played in a tent this size and was probably one of the best things all day.
It was slightly odd that the main stage had acts who drew very small crowds and then everyone piles into a tiny marquee but Zola Jesus aside, I think everyone got to see who they wanted to.
The one act who played to a completely full tent was James Blake, but that was only because it started pelting it down with rain. He then proceeded to be upstaged by a rainbow
May I add, that when watching James Blake, I was eating oysters and chips. Oysters at a gig! That will probably never happen for me again. I regret not taking a picture of them.
Still, despite the inconsistent crowds, as the night wore on, it started to feel more and more like the end of a festival that might have some household name pulling in the punters.
Wild Beasts, who I'd been pretty unimpressed with at Reading 2010 closed the mainstage and seem like a band who should be headlining an arena of that magnitude.
Having sat through Guns & Roses, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Strokes, to name a few awful headlining performances recently, I think it's great that smaller festivals give a band like Wild Beasts the chance to step up to plate.
Presumably if I didn't live in Reading and was say, shacked up in Salisbury, I'd head to festivals like End of the Road every year. I would go to more smaller events but getting other people to come is a bit of a mission. Reading is ever-so convenient.
Worst -> Best at Field Day:
Conan Mockasin James Blake Sun Ra Arkestra Junip Villagers Clock Opera Willy Mason 2:54 Glasser Faust Warpaint Zola Jesus Anna Calvi Wild Beasts
...Those last three were the particular highlights, hard to choose between them.
Is it just me or is 2011 turning out to be pretty sub-standard for music?
I just had a quick glance at my 2009 and 2010 playlists and saw, among others, the following:
Emmy the Great: First Love Florence + the Machine: Lungs Bat for Lashes: Two Suns Metric: Fantasies St Vincent: Actor Spinnerette: S/T Thrice: Beggars Soulsavers: Broken Arctic Monkeys: Humbug Wild Beasts: Two Dancers
Laura Marling: I Speak because I can Rolo Tomassi: Cosmology Marina & the Diamonds: The Family Jewels Peggy Sue: Fossils & Other Phantoms Warpaint: The Fool Arcade Fire: The Suburbs Amplifier: The Octopus Max Richter: Infra 80's Matchbox B-Line Disaster: Blood & Fire
...and then we come to 2011. It's now April and I can't think of any record I've loved so far. Some good songs, but nothing I'd listen to all the way through.
If the year ended today, my top 5 records would be:
1) Anna Calvi 2) Cage the Elephant - Thank You Happy Birthday 3) Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes 4) PJ Harvey - Let England Shake 5) British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall
Not good, not good at all.
Discovering old music doesn't get any easier the older you get either. I think I've exhausted most of the common avenues on that tactic.
I shall edit this at the end of the year. Hopefully with a slew of albums to talk about.
THEN SEPTEMBER THE 12TH HAPPENED
New Laura Marling, Peggy Sue & St Vincent albums out on the same day. Oh my.
I think this calls for celebratory video of St Vincent covering Tom Waits.