Sunday, December 18, 2011

I don't Do "Best Of" Lists

However, I've not put anything new under your nose in awhile. Why that is would be a combination of three factors; 1. I'm too busy working two jobs, and taking care of a household, and buying stuff for other people. 2. Really, music-wise, book-wise, and Film-wise, there hasn't been anything in the past month or so that really spoke to me. Now, TV, on the other hand- Boardwalk Empire is AMAZING! you must watch it at your earliest convenience. The acting? Michael Shannon, and Michael Pitt were just ungodly good. Steve Buscemi actually isn't playing Steve Buscemi. This is something harder, and more menacing. I like it. Gretchen Mol has finally redeemed herself from that horrible Bettie page movie, and is playing a vicious psycho who reminds me of my ex-wife ( and how's that for playing the villian?) and Kelly Macdonald finally, finally, Finally pays off that promised she showed in Trainspotting. The production? Hell, this is the most beautiful depiction of the prohibition era since prohibition. Just absolutely gorgeous. It blows away stuff like the Coen Brothers' attempts (Millers Crossing, and O, Brother) and yes, the Godfather flicks.The story is very loosely based upon the real-life Enoch Johnson, and, yes, some of the fun is in the docu-drama aspect, but there has been enough variation on real life that I'm rivetted to my seat- and nothing hammered in those rivets more than the season finale. I won't give you any spoilers, but I will say that the real-life counterpart to a major character was very much alive into the 1970's- so the point is that there are no rules- the story will play out, and what a story it is. Basically, it imagines a noirish world in which all are corrupt, and the only real nobility is if your corruption serves the greater good. In terms of plot, it centers around the efforts of Enoch 'Nucky" Thompson to run Atlantic City at the time when it was the Vice Capital of the USA. Beyond that, you can google it. But, hey, I'm getting distracted.... I'm just meaning to say the Boardwalk Empire has been the sole new pop culture thing to really catch me since the beginning of december.
So, since I don't do best of lists, since that would imply that I've not only got taste, but that my tastes are worth emulating, I'm just giving you a list of the 15 musical releases I've listened to the most this year. All are truly spectacular, and I think all are worth your time. Of course there's no hierarchy, and, of course, I listened to other stuff, but I just dumped itunes, and I happened to notice what had been most played, and these were the 2011 releases:
Gang of Four- Content
Ringo Deathstarr- Colour Trip
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- Belong
The United Sons of Toil-When the Revolution comes, Everything will be Beautiful
Pandoras. Box- Monomeet
Wire- Red Barked Tree
Ritual-Paper Skin
Red Fang- Murder the Mountains
Cute Lepers- Adventure Time
dEUS- Keep you Close
Kasabian- Velociraptor!
Wild-Flag-Wild Flag
Lydia Loveless- Indestructible Machine
Wilco- the Whole Love
Coliseum-Parasites (ep)
Most of them should be available at Amazon, and Bandcamp. There's your christmas list if you don't already have them.


  1. Thanks for the music, Rusty. I did, in fact, listen. I still think you guys are doing the best take on mid 90's noisey angular postpunk going. A lot of bands in your genre just seem to be going for impression and effect- your songs seem to follow a kind of internal logic, and are willing to go to both the typical ugly, extreme places but also to unexpectedly beautiful and delicate places, and I really appreciate the care you give to your songs.