We’ve told you what HFS listeners said was their favorite music of the year…but how about the HFS DJs? Check out their answers. Some of them may surprise you.
- The Naked and Famous
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
- Cage The Elephant “Shake Me Down”
- Korn featuring Skrillex “Get Up”
- B.O.B. “Strange Clouds” featuring Lil Wayne
- Switchfoot “Dark Horses” (kind of a guilty pleasure)
Linkin Park “Waiting For The End” (I know it’s technically from late 2010)
(Hey, Crash changed her mind again! What a surprise…not at all. — Spam)
- Two Door Cinema Club “What You Know” (catchy, positive and upbeat…like me!)
- Beastie Boys featuring Santigold “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” (fighting spirit, cool vibe, good to hear from them again finally)
- Endgame by Rise Against
Favorite Live Show:
- Filter at The Electric Factory in Philly
I’m liking Mark Foster and Foster The People a lot more than I expected to. Going old style, Social D is still down & dirty.
My favorite album of 2011 is a tough call because there was so much cool music that came my way. I love the AWOLNATION album Megalithic Symphony and Middle Class Rut’s No Name No Color a lot. Locally, Ballyhoo’s album Daydream, 8 Ohms’ Super Heavy and Bumpin’ Uglies’ Free Candy made my iPod hop!
It’s pretty tough to pick just one favorite artist; I’m going to go with Bruce Springsteen as my favorite. Or Elvis. Or Bruce. No…definitely Elvis. Damn, I hate having to choose.
As far as my favorite live shows go, I saw a local band called Kill Betty who put on a killer live show this past fall. And I’m a tough sell on local stuff. Seeing Florence + The Machine open for U2 was pretty kick ass, but I have to say U2 always raises the bar in terms of a live rock show, no doubt about that.
My favorite new track of the year is probably “Get It Daddy” by Sleeper Agent. Favorite older tracks that I just re-discovered: “God Damned Lonely Love” by the Drive-By Truckers and “Wagon Wheel” by the Old Crow Medicine Show.
My fave new album is the new Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Yeah, I know it sounds like Oasis…but there’s not really a bad track on the record. Also, I know I’m being trite, but I do really like the Mumford record Sigh No More.
The 2011 song I hate the most: “Superbass” byNicki Minaj. If I ever hear my kids singing that song, I will slap ’em till their heads spin around.
I became a huge fan of Middle Class Rut in 2011. For two guys to make songs that huge and catchy and anthemic…it just blows me away. You can’t not listen to their stuff at high volume.
“Get It Daddy” by Sleeper Agent had me hooked the first time I heard the song. I’d like to personally thank Cage the Elephant for telling people to check them out. I hope it encourages more kids to pick up guitars and rock the f*** out.
“Midnight City” by M83 just sounds so massive…and it made the sax solo cool again. (Sorry, Lady Gaga.)
The new album from The Black Keys, El Camino, is strong from start to finish. It has every right to be named the album of the year.
I didn’t make it to as many shows as I wanted to in 2011 (too much time here at the office!), but one show that did make a big impression on me was Airborne Toxic Event at Rams Head Live. If you didn’t get the appeal of the band by hearing the record, you definitely got it by seeing them in person.
And of course, Dave Grohl’s homecoming Foo Fighters show with Social D and The Joy Formidable lived up to everything you expect a hometown Foos show to be.
My favorite artist of 2011, hands down, is Go Radio. I discovered they existed about 7 months ago, heard they rolled through Maryland for Warped, and had no time to go check them out. (I cried in a corner for a couple hours.) I super stalked the albums, and thank god MP3’s don’t wear out. They’re total pop punk, which I lost track of for a few years, but rediscovered in them, and fell in love. Now go check them out…I know you want to…
My favorite live show in 2011 had to be Foo Fighters, Social D and The Joy Formidable at Verizon Center on 11/11/11. The show would have been good enough with just the Foos, but add the other two and this was an event not to be missed! Plus, seeing Grohl in his hometown is always a good time. (The hometown thing is the main reason this show took #1 for me and not Lollapalooza, where they also played. Well…that, and the amazing meal I had beforehand at celeb chef Mike Isabella’s restaurant Graffiato. )
I generally prefer to go to a club or small theater when it comes to shows, but my favorite concert this year was actually at a stadium. The tickets to U2 at M&T Bank Stadium on June 22nd were a birthday gift I gave to a friend. I’ll admit, I was a little reluctant to go (I’m not the world’s biggest U2 fan ), but Florence + The Machine opening for them was incentive enough for me to go along. Even though we were up high in the (relatively) cheap seats, Flo’s voice carried to the highest heights. U2’s 360 “Claw” video screen was able to provide us a visual of the fiery redhead in the long flowing red dress and her band mates–as if she was an alien princess commanding us to rock out.
While I was there more for the opening band (I know, I know–“Shut up Josie!”), seeing U2 was actually amazing. Their fans are diehard, and all 80,000 sang along with every word to every song. It was pretty intense musically…and I gotta admit, the giant spaceship-like claw and its insane view screen were sci-fi spectacular.
Ok, this one requires a little bit of background. I’m tempted to select Foo Fighters at the Metro in Chicago (think of a venue that’s a little smaller than 9:30 Club), as they blew the roof off the place until after 2:00 AM one night in August. But as much as my face was melted off by that one, another that touched me more was seeing one of my all-time favorite (and recently reunited) bands play a club gig of their own.
I’m talking about the band Pulp. To this Britpop fanatic, they were tops in my book for that era in the ’90s. Blur and James might have written the party anthems and Oasis had the hits, but for me, Pulp was the one that exemplified the entire package. Frontman Jarvis Cocker has made a career of completely owning and enveloping the room, be it at large festivals such as Glastonbury or even (in 2011) Coachella, and especially in smaller indoor venues. I hadn’t seen them since the summer of 1998 in both a theatre venue plus at RFK for the Tibetan Freedom Festival, and in late August 2011 I was thrilled to be in attendance for their show at the legendary Brixton Academy in London, as part of their reunion celebrations. I had long been aware of this storied room, being the site of famous shows by groups such as The Clash, and seeing it on the tour itineraries of all my favorite artists, as well as being the recording site of numerous live albums and concert films. Even a poster that hung on my wall for years of The Smiths’ “The Queen Is Dead” record listed tour dates on it, among them an engagement at Brixton. So the venue itself coupled with seeing a Top 5 band of my life made this a show I’ll not soon forget.