I spent a decent amount of time listening to the top albums of 2011 and I’m still aurally digesting it all. I of course needed to make a best of CD as is my purview each year, but as much of my “collection” was acquired over the last couple months, much of it either has gotten ignored, glossed over, and/or otherwise judged prematurely. The stuff I’ve been listening to over most of the year has received more attention, deeper consideration. So, in terms of albums, the vote is still out. I need to let the soup simmer a while longer. Songs, on the other hand, are more immediate. That is why most of my favorite songs are usually catchy pop-songs or funky soul rave-ups. I don’t even know what a rave-up is, but I’m sure I like it (or them). Challenging tunes that require multiple listens, or attention at all, will get their due, but for now, head bobbers and toe-tappers will win out.
I was late to the Jeff The Brotherhood bandwagon. They have released 5 albums and I will admit to only having heard the latest one, “We Are the Champions” (great album title). Rock duos are all the rage and most of them sound to me like they are missing something (like a bassist or a guitarist or xylophonist). But JTB (brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall) are the exception to this rule. With just drums and guitar, they really sound like a full band. Part of that is the production, which fuzzes out Jake’s guitar and fills out the mix. But this isn’t some highly produced rock album – you won’t confuse JTB with the Black Keys (who are also great, but less garage-sounding nowadays). It’s usually a bad idea to compare bands to other bands, but when you are a professional comparer, like myself, and use these gifts with care, it can be an effective method of giving the educated reader (like yourself) a clearer idea of what the artist/band/writer/etc sounds like. So, to me, these guys are a cross between the Meat Puppets and Jay Reatard. Stoner punk, with a leaning toward stoner. You can find out for yourself by watching the below video, which was recorded for the Tiny Desk Concert series on NPR. It’s a really great series and I highly recommend you subscribe to their podcast. You can also watch the concerts on the NPR website and most of them are searchable on youtube as well.
That’s it for now – I’m hoping to keep this thing going regular and true for as long as I can and if you like this, I have archived the Steve’s Song of the Day blog here.