Here it is. Our annual compendium of complaints, grievances and joyous salutations toward the most outstanding stories we covered this year, broken down for you, section by section.
Honestly, I spent most of 2011 obsessing over mod music and glam rock from the ’60s and ’70s, and so I don’t feel quite equipped to compose an authoritative or complete list of the year’s best new sounds. (Besides, the Internet is populated by young bloggers on the hipster tip who are doing just that for me—not that I was into Real Estate, Youth Lagoon or Lana Del Mar in the slightest.) I did, however, spend hours obsessing over certain songs. Below are the five I repeated to an embarrassing degree.
On 6 Times around the Sun, hubkaphonist Mark Weber presents an abundant collection of strange and wonderful music, teaming up with nine adventurous musicians on 38 improvised duet tracks recorded over six years.
The poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic thriller now serves as the announcement of a New Year’s Eve party at Dad’s House. Gusher, Great White Buffalo, Fart House, Music is the Enemy and Sputniq play beginning at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
No contest—my choice for No. 1 meal in 2011 is Masa’s omakase in New York City, and Prune is certainly in the top 10 (see Have Fork, Will Travel). But I’ve eaten some amazing food here at home this year. The dishes that follow, available on regular menus or as specials, stand out as top notch. I have a hard time distinguishing between them for quality and sheer enjoyment, so in no particular order:
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In North America, a farmer who grows wheat gets only 5 percent of the money earned by selling a loaf of bread made from his crop. When my band recorded an album for MCA, our contract called for us to receive just 7 percent of the net profits. I encourage you to push for a much bigger share than that for the work you do in 2012. It will be an excellent time to raise the levels of respect you have for your own gifts, skills and products—and to ask for that increased respect, as well.